Volume 2 - The Tyranny of Control
This program concentrates on free trade, and is introduced by George
Schultz, former Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State.
He describes his experiences fighting to preserve free markets, saying
"protectionism is a big problem for all of us -- you have got
to go in there and compete. Practically all governments go too far
and intrude themselves much too much in economic and business affairs.
It seems an almost irresistible temptation." In the filmed documentary,
Dr. Friedman visits India, Japan and the U.S., and concludes there
is no evidence that government has ever improved on the effectiveness
of markets, and in almost all cases it has led to disastrous results.
Protectionism, in whatever guise, never helps the consumer. Whether
in the form of tariffs against imports or subsidies of domestic enterprises,
the beneficiaries are those who own the businesses and the bureaucrats
who administer the program. "When anyone complains about unfair
competition, consumers beware." Friedman tells us about the writings
of Adam Smith, who, 200 years ago warned that businesses always try
to sell for the highest price and will try to control the market to
do so. But without government help businesses cannot force people
to buy their goods. Consumers will always get the lowest possible
prices when competition is free and robust. In a spirited discussion
following the documentary, Dr. Friedman defends his views against
Steven Cohen of the University of California at Berkeley, who believes
that economic realities inevitably force governments - including America's
- to regulate foreign trade. Focusing on the examples of Japan and
Germany, Friedman and Michael Walker of the Fraser Institute in Vancouver
argue that competition always produces the best results.