Volume 5 - Created Equal
Steve Allen introduces this program, and draws on his background in
the entertainment world to comment on the disparity between rich and
poor. Speaking of mankind's continuing fascination with the idea of
redistributing wealth, he says, "The problem with that admittedly
charming idea is that it has never worked." While visiting India,
the U.S., and Britain, Dr. Friedman explains that although all men
may be created equal, this does not mean that everyone will have equal
talents or income. He says differences in economic outcomes are both
inevitable and desirable. Equality of opportunity is the key to the
vitality of free markets and the preservation of personal freedoms.
It is the poorer members of society who benefit most from freedom
and who seldom see any gain from government programs justified in
their name. "The society that puts equality before freedom will
end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality
will end up with a great measure of both." The desire to have
more, to have what those who are better off have, is a powerful motivator.
Friedman points out that the most governments can do is provide all
citizens with equal opportunity to use their time and abilities as
they best see fit, in pursuit of a better life. Following the documentary,
Dr. Friedman has a conversation with Michael Kinsley of the New Republic
and Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution. They debate the desirability
and effectiveness of such government initiatives as welfare programs,
Head Start, student loans, and the graduated income tax.