Milton Friedman Speaks: Equality and Freedom in the Free Enterprise System
If the government has the power and responsibility to promote equality of income, then how do we define the concept of equality? Jefferson, in his Declaration of Independence, meant equality before the law, a concept necessary precisely because people are not equal in tastes, values, or capacities. Later, equality came to mean equality of opportunity—the chance to run a fair race. Within a free market system, both definitions are consistent with other values: Efficiency, justice, and liberty. More recently, equality has come to mean equality of outcome. Equality of outcome cannot be mandated, cannot be insured. Any serious attempt to achieve it would destroy freedom.