Buckley vs. Friedman on Service-Part 2

Reading Time: 7 minutes

This is part 2 of a series on national service and the Franklin Project. Read part 1 here.

First, answer this for yourself: would you vote for William F. Buckley Jr?

Milton Friedman on National Service

My friend Lloyd Sloan points out that Milton Friedman disagreed with Buckley’s call for national service. It seems appropriate, then, to view the idea of a service ethos through the eyes of two champions of conservatism of the 20th century.

Let’s start with this reflection on time spent skiing with Milton Friedman and William F. Buckley  in which A. Lawrence Chickering wrote:

Some of the most interesting conversations focused on the differences between Milton’s libertarian emphasis on individual freedom and Bill’s more explicit understanding that freedom depends on values of responsibility and order beyond the self. An example was their differences on the idea of national service, which Bill endorsed in his 1990 book Gratitude. Although Bill advocated voluntary service, Milton objected to the government’s sponsorship of it, which included subsidies for education. I do not want to give the impression that Milton did not understand this crucial point about the importance of both freedom and order (responsibility), which returns to Irving Kristol’s argument about integrating libertarian and traditionalist thought. Milton often said he was convinced that the greatest threat to freedom in the world was the decline of both personal and social responsibility. But this primal insight never (to my knowledge) found its way into his writing, and I think that is a great pity.

Assuming Mr. Chickering, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, was telling the truth, we can safely say that Milton Friedman was conflicted on the matter of national service. In other words, he agreed with much of what Buckley wrote in Gratitude about the benefits of a national-service ethos, but not with Buckley’s prescription.

I commiserate with Chickering’s lament that Friedman kept this conflict to himself, publicly remaining pure to libertarian absolutism. It’s a shame, really, because that public absolutism serves as an example to many of us who avoid challenging our own beliefs and prejudices. Failure to acknowledge that we might be wrong is a surefire way to end up wrong.

Having just published Gratitude, on December 13, 1990 Mr. Buckley invited Professor Friedman to challenge Buckley’s proposal on Firing Line. In that debate, Friedman argued that Buckley’s plan might be voluntary for the people who engage (or not) in their year of service, but the plan was involuntary on another level because everyone had to pay for it.

Friedman’s Concerns Were Valid

We should heed Friedman’s concerns. The federal government bulges with programs that it should not run, funded with taxes it should not raise. As I mentioned in part 1, Buckley does allow Congress to establish and fund the administrative office to oversee the program. Buckley’s plan does not use federal tax dollars to fund the services themselves.

And, while Friedman acknowledges the lack of gratitude in America in 1990 (which has grown far worse since), he believes the cause of the decline in appreciation for our inheritance is government activism. “Everyone takes it for granted,” says Friedman, “that if there’s a problem, the government’s going to take care of it.” Again, I believe the Professor is on to something.

But Friedman seems to misunderstand Buckley’s proposal on a key point.

Friedman claims in the debate that the state would direct people to do its bidding. That’s not what Buckley had in mind. While the government would be involved in the credentialing process, states, charities, churches, and possibly even businesses would choose the projects and direct volunteer efforts.

The Debate Continues

In the end, the debate is unsatisfying. Friedman’s strongest argument is that government programs launched with the best of intentions tend to go horribly wrong. No one can argue, for instance, that the Department of Education made education worse. And the war on poverty wasted $22 trillion dollars and lifted no one out of poverty. And the many housing programs reduced the availability of affordable housing. Moreover, as sociologist Charles Murray has shown, the housing programs made life worse, not better, for those who passed through the system.

But Friedman ultimately conceded to Buckley’s observation that America’s ethos wants for a stronger sense of responsibility to our country and its people. Friedman believes that shrinking government will achieve that end, but he has no evidence that it will. Buckley believes that a year of national service will engender appreciation for what we have, and Buckley has some evidence: the World War II generation.

An Expectation of Service

Sane people did not want to go off to war in Europe or the Pacific in 1941. But they did, by the millions. And those who stayed at home, by and large, served the cause through rationing, material drives, air raid preparation, and more. There was a draft, of course, but the real consequence of failing to serve was the social stigma attached to able-bodied citizens who didn’t serve.

It is exactly that ethos of service that Buckley and the Franklin Project promote.

Buckley’s prescription may not be the best. We probably don’t need a big new government program to run this thing. And Stanley McChrystal doesn’t think we need one.

McChrystal told Business Insider:

Creating a big government agency isn’t the mechanism to do this.

We’re trying to take existing organizations like Teach for America and expand those. Then Cisco, the corporation, has donated money and helped to develop a digital platform that is going to give us a 21st-century ability to match opportunities and people looking for a service year opportunity.

I think we create a marketplace to do this that obviously starts slowly and then builds up momentum. And then once we get to the point where people really believe that service is not only a good thing to do — in an altruistic sense as citizen — but it also advantages them.

And McChrystal recognizes that social norms, not coercion, will be most effective in building this ethos:

Now, I can’t prove this, but our sense is that if we get to 25%, you probably get the critical mass, because what we’re trying to do is get this into the culture of America so that service is voluntary but it’s expected. Meaning if you go to interview for a job, you go to apply to a school, you go to run for congress, people are going to naturally ask, Where did you serve?

Buckley went a bit further than General McChrystal does. His program would deny federal aid for education to anyone who failed to serve, similar to the selective service registration requirement most of us were obliged to meet in order to qualify for federally backed student loans. Buckley would also encourage states to deny driver’s licenses to people fail to serve on the principle that society may withhold privileges from those who refuse to serve society’s purposes.

Let’s compare Buckley’s proposal to the Franklin Projects.

Buckley vs. Franklin

Buckley wanted a federal agency; Franklin Project wants to expand existing federal projects. Buckley wanted 80 percent compliance; Franklin Project hopes for about 25 percent. Both Buckley and Franklin Project agree on the need for stronger national ethos of service to a cause larger than ourselves, namely, our country and its heritage. Buckley proposed material inducements to service, such as denial of privileges to those who don’t serve. I cannot find a similar proposal from the Franklin Project.

On one point, I categorically prefer the Franklin Project over Buckley’s proposal: Buckley did not include military service as a form of service, but the Franklin Project does.

On the other hand, I categorically reject numerous points in the Franklin Project’s plan–objections will address tomorrow in part 3.

The Question Continues

Back to my original question. I’ve seen a few people write that they would not vote for Eric Greitens because he, like William F. Buckley, advocates a renewed national ethos of service and gratitutde. Those who hold this position must also hold that they would not vote for William F. Buckley for the same reason. It’s okay to prefer other candidates to Mr. Greitens on this or other grounds; it’s logically inconsistent to say it’s national service was okay for Buckley but not for Eric Greitens.

Now, one more question: would you vote for Ronald Reagan for governor?

Reagan seemed to understand the need for a service ethos. California in 1971 was not the place or time for a program of service. It was the tune in, turn on, drop out capital of the world. That didn’t stop Reagan from launching the California Conservation Corps (then called the Ecology Corps), which Buckley describes in Gratitude:

Its success is generally attributed to the leadership of B. T. Collins, an ex-Green Beret who lost an arm and a leg in Vietnam and did not return from Southeast Asia to America in order to suffer fools gladly. He gave the organization a motto (“Hard work, low pay, miserable conditions”) as also a set of rules (“No booze, No dope, No violence, No destruction of state property, No refusal to work”). Needless to say such a regimen generated a considerable dropout rate (only one third of those joined the program completed a year. The Collins Rule or rehabilitation? If you drop out, you many not apply for reentry). Reveille is at five, a “quiet hour” begins at ten P.M., and lights go out at eleven. An interesting requirement: every California CC is required to write something every day; mostly, these have been journals of the day’s activities. The design is to teach young people how to express themselves, how to externalize their thoughts in writing, the better to equip them to handle their work and their lives after leaving the CC. The work has been mostly ecological in nature: that, plus maintenance of the public places. In the opinion of Professor Moskos1, ‘the California Conservation Corps stands as a preeminent example of how a comprehensive national-service program might operate at the state level.” The cost, in 1986, was $19,000 per volunteer.

It seems to me that a service program informed by conservative principles, dedicated to improving the volunteers as much as the volunteers improve society, affords the best chance to infuse  our country with the ethos Buckley promoted. If Reagan could do it, why can’t we? And if you wouldn’t vote Buckley, do lament Reagan’s two terms as governor of California?

Finally, it’s okay to say we don’t need a stronger service ethos, but saying so doesn’t mean we won’t get one.

Tomorrow in part 3, I will dig into the meat of the Franklin Project plan– a plan that leaves much to be desired and includes much to be discarded. Part 4 will attempt to make the case for why conservatives would do well to involve themselves in shaping a service ethos rather than stomping our feet and saying “no.” Part 5 will provide a new, conservative platform for service in the 21st century and ideas for bringing our vision to reality.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I encourage you to read Mr. Chickering’s entire article for fantastic anecdotes and memories like this one:

One morning we went to the Alta Lodge ski shop to buy various trifles. I finished my shopping and impatiently waited for him [Milton Friedman] at the door of the shop. “Got everything you need?” I asked. “Nope,” he responded. “But I’ve got everything I’m willing to pay for.”

1 Professor Charles Moskos, then of Northwestern University, was the chief author of a bill proposed by Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia. While Buckley dismissed Nunn’s bill as a typical Democrat spending spree, he referred to Professor Moskos’s research throughout the book Gratitude.

Companies Should Adopt Conscious Capitalism Because It Pays

Reading Time: 6 minutes

You’re going to hit me with the small sample size argument here, but that’s okay.

I firmly believe that the purpose of a company is to make life better, and if it does that well, it will make a profit. If, on the other hand, a company makes life worse, the market should let that company die.

Some companies try to improve life with insanely great technology products. Some make life better with fast, safe cars that are fun to drive. Some make life better with clothes people want to wear. Some make better components for those other great products.

But no business exist just to make money, because no reasonable person would buy from such a firm. Or work for it. Or supply it.

Imagine you have a choice in buying a computer. One computer was designed by a man whose stated ambition is building “insanely great” products “that people love.” The other computer comes from a company whose stated goal is to “make as much money for ourselves as we possibly can.”

The only rationale for buying the computer designed to make its seller richer–even at the expense of the customer, its employees, and its vendors–is because you can’t afford the “insanely great” computer. So you settle for something cheaper.

No one in his right mind would help a company get rich if the company’s only mission is to get rich. Why would they? That’s stupid. On the other hand, neither will most people buy an inferior product simply because the company that made it donates money to the customer’s favorite charity. The customer could just as easily buy the superior product and donate to the charity on his own.

People gladly do business with companies whose purpose involves great missions–like building insanely great products that people love. And companies that consciously put customers first, employees next, the community after that, suppliers, partners, and, finally, investors outperform companies that exist only to make a buck.In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, conscious companies outperform the S&P 500 by a factor of 10.

You’re probably skeptical. In fact, if you read my blog, chances are you agree with T.J. Rodgers, founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor.

Back in 2005, Rodgers and Milton Friedman engaged in an online debate with Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey. Mackey and I agree on the purpose of companies, but Rodgers says we’re Marxists. (Rodgers isn’t alone. A gentleman called me as much in a comment to yesterday’s blog.)  Here’s how Rodgers summarized Mackey’s business philosophy:

It seems Mackey’s philosophy is more accurately described by Karl Marx: “From each according to his ability” (the shareholders surrender money and assets); “to each according to his needs” (the charities, social interest groups, and environmentalists get what they want). That’s not free market capitalism.

Rodgers goes on to talk about his pride in putting profits ahead of his customers, his employees, his suppliers, and his community. While he encourages his employees to donate to charity, he lets everyone know that they better keep their eyes peeled when doing business with Cypress Semiconductor. He will do anything the law allows to maximize his profits.

Mackey, on the other hand, won’t. In fact, Mackey subordinates profits to five other stakeholder: customers, employees, community, suppliers, and the environment. Mackey believes that building a company with a higher purpose results in better value for everyone involved. Profits are, to Mackey, a necessary byproduct of doing great work.

Of course, Mr. Rodgers, who’s been labeled the toughest boss in Silicon Valley, has earned a lot more money for his investors, right?

Wrong.

In fact, when it comes to running a successful business, it’s doubtful Mr. Rodgers could even get a job mkanaging a Whole Foods Market.

At the time of their debate in 2005, Mr. Rodgers’ company had negative retained earnings of over $400 million. That means Rogers had lost $400 million of investors money through his “profits for profits’ sake” business philosophy. At the same time, Mr. Mackey’s Whole Foods Market had the highest profits of any food retailer, including Walmart.

Since the debate, things have only gotten better for Whole Foods Market and worse for Rodgers’ Cypress Semiconductor. In their latest reports, Whole Foods returned a profit to its investors of $1.47 per share, while Cypress presented its investors with yet another loss of -$0.31 per share.

Rodgers started Cypress in 1960, and he’s grown the company to a market cap of $1.6 billion. Impressive.

But not as impressive Mackey’s Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods went public in 1985. Its market cap today is just under $19 billion. And, unlike Cypress Semiconductor, Whole Foods regularly increases the value of its shareholders’ investments.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Mackey’s assessment of T.J. Rodgers and his company’s performance:

Cypress Semiconductor has struggled to be profitable for many years now, and their balance sheet shows negative retained earnings of over $408 million. This means that in its entire 23-year history, Cypress has lost far more money for its investors than it has made. Instead of calling my business philosophy Marxist, perhaps it is time for Rodgers to rethink his own.

When you read the entire debate of Friedman and Rodgers vs. Mackey, and I strongly encourage to do so, you’ll realize that Rodgers is not a gentleman or scholar. As Mackey noted in his rebuttal, Rodgers clearly failed to actually read Mackey’s original arguments. Instead, Rodgers jumped to angry and wrong conclusions. For instance, Rodgers assumed that all of Mackey’s employees were unionized, but none of Mackey’s employees belong to unions. Rodgers assumed that Whole Foods Market loses money, when Whole Foods’ balance sheet blows Cypress’s out of the water.

Perhaps Conscious Capitalism is new age bunk, as my commenter believes. It makes more money than a narrow profit motive.

At the beginning of this post, I asked question about why businesses exist. Now, think about why movements like the Tea Party exist.

Does the Tea Party exist, as that commenter wrote yesterday, to express “anger and rage?” Is that our version of the profit motive? Getting things off our chests? If so, we don’t need a tea party; we need psychiatrists. Or confessionals. No one who’s not already involved in the Tea Party movement would join to help us vent. Sure, we can get up from our couches, throw open our windows, and yell “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” We’ve done that. It didn’t work. But maybe it made some people feel better. “I’ve done something.” Right. Liberals wear goofy ribbons to express their concern, and conservatives yell to express theirs.

And Jamie Dimon gets a raise.

And the government rakes in more power.

And the debt grows.

And the community banks sell or fold.

And the labor force shrinks.

And we’re still yelling.

If our purpose is to live up to our notion of American exceptionalism, on the other hand, then yelling won’t get us there anymore than a narrow focus on profits made Cypress Semiconductor a good investment. If our purpose is to arrest America’s decline–and it’s in steep decline–then we need to live that purpose.

It begins with developing a stakeholder map. Yes, the people who show up at our After Parties and rallies, and the people who read the daily newsletter, are stakeholders. Very important ones. The people who donate $2 or $5 every month, they’re invaluable stakeholders. But they’re not the only ones.

If we’re truly the examples of American exceptionalism, we better get a clear picture of all of America’s stakeholders. Let’s begin with the generation that’s now inheriting this great country. You’ll know them by their tats and piercings. They’re under 31. And there’s a lot of them.

Another stakeholder is the GOP establishment–that cursed body of bumbling nabobs that gave us TARP. Yes, they are stakeholders, too. So are many Democrats.

Many of the people who jumped into the OWS movement are stakeholders, too. Not the nut jobs highlighted on the evening news for defecating on police cars and raping women. Not the true Marxists, either. But those criminals and crazies weren’t the only people in those OWS camps. I’ve met a few of the first joiners. While, on the surface, their “demands” were mostly out of sync with the Tea Party, when I applied the 5 Whys, I found that the basic problems that motivated OWSers were the same problems that motivated the first Tea Parties. Namely, bailouts.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote:

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.

I believe that most of those who oppose us–those who would trade their own freedom and yours for a bit of promised security from the government–are ill-informed. I believe that most Americans are good people who simply want to live out their lives as best they can. If I didn’t believe that, I’d leave this country and renounce my citizenship. And I might still be convinced that escape is my best option.

If our purpose is to reform America, to incubate American exceptionalism from a theory to truth, then we cannot simply stand in parks and yell. Nor can we cloister ourselves in secular monasteries, re-reading the Constitution and obscure theories of government.

If we are to restore (or establish) American exceptionalism, we need to inform their discretion. That’s not easy work. It’s not nearly as fun or sexy or thrilling as screaming at hippies in a park. But it might actually work.

If you want to get started on this noble path of informing their discretions, look into the Center for Self-Governance. Turn passions into purpose.

And let yourself smile. It’s going to be okay.

Conscious Capitalism:The One Book Every Conservative Must Read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The motivating force behind the first tea party protests of February 27, 2009, was , in part, crony capitalism.

Across the country and on the steps of the Arch in St. Louis, signs and speakers denounced bailouts for failed businesses.

Rasmussen found that 68 percent of Americans believe Big Business and Big Government work together against the rest of us.

I think they’re right.

Since then, crony capitalism has only grown. Obamacare and Medicaid Expansion. Quantitative Easing. The government takeover of General Motors and Chrysler. State and local tax subsidies for businesses, like China Hub here in Missouri.

At least part of the reason we’ve failed to separate corporation and state is a conservative economics fallacy first articulated by our favorite economist, Milton Friedman.

Milton Friedman’s Error

In 1970, Friedman wrote a New York Times op-ed titled: The Social Responsibility of Business Is To Increase Its Profits.

Conservatives love the simple brashness of Friedman’s statement:

There is one and only one social responsibility of business— to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.

On the surface, it makes sense, and business academics took it to heart. In 1976, two business professors, Michael Jensen and William Meckling of Simon School of Business, took Friedman’s theory one step further: the sole purpose of a business is to maximize shareholder value.

The Downfall Of Business Ethics

As Steve Denning wrote in Forbes last year, this is “The Dumbest Idea in the World.” The results of maximizing shareholder value have led to a popular mistrust of business. And it’s led leading proponents of so-called agency theory to question the idea that all’s fair in pursuit of profits.

In 2011, I had a chance to sit down to dinner with Harvard Business School legend Paul Lawrence just months before he passed away. Dr. Lawrence spent the last decade of his life undoing a lot of the damage he felt he’d done at Harvard.

After hearing great stories about John Wayne, whose Arizona ranch shared a mile long fence with Lawrence’s brother’s ranch, I asked him why he’s working so hard on advancing Four-Drive leadership when he should be enjoying his retirement.

“I watched a news program about corporate scandals around the time of Enron,” he said. “I realized that most of the men who were on trial for cheating and lying were former students of mine. I had to correct the thinking that led us here. I had been part of the problem.”

The Answer Is Conscious Capitalism

John Mackey’s vision of Conscious Capitalism might surprise his conservative critics. In his new book, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, Mackey mirrors the idea behind the 5,000 Year Leap:

In the long arc of history, no human creation has had a greater positive impact on more people more rapidly than free-enterprise capitalism. It is unquestionably the greatest system for innovation and social cooperation that has ever existed. This system has afforded billions of us the opportunity to join in the great enterprise of earning our sustenance and finding meaning by creating value for each other. In a mere two hundred years, business and capitalism have transformed the face of the planet and the complexion of daily life for the vast majority of people.

And he gives us a remarkable litany of free-enterprise capitalism’s higher purpose:

This is what we know to be true: business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity.

The idea that business is good, ethical, noble, and heroic is breathtaking. I promise you, they don’t teach those ideals in most business schools today. They teach profit maximization and meeting Wall Street analysts quarterly expectations instead.

But people are human, not machine. We all want to serve a higher purpose, save for the five percent who are true psychopaths.

Mackey’s vision of business as good, ethical, noble, and heroic would lead the most idealistic person toward the pursuit, while the idea of maximum profits invites the selfish and the greedy.

The Evil Twins of Crony Capitalism and Regulation

The flip side of Conscious Capitalism is Crony Capitalism and government regulation.  On these points, John Mackey sounds like our speakers at the first tea party protests:

Crony capitalists and governments have become locked in an unholy embrace, elevating the narrow, self-serving interests of the few over the well-being of the many. They use the coercive power of government to secure advantages not enjoyed by others: regulations that favor them but hinder competitors, laws that prevent market entry, and government-sanctioned cartels. 16

Since the financial collapse in the 2008, crony capitalists and government have conspired to increase the wealth disparity in America to its highest levels ever. Obama’s rhetoric about level playing fields were hollow. His two most ambitious legislative victories—Obamacare and Dodd-Frank—all but competition and free enterprise from healthcare and banking. Obama didn’t reduce income inequality—he made it worse.

And he did so with a lot of help from big business and big banks. Dodd-Frank, you’ll remember, changed a lot because of testimony and lobbying from the finance and banking worlds. Same for Obamacare and healthcare and insurance corporations.

The corporate lobbyists did not push ideas that would keep you free and prosperous; they added provisions to put taxpayer dollars into their own pockets. 

 

Read Conscious Capitalism

There’s way too much great stuff in Conscious Capitalism for me to cover here. Whether you’re a business leader, entrepreneur, or concerned consumer, you’ll benefit from the ideas Mackey puts forward.

In the end, Mackey shows us two worlds. In the first, corporations use the coercive power of government to extract wealth from customers, employees, vendors, and taxpayers. In the second, businesses exist to create massive value that inspires people to buy from, work for, and trade with companies.

Which one would you trust? Which one won’t embarrass you? Which one would you happily defend?

If you believe in fair, open, and voluntary exchange, you’ll love Mackey’s book. If you don’t believe in those things, you need Mackey’s book.

What We Learned from Milton Friedman

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I am a big fan of Milton Friedman.  I’m also becoming a big fan of Creating Shared Value.  Some believe the two values are inconsistent, but I disagree.

milton-friedman-300x202In 2005, Reason Magazine posted an online debate between Friedman and Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey.  The debate coincided with the 35th anniversary of Friedmans’ famous The New York Times Magazine article entitled: : "The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits." 

Now, 2005 was before Mr. Mackey became the darling of the tea party because of his defense of privatized medicine in 2009.  At the time, I’m sure, free marketers took sides with Friedman. 

But in that debate, Mackey makes a compelling case for businesses understanding the long-term effects of their operations and decisions—and for learning how to articulate the benefits of capitalism to society:

Both capitalism and corporations are misunderstood, mistrusted, and disliked around the world because of statements like Friedman’s on social responsibility. His comment is used by the enemies of capitalism to argue that capitalism is greedy, selfish, and uncaring. It is right up there with William Vanderbilt’s "the public be damned" and former G.M. Chairman Charlie Wilson’s declaration that "what’s good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa." If we are truly interested in spreading capitalism throughout the world (I certainly am), we need to do a better job marketing it. I believe if economists and business people consistently communicated and acted on my message that "the enlightened corporation should try to create value for all of its constituencies," we would see most of the resistance to capitalism disappear.

Today, I have to admit, I agree with Mackey.  Milton Friedman’s 1970 article that the only social responsibility of the corporation is to maximize profits was not wrong.  It was poorly expressed. As Mackey points out, Friedman’s words have been (ab)used by leftists ever since—usually by leftists who’ve never read the article. 

Earlier in the debate, Mackey pointed out that Adam Smith’s less famous work focused, not on maximizing profits, but on maximizing value:

[E]conomists would be well served to read Smith’s other great book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. There he explains that human nature isn’t just about self-interest. It also includes sympathy, empathy, friendship, love, and the desire for social approval. As motives for human behavior, these are at least as important as self-interest. [hyperlink added]

We’ve learned many great ideas from Friedman, including the ridiculous cost of government hidden in a 32 cent pencil.  Free to Choose was the most important book on economics I read in high school.  I’m sure it was for many others, too. 

We also learned the importance of messaging from Dr. Friedman  by way of John Mackey.  We owe both men a debt of gratitude.  And we owe the great free market system our vigilance in promoting the political system that advanced humanity more than any.  By creating shared value, corporations keep the engine of liberty alive. 

On Friday, I’ll write more on the idea of Creating Shared Value.