The fact that Friedman even considered basic income (or in this case negative income tax) a worthwhile experiment (which bureaucracy of course messed up royally), proves that
a) Friedman wasn't the evil, heartless boogey man hippies always want to portray him as, and that
b) the so-called free market economy just wasn't/isn't working (in an imperfect world).
Friedman was probably more liberal than most hippies are intolerant. Basically he just wanted to make things work better (as they all do).
Can't blame the man for trying. Whether by adopting "his" policy got people killed some place for one reason or the other is for historians to evaluate. And please don't ask me to shift the blame to one man and one man alone...
I tend to think that Friedman was just a tad too full and certain of himself (as they all are). I tend to think true pragmatics are more a kin to folks like Buckminster Fuller, for example. I don't see how any thinking wo/man would disagree with his visions of better future.
It is my personal belief that we can co-operate, we can co-exist peacefully and that we can reach an agreement on what is ultimately the best thing for us all to try and accomplish.
The jury is still out as to the "true" nature of human (selfishness vs. altruistic). How could one be anything less than selfish when one has not met his/her basic needs and wants? And how could any society or personal relationship strive - or indeed work at all - without any altruism?
The trouble with true liberals is that they are and always will be in the minority. We live in an imperfect world because we humans tend to be imperfect.
Unless we let robots take over, I fail to see how this situation could ever change.
The trouble with wannabe liberals is that they always introduce exceptions in their theories. First it's the army, then it's the roads and other infrastructure, and then it's something other, and then still other... ad infinitum. There can be no such concept as semi-freedom. It's an oxymoron.
There's a chance we might be able to make free market truly, honestly work in some part of the world, for some time at least. But it's never going to happen in our traditional national states with their monopoly on everything and anything simply because they possess a monopoly on violence.
Thus far "free market" promises us the all-access key when in reality it means: you are on your own and you are only free to compete with one another til the day you die - good luck!
"Socialism" doesn't even pretend to offer unlimited freedom - on the contrary: it readily admits that unlimited personal freedoms will have to take the side road for the sake of greater good for all.
You can't both eat the cake and save it for later. But you can make sure that everyone gets a piece of it.
Free market economy and communism both work - in theory. If only someone could show me where either one of them is in full operation in actuality not in make-believe...
All we've had thus far in human history are economies that are being regulated, more or less, for better or for worse. We're still trying to make it truly work and I fear we might still be trying when the Sun finally fades out.
I say lets let robots do what they do best so we can all concentrate on not killing our neighbors.