The Friedmans on pressures against change; Tyranny of the Status Quo, by Milton and Rose Friedman. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc. 182 pp. $10.95.

The Friedmans describe the ''tyranny of the status quo'' as a political inertia characterized by ''an iron triangle of beneficiaries, politicians, and bureaucrats.'' It amounts to a democratic version of European conservatism, in which special interests strive to maintain positions of privilege.

This book is somewhat eclectic, though predominantly pro-free-market, as one would expect of the Friedmans. Economically, the explanation of inflation and the fascination with price indices is vintage monetarism. The idea of using fiscal policy to compensate for the business cycle is Keynesian. The frequent mention of the incentives to which individuals respond introduces a pronounced supply-side flavor.

Politically, the William Simon-like verbal assault against big government is conservative. The recommendation of legalizing underground narcotics is distinctly libertarian. Occasional lapses into interventionistic positions and free market rhetoric with loopholes are obvious concessions to liberals.

In short, this is a minor book which is little more than a postscript to the Friedmans' best seller, ''Free to Choose.'' Still, designed for popular audiences as it is, ''Tyranny of the Status Quo'' will find its niche among those who are chafing under the burden of government. For many, though, the summary given in the last chapter (three-plus pages) will suffice. The unusually lucid discussion of the ''balance of trade'' problem (pp. 124-129) is also recommended.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK