The book calls for the abolition or privatization of all government functions, details suggestions for many specific instances of privatization, explores the consequences of libertarian thought, describes examples of libertarian society (such as the Icelandic Commonwealth), and offers the author’s personal statement about why he became a libertarian. Topics addressed in the book include the privatization of law (both legislation and enforcement), and the knotty problem of providing for public goods (such as national defense) in a purely libertarian society. Friedman argues that anarcho-capitalism will be beneficial to the vast majority, including the poor.
While some books supporting similar libertarian and anarcho-capitalist views offer evidence in terms of morality or natural rights, Friedman (although he explicitly denies being a utilitarian) here argues largely in terms of the effects of his proposed policies.
Friedman conjectures that anything done by government costs at least twice as much as a privately provided equivalent. He offers examples as evidence, such as a comparison of the cost of the U.S. Postal Service’s costs for package delivery with the costs of private carriers and the cost of the Soviet government versus market based services in the West.