Quotes

Milton Freidman, Economist

When asked by Phil Donahue: “When you see around the globe the mal-distribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in undeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many have-nots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism and whether greed is a good idea to run on?”

Friedman responds, “Well, first of all. Tell me, is there some society that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy; it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievments of civilization haven’t come from government bureaucrats. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under instruction from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear: that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”

Donohue: “But it seems to reward, not virtue, as much as the ability to manipulate the system.”

Freidman: “And what does reward virtue? You think the communist commissar reward virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? You think, excuse me, if you’ll pardon me, do you think American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of their political clout? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? You know I think you’re taking a lot of things for granted. Just tell me where in the world you’re going to find these angels who are going to organize society for us? I don’t even trust you to do that!”

Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister

“I would much prefer to bring [the Labour Party] down as soon as possible. I think they’ve made the biggest financial mess that any government’s ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalise everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalisation, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means. They’re progressively reducing the choice available to ordinary people.”

Ayn Rand

“America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to ‘the common good,’ but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance — and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.”

H. L. Mencken

“The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time is made good by looting A to satisfy B. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Barry Goldwater

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is “needed” before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents “interests, ” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”

Feodor Dostoyevsky‘s Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov

“In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, ‘Make us your slaves, but feed us.'”

Jesus Christ speaking of Barack Obama and others (in Matt. 7:15-20)…

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

General Dwight D. Eisenhower to the boys on D-day.

You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely….The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

Donald Rumsfeld on Al-Qaida (for all his shortcomings, this comment is one of the greatest truths to enter popular conversation following 9/11)

“[The irony of Muslim terrorists is] destroying things they could never have built themselves using technologies they never could have developed themselves.”

Joseph Sobran

“[Democrat] Politicians never accuse you of ‘greed’ for wanting other people’s money — only for wanting to keep your own money.”


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