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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
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|Charles Francis Adams||Failure seems to be regarded as the one unpardonable crime, success as the all-redeeming virtue, the acquisition of wealth as the single worthy aim of life. Ten years ago such revelations as these of the Erie Railway would have sent a shudder through the community, and would have placed a stigma on every man who had had to do them. Now they merely incite others to surpass by yet bolder outrages and more corrupt combinations.|
|Phelps Adams||Capitalism and communism stand at opposite poles. Their essential difference is this: The communist seeing the rich man and his fine home says, “No man should have so much.” The capitalist seeing the same thing says, “All men should have as much.”|
|Aesop||Self-conceit may lead to self-destruction.|
|Aesop||We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.|
|Aesop||People often grudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves.|
|Anacharsis||The forum [is] an established place for men to cheat one another, and behave covetously.|
|Aristotle||The trade of the petty usurer is hated with most reason: it makes a profit from currency itself, instead of making it from the process which currency was meant to serve. Their common characteristic is obviously their sordid avarice.|
|Sir Francis Bacon||If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him.|
|Ambrose Bierce||An election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods.|
|Edmund Burke||The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists and calculators has succeeded.|
|George W. Bush||We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.|
|Simon Cameron||An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.|
|Catherine of Siena||Every evil, harm and suffering in this life comes from the love of riches.|
|Gilbert Keith Chesterton||It was the mystical dogma of Bentham and Adam Smith and the rest, that some of the worst of human passions would turn out to be all for the best. It was the mysterious doctrine that selfishness would do the work of unselfishness.|
|Clarence S. Darrow||The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business.|
|Alexis de Tocqueville||I know of no other country where love of money|
has such a grip on men's hearts or
where stronger scorn is expressed for
the theory of permanent equality of property.
|Democritus||People sometimes rationalize their greed by saying that it is all for the good of their children but this is nothing but an excuse they use to make their despicable actions appear respectable and praiseworthy.|
|Alexandre Dumas||Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.|
|Milton Friedman||Phil Donohue: When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped 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? |
Milton Friedman: Well first of all tell me, is there some society you know 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 fella that's greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The greatest achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn't construct his theory under order 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 that you are 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 kind of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, 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.
Phil Donohue: Seems to reward not virtue as much as the ability to manipulate the system.
Milton Friedman: And what does reward virtue? You think the Communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? 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 political clout? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? You know I think you are taking a lot of things for granted. And just tell me where in the world you find these angels that are going to organize society for us? Well, I don't even trust you to do that.
|Milton Friedman||Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know 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 achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order 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 worse off, 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 the free-enterprise system.|
|Ulysses S. Grant||If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.|
|George Hansen||The IRS is an extraordinary example of the end justifying the means. The means of this agency is growth. It is interesting that the revenue officers within the IRS refer to taxpayers as 'inventory'. The IRS embodies the political realities of the selfish human desire to dominate others. Thus the end of this gigantic pretense of officialdom is power, pure and simple. The meek may inherit the earth, but they will never receive a promotion in an agency where efficiency is measured by the number of seizures of taxpayers' property and by the number of citizens and businesses driven into bankruptcy.|
|Samuel P. Hays||The root of the evil... lay not in corruption but in the system which bred it, the alliance between industrialists and politicians which produced benefits in the form of tariffs, public lands, and federal subsidies.|
|George D. Herron||The possession of power over others is inherently destructive both to the possessor of the power and to those over whom it is exercised.|
|Immanuel Kant||The bad thing of war is, that it makes more evil people than it can take away.|
|Immanuel Kant||The enjoyment of power inevitably corrupts the judgment of reason, and perverts its liberty.|
|Walter Lippmann||It is the very essence of despotism that it can never afford to fail. This is what distinguishes it most vitally from democracy. In a despotism there is no organized opposition which can take over the power when the Administration in office has failed. All the eggs are in one basket. Everything is staked on one coterie of men. When the going is good, they move more quickly and efficiently than democracies, where the opposition has to be persuaded and conciliated. But when they lose, there are no reserves. There are no substitutes on the bench ready to go out on the field and carry the ball. That is why democracies with the habit of party government have outlived all other forms of government in the modern world. They have, as it were, at least two governments always at hand, and when one fails they have the other. They have diversified the risks of mortality, corruption, and stupidity which pervade all human affairs. They have remembered that the most beautifully impressive machine cannot run for very long unless there is available a complete supply of spare parts.|
|James Madison||The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.|
|James Madison||But the mild voice of reason, pleading the cause of an enlarged and permanent interest, is but too often drowned, before public bodies as well as individuals, by the clamors of an impatient avidity for immediate and immoderate gain.|
|James Madison||The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling which they overburden the inferior number is a shilling saved to their own pockets.|
|Michelle Malkin||What our country deserves from everyone who enjoys its fruits and freedoms is a little more gratitude -- and a lot less greed.|
|Menander||Everything is destroyed by its own particular vice: the destructive power resides within. Rust destroys iron, moths destroy clothes, the worm eats away the wood; but greatest of all evils is envy, impious habitant of corrupt souls, which ever was, is, and shall be a consuming disease.|
|Edna St. Vincent Millay||Let us forget such words, and all they mean, as Hatred, Bitterness and Rancor, Greed, Intolerance, Bigotry. Let us renew our faith and pledge to Man, his right to be Himself, and free.|
|Bill Moyers||If you think there is freedom of the press in the United States, I tell you there is no freedom of the press... They come out with the cheap shot. The press should be ashamed of itself. They should come to both sides of the issue and hear both sides and let the American people make up their minds.|
|Richard J. Needham||People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty.|
|P. J. O'Rourke||The three branches of government number considerably more than three and are not, in any sense, 'branches' since that would imply that there is something they are all attached to besides self-aggrandizement and our pocketbooks. ... Government is not a machine with parts; it's an organism. When does an intestine quit being an intestine and start becoming an asshole?|
|P. J. O'Rourke||Government isn't a good way to solve problems ... [G]overnment is concerned mostly with self-perpetuation and is subject to fantastic ideas about its own capabilities. ... [G]overnment is wasteful of the nation's resources, immune to common sense and subject to pressure from every half-organized bouquet of assholes. ... [G]overnment is distrustful of and disrespectful toward average Americans while being easily gulled by Americans with money, influence or fame.|
|Walter Olsen||The paternalist project for our civil courts runs something as follows. After the revolution -- which perhaps has already taken place—the average citizen will enjoy a vast array of wonderful new rights to sue other people. You will be empowered to haul your neighbors and fellow citizens to court if you feel they have fallen short of good faith and fair play. You will be entitled to sue them for unlimited damages, punitive as well as compensatory, even over behavior that had previously been thought not subject to liability at all. Everyone will be under a vague but stringent obligation to look out for your safety and welfare, enforceable by legal action. You will enjoy a cornucopia of contention opportunities, a smorgasbord of suing options, a Lotus-land of litigability.|
|Thomas Paine||The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.|
|Thomas Paine||Beware the greedy hand of government, thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry.|
|St. Peter||Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.|
|Plato||A tyrant…is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.|
|Plato||The worst of all deceptions is self-deception.|
|Ayn Rand||When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed.|
|Will Rogers||Hurray! Congress is to adjourn! Only four more days of Congressional burglary on the Treasury!|
|Theodore Roosevelt||The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.|
|Bertrand Russell||Envy is the basis of Democracy.|
|Lucius Annaeus Seneca||We are mad, not only individually, but nationally. We check manslaughter and isolated murders; but what of war and the much-vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples? There are no limits to our greed, none to our cruelty. And as long as such crimes are committed by stealth and by individuals, they are less harmful and less portentous; but cruelties are practised in accordance with acts of senate and popular assembly, and the public is bidden to do that which is forbidden to the individual. Deeds that would be punished by loss of life when committed in secret, are praised by us because uniformed generals have carried them out. Man, naturally the gentlest class of being, is not ashamed to revel in the blood of others, to wage war, and to entrust the waging of war to his sons, when even dumb beasts and wild beasts keep the peace with one another. Against this overmastering and widespread madness philosophy has become a matter of greater effort, and has taken on strength in proportion to the strength which is gained by the opposition forces.|
|Adam Smith||Men desire to have some share in the management of public affairs|
chiefly on account of the importance which it gives them.
|Melancton Smith||Congress will ever exercise their powers to levy as much money as the people can pay. They will not be restrained from direct taxes by the consideration that necessity does not require them.|
|Joseph Sobran||Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money --- only for wanting to keep your own money.|
|Joseph Sobran||In the current political vocabulary, ‘need’ means wanting to get someone else’s money. ‘Greed,’ which used to mean what “need” now means, has come to mean wanting to keep your own. ‘Compassion’ means the politician’s willingness to arrange the transfer.|