Power always corrupts, and the power of government to tell people how to live their lives or to transfer money from those who earn it to others is always a temptation to corruption. Taxes and regulations reduce people’s incentive to produce wealth, and government transfer programs reduce people’s incentive to work, to save, and to help family and friends in case of sickness, disability, or retirement. ...[I]t is nonetheless clear that government enterprises are less efficient, less innovative, and more wasteful than private firms.... [C]ompare what it’s like to call American Express versus the IRS to correct problems. Or compare a private apartment building with public housing.more David Boaz quotes
Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.more Kenneth Boulding quotes
Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.more Justice Millard Fillmore Caldwell quotes
Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the new wonderful good society which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.more Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes
The tendency of taxation is to create a class of persons who do not labor, to take from those who do labor the produce of that labor, and to give it to those who do not labor.more William Cobbett quotes
After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world.more Calvin Coolidge quotes
In education markets, like the Asian tutoring industry, top teachers are superstars who get to design curricula for thousands or even millions of students and train scores or hundreds of other teachers to use their effective methods. Quality providers expand and are emulated by competitors, and there is a powerful incentive for meaningful innovation. ... One teacher in Korea’s private tutoring sector made $2 million last year because his web-based employer has profit sharing and he’s brilliant at what he does, so he gets tons of students. That’s what should have happened to [Jaime] Escalante. That’s the sort of success that should greet excellence in education at all levels. It doesn’t because we don’t have a market.more Andrew J. Coulson quotes
I have no sympathy for the narrow, selfish notion of economy which assumes that every crumb of bread which goes into the mouth of one class is so much taken from the mouths of another class.more Frederick Douglass quotes
The non-producers now receive the larger share of what those who labor produce. The result is natural. Discontent culminates in exactly the same ratio that intelligence sustains aspiration.more Frederick Douglass quotes
There exist in the world only two great parties; that of those who prefer to live from the produce of their labor or of their property, and that of those who prefer to live on the labor or the property of others.more Charles Dunoyer quotes
Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry.more Benjamin Franklin quotes
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.more Milton Friedman quotes
The strongest argument for free enterprise is that it prevents anybody from having too much power. Whether that person is a government official, a trade union official, or a business executive. It forces them to put up or shut up. They either have to deliver the goods, produce something that people are willing to pay for, are willing to buy, or else they have to go into a different business.more Milton Friedman quotes
Capital is a result of labor, and is used by labor to assist it in further production. Labor is the active and initial force, and labor is therefore the employer of capital.more Henry George quotes
The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of its political cares.more Alexander Hamilton quotes
To combat depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about; because we are suffering from a misdirection of production, we want to create further misdirection -- a procedure which can only lead to a much more severe crisis as soon as the credit expansion comes to an end.more Friedrich August von Hayek quotes
There is no substitute under the heavens for productive labor. It is the process by which dreams become realities. It is the process by which idle visions become dynamic achievements.more Gordon B. Hinckley quotes
[T]he greatest problem facing the United States today is not racism; it is the disappearance of the can-do attitude that built the country, ... We’ve lost the sense of individual responsibility for our problems, and that’s bad enough. But what’s worse, we’re losing faith in our ability to solve our problems. This acquired sense of helplessness is catastrophic, and it has paralyzed large swaths of the American public – rural, urban and suburban. … Encouraging dependence upon government not only creates generations of helpless people; it inures them to government’s ineffectiveness.more Laura Hollis quotes
Our practical choice is not between a tax-cut deficit and a budgetary surplus. It is between two kinds of deficits: a chronic deficit of inertia, as the unwanted result of inadequate revenues and a restricted economy; or a temporary deficit of transition, resulting from a tax cut designed to boost the economy, increase tax revenues, and achieve -- and I believe this can be done -- a budget surplus. The first type of deficit is a sign of waste and weakness; the second reflects an investment in the future.more John F. Kennedy quotes
The eyes of the world being thus on our Country, it is put the more on its good behavior, and under the greater obligation also, to do justice to the Tree of Liberty by an exhibition of the fine fruits we gather from it.more James Madison quotes
When we are considering the advantages that may result from an easy mode of naturalization, we ought also to consider the cautions necessary to guard against abuses. It is no doubt very desirable that we should hold out as many inducements as possible for the worthy part of mankind to come and settle amongst us, and throw their fortunes into a common lot with ours. But why is this desirable? Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No, sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community; and those who acquire the rights of citizenship without adding to the strength or wealth of the community are not the people we are in want of … I should be exceedingly sorry, sir, that our rule of naturalization excluded a single person of good fame that really meant to incorporate himself into our society; on the other hand, I do not wish that any man should acquire the privilege, but such as would be a real addition to the wealth or strength of the United States.more James Madison quotes
Since time immemorial, governments have claimed moral superiority. Yet they use laws to loot the productive wealth of working people and build palaces, pyramids, religious monuments, military forces, and other symbols of their power.more Marisa Manley quotes
We ask that government undertake the obligation above all of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment and earning a living. The activities of the individual must not be allowed to clash with the interests of the community, but must take place within the confines and be for the good of all. Therefore, we demand: ... an end to the power of financial interest. We demand profit sharing in big business. We demand a broad extension of care for the aged. We demand ... the greatest possible consideration of small business in the purchases of the national, state, and municipal governments. In order to make possible to every capable and industrious [citizen] the attainment of higher education and thus the achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide an all-around enlargement of our system of public education.... We demand the education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents.... The government must undertake the improvement of public health -- by protecting mother and child, by prohibiting child labor -- by the greatest possible support for all groups concerned with the physical education of youth. [W]e combat the ... materialistic spirit within and without us, and are convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only proceed from within on the foundation of The Common Good Before the Individual Good.more National Socialist Party of Germany (NAZI) quotes
There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man's needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means.more Albert Jay Nock quotes
All businesses require capital, management and labor, and business executives, wanting to grow and maintain profitable enterprises, have a strong incentive to keep costs, including labor, as low as possible.more Kevin O'Leary quotes
Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation's economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of control. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property -- so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.more Leonard Peikoff quotes
During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure nobody would want history to repeat itself.
We should also be aware that for during the last months, we have been witnessing the washout of the entrepreneurship spirit. That includes the principle of the personal responsibility – of a businessman, an investor or a share-holder – for his or her own decisions. There are no grounds to suggest that by putting the responsibility over to the state, one can achieve better results.
Another thing – handling crisis must not turn into financial populism, into rejecting a responsible macro-economic policy. Unreasonable expansion of the budget deficit, accumulation of the national debt – are as destructive as an adventurous stock market game.more Vladimir Putin quotes
I think that the 21st-century economy is an economy of people, not of factories. The intellectual aspect in the global economic development has grown immensely. That’s why we plan to concentrate on creating additional opportunities for our people to realise their potential.more Vladimir Putin quotes
Let us be frank: provoking military-political instability and other regional conflicts is also a convenient way of deflecting people’s attention from mounting social and economic problems. Regrettably, further attempts of this kind cannot be ruled out.more Vladimir Putin quotes
One must not allow oneself to skid down to isolationism and unbridled economic egoism. ... The second possible mistake would be excessive interference into the economic life of the country. And the absolute faith into the all-mightiness of the state.more Vladimir Putin quotes
Our anti-crisis policy is directed to internal demand support, social security of citizens and creation of new jobs. Like many other countries, we are reducing taxes on production, investing money in the economy. We are optimising state expenses.more Vladimir Putin quotes
Unfortunately, more and more often we hear that increasing military spending will help solve today’s social and economic problems. The logic here is quite simple. Additional allocations for military needs create new jobs.
The growth of military spending:
USA—$529 billion in 2006, $555 billion in 2007, and $583 billion in 2008. Experts expect $606 billion in 2009.
Great Britain—£27 billion in 2006, £31 billion in 2007, £34 billion in 2008, and £35.2 billion planned for 2009.
Germany—€23 billion in 2006, €24 billion in 2007, and €25 billion in 2008.
China—$38 billion in 2006, $44 billion in 2007, $58 billion in 2008, and a 17% increase in 2009 (around $66 billion).
Georgia (according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)—$49 million in 2002, $80 million in 2004, $362 million in 2006, $592 million in 2007, and $1.104 billion in 2008.
At a glance, it seems to be merely a method to fight the crisis and unemployment. Perhaps, in the short run, such a measure may yield some results. But in reality, instead of solving the problem, militarisation pushes it to a deeper level. It draws away from the economy immense financial and material resources, which could have been used much more efficiently elsewhere.more Vladimir Putin quotes
We must seek support in the moral values that have ensured the progress of our civilization. Honesty and hard work, responsibility and faith in our strength are bound to bring us success. There should be no place for despondency. The crisis can and must be fought by uniting our intellectual, spiritual and material resources.more Vladimir Putin quotes
I refuse to apologize for my ability -- I refuse to apologize for my success -- I refuse to apologize for my money. If this is evil, make the most of it.more Ayn Rand quotes
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.more Ayn Rand quotes
When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world?' You are.more Ayn Rand quotes
Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: "Account Overdrawn.more Ayn Rand quotes
Creation comes before distribution or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary.more Ayn Rand quotes
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.more Ayn Rand quotes
We [entrepreneurs] required that you leave us free to function -- free to think and work as we choose ... -- free to earn our own profits and make our own fortunes ... Such was the price we asked, which you chose to reject as too high.more Ayn Rand quotes
In the late 1980s, Soviets were allowed to keep the wealth they created by raising vegetables on their garden plots. Although these plots composed only about 2% of the agricultural lands in the Soviet Union, they produced 25% of the food! When Soviets kept the wealth they created, they produced almost 16 times more than when it was taken from them at gunpoint, if necessary!more Dr. Mary J. Ruwart quotes
In 1847, Marx and Engels proposed ten steps to convert the Western nations to Communist countries without firing a shot. Most of these ideas have been successfully implemented in our own country with little, if any, resistance! ... One of the ten steps called for "centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly" just like our own Federal Reserve! ... Another of the ten steps called for instituting "a heavy progressive or graduated income tax" just like our own federal income tax! ... Another step proposed by Marx and Engels was "abolition of all right of inheritance," which we come ever closer to as inheritance taxes increase. Taking wealth at gunpoint, if necessary that one person has created and given to another person is theft. Whether the wealth creator is alive or dead, the act and the impact are the same. Another step was "free education for all children in public schools." Although our country still has many private schools in addition to the public ones, the content of both is dictated by aggression-through-government, to teach aggression. Marx and Engels also recommended the "extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state." In the past century, more and more services have become exclusive, subsidized government monopolies (e.g., garbage collection, water distribution, mass transit, etc.). As a result, we pay twice as much for lower quality service! Marx also called for the "centralization of the means of communications and transport in the hands of the state." Television and radio stations are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. A station that does not pursue programming considered "in the public interest" is stopped at gunpoint, if necessary from further broadcast. ... Radio stations have an elite ownership as well. Those who benefit from aggression-through-government have little incentive to tell the public that licensing is a tool of the rich! ... Another of the ten steps calls for "confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels" ... [O]ur law enforcement agents can seize the wealth of anyone suspected of drug crimes without a trial! [T]he Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has also been seizing the assets of taxpayers without a trial if the IRS thinks they might have underpaid their taxes! The wealth we have created can be taken from us at gunpoint, if necessary without a formal accusation or a chance to defend ourselves! ... In addition, Marx and Engels called for "abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes." In other words, land would not be privately owned. No homesteading would be permitted. Our federal and local governments have title to 42% of the land mass of the United States. Most of the remaining land is under government control as well. For example, today's homeowners can pay off their mortgages, but must still pay property taxes to the local government. If they stop payments, their property is taken from them. They are, in essence, renting their home from the local government.more Dr. Mary J. Ruwart quotes
For thousands of years, the tireless effort of productive men and women has been spent trying to reduce the distance between communities of the world by reducing the costs of commerce and trade. Over the same span of history, the slothful and incompetent protectionist has endlessly sought to erect barriers in order to prohibit competition—thus, effectively moving communities farther apart. When trade is cut off entirely, the real producers may as well be on different planets. The protectionist represents the worst in humanity: fear of change, fear of challenge, and the jealous envy of genius. The protectionist is not against the use of every kind of force, even warfare, to crush his rival. If mankind is to survive, then these primeval fears must be defeated.more Ken Schoolland quotes
Not understanding the process of a spontaneously-ordered economy goes hand-in-hand with not understanding the creation of resources and wealth.more Julian Simon quotes
To put it baldly, there are two ways to become wealthy: to create wealth or to take wealth away from others. The former adds to society. The latter typically subtracts from it, for in the process of taking it away, wealth gets destroyed. A monopolist who overcharges for his product takes money from those whom he is overcharging and at the same time destroys value. To get his monopoly price, he has to restrict production.more Joseph E. Stiglitz quotes | || |