I have always in my own thought summed up individual liberty, and business liberty, and every other kind of liberty, in the phrase that is common in the sporting world, "A free field and no favor."
U.S. President, Speech, 1912
Trades, to me, can't be forced. Trades happen because two sides each get something they want. Even if you think you have a need and want to do it, there has to be a fit. Somebody else has to have a need.
Ken Holland, Detroit Red Wings' GM
... analysts say the opposition Socialists should draw strength from the demonstrations. The leftists, successors to Bulgaria's communist party, have proposed tax cuts and wage hikes ...
Reuters [see link for author(s)]
Inheritance tax? Why should my deferred spending accrue to your children? Make your case.
... this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.
The Communist Manifesto, Section 2: Proletarians and Communists
[American Citizenship] captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations
President Barack Obama
It is exactly the rush to turn every issue of public policy into a OneSizeFitsAll national solution that is dividing the nation against itself. Politics has become a steel cage death match struggle to national domination. It is neither necessary or desirable in a free nation. It is the very definition of Totalitarianism, that which this free nation used to unite itself against. It is what is driving the nation insane.
The conditionality of life and the circumstance that human life is open to choice has the structure of necessity right for morality. The absoluteness of life or death is the absoluteness of moral necessity. That one freely chooses life, originates life, in thought and action respecting its requirements and opportunities—this is one’s moral glory.
In a sense, Britain inadvertently, through it actions in Hong Kong, did more to reduce world poverty than all the aid programs that we've undertaken in the last century.
http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_romer.html [~minute mark 10:40]
The present workers of the United States Steel Corporation will receive their pensions in twenty, thirty or forty years. Today a pension of one hundred dollars a month means a rather substantial allowance. What will it mean in 1980 or 1990? Today, as the Welfare Commissioner of the City of New York has shown, 52 cents can buy all the food a person needs to meet the daily caloric and protein requirements. How much will 52 cents buy in 1980? Such is the issue. What the workers are aiming at in striving after social security and pensions is, of course, security. But their "social gain" withers away with the drop in the dollar's purchasing power. In enthusiastically supporting the Fair Deal's fiscal policy, the union members are themselves frustrating all their social security and pension schemes.
Ludwig von Mises
The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, February 23, 1950
If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor.
The main problem for this country is: Will the United States follow the course of the economic policies adopted by almost all foreign nations, even by many of those which had been foremost in the evolution of capitalism? ... To answer such a question one must look upon the ideas about economic matters held by public opinion. The question is: Do the American voters know that the unprecedented improvement in their standard of living that the last hundred years brought was the result of a steady rise in the per-head quota of capital invested? Do they realize that every measure leading to capital decumulation jeopardizes their prosperity? ... Today only the businessmen worry about the provision of new capital for the expansion and improvement of their plants. The rest of the people are indifferent with regard to this issue, not knowing that their well-being and that of their children is at stake. What is needed is to make the importance of these problems understood by everybody. No party platform is to be considered as satisfactory that does not contain the following point: As the prosperity of the nation and the height of wage rates depend on a continual increase in the capital invested in its plants, mines and farms, it is one of the foremost tasks of good government to remove all obstacles that hinder the accumulation and investment of new capital.
Ludwig von Mises
Address delivered before the University Club of Milwaukee (Wisconsin) on October 13, 1952.
... the country deserves us to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good.
President Barack Obama
They are now two peas in one small pod and as such are false choices to vote for. There should instead be a Constitutionalist party, one who drives the bus back towards the principles of the founding fathers, and there should be a Statist party, one that drives the boat towards totalitarianism.
I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom.
If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled. If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty. There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government. During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America.
Who the hell knows?
Unsourced (I heard it on the radio in my car) answer of Secretary of Defense, questioned about whether he will keep his job in Obama's 2nd term.
The growth of taxation and government control destroyed the Roman economy and caused the collapse of Rome, which allowed the barbarians to take over. The same thing is happening today. We need not give in to the barbarians, but they are certainly waiting anxiously.
Ford Hall Forum; 1967 [excerpted from the book: "Ayn Rand Answers; p. 5"]
In a different age, Mr. Obama would have been the guy who went out and bought an Edsel. In this age, Mr. Obama is the guy demanding that you buy an Edsel, too.
Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that’s a pretty narrow vision. It’s not one that, I think, describes what’s best in America.
Barack H. Obama
[secondary source] http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/10/26/barack-obama-doesnt-think-ayn-rand-is-a-fountainhead-of-ideas/
Of course, rules of fairness have to be enforced, because what other safeguard do we have -- besides the Press. Now, I never suggest that the Press is biased. I recognize they have their job to do and I have my job to do. My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their job is to make sure no one else finds out about it. Let's just say that some in the media have a certain way of looking at things. When suddenly I pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline?: "Polls show Obama leading from behind." And I've already seen early reports from tonight's dinner: "Headline: Obama embraced by Catholics, Romney dines with rich people."
http://rebirthofreason.com/Spirit/Videos/273.shtml [2012 Al Smith dinner in New York]
Since all demands for equality are by definition meritorious regardless of merit, and since consequences are irrelevant, some interpreters say that inequalities anywhere should be fought against equally. But some inequalities are more egregious, say others, and thus more deserving of society's immediate concern. ... People, they say, know what they want, so no hierarchy of importance is required. [The moral man] starts anywhere, singling out for crusade the specific injustice about which he feels strongly; he is moved by emotionally charged concretes in the here and now. His eyes are not on a vision of an ideal human future, but on a perceptual-level flux of social sores--inequality of health insurance, of gender pay, of wheelchair access, et al--sores to be picked up piecemeal, fought against, and, if the emotional charge runs down, dropped piecemeal.
Book: The DIM Hypothesis. (2012). New American Library, p 175-6
None of us -- none of us have to settle for the best this administration offers, a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us. Listen to the way we're already spoken to -- listen to the way we are spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate. It's the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. Now when I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey, where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That is that we do in this country. That is the American dream. That's freedom and I will take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.
The other day I had a conversation with a co-worker about politics. At one point I said I don't really think it matters who wins the next election, because the real war is not being fought on that level. I explained that politics is an extension of ethics, and as long as our culture embraces altruism, you can never expect a real improvement.
Despite the rise in the income of the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers as a statistical category, both absolutely and relative to the incomes in other categories, as flesh-and-blood human beings those individuals who were in that category initially had their incomes actually fall by a whopping 50 percent between 1996 and 2005.
Book: Intellectuals and Society. Basic Books; p. 38
They have tried to sell us this trickle-down tax cut fairy dust before. Guess what? We've seen this before. It didn't work then. It will not work now. It's not a plan to create jobs. It is not a plan to lower our deficit.
President Barack Obama
In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it's a false promise predicated on the idea that the opposite of security is risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.
The value, or WORTH of a man, is ... not absolute; but a thing dependent on the need and judgment of another.
Leviathan, English Works, 3, p. 76
So here's the point: "There are no self-made men. The individual is subservient to the state." This is what Lakoff was trying to conceive that other Democrats could take out into the public domain. They're not talking about roads. This isn't about roads and bridges. Obama and the Democrats are engaged in what I would call 'a determined philosophical takedown of the individual,' at the expense of the total empowerment of the state. If you read a sentence of this or a whole paragraph, what Obama's saying is: There is no self-made man.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.
President Barack Obama
2012 campaign rally in Roanoke, Virginia
An entity which was not concerned with itself or, to put it better, an entity that did not value itself, would not exist for very long. But now children are below the understanding of the issues and, in effect, do not have a choice. It is when children begin to speak -- when they begin to acquire ideas -- that their choice begins. And the idea of self-sacrifice is a totally artificial, very evil idea which children and adults learn from others -- which is passed from person to person. Now this doesn't mean that if a child were left alone he would naturally be selfish, properly. No, because it an enormous achievement to discover rational selfishness. Not acting on whim or pleasure of the moment, but knowing what is rationally an imporant goal, of what value is it to you, and how to achieve it. The idea of being rationally selfish is not available to children. It would take a long period of thought -- or the proper teaching -- for them to discover it.
1962 Interview on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson
Capitalism is our economic system. The thing we value the most is freedom. We're American and if you believe in freedom, you can't have the free without the dumb. You can't have it. They go hand in hand. Freedom allows you to do dumb things, things we find reprehensible. ... And so football has to be tolerated no different than Ronald McDonald. Ronald McDonald has done far more damage to America than any football coach, any of these overpaid coaches that [Buzz Bissinger is] talking about. ... Football brings the poor and the rich, the black and the white, the Jews and the gentiles -- it brings everybody together, particularly at the college level. Your high school experience, for the most part, is segregated. Your little league experience is segregated. ... I watch our major broadcast media and I watch the clueless, people that don't have the diversity of experience that I have through college football and through life and I watch them consistently tear this country apart. I watched them do it with George Zimmerman, OJ Simpson, Rodney King. Whatever the big media story. Barack Obama. Consistently tear this country apart.
Jason Whitlock (sports writer)
May 2012 Intelligence Squared U.S. debate: "Ban college football"
The lack of money is the root of all evil
The degree of heritability of IQ places no constraint on the degree of modifiability that is possible. ... think about two facts: (a) the heritability of height is about .85 to .90 and (b) gains in average height of a standard deviation or more have appeared in a generation or less in several countries in the world. The average height of thirteen-year-old Korean boys increased by more than seven inches between 1965 and 2005, a difference of 2.4 SDs. The forty-year time span is far too brief for genetics to have played a role in the increase. ... the heritability of a characteristic within a given population places no theoretical constraint on the modifiability of that characteristic by environmental forces.
Richard E. Nisbett
Book: Intelligence and How to Get It: Why schools and cultures count. (2009). Norton; p 38
The [obesity] epidemic was caused by the overproduction of food in the United States. Beginning in the 1970s, there was a change in national agricultural policy. Instead of the government paying farmers not to engage in full production, as was the practice, they were encouraged to grow as much food as they could. At the same time, technological changes and the 'green revolution' made our farms much more productive. The price of food plummeted, while the number of calories available to the average American grew by about 1,000 a day.
National Institutes of Health, The New York Times, May 14, 2012
"Like most of my contemporaries, I first read The Fountainhead when I was 18 years old. I loved it. I too missed the point. I thought it was a book about a strong-willed architect...and his love life....I deliberately skipped over all the passages about egoism and altruism. And I spent the next year hoping I would meet a gaunt, orange-haired architect who would rape me. Or failing that, an architect who would rape me. Or failing that, an architect. I am certain that The Fountainhead did a great deal more for architects than Architectural Forum ever dreamed."
New York Times Book Review cited in Wikipedia
I think that today's conservatives are worse than today's liberals. I think ... if anyone destroys this country, it will be the conservatives -- because they do not know how to preach capitalism, to explain it to the people, because they do nothing except apologize, and because they're all altruists. They're all based on religious altruism and, on that combination of ideas, you cannot save this country.
1979 Interview by Tom Snyder on "The Tomorrow Show"
You get lots of people like [McCranie] or others who do this who have great intentions and are civically minded and spirited. But acting one by one by one, they set into motion this dynamic ... where suddenly we're not acting collaboratively or collectively as a public. We're acting individually as philanthropists to benefit the thing we're most passionate about. And suddenly we don't have a civic sphere anymore. We don't have political participation. We don't have an "us." We have a bunch of "I's."
Rob Reich (co-director of Stanford University's "Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society")
... we have all on occasion been asked whether there's a bubble in the market for residential housing; ... whether household and firm balance sheets will remain strong when interest rates rise; what risks to the financial system are posed by the government-sponsored enterprises; and how Basel II and other regulatory developments are likely to affect the structure and profitability of the domestic banking system. One's inclination is to answer by painting a benign picture so as not to cause unnecessary public concern. On the other hand, financial conditions do change, and it's our collective responsibility both to monitor those changes and to communicate truthfully to the public what we see.
Meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on March 16, 2004. [ http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/FOMC20040316meeting.pdf ]
The goal for corporations is to maximize profit and market share. And they also have a goal for their target, namely the population. They have to be turned into completely mindless consumers of goods that they do not want. You have to develop what are called created wants. So you have to create wants. You have to impose on people what's called a philosophy of futility. You have to focus them on the insignificant things of life, like fashionable consumption. I'm just basically quoting business literature. And it makes perfect sense. The ideal is to have individuals who are totally disassociated from one another. Whose conception of themselves, the sense of value, is just: "How many created wants can I satisfy?"
Documentary: The Corporation (2003) [ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379225/ ]
You know, I've often thought it's very ironic that I'm able to do all this and yet what am I on? I'm on networks. I'm distributed by studios that are owned by large corporate entities. Now, why would they put me out there when I am opposed to everything that they stand for? And I spend my time on their dime opposing what they believe in. Okay? Well, it's because they don't believe in anything. They put me on there because they know that there's[sic] millions of people that want to see my film or watch the TV show, and so they're going to make money. And I've been able to get my stuff out there because I'm driving my truck through this incredible flaw in capitalism, the greed flaw. The thing that says the rich man will sell you the rope to hang himself with if he thinks he can make a buck off it. Well, I'm the rope.
Documentary: The Corporation (2003) [ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379225/ ]
We mutually benefit from specialization and value-proxies and shared experience and knowledge, but as soon as we start gaming risk and shedding it onto others, we are a social cancer, and healthy, ethical economies can only tolerate a fringe of that, not an institutionalization of that.
When the interaction between two variables is labyrinthine it is meaningless to ascribe percentage values to the contribution made by either. And if this is true for just one gene interacting with one environmental variable, the argument must hold with even greater force for something as complex and multifactorial as human intelligence. Ironically, the IQ evangelists (such as Arthur Jensen, William Shockley, Richard Hernstein, and Charles Murray) use the heritability of IQ itself (sometimes called "general intelligence" or "little g") to argue that intelligence is a single measurable trait. This would be roughly analogous to saying that general health is one thing just because life span has a strong heritable component that can be expressed as a single number--age! No medical student who believed in "general health" as a monolithic entity would get very far in medical school or be allowed to become a physician--and rightly so--and yet whole careers in psychology and political movements have been built on the equally absurd belief in single measurable general intelligence.
V. S. Ramachandran
Book: The Tell-Tale Brain: A neuroscientist's quest for what makes us human. (2011). Norton; p 170-1
As the 2012 election campaign heats up, rather than hope and change, President Obama has opted for fear and envy ...
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
"When President Obama was running, I was telling all my neighbors we have to get out and vote," said Thompson. "And it's not just because he's black... well, yes, it is because he's black. I'm not going to tell a lie. It's because he's black. I'm black!" But is being black enough for President Obama this time around? For Carol Thompson and every View Park resident I spoke with, it is.
Shereen Marisol Meraji
Sociologists may contend that excessive income inequality restricts social mobility and leads to social segmentation and eventually social breakdown, but other social scientists counter this argument with examples of economically successful authoritarian or elitist societies. Arguments founded on moral fairness are easily disposed of in an atmosphere of moral relativism and cultural pluralism. Present-day believers in an absolute truth identified with virtue and justice are neither willing nor desirable companions for the defenders of social justice.
Liberals are uncomfortable with the topic of patriotism because their core philosophical impulses are to make America a different country than it is. This is not an evil impulse, and it can certainly manifest itself in patriotic ways. ... But at the most basic level love is about acceptance. If you are constantly trying to change the person you claim to love into someone he or she is not, there comes a point when it's reasonable to ask whether you really, truly, deeply love the person for who he or she is. Barack Obama campaigned promising to "fundamentally transform" America. We would not think a husband who promises to "fundamentally transform" his wife has a healthy love for her.
Book: The Tyranny of Cliche`s: How liberals cheat in the war of ideas. Sentinel; p 127-8
Experts tend to suffer from groupthink. ... Moreover, because experts tend to believe more than most in the absolute authority of experts, the average expert in the room will defer to the judgment of the superexpert. ... Some recent examples include Pearl Harbor, the Bay of Pigs, the failure to find WMDs in Iraq, and, of course, the release of New Coke. ... One of the more fascinating counterintuitive facts of life is that the introduction of dumb people can make a group of smart people collectively smarter. Bluntly stated, some stupid people are too stupid to automatically defer to smart people. Remember the story about the truck that got jammed in the tunnel because it was too small? All the experts were stumped. But some kid yelled, "Let the air out of the tires," saving the day.
Book: The Tyranny of Cliche`s: How liberals cheat in the war of ideas. 2012. Sentinel; p 93-4
According to Nash's theorem, your response in the Trust Game should be simply to keep whatever comes to you, even though you know some other person increased your wealth partly in the hope that you'd reciprocate. ... the unintended consequence of such "rational" behavior--that is, looking out for number one--is for both of you to miss the opportunity to gain by creating a larger pie, then sharing it. ... Yet with all deference to John Nash and his Nobel Prize, the Trust Game shows that rational self-interest is bupkis when it comes to real people. ... With large sums or small, in dollars or dinars, participants almost always behave with more trust and trustworthiness than the established theories predict they will.
Paul J. Zak
Book: The Moral Molecule -- The source of love and prosperity. 2012. Dutton; p 8
[Referring to the disvalue of statism as a social system for mankind] PASOK and New Democracy have long used the public sector to give patronage jobs to supporters. ... So the government created a monster that was more powerful than the government itself.