Grant’s weekly Quotes

QUOTES FOR THE WEEK, MARCH 6, 2011

“If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour? That 150 lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected.” . . . Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, 1821 . . .
 
“[T]he unemployment rate dropped, from 9.4 percent in December 2010 to 9.0 percent in January 2011, marking a decline of 0.8 percent in just two months. … How could the unemployment rate drop so much when the number of payroll jobs barely budged? The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles the two number – jobs added and the unemployment rate – from two different surveys. The payroll figure comes from the establishment survey – the government asks companies how many people are on their payrolls. The unemployment rate is taken from the household survey – the government asks people about their work status. … The unemployment rate is calculated by dividing the number of people who say they are unemployed into the number of people who say they are in the labor force. The rate can fall when people leave the workforce or quit looking for jobs. And it can fall when fewer people report they are unemployed. When both happen in the same month, that can cause the unemployment rate to drop rapidly. In the past two months, that’s precisely what happened.” . . . Daniel Gross, financial and economic editor at Newsweek . . .
 
“After receiving at least $43 million in aid from the state of Massachusetts, Evergreen Solar announced last month that it would be closing its manufacturing plant in Devens, Mass., laying off its 800 workers and moving its manufacturing operations to China. … Last May, the president came to solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra in Fremont, Calif., to celebrate a new plant – creating 3,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent workers. … Within months, Solyndra, which has yet to turn a profit, announced that it was canceling the expansion. Solyndra has shifted more than half of its production to – you guessed it – China.” . . . As San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders said: “Green jobs are not evergreen jobs”
 
“The Keynesian worldview seems to have led to increasing stridency and dogmatism about economic stimulus, which has dominated the headlines for several months. There used to be a joke that you can teach a parrot economics—all it needs to say is “supply and demand.” Now it is even easier to teach a parrot the policy prescription to prevent a major recession: All it needs to say is ‘stimulus.'” . . . The Foundation for Economic Education . . .
 
“Never before has Congress required everyone buy a product from a private company (essentially for life) just for being alive and residing in the United States. It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place. … Surely this is not what the Founding Fathers could have intended.” . . . U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruling against “Obamacare.” . . .
 
“The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over a member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.” . . . British philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) . . .
 
“To put it less analytically, and less charitably, those who choose–and Plaintiffs have made such a deliberate choice—not to purchase health insurance will benefit greatly when they become ill, as they surely will, from the free health care which must be provided by emergency rooms and hospitals to the sick and dying who show up on their doorstep. In short, those who choose not to purchase health insurance will ultimately get a ‘free ride’ on the backs of those Americans who have made responsible choices to provide for the illness we all must face at some point in our lives. … It should be emphasized that this distinction is not merely a useful limiting principle on Congress’s Commerce Clause power. Rather, it is a basic, relevant fact about the operation of the health care market which is critical to understanding the ACA’s efforts to reform the health care system.” . . . U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruling for “Obamacare” . . .
 
“Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.” . . . James Madison . . .
 
“In the context of federal spending that will total something like $3.8 trillion this year, $61 billion is a rounding error. Yet the Democrats resisting that amount in House-approved cuts say it will wreck the economy while leaving children unschooled, taking food from the mouths of the elderly and casting disabled people into the streets. … The cuts represent less than 2 percent of the total budget, less than 4 percent of the deficit and less than 5 percent of discretionary spending, which rose in real terms by 75 percent from 2000 to 2010 and by about 9 percent in each of the last two fiscal years. If the House-approved reductions would be ‘the largest one-year cuts in history,’ as the folks at Every Child Matters say, that is a sad commentary not on Republican cold-heartedness but on the fiscal incontinence of both parties.” . . . columnist Jacob Sullum . . .
 
“[As regards, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.’] : neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic ‘what your country can do for you’ implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man’s belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, ‘what you can do for your country’ implies the government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary.” . . . Milton Freedman (1912-2006) . . .
 
“[w]e might edit [president John F.]Kennedy’s words thus: Ask not what your ‘country’ can force other people to do for you. Ask who benefits from what you are forced to do for your ‘country.'” . . . Sheldon Richman, editor of The Freeman, published by The Foundation for Economic Education . . .

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