“An individual need do only three things to avoid poverty in America: (1) finish high school; (2) marry before having a child; and (3) produce the child after the age of 20. Only eight percent of families who do this are poor; 79 percent of those who fail to do this are poor.” . . . Boston College professor of public policy, James Q. Wilson . . .
“It was self-serving politicians who convinced recent generations of Americans that we could all stand in a circle with our hands in each other’s pockets and somehow get rich.” . . . radio commentator Paul Harvey (1918-2009) . . .
“Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday and St. Tuesday, will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.” . . . Benjamin Franklin (letter to Collinson, 9 May 1753) . . .
“President Obama seems to naively assume that wealth creation is essentially a guaranteed thing, and the big question surrounding the economy is how wealth will be distributed, and to whom.” . . . columnist and talk show host Austin Hill . . .
“Good intentions cause most of the world’s great evils. … In order to do good personally and in order to support social policies that do good, what humans need even more than a good heart (as beneficial as that can be) is wisdom.” . . . columnist and radio host Dennis Prager . . .
The big difference between entities that serve us well and those who do not lies in what motivates them. … In the market, when a firm fails to please its customers and fails to earn a profit, it goes bankrupt, making those resources available to another that might do better. That’s unless government steps in to bail it out. Bailouts send the message to continue doing a poor job of pleasing customers and husbanding resources. Government-owned nonprofit entities are immune to the ruthless market discipline of being forced to please customers. The same can be said of businesses that receive government subsidies. … The ruthlessness of the market discipline, which forces firms to please customers and thereby earn profits, goes a long way toward explaining hostility toward free market capitalism.” . . . economics professor Walter E. Williams . . .
“America’s current struggles notwithstanding, life here is pretty good. We have a standard of living that’s the envy of most of the world. Why did that happen? Prosperity isn’t the norm. Throughout history and throughout the world, poverty has been the norm. Most of the world still lives in dire poverty. Of the 6 billion people on earth, perhaps 1 billion have something close to our standard of living. Why did America prosper when most of the people of the world are still poor? Milton Friedman taught me the answer. More than any other American, Friedman, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1976, clearly warned the world about the unintended consequences of big government. ‘We’ve become increasingly dependent on government,’ said Friedman. ‘We’ve surrendered power to government; nobody has taken it from us. It’s our doing. The results — monumental government spending, much of it wasted, little of it going to the people whom we would like to see helped.’ That’s from Friedman’s PBS TV series ‘Free to Choose,’ which aired 30 years ago and became the basis of his No. 1 bestseller by the same name. The title says a lot. If we are free to make our own choices, we prosper.” . . . Fox Business News host John Stossel . . .
” If you can’t budget, you can’t govern.” . . . Rep. John Spratt Jr. (D) S.C, in 2006, while Chairman of the House Budget Committee . . .
“Both recent and future budget deficits have been blamed largely on the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, and to a lesser extent on the war on terrorism, but the data contradict these myths. In reality, spending is almost exclusively the problem.” . . . Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl . . .
“The White House said that in 2009 a record of almost $110 billion was paid by the government to the wrong person, in the wrong amount or for the wrong reasons.” . . . Bloomberg Business Week, July 22, 2010 . . .
“In another country also called America, there were no credit cards and excessive debt was seen as a character flaw. In that America, my grandparents and their parents had discussions when they wanted to buy almost anything. The conversations focused on two questions: can we afford it and do we need it? If the answer to either question was “no,” they didn’t buy it. …. So much of our personal and public debt in modern America comes from a refusal to ask these questions. We don’t need much of what we have and we certainly can’t afford it. But we buy it anyway. …. The recession may force us to come to our senses, however reluctantly.” . . . columnist Cal Thomas . . .