Saturday, April 8, 2017

Free Markets, Free People

"[T]he myth of socialism is far stronger than the reality of capitalism. That is because capitalism is not really an 'ism' at all. It is what people do if you leave them alone."--Arnold Beichmen

Margaret Thatcher:

"If one generation is expected to carry an excessive burden on behalf of another, it will seek by every means to avoid it. It will either demand that past promises are broken, or it will not work, or it will not pay taxes, or the most talented people will leave. Socialist governments which have tried to tax 'till the pips squeak' have ample experience of that."

"Every regulation represents a restriction of liberty, every regulation has a cost. That is why, like marriage (in the Prayer Book's words), regulation should not 'be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly'."

"The right-of-centre parties still often compete with left-of-centre ones to proclaim their attachment to all the main programmes of spending, particularly spending on social services of one kind or another. But this foolish as well as muddled. It is foolish because left-of-centre parties will always be able to outbid right-of-centre ones in this auction - after all, that is why they are on the left in the first place. The muddle arises because once we concede that public spending and taxation are than a necessary evil we have lost sight of the core values of freedom."

"...(T)he larger the slice taken by government, the smaller the cake available for everyone."

"I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."

"Socialists have always spent much of their time seeking new titles for their beliefs, because the old versions so quickly become outdated and discredited."

"The accumulation of wealth is a process which is of itself morally neutral. True, as Christianity teaches, riches bring temptations. But then so does poverty."

"With all due respect to the drafters of the American Declaration of Independence, all men (and women) are not created equal, at least in regard to their characters, abilities and aptitudes. And if they were, their family and cultural backgrounds - not to mention the effect of mere chance - would soon change that. On one thing, nature and nurture agree: we are all different. If this is unjust, then life is unjust. But, though one hears this expression - usually in the form of the complaint that 'life is unfair' - it really means nothing. In the same vein, someone once said to Voltaire, 'Life is hard.' To which is replied: 'Compared with what?'"

"When all the objectives of government include the achievement of equality - other than equality before the law - that government poses a threat to liberty."

"There is much to be said for trying to improve some disadvantaged people's lot. There is nothing to be said for trying to create heaven on earth."

"To the extent that the West is to blame at all for the ills of the Third World it is to the extent that the West created Marx and his successors, among whom must be numbered many of those who advised the Third World leaders in post-war years."

"In a system of free trade and free markets poor countries - and poor people - are not poor because others are rich. Indeed, if others became less rich the poor would in all probability become still poorer."

"The Third World is very much like the First World - just poorer: what works for the West will work for the rest as well."

"Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' is not above sudden, disturbing, movements. Since its inception, capitalism has known slumps and recessions, bubble and froth; no one has yet dis-invented the business cycle, and probably no one will; and what Schumpeter famously called the 'gales of creative destruction' still roar mightily from time to time. To lament these things is ultimately to lament the bracing blast of freedom itself."

"One part Ferrous Compound, one part Gracious Poise..."

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