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69 of 6,095 quotations related to Business

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Atkinson, Brooks
Bureaucracies are designed to perform public business. But as soon as a bureaucracy is established, it develops an autonomous spiritual life and comes to regard the public as its enemy.

Bartley, Robert L.
American economic history is a story of booms fading into resentment. It is not so much a business cycle as a cycle of public sentiment, alternating between times of optimism and times of pessimism. Between, if you must, decades of greed and, if you will, decades of envy.

from The Seven Fat Years
Barton, Bruce
Advertising is of the very essence of democracy. An election goes on every minute of the business day across the counters of hundreds of thousands of stores and shops where the customers state their preferences and determine which manufacturer and which product shall be the leader today, and which shall lead tomorrow.

1955 - quoted in Contemporary Quotations (1964) by James B. Simpson
Bennett, William J.
Education is, after all, a serious business. Its lifeblood is standards. If there are no standards, how do we call something higher education?

Oct. 01, 1990 - from a speech at the University of Notre Dame
Berns, Walter
The Constitution, [the American founding fathers] said, provided a remedy for the 'diseases' most incident to democratic government, and The Federalist (written to persuade the people to give it their consent) leaves no doubt as to what they understood to be a disease: zealous opinions 'concerning religion,' 'tyrannical majorities,' 'angry and malignant passions,' 'a factious spirit,' the dangerous ambition that 'often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people,' and those who begin their careers 'by paying obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants.' To guard against these democratic diseases, or vices, the Constitution, in addition to consigning religion to the private sphere by separating church and state, withholds powers, separates powers, and excludes the people in their collective capacity from any share in the exercise of these powers. In a word, republican (or limited) government would be possible under a Constitution that excluded, or at least inhibited, the zealous, the angry, the morally indignant; and this, in turn, depended on confining the business of government to issues that did not give rise to zeal, anger, or moral indignation. Throughout most of our history -- if we ignore the slavery issue and the Civil War -- the Constitution succeeded in doing this.

Feb. 09, 1997 - from a collection of essays published under the title "On the Future of Conservatism" by Commentary magazine
Black, Conrad Moffat  
'Caring and compassion' really meant socialism, wealth confiscation and redistribution, taking money from people who had earned it and giving it to people who had not earned it in exchange for their votes and in the name of fairness. Here, truly, Canada has vastly exceeded the United States... 'Caring and compassion,' however well-intentioned, would more accurately be called plundering and bribery... For decades, too many of our business leaders mouthed self-reliant and ruggedly individualistic platitudes while lining up for government preferments like the locusts of feminism and multiculturalism, and the kleptocracy of organized labor.

May 22, 1992 - from a column in the Financial Post
Blair, Tony
Labour is the party of business.

from a speech during his successful 1996 election campaign
Burris, Alan
Tariffs, quotas and other import restrictions protect the business of the rich at the expense of high cost of living for the poor. Their intent is to deprive you of the right to choose, and to force you to buy the high-priced inferior products of politically favored companies.

A Liberty Primer
Burroughs, William S.
Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind...

1985 - from "My Own Business", published in The Adding Machine
Churchill, Sir Winston
Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is - the strong horse that pulls the whole cart.




Cooper, James Fenimore
It is the proper business of government to resist the corruptions of money, and not to depend on them.

1838 - from The American Democrat
Dewey, Thomas E.
Things that are bad for business are bad for people who work for business.

Friedman, Milton
I'm not in favor of no government. You do need a government. But by doing so many things that the government has no business doing, it cannot do those things which it alone can do well. There's no other institution in my opinion that can provide us with protection of our life and liberty. However, the government performs that basic function poorly today, precisely because it is devoting too much of its efforts and spending too much of our income on things which are harmful.

Jun. 1992 - from an interview published in The Region, a publication of the Woodrow Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Fromm, Erich H.
We are usually half asleep and only sufficiently awake to go about our business; but we are not awake enough to go about living, which is the only task that matters for a living being. The great leaders of the human race are those who have awakened man from his half-slumber. The great enemies of humanity are those who put it to sleep, and it does not matter whether their sleeping potion is the worship of God or that of the Golden Calf.

from The Gospel of Zen
Fylstra, Dan
Most of us cling to the notion, or at least the hope, that [government bureaucrats] will somehow act intelligently in the public interest, and things will turn out OK. We've never examined public choice theory, which predicts that in the public sector as in the private sector, key players will pursue their own self-interest, not the broad public interest. ... The results for consumers... are beside the point, as long as we are not that politically influential. Indeed, public choice theory predicts that a political system like ours will transfer wealth from the politically unorganized to the politically influential. The ideal outcome, from the politicians' viewpoint, is that we all become supplicants, on an ongoing basis, fighting among ourselves for the favors that only they can hand out.

1998 - from "Opening Pandora's Box", a warning about government intervention in the Microsoft case and the growing politicization of business
Pandora's box is open. The impact of politics on our livelihoods is growing every day, and we don't know what to do about it. Most of us would rather avoid thinking about or spending time on politics - we'd rather be creating new technology, and satisfying more customer wants and needs. Many of us, if asked, would echo the classic cry laissez faire - leave us alone! But the politicians won't leave us alone. Because of our relative lack of sophistication and lack of involvement in politics, we are on the defensive. We're likely to end up on the short end of any compromise...

1998 - from "Opening Pandora's Box", a warning about government intervention in the Microsoft case and the growing politicization of business
Gingrich, Newt
The welfare state kills more poor people in a year than private business.

Grant, R.W.
Many intellectuals despise capitalism ... not because it is undemocratic, but precisely because it is democratic: Capitalism responds to the inelegant tastes of the marketplace rather than to the more 'progressive' judgements of its resentful critics. In the process it places economic power in the hands of crass business people who, in the activist's opinion, are less enlightened, less intelligent, less well-educated and less worthy than he is.

1999 - from The Incredible Bread Machine, published by Fox and Wilkes
Greenfield, Meg
Out There -- wherever that is -- people may be smiling and humming . . . but the world according to journalism is, on the contrary, a surpassingly bleak place. A Martian reading about it might in fact suppose America to be composed entirely of abused minorities living in squalid and sadistically-run state mental hospitals, except for a small elite of venal businessmen and county commissioners who are profiting from the unfortunates' misery.

1990 - quoted in The Media Elite (1990) by Lichter, Rothman, and Lichter
Greenspan, Alan
While it is too soon to draw any definitive conclusions, [there is] some tentative evidence that basic, ongoing changes in the structure of the economy may be helping to hold down business costs and price pressures.

Mar. 05, 1996



Regulation - which is based on force and fear - undermines the moral base of business dealings. It becomes cheaper to bribe a building inspector than to meet his standards of construction. A fly-by-night securities operator can quickly meet all the S.E.C. requirements, gain the inference of respectability, and proceed to fleece the public. In an unregulated economy, the operator would have had to spend a number of years in reputable dealings before he could earn a position of trust sufficient to induce a number of investors to place funds with him. Protection of the consumer by regulation is thus illusory.

1963 - from an article in Ayn Rand's Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
Gunter, Lorne  
Here's a little tip for politicians everywhere: If you find yourselves with more time than issues on your hands, go home. We promise, we'll love you just the same. ... If you can find nothing more important to do than banning the use of cell phones while driving or outlawing riding in the back of pick-ups, do nothing. Go home. Go back to your families, your businesses, your farms, the real world and stop thinking up ways to micromanage the lives of your constituents. We're grown-ups. We can take care of ourselves.

Dec. 19, 1999 - from his column in The Edmonton Journal
Harding, Warren G.
We mean to have less government in business as well as more business in government.

1920 - from many speeches during the 1920 election campaign
Heinlein, Robert Anson
I don't trust a man who talks about ethics when he is picking my pocket. But if he is acting in his own self-interest and says so, I have usually been able to work out some way to do business with him.

1973 - from Time Enough for Love
Huxley, Thomas Henry
I am as strongly convinced as the most pronounced individualist can be, that it is desirable that every man should be free to act in every way which does not limit the corresponding freedom of his fellowman. But I fail to connect that great induction of political science with the practical corollary which is frequently drawn from it: that the State - that is, the people in their corporate capacity - has no business to meddle with anything but the administration of justice and external defence. It appears to me that the amount of freedom which incorporate society may fitly leave to its members is not a fixed quantity, to be determined a priori by deduction from the fiction called 'natural rights'; but that it must be determined by, and vary with, circumstances. I conceive it to be demonstrable that the higher and the more complex the organization of the social body, the more closely is the life of each member bound up with that of the whole; and the larger becomes the category of acts which cease to be merely self-regarding, and which interfere with the freedom of others more or less seriously.

1894 - from Collected Essays IX: Evolution and Ethics, and Other Essays
Kemp, Jack
It's in the nature of the private sector, particularly in a time of rapid technological change like the Internet era, to come up with a wide range of solutions to new problems like on-line privacy and test them in the marketplace. Not all of these products will survive, and not all will suit the needs of all users. But it should be clear by now that we're better off trusting the market's invisible hand to look out for our interests on-line than a one-size-fits-all system of government regulation. Even if government bureaucrats could think through all the problems and come up with objective solutions, they couldn't possibly anticipate the way technology and the marketplace will change tomorrow, next week or next year. The market is, by definition, much more responsive to changes in the way we live, work and do business.

Sep. 28, 2000 - from "Government should protect our on-line privacy", published by Copley News Service
Kimball, Roger
... many of our so-called humanists, professors of English or philosophy and so forth today, are anything but humanists. They tell us about the end of man, the end of the human. ... they think they've gotten to the truth when they've uncovered as much untruth as possible. The place of radical skepticism and nihilism about human relations, about the achievements of our culture is business as usual in the academy today, and I think it's something that anyone with an interest in culture and an interest in the future of our civilization has to take very seriously and be alarmed about.

Aug. 12, 1990 - from an interview on Booknotes, a program on C-SPAN television
Kipling, Rudyard
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Klein, Ralph  
The critics say you can't run government like a business. I respond, well, we can't run government like a government any more.

Dec. 10, 1994 - quoted in The Globe and Mail by Robert Mason Lee, published in Famous Lasting Words by John Robert Columbo
Kristol, Irving
Business ethics, in any civilization, is properly defined by moral and religious traditions, and it is a confession of moral bankruptcy to assert that what the law does not explicitly prohibit is therefore morally permissible.




Today there is a new class hostile to business in general, and especially to large corporations. As a group, you find them mainly in the very large and growing public sector and in the media. They share a disinterest in personal wealth, a dislike for the free-market economy, and a conviction that society may best be improved through greater governmental participation in the country's economic life. They are the media. They are the educational system. Their dislike for the free-market economy originates in their inability to exercise much influence over it so as to produce change. In its place they would prefer a system in which there is a very large political component. This is because the new class has a great deal of influence in politics. Thus, through politics, they can exercise a direct and immediate influence on the shape of our society and the direction of national affairs.

1975 - from "The Question of Liberty in America"
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich
 All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero...

Limbaugh, Rush
Something happens when an individual owns his home or business. He or she will always invest more sweat, longer hours and greater creativity to develop and care for something he owns than he will for any government-inspired project supposedly engineered for the greater social good.... The desire to improve oneself and one's family's lot, to make life better for one's children, to strive for a higher standard of living, is universal and God-given. It is honorable. It is not greed.

1993 - from The Limbaugh Letter
McCain, John
Cynicism is suffocating the idealism of many Americans, especially among our young. And with cause, for they have lost pride in their government. Too often those who hold a public trust have failed to set the necessary example. Too often, partisanship seems all consuming. Differences are defined with derision. Too often, we seem to put our personal interests before the national interest, leaving the people's business unattended while we posture, poll and spin. When the people believe that government no longer embodies our founding ideals, then basic civil consensus will deteriorate as people seek substitutes for the unifying values of patriotism. National pride will not endure the people's contempt for government. And national pride is as indispensable to the happiness of Americans as is our self-respect.

Aug. 1, 2000 - from a speech delivered to the Republican National Convention nominating George W. Bush for president
Mencken, Henry Louis
My business is not prognosis, but diagnosis.

1926 - from Notes on Democracy
... government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.

Good government is that which delivers the citizen from the risk of being done out of his life and property too arbitrarily and violently - one that relieves him sufficiently from the barbaric business of guarding them to enable him to engage in gentler, more dignified and more agreeable undertakings...

1924 - from "On Government" in Prejudices: Fourth Series
The fact is that liberty, in any true sense, is a concept that lies quite beyond the reach of the inferior man's mind. He can imagine and even esteem, in his way, certain false forms of liberty - for example, the right to choose between two political mountebanks, and to yell for the more obviously dishonest - but the reality is incomprehensible to him. And no wonder, for genuine liberty demands of its votaries a quality he lacks completely, and that is courage. The man who loves it must be willing to fight for it; blood, said Jefferson, is its natural manure. More, he must be able to endure it - an even more arduous business. Liberty means self-reliance, it means resolution, it means the capacity for doing without.

1926 - from Notes on Democracy
It is [a politician's] business to get and hold his job at all costs. If he can hold it by lying, he will hold it by lying; if lying peters out, he will try to hold it by embracing new truths. His ear is ever close to the ground.

1926 - from Notes on Democracy
Montesquieu, Baron de
Commerce is the cure for the most destructive prejudices.




Musgrove, F.
 It is the business of education in our social democracy to eliminate the influence of parents on the life chances of the young.

1965 - from The Family, Education and Society, Routledge and Paul, London
National Post, The  
According to data collected by the Canadian Manufactureres and Exporters association, productivity gains in U.S. industry have exceeded those in Canada by 25% in the last five years. A big part of the U.S. advantage can be traced to after-tax profit margins, which were 30% higher. Thanks to this extra money, U.S. business investment in new technologies and equipment was, in relation to national GDP, 33% higher in the United States than in Canada. If the current trends are projected forward to 2010, Candians could face a living standard that is only half that of our southern neighbour.

Sep. 3, 2001 - from its editorial "Counter-productive"
Northcliffe, Lord
[Journalism is] a profession whose business it is to explain to others what it personally does not understand.

O'Leary, Grattan  
Conservatism today, national humanistic conservative thought, has nothing to do with hard, implacable, unyielding dogmatism; it is beholden to neither big business, super patriots, nor to technological materialism; but is actually a form of dissent, skeptical of liberalism with one foot planted firmly in the clouds and asking itself what are the tolerable limits of the state's activity.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
O'Rourke, P.J.
Our government gets more than thugs in a protection racket demand, more even than discarded first wives of famous rich men receive in divorce court. Then this government, swollen and arrogant with pelf, goes butting into our business. It checks the amount of tropical oils in our snack foods, tells us what kind of gasoline we can buy for our cars and how fast we can drive them, bosses us around about retirement, education and what's on TV; counts our noses and asks fresh questions about who's still living at home and how many bathrooms we have; decides whether the door to our office or shop should have steps or a wheelchair ramp; decrees the gender and complexion of the people to be hired there; lectures us on safe sex; dictates what we can sniff, smoke, and swallow; and waylays young men, ships them to distant places and tells them to shoot people they don't even know.

1991 - from Parliament of Whores
Wealth is, for most people, the only honest and likely path to liberty. With money comes power over the world. Men are freed from drudgery, women from exploitation. Businesses can be started, homes built, communities formed, religions practiced, educations pursued. But liberals aren't very interested in such real and material freedoms. They have a more innocent -- not to say toddlerlike -- idea of freedom. Liberals want the freedom to put anything into their mouths, to say bad words and to expose their private parts in art museums.

from Give War A Chance
There are just two rules of governance in a free society: Mind your own business. Keep your hands to yourself.

from a speech to the Cato Institute
O'Sullivan, John
Liberalism today is the ideology of the New Class. As time goes on, its true character becomes increasingly - and starkly - clear. It justifies the extension of state regulation over the whole of our lives, not merely our business life, but also our social life, our moral attitudes, even our diet. At the same time it emancipates the New Class, which exercises this extensive authority, from democratic control by transferring more and more decisions from congresses and parliaments to judges, unaccountable bureaucracies, international agencies and other New Class strongholds. It is, in effect, Bolshevism operating in a formally democratic context.

Nov. 06, 1997 - from his essay "Why Conservatives Must Reject Liberalism" published at IntellectualCapital.com
Prescott, Edward
What we should be worrying about is increasing the average rate of increase in economywide productivity and not smoothing business cycle fluctuations.

Sep. 1996 - from an interview published in The Region, a publication of the Woodrow Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Rand, Ayn
Businessmen are the one group that distinguishes capitalism and the American way of life from the totalitarian statism that is swallowing the rest of the world. All the other social groups- workers, farmers, professional men, scientists, soldiers- exist under dictatorships, even though they exist in chains, in terror, in misery, and in progressive self-destruction. But there is no such group as businessmen under a dictatorship. Their place is taken by armed thugs: by bureaucrats and commissars. Businessmen are the symbol of a free society...




Reagan, Ronald Wilson
Government is the people's business and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid.

Jan. 14, 1982 - from a speech to the New York City Partnership Association
Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.

Oct. 27, 1964 - speech at the Republican National Convention
Reynolds, Alan
The statistical gamesmanship used to denigrate the importance of private charities pales in comparison to the artful devices by which the charitable nature of politics is exaggerated. ... myths seem to be contagious. ... the whole idea that private charities will never have enough money to replicate the welfare state assumes (1) that the welfare state works; (2) that reducing federal spending would not leave taxpayers with more money to donate; (3) that private charities cannot do more for less; and (4) that just as many people would demand private assistance as the number who now believe themselves entitled to public assistance. The terms 'charities' and 'nonprofits' are not interchangeable. Lumping philanthropy together with tax-exempt medical, educational and other businesses and calling that a 'sector' has resulted in widespread confusion. To say that contributions are small relative to all the money taken in by nonprofit institutions, or relative to all public spending on pensions and education, is no more enlightening than to say that contributions are small relative to the Defense budget, or the global sales of the Fortune 500.

from "The Myth of the Non-Profit Sector", published in Chronicle of Philanthropy
Robertson, Pat
The profit motive is not evil; it is a creative force. It is based on self-interest, to be sure, but from this has come technology, creativity, the tremendous explosion of the scientific method, and other things that have made our world a better place in which to live.

1985 - from his book Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions
Robson, John  
Everyone knows politics is a dirty, venal, hypocritical business fixated on the short run. Yet Canadians have an extraordinary habit of insisting that anything important be subject to its imperatives, rather than to the allegedly short-sighted, cynical and callous dictates of the market.

Dec. 03, 1998 - from his column in the Ottawa Citizen
Rogers, Will
The business of government is to keep the government out of business - that is, unless business needs government aid.

Scalia, Antonin
In holding that homosexuality cannot be singled out for disfavorable treatment, the Court contradicts a decision, unchallenged here, pronounced only 10 years ago, ... and places the prestige of this institution behind the proposition that opposition to homosexuality is as reprehensible as racial or religious bias. ... Since the Constitution of the United States says nothing about this subject, it is left to be resolved by normal democratic means, including the democratic adoption of provisions in state constitutions. This Court has no business imposing upon all Americans the resolution favored by the elite class from which the Members of this institution are selected, pronouncing that 'animosity' toward homosexuality is evil.

May. 20, 1996 - from his dissenting opinion in Roy Romer, Governor of Colorad vs Richard G. Evans
Sifton, Clifford  
The main business of Canada in foreign relations is to remain friendly with the United States while preserving its own self-respect.

quoted in Columbo's New Canadian Quotations by John Robert Columbo
Snyder, Jeffrey R.
Conservatives must understand that the antipathy many liberals have for gun owners arises in good measure fiorn their statist utopianism. This habit of mind has nowhere been better explored than in The Republic. There, Plato argues that the perfectly just society is one in which an unarmed people exhibit virtue by minding their own business in the performance of their assigned functions, while the government of philosopher-kings, above the law and protected by armed guardians unquestioning in their loyalty to the state, engineers, implements, and fine-tunes the creation of that society, aided and abetted by myths that both hide and justify their totalitarian manipulation.

Fall 1993 - from "A Nation of Cowards", published in The Public Interest
Solomon, Lawrence  
Where previously most cross-border funds flowed between governments, or between government and multilateral government agencies such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, in the 1990s most flows are business to business. Where governments once directed or facilitated global trade by subsidizing favored industries, today governments operate on the fringes of the global economy, primarily making their presence felt in outdated sectors unworthy of legitimate trade, such as nuclear plants and hydroelectric megadams, and in Third World countries, where strongmen with outstretched palms still direct business. Corporations still accept government inducements, but the inducements rarely sway fundamental decisions by multinationals as to where to invest; industry now bases its decisions on the real economy: It wants to locate where it can best serve its customers and where it can best be served by suppliers.

Jul. 1999 - from "The end of the nation-state", published in The Next City Magazine



Who needs national governments? Not business, and not consumers, who are also learning how to bypass the government middleman. Operating on their own, consumers now buy plane tickets from non-national carriers and make long-distance telephone calls without the protection of federal regulators. In the United Kingdom, consumers need no longer fly from government-owned airports, no longer drink government-delivered water, no longer run their toasters with government-generated electricity. Not only did costs drop and service levels soar in all cases, but environmental standards rose.

Jul. 1999 - from "The end of the nation-state", published in The Next City Magazine
Stevenson, Adlai
The vigour of our political life, our capacity for change, our cultural, scientific, and industrial achievements, all derive from free inquiry, from the free mind, from imagination, resourcefulness, and daring of men who are not afraid of new ideas. Most all of us favour free enterprise for business. Let us also favour free enterprise for the mind.

Aug. 27, 1952 - from a speech to the American Legion Convention in New York
Stigler, George
In the long run ... workers and consumers are the main beneficiaries [of capitalism] - easier jobs, higher incomes, and so forth. That is the main performance of the system. The businessman can make a killing, but it's a small killing compared to society's killing. Henry Ford made a lot of money making cars at one time, but that was a small advantage to him compared to the benefit to millions of people who for the first time in their lives were emancipated from common public carriers and could live where they wanted, move at the hours they wanted, to the places they wanted. Ford collected a billion bucks, but that was peanuts compared to the benefits.

Jan. 01, 1984 - from an interview published in Reason Magazine
Tasker, Peter
When government does hold the reins, the results belie all the claims made for Japanese business skills. Just before its break-up and privatization by the Nakasone administration, the Japan National Railways sported long-term debts of Y23,000,000,000,000 - more than the debts of Mexico and Argentina put together.

1987 - from Inside Japan, Sidgewick and Johnson, London
von Mises, Ludwig
Those fighting for free enterprise and free competition do not defend the interests of those rich today. They want a free hand left to unknown men who will be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The jealousy of the common man looks upon the profits of the entrepreneurs as if they were totally used for consumption. A part of them is, of course, consumed. But only those entrepreneurs attain wealth and influence in the world of business who consume merely a fraction of their profits and plough back the much greater part into their enterprises. What makes the small business develop into the big business is not spending but saving and capital accumulation.

Weaver, Richard
Man is constantly being assured today that he has more power than ever before in history, but his daily experience is one of powerlessness. If he is with a business organization, the odds are great that he has sacrificed every other kind of independence in return for that dubious one known as financial. Modern social and corporate organization makes independence an expensive thing; in fact, it may make common integrity a prohibitive luxury for the ordinary man.

from Ideas Have Consequences
Will, George F.
Once you lose the sense that not everything is the federal government's business, the floodgates are down, and everything in ... life becomes fair game for career politicians to use the federal government's omnipresent, omniprovident role to bolster their careers.

Oct. 18, 1992 - in a televised interview on the C-SPAN program Booknotes
Wilson, Harold
One man's wage rise is another man's price increase.

Jan. 11, 1970 - quoted in the London Observer and in The MacMillan Dictionary of Quotations