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The state is the great fiction by which everybody tries to live at the expense of everybody else.
Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain - and since labor is pain in itself - it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.
It is evident ... that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop [a] fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.
The fundamental class division in any society is not between rich and poor, or between farmers and city dwellers, but between taxpayers and tax consumers.
Nothing is easier than spreading public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.
Benefits are always welcome but obligations are not always equally welcome...
Jun. 14, 2000 - from a speech in the Canadian Senate
Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching for what it gets.
To relieve the misfortunes of our fellow creatures is concurring with the Deity; it is godlike. But if we provide encouragement for laziness, and supports for folly, may we not be found fighting against the order of God and nature, which perhaps has appointed want and misery as the proper punishments for, and cautions against, as well as necessary consequences of, idleness and extravagance?
1753 - from
The Writings of Benjamin Franklin
[Guaranteed annual income] ... is just about the worst idea that this [Liberal] government has had -- one that will accelerate Canada's trend toward a U.S.-style underclass all our own. We have always had poor people in Canada. But underclass poverty is different from the poverty of farm and fishing village. Underclass poverty is a poverty that separates people from the life of their society in an entrenched, permanent, helpless dependency, characterized by substance abuse, crime and suicide.
Dec. 16, 2000 - from "Chrétien's plan for a Canadian underclass", published in the
If you need what others earn, No longer need you steal it! Government now does the job, And people hardly feel it!
1963 - from
Tom Smith and His Incredible Bread Machine
There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything we are fixed, so to speak, for life.
1955 - from
The Passionate State of Mind
Humphrey, Hubert H.
The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
How small, of all that human hearts endure, that part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
quoted by Steve Forbes in "The Moral Basis of a Free Society", his 1997 address to the Heritage Foundation
We don't believe compassion should be measured by the size of the safety net, but by the number of rungs on the ladder of opportunity.
1992 - from a speech to the Republican convention
Mill, John Stuart
Government aid....should be so given as to be as far as possible a course of education for the people in the art of accomplishing great objects by individual energy and voluntary co-operation.
National Post, The
Insanity has been described as the state of mind that inspires a person to repeat the same action with the expectation of a different result. The collective mental health of the federal Liberal government will be on display this fall when it unveils its new and much-anticipated innovation strategy. In the past, the federal Liberals have repeatedly thrown money rather than fresh ideas at this file with little to show for it. What Canada needs is tax reform tailored to the underlying problems dragging down Canadian productivity. But what we will likely get is the standard men of wasteful mega-projects.
Sep. 3, 2001 - from its editorial "Counter-productive"
Free university tuition is a bad idea. Experience shows that the demographics of higher education do not change significantly when tuition becomes free, and thus the additional subsidy is merely an inter-class wealth transfer that flows from poor to rich. Countries that once experimented with it, such as Australia and Britain, have reversed themselves of late and are now charging fees for higher education.
Mar. 28, 2001 - from its editorial "Sell the water, but don't soak the poor"
We are rapidly becoming a society that wants the government to redistribute income from those who have to those who don't have. They do this in Sweden and other countries with some success. But there are problems with quasi-socialism because the government cannot legislate responsibility. Remember the ant story you were told as a kid? The one that said most of the ants worked feverishly during the summer storing up food for the winter, but the grasshopper slept all day. Then winter came, and the industrious ants were fat and happy, while the lazy grasshopper went hungry. ... The difficulty here is that millions of Americans do work hard and make little progress. So they are in the same boat as the irresponsible, and the government can't weed them out.
Feb. 14, 2001 - from "A taxing situation", published by Creators Syndicate Inc.
If patriotism is, as Dr. Johnson used to remark, the last refuge of the scoundrel, wrapping outdated industry in the mantle of national interest is the last refuge of the economically dispossessed. In economic terms, pleading national interest is the declining cottage industry of those who have been bypassed by the global economy.
[A] dilemma ... forces interest groups to despoil the open commons of the treasury to everyone’s detriment. Farmers in Saskatchewan who do not demand subsidized crop insurance leave Ottawa’s resources available to East Coast businesses demanding subsidized loans for regional development projects. In the end, both groups pay for their subsidies through higher taxes and both would be better off if they could sign a peace treaty that ended handouts and let each focus on doing business.
Dec. 2000 -
from "Bad Canadians? No, Bad System", published in the
You cannot win the war on poverty without getting your hands dirty. The grant-and-cash approach make the givers feel good, but keeps their hands clean.
May 10, 2001 - quoted in "Star Parker, a Courageous Black Voice" published by United Press International
Every coercive monopoly was created by government intervention into the economy: by special privileges, such as franchises or subsidies, which closed the entry of competitors into a given field, by legislative action.
Dollars do better if they are accompanied by sense.
Whoever eschews risk shall forgo profit. The businessman who seeks loan guarantees or wage and price controls should be driven from his corporate tent with shouts of "Abomination!"
Feb. 19, 1976 - from a column in the
New York Times
, quoted in
The Quotable Conservative
by Rod Evans and Irwin Berent
The assumption that spending more of the taxpayer's money will make things better has survived all kinds of evidence that it has made things worse. The black family -- which survived slavery, discrimination, poverty, wars and depressions -- began to come apart as the federal government moved in with its well-financed programs to 'help.'
Scarce public resources are being abused by crack dealers, chronic alcoholics, professional drifters and criminals. More government money will not solve the "homeless" problem if it does not get to the deeper roots of substance abuse and the high cost of urban housing.
Dec. 21, 1999 - from a series of columns published by the
Globe and Mail
von Mises, Ludwig
...economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics.