In the past I have posted segments that gave relatively brief accounts of current events I called “Considerations and Tidbits” and another that I employed less frequently called “I wish I Had Said That!”. I am going to try to start those up again and post them at the end of the week, when people are less inclined to peruse longer winded comments of mine and are winding down themselves for a hopefully relaxing weekend.
Here’s my first effort for this rebirth. As you will notice with the last quote, I found some interesting comments in fiction too that aptly make a statement about contemporary real-life.
This first comment was made back in 1980. See if you can guess who said it.
1. When you have more government, industrialists take it over and the two together form a coalition against the ordinary worker and the ordinary consumer. I think business is a wonderful institution, provided, it has to face competition in the market place and it can’t get away with something except by producing a better product at a lower cost and that’s why I don’t want the government to step in and help the business community.
The answer is at the bottom of the page
2. We can devise all the clever schemes imaginable to clean up politics and get money out of campaigns, but it won’t work until the American people collectively give up on certain fond illusions: the Horatio Alger myth, American Exceptionalism, and the whole mass of magical thinking that boils down to the belief that God loves America because we’re so virtuous, handsome, and smart, and that we, too, could win the lottery. Well, we’re not necessarily any of those things. The truth is that we lucked into adverse possession of a mostly empty continent in a temperate zone with lots of resources, and straddled east and west by two huge moats. We had firearms and resistance to smallpox, and the original owners didn’t. Virtue had very little to do with it. – Mike Lofgren
3. We always knew that it was good to be smart and hard-working, and that if you were born or raised with those qualities, you were incredibly lucky, just as you were lucky if you grew up in the United States rather than in Somalia. But the … research helps us understand why many people who have those qualities never find much success in the marketplace. Chance elements in the information flows that promote that success are sometimes the most important random factors of all.
Of course, we should keep celebrating the talented, hard-working people who have succeeded in their businesses or careers. But the research provides an important moral lesson: that these people might also do well to remain more humbly mindful of their own good fortune. – Robert H. Frank, Luck vs. Skill: Seeking the Secret of Your Success
4. “Want to really learn how to suck eggs, from an old hound dog? I’ve spent ten years with [Congressman] Wickham. He’s the smartest hound there is, but he’s up against a bad lot. The Republicans are the country’s pit bulls, Mitch. Barking in the night, all night, every night, right or wrong, savaging their enemies without mercy. They claim to represent plain folks, but they represent those who vote, when they vote at all, on pocketbooks and fear and gut instinct.” Dick Gianelli in Greg Bear’s SciFi novel “Darwin’s Children” (chapter 6)
Answer to comment #1 – Milton Friedman, the laissez-faire capitalists that many conservatives like to quote but many, once in office, fail to emulate. Also, concealed in Mr. Friedman’s remarks is the fact that bigger government usually evolved as abuses by businesses evolved