No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind.
— Thomas Sowell
When a tax is levied, two incentives are created. The first is to find loopholes to avoid payment. The next is to avoid the thing being taxed altogether. At no point does taxation inspire anyone to pay more taxes.
— Michael Giordano
Libertarianism holds exactly one political position: No one may initiate physical aggression against an innocent person. That’s it.
— Thomas Woods
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
— Ayn Rand
When sellers seek to charge the highest price they can, they are “price gougers”; when they seek to keep prices as they are, they are “in collusion”; and when they seek to lower prices, they are engaging in “predatory pricing”. In the eyes of a statist, whatever happens in the market is wrong by definition.
— Bardhyl Salihu
Politicians never accuse you of greed for wanting other people’s money — only for wanting to keep your own.
— Joseph Sobran
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
— Philip K. Dick
Keynes did not teach us how to perform the miracle of turning a stone into bread, but the not at all miraculous procedure of eating the seed corn.
— Ludwig von Mises
All governments suffer a recurring problem: power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts, but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.
— Frank Herbert
Since there is no such entity as “the public,” since the public is merely a number of individuals, the idea that “the public interest” supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others.
— Ayn Rand
Economic reasoning places boundaries on our utopias. It defines the non-negotiable constraints on social reality.
— Art Carden
Engaging in commerce doesn’t impart an understanding of economics any more than being sexually promiscuous imparts an understanding of genetics.
— Antony Davies
It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline...But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.
— Murray Rothbard
What most people really object to when they object to a free market is that it is so hard for them to shape it to their own will. The market gives people what the people want instead of what other people think they ought to want. At the bottom of many criticisms of the market economy is really lack of belief in freedom itself.
— Milton Friedman
Our money is not the government’s money. We have to stop discussing spending cuts as being unaffordable to the government and begin discussing increased spending as being unaffordable to us.
— William Broderick
The degree to which we deviate from economic truth and follow the plans of men is the degree to which we become enslaved and tyrannized by craftier men.
Political freedom makes economic freedom possible. Economic freedom makes political freedom meaningful.
The problem with American conservatism is that it hates the left more than the state, loves the past more than liberty, feels a greater attachment to nationalism than to the ideal of self-determination, believes brute force is the answer to all social problems, and thinks that it is better to impose truth rather than to risk losing one’s soul to heresy. It has never understood the idea of freedom as a self-ordering principle of society.
— Lew Rockwell
Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.
— Robert LeFevre
I always get a chuckle out of the presumably unintentional irony of those who reject the anti-evolution idea of intelligent design in biology but simultaneously advocate what is, in effect, intelligent design economics.
— Steve Conover
An economic system is a tool for creating wealth. A political system is a tool for securing justice. When a society attempts to use its economic system to secure justice or its political system to create wealth, it attains neither.
— Antony Davies
There are no causes of poverty. To ask what causes poverty is like asking what causes cold...it is the absence of energy. Similarly poverty is the absence of wealth. We should ask, “what are the causes of wealth?”
— Madsen Pirie
Free people can treat each other justly, but they can't make life fair. To get rid of the unfairness among individuals, you have to exercise power over them. The more fairness you want, the more power you need. Thus, all dreams of fairness become dreams of tyranny in the end.
— Andrew Klavan
Life, Liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
Imagine a subsistence farmer who can’t grow enough food to survive. Raising the minimum wage is like passing a law requiring his fields to produce more crops.
— Antony Davies
Have you ever noticed how statists are constantly "reforming" their own handiwork? Education reform. Health-care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform. The very fact that they're always busy "reforming" is an implicit admission that they didn't get it right the first 50 times.
— Lawrence W. Reed
There is no reason to believe that bureaucrats and politicians, no matter how well meaning, are better at solving problems than the people on the spot, who have the strongest incentive to get the solution right.
— Elinor Ostrom
It will be of little avail to the people if the laws are so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
— James Madison
In the whole history of capitalism, no one has been able to establish a coercive monopoly by means of competition in a free market...Every single coercive monopoly that exists or ever has existed...was created and made possible only by an act of government...which granted special privileges (not obtainable in a free market) to a man or a group of men, and forbade all others to enter that particular field.
— Nathaniel Branden
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.
— Ayn Rand
It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government.
— Thomas Paine
Ever seen two children quarreling over a toy? Such squabbles had been commonplace in Katherine Hussman Klemp’s household. But in the Sesame Street Parent’s Guide she tells how she created peace in her family of eight children by assigning property rights to toys. As a young mother, Klemp often brought home games and toys from garage sales. “I rarely matched a particular item with a particular child,” she says. “Upon reflection, I could see how the fuzziness of ownership easily led to arguments. If everything belonged to everyone, then each child felt he had a right to use anything.” To solve the problem, Klemp introduced two simple rules: First, never bring anything into the house without assigning clear ownership to one child. The owner has ultimate authority over the use of the property. Second, the owner is not required to share. Before the rules were in place, Klemp recalls, “I suspected that much of the drama often centered less on who got the item in dispute and more on whom Mom would side with.” Now, property rights, not parents, settle the arguments. Instead of teaching selfishness, the introduction of property rights actually promoted sharing. The children were secure in their ownership and knew they could always get their toys back. Adds Klemp, “‘Sharing’ raised their self-esteem to see themselves as generous persons.” Not only do her children value their own property rights, but also they extend that respect to the property of others. “Rarely do our children use each other’s things without asking first, and they respect a ‘No’ when they get one. Best of all, when someone who has every right to say ‘No’ to a request says ‘Yes,’ the borrower sees the gift for what it is and says ‘Thanks’ more often than not,” says Klemp.
— Janet Beales Kaidantzis
The Left has never understood why property rights are a big deal, except to fat cats who own a lot of property. Through legislation and judicial rulings, property rights have been eroded with rent control laws, expansive concepts of eminent domain, and all sorts of environmental restrictions. Some of the biggest losers have been people of very modest incomes and some of the biggest winners have been fat cats who are able to use political muscle and activist judges to violate other people’s property rights. Politicians in cities around the country violate property rights regularly by seizing homes in working-class neighborhoods and demolishing whole sectors of the city, in order to turn the land over to people who will build shopping malls, gambling casinos, and other things that will pay more taxes than the homeowners are paying. That’s why property rights were put in the Constitution in the first place, to keep politicians from doing things like that. But the adolescent intellectuals of our time have promoted the notion that property rights are just arbitrary rules to protect the rich.
— Thomas Sowell
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow money on the credit of the United States; To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States; To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures; To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States; To establish Post Offices and Post Roads; To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries; To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court; To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations; To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy; To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress; To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
— U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
— U.S. Constitution, Amendment 10
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
— Thomas Jefferson