Happy new year to all! I want to close out the year 2009 with a few short thoughts and favorite quotes from people far smarter than me:
1. Never act on emotion, unless love is involved.
2. Get information from more than one source, and consider the source.
3. Buy a house as if you will live there a long time, you just may.
4. Big government has never solved any problem, big government only creates problems. Before the Civil War government in America was the highly decentralized, limited government established by the founding fathers. The Civil War (and further the New Deal) created the highly centralized state that America labors under today. The purpose of government was transformed from the defense of the individual, to the quest for an empire.
5. It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it cannot be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better. (by John Ruskin 1819 – 1900)
6. Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth. Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty. (by Winston Churchill)
7. That government is best which governs least. (by Thomas Jefferson)
8. Half the harm that is done in the world is due to people who want to feel important. They do not mean to do harm, or they do not see it, or they justify it; because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves. (by T.S. Eliot)
9. There appears to be a pervasive human tendency to overconfidence. People think they know more than they do. They like to express opinion on matters they know little about, and often act on these opinions. (From “Irrational Exuberance” by Robert J. Shiller)
10. Let us flee to the land of barbarians where we may live as free men. (unknown Roman, when the civilization of Rome was over taxed and in decline)
11. The trick of a successful civilization is to avoid crushing the creative wellsprings of liberty. Aside from authoritarian police states, the next most crushing mode of civilized oppression has been taxation. (“Those Dirty Rotten Taxes”, by Charles Adams)
12. Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison in 1785 that the country needed a rebellion every twenty years or so. Rebellions are a medicine for the sound health of government. There were easily a dozen revolts in America and Europe in the lifetime of Jefferson, and all of them were over taxes.
13. John Hancock, a rich merchant, and the colonies most notorious tax evader, was wanted by the British Tax Ministry for evading what would be millions of dollars in taxes today. He enraged the British by signing the Declaration of Independence first, and in huge script above all others, for the British to see.
14. There is no art in which one government sooner learns from another than how to drain money from the pockets of the people. (“Wealth of Nations”, by Adam Smith)