Friday, 24 December 2010

The revolutionary poor

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.


Lonely poor

There is a solitude in poverty, but a solitude which restores to each thing its value.

Albert Camus

Forever poor

The poor ye have always with you.

Jesus, the Bible, Matthew 26:11, Mark 14:7, and John 12:8


As for the virtuous poor, one can pity them of course, but one cannot possibly admire them.

Oscar Wilde (1856-1900). ‘The Soul of Man Under Socialism’

Economic catastrophe

To be broke is not a disgrace, it is only a catastrophe.

Rex Stout, as stated by the character, Nero Wolfe in The League of Frightened Men (1935)

The disease

Come away; poverty’s catching.

Aphra Behn (1640-1689), English dramatist, The Rover, Pt. 2. I. (1681)

Ringing the bell

In truth, poverty is an anomaly to rich people. It is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.

Walter Bagehot, The Waverley Novels (1858)

The war on poverty

For the first time in our history it is possible to conquer poverty.

Lyndon B. Johnson's Special Message to Congress (March 16, 1964)

Solid values

The return to solid values is always hard. Distress, panic, and hard times have marked our pathway in returning to solid values.

James A. Garfield.

Panic stricken

Del Boy: You don't know nothing about antiques, do you? I mean, you know, dealers often put little holes in items like these to give it that sort of distressed look.

Rodney: Distressed? Del, this thing looks panic-stricken.

Only Fools and Horses

Common sense in a panic

Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain had much of value to say about the financial crisis as it raged through the headlines this fall. Rather than shred their campaign strategies, they played it safe, as most politicians would have.

Ron Paul, in almost every speech he made during the Republican primaries, spoke of bubbles, reckless credit growth, and the "unsustainability" of present policy. So why isn't there more demand for the common-sense solutions he put forward? Because common sense is not much use in a financial panic.

Christopher Caldwell, December 15, 2008

Serial offender

"The Fed, in effect, has become a serial bubble blower."

Stephen Roach, 2004

The money is always there

"Cash is available and we should use that in larger amounts, as is necessary, to solve the problems of the stress of this."

Alan Greenspan, suggested the government should boost support to homeowners facing the prospect of losing their homes due to higher mortgage interest rates. December 2007,


"[There are] signs of froth in some local markets where home prices seem to have risen to unsustainable levels."

Alan Greenspan, July 2005, in testimony to the House Financial Services Committee.

Taking care of yourself

I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.

Ronald Reagan, Joke at the Gridiron Club annual dinner. (1984-03-24)

Tax, regulate, subsidize

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks to the White House Conference on Small Business (1986-08-15)

Stupid class

The great thing about the U.S. economy right now is that we are the smart kids in the stupid-kid class. America has fiscal problems and gridlock issues and polarity and partisanship in Congress -- and yet, compared to Japan and Europe, the U.S. looks great.

Ian Bremmer, "Capitalism's State of Play," Barron's (April 24, 2010)

No competition

"Lucky for us, we were the only economy standing after World War II, and we had no serious competition for 40 years."

Thomas L. Friedman on the US economy, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (2005)

The secret plan for inflation

Josh: You're going to be reading a bit today about your secret plan to fight inflation.
Bartlet: I have a secret plan to fight inflation?
Josh: No.
Bartlet: Why am I going to be reading that I do?
Josh: It was suggested in the press room that you do.
Bartlet: By who?
Josh: By me.
Bartlet: You told the press I have a secret plan to fight inflation?
Josh: No, I did not. Let me be absolutely clear, I did not do that. Except, yes, I did that.

The West Wing

Global Breakdown

A global society does not mean a global state. To abolish the existence of states is neither feasible nor desirable; but insofar as there are collective interests that transcend state boundaries, the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.We live in a global economy, but the political organization of our global society is woefully inadequate.

We are bereft of the capacity to preserve peace and to counteract the excesses of the financial markets. Without these controls, the global economy, is liable to break down

George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998)