American Elephants

Saturday Morning Food for Thought by The Elephant's Child

People in government will always try to help those who are powerful at the expense of those who might become so. What-is can always yield influence that what-might-be cannot match, regardless of any campaign finance laws that may be in place.  The power of what-is made the abolition of slavery— by the 1780s widely seen as immoral and inefficient — politically impossible. Indeed, what-is was able to force a provision in the new Constitution that counted the disenfranchised and powerless slaves at three-fifths their actual numbers for determining the distribution of seats in Congress, greatly increasing the political power of the states with large slave populations.
— An Empire of Wealth, John Steele Gordon

But intellectuals not only want to think well of themselves, they want to be important. The attraction of ideology is that it offers a simple principle, or a few simple principles, by which to understand the world; and, of course it offers the prospect of power to those who know and wield those principles with the greatest facility.  It seems to me that inside every Marxist Western intellectual there has been a Stalin trying to get out.
— preface to Last Exit to Utopia, Anthony Daniels

To change our fate, the best possible solution is real reform that improves incentives and inspires confidence — world’s difference from today’s sterile debate about whether a conspicuous short-term deficit encourages or inhibits recovery.  Fed Governor Kevin Warsh put it nicely in a speech in Atlanta this week, when he cited veteran Washington economist Charles Schulze to the effect that “it is not the wolf at the door but the termites in the walls that require attention.  Tackle the termites and jobs and growth will return.”
— “The Obama Depression,” Holman Jenkins Jr. 6/30/10

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