American Elephants

A Little Common Sense from 1776 by The Elephant's Child

From Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”, a pamphlet published on January 10, 1776:

Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices.The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a Government, which we might expect in a country without Government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer…” [italics are in the original]

Words of Wisdom for Monday II by The Elephant's Child

“Countries that pursue economic freedom get prosperity as a bonus.”

Barry Asmus
Senior Economist NCPA

Fredrich Hayek, the Austrian-American economist and Nobel Laureate, devoted much of his brilliant career to describe how rationalism could never work. How can anything good happen, Hayek asked, if individuals cannot think and act for themselves? Rules preclude initiative. Regimentation precludes evolution, Letting accidents happen, mistakes be made, results in new ideas. Trial and error is the key to all progress. The Soviet system of rules and central planning is doomed to failure. Hayek stated fifty years ago, because it kills the human faculty that makes things work.

Philip Howard
The Death of Common Sense

Capital will go where it is wanted and stay where it is well treated. It will flee from manipulation or onerous regulation of its value or use and no government power can restrain it for long.

Walter Wriston
The Twilight of Sovereignty

The clear lesson of history is that individual liberty, the basic underpinning of American society, requires constant defense against the encroachment of the state.

Walter Wriston
Risk and Other Four Letter Words


What do the poor most need? They need to stop being poor. And how can that be done on a mass scale except by an economy that creates more wealth? Yet the political left has long had a remarkable lack of interest in how wealth is created. as far as they are concerned, wealth exists “somehow” and the only interesting question is how to re-distribute it.

Thomas Sowell
“The Real Revolutionaries,” 1/5/2000

ADDENDUM: Here’s why I post good quotations to remember like these: Here’s N.Y. City Mayor Bill de Blasio on “What We Need is  a System of “Actual Redistribution of Wealth”

and here’s a post by David Solway: “How Professional Merit and Scientific Objectivity Became Casualties of Social Justice Insanity”

Quotations Worth Remembering : by The Elephant's Child

From William Voegeli’s The Pity Party:

In contrast to America,countries like Canada and Australia treat immigration the way Harvard treats college admission or the New England Patriots treat the NFL Draft as a way to get the talented that can benefit the institution and keep out the untalented. Here in America we increasingly treat immigration as if it were a sacred civil right possessed by seven billion foreigners.

From Milton Friedman:

It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then it really is an impossible thing.

Messages for the Department of Peace! by The Elephant's Child

Just Ordinary Happenings in an Ordinary Day. by The Elephant's Child

— Aurora, Colorado. A six-year-old boy was suspended from school for sexual harassment. First-grader D’Avonte Meadows apparently said the line “I’m sexy and I know it” to a female while he was standing in the lunch line. He didn’t even sing it —”I only said the song,” he told the reporter.

His mother was not pleased. She said she sees things like “fondling, looking up her skirt” as sexual harassment, not quoting an MTV line. “They’re going to look at him like he’s a pervert. And it’s like, that’s not fair to him.” Sable Elementary issued a statement saying it couldn’t discuss the case; but they pointed out a school board policy that defines sexual harassment as any unwelcome sexual advance. There is no age limit.

— Newark, N.J. TSA failed to properly screen a baby for weapons when it was handed from one parent to another during a metal detector walk through. Both parents were screened before leaving for their gate.  A TSA official said that police were told that the slip up was  a “low-risk factor” given the circumstances of the incident. A short the e later, the TSA personnel realized that the baby had no been checked and began searching for the family.

Port Authority police unilaterally made the decision to evacuate the terminal, sweep the terminal for explosives and re-screen all of the passengers. This, of course, inconvenienced hundreds of passengers and  delayed many flights, said the official who was not authorized to discuss the issue by name because of its delicacy.

Is the country being run by a committee? This seems like the work of a committee, they always mess everything up. Terrorist babies indeed.

Economics Can Be Fun: Lesson One by The Elephant's Child
January 29, 2012, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Entertainment | Tags: , ,

Think Universal Healthcare is Desirable? Think again. by The Elephant's Child

Universal healthcare A Canadian says be careful what you wish for.

A friend living in the USA tells me that one of the great attractions for voters leaning toward Barack Obama is his plan to deliver universal health care.  Canada is often mentioned as a paragon of the socialized health care model in the pitch for the Utopian dream; what is seldom mentioned is that the dream is often more like a nightmare….

Canadian hospitals are filthy bacteria-infested places where perhaps hundreds of people die painful and needless deaths because doctors can’t be bothered to wash their hands.

No one can tell you how many people die of C. Difficile each year because tallying the numbers may be politically embarrassing.  A lawsuit is under way against one hospital where 91 patients died in less than 2 years from C. Difficile.

Read the whole brief article. It includes a table that explains the ‘wait times’ for medical procedures in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. And why so many Canadians come to the U.S for treatment.

You might refer again to this post, which explains why it cannot work in the long run.

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