American Elephants


Turning to My Favorite Author for Guidance by The Elephant's Child

I frequently say that Leftists don’t understand the free market — that’s why they are Leftists.

Kathy Shaidle remarked a while back: “None of this should surprise anyone. Contrary to what they tell you (and tell you and tell you) Progressives don’t have principles. Rather they have faddish opinions that are highly unstable and often contradictory.”

Here’s John Steele Gordon from An Empire of Wealth:

The willingness to accept present discomfort and risk for the hope of future riches that so characterized these immigrants and the millions who would follow over the next two centuries has had a profound and immeasurable effect on the history of the American economy. Just as those who saw no conflict between worshiping God and seeking earthly success in the seventeenth century, those who sought economic independence in the eighteenth had a powerful impact on the emerging American culture.

And this:

People with an economic advantage, however “unfair” that advantage may be, will always fight politicians as hard as they can to maintain it. Whether the advantage is the right to another person’s labor, or an unneeded tariff protection, or an exemption from taxation makes no difference. And because the advantage for the few is specific and considerable while the cost to the disadvantaged many is often hidden and small, the few regularly prevail over the many in such political contests.

and one more:

Masterpieces created by a committee are notably few in number, but the United States Constitution is certainly one of them. Amended only twenty-seven times in 215 years, it came into being just as the world was about to undergo the most profound – and continuing– period of economic change the human race has known. The locus of power in the American economy had shifted from sector to sector as that economy has developed. Whole sections of the country have risen and fallen in economic importance. New methods of doing business and economic institutions undreamed of by the Founding Fathers have come into existence in that time, while others have vanished. Fortunes beyond the imagination of anyone living in the pre-industrial world have been built and destroyed. And yet the Constitution endures and the country continues to flourish under it.



The Nature of Government — Unfortunately by American Elephant
September 17, 2013, 10:37 pm
Filed under: History, The United States | Tags: , , , ,

An excellent quote on the nature of government from John Steele Gordon’s An Empire of Wealth:

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 1780’s 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.




%d bloggers like this: