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Financial Quotes

Government Quotes

  • "Want to live in a place with no government? Try Somalia!"
    Source: Placard carried by demonstrator at the “Rally to Restore Sanity” in Washington, DC (October 30, 2010)
  • "We ultimately witnessed the demise of an ideology that says the only rule for government is always to get out of the way."
    Douglas Alexander (1967–), British politician
    On the financial crisis of 2008–09.
    Source: Independent (London) (January 20, 2009)
  • "Leave it up to the free market, and in a few generations Florida will be underwater."
    Paul R. Krugman (1953–), US economist
    Source: New York Times (October 15, 2008)
  • "The private market has screwed itself up and they need the government to come help them unscrew it."
    Barney Frank (1940–), US politician
    On the government's bailout of insurance giant AIG.
    Source: Remark (September 16, 2008)
  • "Washington today is a place where good ideas go to die."
    Barack Obama (1961–), US president
    Source: Speech, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (February 2008)
  • "Regulation should not be at a level set to achieve the impossible task of protecting fools from their own folly—it should be no greater than that required to protect reasonable people from being made fools of."
    Jim Gower, British law academic
    Source: Quoted in the Independent (London) (January 4, 2008)
  • "In Africa, you often see that the difference between a village where everybody eats and a village where people starve is government. One has a functioning government, and the other does not. Which is why it bothers me when I hear people say that government is the enemy."
    Barack Obama (1961–), US president
    Source: Independent (London) (March 10, 2007)
  • "There is most definitely a role for government in the innovative process. The market does not do everything well."
    Anne K. Bingaman (1943–), US lawyer
    Source: Speech, University of Kansas Law School (September 19, 1996)
  • "The task of government policy is not to prejudge winners but to make sure that neither private nor public restraints narrow the potential sources of innovation."
    Anne K. Bingaman (1943–), US lawyer
    Source: Speech, University of Kansas Law School (September 19, 1996)
  • "Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace … On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone … You have no sovereignty where we gather."
    John Perry Barlow (1947–), US academic, lyricist, and writer
    Source: “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” (February 8, 1996)
  • "It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money."
    P. J. O'Rourke (1947–), US humorist and journalist
    Source: Parliament of Whores (1991)
  • "The business of the Civil Service is the orderly management of decline."
    William, Lord Armstrong (19151980), British civil servant
    Source: Quoted in Whitehall (Peter Hennessey, 1990)
  • "Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them."
    Ronald Reagan (19112004), US president and actor
    Source: “The Wit and Wisdom of Ronald Reagan,” Speaking My Mind (1989)
  • "You can't expect a viable economy if the only object of government policy is to be re-elected every four years."
    Arnold, Lord Weinstock (19242002), British managing director of General Electric Company
    Source: Independent (London) (December 20, 1986)
  • "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, subsidise it."
    Ronald Reagan (19112004), US president and actor
    Source: Speech (1981)
  • "A species of tetanus where one set of muscles goes rigid pulling against another—and the patient becomes paralysed."
    Sir Terence Norman Beckett (1923–), British business executive
    On government interference in industry.
    Source: Daily Mail (London) (September 28, 1979)
  • "There's only one place where inflation is made: that's in Washington."
    Milton Friedman (19122006), US economist and winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics
    Source: Attributed (1977)
  • "A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
    George Bernard Shaw (18561950), Irish writer and critic
    Source: Everybody's Political What's What? (1944)
  • "Governments can err. Presidents do make mistakes, but … better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference."
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (18821945), US president
    Source: Speech accepting re-nomination for a second presidential term, Philadelphia (June 27, 1936)
  • "With perfect citizens, any government is good."
    Stephen Leacock (18691944), Canadian humorist, essayist, economist, and historian
    Source: The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice (1920)
  • "Trade and commerce, if they were not made of india-rubber, would never manage to bounce over obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way."
    Henry David Thoreau (18171862), US writer
    Source: “Resistance to Civil Government” (1849)
  • "It is with government as with medicine, its only business is the choice of evils. Every law is an evil, for every law is an infraction of liberty."
    Jeremy Bentham (17481832), British philosopher, economist, and jurist
    Source: Principles of Legislation (1789)
  • "There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people."
    Adam Smith (17231790), British economist and philosopher
    Source: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)
  • "Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence … man finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest."
    Thomas Paine (17371809), British politician, philosopher, and writer
    Source: Common Sense (1776)

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