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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Liberty Quotes

We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.

Thomas Jefferson

Posted by Richard Anderson on January 13, 2010 | Permalink


Definitely one of my favorite liberty quotes. :)

Posted by: K Stricker | 2010-01-13 8:34:19 AM

Jefferson, and the other signers of the Constitution had an understanding of human nature and government that has not been surpassed in over 300 year, and the scope of their education certainly far exceeds that which is taught in our schools and institutions today.

Posted by: Ed Ellison | 2010-01-13 9:18:35 AM

Peterj and TM,

I was reading your debate about the economic benefits of war and thought I'd suggest some reading which could enhance the debates going forward. I agree with TM. Broken windows fallacy.

There's a wonderful book by Robert Higgs entitled "Depression, War, and Cold War: Challenging the Myths of Conflict and Prosperity".

The author essentially argues that WWII did not end the Depression. FDR's death did. As FDR lost influence, businesses and wealthy individuals began to invest again. The author also argues that since during WWII the economy was essentially a command economy, the black market was very dominant and inflation was underestimated during the entire period. This lead to the deflator used for GDP calculations being too low during the war and too high right after the war. He essentially argues that the depression was only ended after WWII.

It's a bit dry but fascinating if the topic interests you.

Posted by: Charles | 2010-01-13 10:00:31 AM

"...the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery...."

Very well stated.

Posted by: Cory D. Schreyer | 2010-01-13 1:06:38 PM

Thanks Charles!

Posted by: TM | 2010-01-13 5:34:36 PM

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