Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Quotes of the day

Politics is a romantic search for the good and the true and the beautiful. “Public choice” came along and said, “Why don’t we model people more or less like everyday persons? Politicians and bureaucrats are no different from the rest of us. They will maximize their incentives just like everybody else.” By taking that very simple starting point, you get a completely different view of politics and its analysis.--James Buchanan

Our society has it all backwards. We should be investing in prevention and wellness to sharply reduce the need for acute care. Yet the financial incentives are for the hospitals and the pharmaceutical companies to push their most high-margin products.--Roger Ehrenberg

... it will be interesting to review the fine print of any bailout to see how much American workers who have no health-care coverage at all will be taxed to fulfill the generous promises made to the UAW.--William McGurn

I'd excuse a high school or sophomoric college newspaper journalist making such an overwrought analogy. But if the New York Times and its writers and editors can't see the difference between an unfortunate shopping incident and the Spanish Civil War, one wonders what what value the newspaper has as an information source to be trusted by their readers.--Ed Driscoll

Politics is of course about the day-to-day management of affairs. But at its best it is about the pursuit of ideals like justice and liberty, partnership for the common good, and fostering the conditions that allow for human flourishing and excellence.--Peter Wehner

Roosevelt's lunatic cartelization schemes could have been better executed than they were, but even perfectly executed, they would have failed, because it is not possible for the government to prop up all wages and prices; even Soviet Russia didn't manage it. If the nominal price of labor is too high, much of it will move into the black market. It was even harder for Roosevelt, because he lived in an era where record keeping was somewhat slapdash--I was just reading a travel memoir from the fifties where the author goes to apply for a passport and finds he has no birth certificate. Now, if they really wanted to, the government could send someone to the address last associated with your social security number and inquire what you were doing with your days. ... Which is a disturbingly good argument agains the most prominent relic of the New Deal. But I digress.--Megan McArdle

A man who plays Russian roulette is a fool even if he wins.--Jennifer Rubin

In the twelve step alcohol and drug program ego is described as edging God out. In sports, ego is edging greatness out.--Rick Pitino

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