Monday, May 04, 2009

Quotes of the day

I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.--Abraham Lincoln

The desire to bring back the boring, small banking industry of the nineteen-fifties is understandable. Unfortunately, the only way to do that would be to bring back the economy of the fifties, too. Banking was boring then because the economy was boring.--James Surowiecki

In 1787, the British government had hired sea captains to ship convicted felons to Australia...On one voyage, more than a third of the males died and the rest arrived beaten, starved, and sick... Instead of paying the captains for each prisoner placed on board ship in Great Britain, the economist suggested paying for each prisoner that walked off the ship in Australia. In 1793, the new system was implemented and immediately the survival rate shot up to 99 percent.--Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok

Under Arnold Schwarzenegger, the best governor the states contiguous to California have ever had, people and businesses have been relocating to those states. For four consecutive years, more Americans have moved out of California than have moved in. California's business costs are more than 20 percent higher than the average state's.--George Will

So we have a President with basically no business experience, guided by a bunch of Ivy League policy wonks most of whom have limited real world business experience, deciding how big businesses should be and where young people ought to work. ... Put simply, Obama is selling our children's birthright. And for what? The false hope that government regulation can prevent economic downturns? It never has and it never will.--Stephen Bainbridge

It is not a rare phenomenon that what is legal may also be quite irresponsible. That appears in the First Amendment context all the time. What can be said often should not be said. Prof. Reidenberg's exercise is an example of perfectly legal, abominably poor judgment. Since he was not teaching a course in judgment, I presume he felt no responsibility to display any.--Antonin Scalia, on Reidenberg's invasion of privacy

Every once in awhile, through pure accident of history, an individual rises to a position of fame and responsibility in American society for which he has no business rising and for which he or she simply lacked the experience and mental fortitude to cope. In my lifetime, I can think of three such people: Dan Quayle, Janet Reno, and David Souter.--Todd Zywicki

[Souter's majority opinion on Virginia Bankshares] is a long, tortured expedition to a deeply baffling place. It is the jurisprudential equivalent of a short story by Robert Aickman, except that Souter opinions are much longer. No, not like an Aickman short story; like being a character in an Aickman short story. I read in the New York Times that Souter likes to go on long walks in the forest at night with his flashlight. Law imitates life, I guess.--Tom Smith

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