Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quotes of the day

How confusing it is to entangle acclaim and love. How much of a balancing act to determine your real value to another person. When you cultivate a literary friendship, it’s good to remember — and hard to prove — that it’s the work which is a commodity, not you.--Glen David Gold

Joanne Rowling was a welfare mother in Edinburgh, Scotland. All that has changed. As the writer of the "Harry Potter" novels, having a net worth of $1 billion, she is the world's wealthiest author. More importantly, she's one of those dastardly 1-percenters condemned by the Occupy Wall Streeters and other leftists.
How did Rowling become so wealthy and unequal to the rest of us? The entire blame for this social injustice lies at the feet of the world's children and their enabling parents. Rowling's wealth is a direct result of more than 500 million "Harry Potter" book sales and movie receipts grossing more than $5 billion.
In other words, the millions of "99-percenters" who individually plunk down $8 or $9 to attend a "Harry Potter" movie, $15 to buy a "Harry Potter" novel or $30 to buy a "Harry Potter" Blu-ray Disc are directly responsible for contributing to income inequality and wealth concentration that economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman says "is incompatible with real democracy." In other words, Rowling is not responsible for income inequality; it's the people who purchase her works.--Walter E. Williams

Capitalism is not the source of our problems, as an economy or as a society, and capitalists are not the scourge that they are too often made out to be. As a group, we employ many millions of taxpaying people, pay their salaries, provide them with healthcare coverage, start new companies, found new industries, create new products, fill store shelves at Christmas, and keep the wheels of commerce and progress (and indeed of government, by generating the income whose taxation funds it) moving. To frame the debate as one of rich-and-entitled versus poor-and-dispossessed is to both miss the point and further inflame an already incendiary environment. It is also a naked, political pander to some of the basest human emotions - a strategy, as history teaches, that never ends well for anyone but totalitarians and anarchists. With due respect, Mr. President, it's time for you to throttle-down the partisan rhetoric and appeal to people's better instincts, not their worst. Rather than assume that the wealthy are a monolithic, selfish and unfeeling lot who must be subjugated by the force of the state, set a tone that encourages people of good will to meet in the middle. When you were a community organizer in Chicago, you learned the art of waging a guerilla campaign against a far superior force. But you've graduated from that milieu and now help to set the agenda for that superior force. You might do well at this point to eschew the polarizing vernacular of political militancy and become the transcendent leader you were elected to be. You are likely to be far more effective, and history is likely to treat you far more kindly for it.--Leon Cooperman

If the government borrowed or printed a trillion dollars and gave the money to me, would there be any losers? If you don’t think there has been a wealth transfer, if you don’t think ordinary people have lost, please call your Congressperson and ask her to cut me a trillion dollar check. In some abstract sense, this policy of giving me money would push government debt higher. But that is so very vague a cost! I promise I’d do great things with a trillion dollars. My ideas are so much cooler than Goldman Sachs’, despite all the wholesome commercials they are running.--Steve Randy Waldman

JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
$34.90 (+$0.72) (+ 2.1%) The financial world was shaken today when CEO Jamie Dimon stated that the Occupy Wall Street movement had significantly eaten into the banking titan's profits, announced Chase would have to drastically reformulate its business plan, and then paused a beat before saying, just kidding, they made a record $17.4 billion last year.
--The Onion

Twenty-one months ago, we faced five critical problems: high taxes, runaway government spending, inflation, high interest rates, and unemployment. Getting to the roots of unemployment meant fighting inflation and high interest rates caused by runaway government spending and taxing, because we know that when inflation shoots up, it triggers a delayed-action rise in unemployment. Now inflation is being driven back down, and lower unemployment will follow.
So, we started by winning the first real tax cut for the American people in nearly two decades. Our program brings down income tax rates 25 percent. At the same time, we've been cutting costly, wasteful government regulations and the rate of increase in government spending. We've reduced the rate of government spending growth by nearly two-thirds. Inflation, which registered 12.4 percent in 1980, is down to just 5.1 percent so far this year.
Interest rates, which had climbed as high as 21\1/2\ percent before we took office, have this week fallen to 12 percent -- not low enough, but certainly heading in the right direction. Unemployment, always a lagging indicator in times of recession, has not yet stopped its upward drift.
But in 21 months, we've already brought tax rates down by a quarter, with the third installment coming next July, and brought down the rate of increase in government spending by nearly two-thirds. That's helped us to bring down the rate of inflation by more than half, and that's helped us to bring down interest rates by 40 percent.
So, on four out of five problems that faced us in 1980, we've made important progress. We haven't solved them all, but we're making headway.--Ronald Reagan, October, 1982

Reagan made good on lowering the unemployment rate, too.--Cav
Photo links here and here.

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