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 Post subject: The economy
PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2002 6:44 pm 
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Just read this quotation in an interview with John Kenneth Galbraith, now 93, and thought it was timely: "Recessions catch what the auditors miss."


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2002 6:47 am 
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Nothing is more common than for Great Thieves to ride in Triumph, when the little ones are punish'd.
~Sir Roger l'Estrance, Aesop (1692).

"We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office."
~Aesop (attr.)

"The one who is punished is no longer the one who did the deed. He is always the scapegoat."
~Friedrich Nietzsche

"The intelligence suffers today automatically in consequence of the attack on all authority, advantage, or privilege. These things are not done away with, it is needless to say, but numerous scapegoats are made of the less politically powerful, to satisfy the egalitarian rage awakened."
~Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) (British author, painter), in The Politics of the Intellect

Stern fate and time
Will have their victims; and the best die first,
Leaving the bad still strong, though past their prime,
To curse the hopeless world they ever curs'd
Vaunting vile deeds, and vainest of the worst.
~ EBENEZER ELLIOTT (1741-1849)
English "The Corn Law Rhymer" poet
From The Village Patriarch (bk. IV, pt. IV)

People have so manipulated the concept of freedom that it finally boils down to the right of the stronger and richer to take from the weaker and poorer whatever they still have.
-- Theodor Adorno

An apt and true reply was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride. "What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.
-- St. Augustine, from City of Gold

The rich man is wise in his own eyes, but the poor man who has understnding sees through him.
-- Bible, Proverbs 28:11

There are some men, who, living with the one object of enriching themselves, no matter by what means, and being perfectly conscious of the baseness and rascality of the means which they will use every day towards this end, affect nevertheless -- even to themselves -- a high tone of moral rectitude, and shake their heads and sigh over the depravity of the world.
-- Charles Dickens, from Nicholas Nicholby


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 3:18 pm 
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Trivial addition - when asked who was the greatest living American, for years I used to reply ... "John Kenneth Galbraith", ... until someone told me he was a Canadian!

Seriously though, in your view, who are, or were, the greatest Americans of this century? From a standpoint of almost total ignorance I begin and end with FDR.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 4:36 pm 
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Do you mean of the last century? :D

I certainly agree with FDR, because from what my father tells me of the Great Depression and the hopelessness and desperation people experienced for so long, FDR truly saved the country.

However, I wonder if the "greatest" Americans, or people, of any century don't have press agents. The people who have inspired me the most are people I've known who never had any fame, but who knew how to be kind, selfless, wonderful, brave--and above all, knew how to listen. Also, "great" is a matter of perspective. Examples: Che Guevera, Malcolm X, Angela Davis.

What do you think?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 10:47 pm 
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Was Che Guevera an American?

I think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have to be at, or very near, the top of the list.
http://spot.colorado.edu/~chernus/Nonvi ... k/King.htm

A Cincinnati high school class was asked to name the greatest American of all time; George Washington finished second to Joe DiMaggio.

Check out:
The Roosevelt Myth by Vardis Fisher
The Idaho Statesman, April 22, 1945
http://library.boisestate.edu/special/f ... mber10.htm

"Woodrow Wilson stands to-day the greatest American of his generation.
~Democratic Party Platform of 1916
http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/docs/pla ... /D1916.htm

"...as the greatest American of the 20th century said, "This is a great country but you can't live in it for nothing." So said Will Rogers.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2002 3:41 am 
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FDR didn't just save America - a few years later he saved Western Civilisation!

You are absolutely right - many of my friends are far greater in stature than any public figure I could name, but .....

if we look beyond politicians to artists, composers, musicians, or even academics, and think in terms of "who did the greatest good for the greatest number" (regardless of motivation), then I'm still struggling to identify the "great" of the last century (20th, that is).

In the UK is it easy to identify the founding fathers of the "Welfare State" in 1946 (when the word "welfare" did NOT carry its present perjoraive connotations!), along with the Beatles, Mary Quant, Eric Clapton et al, but who are their counterparts in the States?

P.S. this is not a "bash the Yanks" diatribe, it is a genuine enquiry ...


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