Quote of the day: William Jennings Bryan

This is a quote from the populist American politician William Jennings Bryan, a Democrat famous at the beginning of the last century.

“There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been tht if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.”
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I am neither Republican nor Democrat, but this quote strikes me as very much a reflection of the ideals of the two American political parties one century later.

  1. Anonymous says

    The flaw in this is that it is not the purpose of government to MAKE anyone prosperous. It is only neccesary for government not to put too many obstacles in the way of it’s citizens and prosperity will follow.
    It is a fatal flaw to believe that government can make anyone prosperous other than those able to benefit from their contact with politicians and the largesse that flows from this contact.

  2. Edward Harrison says

    The Democrats are accused of trying to fix EVERYTHING with government and the Republicans are accused of doing NOTHING and letting people sink into the abyss.

    Certainly, I think there is a kernel of truth in both of these views and ideologues on both sides want it to be so.

    This is one reason why I am neither Democrat nor Republican. In the end, ideologues don’t get things done, pragmatists do. Real solutions require abandoning ideology, getting out of the ivory tower, rolling up one’s sleeves and getting things done.

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