“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Its been said history repeats itself. Another line about history is, we’re doomed to repeat if we fail to learn from it. I think it’s a safe bet we haven’t learned, yet…
“It [the press] has scoffed at religion till it has made scoffing popular. It has defended official criminals, on party pretexts, until it has created a United States Senate whose members are incapable of determining what crime against law and the dignity of their own body is—they are so morally blind—and it has made light of dishonesty till we have as a result a Congress which contracts to work for a certain sum and then deliberately steals additional wages out of the public pocket and is pained and surprised that anybody should worry about a little thing like that.”
– “License of the Press“, an address by Mark Twain before the Monday Evening Club, Hartford (1873).
“The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.”
– William Faulkner
“America is no longer able to recognize its problems much less make any serious attempts to solve them.”
“Blessed with a form of government that requires universal liberty of thought and expression, blessed with a social and economic system built on that same foundation, the American people have created the danger they fear by denying to themselves the liberties they cherish.”
– First amendment scholar, Irving Brant
You can make statistics do things beyond reason and support a fallacy. Case in point; Universal health care. This seems to be the number one item on the agenda of President Obama. He has concentrated on this and class envy. It’s as if he is trying to operate the government from a text-book theory regardless of the consequences. Technocrats often seem to align themselves with the idea their’s is the better way and all of the wheels need to roll in their direction.
He hasn’t been the first with this governing concept and I’m quite sure he won’t be the last. President Woodrow Wilson operated much the same way while in office. Leading the country in entering World War I to his idea of the League of Nations, all set in motion consequences which he never envisioned. As a result Germany was beleaguered in debt and left to do what they wanted, to rebuild and re-arm.
Perhaps the best resource for explaining this further is American economist — Thomas Sowell. “Economic equality? That was tried in the 19th century, in communities set up by Robert Owen, the man who coined the term “socialism.” Those communities all collapsed.“
“It was tried even earlier, in 18th century Georgia, when that was a British colony. People in Georgia ended up fleeing to other colonies, as many other people would vote with their feet in the 20th century, by fleeing many other societies around the world that were established in the name of economic equality.“
“Then there is the current hysteria which claims that people in the famous “top one percent” have incomes that are rising sharply and absorbing a wholly disproportionate share of all the income in the country.“
“But check out a Treasury Department study titled “Income Mobility in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005.” It uses income tax data, showing that people who were in the top one percent in 1996 had their incomes fall — repeat, fall — by 26 percent by 2005.“
“What about the other studies that seem to say the opposite? Those are studies of income brackets, not studies of the flesh-and-blood human beings who are moving from one bracket to another over time. More than half the people who were in the top one percent in 1996 were no longer there in 2005.“
If there’s truth in any of the above quotes, then why are we so ignorant of the past? If we take the time and look for ourselves and explore the depth of historical reference without filtering, maybe we can avoid making the same mistakes?
- Milton Friedman – Minimum Wage
- Milton Friedman – Redistribution of Wealth
- Milton Friedman – Why soaking the rich won’t work
- Iranian official: ‘We did not agree to dismantle anything’
I give title credit to: “This is like deja vu all over again.” — Yogi Berra