Carpe Diem

Quotation of the day: Thomas Sowell on government greed

“People who are forever ready to charge others with “greed” never apply that word to the government. But, if you think the government is never greedy, check out what the government does under the escheat laws and eminent domain.”

~Thomas Sowell

MP: I’d add “civil forfeiture laws” and the government’s ongoing assaults on private property as more examples of “government greed.”

Exhibit A: The Drug Enforcement Agency wants to use a $37 sale of weeds to seize a law-abiding couple’s $1.5 million retirement-investment office building in California.

18 thoughts on “Quotation of the day: Thomas Sowell on government greed

  1. “Government” is not a person, but those in goverment are, and they are the greedy ones. The more power you give to “government” the more abuse by those in goverment to enrich themselves and their kin.

  2. MP: I’d add “civil forfeiture laws” and the government’s ongoing assaults on private property as more examples of “government greed.”

    Exhibit A: The Drug Enforcement Agency wants to use a $37 sale of weeds to seize a law-abiding couple’s $1.5 million retirement-investment office building in California.

    An excellent posting Mark.

  3. “To be a masterful politician you have to have a lot of brass. It takes an incredible amount of brass for Bill Clinton, who was the biggest factor in creating the housing boom that led to the bust that brought down the whole economy, [to blame Republicans for that crisis]. It was during the Clinton administration that the federal government forced lenders to change their lending standards, which had been in place for decades and had made real estate one of the safest investments around, to bring those standards down in order that they could get the numbers that they wanted for low income, minority mortgage applicants. Attorney General Janet Reno, under Clinton, threatened lenders with legal action from the Justice Department if their numbers – in terms of minority groups and income levels of people who were approved – didn’t fit her preconceptions. The Housing and Urban Development programme, under Clinton, made law suits against lenders, charging them with racial discrimination based solely upon statistics. The government was forcing people to lower the lending standards that had existed for years, and [afterwards] they said, “Well, the problem was greed.” You don’t satisfy greed by lending to people who can’t pay you back.”Thomas Sowell

    • That is what all governments do; meddle in the economy and force people to do what they would not have chosen to do voluntarily. Which is why you need at most minimal government and at best, a voluntary society.

  4. “Politicians never accuse you of ‘greed’ for wanting other people’s money – only for wanting to keep your own money.” — Joseph Sobran

  5. I never understood why the idea of government greed is so controversial. All Public Choice theory is is an application of widely accepted and agreed-upon economic principles (the crude version: everyone wants to make a buck) and applying them to politics.

    There is no reason to think that just because someone is elected/appointed, they suddenly transcend above us mere morals and no longer care about their well-being or are no longer susceptible to sin. After all, CEOs are voted upon, yet they are still seen as “greedy.”

  6. I am sure there is no greed in the $1 trillion a year we spend on national “security.”

    Add up the budgets of Defense, VA Homeland Security and something called “Defense-Civilian.”

    You get $1 trillion.

    I am not even adding on interest on war debts or agency outlays financed by borrowing….

    Hey, no greed, then no need—for the $1 trillion that is….

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