Talk:Harry Browne

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  • A little government involvement is just as dangerous as a lot — because the first leads inevitably to the second.
  • Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many governments in southern states forced people to segregate by race. Civil rights advocates fought to repeal these state laws, but failed. So they appealed to the federal government, which responded with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But this federal law didn't simply repeal state laws compelling segregation. It also prohibited voluntary segregation. What had been mandatory became forbidden. Neither before nor after the Civil Rights Act were people free to make their own decisions about who they associated with.
  • But what could be more important than your happiness? It's said that an authoritarian moral code is necessary to protect society. But who is society? Isn't it just a large group of people, all of whom have differing ideas concerning how one should live? And if an individual is required to give up his own happiness, of what value is society to him?
  • Democratic politicians want to solve the crisis of poor education by taking more of your money and using it to reduce classroom sizes in the government schools. Republican politicians want to solve the crisis by taking more of your money to provide vouchers to a handful of the poorest students in each area, paying for a part of the tuition expense at private schools. But before long this 'reform' would make those private schools indistinguishable from the government schools ... Vouchers are an excellent way for the government to increase control over private schools.
  • Everything you want in life has a price connected to it. There's a price to pay if you want to make things better, a price to pay just for leaving things as they are, a price for everything.
  • For those looking for security, be forewarned that there's nothing more insecure than a political promise.
  • From the cranberry cancer scare of the 1950s to the Alar-in-apples hysteria of the 1980s, from the "new ice age" of the 1960s to the "global warming" of the 1990s, environmental alarms almost always turn out to be false. Few non-political scientists fear ozone loss, global warming, or acid rain. These are just issues that some people hope to use to reorder the lives of the rest of us.
  • Given the government's record with the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs, we can assume that a War on Abortion would lead within five years to men having abortions.
  • Government seems to operate on the principle that if even one individual is incapable of using his freedom competently, no one can be allowed to be free.
  • I want a government small enough to fit inside the Constitution.
  • Immigrants used to come to America seeking freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom from government. Now they come looking for free health care, free education, and a free lunch.
  • Insurance is meant for extraordinary circumstances. You don't use car insurance to pay for oil changes or gasoline; you have it as protection in case you have a terrible accident or your car is stolen. You don't use homeowners' insurance to pay your electricity and water bills; you have it as protection in case a fire or other catastrophic event produces a large expense. Obviously, any insurance policy that promises to cover every small, ordinary expense is going to be much more expensive than one that covers only extraordinary expenses.
  • It's wrong for someone to confiscate your money, give it to someone else, and call that "compassion."
  • Left-wing politicians take away your liberty in the name of children and of fighting poverty, while right-wing politicians do it in the name of family values and fighting drugs. Either way, government gets bigger and you become less free.
  • [Medicare] was created in 1965 to make it easier for the elderly to get health care. But by reducing the patient's out-of-pocket costs, it increased the demand for doctors and hospitals. It also reduced the supply of those services by requiring doctors and other medical personnel to use their time and attention handling paperwork and complying with regulations -- and looking for ways to circumvent these things. So the price of medical care rose sharply as the demand soared and the supply diminished. As a result, the elderly now pay from their own pockets over twice as much for health care (after adjusting for inflation) than they did before Medicare began. Many older people now find it harder to get adequate medical service. Naturally, the politicians point to the higher costs and shortages as proof that the elderly would be lost without Medicare -- and that government should be even more deeply involved. When Medicare was set up in 1965, the politicians projected its cost in 1990 to be $3 billion -- which is equivalent to $12 billion when adjusted for inflation to 1990 dollars. The actual cost in 1990 was $98 billion -- eight times as much.
  • Not only can no one predict the future, we don't understand the present — and there isn't even any certainty about the past.
  • Once upon a time, government budgets were balanced, our money was sound, the streets were safe, and taxes imposed by all levels of government took less than 10% of our income.
  • Republicans campaign like Libertarians and govern like Democrats.
  • Security... it's simply the recognition that changes will take place and the knowledge that you're willing to deal with whatever happens.
  • So what is government?... Very simply, it is an agency of coercion. Of course, there are other agencies of coercion -- such as the Mafia. So to be more precise, government is the agency of coercion that has flags in front of its offices.
  • [Social Security is] a Ponzi scheme -- named after Charles Ponzi, who set up a similar plan in Boston in 1920. He promised to pay investors 50% profit on their money in just 45 days. Gullible people poured money into his plan. But he couldn't possibly earn enough on the money to equal the rate of return he promised. So when someone wanted to withdraw his principal and interest, Ponzi simply paid him from money received from new investors. Eventually he couldn't meet the demands for repayment, and his scheme collapsed. He ended up in jail. But another such scheme was started in 1935, and this one is still going. It's called Social Security. Social Security differs from a Ponzi scheme in only two ways: 1. The politicians won't arrest themselves. 2. The politicians can change the rules whenever necessary to keep the scheme going.
  • Social Security is inherently unsound for the simple reason that it's a political program run by politicians for political purposes...Social Security operates on a very simple principle: the politicians take your money from you and squander it.
  • The American heritage was one of individual liberty, personal responsibility and freedom from government … Unfortunately … that heritage has been lost. Americans no longer have the freedom to direct their own lives … Today, it is the government that is free — free to do whatever it wants. There is no subject, no issue, no matter … that is not subject to legislation.
  • The best thing we can do for family values is to repeal the income tax. Then families will have the resources they need to implement their own values -- and not those of the politicians. With the income tax gone, families will no longer be forced to have two breadwinners by necessity. Children will be raised better, family values will predominate, and crime will diminish. If your local school indoctrinates your child with values that are alien to you, you'll have the money to buy a private education.
  • The free market punishes irresponsibility. Government rewards it.
  • The income tax has destroyed the concept of financial privacy. It has demolished the idea that a man's home is his castle. It has provided unlimited funding for politicians to wreck lives and property. It has forced one-earner families to become two-earner households -- leading to decreased parental supervision of children; loss of family values; and increased crime, promiscuity and drug use. So long as the government has the power to invade our lives, rummage through our records, and take what it wants from our income, we will have only as much freedom and take-home pay as the politicians condescend to let us have.
  • The police can't stop an intruder, mugger, or stalker from hurting you. They can pursue him only after he has hurt or killed you. Protecting yourself from harm is your responsibility, and you are far less likely to be hurt in a neighborhood of gun-owners than in one of disarmed citizens — even if you don't own a gun yourself.
  • There already are 20,000 federal gun laws and regulations on the books. If those laws haven't made America safe by now, why should we think 20,001 laws will suffice?
  • There are no violent gangs fighting over aspirin territories. There are no violent gangs fighting over whisky territories or computer territories or anything else that's legal. There are only criminal gangs fighting over territories covering drugs, gambling, prostitution, and other victimless crimes. Making a non-violent activity a crime creates a black market, which attracts criminals and gangs, which turns what was once a relatively harmless activity affecting a small group of people into a widespread epidemic of drug use and gang warfare.
  • We may not always recognize it, but government plays a bigger role in our lives than any other single person or institution. We spend nearly half of our lives working to pay for it. Children spend more time in government schools than they do with their parents. Birth, death, marriage, every area of our lives feels the influence of government.
  • Whatever the issue, let freedom offer us a hundred choices, instead of having government force one answer on everyone.
  • When a Republican politician says he’s in favor of the 2nd Amendment, it means he won’t compromise on gun control until the last possible minute.
  • When we turn to the government to stop someone from ruining his life with drugs, we convert a personal tragedy into a national disaster.
  • When you know that you're capable of dealing with whatever comes, you have the only security the world has to offer.
  • Whenever a dictator uses Stalin's quote of "breaking eggs to make an omelette", they are demanding "your eggs" be sacrificed and broken, not theirs, and the "omelette" never materializes.
  • You are where you are today because you have chosen to be there
  • You can't give the government the power to do good without also giving it the power to do bad — in fact, to do anything it wants.
  • You don't have to buy from anyone. You don't have to work at any particular job. You don't have to participate in any given relationship. You can choose
  • You don't need an explanation for everything, Recognize that there are such things as miracles -- events for which there are no ready explanations. Later knowledge may explain those events quite easily.