Herb Stein's Unfamiliar Quotations

May 16 1997 3:30 AM

Herb Stein's Unfamiliar Quotations

On money, madness, and making mistakes.

(Continued from Page 4)

These Eliot lines, not in Bartlett's, are an advance comment on the Information Age of which we are now so proud.

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Don't worry, you'll do it again!

--Mother-in-law, in conversation many times

In the Jewish tradition, this sardonic remark is intended to comfort a person who is grieving over having made a serious mistake.

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Thus, prediction of whether or not the capitalist order will survive is, in part, a matter of terminology.

--Joseph Shumpeter, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1945

Capitalism survived its crisis and went on to great successes. But the capitalism that survived and succeeded was not the capitalism of 1929.

--Herbert Stein, The Triumph of the Adaptive Society, 1989

This joint entry is a reminder that terms like "capitalism," "socialism," "liberalism," "conservatism," "welfare state," and "free market" have to be defined if they are to be used in intelligent discussion. The required definitions are missing most of the time.

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We [the American colonists fighting in the War of Independence] have shed our blood in the glorious cause in which we are engaged; we are ready to shed the last drop in its defense. Nothing is above our courage, except only (with shame I speak it) the courage to TAX ourselves.

--James Madison, 1782