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I. Historic Quotables

A collection of quotes from America’s Founding Fathers, selected economists and a few notable contemporary leaders.


All the perplexities confusion and distress in America arise not from defects of the Constitution, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.
     -John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson in l787

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
     -Thomas Jefferson

Of all the contrivances devised for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes him with paper money.
     -Daniel Webster

The colonies would have gladly born the little tax on tea, and other matters, had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money.
     -Benjamin Franklin

This is a favorable moment to shut and bar the door against paper money. The mischief of the various experiments which have been made are now fresh in the public mind and have excited the disgust of all the respectable parts of America. -Oliver Ellsworth, a delegate from Connecticut, who later became this nation's third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a money aristocracy that has set the government at defiance.
     -Thomas Jefferson, at the Constitutional Convention (1787)

It's apparent from the whole context of the Constitution as well as the history of the times which gave birth to it, that it was the purpose of the Convention to establish a currency consisting of the precious metals. These were adopted by a permanent rule excluding the use of a perishable medium of exchange, such as of certain agricultural commodities recognized by the statutes of some States as tender for debts, or the still more pernicious expedient of paper currency.
     -President Andrew Jackson, 8th Annual Message to Congress (December 5, 1836)

If what is used as a Medium of exchange is fluctuating in its Value it is no better than unjust Weights and measures, both which are condemned by the laws of GOD and Man, and therefore the longest and most universal Custom could never make the Use of such a Medium either lawful or reasonable.
     -Roger Sherman, a delegate from Connecticut and author of the gold and silver coin provision of the Constitution, wrote a scathing condemnation of paper money entitled "A Caveat (caveat means warning) Against Injustice"


What is robbing a bank compared with founding a bank?
     -Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera

Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property. But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder. Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain - and since labor is pain in itself - it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it. -Frederick Bastiat, Economist, Statesman, Give me control over a nation's currency and I care not who makes its laws.
     -Baron M.A. Rothschild

Whoever controls the money in any country is master of all its legislation and commerce.
     -President James Garfield

Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
     -Karl Marx, 5th Plank of the Communist Manifesto (1848)

We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. Some people think the Federal Reserve Banks are U.S. government institutions. They are not government institutions. They are private credit monopolies; domestic swindlers, rich and predatory money lenders which prey up on the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers. The Federal Reserve Banks are the agents of the foreign central banks. The truth is the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the Government of the United States by the arrogant credit monopoly which operates the Federal Reserve Board.
     -75th Congressional Record 12595-12603

It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
     -Henry Ford


Silver and gold are not the only coin; virtue too passes current all over the world.

Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.
     -Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize winning economist

Never ask of money spent - Where the spender thinks it went. Nobody was ever meant - To remember or invent -What he did with every cent.
     -Robert Frost

The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
     -H. L. Mencken, Writer, editor, social critic

Honesty is the best policy, when there is money in it.
     -Mark Twain

Money often costs too much.
     -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today you can go to a gas station and find the cash register open and the toilets locked. They must think toilet paper is worth more than money.
     -Joey Bishop, Comedian

Money is like a sixth sense, and you can't make use of the other five without it.
     -W. Somerset Maugham, Playwright, Of Human Bondage (1915)

Money does all things for reward. Some are pious and honest as long as they thrive upon it, but if the devil himself gives better wages, they soon change their party.
     -Seneca, (4B.C.-65A.D.) Playwright, Orator, Philosopher

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
     -Benjamin Franklin

Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.
     -Oliver Wendell Holmes, (1809-1894) American writer, teacher

People who never do more than they get paid for, never get paid for anything more than they do.
     -Kemmons Wilson, Founder, Holiday Inns

Those who have some means think that the most important thing in life is love, the poor know that it is money.
     -Gerald Brenan, English writer

A frustrated manager complained that every time he provided training, the now highly skilled employee was snatched up by a competitor: The only thing worse than training people and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.
     -Zig Ziglar, Author, Orator

If you can actually count your money you are not really a rich man.
     -J. Paul Getty, Oil Tycoon

Pennies do not come from heaven, they need to be earned here on earth.
     -Margaret Thatcher

Money. You can be young without it, but you can't be old without it.
     -Tennessee Williams

Gold, like the sun, which melts wax and hardens clay, expands great souls and contracts bad hearts.
     -Antoine de Rivaroli (1753-1801)

Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world - no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.
     -Woodrow Wilson, three years after signing the Federal Reserve Act into law.

Money is a good servant but a poor master.
     -Dominique Bouhours, Author, French Jesuit (1632-1702)

If money could talk, it would say Good-bye.

The Treasury prints "In God We Trust" on our currency. God is indeed trustworthy, but trusting an intrinsically worthless currency takes an awful lot more than faith.
     -Peter Kershaw, Economic Solutions

A Federal Reserve Note [is] merely an IOU. Here's how it works. When the politicians want more money, they dispatch a request to the Federal Reserve for whatever sum they desire. The Bureau of Printing and Engraving then prints up bonds indenturing taxpayers to redeem their debts. The bonds are then 'sold' to the Federal Reserve. But not this unusual twist-the bonds are paid for with a check backed by nothing! It is just as if you were to look into your account and see a balance of $412 and then, hearing that government bonds were for sale, write a draft for $1 billion. Of course, if you did that, you would go to jail. The bankers do not. In effect, they print the money that enables their check to clear.
     -James Dale Davidson, Director, National Taxpayer's Union

The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debts.
     -Henry Ford

The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but is the Government's greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest.
     -President Abraham Lincoln

About all a Federal Reserve note can legally do is wipe out one debt and replace it with itself, another debt; a note that promises nothing. If anything has been paid, the payment occurs only in the minds of the parties-in the ideaspere-not the real world.
     -Tupper Saucy, The Miracle on Main Street

A great fortune is a great slavery.

Inflation is a method of taxation which the government uses to secure the command over real resources; resources just as real as those obtained by ordinary taxation. What is raised by printing notes is just as much taken from the public, as is an income tax. A government can live by this means, when it can live by no other. It is the form of taxation that the public finds hardest to evade, and even the weakest government can enforce it when it can enforce no other. By a continuous process of inflation, government can confiscate secretly and unobserved an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method, they not only confiscate, they confiscate arbitrarily, and while the confiscation impoverishes many, it enriches some. Lenin was certainly right, 'there is no surer way of overturning a society, than to debauch the currency.' The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does o in such a manner than only one man in a million is able to diagnose it.
     -John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of Peace (credited for the birth of modern economics).

The Bureau prints approximately sixteen million notes each day. The Bureau has the power to create money and almost any amount of it. The only limiting factors are the speed of the presses, and the public's willingness to accept it.
     -Government Securities, U.S. Bureau of Engraving

Without the confidence factor, many believe a paper money system will eventually collapse. Present experience indicates the system can operate without a gold guarantee however, and that they only confidence required is a firm conviction that money will be accepted in payment for goods and services.
     -Gold, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Government is the only agency that can take a valuable commodity like paper, slap some ink on it, and make it totally worthless.
     -Ludwig von Mises, Austrian Economist

A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children.
     -Proverbs 13:22

Strictly speaking, the 'government' of the United States (or of any State or locality) is a kind of 'legal fiction.' It is not the individuals elected or appointed to office, the physical buildings they occupy, or the actions they take per se. Rather, the 'government,' rightly understood, is the set of actions duly elected or appointed officials take that are consistent with the Constitution. If an action is inconsistent with the Constitution, it is unlawful and non-governmental, by definition. Such as unconstitutional action may be defined as usurpation or tyranny, but never as a truly governmental act. Simply put, our government has no authority to act outside of or against the Constitution; and when public officials do so, they are not acting as agents of government, but as lawbreakers or outlaws. [I]n the most fundamental sense, the United States need no 'reform' law, or 'restoration' law, to return to sound money. For the necessary law already exists, in the Constitution itself. What stands in the way of monetary freedom… is not law, but lawlessness; not government, but usurpation and tyranny.
     -Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Director, National Alliance for Constitutional Money

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man; brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
     -Mark Twain


A miser grows rich by seeming poor; an extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich.
     -William Shenstone, (1714-1763) Author, Poet

Whatever you have, spend less.
     -Samuel Johnson, 18th Century English Author (most quoted next to Shakespeare)

I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest to make money they don't want to buy things they don't need to impress people they dislike.
     -Emile Henry Gauvreay

A small debt produces a debtor; a large one, an enemy.
     -Publius Syrus (42 B.C.)

People come to poverty in two ways: accumulating debts and paying them off.
     -Jewish Proverb

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
     -Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

Every man is the architect of his own fortune.
     -Appius Claudius Caecus, 'Speech to Caesar on the State'

Money was made, not to command our will, But all our lawful pleasures to fulfill. Shame and woe to us, if we our wealth obey; The horse doth with the horseman away.
     -Abraham Cowley, 17th Century English Writer

If you'd know the value of money, go and borrow some.
     -Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
     -Bob Hope, Life in the Crystal Palace

Money is a handmaiden, if thou knowest how to use it; a mistress, if thou knowest not.
     -Horace, (65 B.C. -8 B.C.) Poet, Roman Philosopher

No man's credit is as good as his money.
     -Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937)

What makes all doctrines plain and clear? About two hundred pounds a year. And that which was proved true before, prove false again? Two hundred more.
     -Samuel Johnson

When is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.

One man's wage increase is another man's price increase.
     -Harold Wilson (1916-1995) British Statesman

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
     -Abraham Lincoln

When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?'
     -Don Marquis

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
     -P.J. O'Rourke

A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
     -Ecclesiastes 10:19

The love of money is the root of all evil.
     -I Timothy 6:10

Human relationships transcend currencies.
     -Dennis Peacocke, Strategist

A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.
     -Edgar Watson Howe

Money is a singular thing. It ranks with love as man's greatest source of joy. And with death as his greatest source of anxiety.
     -John Kenneth Galbraith, The Age of Uncertainty

Money couldn't buy friends but you got a better class of enemy.
     -Spike Milligan, Puckoon

Today we have an occult money system, no doubt about it.
     -R.E. McMaster Jr., Economist, The Reaper

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting.
     -Billy Rose, in New York Post

There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.
     -Adlai E. Stevenson, The Stevenson Wit

There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it, and when he can.
     -Mark Twain, Following the Equator


A study of economics usually reveals that the best time to buy anything is last year.
     -Marty Allen

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose your own.
     -Harry S. Truman

The individual serves the industrial system not by supplying it with savings and the resulting capital; he serves it by consuming its products.
     -John Kenneth Galbraith, The New Industrial State

Inflation is like sin; every government denounces it and every government practices it.
     -Frederick Leith-Ross, The Observer

An economist is a man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible.
     -Alfred A. Knopf

Debt is the fatal disease of all republics, the first thing and the mightiest to undermine governments and corrupt the people.
     -Phillips, Wendell

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.
     -John Kenneth Galbraith

When the President signs this act, the invisible government by the money power will be legalized.
     -Con. Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., father of the famed aviator

At one time bankers were merely middlemen. They made a profit by accepting gold and coins brought to them for safekeeping and lending them to borrowers. But they soon found that the receipts they issued to depositors were being used as a means of payment. These receipts were acceptable as money since whoever held them could go to the banker and exchange them for metallic money.
     -Modern Money Mechanics, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, page 4.

"The definition of the word 'dollar' has undergone such a transformation to hide the fact that it is not money, but a unit of measurement for gold and silver coin. Logically, if there are no gold and silver coins, there are no dollars of anything. Dollars cannot be money any more than quarts can be milk. A unit of measurement cannot replace or become the "thing" for which it is a measure.

However, in the mind of the public, this is exactly what has happened. People have been led to believe that a dollar is both money and a measure of it. This is what George Orwell called "double-think," where the mind is infiltrated with conflicting concepts. A dollar unit of paper money that is not one hundred percent redeemable in gold or silver coin is a dollar unit of inflation, which is a dollar unit of credit, which is a dollar unit of NOTHING.

The sole function of paper money that is not one-hundred percent redeemable in gold or silver coin is to get things without paying for them. Those who issue and control paper money as credit get everything for nothing. How the U.S. Government borrows money from the Federal Reserve is not much different from the Abbott and Costello comedy sketch in their movie "Buck Privates" where Bud Abbott wants to borrow fifty dollars from Lou Costello.

Bud: Do me a favor. Loan me fifty dollars.
Lou: I can't lend you fifty dollars.
Bud: Yes, you can.
Lou: No, I can't. All I got is forty dollars.
Bud: All right. Give me the forty dollars and you owe me ten.
Lou: O.K. I owe you ten.
Bud: That's right.
Lou: How come I owe you ten?
Bud: What did I ask you for?
Lou: Fifty.
Bud: And how much did you give me?
Lou: Forty.
Bud: So you owe me ten dollars.
Lou: That's right. Well, you owe me forty.
Bud: Now, don't change the subject.
Lou: I'm not changing the subject. You're trying to change my finances. Come on now. Give me my forty dollars.
Bud: All right. There's your forty dollars. Give me the ten dollars you owe me.
Lou: I'm paying you on account.
Bud: On account?
Lou: On account I don't know how I owe it to you.
Bud: That's the way you feel about it. It's the last time I'll ever ask you for the loan of fifty dollars.
Lou: Wait a minute, Smitty. How can I loan you fifty dollars now?
All I have is thirty.
Bud: Well, give me the thirty, and you owe me twenty.
Lou: O.K., this is getting worse all the time. First, I owe him ten; now I owe him twenty.
Bud: Well, why do you run yourself into debt?
Lou: I'm not running in. You're pushing me. Bud: I can't help it if you can't handle your finances. I do all right with my money. Lou: And you're doing all right with mine too. Bud: Now, wait a minute. I ask you for the loan of fifty dollars and you gave me thirty. So you owe me twenty dollars. Twenty and thirty is fifty.
Lou: No, no, no...

     -Steven Jacobson, Journalist,Wake Up America

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