Nobody who has ever experienced the reality of poverty could say “it’s not the money, it’s the message”. When your flat has been broken into, and you cannot afford a locksmith, it is the money. When you are two pence short of a tin of baked beans, and your child is hungry, it is the money. When you find yourself contemplating shoplifting to get nappies, it is the money. If Mr Cameron’s only practical advice to women living in poverty, the sole carers of their children, is “get married, and we’ll give you £150”, he reveals himself to be completely ignorant of their true situation.
JAMES MONROE FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 1817
“The Executive is charged officially in the Departments under it with the disbursement of the public money, and is responsible for the faithful application of it to the purposes for which it is raised. The Legislature is thewatchful guardian over the public purse. It is its duty to see that the disbursement has been honestly made. To meet the requisite responsibility every facility should be afforded to the Executive to enable it to bring the public agents intrusted with the public money strictly and promptly to account. Nothing should be presumed against them; but if, with the requisite facilities, the public money is suffered to lie long and uselessly in their hands, they will not be the only defaulters, nor will the demoralizing effect be confined to them. It will evince a relaxation and want of tone in the Administration which will be felt by the whole community.“
“Today’s corporate culture and CEOs increasingly encourage nearly any behavior that produces short-term results, supposedly satisfying shareholders and boosting the stock price in the process. This short-termism is the very root of the problem, causing the end of ethics as we know it. It is a mania and a mantra. Leaders focus on results now, without regards to the consequences and any lingering ethical qualms. CEOs ignore “how they got here” and, instead, focus on short-term performance and reward, concentrating solely on this quarter, not the next ten.”
–The End of Ethics and A Way Back: How To Fix A Fundamentally Broken Global Financial System by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, Jordan D. Mamorsky
GEORGE WASHINGTON, FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 1789
“When I was first honored with a call into the service of my country, then on the eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I contemplated my duty required that I should renounce every pecuniary compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed; and being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline as inapplicable to myself any share in the personal emoluments which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive department, and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed may during my continuance in it be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require.”
“We don’t give into our worries, cara,” she said. “That is for grand ladies, who can fancy themselves ill when their lover hasn’t written or the new dress is commonplace. We aren’t like that, self-indulgent. We do some job, like this, we do it well, we make the worries leave us alone.”
“I thought of my mother’s words on the worries of grand ladies. I was glad of the poverty I’d grown up in, glad of having to earn every dime I’d ever spent. You pay a high price for money, too high a price.”
How about representing the middle class and working families, for a change, rather than the wealthiest people. That is what democracy is about.
“The top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. That is not the foundation of a democratic society. That is the foundation for an oligarchic society. The rich get richer. The middle-class shrinks. Poverty increases. Apparently, good is not good enough yet for some of the richest people.”
“That is not apparently enough for our friends at the top who have a religious ferocity in terms of greed. They need more, more. It is similar to an addiction. Fifty million is not enough. They need $100 million. One hundred million is not enough; they need $1 billion. One billion is not enough. I am not quite sure how much they need. When will it stop?“
–The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class by Bernie Sanders
“At this point Bruce couldn’t afford to buy 8 million pounds of syrup, buthe intended to grow into his new basement. “I will be able to fill this cooler in about five years,” he said. “That is, if the bank will give me more gas.” That was how he saw himself, as an engine running on the gasoline of money.”
-The Sugar Season: A Year in the Life of Maple Syrup, and One Family’s Quest for the Sweetest Harvest by Douglas Whynott