Workers of America

Quotes of Note

The following quotes are reprinted from Working People magazine:

"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 superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

Abraham Lincoln

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt

"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps, both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

James Madison

"So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no they do not.

Milton Friedman

"Let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the better."

Michigan Governor John Engler

"The American city should be a collection of communities where every member has a right to belong. It should be a place where every man feels safe on his streets and in the house of his friends. It should be a place where each individual's dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect and affection of his neighbors. It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaction and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man. This is what man sought at the dawn of civilization. It is what we seek today."

President Lyndon B. Johnson

"In a political sense, there is one problem that currently underlies all of the others. That problem is making Government sufficiently responsive to the people. If we don't make government responsive to the people, we don't make it believable. And we must make government believable if we are to have a functioning democracy."

Representative Gerald R. Ford

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."

Attributed to Helen Keller

"Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings."

Helen Keller

"The rich have a microphone, the rest of us have a megaphone."

Senator Bill Bradley, speaking about the need for campaign finance reform.

"The future depends on what we do in the present."


"If we do not change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed."

Ancient Chinese proverb

"Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales. Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference."

Franklin D. Roosevelt

"We are all responsible for ensuring that children are raised in a nation that doesn't just talk about family values, but acts in ways that values families."

Hillary Clinton

"Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation...even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind."

Leonardo di Vinci

"Power should not be concentrated in the hands of so few, and powerlessness in the hands of so many."

Maggie Kuhn

"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value."

Thomas Paine

"Democracy's the worst form of government, except for all the others."

Winston Churchill

"One can live in the shadow of an idea without grasping it."

Elizabeth Bowen

"God, give me the serenity to accept things which cannot be changed; Give me the courage to change things which should be changed; And the wisdom to distinguish one from the other."

Rheinhold Niebuhr

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."

Ancient Chinese Proverb

"No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in thise country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level -- I mean the wages of a decent living."

Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is, search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

John Kenneth Galbraith

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance."

Derek Bok

"Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens -- and then everybody disagrees."

Boris Marshalov, a Russian observer after visiting the House of Representatives

"If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all."

Pearl S. Buck

"No man can be a good citizen unless he has a wage more than enough to cover the bare cost of living, and hours of labor short enough so that after his day's work is done he will have time and energy to bear his share in the management of the community."

Theodore Roosevelt

Last updated: November 9, 1997

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