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William Safire
1929 -

American syndicated columnist for the New York Times, awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1978, author of The New Language of Politics (1968, 1979) and other works


The lust to make money, the desire to get ahead, the shame of failure, the pride of achievement - this amalgam of motives, some of them ignoble, powers a system that produces more public good with personal freedom than any other. That personal freedom is the political soul of our body politic. It is what the profit system puts first and what socialism - the nonprofit system - puts second, well after material things.

Feb. 19, 1976 - from a column in the New York Times, quoted in The Quotable Conservative by Rod Evans and Irwin Berent
Whoever eschews risk shall forgo profit. The businessman who seeks loan guarantees or wage and price controls should be driven from his corporate tent with shouts of "Abomination!"

Feb. 19, 1976 - from a column in the New York Times, quoted in The Quotable Conservative by Rod Evans and Irwin Berent
Thou shalt not take the name of profits ... in vain. Before anybody denouces capitalism as the institutionalization of greed, he ought to consider with what other incentives - or coercion - it would be replaced.

Feb. 19, 1976 - from a column in the New York Times, quoted in The Quotable Conservative by Rod Evans and Irwin Berent
Knowing how things work is the basis for appreciation, and is thus a source of civilized delight.