Quotations about   poor

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



Negroes are not the only poor in the nation. There are nearly twice as many white poor as Negro, and therefore the struggle against poverty is not involved solely with color or racial discrimination but with elementary economic justice.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Speech to Shop Stewards, Local 815, Teamsters and the Allied Trades Council, New York City (2 May 1967)
    (Source)
Added on 31-May-19 | Last updated 31-May-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours its own kind; for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich upon the poor.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Col. Edward Carrington (16 Jan 1787)
Added on 26-Oct-18 | Last updated 26-Oct-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Jefferson, Thomas

Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind then that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) American union leader, activist, socialist, politician
Statement to the Court (18 Sep 1918)
    (Source)

On being convicted of Sedition. Often paraphrased: "As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
Added on 25-May-18 | Last updated 25-May-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Debs, Eugene V.

Good government is known from bad government by this infallible test: that under the former the labouring people are well fed and well clothed, and under the latter, they are badly fed and badly clothed.

William Cobbett (1763-1835) English politician, agriculturist, journalist, pamphleteer
Cobbett’s Political Register, Vol. 46 (31 May 1823)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Oct-17 | Last updated 17-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Cobbett, William

The murmuring poor, who will not fast in peace.

George Crabbe (1754-1832) English poet, writer, surgeon, clergyman
“The Newspaper,” l. 158 (1785)
    (Source)
Added on 10-Oct-17 | Last updated 10-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Crabbe, George

Where Plenty smiles — alas! she smiles for few,
And those who taste not, yet behold her store,
Are as the slaves that dig the golden ore,
The wealth around them makes them doubly poor.

George Crabbe (1754-1832) English poet, writer, surgeon, clergyman
The Village, Book 1, line 136 (1783)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Oct-17 | Last updated 2-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Crabbe, George

The King in a carriage may ride,
And the Beggar may crawl at his side;
But in the general race,
They are traveling all the same pace.

Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883) English writer, poet, translator
“Chronomoros,” l. 57ff, Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal (5 Dec 1840)
    (Source)
Added on 18-Sep-17 | Last updated 18-Sep-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by FitzGerald, Edward

The poverty of goods is easily cured; the poverty of the soul is irreparable.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
Essays, Book 3, ch. 10 “Of Managing the Will” (1588) [tr. Cotton (1877)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "Poverty of possessions may easily be cured, but poverty of soul never."
Added on 1-Aug-17 | Last updated 1-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Montaigne, Michel de

“I hope that you did not give him anything, Mr Sanderson!”

“Of course I did, ma’am.”

“But he would only spend it on drink! You know what the working classes are!”

“Indeed, ma’am, and why should he not spend it on drink? Would you deprive the poor, whose lives are bad and miserable and comfortless enough, of the solace of a little relief from grinding poverty? A sordid, sodden relief perhaps, but would you be so heartless as to deny the poor even that pleasure in which all of us indulge at your generous expense?”

Kerry Greenwood (b. 1954) Australian author and lawyer
Cocaine Blues (1989)
    (Source)
Added on 25-May-17 | Last updated 25-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Greenwood, Kerry

What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power. This same tendency, operating with increasing force, is observable in our civilization to-day, showing itself in every progressive community, and with greater intensity the more progressive the community. Wages and interest tend constantly to fall, rent to rise, the rich to become very much richer, the poor to become more helpless and hopeless, and the middle class to be swept away.

Henry George (1839-1897) American economist
Progress and Poverty, “How Modern Civilization May Decline” (1879)
Added on 22-Mar-17 | Last updated 22-Mar-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by George, Henry

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

William J. H. Boetcker (1873-1962) German-American religious leader, author, public speaker [William John Henry Boetcker]
“The Industrial Decalogue” (1916)

Often referred to as "The Ten Cannots," and also often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln.
Added on 14-Mar-17 | Last updated 14-Mar-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Boetcker, William J. H.

The rich rob the poor, and the poor rob each other.

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) American abolitionist, women's rights activist [b. Isabella Baumfree]
(Attributed)

Variations: "Truly, here the rich rob the poor and the poor rob each other," "Our rich rob the poor, and the poor rob each other."
Added on 24-Feb-17 | Last updated 24-Feb-17
Link to this post | 3 comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Truth, Sojourner

Yet somehow our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.

Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) American writer
My Several Worlds (1954)
Added on 6-Feb-17 | Last updated 6-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Buck, Pearl S.

By fixing men’s minds, not upon the discharge of social obligations, which restricts their energy, because it defines the goal to which it should be directed, but upon the exercise of the right to pursue their own self-interest, it offers unlimited scope for the acquisition of riches, and therefore gives free play to one of the most powerful of human instincts. To the strong it promises unfettered freedom for the exercise of their strength; to the weak the hope that they too one day may be strong. Before the eyes of both it suspends a golden prize, which not all can attain, but for which each may strive, the enchanting vision of infinite expansion. It assures men that there are no ends other than their ends, no law other than their desires, no limit other than that which they think advisable. Thus it makes the individual the center of his own universe, and dissolves moral principles into a choice of expediences.

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) English writer, economist, historian, social critic [Richard Henry Tawney]
The Acquisitive Century, ch. 3 “The Acquisitive Society” (1920)
    (Source)
Added on 26-Jan-17 | Last updated 26-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Tawney, R. H.

Steal money, you’re sent to prison; steal a country, you’re made a king.

Other Authors and Sources
Japanese proverb
Added on 20-Jan-17 | Last updated 20-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by ~Other

Economic privation proceeds by easy stages, and so long as men suffer it patiently the outside world cares little.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) English economist
The Economic Consequences of the Peace, ch. 6 (1919)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Jan-17 | Last updated 17-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Keynes, John Maynard

When the rich rob the poor it’s called business. When the poor fight back it’s called violence.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
(Spurious)

Frequently, but incorrectly attributed to Twain, no earlier than 2015. It appears to have been an anonymous phrase coined in the Occupy Movement in 2011. See here for more information.
Added on 16-Jan-17 | Last updated 16-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Twain, Mark

[The] “robbing of the poor because he is poor,” is especially the mercantile form of theft, consisting in taking advantage of a man’s necessities in order to obtain his labor or property at a reduced price. The ordinary highwayman’s opposite form of robbery — of the rich, because he is rich — does not appear to occur so often to the old merchant’s mind; probably because, being less profitable and more dangerous than the robbery of the poor, it is rarely practice by persons of discretion.

John Ruskin (1819-1900) English art critic, painter, writer, social thinker
Unto This Last, ch. 3 (1800)
Added on 30-Dec-16 | Last updated 30-Dec-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Ruskin, John

In Christmas feasting pray take care;
Let not your table be a Snare;
But with the Poor God’s Bounty share.

franklin-christmas-feasting-wist_info-quote

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Poor Richard Improved (1748)
Added on 23-Dec-16 | Last updated 23-Dec-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Franklin, Benjamin

Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially of the lower class of people, are so extremely wise and useful, that, to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
“Thoughts on Government” (Apr 1776)
    (Source)
Added on 24-Aug-16 | Last updated 24-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Adams, John

He who walks through a great city to find subjects for weeping, may, God knows, find plenty at every corner to wring his heart; but let such a man walk on his course, and enjoy his grief alone — we are not of those who would accompany him. The miseries of us poor earthdwellers gain no alleviation from the sympathy of those who merely hunt them out to be pathetic over them. The weeping philosopher too often impairs his eyesight by his woe, and becomes unable from his tears to see the remedies for the evils which he deplores. Thus it will often be found that the man of no tears is the truest philanthropist, as he is the best physician who wears a cheerful face, even in the worst of cases.

Charles Mackay (1814-1889) Scottish poet, journalist, song writer
Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds (1841)
Added on 19-Aug-16 | Last updated 19-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mackay, Charles

One of the temptations of upper-middle class life is to create sharp edges of our moral sensitivities that allows comfortable confusions about sin and virtue. The difference between rich and poor is not that the rich sin more than the poor, it is that the rich find it easier to call sin a virtue. When the poor sin, they call it sin; when they see holiness, they identify it as such. This intuitive clarity is often absent from the wealthy, and that absence easily leads to the atrophy of the moral sense.

Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) Dutch Catholic priest and writer
Encounters with Merton (2004)
Added on 22-Apr-16 | Last updated 22-Apr-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Nouwen, Henri

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
And the rich folks hate the poor folks,
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It’s American as apple pie.

Tom Lehrer (b. 1928) American mathematician, satirist, songwriter
“National Brotherhood Week” (1965)
Added on 5-Nov-15 | Last updated 5-Nov-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Lehrer, Tom

SYDNEY: You don’t seem to realize that a poor person who is unhappy is in a better position than a rich person who is unhappy. Because the poor person has hope. He thinks money would help.

Jean Kerr (1922-2003) American author and playwright [b. Bridget Jean Collins]
Poor Richard, Act 1 (1965)
Added on 12-Oct-15 | Last updated 12-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kerr, Jean

POLLY PEACHUM: The law is simply and solely made for the exploitation of those who do not understand it or of those who, for naked need, cannot obey it.

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) German poet, playwright, director, dramaturgist
Die Dreigroschenoper [The Three-Penny Opera], Act 3, sc. 1 (1928)

Alt. trans.: "The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it."
Added on 1-Oct-15 | Last updated 1-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Brecht, Bertholt

There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize. There is a failure here that topples all our success. The fertile earth, the straight tree rows, the sturdy trunks, and the ripe fruit. And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificate — died of malnutrition — because the food must rot, must be forced to rot.

In the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.

John Steinbeck (1902-1968) American writer
The Grapes of Wrath, ch. 25 (1939)
Added on 24-Sep-15 | Last updated 24-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Steinbeck, John

Public services have, to use the economist’s word, a strong redistributional effect. And this effect is strongly in favor of those with lower incomes. Those who clamor the loudest for public economy are those for whom public services do the least. Tax reduction that curtails or limits public services has a double effect in comforting the comfortable and afflicting the poor.

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) Canadian-American economist, diplomat, author
“Wealth and Poverty,” Speech, National Policy Committee on Pockets of Poverty (13 Dec 1963)

See sourcing notes here.
Added on 21-Sep-15 | Last updated 21-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Galbraith, John Kenneth

He that feeds the hungry feeds God also.

The Talmud (AD 200-500) Collection of Jewish rabbinical writings
(Unreferenced)
Added on 17-Sep-15 | Last updated 17-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Talmud

The great can protect themselves, but the poor and humble require the arm and shield of the law.

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) American politician, general, US President (1829-1837)
Letter to John Quincy Adams (26 Aug 1821)
Added on 10-Sep-15 | Last updated 10-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Jackson, Andrew

Hunger makes a thief of any man.

Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) American writer
The Good Earth, ch. 15 (1931)
Added on 10-Sep-15 | Last updated 10-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Buck, Pearl S.

Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Poor Richard’s Almanack (1749)
Added on 4-Jun-15 | Last updated 4-Jun-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Franklin, Benjamin

To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there’s more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged.

Norman Mailer (1923-2007) American novelist, journalist, playwright, activist
Esquire (1996)
Added on 15-May-15 | Last updated 15-May-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mailer, Norman

There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen.

James A. Garfield (1831-1881) US President (1881), lawyer, lay preacher, educator
Inaugural address (4 Mar 1881)
Added on 14-Jan-15 | Last updated 14-Jan-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Garfield, James A.

Beauty is only skin deep, but it is a valuable asset if you are poor or have not any sense.

Kin Hubbard (1868-1930) American caricaturist and humorist [Frank McKinney Hubbard]
(Attributed)

See Thomas Adams.
Added on 3-Dec-14 | Last updated 3-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Hubbard, Kin

Poor and free rather than rich and enslaved. Of course, men want to be both rich and free, and this is what leads them at times to be poor and enslaved.

[Pauvre et libre plutôt que riche et asservi. Bien entendu les hommes veulent être et riches et libres et c’est ce qui les conduit quelquefois à être pauvres et esclaves.]

Albert Camus (1913-1960) Algerian-French novelist, essayist, playwright
Notebooks (1942-1951)
Added on 17-Nov-14 | Last updated 17-Nov-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Camus, Albert

I cannot criticize my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor. And I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression. It means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is something on which to pride yourself. But poverty itself is romanticized only by fools.

Joanne "Jo" Rowling (b. 1965) British novelist [writes as J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith]
Commencement Address, Harvard University (5 Jun 2008)
    (Source)
Added on 18-Aug-14 | Last updated 18-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: ,
More quotes by Rowling, Jo

Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.

Francis I (b. 1936) Argentinian Catholic Pope (2013- ) [b. Jorge Mario Bergoglio]
Evangelii Gaudium, sec. 53 (24 Nov 2013)
    (Source)
Added on 6-Aug-14 | Last updated 6-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Francis I (Pope)

An American Government cannot permit Americans to starve.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) US President (1933-1945)
Speech, San Diego Exposition (2 Oct 1935)
    (Source)
Added on 16-Jul-14 | Last updated 16-Jul-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Roosevelt, Franklin Delano

A miser grows rich by seeming poor; an extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich.

William Shenstone (1714-1763) English poet
“Of Men and Manners,” sec. 86, Men and Manners (1804)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Jul-14 | Last updated 14-Jul-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Shenstone, William

The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefiting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger: nothing ever comes out for the poor.

Francis I (b. 1936) Argentinian Catholic Pope (2013- ) [b. Jorge Mario Bergoglio]
In “Pope Francis: I’m Not a Marxist,” TIME (15 Dec 2013)
    (Source)

On the "trickle-down" theory.
Added on 9-Jul-14 | Last updated 9-Jul-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Francis I (Pope)

It is all right to tell a man to lift himself up by his own bootstraps, but it is a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself up by his own bootstraps.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Sermon, Passion Sunday, National Cathedral (31 Mar 1968)
Added on 4-Jun-14 | Last updated 4-Jun-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

People who insist that the sacredness of Scripture depends on belief in creation in a literal six days seem never to insist on a literal reading of “to him who asks, give,” or “sell what you have and give the money to the poor.” In fact, their politics and economics align themselves quite precisely with those of their adversaries, who yearn to disburden themselves of the weak, and to unshackle the great creative forces of competition. The defenders of “religion” have made religion seem foolish while rendering it mute in the face of a prolonged and highly effective assault on the poor.

Marilynne Robinson (b. 1943) American novelist and essayist
“Darwinism,” The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998)
Added on 15-May-14 | Last updated 15-May-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Robinson, Marilynne

Sir, there is one Mrs. Macaulay in this town, a great republican. One day when I was at her house, I put on a very grave countenance, and said to her, “Madam, I am now become a convert to your way of thinking. I am convinced that all mankind are upon an equal footing; and to give you an unquestionable proof, Madam, that I am in earnest, here is a very sensible, civil, well-behaved fellow-citizen, your footman; I desire that he may be allowed to sit down and dine with us.” I thus, Sir, shewed her the absurdity of the levelling doctrine. She has never liked me since. Sir, your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment (12 Jul 1763)

In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)
Added on 28-Feb-14 | Last updated 28-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Johnson, Samuel

To be broke is not a disgrace, it is only a catastrophe.

Rex Stout (1886-1975) American writer
The League of Frightened Men, ch. 7 [Wolfe] (1935)
Added on 13-Feb-14 | Last updated 13-Feb-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Stout, Rex

What do you think God gave you more wealth than is requisite to satisfy your rational wants for, when you look around and see how many are in absolute need of that which you do not need? Can you not take the hint?

Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881) American novelist, poet, editor [pseud. Timothy Titcomb]
(Attributed)

Quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Added on 15-Jan-14 | Last updated 15-Jan-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Holland, Josiah G.

Never trust a country where the rich live behind high walls and tinted windows. That is a place that is not prospering as one country. That is a place where the rich not only say, “I don’t want you to see how I live,” but “I don’t want to see how you live.”

Thomas Friedman (b. 1953) American journalist, columnist, author
“Tinted Windows,” New York Times (23 Jun 1997)
Added on 9-Jan-14 | Last updated 9-Jan-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Friedman, Thomas

That the greatest of evils is idleness, that the poor are the victims, not of circumstances, but of their own “idle, irregular, and wicked courses,” that the truest charity is not to enervate them by relief, but so to reform their characters that relief may be unnecessary — such doctrines turned severity from a sin into a duty, and froze the impulse of natural pity with an assurance that, if indulged, it would perpetuate the suffering which it sought to allay.

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) English writer, economist, historian, social critic [Richard Henry Tawney]
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, 4.4 (1926)
Added on 7-Jan-13 | Last updated 4-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Tawney, R. H.

The poor man’s conscience is clear; yet he is ashamed. … He feels himself out of the sight of others, groping in the dark. Mankind takes no notice of him: he rambles and wanders unheeded. In the midst of a crowd, at church, in the market … he is in as much obscurity as he would be in a garret or a cellar. He is not disapproved, censured, or reproached: he is only not seen. … To be wholly overlooked, and to know it, are intolerable.

John Adams (1735-1826) American lawyer, Founding Father, statesman, US President (1797-1801)
Discourses on Davila, ch. 5 (1790)
Added on 6-Jun-12 | Last updated 18-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Adams, John

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.

Baldwin - expensive to be poor - wist_info quote

James Baldwin (1924-1987) American author [James Arthur Baldwin]
“Fifth Avenue, Uptown: a Letter from Harlem,” Esquire (Jul 1960)
Added on 7-Jan-11 | Last updated 8-Dec-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Baldwin, James

Poverty is no sin.

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Jacula Prudentum, # 844 (1651)
Added on 8-Jul-10 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Herbert, George

Wealth is not a crime; poverty is not a virtue — although the virtuous have generally been poor.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“A Lay Sermon” (1886)
    (Source)
Added on 11-Sep-09 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment (26 Oct 1769)

Quoted by Rev. Dr. Maxwell. In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791).
Added on 3-Aug-09 | Last updated 17-Apr-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Johnson, Samuel

The modern conservative is not even especially modern. He is engaged, on the contrary, in one of man’s oldest, best financed, most applauded, and, on the whole, least successful exercises in moral philosophy. That is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. It is an exercise which always involves a certain number of internal contradictions and even a few absurdities. The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character-building value of privation for the poor. The man who has struck it rich in minerals, oil, or other bounties of nature is found explaining the debilitating effect of unearned income from the state. The corporate executive who is a superlative success as an organization man weighs in on the evils of bureaucracy. Federal aid to education is feared by those who live in suburbs that could easily forgo this danger, and by people whose children are in public schools. Socialized medicine is condemned by men emerging from Walter Reed Hospital. Social Security is viewed with alarm by those who have the comfortable cushion of an inherited income. Those who are immediately threatened by public efforts to meet their needs — whether widows, small farmers, hospitalized veterans, or the unemployed — are almost always oblivious to the danger.

Galbraith - selfishness - wist_info

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) Canadian-American economist, diplomat, author
“Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National Policy Committee on Pockets of Poverty (13 Dec 1963)

Galbraith used variations on this quote over the years.
  • The above quotation was from a speech given, that was then entered into the Congressional Record, Vol. 109, Senate (18 Dec 1963).
  • This material was reworked into an article "Let us begin: An invitation to action on poverty," in Harper's (March 1964), which was in turn again entered into the Congressional Record, Vol. 110 (1964).
  • One of the last is most often cited: "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy, that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. It is an exercise which always involves a certain number of internal contradictions and even a few absurdities. The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character-building value of privation for the poor." ["Stop the Madness," Interview with Rupert Cornwell, Toronto Globe and Mail (6 Jul 2002)]
Added on 19-May-09 | Last updated 20-Nov-15
Link to this post | 8 comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Galbraith, John Kenneth

There is far too much law for those who can afford it and far too little for those who cannot.

Derek Bok (b. 1930) American lawyer, educator
Report to Harvard Board of Overseers (21 Apr 1983)
Added on 1-Oct-08 | Last updated 20-Aug-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bok, Derek

He doubly benefits the needy who gives quickly.

[Inopi beneficium bis dat, qui dat celeriter.]

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 6
Added on 29-Sep-07 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Publilius Syrus