Social Policy Quotes

Quotes tagged as "social-policy" Showing 1-8 of 8
Charles Wheelan
“When I applied to graduate school many years ago, I wrote an essay expressing my puzzlement at how a country that could put a man on the moon could still have people sleeping on the streets. Part of that problem is political will; we could take a lot of people off the streets tomorrow if we made it a national priority. But I have also come to realize that NASA had it easy. Rockets conform to the unchanging laws of physics. We know where the moon will be at a given time; we know precisely how fast a spacecraft will enter or exist the earth's orbit. If we get the equations right, the rocket will land where it is supposed to--always. Human beings are more complex than that. A recovering drug addict does not behave as predictably as a rocket in orbit. We don't have a formula for persuading a sixteen-year-old not to drop out of school. But we do have a powerful tool: We know that people seek to make themselves better off, however they may define that. Our best hope for improving the human condition is to understand why we act the way we do and then plan accordingly. Programs, organizations, and systems work better when they get the incentives right. It is like rowing downstream.”
Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science

Thomas Sowell
“[beware that] “many of what are called social problems are differences between the theories of intellectuals and the realities of the world—differences which many intellectuals interpret to mean that it is the real world that is wrong and needs changing.”
Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society

Jordan Flaherty
“Housing is a human right. There can be no fairness or justice in a society in which some live in homelessness, or in the shadow of that risk, while others cannot even imagine it.”
Jordan Flaherty, Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six

Gerda Lerner
“First of all, nobody gave us anything. It makes me furious when I hear that they gave us suffrage. Excuse me? It took 72 years of unrelenting, unbroken organizing grassroots effort to get women's suffrage. It took 113 years to get rid of child labor by law. It took similarly long periods of organized effort to accomplish any advance in social policy.”
Gerda Lerner

Tanner Colby
“In the twenty-first century, the visions of J.C. Nichols and Walt Disney have come full circle and joined. “Neighborhoods” are increasingly “developments,” corporate theme parks. But corporations aren’t interested in the messy ebb and flow of humanity. They want stability and predictable rates of return. And although racial discrimination is no longer a stated policy for real estate brokers and developers, racial and social homogeneity are still firmly embedded in America’s collective idea of stability; that’s what our new landlords are thinking even if they are not saying it. (138)”
Tanner Colby, Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America

“All too often, our elegant political theories amount to nothing more than ideology triumphing over common sense.”
Clifford Cohen

Friedrich A. Hayek
“This is not necessarily true, however, of measures merely restricting the allowed methods of production, so long as these restrictions affect all potential producers equally and are not used as an indirect way of controlling prices and quantities. Though all such controls of the methods of production impose extra costs (i.e., make it necessary to use more resources to produce a given output), they may be well worth while. To prohibit the use of certain poisonous substances or to require special precautions in their use, to limit working hours or to require certain sanitary arrangements, is fully compatible with the preservation of competition. The only question here is whether in the particular instance the advantages gained are greater than the social costs which they impose. Nor is the preservation of competition incompatible with an extensive system of social services — so long as the organization of these services is not designed in such a way as to make competition ineffective over wide fields.”
Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

Tanner Colby
“There’s only one way America’s neighborhoods will begin to integrate: people have to want it more than vested public and corporate interests are opposed to it. And more people should want it. Mixed-race, mixed-income housing is a product we need to market. It’s the only real solution to segregated schools, for one. (140)”
Tanner Colby, Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America