04 May 2009

RIP Jack Kemp

Jack Kemp passed away over the weekend. He was a great ambassador for Reagan-era conservatism. He articulated the core values of the philosophy, which is the greatest failing of the current Republican Party.

Here is a nice remembrance in the Wall Street Journal and some excerpts from Op-Eds writtem by him that appeared there. Here is a favorite of mine:

In my opinion, people of all colors and income levels don't hate the rich. They want to get rich. They're more interested in generating wealth than they are in redistributing wealth. They want to own property, educate their children and build a nest egg that can be passed on to their heirs. Unfortunately, some aren't able to access the same ladder of opportunity that is so readily available to the majority. . . .
By giving people access to capital and allowing them to take ownership of assets, entrepreneurship will be encouraged and the cycle of poverty can begin to be broken. All persons should have the opportunity to go as high as their merit and determination can carry them. My favorite quote is from Abraham Lincoln, who said, "I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else."
Lincoln's definition of entrepreneurial capitalism is the best I have ever heard.
I like it too.

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