Famous Quotes & Sayings

Charles Murray Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 55 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Charles Murray.

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Charles Murray Quotes 2098420

Why is it a good thing to understand this movie so well? Because it will help you live a good life. Absorbing the deep meaning of the Nicomachean Ethics will also help you live a good life, but Groundhog Day will do it with a lot less effort. 35. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1740935

That's the UBI. A cash grant, with a surtax, funded by eliminating the transfers that currently exist. I require that $3,000 be devoted to health care, but otherwise I will argue that many of the best effects of the UBI are fostered by the least direction: "Here's the money. Use it as you see fit. Your life is in your hands. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 88034

He is certainly not a good citizen who does not wish to promote, by every means in his power, the welfare of the whole society of his fellow citizens." That is Adam Smith talking, the apostle of laissez-faire. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 2040621

All the other virtues, and the living of a virtuous life, depend on them. If you took an introductory philosophy course in college, they were probably translated from the Greek as courage, justice, temperance, and prudence. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 413529

It used to be that parents didn't have to be home. If a neighbor so I child misbehaving, it was considered appropriate for the neighbor to intervene. The parents would be grateful when they found out, and they would take the word of the neighbor if the child protested his innocence.

Unmarried and divorced parents tend not to behave that way. Instead, they tend to try to be the good guy to their children. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 898981

A common and depressing assumption on the part of many college students is that they must stay on the academic rails until they are professionally established - go directly to grad school from college and directly from grad school to a job, as if there were some big rush and even a few years lost would put them catastrophically behind everyone else. Nonsense. Suppose you intend to retire at sixty-five. If you don't start your career until you're thirty, that still gives you thirty-five years to make it professionally. If you can't make it in thirty-five years, you weren't going to make it in forty or forty-five. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1149599

Many of the members of the new upper class are balkanized. Furthermore, their ignorance about other Americans is more problematic than the ignorance of other Americans about them. It is not a problem if truck drivers cannot empathize with the priorities of Yale professors. It is a problem if Yale professors, or producers of network news programs, or CEOs of great corporations, or presidential advisers cannot empathize with the priorities of truck drivers. It is inevitable that people have large areas of ignorance about how others live, but that makes it all the more important that the members of the new upper class be aware of the breadth and depth of their ignorance. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 651328

it is said that roosters think the sun rises because they crow. Politicians are much the same. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 2240984

Nice and good are different. Being nice involves immediate actions and immediate consequences - you give water to the thirsty and comfort to the afflicted right here, right now. Being good involves living in the world so that you contribute to the welfare of your fellow human beings. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1508287

If I'm wrong, and you find yourself in an organization where sucking up is in fact a good way to get ahead, look for a new job. It's not a quality organization after all, no matter how glittering its public reputation may be. Life is too short to work there. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1562667

The genius of free human beings is that, given responsibility, they join together to take care of each other - to be their brothers' keepers when their brother needs help. The triumph of an earlier America was that it had set all the right trends in motion, at a time when the world was first coming out of millennia of poverty into an era of plenty. The tragedy of contemporary America is that it abandoned that course. Libertarians want to return to it. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 775227

Corruption in the political process varies directly with the number and value of things that politicians have to sell. This — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 2166156

the most lovable of exceptional American qualities (is) our tradition of insisting that we are part of the middle class, even if we aren't, and of interacting with our fellow citizens as if we were all middle class. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 342617

family structure that produces the best outcomes for children, on average, are two biological parents who remain married. Divorced parents produce the next-best outcomes. Whether the parents remarry or remain single while the children are growing up makes little difference. Never-married women produce the worst outcomes. All of these statements apply after controlling for the family's socioeconomic status.14 I know of no other set of important findings that are as broadly accepted by social scientists who follow the technical literature, liberal as well as conservative, and yet are so resolutely ignored by network news programs, editorial writers for the major newspapers, and politicians of both major political parties. In — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 225731

Many curmudgeons believe that a malady afflicts many of today's twenty-somethings: their sense of entitlement. It is their impression that too many of you think doing routine office tasks is beneath you, and your supervisors are insufficiently sensitive to your needs. Curmudgeons are also likely to think that you have a higher opinion of your abilities than your performance warrants. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 278464

paying taxes is a cheap price for a quiet conscience - much cheaper than actually having to get involved in the lives of their fellow citizens. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 308723

Let me put it formally: If we ask what are the domains through which human beings achieve deep satisfactions in life - achieve happiness - the answer is that there are just four: family, vocation, community, and faith, with these provisos: Community can embrace people who are scattered geographically. Vocation can include avocations or causes. It is not necessary for any individual to make use of all four domains, nor do I array them in a hierarchy. I merely assert that these four are all there are. The stuff of life occurs within those four domains. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 321218

The percentage of people qualifying for federal disability benefits because they are unable to work rose from 0.7 percent of the size of the labor force in 1960 to 5.3% in 2010. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 484128

Instead of feeling sorry for the exceptionally able student who has no one to talk to, we need to worry about what happens when the exceptionally able students hang out only with one another. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 485409

Using which instead of that. That introduces essential clauses while which introduces nonessential clauses. Consider the sentence "Tools that have sharp edges can cause nasty cuts." If you remove the words "that have sharp edges," the sentence loses much of its meaning. The clause is essential. Now consider "Roses, which come in many colors, have thorns on their stems." You can remove "which come in many colors" and the meaning of the rest of the sentence is intact. The clause is not essential. Another way to remember: If the clause obviously needs to be set off by commas, use which. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 498103

The responsibilities of marriage induce young men to settle down, focus, and get to work. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 626676

Changing the new upper class by force majeure won't work and isn't a good idea in any case. The new upper class will change only if its members decide that it is in the interest of themselves and of their families to change. And possibly also because they decide it is in the interest of the country they love. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 633291

To notice a difference is to have an opinion about it - unless one refuses to think. And that is my ultimate objection to nonjudgmentalism. We can refuse to voice our judgments, but we cannot keep from having them unless we refuse to think about what is before our eyes. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 776271

Regardless of whether people have free will, human flourishing requires that they live in an environment in which they are treated as if they did. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 828012

Four American traits were central to the evolution of that culture: industriousness, egalitarianism, religiosity, and an amalgam of philanthropy and volunteerism that was uniquely American. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 881453

Responsibility for the consequences of actions is not the price of freedom, but one of its rewards. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 898469

The argument starts by accepting that the American government will continue to spend a huge amount of money on income transfers. It then contends that we should take all of that money and give it back to the American people in cash grants. The — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 951191

The entry of government into social insurance and then into a broader range of social interventions has caused incalculable human suffering. It has not produced a society in which fewer people are dependent than would otherwise have been the case. The welfare state has artificially, needlessly created a large dependent class. At the bottom is the underclass, stripped of dignity and autonomy, producing new generations socialized to their parents' behavior. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 954014

The main vehicle for nineteenth-century socialization was the leading textbook used in elementary school. They were so widely used that sections in them became part of the national language. Theodore Roosevelt, scion of an elite New York family, schooled by private tutors, had been raised on the same textbooks as the children of Ohio farmers, Chicago tradesman, and New England fishermen. If you want to know what constituted being a good American from the mid-nineteenth century to World War I, spend a few hours browsing through the sections in the McGuffey Readers. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 957278

A free society is most threatened not by uses of government that are obviously bad, but by uses of government that seem obviously good. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 968765

Some people pursue happiness in ways that tend to be accompanied by large incomes, others in ways that tend to be accompanied by lower incomes. In a free society, these choices are made voluntarily, with psychic rewards balanced against monetary rewards. Income inequality is accordingly large. So what? — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1009897

The goal of an end to poverty is so noble that governments have successfully used the end to justify the means. The means have been high taxation of the productive members of society and arrays of bureaucracies that increasingly regulate the lives of us all. 1 — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1074806

There is more to life than work, and a life without ample space for family and friends is incomplete. But this much should not be controversial: Vocation - one's calling in life - plays a large role in defining the meaning of that life. For some, the nurturing of children is the vocation. For some, an avocation or a cause can become an all-absorbing source of satisfaction, with the job a means of paying the bills and nothing more. But for many others, vocation takes the form of the work one does for a living. Working hard, seeking to get ahead, and striving to excel at one's craft are not only quintessential features of traditional American culture but also some of its best features. Industriousness is a resource for living a fulfilling human life instead of a life that is merely entertaining. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1088541

The average Harvard freshman in 1952 would have placed in the bottom 10 percent of the incoming class by 1960. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1095587

[The humanities] invite - they compel - us to confront the truth about ourselves and help us to inhabit with greater understanding the disjointed condition of longing and defeat that defines the human condition. Achilles' reflections on honor and memory and the fleeting beauty of youth; Shakespeare's defense of love against the powers of "sluttish time" Kant's struggle to put our knowledge of certain things on an unchallengeable foundation so as to place the knowledge of others forever beyond reach; Caravaggio's painting of the sacrifice of Isaac, which depicts a confusion of loves that defeats all understanding; and so on endlessly through the armory of humanistic works: the subject is always the same. The subject is always man, whose nature it is to yearn to be more than he is. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1149062

The twin propositions of this book are that we are at the end of the American project as the founders intended it, but that opportunities are opening for preserving the best qualities of the American project in a new incarnation. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1167157

The third Great Awakening is variously said to have started between the 1860s and 1890; it continued into the early 1900s and laid the ethical basis for the emancipation of women, the reforms of the New Deal and, later, the civil rights movement. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1440951

It is said that there comes a point in every mathematics student's education when he hears himself saying to the teacher, "I think I understand"-- and that's the point at which he has hit a wall. Making sure that all gifted students hit their own personal walls is crucial for developing the empathy with the rest of the world. When they see their less lucky peers struggle academically, they need to be able to say "I know how it feels,"-- and be telling the truth. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1463989

A man who is holding down a menial job and thereby supporting a wife and children is doing something authentically important with his life. He should take deep satisfaction from that, and be praised by his community for doing so. If that same man lives under a system that says the children of the woman he sleeps with will be taken care of whether or not he contributes, then that status goes away. I am not describing a theoretical outcome, but American neighborhoods where, once working at a menial job to provide for his family made a man proud and gave him status in his community, and where now it doesn't. Taking the trouble out of life strips people in major ways which human beings look back on their lives and say, 'I made a difference. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1538889

I have been drawn to Milton Friedman's argument for a negative income tax (NIT) that entirely replaces the existing system of income transfers and social services. The quid pro quo would be that the government withdraw altogether from every other form of interference in the organization of social life. Under such a plan the Department of Health and Human Services would become a check-writing office, and the social service agencies, bureaus, and offices scattered throughout government would close down. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1619014

When the government intervenes to help, whether in the European welfare state or in America's more diluted version, it not only diminishes our responsibility for the desired outcome, it enfeebles the institutions through which people live satisfying lives. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1687313

I propose another explanation: The reason so many Americans have become alienated from government since the poll of 1964 is that government really has become more incompetent and really has become alienated from the public it is supposed to serve. Political cycles and political fashion have nothing to do with it. American government isn't what it used to be. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1695549

Henceforth, federal, state, and local governments shall make no law nor establish any program that transfers general tax revenues to some citizens and not to others, whether those transfers consist of money or in-kind benefits. All programs currently providing such benefits are to be terminated. The funds formerly allocated to them are to be used instead to provide every citizen with a Universal Basic Income beginning at age twenty-one and continuing until death. The maximum annual value of the grant at the program's outset is to be $13,000, of which $3,000 must be devoted to catastrophic health insurance. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1735820

solutions are beyond the reach of the electoral process and legislative process. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1819759

A new upper class that makes decisions affecting the lives of everyone else but increasingly doesn't know much about how everybody else lives is vulnerable to making mistakes. How vulnerable are you? — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1835093

The human impulse behind the isolation of class is as basic as impulses get: People like to be around other people who understand them and to whom they can talk. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1854731

The main attraction of a generous NIT is that it could resolve an impasse. As matters stand, every element of limited government now faces a blanket objection: But what about poor people? An NIT could take poverty off the table by giving every adult an income above the poverty line. Doing so is probably the single most important step in getting the nation to think seriously about restoring limited government. The left has always claimed it wanted to end material poverty. A generous NIT would do that. Is the left willing to give up the apparatus of the welfare state in return? But — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1878702

Inequality of wealth grounded in unequal abilities is different. For most of us, the luck of the draw cuts several ways: one person is not handsome, but is smart; another is not as smart, but is industrious; and still another is not as industrious, but is charming. This kind of inequality of human capital is enriching, making life more interesting for everyone. But some portion of the population gets the short end of the stick on several dimensions. As the number of dimensions grows, so does the punishment for being unlucky. When a society tries to redistribute the goods of life to compensate the most unlucky, its heart is in the right place, however badly the thing has worked out in practice. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1906630

They don't know the distinction between taking care of a child and raising a child. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1950956

Considerable social science research has found that constant praise of children can backfire, because it so often consists of telling children how smart they are, not of praising children for the things they actually do. As a result, many children become protective of their image of being smart and are reluctant to take chances that might actually damage that image. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 1966346

No one should be allowed to work in the West Wing of the White House who has not suffered a major disappointment in life... the responsibility of working there was too great... to be entrusted to people who weren't painfully aware of how badly things can go wrong. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 2104329

Data can bear on policy issues, but many of our opinions about policy are grounded in premises about the nature of human life and human society that are beyond the reach of data. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 2128579

As I come to the end of my advice and send you off into the world, I have an alternative way for you to stay on the straight and narrow: periodically watch Groundhog Day. It was made long ago, in 1993, but it's still smart and funny, the chemistry between the stars (Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell) is terrific, and it has a happy ending. Groundhog Day is also a profound moral fable that deals with the most fundamental issues of virtue and happiness. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 2164599

A variant of the NIT puts it within our power to end poverty, provide for comfortable retirement and medical care for everyone, and - as a bonus that is probably more important than any of the immediate effects - revitalize American civil society. — Charles Murray

Charles Murray Quotes 2208415

We should look at the kind of work that goes into acquiring a liberal education at the college level in the same way that we look at the grueling apprenticeship that goes into becoming a master chef: something that understandably attracts only a limited number of people. Most students at today's colleges choose not to take the courses that go into a liberal education because the capabilities they want to develop lie elsewhere. These students are not lazy, any more than students who don't want to spend hours learning how to chop carrots into a perfect eighth-inch dice are lazy. A liberal education just doesn't make sense for them. — Charles Murray