"The question for the country now is how to secure a more equal distribution of property among the people. There can be no republican institutions with vast masses of property permanently in a few hands, and large masses of voters without property.... Let no man get by inheritance, or by will, more than will produce at four per cent interest an income ... of fifteen thousand dollars] per year, or an estate of five hundred thousand dollars."
"We have got rid of the fetish of the divine right of kings, and that slavery is of divine origin and authority. But the divine right of property has taken its place. The tendency plainly is towards ... "a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich."
"The secret point of money and power in America is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power's sake ... but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy. It is the instinct which drove America to the Pacific, all through the nineteenth century, the desire to be able to find a restaurant open in case you want a sandwich, to be a free agent, live by one's own rules."
"The thief steals from himself. The swindler swindles himself. For the real price is knowledge and virtue, whereof wealth and credit are signs. These signs, like paper money, may be counterfeited or stolen, but that which they represent, namely, knowledge and virtue, cannot be counterfeited or stolen."
"Throughout the 1980's, we did hear too much about individual gain and the ethos of selfishness and greed. We did not hear enough about how to be a good member of a community, to define the common good and to repair the social contract. And we also found that while prosperity does not trickle down from the most powerful to the rest of us, all too often indifference and even intolerance do."
"[My father] was a lazy man. It was the days of independent incomes, and if you had an independent income you didn't work. You weren't expected to. I strongly suspect that my father would not have been particularly good at working anyway. He left our house in Torquay every morning and went to his club. He returned, in a cab, for lunch, and in the afternoon went back to the club, played whist all afternoon, and returned to the house in time to dress for dinner."
"The day is not far distant when the man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was free for him to administer during life, will pass away "unwept, unhonored, and unsung," no matter to what uses he leave the dross which he cannot take with him. Of such as these the public verdict will then be: "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced." Such, in my opinion, is the true gospel concerning wealth, obedience to which is destined some day to solve the problem of the rich and the poor."
"The beaux and the babies, the servant troubles, and the social aspirations of the other girls seemed to me superficial. My work did not. I was professional. I could earn my own money, or I could be fired if I were inefficient. It was something to get your teeth into. It was living."
"It is uncomfortable to ask condemned people about their sentences just as it is awkward to ask wealthy people why they need so much money, why they use their wealth so poorly, and why they don't just get rid of it when they recognize that it is the cause of their unhappiness."