A project of the
Institute for Policy Studies

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.

Anglo-Irish writer (1730-1774)

The causes which destroyed the ancient republics were numerous; but in Rome, one principal cause was the vast inequality of fortunes.

American editor and writer (1758-1843)

“So distribution should undo excess, and each man have enough.”
[King Lear, Act 4, Scene 1]

English playwright (1564-1616)

“In the long run men inevitably become the victims of their wealth. They adapt their lives and habits to their money, not their money to their lives. It preoccupies their thoughts, creates artificial needs, and draws a curtain between them and the world.”

U.S. political philosopher (1869-1930)

“The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments.”

Scottish political economist (1723-1790)

“No person, I think, ever saw a herd of buffalo, of which a few were fat and the great majority lean. No person ever saw a flock of birds, of which two or three were swimming in grease, and the others all skin and bone.”

American political economist (1839-1897)

“The greatest country, the richest country, is not that which has the most capitalists, monopolists, immense grabbings, vast fortunes, with its sad, sad soil of extreme, degrading, damning poverty, but the land in which there are the most homesteads, freeholds — where wealth does not show such contrasts high and low, where all men have enough — a modest living— and no man is made possessor beyond the sane and beautiful necessities.”

American poet (1819-1892)

“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”

ancient Greek biographer (c. 46 – 120 CE)

“Our inequality materializes our upper class, vulgarizes our middle class, brutalizes our lower class.”

English essayist (1822-1888)

“A State divided into a small number of rich and a large number of poor will always develop a government manipulated by the rich to protect the amenities represented by their property.”

British political theorist (1893-1950)
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