Mancur Olson quotes

  • If the state, with all of the emotional resources at its command, cannot finance its most basic and vital activities without resort to compulsion, it would seem that large private organizations might also have difficulty in getting the individuals in the groups whose interests they attempt to advance to make the necessary contributions voluntarily.
    -- Mancur Olson

    #Emotional #Organization #Groups

  • Unions are for 'collective bargaining,' not individual bargaining. It follows that most of the achievements of a union, even if they were more impressive than the staunchest unionist claims, could offer the rational worker no incentive to join; his individual efforts would not have a noticeable effect on the outcome, and whether he supported the union or not he would still get the benefits of its achievements.
    -- Mancur Olson

    #Achievement #Effort #Benefits

  • Wicksell's old-fashioned liberalism is reminiscent of John Maynard Keynes' attitude toward conscription during World War I. Keynes opposed conscription, but he was not a pacifist. He opposed conscription because it deprived the citizen of the right to decide for himself whether or not to join in the fight. Keynes was exempt as a civil servant from conscription; so there is no need to question his sincerity. Apparently his belief in the rights of the individual against a majority of his compatriots was very strong indeed.
    -- Mancur Olson

    #Strong #Attitude #War

  • A small group is powerful in matters relating to a particular industry, because then it is normally the only organized force, but it is less formidable when questions which divide the entire nation are involved, for then it must take on organized labor and other large organized groups. The business community in the aggregate is for this reason not uniquely effective as a pressure group.
    -- Mancur Olson

    #Powerful #Community #Groups

  • Just as there can be little doubt that labor unions are a significant political force, neither can there be much question that this political force is a by-product of the purely industrial activities that unions regard as their major function.
    -- Mancur Olson

    #Political #Doubt #Unions

  • The money our society spends goes to appease those with power. As such, it goes mainly to those who don't need it. A nation that redistributes income to its poor buys a civilized and humane society, and it buys this with a miniscule share of the national income and a modest reduction in the supply of cleaning women. A country that subsidizes workers in the prime working years sacrifices, not a dust-free living room, but the very muscle of the national economy.
    -- Mancur Olson

    #Country #Sacrifice #Dust

  • Well, guys are better at mechanical stuff and women are better at emotional stuff.

  • But the most precious research to me came from the paperwork filed on behalf of my grandparents and great-grandfather. The ship's manifest showed that they could read and write. I am still emotional when I look at those boxes checked yes.

  • The demons of the Devil don't use your weak weaknesses against you, they use your strong ones. If you're rational and logical, they argue their case rationally and logically. If you're loyal and faithful, they turn those against you. If you're passionate and emotional, they make you passionate and emotional about your worse fears. Your weak weaknesses are no use to them.... They find the strongest weaknesses you didn't know were yours and use those against you.

  • The actor becomes an emotional athlete.

  • The actor becomes an emotional athlete. The process is painful - my personal life suffers.

  • A news organization has a much different responsibility. I might not be telling you the whole story. I might not be telling you a story in a manner that is properly sophisticated.

  • The young [Nazi] movement is in its nature and inner organization anti-parliamentarian; that is, it rejects... a principle of majority rule in which the leader is degraded to the level of mere executant of other people's wills and opinion.

  • Movements of people create change - not just any one person or organization, but when lots of people are in motion around a shared vision.

  • fair play is less characteristic of groups than of individuals.

  • The conversation on global warming has been stalled because a shrinking group of denialists fly into a rage when it's mentioned.