Policy

The really basic thing in government is policy. Bad administration… can destroy good policy, but good administration can never save bad policy.

The really basic thing in government is policy. Bad administration… can destroy good policy, but good administration can never save bad policy.

Could Hamlet have been written by a committee, or the Mona Lisa painted by a club? Could the New Testament have been composed as a conference report? Creative ideas do not spring from groups. They spring from individuals. The divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.

Honesty is not only the deepest policy, but the highest wisdom.

Truth can hardly be expected to adapt herself to the crooked policy and wily sinuosities of worldly affairs; for truth, like light, travel only in straight lines.

Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle.

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.

Honesty is the best policy.

The aggregate happiness of society, which is best promoted by the practice of a virtuous policy, is, or ought to be, the end of all government.

A crisis does not always appear to a policy-maker as a series of dramatic events. Usually it imposes itself as an exhausting agenda of petty chores demanding both concentration and endurance. One is forced to react to scraps of information in very limited spans of time; longing for full knowledge, one must chart a route through the murk of unknowing.

Effective policy depends not only on the skill of individual moves, but even more importantly on their relationship to each other.

Policy exists in time as well as in space… a measure is correct only if it can be carried out at the proper moment.

The spirit of policy and that of bureaucracy are diametrically opposed… The essence of bureaucracy is its quest for safety; its success is calculability. Profound policy thrives on perpetual creation, on a constant redefinition of goals. Good administration thrives on routine, the definition of relationships which can survive mediocrity. Policy involves an adjustment of risks; administration, an avoidance of deviation.

Honesty is beter than all policy.

Honesty is better than any policy.

Truth can hardly be expected to adapt herself to the crooked policy and wily sinuosities of worldly affairs; for truth, like light, travels only in straight lines.

A just security to property is not afforded by that government under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species; where arbitrary tax invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor; where the keenness and competitions of want are deemed an insufficient spur to labor, and taxes are again applied by an unfeeling policy as another spur; in violation of that sacred property which heaven, in decreeing man to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, kindly reserved to him in the small repose that could be spared from the supply of his necessities.

The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.

Domestic policy can only lose elections. Foreign policy can kill us all.

The worst policy is one made in secrecy by experts.