Thomas Frank Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 83 Thomas Frank Quotes

#1. The conservative social critique always boils down to the same simple message: liberalism - meaning everything from racy TV to deconstructionists in the Yale French Department - is an affectation of the loathsome rich, as bizarre as their taste for Corgi dogs and extra-virgin olive oil. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#2. During the financial crisis and bailouts of 2008, it probably occurred to very few average people that we were entering a period of hardship for billionaires. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#3. Massive inequality, we have learned, isn't the best way to run an economy after all. And when you think about it, it's also profoundly ugly. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#4. As you may recall, Truman was extremely unpopular when he finally left Washington in 1953, thanks largely to the Korean War. Today, however, he is thought to have been a solidly good president, a 'Near Great' even, in the terminology of those surveys of historians they do every now and then. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#5. Presidential legacies are valuable things, too valuable to be left up to historians. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#6. Former President Bill Clinton, who is widely regarded as a political mastermind, may have sounded like a traditional liberal at the beginning of his term in office. But what ultimately defined his presidency was his amazing pliability on matters of principle. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#7. The Obama administration's plan is to have the Federal Reserve regulate banks that might pose a 'systemic risk' if they were to fail. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#8. Acknowledging class was always difficult for 'New Democrats' - it was second-wave, it was divisive - but 2008 made retro politics cool again. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#9. The only truly individualistic health-care choice - where you receive care that is unpolluted by anyone else's funds - is to forgo insurance altogether, paying out-of-pocket for health services as you need them. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#10. Public borrowing is costly these days, true, but interest rates on municipal bonds are still considerably lower than those borne by corporate debt. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#11. Concerns about the size and role of government are what seem to leave reformers stammering and speechless in town-hall meetings. The right wants to have a debate over fundamental principles; elected Democrats seem incapable of giving it to them. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#12. Mr. Obama still has time to reverse course. A great deal depends on it. To fail on health care yet again might well be the 'Waterloo' Republicans dream of. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#13. Just as the financial crisis has created toxic assets and 'zombie' financial institutions, so has it transformed conservatism into a movement of the living dead. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#14. The pursuit of the vibrant seems to be the universal job description of the nation's city planners nowadays. It is also part of the Obama administration's economic recovery strategy for the nation. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#15. Surrogate motherhood has been the subject of much philosophical and political dispute over the years. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#16. Under the administration of George W. Bush, you will recall, federal spending grew pretty significantly. At the same time, the number of people directly employed by the federal government shrank. One of the factors that explained the difference was contracting. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#17. Americans have known about mounting inequality and king-sized Wall Street bonuses for years. But we also had an entire genre of journalism dedicated to brushing the problem off. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#18. I was never a fan of Barack Obama's bipartisanship routine. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#19. I have a habit of reading a book for at least 15 minutes a day, and whenever I finish a chapter, I immediately go over to Evernote and type out some notes on what I read. When I do this the Outline Method is my system of choice. While - Author: Thomas Frank
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#20. When the left party in a system severs its bonds to working people - when it dedicates itself to the concerns of a particular slice of high-achieving affluent people - issues of work and income inequality will inevitably fade from its list of concerns. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#21. A lot of populists after populism died just became socialists. At the beginning of the 20th century, socialism looked like it was going to take off. It didn't, of course, but a lot of people thought it was going to. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#22. Conservatism is not a doctrine of contentment. Not a doctrine for the satisfied and the smug. It's a politics that's at war with the world. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#23. Privatizing bits of the prison industry was a step in the right direction, but what we didn't have - until recently - were proper instruments for incentivizing the judiciary. That's what the 'kids for cash' judges were apparently experimenting with. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#24. Can policy be both wise and aggressively partisan? Ask any Republican worth his salt and the answer will be an unequivocal yes. Ask a Democrat of the respectable Beltway variety and he will twist himself into a pretzel denying it. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#25. In the subprime mortgage industry, bankers handed out iffy loans like candy at a parade because such loans meant revenue and, hence, bonuses for executives in the here-and-now. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#26. These days, of course, the focus of talk about popular liberation through products is mostly associated with the Internet. I've been collecting computer ads and ads dealing with Internet industries. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#27. Above all else stands the burning question of bipartisanship. Whatever else the politicians might say they're about, our news analysts know that this is the true object of the nation's desire, the topic to which those slippery presidential spokesmen need always to be dragged back. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#28. There is no higher claim to journalistic integrity than going to jail to protect a source. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#29. One of the things I keep coming back to in my writing is that society doesn't work on this mirror principle, you don't have an exact replica on the left of what you have on the right. It just doesn't work that way. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#30. Allowing a private rather than a public entity to take over your toll road merely means that your tolls will have to be that much higher to cover their more expensive debt. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#31. There is much to dislike about President Obama's approach to the financial crisis. But opposition, it seems, will have to come from somewhere other than conservatism. The party out of power is also a party out of touch. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#32. Apparently, there is no bad economic turn a conservative cannot do unto his buddy in the working class, as long as cultural solidarity has been cemented over a beer. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#33. We are watching industries crumble, Wall Street firms disappear, unemployment spike, and unprecedented government intervention. And our designated opinion leaders want to know: Is Obama up this week? Is he down? And is his leadership style more like Bill Clinton's, or Abraham Lincoln's? - Author: Thomas Frank
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#34. When you take somebody's quote out of context, which happens all the time, nobody's ever going to go and do the research on their own and figure out that you got it wrong. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#35. Promises to get beyond partisanship are the most perfunctory sort of campaign rhetoric, almost as empty as the partisanship itself. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#36. While Democrats fussed with the details of health care reforms, conservatives spent months telling the nation that the real issue is freedom, that what's on the line is American liberty itself. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#37. The people at the top know what they have to do to stay there, and in a pinch they can easily overlook the sweaty piety of the new Republican masses, the social conservatives who raise their voices in praise of Jesus but cast their votes for Caesar. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#38. For decades Republicans have made policy with a higher purpose in mind: to solidify the GOP base or to damage the institutions and movements aligned with the other side. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#39. The thing now is to seem concerned in a vaguely social-democratic way. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#40. Every city is either vibrant these days or is working on a plan to attain vibrancy soon. The reason is simple: a city isn't successful - isn't even a city, really - unless it can lay claim to being 'vibrant.' - Author: Thomas Frank
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#41. I think there's great potential for autonomy, but we have to remember that we live in a world where people may have free will but have not invented their circumstances. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#42. Joe Klein is the flower of American political journalism, a sharp raconteur who shows traces of the gonzo style that was in vogue when he was honing his craft at Rolling Stone back in the day. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#43. I was in a bad mood when I wrote that. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#44. As you watch the world crumble, try taking your Armageddon with this sprinkling of irony: Over the last three decades, business has got virtually everything it wanted, and its doomsday scenario from the 1970s has come true because of it. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#45. Money has transformed every watchdog, every independent authority. Medical doctors are increasingly gulled by the lobbying of pharmaceutical salesmen. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#46. Our current way of regulating the financial system is dysfunctional. Oversight is dispersed among numerous confusing bodies that at times have seemed to be racing each other to the bottom. Setting up One Big Regulator would end that problem. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#47. Government is, by its very nature, a destroyer of liberties; the Obama administration, specifically, is promising to interfere with the economy and the health care system so profoundly that Washington will soon have us all in chains. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#48. Governing was always difficult for conservatives, but as they return to the opposition, they are rediscovering their skill at blame evasion. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#49. Whereas all liberals are thought to erupt self-righteously whenever they feel like it, conservatives believe that they themselves are never permitted to say what they really think. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#50. Bad government is the natural product of rule by those who believe government is bad. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#51. Back in the days when the market was a kind of secular god and all the world thrilled to behold the amazing powers of private capital, the idea of privatizing highways and airports and other bits of our transportation infrastructure made a certain kind of sense. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#52. Is Wall Street the rightful master of our economic fate? Or should we choose a broader form of sovereignty? - Author: Thomas Frank
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#53. Liberal that I am, I support health-care reform on its merits alone. My liberal blood boils, for example, when I read that half of the personal bankruptcies in this country are brought on, in part, by medical expenses. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#54. American conservatism depends on its continued dominance and even for its very existence on people never making connections about the world, connections that until recent were treated as obvious or self-evident everywhere on the planet. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#55. People getting their fundamental interests wrong is what American political life is all about. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#56. When money is exchanged for pregnancy, some believe, surrogacy comes close to organ-selling, or even baby-selling. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#57. Journalism has a special, hallowed place for stories of its practitioners' persecution. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#58. A president aiming for 'Great' or 'Near Great' status must do more. He must give lots of interviews, make records accessible, and heap the flattery on academia - each of which Mr. Bush has signally failed to do. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#59. Selling public property is the true Chicago way. Had Mr. Obama not been elected president, the nation's business journals would be falling over one another to praise his city for its daring, market-friendly innovations. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#60. Yes, Democrats can prove that America pays more for health care than other countries; yes, they have won the dispute that private health insurance is needlessly expensive. But what they've lost is the argument that we are a society. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#61. We're all free agents in this noncoercive class system, and Brooks eventually concludes that worrying about the problems faced by workers is yet another deluded affectation of the blue-state rich. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#62. In America, we no longer have an institutionalized, organized way of calling business to task - of taking them to account for what they've done - and this is especially true in the cultural realm. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#63. In small towns, bored teenagers turn their eyes longingly to the exciting doings in the big cities, pining for urban amenities like hipster bars and farmers' markets and indie-rock festivals. Like everyone else, they want the vibrant and they will not be denied. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#64. Thanks to a deal finalized in 2008, Chicago's parking meters will be operated for the next 75 years by a group of investors put together by Morgan Stanley, including the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#65. What becomes fascinating is the way the culture industry doesn't deny it and doesn't try to mitigate it, but tries to sell its products as a way of liberating oneself. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#66. When the entertainers of the Right aren't declaring their disgust with President Obama for groveling before foreign potentates, they're pretending to fear him as a left-wing thug, an exemplar of what they call 'the Chicago way.' - Author: Thomas Frank
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#67. Conservatives may believe that impoverished borrowers destroyed Wall Street. But we liberals will not fool ourselves that stupid bankers sank conservatism for good. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#68. When done right - or wrong, depending on how you look at it - deficits remove liberal options from the table. Suddenly there's no money for building bridges or inspecting meat. Not surprisingly, running up a deficit is a strategy favored by the wrecking crew for its liberal-killing properties. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#69. Financial regulation is the next item on the political horizon, and it doesn't have to be the deathly dull wonk-battle that it sounds like. In fact, if the Democrats do their job, it can just as easily become a platform for addressing the greatest issues of them all. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#70. The revival of the Right is as extraordinary as it would be if the public had demanded dozens of new nuclear plants in the days after the Three Mile Island disaster; if we had reacted to Watergate by making Richard Nixon a national hero. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#71. This aesthetic quality, then, is what politics is all about. It's authenticity that separates winners from losers, good politics from bad, and he-man leader-types from consultant-directed puppet-boys. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#72. Corruption is uniquely reprehensible in a democracy because it violates the system's first principle, which we all learned back in the sunshiny days of elementary school: that the government exist to serve the public, not particular companies or individuals or even elected officials. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#73. Media bias has been a favorite theme of the Right for decades, of course. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#74. Money never seems to be interested in strengthening regulatory agencies, for example, but always in subverting them, in making them miss the danger signs in coal mines and in derivatives trading and in deep-sea oil wells. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#75. To the liberal class, every big economic problem is really an education problem, a failure by the losers to learn the right skills and get the credentials everyone knows you'll need in the society of the future. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#76. To be sure, we should all eat right, brush our teeth, and cut down on sweets, but that will hardly help us if we're born with a condition that requires expensive treatment. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#77. Vibrancy is so universally desirable, so totemic in its powers, that even though we aren't sure what the word means, we know the quality it designates must be cultivated. The vibrant, we believe, is what makes certain cities flourish. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#78. Most of Roosevelt's innovations have been the law of the land for 70 years now, and yet we are still a free society free enough, that is, to allow tens of thousands of protesters to gather on the National Mall and to broadcast their slogans and speeches to the world via C-SPAN. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#79. For-profit higher education is today a booming industry, feeding on the student loans handed out to the desperate. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#80. What is at stake in the debate over health care is more than the mere crafting of policy. The issue is now the identity of the Democratic Party. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#81. In the last James Bond movie, the villain was a culture captain, a tycoon of culture, a Murdoch figure. It's not as if people don't know what is going on. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#82. We the people say it loud and clear every Election Day, in high-crime periods as well as peaceful stretches - More of our population needs to be behind bars. - Author: Thomas Frank
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#83. Republicans run the machine when it's their turn, and then hand the wheel over to Democrats when the public has had enough. - Author: Thomas Frank
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