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“There is not only no free lunch, but no free reform, either. We paid quite heavily in lost output and income in the past couple of years. …It was one-third of industrial output, one-fourth of agricultural output, one-fifth of GDP.…It’s rather difficult to explain to the citizens of the country that after the collapse of communism, you have to pay a heavy price.”

  —Václav Klaus, former prime minister of the Czech Republic, giving the third annual George J. Stigler Memorial Lecture

“The diseases incident to our society are moral and cultural rather than political: a collapse of ethical principles and habits, a loss of respect for authorities and institutions, a breakdown of the family, the decline of civility and honesty, the vulgarization of high culture, and the degradation of popular culture.…In their most virulent form, these diseases manifest themselves in illegitimacy, crime, violence, drug addiction, illiteracy, pornography, welfare dependency. The epidemiology is by now so familiar that one need not rehearse it. It was not so long ago that one did have to do that, if only to refute those who are in a state of denial, who claim that the dramatic increase in crime since the 1960s is a statistical illusion reflecting improved modes of report, or that the rise of illegitimacy signifies not a decline of family stability, but the emergence of alternative lifestyles.…These arguments are heard less frequently today, except among the most obdurate of academics.”

  —Gertrude Himmelfarb, AM’44, PhD’50, history professor emerita at CUNY, participating in the Olin Center’s lecture series

“The Mexican 20th century is finishing without the country having overcome the exclusion and abandonment in which ethnic peoples, at least ten percent of the population, have lived during this century.”

  —Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, mayor of Mexico City, speaking at Rockefeller Chapel on Mexico’s future
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