Soviet Union and Getting A New Automobile

 

I’ve been collecting stories that are told in the Soviet Union by their people among themselves, which reveal they’ve got a great sense of humor, but they’ve also got a pretty cynical attitude toward their system. And I told this when… (well, Bill, you’ll have to hear this again), I told this in the car. I didn’t tell this one to Gorbachev.

 

 

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You know, there’s a ten-year delay in the Soviet Union of delivery of an automobile, and only one out of seven families in the Soviet Union own automobiles.

There’s a ten-year wait, and you go through quite a process when you are ready to buy, and then you put up the money in advance. And this happened to a fella. And this is their story that they tell, their joke… that this man, he laid down his money. And then the fella who was in charge tells him, “Okay, come back in ten years and get your car.” And he said, “Morning or afternoon?”

And … and the fella behind the cars said, “Well, ten years from now what difference does it make?” And he said, “Well, the plumber is coming in the morning.”

 

Gorbachev The Driver

 

You know, less than one family out of seven in the Soviet Union owns an automobile. Most of the automobiles are driven by bureaucrats. The government furnishes them, and the drivers and so forth. So an order went out one day to the police that anyone caught speeding , anyone, no matter who, gets a ticket.

 

 

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Well, Gorbachev came out of his country home, his dacha. He was late getting to the Kremlin. There was his limousine and driver waiting. He told the driver to get into the back seat — he’d drive.. and down the road he went… And they pass two motorcycle cops. One took out after him. And pretty soon he is back with his buddy. And his buddy says, “Well, did you give him a ticket?” And he said, “No.” “What,” he said, “Why not?” “Oh,” he said, ” He’s too important.” “Well,” he said, “We are told to give anybody a ticket, no matter who it is!” “Oh,” he says, “No, no,” he says, “This was… I couldn’t.” “But who was it?” He said, “I couldn’t recognize him. But his driver was Gorbachev.”

 

Mr. President, I Don’t Like the Way You’re Running Our Country

 

The story was about an American and a Russian arguing about their two countries.  And the American said look, in my country, I can walk into the oval office, I can pound on the president’s desk and say Mr. President, I don’t like the way you’re running our country. And the Russian said I can do that.  And the American said you can? Yes, I can go into the Kremlin, into the general secretary’s office, pound on his desk and say Mr. General Secretary, I don’t like the way the President Reagan is running his country.

 

 

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As Government Expands, Liberty Contracts

Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: ‘We the People.’ ‘We the People’ tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us.

 

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‘We the People’ are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which ‘We the People’ tell the government what it is allowed to do. ‘We the People’ are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I’ve tried to do these past 8 years.

But back in the 1960’s, when I began, it seemed to me that we’d begun reversing the order of things — that through more and more rules and regulations and confiscatory taxes, the government was taking more of our money, more of our options, and more of our freedom. I went into politics in part to put up my hand and say, ‘Stop.’ I was a citizen politician, and it seemed the right thing for a citizen to do.

I think we have stopped a lot of what needed stopping. And I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.

 

Margaret Thatcher’s Last Shot at the Socialists

 The Prime Minister:

 

 

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People on all levels of income are better off than they were in 1979. The hon. Gentleman is saying that he would rather that the poor were poorer, provided that the rich were less rich. That way one will never create the wealth for better social services, as we have. What a policy. Yes, he would rather have the poor poorer, provided that the rich were less rich. That is the Liberal policy.

Yes, it came out. The hon. Member did not intend it to, but it did.

I think that the hon. Gentleman knows that I have the same contempt for his socialist policies as the people of east Europe, who have experienced them, have for theirs. I think that I must have hit the right nail on the head when I pointed out that the logic of those policies is that they would rather the poor were poorer. Once they start to talk about the gap, they would rather that the gap were that—[indicating[—down here, not this—[indicating[—but—[indicating.] So long as the gap is smaller, they would rather have the poor poorer. One does not create wealth and opportunity that way. One does not create a property-owning democracy that way.

 

Tear Down This Wall! — Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate

 

We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

 

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