No leader communicated so plainly and effectively as Ronald Reagan. With an acting and public-speaking background, Reagan's approach was simple: Say what you mean, say it directly and make folks smile as often as possible.
Reagan was a champion of capitalism, a defender of freedom and never met a regulation he didn't hate. Many of his quotes stll resonate today, particularly since the themes of high taxes and intrusive regulations continue to addle new-business creation in the United States.
On the tenth anniversary of his death, we present the 15 Ronald Reagan quotes every business leader needs to know by heart:
1. "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
2. "Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out."
3. "The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away."
4. "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
5. "Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse."
6. "Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them."
7. "There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder."
8. "My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose. Somehow we win out."
9. "Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in.'"
10. "Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States."
11. "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
12. "When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."
13. "Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July. The Democrats believe every day is April 15."
14. "How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."
15. "They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong."