ON-Lion Letter
The 2010 Bradley Prize recipients' acceptance remarks, delivered during a celebratory ceremony in June at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., entertained and inspired the hundreds who gathered to honor them.  Edited transcripts of their remarks are now available online.  

In Capital University Law School professor Bradley A. Smith's remarks, he read letters that were written to the Federal Election Commission when he served on it from citizens involved in politics.  The letters expressed frustration with and sometimes anger about the rules and regulations governing election finance and processes in America. 

"It is true that the wealthy and powerful take advantage of freedom and sometimes abuse it," Smith said, "but it is average citizens, like the people in these letters, who most benefit from limited government, the rule of law, and a strong civil society.  These are the values that the Bradley brothers, and now the Bradley Foundation, have supported for decades.  That the selection committee and the Bradley board of trustees have deemed my modest efforts in this fight worthy of this honor means more to me than you can know.  Thank you."

In his remarksWall Street Journal editorial-page editor Paul A. Gigot said, "I want to thank my Journal colleagues, who are the real authors of what you read every day.  They do the heavy lifting, often in anonymity and without much hope of getting rich.  They do it because they love the work, and because they believe in the same principles and ideas as you and I do.

"Those principles have had a difficult couple of years, but one lesson I've learned putting out a daily newspaper is that while there are no permanent victories, there are also no permanent defeats," he continued.  "Thanks to our current government, the American people are once again learning what creates prosperity, and what doesn't.  The education is painful, but I suspect it will mean more victories for our ideas soon enough."

Stanford University economics professor John B. Taylor told several entertaining stories in his remarks, in the way that he does in classrooms at Stanford and elsewhere, that teach basic economic principles.  "Sometimes it helps to act out stories," Taylor said.  "When my children were young, they joined me on the lecture stage to illustrate the permanent income hypothesis.  My son would find a $10 dollar bill on the stage, and then say he would only spend 50 cents -- only 5 percent of it -- because it was only a temporary boost to his income.  I would then tell my daughter that she was getting a permanent raise for baby-sitting, and she would say that she would spend most of it. 

"If only members of congress could have seen that lecture; we might have avoided the so-called stimulus idea of sending one-time checks to people rather than permanently reducing their tax rates," he went on.  "I am happy that my daughter Jen and her husband Josh now let my granddaughter Olivia join me on the lecture stage, acting out stories like the burden of our growing debt on future generations."

And in his remarks, journalist and political analyst Michael Barone poked fun at himself.  While growing up in Detroit in the early 1950s, Barone remembered, "my parents bought a set of the World Book Encyclopedia.  I was very excited.  Before that, the only reference books in the house had only the 1940 Census figures, which were obviously badly out of date, and the World Book had the complete 1950 Census results.  When my mother would send me out in the back yard to play, I would sneak back down the side door into the basement where we kept the encyclopedia, and make tables showing the populations of major cities in 1940 and 1950. ...  [N]one of the other kids were interested in census figures.  But I still remember down to the last digit the populations of major cities in 1950.  Detroit had 1,849,568 -- but I better stop there.

"People sometimes ask me why I moved from liberal to conservative," he concluded.  "If I have to answer in one word, it is Detroit.  I worked as an intern in the office of the mayor of Detroit in the summer of 1967, and was by the side of the mayor and the governor of Michigan in what we called misleadingly the command center, during the six-day riot in which 40 people died.  Keeping in touch with Detroit over the years, I have seen since how the liberal policies which we hoped would create something like heaven in our central cities instead created something closer to hell.  I came to believe that the results sought by Roosevelt were more likely to be achieved by the policies of Reagan.

"And because the Bradley Foundation has done distinguished and pioneering work in developing better public policies and to improve the lives and increase the opportunities of people in our central cities, I am particularly proud of having been awarded the Bradley Prize.  Thank you very much."
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |