An average English word is four letters and a half. By hard, honest labor I’ve dug all the large words out of my vocabulary and shaved it down till the average is three and a half… I never write metropolis for seven cents, because I can get the same money for city. I never write policeman, because I can get the same price for cop…. I never write valetudinarian at all, for not even hunger and wretchedness can humble me to the point where I will do a word like that for seven cents; I wouldn’t do it for fifteen.
Every child must be encouraged to get as much education as he has the ability to take. We want this not only for his sake — but for the future of our nation’s sake. Nothing matters more to the future of our country: not our military preparedness — for armed might is worthless if we lack the brainpower to build world peace; not our productive economy — for we cannot sustain growth without trained manpower; not our democratic system of government – for freedom is fragile if citizens are ignorant.
Let us not think of education only in terms of its costs, but rather in terms of the infinite potential of the human mind that can be realized through education. Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.
[On his donation of $100 million to UCLA in 2012 adding to the $200 million he donated in 2002] The cost of a world-class medical education should not deter our future innovators, doctors and scientists from the path they hope to pursue. We need the students at this world-class institution to be driven by determination and the desire to do their best work and not by the fear of crushing debt. I hope in doing this that others will be inspired to do the same.
Studying in countries like China isn’t only about your prospects in the global marketplace. It’s not just about whether you can compete with your peers in other countries to make America stronger. It’s also about whether you can come together and work together with them to make our world stronger. It’s about the friendships you make, the bonds of trust you establish and the image of America that you project to the rest of the world.
Each year more than 100,000 high school graduates, with proved ability, do not enter college because they cannot afford it. And if we cannot educate today’s youth, what will we do in 1970 when elementary enrollment will be 5 million greater than 1960? And high school enrollment will rise by 5 million. College enrollment will increase by more than 3 million.