Economics Quotes 1 to 25

1. ‘Equality of opportunity is meaningless for those who do not have the capabilities to take advantage of it.’ Ha-Joon Chang

2. ‘The higher education system in these countries (US, Korea etc) has become like a theatre in which some people decided to stand to get a better view, promoting the others behind them to stand. Once enough people stand, everyone has to stand, which means no one is getting a better view, while everyone has become more uncomfortable.’ Ha-Joon Chang on grades and degree inflation

3. ‘In manufacturing, where mechanization and the use of chemical processes are much easier, it is easier to raise productivity than in services. In contrast, by their very nature, many service activities are inherently impervious to productivity increase without diluting the quality of the product.’ Ha-Joon Chang

4. ‘As personality traits are genetically transmitted, each succeeding wave of emigrants to a new continent would give rise over time to a population of more engaged individuals than reside in the emigrant’s continent of origin.’ Kenneth Olson

5. ‘How much there is I want to do! I always feel that I haven’t time to accomplish what I wish. I want to read much. I wanted to write a great deal. I want to make money.’ Irving Fisher (one of the great economists)

6. ‘The wealthy mortgage their future for dreams- and the poor take their revenge.’ Robert & Edward Skidelsky, on capitalism

7. ‘The best state for human nature is that in which, while no one is poor, no one desires to be richer, nor has any reason to fear from thrust back, by the efforts of others to push themselves forward.’ John Stuart Mill

8. ‘It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.’ Adam Smith

9. ’95 percent of economics is common sense made complicated, and even for the remaining 5 percent, the essential reasoning, if not all the technical details, can be explained in plain terms.’ Ha-Joon Chang

10. ‘Dangerous acts can be done safely in a community which thinks and feels rightly, which would be the way to hell if they were executed by those who think and feel wrongly.’ John Maynard Keynes

11. “The hardship in western economies, no matter how bad, is nothing compared to life for the poor in a place such as India.” Unknown

12. ‘In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed – they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy, and peace, and what did they produce? The Cuckoo Clock.’ Graham Greene

13. ‘Economic diseases are highly communicable. It follows therefore that the economic health of every country is a proper matter of concern to all its neighbors, near or distant.’ Franklin D. Roosevelt

14. ‘The stars may be large, but they cannot think or love; My picture of the world is drawn in perspective, and not like a model to scale. The foreground is occupied by human beings and the stars are all as small as three-penny bits.’ Frank Ramsey

15. ‘The attractions were manifold. It is distinctly advantageous to us to go amongst the poor…We can get from them about experience of life which is novel and interesting; the study of their lives and surrounding gives us the facts whether with we can attempt to solve the social problems.’ Beatrice Ellen Potter (Founder of the welfare state in Britain)

16. ‘Human beings are no longer born to their place in life…but are free to employ their faculties and such favorable chances as offer, to achieve the lot which may appear to them as desirable.’ John Stuart Mill

17. ‘A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.’ Mark Twain

18. ‘In the history of modern capitalism, crises are the norm, not the exception.’ Nouriel Roubini & Stephen Mihm

19. ‘The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.’ Thomas Sowell

20. ‘The treasury could fill old bottles with banknotes and bury them..and leave it to private enterprises on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again.’ John Maynard Keynes

21. ‘Inflation is taxation without legislation.’ Milton Friedman

22. ‘The difficulty lies not in the new ideas but in escaping from the old ones.’ John Maynard Keynes on the fact that many did not believe in the need for government stimulus to rescue the economy in a crisis.

23. ‘Economics brings into view that conflict of choice is one of the permanent characteristics of human existence.’ Lionel Robbins

24. ‘The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold and persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.’ Franklin Roosevelt

25. “For life satisfaction, it is pretty clear that unemployment drives the relationship,” explained Smith. “Not having a job when you’re willing and able to work affects life satisfaction more than anything else.”

 

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