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 Economics Quotes

"It keeps cropping up all over the place. There is an economics of money and trade, of production and consumption, of distribution and development. There is also an economics of welfare, manners, language, industry, music, and art. There is an economics of war and an economics of power. There is even an economics of love. Economics seems to apply to every nook and cranny of human experience. It is an aspect of all conscious action. Whenever alternatives exist, life takes on an economic aspect. It has always been so. But how can it be? It can be because economics is more than just the most developed of the sciences of control. It is a way of looking at things, an ordering principle, a complete part of everything. It is a system of thought, a life game, an element of pure knowledge."
- Robert A. Mundell, a Canadian economist

Give me a one-handed economist! All my economists say, "on the one hand...on the other." Attributed to Harry S. Truman (1884 - 1972) U.S. president.

Having a little inflation is like being a little pregnant. Attributed to Leon Henderson (1895 - 1986) U.S. economist.

Here we are again with both feet firmly planted in the air. Hugh Scanlon (1913 - ) British labor leader. Referring to his union's attitude toward the European Common Market.
The Observer (London), "Sayings of the Year"

I have never read it. You should not waste your time. Kenneth Clarke (1940 - ) British politician. Referring to the Maastricht Treaty (1995).Independent (London)

I have only one thing to say to the tax increasers: Go ahead, make my day. Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004) U.S. president and actor.

I have yet to meet the famous Rational Economic Man theorists describe. Real people have always done inexplicable things from time to time, and they show no sign of stopping. Charles Sanford, Jr. (1936 - ) U.S. business executive.

If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion. Attributed to George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) Irish playwright.

If economists were good at business, they would be rich men instead of advisers to rich men. Attributed to Kirk Kerkonian (1917 - ) U.S. business executive.

In the days when the nation depended on agriculture for its wealth it made the Lord Chancellor sit on a woolsack to remind him where the wealth came from. I would like to suggest we remove that now and make him sit on a crate of machine tools. Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh (1921 - ) British consort of Queen Elizabeth II.

John Stuart Mill
By a mighty effort of will
Overcame his natural bonhomie
And wrote "Principles of Political Economy". Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875 - 1956) British writer and journalist.

Man does not live by GNP alone. P. A. Samuelson (1915 - ) U.S. economist.

Modern economic peculiarly unable to consider the long term and to appreciate man's dependence on the natural world. E. F. Schumacher (1911 - 1977) German-born British economist.

One nanny said, "Feed a cold"; she was a neo-Keynesian. Another nanny said, "Starve a cold"; she was a monetarist. Harold Macmillan (1894 - 1986) British prime minister, 1984.

One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know. J. K. Galbraith (1908 - ) Canadian-born U.S. economist.

Our whole economy is based on planned obsolescence...we make good products, we induce people to buy them, and then the next year we deliberately introduce something that will make these products old-fashioned, out of date, obsolete. Brooks Stevens (1911 - 1995) U.S. industrial designer.

People of the same trade seldom meet together but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. Adam Smith (1723 - 1790) Scottish economist and philosopher.

Respectable Professors of the Dismal Science. Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881) Scottish historian and essayist. Referring to economics.

Studying economics is not a good preparation for dealing with it. George Soros (1930 - ) Hungarian-born U.S. investor and philanthropist.

The attempt to isolate economics from other disciplines—notably politics, history, philosophy, finance, constitutional theory and sociology—has fatally disabled its power to explain what is happening in the world. Will Hutton (1950 - ) British author and newspaper editor.

The deficit is big enough to take care of itself. Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004) U.S. president and actor.

The first law of economics is that when the price goes up, consumption comes down. This is a divine law. You cannot change it. Sheikh Yamani (1930 - ) Saudi Arabian politician. Referring to the consequences of raising oil prices.

The global market as it is presently organized does not allow the world's peoples to coexist harmoniously. It impels them to become rivals for resources while instituting no methods for conserving. John Gray (1948 - ) British academic.

The idea behind Reaganomics is this: a rising tide lifts all yachts. Walter Mondale (1928 - ) U.S. vice president and lawyer. Referring to the economic policies of Ronald Reagan.

The National Debt is a very Good Thing and it would be dangerous to pay it off for fear of Political Economy. W. C. Sellar (1898 - 1951) British writer of humor.

The one profession where you can gain great eminence without ever being right. Attributed to George Meany (1894 - 1980) U.S. labor leader. Referring to economists.

The policy challenge of sustainable development consists of finding a path towards a positive social and ecological coevolution. Richard Norgaard (1943 - ) U.S. author.

The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists. Joan Robinson (1903 - 1983) British economist.

There are two problems in my life. The political ones are insoluble and the economic ones are incomprehensible. Alec Douglas-Home (1903 - 1995) British prime minister.

To try to understand the workings of the economy by means of macroeconomics is rather like trying to understand how a clock works by observing the movements of the hands on its face. David Simpson (1936 - ) Scottish economist.

We now have the worst of both worlds—not just inflation on the one side or stagnation on the other side, but both of them together. We have a sort of "stagflation" situation. Iain Macleod (1913 - 1970) British politician.

You cannot go to sleep with one form of economic system and wake up the next morning with another. Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 - ) Russian statesman.

A land ethic for tomorrow should...stress the oneness of our resources and the live-and-help-live logic of the great chain of life. Stewart L. Udall (1920 - ) U.S. politician and conservationist.

Objective knowing is alienated knowing; and alienated knowing is sooner or later, ecologically disastrous knowing. Before the earth could become an industrial garbage can it had first to become a research laboratory. Theodore Roszak (1933 - ) U.S. writer and editor.

Over the long haul of life on the planet, it is the ecologists, and not the bookkeepers of business, who are the ultimate accountants. Stewart L. Udall (1920 - ) U.S. politician and conservationist.

Sometime in the last ten years the best brains of the Occident discovered to their amazement that we live in an Environment. This discovery has been forced on us by the realization that we are approaching the limits of something. Gary Snyder (1930 - ) U.S. poet, essayist, and translator. Referring to the increasing prominence of ecological matters in Western thought.

That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. Aldo Leopold (1886 - 1948) U.S. naturalist, conservationist, and philosopher.

Moral principles have lost their distinctiveness. For modern man, absolute right and absolute wrong are a matter of what the majority is doing. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968) U.S. civil rights leader.

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