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1. Economic growth may one day turn out be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead to freedom or constitute a proof for its existence.

Hannah Arendt (1906-75) U.S. political philosopher. On Revolution (1963)


2. Economists got away from really questioning how the world works, how decisions actually got made. If something doesn’t conform to neoclassical models…people are not somehow behaving themselves properly.

  1. Brian Arthur (b.1945) U.S. economist. Interview, Strategy + Business (April-June 1998)


3. If economics wants to understand the new economy, it not only has to understand increasing returns and the dynamics of instability. It also has to look at cognition itself, something we have never done before in economics.

  1. Brian Arthur (b.1945) U.S. economist. Interview, Strategy + Business (April-June 1998)


4. The invisible hand is not perfect. Indeed, the invisible hand is a little bit arthritic…I’m a believer in free markets, but I think we need to be less naïve. We need to accept that markets give us pretty good solutions, but occasionally they will lock in something inferior.

  1. Brian Arthur (b.1945) U.S. economist. Interview, Strategy + Business (April-June 1998)


5. We’re facing a danger that economics is rigorous deduction based upon faulty assumptions. Science after science gets that way from time to time. When it does, we’re in real trouble.

  1. Brian Arthur (b.1945) U.S. economist. Interview, Strategy + Business (April-June 1998)


6. The modern history of economics theory is a tale of evasions of reality.

Thomas Balogh (1905-85) British economist. Referring to classical economics. The Irrelevance of Conventional Economics (1982)


7. Humanity seems bent on creating a world economy primarily based on goods that take no material form. In doing so, we may be eliminating any predictable connection between creators and a fair reward for the utility others may find in their works.

John Perry Barlow (b.1947) U.S. academic, lyricist, and writer. “The Economy of Ideas,” Wired (March 1994)


8. There is no inherent mechanism in our present system which can with certainty prevent competitive sectional bargaining for wages from setting up a vicious spiral of rising prices under full employment.

William Henry Beveridge (1879-1963) British economist and social reformer. Full Employment in a Free Society (1945)


9. Economist, n. A special (but not particular) kind of liar.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) U.S. journalist and writer. The Devil’s Dictionary (1911)


10. This is the generation that claims education, skills, and technology as the instruments of economic prosperity and personal fulfillment, not old battles between state and market.

Tony Blair (b.1953) British prime minister. Quoted in Financial Times (London) (May 30, 1997)


11. A national economy, like an individual business…is the sum of the spiritual and mental qualities of its people, and its output of value will be only as strong as the values of society.

Warren T. Brookes (1929-91) U.S. journalist and columnist. The Economy in Mind (1982)


12. Economics is a metaphysical rather than mathematical science in which intangible spiritual values and attitudes are at least as important as physical assets and morals more fundamental than the money supply.

Warren T. Brookes (1929-91) U.S. journalist and columnist. The Economy in Mind (1982)


13. As the economy gets better, everything else gets worse.

Art Buchwald (b.1925) U.S. journalist. Time (January 31, 1972)


14. Voodoo economics.

George Bush (b.1924) U.S. former president. Referring to the policies of Ronald Reagan. Remark (1980)


15. It’s important for folks to understand that when there’s more trade, there’s more commerce.

George W. Bush (b.1946) U.S. president. Speech (April 2000)


16. Respectable Professors of the Dismal Science.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) British historian and essayist. Referring to Political Economy (Economics) and its practitioners; a reputation that still survives. “The Present Time,” Latter-day Pamphlets (1850), no. 1


17. Here lies one who knew how to get around him men who were cleverer than himself.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) U.S. industrialist and philanthropist. Epitaph (1919)


18. Unlimited economic growth has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege. A fact that has not gone unnoticed among liberal economists.

Noam Chomsky (b.1928) U.S. linguist and political activist. For Reasons of State (1973), Introduction


19. It’s the economy, stupid.

Bill Clinton (b.1946) U.S. former president. 1992. Slogan during the campaign of 1992. New York Times (2000)


20. The difference between buyers and sellers blurs to the point where both are in a web of economic, informational and emotional exchange.

Stan Davis (b.1939) U.S. business author. Blur (co-written with Christopher Meyer; 1998)


21. Corporate intentions and capabilities to create cross-national strategic alliances are affected by the ongoing structural changes of the global and regional economy.

Richard Drobnick (b.1945) U.S. academic. “Economic Integration in the Pacific Rim,” Corporate Strategies in the Pacific Rim (Denis Fred Simon, ed.; 1995)


22. I have no interest in celebrities. If all the superrich disappeared, the world economy would not even notice. The superrich are irrelevant to the economy.

Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Quoted in “Seeing Things as They Really Are,” Forbes (Robert Lenzner and Stephen S. Johnson; 1987)


23. Everybody is always in favour of general economy and particular expenditure.

Anthony Eden (1897-1977) British prime minister. Quoted in “Sayings of the Week,” Observer (London) (June 17, 1956)


24. Economics is not a science in the sense that a policy can repeatedly be applied under similar conditions and will repeatedly produce similar results.

Millicent Fenwick (1910-92) U.S. politician and writer. Speaking Up (1982)


25. Positive economics is in principle independent of any particular ethical position or normative judgment…In short, positive economics is or can be an “objective” science.

Milton Friedman (b.1912) U.S. economist and winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics. Essays in Positive Economics (1953), pt. 1, 1


26. The people are opposed to it. And who is being stupid in all of this, in my opinion, is the business community in Europe. They’re not going to benefit from the euro, they’re going to be harmed by it.

Milton Friedman (b.1912) U.S. economist and winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics. Referring to currency unification in Europe. Forbes (1997)


27. If freedom were not so economically efficient it certainly wouldn’t stand a chance.

Milton Friedman (b.1912) U.S. economist and winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics. Quoted in “Sayings of the Week,” Observer (London) (March 1, 1987)


28. Economists may not know how to run the economy, but they know how to create shortages or gluts simply by regulating prices below the market, or artificially supporting them from above.

Milton Friedman (b.1912) U.S. economist and winner of the 1976 Noble Prize in Economics. 1962. Attrib.


29. Neoclassical economics…has uncovered important truths about the nature of money and markets because its fundamental model of rational self-interested human behavior is correct about 80 percent of the time.

Francis Fukuyama (b.1952) U.S. economist and writer. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (1995)


30. Virtually all economic activity in the contemporary world is carried out not by individuals but by organizations that require a high degree of social cooperation.

Francis Fukuyama (b.1952) U.S. economist and writer. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (1995)


31. The attraction of power we take for granted in politics.. But in economics…the thrust…is for pecuniary return, for money. And I have always felt that denies in the economic world a very large part of the motivation.

  1. K. Galbraith (b.1908) U.S. economist and diplomat. Interview, Conversations with History series, Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley. “Intellectual Journey: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom” (march 27, 1986)


32. In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension and also a deep desire for respectability.

  1. K. Galbraith (b.1908) U.S. economist and diplomat. New York Times Magazine (June 1970)


33. The Affluent Society

  1. K. Galbraith (b.1908) U.S. economist and diplomat. Book title. The Affluent Society (1958)


34. Monetary policy suffers from the unfortunate absence of any occult effect. It has long been clear that economic management…would be greatly facilitated if resort could occasionally be had to witchcraft.

  1. K. Galbraith (b.1908) U.S. economist and diplomat. The Affluent Society (1958), ch. 16


35. Trickle-down theory-the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.

  1. K. Galbraith (b.1908) U.S. economist and diplomat. The Culture of Contentment (1992)


36. There are three kinds of economist. Those who can count and those who can’t.

Eddie George (b.1939) British banker, governor of the Bank of England. Observer (London) (1996)


37. Capital is a result of labor, and is used by labor to assist it in further production. Labor is therefore the employer of capital.

Henry George (1839-97) U.S. economist. Progress and Poverty (1879), bk. 3, ch. 1


38. The new mixed economy looks…for a synergy between public and private sectors.

Anthony Giddens (b.1938) British sociologist and author. The Third Way: The Renewal of Social Democracy (1998)


39. Unfortunately monetarism, like Marxism, suffered the only fate that for a theory is worse than death: it was put into practice.

Ian Gilmour (b.1926) British politician. Dancing with Dogma (1992)


40. The volatility at the core of deregulated financial institutions makes a world economy that is organized as a system of free markets essentially unstable.

John Gray (b.1948) British academic  and writer. False Dawn (1998)


41. Institutions of the newer participants in global finance had not been tested, until recently…recent crisis have underscored certain financial structure vulnerabilities that are not readily assuaged in the short run.

Alan Greenspan (b.1926) U.S. economist and chairman of U.S. Federal Reserve Board. Speech to the Financial Crisis Conference, Council on Foreign Relations, New York. “Global Challenges” (July 12, 2000)


42. We may be in a rapidly evolving international financial system with all the bells and whistles of the so-called new economy. But the old-economy rules of prudence are as formidable as ever. We violate them at our own peril.

Alan Greenspan (b.1926) U.S. economist and chairman of U.S. Federal Reserve Board. Speech to the Financial Crisis Conference, Council on Foreign Relations, New York. “Global Challenges” (July 12, 2000)


43. The recent period has been marked by a transformation to an economy that is more productive as competitive forces become increasingly intense and new technologies raise the efficiency of our businesses…While these tendencies were no doubt in train in the “old,” pre-1990s economy, they accelerated over the past decade as a number of technologies with their roots in the cumulative innovations of the past half-century began to yield dramatic economic returns.

Alan Greenspan (b.1926) U.S. economist and chairman of U.S. Federal Reserve Board. Speech to the National Governors’ Association 92nd Annual Meeting State College, Pennsylvania. “Structural Change in the New Economy” (July 11, 2000)


44. History cannot be reduced to a set of statistics and probabilities.

Alan Greenspan (b.1926) U.S. economist and chairman of U.S. Federal Reserve Board. Speech. Quoted in New York Times (October 14, 1992)


45. An economy that adds value through information, ideas, and intelligence-the Three I Economy-offers a way out of the apparent clash between material growth and environmental resources.

Charles Handy (b.1932) British business executive and author. “Trust and the Virtual Organization,” Harvard Business Review (May-June 1991)


46. The market is a mechanism for sorting the efficient from the inefficient, it is not a substitute for responsibility.

Charles Handy (b.1932) British business executive and author. The Empty Raincoat: Making Sense of the Future (1994), pt. 1, ch. 1


47. Economists can be called the worldly philosophers for they sought to embrace in a scheme of philosophy the most worldly of man’s activities-his drive for wealth.

Robert L. Heilbroner (b.1919) U.S. economist. The Worldly Philosophers (1953), Introduction


48. The eighties was an era when many companies were asset rich and cash poor.

Nicola Horlick (b.1960) British fund manager. Can You Have It All? (1997)


49. Manufacturers…gradually shift their places, leaving those countries and provinces which they have already enriched, and flying to others, whether they are allured by the cheapness of provisions and labour.

David Hume (1711-76) Scottish philosopher and historian. “Of Money,” Essays, Moral, Political and Literary (1754), pt. 2, essay 3


50. Investment is not only volatile, it is the key motor of the economy’s prosperity because it has a snowball effect.

Will Hutton (b.1950) British author and newspaper editor. The State We’re In (1995)


51. No less than war or statecraft, the history of Economics has its heroic ages.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) British novelist and essayist. Collected Essays (1958)


52. When future historians look back on our way of curing inflation…they’ll probably compare it to bloodletting in the Middle Ages.

Lee Iacocca (b.1924) U.S. president of Ford Motor Company, chairman and C.E.O. of Chrysler Corporation. Fortune (June 27, 1983)


53. Observation of realities has never, to put it mildly, been one of the strengths of economic development.

Jane Jacobs (b.1916) U.S. urban theorist and social critic. Cities and the Wealth of Nations (1984)


54. Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down our leg? It seems hot to you but it never does to anyone else.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-73) U.S. president. Quoted in A Life in our Times (J. K. Galbraith; 1981)


55. We must have an economy that does not force the migrant worker’s child to miss school in order to earn…just so the family can eat. That is the moral bankruptcy that trickle-down economics is all about.

Barbara Jordan (1936-96) U.S. politician. Keynote address at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. “Change: From What to What” (July 13, 1992)


56. To take full advantage of the potential in e-business, leaders must lead differently, and people must work together differently. Let’s call this new way of working e-culture-the human side of the global information era, the heart and soul of the new economy.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter (b.1943) U.S. management theorist, academic, and writer. “How E-Smart Are You?,” World Link (January-February 2000)


57. Good economics is good politics.

Paul Keating (b.1944) Australian former prime minister. Quoted in Sydney Morning Herald (August 27, 1988)


58. It is Enterprise which build and improves the world’s possessions…If Enterprise is afoot, Wealth accumulates whatever may be happening to Thrift; and if Enterprise is asleep, Wealth decays, whatever Thrift may be doing.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) British economist. A Treatise on Money (1930)


59. The Economic Problem…the problem of want and poverty and the economic struggle between classes and nations, is nothing but a frightful muddle, a transitory and unnecessary muddle.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) British economist. Essays in Persuasion (1932), Preface.


60. The ideas of economists and political philosophers…are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) British economist. The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money (1936)


61. There are no intrinsic reasons for the scarcity of capital.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) British economist. The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money (1936), ch. 24


62. The engine which drives enterprise is not thrift but profit.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) British economist. Quoted in Treasury of Investment Wisdom (Bernice Cohen; 1999)


63. When the facts change, I change my mind.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) British economist. Quoted in Treasury of Investment Wisdom (Bernice Cohen; 1999)


64. Economics is a subject that does not greatly respect one’s wishes.

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (1894-1971) Soviet statesman. Attrib.


65. I have been….moved to wonder whether my job is a job or a racket, whether economists, and particularly economic theorists, may not be in the position that Cicero, citing Cato, ascribed to the augurs of Rome-that they should cover their faces or burst into laugher when they met on the street.

Frank H. Knight (1885-1972) U.S. economist. Essays on the History and Method of Economics (1956)


66. Costs merely register competing attractions.

Frank H. Knight (1885-1972) U.S. economist. Risk, Uncertainty and Profit (1921)


67. Like nature, our economic system remains, in the long run, stable and rational…We welcome the inevitable seasons of our economy! How foolish of us.

Jerzy Kosinski (1933-91) U.S. novelist. Being There (1971)


68. The notion that economic life is a distinct realm, governed by immutable laws of narrow self-interest, is giving way to a much older notion: economic life is only one strand in the rich web of human relationships.

Frances Moore Lappe (b.1944) U.S. writer and activist on global issues. Speech to Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. “Reweaving Business into the Social Fabric” (December 11, 1997)


69. Today it’s fashionable to talk about the New Economy, or the Information Economy, or the Knowledge Economy. But when I think about the imperatives of this market, I view today’s economy as the Value Economy. Adding value has become more than just a sound business principle; it is both the common denominator and the competitive edge.

Arthur Levitt, JR. (b.1931) U.S. author and former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Speech to the Finance Conference 2000, Boston College, Boston, MA. “The New Economy” (March 6, 2000)


70. Monopoly is business at the end of its journey.

Henry Demarest Lloyd (1847-1903) U.S. journalist and reformer. Wealth Against Commonwealth (1894)


71. It seems that nearly every American either has a share of federal spending or has a close relative who does.

Trent Lott (b.1941) U.S. senator. U.S. News & World Report (1983)


72. Behind the screen of the ballot, the real holders of power…are the great industrial and monetary monopolies who own our national economic life.

Florence Luscomb (1887-1985) U.S. campaigner for women’s suffrage, architect, and pacifist. Attrib.


73. If a business can achieve high returns then it will accumulate more equity and it will have more leeway to reinvest on its own.

Minoru Makihara (b.1930) Japanese president of Mitsubishi Corporation. Interview, Strategy + Business (Joel Kurtzman; January-March 1996)


74. Political work is the life-blood for all economic work.

Mao Zedong (1893-1976) Chinese revolutionary leader. Quotations from chairman Mao Tse Tung (1976)


75. Political Economy or Economics is a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life.

Alfred Marshall (1842-1924) British economist. Principles of Economics (8th ed.; 1890), vol. 1


76. A commodity appears, at first sight, a very trivial thing, and easily understood. Its analysis shows that is, in reality, a very queer thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties.

Karl Marx (1818-83) German political and economic philosopher. Das Kapital (1867), vol. 1


77. A nation is not in danger of financial disaster merely because it owes itself money.

Andrew William Mellon (1855-1937) U.S. financier, industrialist, and public servant. 1933. Quoted in “Sayings of Our Times,” Observer (London) (May 31, 1953)


78. One speaks with great respect of economists, if only because they represent such a variety of opinions.

Robert Menzies (1894-1978) Australian prime minister. Sydney Morning Herald (March 14, 1964)


79. I accept the proposition that there has been a significant improvement in underlying productivity growth in the United States, that it is very closely tied to improvements in information and communications technology, and that it is likely to spread around the world. But I resist the new economy label because it seems to encourage a disrespect for the old rules that could seriously undermine our success in taking advantage of the new opportunities.

Laurence H. Meyer (b.1944) U.S. economist and former member of the Board of Governors, U.S. Federal Reserve System (1996-2002) Speech to the Boston Economics Club, Boston, MA. “The New Economy Meets Supply and Demand” (June 6, 2000)


80. So, is there a “new economy?” The answer is: It depends. It depends on how you define new economy, and it depends on where you live.

Laurence H. Meyer (b.1944) U.S. economist and former member of the Board of Governors, U.S. Federal Reserve System (1996-2002) Speech to the Boston Economics Club, Boston, MA. “The New Economy Meets Supply and Demand” (June 6, 2000)


81. There are broader and narrower definitions of the new economy. The narrow version defines the new economy in terms of two principal developments: first, an increase in the economy’s maximum sustainable growth rate and, second, the spread and increasing importance of information and communications technology.

Laurence H. Meyer (b.1944) U.S. economist and former member of the Board of Governors, U.S. Federal Reserve System (1996-2002) Speech to the Boston Economics Club, Boston, MA. “The New Economy Meets Supply and Demand” (June 6, 2000)


82. The Broader interpretation that often seems to underlie the new economy label is that we are witnessing a more fundamental change in the paradigm. The old rules no longer apply. Throw out the NAIRU. Heck, throw out supply and demand. No limits, no business cycles.

Laurence H. Meyer (b.1944) U.S. economist and former member of the Board of Governors, U.S. Federal Reserve System (1996-2002) Speech to the Boston Economics Club, Boston, MA. NAIRU equals non-accelerating-inflation rate of unemployment. “The New Economy Meets Supply and Demand” (June 6, 2000)


83. Political Economy as a branch of science is extremely modern; but the subject with which its enquiries are conversant has in all ages necessarily constituted one of the chief practical interests of mankind.

John Stuart Mill (1806-73) British economist and philosopher. 1848. Principles of Political Economy, with Some of their Applications to Social Philosophy, 7th edition (1871)


84. Everybody thinks of economics whether he is aware of it or not. In joining a political party or in casting his ballot, the citizen implicitly takes a stand upon essential economic theories.

Ludwig Von Mises (1881-1973) U.S. economist. Human Action (1949)


85. The market economy as such does not respect political frontiers. Its field is the world.

Ludwig Von Mises (1881-1973) U.S. economist. Human Action (1949)


86. Humans have trouble with economics, as you may have noticed, and not just because economic circumstances sometimes cause them to starve. Humans seem to have an innate inability to pay attention to economic principles.

  1. J. O’Rourke (b.1947) U.S. humorist and journalist. Eat the Rich (1998), ch. 1


87. Economics is not an attempt to generalize human desires or human behavior; but to generalize the phenomena of price.

Michael Oakeshott (1901-90) British philosopher and political theorist. Quoted in Thinkers of Our Time: Oakeshott (Robert Grant; 1990)


88. What we are left with is an overmanipulated economy that can’t function normally.

Kenichi Ohmae (b.1943) Japanese management consultant and theorist. Referring to Japanese economy. Fortune (December 1992)


89. Efforts to preserve all industries will lower the national standard of living.

Michael Porter (b.1947) U.S. strategist. The Competitive Advantage of Nations (1990)


90. One of the soundest rules to remember when making forecasts in the field of economics is that whatever is to happen is happening already.

Sylvia Porter (1913-91) U.S. journalist and finance expert. Attrib.


91. A friend of mine was asked to a costume ball a short time ago. He slapped some egg on his face and went as a liberal economist.

Ronald Reagan (b.1911) U.S. former president and actor. Speaking My Mind (1990)


92. In a world where routine production is footloose…competitive advantage lies not in one-time breakthroughs but in continual improvements. Stable technologies get away.

Robert Reich (b.1946) U.S. economist and politician. Tales of a New America (1987)


93. Economics limps along with one foot in untested hypothesis and the other in untestable slogans.

Joan Robinson (1903-83) British economist. “Metaphysics, Morals and Science,” Economic Philosophy (1962)


94. The first essential for economists…is to…combat, not foster, the ideology which pretends that values which can be measured in terms of money are the only ones which count.

Joan Robinson (1903-83) British economist. “What Are the Rules of the Game,” Economic Philosophy (1962)


95. Unequal distribution of income is an excessively uneconomic method of getting the necessary saving done.

Joan Robinson (1903-83) British economist. Essay on Marxian Economics (1942)


96. The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn to avoid being deceived by economists.

Joan Robinson (1903-83) British economist. Marx, Marshall and Keynes (1955)


97. This movement was the origin of the whole system of modern economic administration. It has revitalized the way of doing business all over the world.

John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) U.S. industrialist, philanthropist, and founder of Standard Oil. His assessment of the impact of the creation of Standard Oil. Quoted in Frenzied Finance (Thomas Lawson; 1906)


98. We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) U.S. president. Second presidential inaugural address (January 20, 1937)


99. A nobler economics…is not afraid to discuss spirit and conscience, moral purpose and the meaning of life, an economics that aims to educate and elevate people, not merely to measure their low-grade behavior.

Theodore Roszak (1933-81) U.S. historian, writer, and editor. Defining a humanistic economics. Quoted in Small is Beautiful (E. F. Schumacher; 1973)


100. Economics is as much a study in fantasy and aspiration as in hard numbers-maybe more so.

Theodore Roszak (1933-81) U.S. historian, writer, and editor. The Making of a Counter Culture (1995), Introduction


101. As in the instances of alchemy, astrology, witchcraft, and other such popular creeds, political economy, has a plausible idea at the root of it.

John Ruskin (1819-1900) British art critic and writer. “The Roots of Honour,” Unto This Last (1862)


102. The industrial era assumed the economy of scarcity, but now we have both the economy of scarcity and the economy of abundance: ideas are unlimited.

Charles M. Savage, U.S. management consultant and theorist. Speech, 4th Workshop on Inventing the Organization of the 21st Century, Munich, Germany. “Leadership & Management in the Knowledge Era” (February 1998)


103. The work of Smith is only a confused assemblage of the soundest principles of Political Economy, supported by luminous examples and by the most curious notions of statistics, mingled with instructive reflections.

Jean Baptiste Say (1767-1832) French political economist. Referring to Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (1776) Traite d’economic politique (1803)


104. Modern economic thinking…is peculiarly unable to consider the long term and to appreciate man’s dependence on the natural world.

  1. F. Schumacher (1911-77) British economist and conservationist. Speech, Blackpool, England. “Clean Air and Future Energy” (October 19, 1967)


105. Small is Beautiful

  1. F. Schumacher (1911-77) British economist and conservationist. Book title. Referring to the importance of small-scale economics. Small is Beautiful (1973)


106. The metal of economic theory is in Marx’s pages immersed in such a wealth of steaming phrases as to acquire a temperature not naturally its own.

Joseph Alois Schumpeter (1883-1950) U.S. economist and social theorist. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942)


107. The market economy succeeds not because some people’s interests are suppressed and other people are kept out of the market, but because people gain individual advantage from it.

Amartya Sen (b.1933) Indian economist and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics. “Humane Development,” interview, The Atlantic Monthly (December 15, 1999)


108. The generally accepted theory is that financial markets tend towards equilibrium, and…discount the future correctly. I operate using a different theory, according to which financial markets cannot possibly discount the future correctly because the do not merely discount the future; they help to shape it.

George Soros (b.1930) U.S. financier, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Speech to the MIT Department of Economics, World Economy Laboratory Conference, Washington, D. C. “The Theory of Reflexivity” (April 26, 1994)


109. Studying economics is not a good preparation for dealing with it.

George Soros (b.1930) U.S. financier, entrepreneur and philanthropist. The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998)


110. Economic systems are not value-free columns of numbers based on rules of reason, but ways of expressing what varying societies believe is important.

Gloria Steinem (b.1934) U.S. entrepreneur, editor, and writer. Moving Beyond Words (1994)


111. One of the peculiarities of economics is that it still rests on a behavioral assumption-rational utility maximization-that has long since been rejected by sociologists and psychologists.

Lester Thurow (b.1938) U.S. economist, management theorist, and writer. Dangerous Currents (1983)


112. Economists are always recommending the elimination of this or that “market imperfection”…no astrophysicist recommends the elimination of planets that he does not like.

Lester Thurow (b.1938) U.S. economist, management theorist, and writer. Referring to how economists relate to economic realities. Dangerous Currents (1983)


113. Economics and ethics are not mutually exclusive.

Lionel Tiger (b.1937) Canadian anthropologist. The Manufacture of Evil (1987)


114. Economics is a “dismal science,” we don’t believe things are perfect, we don’t believe there are free lunches. We believe there are trade-offs and costs and sacrifices.

Laura D’Andrea Tyson (b.1947) U.S. economist, academic, and chair of the Council of Economic Advisors and National Economic Council (1993-96) Interview, Conversations with History series, Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley. “An Economist Goes to Washington” (January 14, 1998)


115. Instead of investing in the goods as they pass between producer and consumer, as the merchant does, the businessman now invests in the processes of industry.

Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929) U.S. economist and social scientist. The Theory of Business Enterprise (1904)


116. The corset is, in economic theory, substantially a mutilation, undergone for the purpose of lowering the subject’s vitality and rendering her permanently and obviously unfit for work.

Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929) U.S. economist and social scientist. The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), ch. 7


117. There are only four ways to create value in the New Economy, and they’re really simple: information, entertainment, convenience, and savings.

Jay S. Walker, U.S. entrepreneur, founder of, and C.E.O. of Walker Digital Corporation. Interview, Strategy + Business (April-June 2000)


118. My views about economics are very simple. I think we know very little. We know some things, but our knowledge is limited…It is very important having humility in managing economics.

Alan Walters (b.1926) British economist and government adviser. Interview, Daily Mail (London) (July 28, 1988)


119. It is not that pearls fetch a high price because men have dived for them; but on the contrary, men have dived for them because they fetch a high price.

Richard Whately (1787-1863) British archbishop and economist. Introductory Lectures on Political Economy (1832)


120. As long as capital-both human and money-can move toward opportunity, trade will not balance.

Walter Wriston (b.1919) U.S. banker. Speech (January 25, 1993)


121. The first law of economics is that when the price goes up, consumption comes down. This is a divine law.

Ahmed Zaki Yamani (b.1930) Saudi Arabian politician. Quoted in Yamani (Jeffrey Robinson; 1988)