Economist Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 97 quotes )
Economists have a singular method of procedure. There are only two kinds of institutions for them, artificial and natural. The institutions of feudalism are artificial institutions, those of the bourgeoisie are natural institutions. In this, they resemble the theologians, who likewise establish two kinds of religion. Every religion which is not theirs is an invention of men, while their own is an emanation from God. When the economists say the present-day relations--the relations of bourgeois production--are natural, they imply that these are the relations in which wealth is created and productive forces developed in conformity with the laws of nature. These relations therefore are themselves natural laws independent of the influence of time. They are eternal laws which must always govern society. Thus, there has been history, but there is no longer any. There has been history, since there were institutions of feudalism, and in these institutions of feudalism we find quite different relations of production from those of bourgeois society, which the economists try to pass off as natural and, as such, eternal.
Economists often talk about the 80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the “work” will be done by 20 percent of the participants. In most societies, 20 percent of criminals commit 80 percent of crimes. Twenty percent of motorists cause 80 percent of all accidents. Twenty percent of beer drinkers drink 80 percent of all beer. When it comes to epidemics, though, this disproportionality becomes even more extreme: a tiny percentage of people do the majority of the work.
Economics is really about two stories. One is the story of the old economist and younger economist walking down the street, and the younger economist says, ‘Look, there’s a hundred-dollar bill,’ and the older one says, ‘Nonsense, if it was there somebody would have picked it up already.’ So sometimes you do find hundred-dollar bills lying on the street, but not often—generally people respond to opportunities. The other is the Yogi Berra line ‘Nobody goes to Coney Island anymore; it’s too crowded.’ That’s the idea that things tend to settle into some kind of equilibrium where what people expect is in line with what they actually encounter.
The social function of economic science consists precisely in developing sound economic theories and in exploding the fallacies of vicious reasoning. In the pursuit of this task the economist incurs the deadly enmity of all mountebanks and charlatans whose shortcuts to an earthly paradise he debunks. The less these quacks are able to advance plausible objections to an economist’s argument, the more furiously do they insult them.
Therefore it is not arrogance or narrow-mindedness that leads the economist to discuss these things from the standpoint of economics. No one, who is not able to form an independent opinion about the admittedly difficult and highly technical problem of calculation in the socialist economy, should take sides in the question of socialism versus capitalism. No one should speak about interventionism who has not examined the economic consequences of interventionism. An end should be put to the common practice of discussing these problems from the standpoint of the prevailing errors, fallacies, and prejudices. It might be more entertaining to avoid the real issues and merely to use popular catchwords and emotional slogans. But politics is a serious matter. Those who do not want to think its problems through to the end should keep away from it.
Adam Smith FRSE (baptised June 5, 1723 O.S. / June 16 N.S.? July 17, 1790) was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneering political economist. He is also the founder of economics. One of the key figures of the intellectual movement known as the Scottish Enlightenment, he is known primarily as the author of two treatises: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter was one of the earliest attempts to systematically study the historical development of industry and commerce in Europe, as well as a sustained attack on the doctrines of mercantilism. Smith's work helped to create the modern academic discipline of economics and provided one of the best-known intellectual rationales for free trade, capitalism, and libertarianism. Adam Smith is now depicted on the back of the Bank of England 20 note. Source: Wikipedia
I try to kind of enlightened my frustration and agony by coming to the conclusion that I may not be useful as an economist but I m still a basic human being. I can juts go out and stand next to human being. And see if there s anything I can do to another person. Even for a day if it is help pay for more a day I feel more a little bit better.
Everything we get, outside of the free gifts of nature, must in some way be paid for. The world is full of so- called economists who in turn are full of schemes for getting something for nothing. They tell us that the government can spend and spend without taxing at all; that it can continue to pile up debt without ever paying it off, because "we owe it to ourselves.
Some economists argue that the apparent paradox rests on an illusion: there is no real 'labor shortage,' only a shortage of people willing to work at the wages currently being offered. You might as well talk about a 'Lexus shortage'? which there is, in a sense, for anyone unwilling to pay $40,000 for a car.
None of this excuses anyone from mastering the basic ideas and terminology of economics. The intelligent layman must expect also to encounter good economists who are difficult writers even though some of the best have been very good writers. He should know, moreover, that at least for a few great men ambiguity of expression has been a positive asset. But with these exceptions he may safely conclude that what is wholly mysterious in economics is not likely to be important.
John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806? 8 May 1873), English philosopher, political theorist, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century whose works on liberty justified freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was an exponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham, although his conception of it was very different from Bentham's. He clearly set forth the premises of the scientific method.
We are faced with famine in 1974 and people are dying of hunger. When people are dying of hunger, and you are a young economic teacher, teaching an elegant economic theory in the class room, it doesn't make you feel good. Because all your brilliant theories don't seem to, come into use of the people who dying. And it 's death you cannot explain because it's not cause of disease. ..it's just of not having food to eat...So in the situation like that you have nothing but frustration and agony. So one way, I try to kind of enlightened my frustration and agony by coming to the conclusion that I may not be useful as an economist, but I'm still a basic human being. I can juts go out and stand next to human being. And see if there's anything I can do to another person. Even for a day if it is help, pay for more a day, I feel more a little bit better. So that's why I started going outside the campus..I thought if you can become an angel for 27 dollars, it would be fun to do more of it
There are two visions of America a half century from now. One is of a society more divided between the haves and the have-nots, a country in which the rich live in gated communities, send their children to expensive schools, and have access to first-rate medical care. Meanwhile, the rest live in a world marked by insecurity, at best mediocre education, and in effect rationed health carethey hope and pray they don't get seriously sick. At the bottom are millions of young people alienated and without hope. I have seen that picture in many developing countries; economists have given it a name, a dual economy, two societies living side by side, but hardly knowing each other, hardly imagining what life is like for the other. Whether we will fall to the depths of some countries, where the gates grow higher and the societies split farther and farther apart, I do not know. It is, however, the nightmare towards which we are slowly marching.
People do more for their fellows than return favors and punish cheaters. They often perform generous acts without the slightest hope for payback ranging from leaving a tip in a restaurant they will never visit again to throwing themselves on a live grenade to save their brothers in arms. [Robert] Trivers together with the economists Robert Frank and Jack Hirshleifer has pointed out that pure magnanimity can evolve in an environment of people seeking to discriminate fair weather friends from loyal allies. Signs of heartfelt loyalty and generosity serve as guarantors of one s promises reducing a partner s worry that you will default on them. The best way to convince a skeptic that you are trustworthy and generous is to be trustworthy and generous.
That economics has a considerable conceptual apparatus with an appropriate terminology can not be a serious ground for complaint. Economic phenomena, ideas, instruments of analysis exist. They require names. Education in economics is, in considerable measure, an introduction to this terminology and to the ideas that it denotes. Anyone who has difficulties with the ideas should complete his education or, following an exceedingly well-beaten path, leave the subject alone. It is sometimes said that the economist has a special obligation to make himself understood because his subject is of such great and popular importance. By this rule the nuclear physicist would have to speak in monosyllables.