Best 930 quotes in «economics quotes» category

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    I was quite depressed two weeks ago when I spent an afternoon at Brentano's Bookshop in New York and was looking at the kind of books most people read. Once you see that you lose all hope.

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    I was reading in the paper today that Congress wants to replace the dollar bill with a coin. They’ve already done it. It’s called a nickel.

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    Localisation stands, at best, at the limits of practical possibility, but it has the decisive argument in its favour that there will be no alternative.

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    Machinery which is not used is not capital.

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    Man is smart - If money would have grown on trees, we would have used green leaves as money.

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    Many find in sex and economics the meaning of life and the reason of it all. The consequence of this is that the goal of life for many has become a relief of tension.

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    Man does not know most of the rules on which he acts; and even what we call his intelligence is largely a system of rules which operate on him but which he does not know.

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    Many people would also agree with Amartya Sen, the economist-philosopher and Nobel Prize Laureate, that poverty leads to an intolerable waste of talent. As he puts it, poverty is not just a lack of money; it is not having the capability to realize one’s full potential as a human being. 10 A poor girl from Africa will probably go to school for at most a few years even if she is brilliant, and most likely won’t get the nutrition to be the world-class athlete she might have been, or the funds to start a business if she has a great idea.

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    Markets cannot meet the needs of the very poor. The desperately poor are not consumers who will create an immediate profit.

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    ...material things become economically useful only as they receive man’s spiritual response.

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    Matter of fact, the only certainty driving the economy is the certainty that boredom at faster and faster rates is inevitable.

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    Money can only be used to buy man-made goods.

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    Money is a powerful means of exploitation and oppression; but it is also the only means (apart from the most tyrannical dictatorship or the most idyllic accord) so far devised by human intelligence to regulate production and distribution automatically. For the moment, rather than concerning oneself with the abolition of money one should seek a way to ensure that money truly represents the useful work performed by its possessors. . . .

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    Minimum standards to promote workers' wages, health and safety, to safeguard the community against pollution and degradation, and to ensure basic life goods for all as a basic contract for civil society was between 1945 and the mid-1970s, in fact, a rapidly evolving framework which inhibited the causes and effects of a corporate market system committed to an opposed goal.

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    More pervasive and corrosive are the nearly invisible forms of time denial that are built into the very infrastructure of our society. For example, in the logic of economics, in which labor productivity must always increase to justify higher wages, professions centered on tasks that simply take time - education, nursing, or art performance - constitute a problem because they cannot be made significantly more efficient.

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    More than any other colonial founder, Oglethorpe made himself one of the people, promoting collective effort.

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    Most of us try to do too much because we are secretly afraid we will not be able to do anything at all.

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    My sponsor is an ex-Navy guy. Buys me lunch on Christmas. I tell him, as long as I am drinking and I have money, things seem to be going well. Now, you just replace “am drinking” with “have oil” there you have the U.S. economy. When I don’t drink for a while… I get a little depressed and anti-Semitic. I tell him, as soon as the United States stops fucking up foreign democracies and stealing their oil, I’ll stop drinking. Unfortunately, looks like neither miracle is going to happen…

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    Neoclassical economics has effectively insulated itself from the great advances made in science and engineering over the last 40 years. This self-imposed isolation must come to an end. For while the concepts of neoclassical economics appear difficult, they are actually quaint in comparison to the sophistication evident in today's mathematics, engineering, computing, evolutionary biology and physics. In order to advance, economics must humbly submit to learning from disciplines that it has studiously ignored for so long. Some researchers in outside fields have called for the wholesale replacement of standard economics curricula, using at least the building blocks of modern thought inherent in other disciplines.

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    No one cultivates in a stony-ground, instead he cultivates in a soft-rich ground. Do not expect people to invest in you if you're a lazy type.

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    Nothing is illegal if one hundred businessmen decide to do it. -Andrew Young, author, civil rights activist, US congressman, mayor, and UN ambassador (b. 1932)

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    Marx's simultaneous critique of the categories of political economy, of utopian socialism and of Hegel does not aim to replace them with an improved set. He grasps them as expressions of the way that humanity is concealed within inhumanity. By tracing their logical interconnections, he finds the way to break their stranglehold on our consciousness and on our lives.

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    Money can cloud your vision. Sometimes, God takes away the money and uses times of adversity to refine us like gold.

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    Monopoly is a market, or part of a market, reserved to the exclusive possession of one or more sellers by means of the initiation of physical force by the government, or with the sanction of the government. Monopoly exists insofar as the freedom of competition is violated, with the freedom of competition being understood as the absence of the initiation of physical force as the preventive of competition. Where there is no initiation of physical force to violate the freedom of competition, there is no monopoly. The freedom of competition is violated only insofar as individuals are excluded from markets or parts of markets by means of the initiation of physical force. Monopoly is thus a market or part of a market reserved to the exclusive possession of one or more sellers by means of the initiation of physical force. It is thus something imposed upon the market from without—by the government. (Private individuals—gangsters—can initiate force to reserve markets only if the government allows it and thereby sanctions it.) Thus, monopoly is not something which emerges from the normal operation of the economic system, and which the government must control.

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    Neoliberalism is essentially an intentionally imprecise stand-in term for free market economics, for economic sciences in general, for conservatism, for libertarians and anarchists, for authoritarianism and militarism, for advocates of the practice of commodification, for center-left or market-oriented progressivism, for globalism and welfare state social democracies, for being in favor of or against increased immigration, for favoring trade and globalization or opposing the same, or for really any set of political beliefs that happen to be disliked by the person(s) using the term.

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    No exchanges of goods (for other goods or for money) would ever take place, unless the same physical thing had different values to different people.

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    No other system of economic organizing rewards merit, hard work and creativity the way Capitalism does.

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    Now, quite apart from the fact that, from the point of view of the Earther, socialism suffers the devastating liability of only exhibiting internal contradictions when you are trying to use it as an adjunct to your own stupidity (unlike capitalism, which again, from the point of view of the Earther, happily has them built in from the start), it is the case that because Free Enterprise got there first and set up the house rules, it will always stay at least one kick ahead of its rivals.

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    No one thought the poor more undeserving than the poor themselves.

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    Of valid economics pre-dating the Power Age (steam and electricity), there remains not a vestige. Of valid economics pre-dating the intensive and extensive use of electricity there will soon exist only rags and tatters. We still have to thank Adam Smith for insisting 'Consumption is the sole end and purpose of production;' but the old form of the law of demand and supply is outmoded, since supply has become practically inexhaustible.

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    Oil may run out, liquidity may dry up, but as long as ink flows freely, the next chapter of Life will continue to be written.

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    Now, in the modern money economy everything in the nature of a social-economic occurrence consists in human actions and behaviour.

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    Once you understand the economics of the Austrian School and the philosophy of liberty in the tradition of Rothbard, you never look at anything – not the state, the media, the central bank, the political class, nothing – the same way again.

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    Nynaeve shook her head. She supposed it was one way to find money for the poor. Simply rob anyone who was not poor. Of course, that would just make everyone poor in the end, but it might work for a time

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    Once everyone can enrich their souls for free, government subsidies for enrichment forfeit their rationale. To object, 'But most people don't use the Internet for spiritual enrichment' is actually a damaging admission that eager students are few and far between. Subsidized education's real aim isn't to make ideas and culture accessible to anyone who's interested, but to make them mandatory for everyone who *isn't* interested . . . The rise of the Internet has two unsettling lessons . . . First: the humanist case for education subsidies is flimsy today because the Internet makes enlightenment practically free. Second: the humanist case for education subsidies was flimsy all along because the Internet proves low consumption of ideas and culture stems from apathy, not poverty or inconvenience. Behold: when the price of enlightenment drops to zero, remains embarrassingly scarce.

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    On Earth one of the things that a large proportion of the locals is most proud of is this wonderful economic system which, with a sureness and certainty so comprehensive one could almost imagine the process bears some relation to their limited and limiting notions of either thermodynamics or God, all food, comfort, energy, shelter, space, fuel and sustenance gravitates naturally and easily away from those who need it most and towards those who need it least. Indeed, those on the receiving end of such largesse are often harmed unto death by its arrival, though the effects may take years and generations to manifest themselves.

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    One of the many signs of verbal virtuosity among intellectuals is the repackaging of words to mean things that are not only different from, but sometimes the direct opposite of, their original meanings. 'Freedom' and 'power' are among the most common of these repackaged words. The basic concept of freedom as not being subjected to other people's restrictions, and of power as the ability to restrict other people's options have both been stood on their heads in some of the repackaging of these words by intellectuals discussing economic issues. Thus business enterprises who expand the public's options, either quantitatively (through lower prices) or qualitatively (through better products) are often spoken of as 'controlling' the market, whenever this results in a high percentage of consumers choosing to purchase their particular products rather than the competing products of other enterprises. In other words, when consumers decide that particular brands of products are either cheaper or better than competing brands of those products, third parties take it upon themselves to depict those who produced these particular brands as having exercised 'power' or 'control.' If, at a given time, three-quarters of the consumers prefer to buy the Acme brand of widgets to any other brand, then Acme Inc. will be said to 'control' three-quarters of the market, even though consumers control 100 percent of the market, since they can switch to another brand of widgets tomorrow if someone else comes up with a better widget, or stop buying widgets altogether if a new product comes along that makes widgets obsolete. ....by saying that businesses have 'power' because they have 'control' of their markets, this verbal virtuosity opens the way to saying that government needs to exercise its 'countervailing power' (John Kenneth Galbraith's phrase) in order to protect the public. Despite the verbal parallels, government power is in fact power, since individuals do not have a free choice as to whether or not to obey government laws and regulations, while consumers are free to ignore the products marketed by even the biggest and supposedly most 'powerful' corporations in the world.

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    On the whole, however, it was accepted that money not only talked, but governed. All the industrialist had to get to be accepted among the governors of society was enough money.

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    Or how does it happen that trade, which after all is nothing more than the exchange of products of various individuals and countries, rules the whole world through the relation of supply and demand—a relation which, as an English economist says, hovers over the earth like the fate of the ancients, and with invisible hand allots fortune and misfortune to men, sets up empires and overthrows empires, causes nations to rise and to disappear—while with the abolition of the basis of private property, with the communistic regulation of production (and implicit in this, the destruction of the alien relation between men and what they themselves produce), the power of the relation of supply and demand is dissolved into nothing, and men get exchange, production, the mode of their mutual relation, under their own control again?

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    One should attend carefully to the fear and desperation of the powerful. They understand very well the potential reach of the "ultimate weapon," and only hope that those who seek a more free and just world will not gain the same understanding and put it effectively to use.

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    One simple answer is that there has been a massive rise in the incidence of sanctimony and smugness among the successful that has nothing to do with any change in the underlying reality. Rather, it has been stimulated by politicians who have realized that it is possible to win power by recruiting the most economically successful forty per cent or so of the population in a crusade to roll back the gains made by their fellow citizens in the previous forty years. And how better to rationalize this than to tell people that they deserve the incomes that the market generates?

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    Our market-intensive societies measure material progress by the increase in the volume and variety of commodities produced. And taking our cue from this sector, we measure social progress by the distribution of access to these commodities. Economics has been developed as propaganda for the takeover by large-scale commodity producers.

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    Our knowledge of dynamic processes is necessarily inferior to our ability to describe stationary conditions.

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    Our obsession with scarcity makes us take for granted the very things that our survival depends on—air, water, climate, food, safety or even relationships. It’s only when something critically important becomes scarce and hence expensive that the human mind begins to acknowledge its value.

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    Our minds become slaves to those we see as having total power to control us and to cause pain to us. We are quick to give up control of ourselves to those who have the power to rule us as long as they also have the power to feed us. This is the fundamental construct of a feudal society.

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    Our society gives its economy priority over health, love, truth, beauty, sex and salvation; over life itself. Whatsoever is given precedence over life will take precedence over life, and will end in eliminating life. Since economics, at its most abstract level, is the religion of our people, no noneconomic happening, not even one as potentially spectacular as the Second Coming, can radically alter the souls of our people.

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    Our problem is not to trace the emergence of a world market, of a sufficiently active class of private entrepreneurs, or even (in England) of a state dedicated to the proposition that the maximization of private profit was the foundation of government policy...By the 1780s we can take the existence of all these for granted...

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    OUR SOCIETY IS CONTROLLED BY LAWYERS AND FINANCIERS "PROBLEM MAKERS WE NEED TO EVOME TO A SOCIETY LEAD BY CREATORS, ENGINEERS, SCIENTISTS PROBLEM SOLVERS. SURELY WE WILL HAVE MORE INGENUITY COOPERATION AND PEACE

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    Parents are not alone in focusing their expectations on success at the graduation exam: The whole education system colludes with them. The curriculum and organization of schools often date back to a colonial past, when schools were meant to train a local elite to be the effective allies of the colonial state, and the goal was to maximize the distance between them and the rest of the populace.

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    People above the line of bare subsistence in this age, and in all earlier ages, do not use the surplus which society has given them primarily for useful purposes. They do not seek to expand their lives, to live more wisely, intelligently, understandingly, but to impress other people with the fact that they have a surplus.