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Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
John Kenneth Galbraith
Even as I pursued a doctorate in the history of ideas in my native Denmark, I realized I had neither the encyclopedic training nor the passion for cool logic - not to mention the nerve - to follow in the footsteps of classical liberal philosophers and economists such as Robert Nozick, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman.
How is it that, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, there are still some who would deny the dangers of climate change? Not surprisingly, the loudest voices are not scientific, and it is remarkable how many economists, lawyers, journalists and politicians set themselves up as experts on the science.
If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid.
John Maynard Keynes
Economists, like royal children, are not punished for their errors.
You and I come by road or rail, but economists travel on infrastructure.
I'm not an economist and we all know economists were created to make weather forecasters look good.
People tend to think that numbers are quite objective, but numbers in economics are not like this. Some economists say they're like sausages: you don't know what they really are until you cut into them.
If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.
George Bernard Shaw
But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
Economists think about what people ought to do. Psychologists watch what they actually do.
Years ago, I noticed one thing about economics, and that is that economists didn't get anything right.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
There is the expression of selfishness and there is the expression of selflessness - but economists or theoreticians never touched that part. They said: 'Go and become a philanthropist.' I said, 'No, I can do that in the business world, create a different kind of business - a business based on selflessness.'
I may be only a fish and chip shop lady, but some of these economists need to get their heads out of the textbooks and get a job in the real world. I would not even let one of them handle my grocery shopping.
One of the profound effects of economics in our day is that the people with the money and the power have embraced the guilt-free, external-less, everything-will-turn-out-okay-in-the-end philosophy of economics in order to justify their own evil works. And the economists, for the most part, have sucked up to that money.
We're more familiar with what economists call an English auction - prices start low and rise as people bid. However, there is also the Dutch auction, where prices start high and go lower until somebody bites. Movies are sold to the audience via a very slow Dutch auction, where each phase between price drops can last weeks or months.
We want an economic team, Paul Krugman and Robert Kuttner, Joseph Steiglitz's people and others, who say, you know what? We're sophisticated economists but we're concerned about poor and working people.
Contrary to what professional economists will typically tell you, economics is not a science. All economic theories have underlying political and ethical assumptions, which make it impossible to prove them right or wrong in the way we can with theories in physics or chemistry.
Free market economists frequently see minimum wage legislation as mere political intervention. However, there are decent economic theories which show that, under certain circumstances, minimum wages can be beneficial, as it makes workers more productive.
I am one of the most successful economists, according to what markets tell us, though most of my professional colleagues, who are much keener to accept market outcomes than I am, would dismiss me as a crank or - the worst of all abuses among economists - a 'sociologist.'
Indeed, willingness to challenge professional economists and other experts is a foundation stone of democracy. If all we have to do is to listen to the experts, what is the point of having democracy?
Unfortunately, a lot of economists wanted to make their subject a science. So the more what you do resembles physics or chemistry, the more credible you become.
Very often, the judgments by ordinary citizens may be better than those by professional economists, being more rooted in reality and less narrowly focused.
What free-market economists are not telling us is that the politics they want to get rid of are none other than those of democracy itself. When they say we need to insulate economic policies from politics, they are in effect advocating the castration of democracy.
Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers - six if one went to Harvard.
C. S. Lewis
Leonardo da Vinci
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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