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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.
Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
John Kenneth Galbraith
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
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.
Economists, like royal children, are not punished for their errors.
The prevailing ideology of the modern west - which is political economy - is in the doghouse. Having failed to notice atmospheric pollution, the economists then frightened themselves with the sort of financial crisis they said they had abolished.
Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers - six if one went to Harvard.
Some struggle with medical issues - like insomnia - that make sleep hard. But for many of us, the quantity and quality of sleep come down to a matter of choice. Still, only a few enterprising economists have looked closely at this, and generally, those have assumed that we choose our hours of sleep optimally.
But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
Years ago, I noticed one thing about economics, and that is that economists didn't get anything right.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Although most Americans apparently loathe inflation, Yale economists have argued that a little inflation may be necessary to grease the wheels of the labor market and enable efficiency-enhancing changes in relative pay to occur without requiring nominal wage cuts by workers.
Everything is possible, from angels to demons to economists and politicians.
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.
Unlimited economic growth has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege, a fact that has not gone unnoticed among liberal economists.
Economists think about what people ought to do. Psychologists watch what they actually do.
The biggest tab the public picks up for fossil fuels has to do with what economists call 'external costs,' like the health effects of air and water pollution.
We have lots of evidence that putting investments in early childhood education, even evidence from very hard-nosed economists, is one of the very best investments that the society can possibly make. And yet we still don't have public support for things like preschools.
Economists often like startling theorems, results which seem to run counter to conventional wisdom.
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.
For me, geopolitical issues are becoming more important, because how can you understand economy if you don't understand geopolitics? People think economists just deal with spreadsheets and charts. That's a narrow-minded caricature.
The reality is that we are all economists. We all deal with scarcity as we make choices and calculate how to ration various items and resources that we consume, produce and utilize.
You and I come by road or rail, but economists travel on infrastructure.
If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.
George Bernard Shaw
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo da Vinci
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Image of the Moment
In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
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