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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
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.
Economists, like royal children, are not punished for their errors.
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.
Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers - six if one went to Harvard.
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
But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
I'm not an economist and we all know economists were created to make weather forecasters look good.
Economists think about what people ought to do. Psychologists watch what they actually do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Years ago, I noticed one thing about economics, and that is that economists didn't get anything right.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
You and I come by road or rail, but economists travel on infrastructure.
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
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.
Economists who have studied the relationship between education and economic growth confirm what common sense suggests: The number of college degrees is not nearly as important as how well students develop cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving ability.
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.
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