Quotes on Economics

Free enterprise has done more to reduce poverty than all the government programs dreamed up by Democrats. Ronald Wilson Reagan Quote Details

More quotes about:

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists. John Kenneth Galbraith Quote Details

More quotes about:

Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith Quote Details

More quotes about:

When the government goes into business it lays a tax on everybody else in that business, and uses the money that it collects from its competitors to establish a monopoly and drive them out of business. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

More quotes about:

The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which every one will have a better chance to be successful. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

More quotes about:

When government enters the field of business with its great resources, it has a tendency to extravagance and inefficiency, but, having the power to crush all competitors, likewise closes the door of opportunity and results in monopoly. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

More quotes about:

No matter how it is disguised, the moment the government engages in buying and selling, by that act it is fixing prices. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

More quotes about:

One of the chief dangers to the success of popular government is that it will throw away self-restraint and self-control and adopt laws which, being without sound economic foundation, bring on such a financial distress as to result in want, misery, disorder, and the dissolution of society. Calvin Coolidge Quote Details

More quotes about:

Most of economics can be summarized in four words: "People respond to incentives." The rest is commentary. Steven Landsburg Quote Details

More quotes about:

Markets work best when government provides public goods. These are not, as the name wrongly suggests, anything purchased with public money. Instead, public goods have two salient characteristics: 1)They can be provided just as cheaply for thousands or even millions of people as they can for a single individual and 2)It's difficult or impossible to prevent people who haven't paid for such goods from enjoying their benefits. Charles Wheelan Quote Details

More quotes about:

Minimum or maximum prices are one of the most effective ways to encourage people to indulge their preferences, be they racial or any other preference. In general, any kind of economic regulation that restricts peaceable, voluntary exchange has the capacity to lower the costs of preference indulgence. Decent people should be against such regulations. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

More quotes about:

One of the wonderful things about free markets is that the path to greater wealth comes not from looting, plundering and enslaving one's fellow man, as it has throughout most of human history, but by serving and pleasing him. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

More quotes about:

Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work - whereas economics represents how it actually does work. Steven Levitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. Steven Levitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

Economics is, at root, the study of incentives. Steven Levitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

People who denounce the free market and voluntary exchange, and are for control and coercion, believe they have more intelligence and superior wisdom to the masses. What's more, they believe they've been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Of course, they have what they consider good reasons for doing so, but every tyrant that has ever existed has had what he believed were good reasons for restricting the liberty of others. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

More quotes about:

The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the hidden confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard. Alan Greenspan Quote Details

More quotes about:

Increases in money supply are what constitute inflation, and a general rise in prices is the symptom. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

More quotes about:

There's been one underlying basic fallacy in this whole set of social security and welfare measures, and that is the fallacy - this is at the bottom of it - the fallacy that it is feasible and possible to do good with other people's money. That view has two flaws. If I want to do good with other people's money, I first have to take it away from them. That means that the welfare state philosphy of doing good with other people's money, at it's very bottom, is a philosophy of violence and coercion. It's against freedom, because I have to use force to get the money. In the second place, very few people spend other people's money as carefully as they spend their own. Milton Friedman Quote Details

More quotes about:

The argument for collectivism, for government doing something, is simple. Anybody can understand it. 'If there's something wrong, pass a law. If somebody is in trouble, get Mr. X to help them out.' The argument for voluntary cooperation, for a free market, is not nearly so simple. It says, 'You know, if you allow people to cooperate voluntarily and don't interfere with them, indirectly, through the operation of the market, they will improve matters more than you can improve it directly by appointing somebody.' That's a subtle argument, and it's hard for people to understand. Moreover, people think that when you argue that way you're arguing for selfishness, for greed. That's utter nonsense. Milton Friedman Quote Details

More quotes about:

The larger the government, the more our livings standards are reduced. We are fortunate as a civilization that the progress of free enterprise generally outpaces the regress of government growth, for, if that were not the case, we would be poorer each year — not just in relative terms, but absolutely poorer too. The market is smart and the government is dumb, and to these attributes do we owe the whole of our economic well-being. Lew Rockwell Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank. Capitalism cherishes voluntary contracts and interest rates that are determined by savings, not credit creation by a central bank. Ron Paul Quote Details

More quotes about:

Fundamentally, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions. One is central direction involving the use of coercion - the technique of the army and of the modern totalitarian state. The other is voluntary cooperation of individuals - the technique of the marketplace. Milton Friedman Quote Details

More quotes about:

I am in favor of Federal deficits, if the alternative is higher taxes. I am in favor of lower taxes, even if these lead to higher deficits. I think the Federal government will not cut spending for any reason but one: bankruptcy. So, as long as the beast is going to spend money, it might as well raise it by borrowing. Let the people who trust the government wind up as creditors to the government. When the government defaults, one way or the other, those hurt most will be those who trusted politicians the most. This is as it should be. There is a kind of raw justice in the arrangement. Gary North Quote Details

More quotes about:

One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary. Ayn Rand Quote Details

More quotes about:

Capitalism does not exist without capital, and debt is not, has never been and will never be a form of capital. Ron Paul Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

Two vital marketplace signals are the profits that come with success and the losses that come with failure. When these two signals are not allowed to freely function, markets operate less efficiently. Walter E. Williams Quote Details

More quotes about:

The function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. John Kenneth Galbraith Quote Details

More quotes about:

If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand. Milton Friedman Quote Details

More quotes about:

The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition is so powerful that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often encumbers its operations. Adam Smith Quote Details

More quotes about:

The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. Ayn Rand Quote Details

More quotes about:

There are men regarded today as brilliant economists, who deprecate saving and recommend squandering on a national scale as the way of economic salvation; and when anyone points to what the consequences of these policies will be in the long run, they reply flippantly, as might the prodigal son of a warning father: "In the long run we are all dead." And such shallow wisecracks pass as devastating epigrams and the ripest wisdom. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man. This is no accident. The inherent difficulties of the subject would be great enough in any case, but they are multiplied a thousandfold by a factor that is insignificant in, say, physics, mathematics or medicine - the special pleading of selfish interests. While every group has certain economic interests identical with those of all groups, every group has also, as we shall see, interests antagonistic to those of all other groups. While certain public policies would in the long run benefit everybody, other policies would benefit one group only at the expense of all other groups. The group that would benefit by such policies, having such a direct interest in them, will argue for them plausibly and persistently. It will hire the best buyable minds to devote their whole time to presenting its case. And it will finally either convince the general public that its case is sound, or so befuddle it that clear thinking on the subject becomes next to impossible.

In addition to these endless pleadings of self-interest, there is a second main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day. This is the persistent tendency of man to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group, and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences.
Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

It is often sadly remarked that the bad economists present their errors to the public better than the good economists present their truths. It is often complained that demagogues can be more plausible in putting forward economic nonsense from the platform than the honest men who try to show what is wrong with it. But the basic reason for this ought not to be mysterious. The reason is that the demagogues and bad economists are presenting half-truths. They are speaking only of the immediate effect of a proposed policy or its effect upon a single group. As far as they go they may often be right. In these cases the answer consists in showing that the proposed policy would also have longer and less desirable effects, or that it could benefit one group only at the expense of all other groups. The answer consists in supplementing and correcting the half-truth with the other half. But to consider all the chief effects of a proposed course on everybody often requires a long, complicated, and dull chain of reasoning. Most of the audience finds this chain of reasoning difficult to follow and soon becomes bored and inattentive. The bad economists rationalize this intellectual debility and laziness by assuring the audience that it need not even attempt to follow the reasoning or judge it on its merits because it is only "classicism" or "laissez faire" or "capitalist apologetics" or whatever other term of abuse may happen to strike them as effective. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

Nothing is easier to achieve than full employment, once it is divorced from the goal of full production and taken as an end in itself. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

It is just as essential for the health of a dynamic economy that dying industries should be allowed to die as that growing industries should be allowed to grow. For the dying industries absorb labor and capital that should be released for the growing industries. It is only the much vilified price system that solves the enormously complicated problem of deciding precisely how much of tens of thousands of different commodities and services should be produced in relation to each other. These otherwise bewildering equations are solved quasi-automatically by the system of prices, profits and costs. They are solved by this system incomparably better than any group of bureaucrats could solve them. For they are solved by a system under which each consumer makes his own demand and casts a fresh vote, or a dozen fresh votes, every day; whereas bureaucrats would try to solve it by having made for the consumers, not what the consumers themselves wanted, but what the bureaucrats decided was good for them. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

One function of profits, in brief, is to guide and channel the factors of production so as to apportion the relative output of thousands of different commodities in accordance with demand. No bureaucrat, no matter how brilliant, can solve this problem arbitrarily. Free prices and free profits will maximize production and relieve shortages quicker than any other system. Arbitrarily fixed prices and arbitrarily limited profits can only prolong shortages and reduce production and employment. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

Inflation is the opium of the people. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

When national debts have once been accumulated to a certain degree, there is scarce, I believe, a single instance of their having been fairly and completely paid. The liberation of the public revenue, if it has even been brought about at all, has always been brought about by a bankruptcy; sometimes by an avowed one, but always by a real one, though frequently by a pretended payment. Adam Smith Quote Details

More quotes about:

There is no more certain way to deter employment than to harass and penalize employers. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

Practically all government attempts to redistribute wealth and income tend to smother productive incentives and lead toward general impoverishment. It is the proper sphere of government to create and enforce a framework of law that prohibits force and fraud. But it must refrain from specific economic interventions. Government's main economic function is to encourage and preserve a free market. When Alexander the Great visited the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: "Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun." It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government. Henry Hazlitt Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

It is not unusual for American students to find their textbooks telling them that injustice was everywhere before the federal government, motivated by nothing but a deep commitment to the public good, intervened to save them from the wickedness of the free market. Alleged "monopolies" dictated prices to hapless consumers. Laborers were forced to accept ever-lower wages. And thanks to their superior economic position, giant corporations effortlessly parried the attempts of anyone foolish enough to try to compete with them.

Every single aspect of this story is false, though of course this version of our history continues to be peddled and believed. I don't blame people for believing it - it's the only rendition of events they're ever told, unless by some fluke they have learned where to look for the truth. But there is an agenda behind this silly comic-book version of history: to make people terrified of the "unfettered" free market, and to condition them to accept the ever-growing burdens that the political class imposes on the private sector as an unchangeable aspect of life that exists for their own good.
Ron Paul Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

The only way to increase everyone's standard of living is by increasing the amount of capital per worker. Additional capital makes workers more productive, which means they can produce more goods than before. When our economy becomes physically capable of producing vastly more goods, their abundance makes them more affordable in terms of dollars (if the Federal Reserve isn't inflating the money supply). Soaking the rich works for only so long: the rich eventually wise up and decide to hide their income, move away, or stop working so much. But investing in capital makes everyone better off. It is the only way we can all become wealthier. We are wealthier today because our economy is physically capable of producing so much more at far lower costs. And that's why, just from a practical point of view, it is foolish to levy taxes along any step of this process, because doing so sabotages the only way wealth can be created for everyone. Ron Paul Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

If free trade were not beneficial, it would make sense for us to "protect jobs" by buying only those goods produced entirely in our own towns. Or we could purchase only those goods produced on the streets where we live. Better still, we could restrict our purchases to things produced in our own households, buying all our products only from our own immediate family members. When the logic of trade restriction is taken to its natural conclusion, its impoverishing effects become too obvious to miss. Ron Paul Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

True free trade does not require treaties or agreements between governments. On the contrary, true free trade occurs in the absence of government intervention in the free flow of goods across borders. Ron Paul Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

A true supporter of private property and personal responsibility cannot be indifferent to environmental damage, and should view it as a form of unjustified aggression that must be punished or enjoined, or dealt with in some other way that is mutually satisfactory to all parties. Private business should not have the right to socialize its costs by burdening other people with the by-products of its operations. Ron Paul Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

The arithmetic makes it plain that inflation is a far more devastating tax than anything that has been enacted by our legislature. The inflation tax has a fantastic ability to simply consume capital. It makes no difference to a widow with her savings in a 5 percent passbook account whether she pays 100 percent income tax on her interest income during a period of zero inflation or pays no income taxes during years of 5 percent inflation. Either way, she is 'taxed' in a manner that leaves her no real income whatsoever. Any money she spends comes right out of capital. She would find outrageous a 120 percent income tax but doesn't seem to notice that 5 percent inflation is the economic equivalent. Warren Buffett Quote Details

More quotes about:

A mixed economy is a mixture of freedom and controls — with no principles, rules, or theories to define either. Since the introduction of controls necessitates and leads to further controls, it is an unstable, explosive mixture which, ultimately, has to repeal the controls or collapse into dictatorship. A mixed economy has no principles to define its policies, its goals, its laws — no principles to limit the power of its government. The only principle of a mixed economy — which, necessarily, has to remain unnamed and unacknowledged — is that no one's interests are safe, everyone's interests are on a public auction block, and anything goes for anyone who can get away with it. Such a system — or, more precisely, anti-system - breaks up a country into an ever-growing number of enemy camps, into economic groups fighting one another for self preservation in an indeterminate mixture of defense and offense, as the nature of such a jungle demands. Ayn Rand Quote Details

More quotes about:

In reality, there is no such thing as "Too big to fail"; there is only "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." Eric Raymond Quote Details

More quotes about:

This is the source.

The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design. F. A. Hayek Quote Details

More quotes about:

Find something you like? Get a new inspiring quote every day!

Get the free Daily Quote by email:

Your Email:


You should follow me on twitter here.