Economics Quotes


  • The calculations and models are every day a confirmation, beyond the academic libraries and government dossiers, of the utopia of political reaction.
  • Economics is more disciplinary than any other discipline, and it has been ever since its origins.
    o Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude. Hamish Hamilton, 2005, p. 154

  • Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.
    o Steven Dubner and Stephen Levitt, Freakonomics, 2005, p. 20


  • “The more opportunities there are in a Society for some persons to live upon the toil of others, and the less those others may enjoy the fruits of their work themselves, the more is diligence killed, the former become insolent, the latter despairing, and both negligent.” ~ Anders Chydenius The National Gain, 1765
  • “The body of economic knowledge is an essential element in the structure of human civilization; it is the foundation upon which modern industrialism and all the moral, intellectual, technological, and therapeutical achievements of the last centuries have been built.” ~ Ludwig von Mises
  • “All people, however fanatical they may be in their zeal to disparage and to fight capitalism, implicitly pay homage to it by passionately clamoring for the products it turns out.” ~ Ludwig von Mises
  • “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.” ~ Calvin Coolidge
  • “Ultimately, property rights and personal rights are the same thing. The one cannot be preserved if the other be violated.” ~ Calvin Coolidge
  • “No matter how worthy the cause, it is robbery, theft, and injustice to confiscate the property of one person and give it to another to whom it does not belong.” ~ Walter Williams
  • “Ordinary human concern for human distress does not manifest itself ordinarily in the form of a gun aimed at the wallets and earnings of one’s neighbors.” ~ Ayn Rand
  • “While, politically, a mixed economy preserves the semblance of an organized society with a semblance of law and order, economically it is the equivalent of the chaos that had ruled China for centuries: a chaos of robber gangs looting–and draining–the productive elements of the country.” ~ Ayn Rand
  • “Anyone who says minimum wage laws decrease unemployment disavows the law of demand and is therefore unqualified to speak as an economist.” ~ Nobel Laureate James Buchanan
  • “Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.” ~ Adam Smith
  • “Economics is the science of greed.” ~ F. V. Meyer
  • “How is property given? By restraining liberty; that is, by taking it away so far as necessary for the purpose. How is your house made yours? By debarring every one else from the liberty of entering it without your leave.” ~ Jeremy Bentham
  • “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” ~ Frederic Bastiat
  • “Men did not make the earth. It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.” ~ Thomas Paine
  • “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” ~ Henry Ford
  • “Since the state must necessarily provide subsistence for the criminal poor while undergoing punishment, not to do the same for the poor who have not offended is to give a premium on crime.” ~ John Stuart Mill
  • “That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.” ~ President Abraham Lincoln
  • “The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.” ~ Milton Friedman
  • “The prosperity we have known up to the present is the consequence of rapidly spending the planet’s irreplaceable capital.” ~ Aldous Huxley
  • “Things may come to those who wait. But only the things left by those who hustle.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
  • “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” ~ Murray Rothbard Making Economic Sense (1995)
  • “Milton Friedman did for Economics what Pythagoras did for maths. Margaret Thatcher did for Britain what Steven Spielberg did for modern cinema.
  • ” – James Padgett


  • “See, when the Government spends money, it creates jobs; whereas when the money is left in the hands of Taxpayers, God only knows what they do with it. Bake it into pies, probably. Anything to avoid creating jobs.” ~ Dave Barry
  • “Most of the presidential candidates’ economic packages involve ‘tax breaks,’ which is when the government, amid great fanfare, generously decides not to take quite so much of your income. In other words, these candidates are trying to buy your votes with your own money.” ~ Dave Barry
  • “Everything reminds Milton Friedman of the money supply. Everything reminds me of sex, but I try to keep it out of my papers.” ~ Nobel Laureate Robert Solow
  • “If economists wished to study the horse, they wouldn´t go and look at horses. They´d sit in their studies and say to themselves, “what would I do if I were a horse?”” ~ Ely Devons
  • “Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith
  • “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith
  • “An economist is a man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible.” ~ Alfred A. Knopf
  • “If economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion” ~ George Bernard Shaw
  • [Hacker has just had a stormy cabinet meeting over a sudden financial crisis]

    Jim Hacker: Bernard, Humphrey should have seen this coming and warned me.
    Bernard: I don’t think Sir Humphrey understands economics, Prime Minister; he did read Classics, you know.
    Hacker: What about Sir Frank? He’s head of the Treasury!
    Bernard: Well I’m afraid he’s at an even greater disadvantage in understanding economics: he’s an economist.

    ~ Yes, Prime Minister, A Real Partnership (Series 1)

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: