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Quotes of the day: John Maynard Keynes

Published Wednesday, June 05, 2013 @ 7:12 AM EDT
Jun 05 2013

John Maynard Keynes (June 5, 1883 - April 21, 1946) was a British economist whose ideas have fundamentally affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, and informed the economic policies of governments. He built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and is widely considered to be one of the founders of modern macroeconomics and the most influential economist of the 20th century. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots. (Click for Wikipedia article)


Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering what average opinion believes average opinion to be; and this national weakness finds its nemesis in the stock market.

But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.

Economic privation proceeds by easy stages, and so long as men suffer it patiently the outside world cares little.

Economics is a very dangerous science.

Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent.

I do not know which makes a man more conservative- to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past.

I work for a Government I despise for ends I think criminal.

If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid.

It is generally agreed that casinos should, in the public interest, be inaccessible and expensive. And perhaps the same is true of Stock Exchanges.

Logic, like lyrical poetry, is no employment for the middle-aged.

Men will not always die quietly.

Most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older.

Once doubt begins it spreads rapidly.

Perhaps it is historically true that no order of society ever perishes save by its own hand.

The avoidance of taxes is the only pursuit that still carries any reward.

The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems- the problems of life and of human relations, of creation and behavior and religion.

The division of the spoils between the victors will also provide employment for a powerful office, whose doorsteps the greedy adventurers and jealous concession hunters of twenty or thirty nations will crowd and defile.

The glory of the nation you love is a desirable end, but generally to be obtained at your neighbor's expense.

The importance of money flows from it being a link between the present and the future.

The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.

The power to become habituated to his surroundings is a marked characteristic of mankind.

There is no harm in being sometimes wrong- especially if one is promptly found out.

There is nothing so disastrous as a rational investment policy in an irrational world.

They offer me neither food nor drink- intellectual nor spiritual consolation... [Conservatism] leads nowhere; it satisfies no ideal; it conforms to no intellectual standard, it is not safe, or calculated to preserve from the spoilers that degree of civilisation which we have already attained.

We are, as I have said, one equation short.

When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals.

Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thought on the unthinking.

Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.

Categories: John Maynard Keynes, Quotes of the day


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