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Economics and Economists

„Sequentielle Spiele beginnen immer hinten und gehen dann nach vorne. Andere zweistufige Spiele beginnen vorne.“ (vermutlich anonym bleiben wollender Teilnehmer an der Klausur "Public Enterprises", WS 2013/14)

“Socialism is only workable in Heaven, where it is not needed, but not in Hell, where they have it already.”
(Harold Macmillan, Britischer Premierminister 1957-1963)

A true story:
"I heard this from one of my professors. To protect him, no names will be revealed. This professor was about to get married. He went to the jewelers to get a wedding ring for his fiancee. The jeweler told him that he can have the inside of the ring engraved with the name of his fiancee for an additional $20 (remember, this was a LONG time ago). He said, "But that will reduce the resale value!" The jeweler was aghast. He said, "How can you say such a thing. You are a butcher!" "No," replied the professor, "I am an economist"."
(told by Tapen Sinha, PhD)

"Arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
(Milton Friedmann)

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."
(Thomas Jefferson)

"The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money."
(Margaret Thatcher)

"Schade, daß ich "Weiterführende Mikroökonomik" nicht gemacht habe, ich habe mich dann leider für die dunkle Seite der Macht entschieden, also BWL ..."
(Bochumer BSc in Economics Student, Name ist der Redaktion bekannt, wird aber vertraulich behandelt)

“The price of oil is not determined by the British Parliament. It is determined by some lads riding camels who do not even know how to spell ‘national sovereignty’.”
(Vic Feather, former General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress)

“[Economists are] people who see something work in practice and wonder if it would work in theory.”
(President Ronald Reagan)

“I find myself more and more relying for a solution to our problems on [Adam Smith’s] invisible hand which I tried to eject from economic thinking 20 years ago.”
(John Maynard Keynes, a few days before his death in 1946)

"An investment in knowledge always gives the best return."
(Benjamin Franklin, 1706 - 1790)

"Aid is the process by which poor people in rich countries give money to rich people in poor countries."
(Lord Bauer of Market Ward in the City of Cambridge, professor emeritus of economics at the London School of Economics)

“The study of economics does not seem to require any specialised gifts of an unusually high order. Is it not, intellectually regarded, a very easy subject compared with the higher branches of philosophy and pure science? Yet good, or even competent, economists are the rarest of birds. An easy subject at which very few excel! The paradox finds its explanation perhaps, in that the master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts. He must reach a high standard in several different directions and must combine talents not often found together. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher - in some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future. No part of man's nature or his institutions must lie entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood; as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near the earth as a politician."
(John Maynard Keynes, 1883 - 1946)

“There are only two kinds of economists - good economists and bad economists. We're good economists.“
(Milton Friedman, 1912 - )

“There are only three kinds of economists in the world. Those who can count and those who can't.“
(Edward George, Gouverneur der Bank of England von 1993 bis 2003)

 

Politics, Politicians and Public Debate

"A friend, himself a Remainer, describes Jean-Claude Juncker to me as the ´Sepp Blatter of the EU`. ... It captures that unmerited sense of ownership, that confident unaccountability, those menacing, charmless jokes."

(Charles Moore, The Spectator)

This is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America ... he doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."

(Former New York City Mayor on U.S. President Barack Obama)

 

“EURO = HOMO“
(according to banners carried by Ukrainian Russophile anti-EU protesters)

Modern man has no past and certainly no future. He is uncivilised and unaware of his noble traditions. He is no patriot, but bows to the edicts of grey suits in Brussels as long as they promise him a life of ease, which is in itself the big lie. Modern man has no religion, no loyalty, no family, just a desire to please himself. Modern man has been indoctrinated to owe ‘nobody nothing’, except to the Third World.

(Taki Theodoracopulos, The Spectator)

“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”   (Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense 1975-1977 and 2001-2006)

The field of Jihad can satisfy your scientific ambitions, and the large American bases [in Iraq] are good places to test your unconventional weapons, whether biological or dirty.”
(Abu Hamza al Muhajer, former Al Qaeda leader in Iraq)

"The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. It is a solemn moment for the American Democracy. For with primacy in power is also joined an awe-inspiring accountability to the future. If you look around you, you must feel not only the sense of duty done but also you must feel anxiety lest you fall below the level of achievement. Opportunity is here now, clear and shining for both our countries. To reject it or ignore it or fritter it away will bring upon us all the long reproaches of the after-time. It is necessary that constancy of mind, persistency of purpose, and the grand simplicity of decision shall guide and rule the conduct of the English-speaking peoples in peace as they did in war. We must, and I believe we shall, prove ourselves equal to this severe requirement."
(from "The Sinews of Peace", Winston Churchill, 1946)

“It would nevertheless be wrong and imprudent to entrust the secret knowledge or experience of the atomic bomb, which the United States, Great Britain, and Canada now share, to the world organisation [the United Nations], while it is still in its infancy. It would be criminal madness to cast it adrift in this still agitated and un-united world. No one in any country has slept less well in their beds because this knowledge and the method and the raw materials to apply it, are at present largely retained in American hands. I do not believe we should all have slept so soundly had the positions been reversed and if some Communist or neo-Fascist State monopolised for the time being these dread agencies. The fear of them alone might easily have been used to enforce totalitarian systems upon the free democratic world, with consequences appalling to human imagination. God has willed that this shall not be and we have at least a breathing space to set our house in order before this peril has to be encountered: and even then, if no effort is spared, we should still possess so formidable a superiority as to impose effective deterrents upon its employment, or threat of employment, by others.” 

(from "The Sinews of Peace", Winston Churchill, 1946)

“The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. It is a solemn moment for the American Democracy. For with primacy in power is also joined an awe-inspiring accountability to the future. If you look around you, you must feel not only the sense of duty done but also you must feel anxiety lest you fall below the level of achievement. Opportunity is here now, clear and shining for both our countries. To reject it or ignore it or fritter it away will bring upon us all the long reproaches of the after-time. It is necessary that constancy of mind, persistency of purpose, and the grand simplicity of decision shall guide and rule the conduct of the English-speaking peoples in peace as they did in war. We must, and I believe we shall, prove ourselves equal to this severe requirement.”
(from "The Sinews of Peace", Winston Churchill, 1946)

“Clerical cuckoos!”
(Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on English churchmen praying for both English as well as Argentine soldiers during the Falklands war)

“I wish that Shirley Williams did not always look as if she had been dragged through a hedge backwards; and I wish that, just for once, Mrs Thatcher might look as if she had been.”
(Jean Kathleen Rook, “The First Lady of Fleet Street”, English journalist)

“As nervous as I was about this whole process, the one thing I didn't lose sleep over was the possibility of taking bin Laden out. Justice was done. And I think that anyone who would question that the perpetrator of mass murder on American soil didn't deserve what he got needs to have their head examined.”
(Barack Obama, President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2009), CBS News - 60 Minutes, May 8, 2011)

“The Afghans will happily fight on for another 50 or 100 years. It’s their favourite pastime anyway.”
(A defence analyst on the BBC World Service)

“Inaction is not a neutral position.”
(Matthew d'Ancona, political commentator, Weekly Telegraph, March 16-22, 2011)

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."
(Thomas Jefferson)

"Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not to run their lives."
(Ronald Reagan)

"Government is not the solution. Government is the Problem."
(Ronald Reagan)

“Notable people who are right-wing live a lot longer than notable people who are decidedly left of centre. This discovery of mine is, you might argue, counter-intuitive; you would expect right-wingers to be eaten away with dyspepsia and choler, the blood vessels on their foreheads popping open every time they read of a mosque about to open, or a wildcat strike about to take place. Whereas lefties, traditionally, possess a communal ethos and are tolerant of the many and diverse ways in which our society expresses itself. Not so, however. They die younger”
(Rod Little, writing in The Spectator)

”The typical Telegraph obituary will be of some bewildered old fascist who’s held off 5,000 darkies at Rorke’s Drift, formed an organisation called The League of English Patriots in 1927 after an epiphany upon visiting Rome, and spent the rest of his life on the board of various arms dealers and his Local Neighbourhood Watch committee and was an expert on something arcane – Victorian tram tickets, say or gollywogs. Let’s be honest: he was always of a somewhat rightish hue. The typical Guardian obituary will be some forlorn and ugly woman who wrote a groundbreaking, non-verbal play about lesbian cattle in 1972 and spent the rest of her life in some sinecure at the ‘university’ of Potters Bar Non-Verbal Drama Department.”
(Rod Little, writing in The Spectator)

“ [The secession] is not a matter of legal/historic pedantry. Human rights have since become the weapon of choice of ‘progressives’ when they cannot secure their objectives democratically. How else can unpopular measures such as abortion, exclusion of religion from schools or gay marriage be established in the USA if not via unelected judges? A similar tension lies behind the current European debate, with constitutional ‘advances’ promoted by unelected officials of the Commission. We might profitably learn from history that human rights and federal ambitions have a poor record of respecting legislatures and the will of the majority – let alone ‘red lines’.”
(Martin Sewell, letter to the Spectator)

”There is nothing a politician likes so little as to be well-informed; it makes decision-making so complex and difficult.”
(John Maynard Keynes)

“[Abraham] Lincoln did everything for effect, and his death even got him on the five-dollar bill, whereas in my opinion he should have been tried in absentia for the crimes he committed during the war and the destruction he caused to one of the loveliest societies that ever existed, the antebellum south.”
(Taki Theodoracopulos, The Spectator)

“The fact is that moderate Islamism is a myth. There are, to be sure, more than a billion moderate Muslims – people who pray five times a day or not, fast during Ramadan or not, perhaps entertain superstitions about pork, the devil, or the conduct of the birds vis-à-vis the Kaaba, or indeed seek by painstaking study of the Koran and the Hadith to reconcile the basic values of their religion with modern life and the discoveries of science. But Islamism is a political ideology that takes the literal, fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran as a master plan for society: Islamic law. You are either an Islamist or you are not, in the same ways that you cannot be a little bit pregnant.”
(John R. Bradley, “Summer of hate”, The Spectator)

“You need only do three things in this country to avoid poverty - finish high school, marry before having a child, and marry after the age of 20. Only 8 percent of the families who do this are poor; 79 percent of those who fail to do this are poor.”
(William Galston, adviser to Bill Clinton)

“One of my ministers found half-naked with a guardsman in Hyde Park? Last Wednesday? The coldest night of the year? Makes you proud to be British.””
(Winston Churchill, reputedly)

“Intelligence reports say Castro is very worried about me. I’m very worried that we can’t come up with something to justify his worrying.”
(Ronald Reagan, in his diaries)

“I think I’m hardline and will never appease but I do want to try and let [the Soviets] see there is a better world if they’ll show by deed they want to get along with the free world.”
(Ronald Reagan, in his diaries)

"You can always tell when he's lying, his lips are moving!"
(David Frost, broadcaster, on the former UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson)

"We have to challenge some of the hippy tendencies of the Left. Actually what works is structure, discipline, uniform and hierarchy."
(Institute for Public Policy Research)

"Almost everything you touch in British culture, whether it's art, literature or the language itself has been shaped by the Judaeo-Christian tradition, by the Bible, by the Churches, worship and belief."
(Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, on the notion that Britain is a "multi-faith society")

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.“
(Winston Churchill, 1874 - 1965)

"If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns."
(National Rifle Association

"You may speak with the tongues of angels and write with the pen of Shakesoeare but you cannot beat news in a newspaper."
(Arthur Christiansen, editor of the Daily Express)

"We must print the bad news, but let us print the good news too - there is plenty of it if you look."
(Lord Beaverbrook, owner of the Daily Express)

"What does it matter where this path leads, nowhere or elsewhere?”
(Dominique de Villepin, Premierminister von Frankreich)

"Weakness is a provocation.“
(Donald Rumsfeld, Verteidigungsminister der USA)