Dinsdag quote

The same age which produces great philosophers and politicians, renowned generals and poets usually abounds with skilful weavers and ship carpenters. We cannot reasonably expect that a piece of woollen cloth will be wrought to perfection in a nation which is ignorant of astronomy, or where ethics are neglected.

David Hume (1752). Of Refinement in the Arts, Part II, Essay II

Dinsdag quote

But consumption inequality is vastly less than income inequality, which is vastly less than wealth inequality. And I know of no evidence that consumption inequality is increasing. So why worry about wealth inequality, or income inequality, above and beyond consumption inequality?
So, what is the question to which wealth inequality, as defined by Saez and Zucman, and wealth taxation, as advocated by Saez and Zucman and company is the answer?

John Cochrane, Wealth and Taxes

Zaterdag quote

The twentieth century will be chiefly remembered by future generations not as an era of political conflicts or technical inventions, but as an age in which human society dared to think of the welfare of the whole human race as a practical objective.

Arnold Toynbee

Dinsdag quote

(T)here’s a lot to like about urban poverty. Cities don’t make people poor; they attract poor people. The flow of less advantaged people into cities from Rio to Rotterdam demonstrates urban strength, not weakness. … Urban poverty should be judged not relative to urban wealth but relative to rural poverty.

Edward Glaeser (2011). Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, p 9-10

Dinsdag quote

(B)asic principles of economics are neglected in development today, starting with the idea beloved by Bill Gates, [World Bank President, 2012-2019] Jim Yong Kim, and the United Nations Development Goals: setting goals and then finding evidence-based ways to reach them.
This is not the way the “association of problem-solvers” solves problems. The decentralized system finds the cheapest solutions to problems, through markets and democratic feedback from individuals. Which problems get solved – which goals get met – are among the many choices that emerge from this decentralized system. The problems that get solved are those where individuals perceive the highest benefits relative to the costs.

William Easterly (2013). The Tyranny of Experts. Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor, p 254-255

Zaterdag quote

The capitalist process rationalizes behavior and ideas and by so doing chases from our minds, along with metaphysical belief, mystic and romantic ideas of all sorts. Thus it reshapes not only our methods of attaining our ends but also these ultimate ends themselves.

Joseph Schumpeter (1943). Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, p 112

Dinsdag quote

If someone chooses to take all their hopes for a better and more just society and bundle it up in the name of “socialism,” then any criticism of “socialism” will be viewed as an attack on their dreams and desires. Conversely, pretty much no one ever has said that “capitalism is the name of my desire.” The arguments for capitalism are typically made in terms of machine-like functionality, emphasizing what works and doesn’t work under capitalism. And of course, the arguments for capitalism emphasize how it has actually raised the standard of living for average people over recent decades and centuries, not how it summarizes one’s dreams for the future.

Timothy Taylor, Socialism is the Name of Our Desire, in Conversable Economist

Zaterdag quote

The diversity across countries in measured per capita income levels is literally too great to be believed … I do not see how one can look at figures like these without seeing them as representing possibilities. Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia’s or Egypt’s? If so, what, exactly? If not, what is it about the ‘nature of India’ that makes it so? The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.

Robert Lucas (1988). On the mechanics of economic development. Journal of Monetary Economics, p 5

Dinsdag quote

I believe that even if government officials were free of special-interest influence and wanted to be pro-social, they would fail. They under-estimate their own ignorance, and in choosing leaders the political process selects for a lack of humility. Officials are prone to blunders, and the error-correction mechanisms are much weaker in the public sector than in the private sector. Markets tend to correct their failures. Governments tend not to.

Arnold Kling, Why I lean libertarian, Askblog

Zaterdag quote

Part of the joy of studying economics lies in the discovery that actions have complicated, unexpected, and sometimes perverse consequences. At its best, economics is the science dedicated to tracing these consequences, pushing the analysis beyond where common sense and naive intuition alone can take us.

Joseph Heath (2018). The Contribution of Economics to Business Ethics, in Routledge Companion to Business Ethics, p 302

Dinsdag quote

Tacit artisanal savoir-faire, experience-driven insights, trial and error, and serendipity drove many of the eighteenth-century inventions, especially in mechanical engineering and iron and coal, far more than any solid scientific base. … Experience, dexterity, imagination, and intuition created new technology more than science.

Joel Mokyr (2009). The Enlightened Economy. Britain and the Industrial Revolution. 1700-1850, p 60