When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Listen to your Elders

"Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing..." - Job 8:8-9

One of our readers recently commented, "Stop quoting top economists!" To that wonderful reader, the humble reply is, "Listen to your Elders."
Who can be sure which sage of economics finally caused such a reaction. Was there a tipping point?

Was it Galbraith with "The majority is always wrong"? Or perhaps, Hirschey with "The dire commentary on the US economy is overblown"? Or maybe it was the Buffet quote "Now is the time to invest and get rich."

No matter. You know that I will continue to seek out the good news where ever it can be found. Past or present. So why quote history? Because where better to find those nuggets of truth than from those with proven track records dead or alive.

So here is some wisdom for today from the top 5 economists of the 20th Century:

Keynes: "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."

Schumpeter: "Economic progress, in capitalist society, means turmoil."

Galbraith: "The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it."

Sen: "The progress of the pure theory of social choice with an expanded informational base was, in this sense, quite crucial for my applied work as well."

Robinson: "The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists."

Perhaps the reader was correct. I should stop quoting these folks. I need to come up with my own ideas and write about them only.

Well, perhaps tomorrow, because as author Peter Drucker reminds us, "Business, that's easily defined - it's other people's money."

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