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John Maynard Keynes quotes (showing 1-30 of 78)

“When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?”
John Maynard Keynes
“The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.”
John Maynard Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform
“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”
John Maynard Keynes
“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.”
John Maynard Keynes
“If you owe your bank a hundred pounds, you have a problem. But if you owe a million, it has.”
John Maynard Keynes
“It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.”
John Maynard Keynes
“Education: the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent.”
John Maynard Keynes
“Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking.”
John Maynard Keynes
“The political problem of mankind is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual liberty.”
John Maynard Keynes
“The master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts .... 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 be 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 to earth as a politician.”
John Maynard Keynes
“Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”
John Maynard Keynes
“Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”
John Maynard Keynes
“When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done”
John Maynard Keynes
“But my lord, when we addressed this issue a few years ago, didn't you argue the other side?" He said, "That's true, but when I get more evidence I sometimes change my mind. What do you do?”
John Maynard Keynes
“When the final result is expected to be a compromise, it is often prudent to start from an extreme position.”
John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace
“The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that carries any reward. ”
John Maynard Keynes
“Ideas shape the course of history.”
John Maynard Keynes
“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.”
John Maynard Keynes
“Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind that looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago.”
John Maynard Keynes
“A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind.”
John Maynard Keynes
“The businessman is only tolerable so long as his gains can be held to bear some relation to what, roughly and in some sense, his activities have contributed to society.”
John Maynard Keynes
“Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”
John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
“So it is not an accident that the Nazi lads vent a particular fury against (Einstein). He does truly stand for what they most dislike, the opposite of the blond beast intellectualist, individualist, supernationalist, pacifist, inky, plump... How should they know the glory of the free-ranging intellect and soft objective sympathy to whom money and violence, drink and blood and pomp, mean absolutely nothing?”
John Maynard Keynes
“Too large a proportion of recent "mathematical" economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest on, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols.”
John Maynard Keynes
“In the long run, we are all dead!”
John Maynard Keynes
“By this means the government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people, and not one man in a million will detect the theft.”
John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace
“How long will it be necessary to pay City men so entirely out of proportion to what other servants of society commonly receive for performing social services not less useful or difficult?”
John Maynard Keynes
“How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values.”
John Maynard Keynes
“I cannot leave this subject as though its just treatment wholly depended either on our own pledges or economic facts. The policy of reducing Germany to servitude for a generation, of degrading the lives of millions of human beings, and of depriving a whole nation of happiness should be abhorrent and detestable, - abhorrent and detestable, even if it were possible, even if it enriched ourselves, even if it did not sow the decay of the whole civilized life of Europe. Some preach it in the name of Justice. In the great events of man's history, in the unwinding of the complex fates of nations Justice is not so simple. And if it were, nations are not authorized, by religion or by natural morals, to visit on the children of their enemies the misdoings of parents of rulers.”
John Maynard Keynes, The Economic Consequences of the Peace
“When somebody persuades me I am wrong, I change my mind.”
John Maynard Keynes

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