December 28th, 2007

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keynes on hope and greed

        ECONOMIC POSSIBILITIES FOR OUR GRANDCHILDREN (1930)

                        I

    We are suffering just now from a bad attack of economic pessimism. It is common to hear people say that the epoch of enormous economic progress which characterised the nineteenth century is over; that the rapid improvement in the standard of life is now going to slow down — at any rate in Great Britain; that a decline in prosperity is more likely than an improvement in the decade which lies ahead of us. Collapse )
    But, chiefly, do not let us overestimate the importance of the economic problem, or sacrifice to its supposed necessities other matters of greater and more permanent significance. It should be a matter for specialists — like dentistry. If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people, on a level with dentists, that would be splendid!

    — John Maynard Keynes, Essays in Persuasion, W.W. Norton & Company, 1991, pp. 358-373