J.S. Mill: “Consumption never needs encouragement.”
J.B. Say: “It is the aim of good government to stimulate production, of bad government to stimulate consumption.”
J.S. Mill: “The usual effect of attempts of government to encourage consumption, is merely to prevent savings; that is, to promote unproductive consumption at the expense of reproductive, and to diminish the national wealth by the very means which were intended to increase it.”
F. A. Hayek: "Knowledge in our field is never established by experiment, but can be acquired only by following a rather difficult process of reasoning. No knowledge can be regarded as established once and for all … you have always to convince every generation anew. In fact, knowledge once gained and spread is simply lost and forgotten.”
Monday, February 23, 2009
As my friend Tom Burger pointed out to me over the weekend, economists have known of the dangers of government spending for centuries. Here are some quotes that Tom dug up which date back to the early 1800s. The Hayek quote doesn't go back quite that far, but does provide the explanation for why politicians continue to ignore the wisdom of the ages.
Posted by Scott Grannis at 7:16 AM