World economy gets the limelight today in any nation, especially with a major global economic crisis gripping the financial systems of the world. And it is high-time for people, most especially economic planners, to refresh themselves in the wisdom of past known economists and statesmen who are considered great pioneers in the field. Consider these nuggets of ideas and famous quotes on the economy.
Thomas Jefferson, among the great forgers of American democratic ideals (especially his draft of the Declaration of Independence in 1776), deemed economy as “among the first and most important republican virtues” that ought to be given weight in nation building, and then issues on “public debt” should follow closely behind. Taken from among his famous quotes on the economy, this reflects the fact that the economy deserves a no-nonsense attention and scrutiny, not only by congress, but by every citizen, especially in our times.
But the drive to improve one’s lot in life and society is purportedly enough to sustain any economy and even catapult it to great heights. Adam Smith believed that if each individual was given the right incentive and impetus to strive for financial excellence without any obstacle to slow down its momentum-like the obstruction that bureaucratic red-tape creates-economic crises of any proportion can be quickly remedied.
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“The natural effort of (each) individual to (improve) his (financial) condition is so powerful…(that this alone) is capable of carrying on the (status) of wealth and prosperity (of the country).” This is one of Smith’s famous quotes on the economy.
This Scottish economic philosopher who wrote the famous “The Wealth of Nations” in 1776 believed that laws should be more relaxed in its regulation of businesses, which he implied as mere “impertinent obstructions,” and which often just encumbered trade operations.
War is among major menaces, if not wreckers, of the economy. It is quite timely to re-think war policies especially of global super powers and major players in the present world arena of conflicts where some nations are flexing military muscles to showoff supremacy-like Israeli-Haman conflict, or the recent US-Iraq War. If Claude Frederic Bastiat were alive today, he would have easily denounced such blatant yet destructive show of force in favor of sound and constructive economic build up. His famous quotes on the economy should vouch for this.
In one of his famous quotes on the economy, Bastiat, a French legislator and economist in the 1800s who valued free markets, private property, and less government intervention in trade and commerce, wrote: “In war, the (powerful nation) overcomes the weaker, (while) in business, the stronger (even lends help) to the weaker,” showing the world of difference between war conflicts and trade conflicts.
In another breath, Milton Friedman, an economic scientist who taught in the University of Chicago and served at the National Bureau of Economic Research, cautioned against government given full control of major national resources. Among his famous quotes on the economy said that if the federal government were “in charge of the Sahara Desert” for instance, “in 5 years there (would) be a shortage on sand.”
The common practice in some capitalist countries is to allow a considerable portion of national resources management privatized. This installs a sound check and balance between the government and the private sector.