Quotes by John Maynard Keynes

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John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes of Tilton (pronounced knz / kAnze), ) (June 5, 1883 April 21, 1946) was an English economist, whose ideas had a major impact on modern economic and political theory as well as on American and British fiscal policies. See Keynesian economics for an outline of his theories. He was a lifelong member of the British Liberal party, and had no taste for socialism. He is particularly remembered for advocating interventionist government policy, by which the government would use fiscal and monetary measures to aim to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions, depressions and booms. Economists consider him one of the main founders of modern theoretical macroeconomics. His popular expression "In the long run we are all dead" is still quoted. more

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Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering what average opinion believes average opinion to be...

The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.
Most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older.
The importance of money flows from it being a link between the present and the future.
It is better that a man should tyrannize over his bank balance than over his fellow-citizens and whilst the former is sometimes denounced as being but a means to the latter, sometimes at least it is an alternative.
A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind.
The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward.
The social object of skilled investment should be to defeat the dark forces of time and ignorance which envelope our future.
Nothing mattered except states of mind, chiefly our own.
The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.
It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.
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 influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.
For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still.
Only with absolute fearlessness can we slay the dragons of mediocrity that invade our gardens.
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.
If economists could manage to get themselves thought of as humble, competent people on a level with dentists, that would be splendid.
In the long run we are all dead.
I do not know which makes a man more conservative -- to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past.
The decadent international but individualistic capitalism in the hands of which we found ourselves after the war is not a success. It is not intelligent. It is not beautiful. It is not just. It is not virtuous. And it doesn't deliver the goods.
Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assaults of thought on the unthinking.
In truth, the gold standard is already a barbarous relic.
But this long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.
The composition of this book has been for the author a long struggle of escape, and so must the reading of it be for most readers if the authors assault upon them is to be successful,a struggle of escape from habitual modes of thought and expression. The ideas which are here expressed so laboriously are extremely simple and should be obvious. The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.

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