If an economy in the doldrums could drift indefinitely, the price of government inaction might be graver by far than the consequences of bold unorthodoxy.

— Robert Heilbroner

The most stunning Robert Heilbroner quotes that will transform you to a better person

It's great to have two cars and a swimming pool.

But there are disappointments. After you've made some money and acquired some things, and after the initial excitement has passed, life goes on, just as bewildering as it always was, and the great problems of life and death once again come to the fore.

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Mathematics has given economics rigor, but alas, also mortis.

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The cure for capitalism's failing would require that a government would have to rise above the interests of one class alone.

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There was no simple riddance to the power of a dangerous political idea;

no assassination possible to avert a disruptive change in technology; no natural death to be counted on to stop an economic change that ripped up ancestral estates or stirred up class discontent.

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To one American family out of four, the idea of capitalism as a benign system of comfort , dignity , and personal advance is only a myth , or worse, a bitter mockery.

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Socialism has been a great tragedy this century.

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Less than seventy-five years after it officially began, the contest between capitalism and socialism is over: capitalism has won.

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The use of mathematics has brought rigor to economics. Unfortunately, it has also brought mortis.

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As the histories of ancient and modern democracies illustrate, the pressure of political movement in times of war, civil commotion, or general anxiety pushes in the direction of authority, not away from it.

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It is one of the dangerous self-deceptions of our society to pretend that mechanisms of control do not really exist, and to maintain, without qualification, that we are an economically "free" people.

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Unlike modern man, who dreams of the world he will make, pre-modern man dreamed of the world he left.

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Capitalism is the only society in human history in which neither tradition nor conscious direction supervises the total effort of the community; it is the only society in which the future, the needs for tomorrow, are entirely left to an automatic system.

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About Robert Heilbroner

Quotes 35 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Economist
Birthday October 16

Very few of the heroes of the Golden Age of American finance had much interest in the solid realities of what underlay their structure of stocks and bonds and credits .

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Smith, as we have said, was not the proponent of any one class.

He was a slave to his system. His whole economic philosophy stemmed from his unquestioning faith in the ability of the market to guide the system to its point of highest return. The market — that wonderful social machine — would take care of society's needs if it was left alone. "Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production," he wrote.

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Karl Marx did not call for an opposition to the forces of history.

On the contrary he accepted all of them, the drive of technology, the revolutionizing effects of democratic striving, even the vagaries of capitalism, as being indeed the carriers of a brighter future.

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Growth is the mantra of our society because the economy can't remain healthy without growth.Impregnable monopolies aside (and these are few), profits are both the hallmark of capitalism and its Achilles heel, for no business can permanently maintain its prices much above its costs. There is only one way in which profits can be perpetuated; a business-or an entire economy-must grow.

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Today and over the foreseeable future,traditional capitalism throughout most of the world has been thrown on a defensive from which it is doubtful that it can never recover.

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We cannot help living in history. We can only fail to be aware of it.

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The Wealth of Nations may not be an original book, but it is unquestionably a masterpiece.

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We may make progress only by freeing ourselves from the rut of the past, but without this rut an orderly society would hardly be possible in the first place.

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The change began with John Stuart Mill and the Utopians .

When Mill pointed out that economics had no ultimate solution to the problem of distribution , that society might do with the fruits of its toil as it saw fit, he introduced into the mechanical calculus of the market a conflicting calculus of moral judgment.

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Before economics can progress, it must abandon its suicidal formalism.

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It is from the scope and wisdom of the economists of the past that we must reap the knowledge with which to face the future.

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Stalinism is a pathology of socialism, Hitlerism being the apposite example for capitalism.

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In the end the question is: Who is to be master, man or his machines? As long as the control over technology rests primarily on economic calculation, the victor is not likely to be man.

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The secret to economic growth lay in the fact that that each generation attacked Nature not only with its own energies and resources, but with the heritage of equipment accumulated by its forebears.

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We turn to Marx, therefore, not because he is infallible, but because he is inescapable.

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One accumulates or one gets accumulated.

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If one could divine the nature of the economic forces in the world, one could foretell the future.

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For one who has read the works of Marx it is frightening to look back at the grim determination with which so many nations steadfastly hewed to the very course which he insisted would lead to their undoing.

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Veblen once asked a religious student the value of her church in kegs of beer.

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Economists can be called the worldly philosophers for they sought to embrace in a scheme of philosophy the most worldly of man's activities-his drive for wealth.

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In the periods of crisis, the bigger firms absorb the smaller ones,and when the industrial monsters eventually go down, the wreckage is far greater than when the little enterprises buckle.

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History , as it comes into our daily lives, is charged with surprise and shock.

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