John Maynard Keynes’ 80 Best Quotes

John Maynard Keynes was a famous British economist born in 1883 and the theories had a major impact on the policies adopted by many states during the twentieth century.

His theories on capitalism, inflation and unemployment are widely studied today. Thanks to the work of this famous economist, we have a better vision of the international economy and its evolution over time. Sadly, Keynes died in 1946 from a heart attack, the pressure of his work taking a toll on his already fragile health.

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Excellent quotes from economist John Maynard Keynes

He is undoubtedly an economist that we should all know, because through his work we can understand economics in a much more precise way.

Want to know your best phrases and thoughts? Below you will discover the 80 best quotes of John Maynard Keynes, Perhaps the most influential economist of the 20th century.

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1. With a continuous process of inflation, governments can secretly and inadvertently confiscate a significant portion of the wealth of their fellow citizens.

Governments always have full control of a country’s economy. These can manipulate it deeply.

2. We are afflicted by a new disease, the name of which some readers may not have heard but will hear widely in the years to come, technological unemployment.

New technologies have the disadvantage of leaving many unemployed, which is why you have to know how to constantly retrain.

3. He had an illusion: France; and a disappointment: humanity, including the French, and their no less important colleagues.

The decisions made by a government will affect the entire population of this country.

4. Speculators are a consequence and not a cause of high prices.

Speculators will always go where they can make money, they are a direct consequence of any economic bubble.

5. The inevitable rarely happens, the unexpected usually happens.

We are absolutely unaware of what may happen in the future, we have to be prepared for whatever may happen.

6. So any action of a politician can be found something said by an intellectual fifteen years ago.

Politicians always extract their ideas from the intellectuals they have read before.

7. Whenever the franc loses its value, the Minister of Finance is convinced that it is due to anything but economic causes. he attributes it to the mysterious and evil influences of speculation.

Irresponsible management will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the economy of any country.

8. Long periods are a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run, we are all dead.

We must not believe that in the future everything will be better, we must act now to make sure.

9. The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

Our economy as individuals is really fragile, we have to be very careful with our long term investments.

10. When circumstances change, I change my mind. What are you doing?

We must know how to adapt to the problems of the moment, being flexible will allow us to be more efficient in solving our economic problems.

11. Nothing can be solved in isolation. Each use of our resources comes at the expense of an alternative use.

The economy is something that concerns us all, a country’s resources are limited and belong to all of its citizens.

12. When the accumulation of wealth does not matter to have a high social standard, there will be a great change in moral codes.

Today money is the lifeblood of our life to a large extent, it is something that we need to change in the future.

13. Avoiding taxes is the only intellectual endeavor that has a reward.

Avoiding paying our taxes can result in jail time, which we should all avoid in our professional careers.

14. There is no more subtle or surer way to upset the existing base of society than to corrupt money.

Money can cause order or disorder in our society. In any capitalist economy, money is the most valuable asset that exists.

15. Education: the inculcation of the incomprehensible to the indifferent by the incompetent.

Bad manners can be the direct cause of many headaches, for any condition that suffers from it.

16. If I owe you a pound, I have a problem; but if I owe you a million, the problem is yours.

If we have a large debt, our guarantor is at great risk; for if he did not recover it, he would himself absorb this debt.

17. But Marxist socialism must always remain a miracle to opinion historians: as such, illogical and clumsy doctrine may have so powerfully exerted an influence on the minds of men, and through them, on them. events of history.

As can be seen from this quote, Maynard Keynes is a staunch capitalist and as such is totally opposed to a possible socialist economy.

18. The role of bank credit is to finance the restoration of working capital once the resumption of activity has taken place definitively.

Credit plays a key role in the capitalist economy, thanks to which it is possible to push this economy towards success.

19. I know what makes a man more conservative … Not knowing anything about the present or the past.

If we never take risks we will win, in this way we will always have to be innovative to thrive in our society.

20. I think modifying capitalism, wisely, can probably become more effective in achieving economic ends than any alternative systems so far, but this system is, in many ways, extremely questionable.

With some adjustments, capitalism could become a much more efficient economy, in the future maybe this idea will be implemented by a government with really clear ideas.

21. The day is not far off when the economic problem will be in the backseat where it should go, and the heart and mind will be occupied or reoccupied with our real problems, the problems of life and human relations, of creation. , behavior and religion.

Society as a whole is much more complex than its simple economy, we must be concerned with all the issues that concern it.

22. European governments attempt to direct popular indignation against the class known as “speculators”, which is an obvious consequence of their vicious procedures.

The government is always on the lookout for scapegoats to blame for its failures.

23. Inflation is unfair; deflation, downside.

Inflation hurts the taxpayer and deflation hurts the employer.

24. When the development of a country’s capital becomes a by-product of a casino’s operations, the job is likely to have been poorly done.

Having a strong and determined government is essential for the development of any great nation.

25. But when phenomena are so complex, predictions can never point to a single path and one can make the mistake of expecting too rapid and inevitable consequences from causes which may not all be applicable. to the problem.

Predicting where the economy will go is something all economists try to do, getting there in practice is a pretty tricky thing to do.

26. To say that with a given organization, equipment and technique, real wages and the volume of production (and therefore of employment) are linked in only one way, so that, in general terms, a increase in employment can only occur accompanied by a fall in the rate of real wages.

According to Keynes, a decline in wages can lead to a rapid increase in employment, do you agree with him?

27. The first thing to do is for bank credit to be cheap and plentiful. This is only possible if each central bank is freed from the worry of being the owner of the appropriate reserves of international currency.

Credit is the main engine of a country’s economy, if credit does not flow, the economy will inevitably stagnate.

28. Most men like money and security more, and building and building less as they age.

When we grow up we feel unable to innovate or create anything new, age always has physical and emotional consequences.

29. The flow of money is a link between the present and the future.

Money is essential to have a bright future, you have to know how to guarantee a good amount of it.

30. Ideas form the course of history.

Ideas that as simple people that we have can develop a current that changes society over time.

31. Along with the improvement in the organization of investment markets, the risks of speculation predominate. Speculators might not be harmful if they were like bubbles in a stable trade flow; seriousness arises when it is the company that becomes a bubble in the middle of a speculative mess.

Speculation can lead to inflation, which is beneficial in the present but with serious consequences in the future.

32. In the long run, we will all be dead.

Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today, seize the moment!

33. While workers tend to resist a reduction in their nominal wages, they generally do not quit their jobs when the prices of wage goods rise.

When prices go up, they increase the cost of living and obviously that leads to impoverishment of people.

34. There are no intrinsic reasons for the scarcity of capital.

Lack of capital can be given for many different reasons, but it will never be for a specific reason.

35. The theory of aggregate production, which is the key to the following book, can be adapted much more easily to the conditions of a totalitarian state than the theory of production and distribution of a given production given the conditions of free competition and a high degree of “laissez-faire”. This is one of the reasons for calling my theory “General Theory”.

Keynes was certainly a great connoisseur of international economics, the ideas of this economist are very valid today.

36. In the future, for many years to come, old Adam will be so strong in us that everyone will have to do work, if he is to feel satisfied. We will do more for ourselves than is common among the rich today, who are only happy when they have small chores, chores, and routines. But on top of that, we’ll try to spread the butter on the slice of bread, making any leftover work as widely shared as possible. Three-hour or fifteen-hour shifts per week can eliminate the problem for a long time. Because three hours a day is enough to satisfy the old Adam in us.

When we work, we all feel more satisfied with ourselves, hence the famous saying “working dignifies people”.

37. The study of economics does not seem to require any specialist gift of an exceptionally superior order. Isn’t it a very easy discipline compared to the higher branches of philosophy or pure science? An easy discipline of which very few excellent. The paradox can be explained by the fact that the expert economist must have a rare combination of gifts. He must be to some extent a mathematician, a historian, a statesman, a philosopher. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular from the point of view of the general and consider in the same reasoning the abstract thing and the concrete thing. You need to study the current thinking about the future. No aspect of the nature of man or of his institutions should be overlooked. He must be both determined and selfless; as distant and incorruptible as an artist and yet sometimes as close to the earth as a politician.

Being an economist can be quite complicated because we need to be proficient in a lot of different sciences.

38. Ancient Egypt was doubly lucky and undoubtedly owes its fabulous wealth to possessing two activities, which were the construction of pyramids, as well as the search for precious metals, fruits, not being able to serve the needs of the world. being consumed, they did not ruin its abundance. The Middle Ages created cathedrals and sang funeral songs. Two pyramids, two masses for the dead, are worth twice as much as one, but not two railways from London to York.

For the economy to circulate efficiently, it must never stop, job creation is the backbone of the economy.

39. I do not understand how universal bankruptcy can bring us closer to prosperity.

Bankruptcies are never positive, for an economy to thrive there must always be new businesses to support it.

40. If the Treasury filled the bottles of banknotes and buried them … and let the private company … extract the banknotes again … there would be no more unemployment … it would increase the real income of the community and their wealth.

Injecting capital into a country’s credit will give its economy the fuel it needs to get off the ground.

41. First, it is a class party, and a class that is not mine. If I have to defend partial interests, I will defend mine. When the class struggle arises as such, my local patriotism and my personal patriotism will be with my allies.

This great economist has always wanted to represent the great elites of his country in society.

42. I should have drunk more champagne.

In Keynes’ time, the consumption of champagne was widespread among the bourgeois class.

43. It is better to be more or less right, to be wrong.

We must not be mistaken, so we must be very careful with our statements.

44. But beware! The time for all of this has not yet come. For at least another hundred years, we have claimed in front of us and in front of everyone that the righteous is disgusting and what is disgusting; because missing is useful and simply is not. Greed, usury and prudence must be our gods for a little longer.

The greed of human beings seems intrinsic to him, we must promote more positive values ​​in society.

45. For our generation, Einstein has become a double symbol: a symbol of the spirit that travels in the cold regions of space, and a symbol of the brave and generous outcast, pure of heart and cheerful in mind.

As can be seen, even economists were deeply inspired by the figure of the great genius of science who was undoubtedly Einstein.

46. ​​I have sought, by giving a few touches, to highlight the solidarity and the historical continuity of the High Intelligence of England, which laid the foundations of our thought during the two and a half centuries, since Locke , in his Essay on Human Understanding, he wrote the first modern book in English.

England has always been the birthplace of great intellectual figures, and the education the English have received has always been one of the best in the world.

47. Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians.

Many know Newton’s side as a physicist, but few know him as the famous alchemist that he too was.

48. Comfort and habits allow us to be willing to give up, but I’m not prepared for a creed that doesn’t care how much it destroys the freedom and security of everyday life, which deliberately uses the weapons of persecution, destruction and international struggle. .

Religion in ancient times had succeeded in controlling the economy of more than one nation, thus bringing about the era we all know today like the Middle Ages.

49. In truth, the golden pattern is already a barbaric relic.

Gold has always been what is economically considered a safe haven and today its prices are still in the clouds.

50. I do not feel the most humble in the face of the immensity of the sky.

John Maynard Keynes trusted his qualities as an economist and lived at peace with himself.

51. It’s a nightmare, which will happen in the morning. Because nature’s resources and human devices are as fertile and productive as they used to be. The speed of our progress towards solving the material problems of life is no less rapid.

Any upheaval that society may experience, we will be able to resolve over time.

52. If he is not the wisest, but the most sincere of men. If not the nicest, however, the strangest and sweetest. If this is not the most practical, however, of the purest public conscience. If not of great artistic genius, however, the most solid and sincere achievement in many areas encompassing the human mind.

We all have something to offer society, we need to know what it is so that we can exploit it in our favor.

53. How should they know the glory of the free intellect and the gentle objective sympathy towards whom money and violence, drink, blood and pomp mean absolutely nothing?

A lot of people in the world are affected only by greed, we don’t have to be one of those people. The world can be seen wonderfully through the right lens.

54. The love of money as possession, unlike the love of money as a means of enjoyment and the reality of life, will be recognized for what is, a somewhat unpleasant morbidity, one of these trends. Semi-criminal, semi-pathological, quivering to specialists in mental illness.

Money is not the most important thing we can own, our family and friends indeed are.

55. Leninism is a combination of two things that Europeans have kept for centuries in different compartments of the soul: religion and business.

Lenin’s way of seeing the economy caused a lot of outrage in his day, and even today much of the political world supports these ideas.

56. Economists must leave Adam Smith only the glory of the chamber, they must start the day, toss brochures in the wind, always write “sub specie temporis” and achieve accidental immortality, if they do.

With this appointment, this famous economist encouraged all his peers to improve and innovate. We have to evolve over time.

57. The ideas of political economists and philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is generally believed. In fact, the world is ruled by nothing else. Practical men, who are thought to be totally free from all intellectual influence, are generally the slaves of a late economist.

Ideas certainly rule our world, without them nothing we can all do today would be possible. We must always value new ideas.

58. People will not always die in silence.

The time will come when the working class will say enough. The bourgeoisie is fully aware of this.

59. There is no more subtle or surer way to overturn the existing foundations of society than to debate money. The process involves all the hidden forces of economic law alongside destruction, and it does so in a way that no man in a million can diagnose.

The government is able to manipulate the economy in such a way that the working class is always harmed.

60. The old adage holds. You owe your banker £ 1000 and you are at his mercy; we owe him £ 1million and the situation is reversed.

Banks need to know very well who they are lending money to, large debts are the hardest to collect.

61. Capitalism is the surprising belief that the worst men will do the worst things for the good of all.

Capitalism is capable of carrying out the most atrocious actions against its own people. We must know how to choose our heads of government very well.

62. The words must be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on those who do not think.

Our words must perfectly represent our own thoughts, knowing how to choose wisely is not an easy task.

63. The political problem of humanity is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual freedom.

Our political leaders have a great responsibility: that of making our society fairer for all.

64. The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in how to escape old ones.

When we focus our thoughts on old ideas, we will be limited by those same conceptions. To innovate, we have to start from scratch.

65. When the end result is expected to be a compromise, it is often prudent to start from an extreme position.

We need to know very well what steps we need to take and it depends on the situation, making the right decisions in life is not an easy thing to do in practice.

66. If agriculture was organized on a stock exchange, a farmer would sell his farm in the morning when it rained, only to buy it in the afternoon when the sun came up.

The stock market fluctuates very quickly, it is practically impossible to predict these fluctuations.

67. Watch the British Prime Minister watch the company, with six or seven senses that are not available to ordinary men, judge the character, the motive and the subconscious impulse, perceive what everyone else was thinking and even what was happening. was happening. telepathic instinct. The most appropriate argument or appeal for the vanity, weakness, or self-interest of his immediate listener was to realize that the poor president would be playing in the deception of the blind in that party.

John Maynard Keynes lived through the two great wars, and during that time the Prime Minister of England was none other than the famous Winston Churchill.

68. The forces of the nineteenth century have run their course and are exhausted.

By the turn of the century, the great economic powers of yesteryear were exhausted.

69. That she [Francia] she has something to fear from Germany in the foreseeable future, except what she herself may provoke, which is an illusion. When Germany regains its strength and pride, as it will at the right time, many years will have to pass before it looks west again. The future of Germany is now in the East, and it is in this direction that its hopes and ambitions, once rekindled, will certainly change.

After the two great wars, Germany and France had to be rebuilt again.

70. This state of affairs is not an inevitable consequence of a decrease in the capacity to generate wealth. I see no reason why, with good management, real wages should be reduced on average. This is the consequence of bad monetary policy.

Reducing wages is never a good option to try to revive the economy, the money must circulate to grow.

71. Economics is a very dangerous science.

As economists, a poor prediction of the economic future can be disastrous for the people we advise.

72. Perhaps it is historically true that no order in society ever perishes except with its own hand.

Great civilizations have always ended up destroying self-management, mismanagement can be fatal to any economy.

73. The next movement is with the head, and the fists must wait.

We need to use our head more and our hands less if we are to be able to achieve our personal goals in the future.

74. How does the credit restriction lead to this result? Nothing but the deliberate increase in unemployment.

If credit stops flowing in society, jobs will suffer inevitably.

75. A successful investment is anticipating the expectations of others.

An excellent quote from John Maynard Keynes. In order to be more successful financially than others, we must follow this simple premise.

76. In peacetime, that is, the size of the pie depends on the amount of work done. But in wartime, the size of the cake is fixed. If we work harder, we can fight better. But we must not consume more.

During a war, food rationing has always been essential for an economy to survive in the long term.

77. If we deliberately signal the impoverishment of central Europe, the revenge, I dare say it, will not limp.

Keynes was fully aware that his actions could lead to a reaction to Germany’s future.

78. The power to get used to one’s surroundings is a hallmark of humanity.

Human beings, in fact, are always getting used to our environment and the lifestyle we observe there.

79. If economists could come to be seen as humble and competent at the dentist level, that would be great.

Economists are viewed with suspicion by a certain section of society, and many people do not understand them.

80. I can be influenced by what I consider to be justice and common sense, but the class struggle will find me on the side of the educated bourgeoisie.

This famous economist knew that he belonged to the bourgeois class, and as a well-bourgeois man that he was, he would always defend his own social class.

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