"When I was very young and the urge to be someplace was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked…. In other words, I don’t improve, in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable."
— John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
"And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about."
— John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Pallida mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas regumque turres.
(Pale Death stalks with equal tread through the cabins of the poor and the palaces of kings)
— Horace, Odes I.IV 13 - 14
"Unemployment is like a headache or a high temperature - unpleasant and exhausting but not carrying in itself any explanation of its cause. A high temperature may be got by catching malaria or by breaking one’s leg or by eating too much; it may mean that one has something wrong with one’s appendix or lungs or teeth, that one is in the thick of a bad cold or is sickening for cholera. Until one finds out which of these and many other possible causes is at work, one will not have gone far in finding a cure simply by knowing how many degrees of fever one has. The clinical thermometer is an indispensable but limited instrument."
— William Henry Beveridge, 1st Baron Beveridge of Tuggal (1879 - 1963); Causes and Cures of Unemployment (1931)
"The Wants of the Mind are infinite, Man naturally Aspires, and as his Mind is elevated, his Senses grow more refined, and more capable of Delight; his Desires are inlarged, and his Wants increase with his Wishes, which is for every thing that is rare, can gratifie his Senses, adorn his Body, and promote the Ease, Pleasure, and Pomp of Life."
— Nicholas Barbon (c 1640 - 1698)
"[P]articular wealth, or the possibility of sharing in the general wealth, is based partly on skill, partly on something which is directly the individual’s own, namely, capital. Skill in turn depends on capital, and on many accidental circumstances. These also in their manifold variety make more pronounced the differences in the development of natural endowments, physical and mental, which were unequal to begin with. These differences are conspicuous everywhere in the sphere of particularity. They, along with other elements of chance and accident, necessarily produce inequalities of wealth of skill."
— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831); Philosophy of Right (1821)
"Money is a social phenomenon, and many of its current features depend on what people think it is or ought to be."
— Sir Henry Roy Forbes Harrod (1900–1978), Money (1969), Preface
"As soon as I could safely toddle
My parents handed me a Model.
My brisk and energetic pater
Provided the accelerator.
My mother, with her kindly gumption,
The function guiding my consumption;
And every week I had from her
A lovely new parameter,
With lots of little leads and lags
In pretty parabolic bags.
With optimistic expectations
I started on my explorations,
And swore to move without a swerve
Along my sinusoidal curve.
Alas! I knew how it would end:
I’ve mixed the cycle with the trend,
And fear that, growing daily skinnier,
I have at length become non-linear.
I wander glumly round the house
As though I were exogenous,
And hardly capable of feeling
The difference ‘tween floor and ceiling.
I scarcely now, a pallid ghost,
Can tell ex ante from ex post:
My thoughts are sadly inelastic,
My acts invariably stochastic."
— Sir Dennis Holme Robertson (1890–1963), The Non-Econometrician’s Lament (1955)
"I am convinced that economic theory will only make good progress to the extent that it can transform itself into econometrics."
— Sir Henry Roy Forbes Harrod (1900–1978),Towards a Dynamic Economics (1948), Lecture One: 14
"I still think that if all we mean by our love is a craving to be loved, we are in a very deplorable state."
— C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
"How am I to get in?" asked Alice again, in a louder tone.
"Are you going to get in at all?" said the Footman, "That’s the first question, you know."
— Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
"I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things I have explained, but also as to those which I have intentionally omitted, so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery."
— René Descartes
"We cannot confuse what to us appears unnatural with the absolutely impossible."
— Carl Friedrich Gauss