Gunnar Myrdal, fully Karl Gunnar Myrdal

Myrdal, fully Karl Gunnar Myrdal

Swedish Economist, Sociologist and Politician, awarded Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

Author Quotes

A criticism of Keynes and Hayek would have to begin by pointing out the fact that in their theoretical systems there is no place for the uncertainty factor and anticipations.

I am often considered almost not a part of the profession of Establishment economists. I am even referred to as a sociologist. And by that, economists usually do not mean anything flattering.

Planned parenthood" in the social history of the Western countries is, indeed, a phenomenon instrinsically related to those very changes in peoples? attitudes which, on the political plane, have been causing the trend towards economic planning.

The term 'economic planning' and perhaps still more bluntly 'planned economy' contains a tautology... The word 'economy' by itself implies, of course, a co-ordination of activities, directed towards a purpose. It implies a subject, a will, a plan, and a rational adaptation of means towards an end or or a goal. To add ?planned? in order to indicate that this co<ordination of activities has a purpose, does not make much sense or cannot, anyhow, be good usage. Language, as we know, is full of illogicalities.

All sudden and violent changes, whatever their causes or character, must tend to decrease the respect for status quo as a natural order of things.

In most circles, the idea of economic planning has been in disrepute most of the time and, particularly in America, has almost carried connotations of intellectual and moral perversion and even political subversion.

Rent control has in certain Western countries constituted, maybe, the worst example of poor planning by Governments lacking courage and vision.

The treatment of the Negro is America's greatest and most conspicuous scandal. It is tremendously publicized, and democratic America will continue to publicize it itself. For the colored peoples all over the world, whose rising influence is axiomatic, this scandal is salt in their wounds.

America has had gifted conservative statesmen and national leaders. But with few exceptions, only the liberals have gone down in history as national heroes.

In my family, we don't die till we're 100 years old.

So many social changes are as irreversible as the reaction when sodium is thrown into water.

There is apparently nowhere a workable majority in the representative assemblies for making the specific cuts in expenditure which could bring down the taxes, and in election after election the people vote into power representatives who are as unable as they are unwilling to do anything about it.

America is conservative in fundamental principles... but the principles conserved are liberal and some, indeed, are radical.

In society, liberty for one may mean the suppression of liberty for others.

Social taboos are shy like virtue; once lost, there is no remedy

There is in fact no contradiction at all between the statement of an exact bookkeeping balance ex post and the obvious inference that in a situation when saving is increasing without a corresponding increase of investment, or perhaps with an adverse movement in investment, there must be a tendency ex ante to a disparity.

America is the one rich country with the biggest slums, the least democratic and least developed health system, and the most niggardly attitude against its old people.

In the United States, and to only slightly lesser degree in all the other rich and economically progressive Western countries, public debate has at all times been dominated by the adherents of a "free" economy.

Some of these quantities refer directly to a point of time. That is true of "capital value" as also of such quantities as demand and supply prices. Other terms ? as e.g. "income", "revenue", "return", "expenses", "savings", "investments" ? imply, however, a time period for which they are reckoned. But in order to be unambiguous they must also refer to a point of time at which they are calculated.

To the great majority of white Americans, the Negro problem has distinctly negative connotations. It suggests something difficult to settle and equally difficult to leave alone. It is embarrassing. It makes for moral uneasiness.

An important distinction exists between prospective and retrospective methods of calculating economic quantities such as incomes, savings, and investments; and... a corresponding distinction of great theoretical importance must be drawn between two alternative methods of defining these quantities. Quantities defined in terms of measurements made at the end of the period in question are referred to as ex post; quantities defined in terms of action planned at the beginning of the period in question are referred to as ex ante.

In this sense the Negro problem is not only America's greatest failure but also America's incomparably great opportunity for the future. If America should follow its own deepest convictions, its well-being at home would be increased directly. At the same time America's prestige and power abroad would rise immensely.

Sometimes it looks as if, the better off they [nations] become, the bigger do they conceive the gap between what is actually their lot and what would be desirable, while in the poor countries large masses of people seem to be satisfied by merely surviving.

Toward the middle and end of the Fifties, West European countries became somewhat more important as providers of aid to underdeveloped countries. It was partly due to the prodding of the United States that these countries, as they regained economic viability, should shoulder their share of the aid burden.

As a forecaster, Marx shared the common destiny of all prophets: to be belied by events.

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Myrdal, fully Karl Gunnar Myrdal
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Swedish Economist, Sociologist and Politician, awarded Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences