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John Carroll

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Unless the fundamental categories of economics such as ‘property’ were to be redefined in a radically personal way the liberal rationalist curse which had established economics as a scientific discipline cut off from human interests would proliferate. Economic models … have failed to incorporate any meaningful index of individual benefit other than the original utilitarian one, … the index of increasing income or an increasing flow of commodities.
p. 145

John Carroll

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They, economics and evolution, are both examples of a larger process, which has been at work in this part of the universe for a very long time. This is the process of the development of structures of increasing complexity and improbability. The evolutionary process always operates through mutation and selection and has involved some distinction between the genotype which mutates and the phenotype which is selected. The process by which the genotype constructs the phenotype may be described as "organization". Economic development manifesto itself largely in the production of commodities, that is, goods and services. It originates, however, in ideas, plans, and attitudes in the human mind. These are the genotypes in economic development. This whole process indeed can be described as a process in the growth of knowledge. What the economist calls "capital" is nothing more than human knowledge imposed on the material world. Knowledge and the growth of knowledge, therefore, is the essential key to economic development. Investment, financial systems and economic organizations and institutions are in a sense only the machinery by which a knowledge process is created and expressed.

Kenneth Boulding

In our time of ever-increasing specialization, there is a tendency to concern ourselves with relatively narrow scientific problems. The broad foundations of our present-day scientific knowledge and its historical development tend to be forgotten too often. This is an unfortunate trend, not only because our horizon becomes rather limited and our perspective somewhat distorted, but also because there are many valuable lessons to be learned in looking back over the years during which the basic concepts and the fundamental laws of a particular scientific discipline were first formulated.

Emil Wolf

You could say that GDP (National Income) and prosperity and wealth grows fastest when income tax rates are highest. And wealth slows, the economy slows, when taxes are cut. That's counter intuitive but if you look at any chart comparing tax rates and economic growth rates that's what you find. The 19th century knew it, the 18th century knew it but today you have a kind of counter revolution of junk economics that is basically anti-labor economics. - January 1, 2011

Michael (economist) Hudson

Kenneth E. Boulding was a most extraordinary economist. The narrow bounds of the economics discipline could not contain his interests and talents. In addition to economics, Professor Boulding made important contributions to the fields of political science, sociology, philosophy, and social psychology. His forays into subjects outside the usual concerns of economists were not an intellectual dilettantism; rather, they were a result of his conviction that an understanding of human behavior can only be accomplished by studying man in his totality. Much of Boulding's work was an attempt to move beyond the narrow economic view of humans as self-interested, rational utility maximizers to a general social science exploiting the full range of our rational, instinctual, and mystical knowledge.

Kenneth Boulding

The decisive weakness in neoclassical and neo-Keynesian economics is not the error in the assumptions by which it elides the problem of power. The capacity for erroneous belief is very great, especially where it coincides with convenience. Rather, in eliding power — in making economics a nonpolitical subject — neoclassical theory destroys its relation to the real world. In that world, power is decisive in what happens. And the problems of that world are increasing both in number and in the depth of their social affliction. In consequence, neoclassical and neo-Keynesian economics is relegating its players to the social sidelines where they either call no plays or use the wrong ones. To change the metaphor, they manipulate levers to which no machinery is attached.

John Kenneth Galbraith
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