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Kenneth Boulding

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The success of Japanese development is due simply to the fact that Japan devoted a substantial portion of its resources to the growth industry, and particularly to the human resources and then commended Max Weber's emphasis on hard work and thrift.
All the law and the prophets of economic development can be summed up in the old proverb that "where there's a will there's a way". The way indeed is absurdly easy and is well known. It consists merely in putting resources into growth. What could be simpler and easier! the problem however, is the will, and this. I think, we understand very little. The whole cultural milieu of society plays a role in the process of developing its will, and it is hard to separate the determining factors. A widespread puritan ethic, as Max Weber pointed out, is undoubtedly an asset, if this leads people to place a high value on hard work and thrift. On the other hand, puritanism often goes along with a resistance to social change and an unwillingness to innovate outside a narrow field of technology, and thrift alone can often lead to uncreative forms of accumulation or even to unemployment and depression. Mere accumulation is not enough. Economic development does not consist merely in the piling up of things, but in the accumulation of new kinds of things.
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p.116. partly cited in: Deirdre McCloskey (2013) "What Boulding Said Went Wrong with Economics, A Quarter Century On"

 
Kenneth Boulding

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