Happy Schumpeter Day
| Peter Klein |
Today’s the birthday of Joesph A. Schumpeter, one of the great theorists — and one of the great characters — in the history of economics. To celebrate, how about remembering some of the classic Schumpeter quotes:
“[Competitive] behavior . . . is the result of a piece of past history and . . . as an attempt by those firms to keep on their feet, on ground that is slipping away from under them.”
“The process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism … it is not [price] competition which counts but the competition from . . . new technology . . . competition which strikes not at the margins of profits . . . of existing firms but at their foundations and their very lives.”
“Intellectuals are people who wield the power of the spoken and written word, and one of the touches that distinguishes them from other people who do the same is the absence of direct responsibility for practical affairs . . . .The critical attitude [arises] no less from the intellectual’s situation as an onlooker — in most cases, also an outsider — than from the fact that his main chance of asserting himself lies in his actual or potential nuisance value.”
“[C]apitalism, while economically stable, creates a mentality and a style of life incompatible with its own fundamental conditions. [It] will be changed, although not by economic necessity and probably even at some sacrifice of economic welfare, into an order of things which it will be merely a matter of taste and terminology to call Socialism or not.”
Update: Walter Grinder reminds me that it’s also Julian Simon’s birthday. Here’s a nice tribute from Steven Moore.