I have been saving the following quotations for a while. Like a puzzle with an infinite number of possible configurations, I have rearranged them, moving one ahead of another, in a sort of quest to untangle the maze of economic ruts, ripples and horizons through the mere sequence of thoughts on the page. Thus, we begin with this one.
“To think that the new economy is over is like somebody in London in 1830 saying the entire industrial revolution is over because some textile manufacturers in Manchester went broke.” ~ Alvin Toffler
The problem at hand is always far greater than what meets the eye. The problem at hand, it turns out, is not the problem; how we perceive it is the problem. This is why statistics are so fascinating, but so tricky to interpret. If 70 % of people behave a certain way, then 30 % behave another way. Both sides of the equation contribute to the final picture and to the dynamics that will change the numbers tomorrow.
With this in mind, I will spare you my interpretation of the following quotations and allow you to savor your own food for thought as you ponder each one. Though some do not apply directly to the economy, they seem just as valid. Sometimes, the truth found in astute and cleverly worded observations provides the nudge that reveals previously concealed angles. Enjoy.
“There’s blind luck, dumb luck and then there’s get up every morning at 5:30 and sweat the details luck. Few people actually stumble into wealth. It takes persistence, tenacity and a tireless work ethic. In the end, luck has little to do with success. It takes experience and hard work. Pure and simple.” ~ Smith Barney
“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.” ~ Laurence J. Peter
“Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body – the producers and consumers themselves.” ~ Herbert Hoover
“We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.” ~ Alexis de Tocqueville
The two runners up…
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” ~ Dale Carnegie
“The smallest patch of green to arrest the monotony of asphalt and concrete is as important to the value of real estate as streets, sewers and convenient shopping.” ~ Author unknown
And, the pièce de résistance…
“Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright