Friedrich Hayek, one of the most influential economists and social theorists of the 20th century, would have been 118 years old today. Hayek, who won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1974 for his work on the impact of changing prices, was born May 8, 1899 and died March 23, 1992. A contemporary of fellow Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, Hayek is best known for his immortal works The Road to Serfdom and The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism.
In honor of Dr. Hayek’s birthday here are a few of my favorite quotes:
1. “Whereas, in fact, specialised students, even after generations of effort, find it exceedingly difficult to explain such matters, and cannot agree on what are the causes or what will be the effects of particular events. The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”
2. “I do not think it is an exaggeration to say history is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments.”
3. “Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.”
4. “If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion.”