This science is very interesting and ambiguous. It is no coincidence that economists adore arguing. Typically, the debate is devoted to topics that ordinary people do not understand and are of little interest. There are several economic schools in the world, but every self-respecting economist has his own opinion about the processes taking place in the world.
It is said that two economists have as many as five different points of view. So do not argue with such a specialist, it’s better to agree with reserve and throw up new topics for discussion. Then the conversation can not be interrupted.
Nevertheless, despite the presence of one’s own opinion, every economist has authority. We will tell below about the ten most famous representatives of this glorious, but such ambiguous science.
Adam Smith (1723-1790).
So it coincided that the name of the scientist turned out to be prophetic. He managed to become a real Adam for the economy. It is Smith who is considered the first economist and founder of all this science. The foundation for her was his book “An Investigation of the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.” In this work, Smith proposed the concept of an economic man, driven by selfishness and the desire for enrichment. It is Smith’s work that underlies capitalism. Interestingly, the book appeared in 1776, just when the world’s largest capitalist country, the US, was born. Smith revealed the famous invisible “arm of the market.” He explained the strange phenomenon to him. It turns out that acting solely for their own mercenary purposes, each of us not only increases its capital, but also riches society as a whole. Perhaps, to think about the nature of the wealth of Smith forced his Scottish roots? In this country, stinginess is considered the norm. Adam Smith died a year after the French Revolution. But she proclaimed not just freedom and brotherhood, but also universal equality. Such ideas ran counter to the ideas of the great economist about individual enrichment. So far, Smith’s theory raises many questions. Not everyone likes the idea that most of us are driven not by high motives, but by a banal thirst for profit. This theory dealt a blow to the self-esteem of man. I must say that the glory of the scientist was so great that he even managed to get into Russian poetry. So, the works of the scholar was read by Eugene Onegin, who considered himself a great economist. David Ricardo (1772-1823).
Like many other economists, Ricardo was a Jew by nationality. He came from the family of the Sephardim, who settled in England after being expelled from Spain. David’s parents were very rich, but when he opposed to them married to a non-Jew, Ricardo was deprived of his inheritance. So he had to earn his living for himself, which turned out well. The young economist managed to make a good career in the bank, and then managed to get into parliament. However, such achievements failed to satisfy his requests. As a result, Ricardo came up with the concept of international trade. Prior to him, it was believed that the maximum export and minimum imports would be beneficial for the country. Thanks to this outdated approach, international trade has developed extremely slowly. Ricardo, however, was able to prove that the specialization of the country on a certain commodity will be a boon, from this approach they can win everything. The economist has come to the conclusion that prosperity will grow even if there is concentration in one production and the import of everything else. Let even the country can release other goods with greater efficiency, rather than its trading partners. From this theory it is clear why a banker should not do repairs in his apartment, even if he can do it better than a wage worker. The fact is that the time spent by this high-class specialist can be used with greater benefit, working on his specialty.
Karl Marx (1818-1883).
A world-famous scientist had many children, but lived in poverty. In fact, Marx was kept by his friend, Friedrich Engels, a successful businessman.This in itself looks rather strange, because most economists who discovered new patterns in their science, could use their knowledge for selfish purposes. But Marx himself managed to create such a doctrine, which, although periodically declared insolvent, periodically returns to life. The scientist believed that the value of any product is directly dependent on the labor spent on it. The capitalist can only profit if the price of the commodity is higher than the cost of production. And this can be achieved solely by the exploitation of the working class. In the final analysis, according to Marx, capitalism will lead to the complete impoverishment of the proletarians. I must say that such a theory is the complete opposite of Adam Smith’s judgments. In his opinion, with the enrichment of the capitalists and the workers themselves, part of the income falls. In the second half of the last century it became clear that Marx’s ideas were wrong. After all, in the capitalist countries, workers were able to achieve a high standard of living. But in the socialist countries, living according to the behests of the economist, the population never saw the promised prosperity. But a new round of crisis around the world at the beginning of the 21st century again revived interest in the ideas of Karl Marx. John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946).
Those who believe that economists are boring and boring people should learn more about Keynes. This scientist vigorously revolved in the circles of London’s bohemia, among his friends were writers and artists. The spouse of John was the Russian ballerina Lydia Lopukhova. True to her, he did not find personal happiness, because he was a homosexual. But in economics, Keynes was a real professional. At the same time he did not just teach others this difficult science, but he himself played on the stock exchange. Did Keynes do this quite successfully, making good money on his hobby. Prior to Keynes, economics was a classic science created by Adam Smith. But John was able to create a new economy, his own. During the Great Depression, it turned out that Smith’s “invisible hand” can not always cope with economic problems, which is why, sometimes, decisive government intervention is required. In difficult times of crisis, the country simply has to increase spending, thereby maintaining the level of employment. Thanks to Keynes, the post-war monetary regime was also created. First, he was tied to the gold standard, and now to the US dollar, provided only by the authority of the country.
Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950).
One hundred years ago, Vienna became the capital of people of questionable professions. There was a lot of famous writers, musicians, psychiatrists, and just charlatans. In the capital of Austria-Hungary, there were no economists either. When Josef Schumpeter had just studied at the University of Vienna, he vowed to become the best lover, rider and economist in the country’s capital. Already at an old age, the man regretted that he could not master the art of riding. But in other classes he succeeded. Schumpeter was able to go down in history thanks to his theory of creative destruction. According to it, capitalism develops progressively, while all the old is destroyed, and in its place there is something new. Probably, now a lot of fans of this theory gathered in the Silicon Valley. After all, there investors usually give money to those businessmen who have at least one failed project behind their shoulders. After all, those who have not learned to destroy creatively, are perceived as inexperienced businessmen who are unworthy of trust.
Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992).
This native of Austria also left the country with the advent of Hitler, like his colleague Schumpeter. It was Hayek who was one of the first who managed to question the planned economic model and predict its collapse. The economist believed that officials do not have all the information to create a functional and reliable plan. I must say that the economist was lucky in many respects.He managed to live up to the day when his theories were embodied personally, which was achieved by a few significant economists. The great scientist was born in 1899, and died in 1992. Hayek was able to see both the inception of the Soviet state with its planned economy, and its collapse. It should be noted that Hayek could not tolerate the state and did not recognize his intervention in the economy. That’s why he fiercely opposed Keynes, being a favorite of the Conservatives. John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006).
When he was America’s ambassador to India, Galbraith often wrote messages to President Kennedy. They say that he liked to read these messages. And it was not because the political life was boiling in India, but John Galbraith always wrote in a sarcastic and witty way. It was one of several US university scientists of the 1960s, who managed to become iconic characters of their time. Galbraith was known no less than Henry Kissinger or Timiti Leary. Academic works of the scientist on economics are read quite easily, similarly to diplomatic dispatches from India. The economist criticized large companies for their excessive impact on the market, the artificial formation of consumer tastes and active participation in politics. To the economy in general, Galbraith, like everything else in life, was very skeptical. So, he said that the benefit of economic forecasts is only that, in comparison with them, even alchemy becomes a respected science. Milton Friedman (1912-2006).
This scientist is famous for his invention of monetarism. As already mentioned, economists adore arguing with each other. But Friedman liked to argue with everyone at all. Especially he adored to discuss with Keynes, did not embarrass Milton and the fact that his interlocutor had long since died. Friedman believed that the state should not at all somehow regulate the economy or interfere in it. According to the scientist, free markets will be able to regulate themselves, like any healthy organism. And in order to avoid inflation and economic crises, in his opinion, it is necessary to control the money supply. Friedman believed that money in the economy should not be too much, not too little. It is appropriate analogy with the human body, which must be fed healthy and full-fledged food. Harmful will be eating, and excessive starvation. Joseph Stiglitz (gen..1943).
The scientist was born in the very notable city of Gary, Indiana. It is from here that the Jackson musical family is born. Stiglitz, however, saw how in his eyes a powerful industrial city with a developed steel business, which he was before, turned into a slum. Joseph Stiglitz is one of the most important representatives of the post-Keynesian economy, which is based on the teachings of Keynes, but also includes elements of Marx’s theory. The scientist himself was an economic adviser to President Clinton, he served as chief economist for the World Bank. At this high post, he criticized the operation of international economic organizations. Stiglitz defended his views so much that he criticized even the International Monetary Fund and its place of work, the World Bank. The scientist believed that one can not unduly worship a free market, as this will lead to poverty in developing countries. The works of Stiglitz were evaluated by the Nobel Prize in 2001. The Committee noted his studies, which proved the uneven distribution of information on the market. This suggests that the “invisible hand” of the free market is not nearly as effective as the adherents of the Adam Smith theory think.
Paul Krugman (born 1953).
This scientist is also a Nobel laureate, although his right to this is rather controversial. Academic work of Krugman in the field of trade specialists is not particularly impressive. In any case, they can not be considered as significant enough to be awarded for them the main prize in the scientific world.Perhaps the Swedes thus noted the Krugman column in The New York Times. In this newspaper scientist, all eight years of George W. Bush’s tenure in power, fairly well and witty criticized his policy. The texts were indeed relevant and talented. Krugman’s views were read not only by the whole of America, but also by other countries. This is what made Krugman the most famous of modern economists. True, this criticism did not have any impact on the policy of the presidential administration. The very same country was on the verge of bankruptcy and financial collapse, which actually predicted Krugman. President Obama was supported by the economist at first, but now he began to criticize his policies. It is interesting that Krugman’s opinion runs counter to the Republicans and conservatives. Those believe that the state budget due to a deficit of 1.3 trillion dollars should reduce its spending. But Krugman came to the conclusion that the country should spend another trillion more to get the economy out of the crisis.