Speaking of Schumpeter...

James Wilson James_Wilson at ridley.on.ca
Mon Mar 1 11:43:21 PST 1999

Speaking of Schumpeter - happened to be browsing through some old Galbraith books at the library recently and found some interesting stuff about him and other high priests of the “Let them eat s__t” school of econonomics:

When asked by President Herbert Hoover in 1932 for advice about the depression, leading economists Joseph Schumpeter of Harvard and Lionel Robbins of the London School of Economics answered that the government should do precisely nothing.


“Our analysis leads us to believe that recovery is sound only if it comes of itself.”

In 1936, Schumpeter’s Harvard colleague Thomas Nixon Carver spoke publicly of the desirability of sterilizing all paupers in the U.S. so they could not breed and perpetuate their kind. He defined a pauper as anyone earning less than $1800 a year, a category that then embraced around half of all the families in the country.

(See John Kenneth Galbraith’s “Economics in Perspective”, Houghton Mifflin, 1987 p. 196; the above passages are paraphrases and not exact quotes)

James Wilson

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