Friedrich August von Hayek QuotesFriedrich August von Hayek often referred to by his initials F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian-British economist and philosopher best known for his defence of classical liberalism. Hayek shared the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Gunnar Myrdal for his "pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena".
To combat depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about; because we are suffering from a misdirection of production, we want to create further misdirection — a procedure which can only lead to a much more severe crisis as soon as the credit expansion comes to an end.
It is not difficult to deprive the great majority of independent thought. But the minority who will retain an inclination to criticize must also be silenced….Public criticism or even expressions of doubt must be suppressed because they tend to weaken pubic support….When the doubt or fear expressed concerns not the success of a particular enterprise but of the whole social plan, it must be treated even more as sabotage.
Inflation is probably the most important single factor in that vicious circle wherein one kind of government action makes more and more government control necessary. For this reason all those who wish to stop the drift toward increasing government control should concentrate their effort on monetary policy.
The younger generation of today has grown up in a world in which in school and press the spirit of commercial enterprise has been represented as disreputable and the making of profit as immoral, where to employ a hundred people is represented as exploitation but to command the same number as honorable.
I am convinced that if the market system were the result of deliberate human design, and if the people guided by the price changes understood that their decisions have significance far beyond their immediate aims, this mechanism would have been acclaimed as one of the greatest triumphs of the human mind.
A general flat minimum-wage law for all industry is permissible, but I do not think that it is a particularly wise method of achieving the end. I know much better methods of providing a minimum for everybody. But once you turn from laying down a general minimum for all industry to decreeing particular and different minimum for different industries, then, of course, you make the price mechanism inoperative, because it is no longer the price mechanism which will guide people between industries and trades.