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- If you can provide a precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Julian Simon.
- The material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, in most countries, most of the time, indefinitely. Within a century or two, all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today's Western living standards. I also speculate, however, that many people will continue to think and say that the conditions of life are getting worse.
- The world's problem is not too many people, but lack of political and economic freedom.
- The most important benefit of population size and growth is the increase it brings to the stock of useful knowledge. Minds matter economically as much as, or more than, hands or mouths.
- It is your mind that matters economically, as much or more than your mouth or hands. In the long run, the most important economic effect of population size and growth is the contribution of additional people to our stock of useful knowledge. And this contribution is large enough in the long run to overcome all the costs of population growth
- The standard of living has risen along with the size of the world's population since the beginning of recorded time. There is no convincing economic reason why these trends toward a better life should not continue indefinitely.
- Our supplies of natural resources are not finite in any economic sense. Nor does past experience give reason to expect natural resources to become scarcer. Rather, if history is any guide, natural resources will progressively become less costly, hence less scarce, and will constitute a smaller proportion of our expenses in future years.
- There is no reason to believe that at any given moment in the future the available quantity of any natural resource or service at present prices will be much smaller than it is now, or non-existent.
- Because we can expect future generations to be richer than we are, no matter what we do about resources, asking us to refrain from using resources now so that future generations can have them later is like asking the poor to make gifts to the rich.
- Our whole evolution up to this point shows that human groups spontaneously evolve patterns of behavior, as well as patterns of training people for that behavior, which tend on balance to lead people to create rather than destroy. Humans are, on net balance, builders rather than destroyers.
- Not understanding the process of a spontaneously-ordered economy goes hand-in-hand with not understanding the creation of resources and wealth. And when a person does not understand the creation of resources and wealth, the only intellectual alternative is to believe that increasing wealth must be at the cost of someone else. This belief that our good fortune must be an exploitation of others may be the taproot of false prophecy about doom that our evil ways must bring upon us
- Greater consumption due to increase in population and growth of income heightens scarcity and induces price run-ups. A higher price represents an opportunity that leads inventors and businesspeople to seek new ways to satisfy the shortages. Some fail, at cost to themselves. A few succeed, and the final result is that we end up better off than if the original shortage problems had never arisen. That is, we need our problems, though this does not imply that we should purposely create additional problems for ourselves.
- Based on first-hand evidence of your own senses - the improved health and later ages at which acquaintances die nowadays as compared with the past; the material goods that we now possess; the speed at which information, entertainment, and we ourselves move freely throughout the world - it seems to me that a person must be literally deaf and blind not to perceive that humanity is in a much better state than ever before.
- The essence of wealth is the capacity to control the forces of nature, and the extent of wealth depends upon the level of technology and the ability to create new knowledge.
- The main fuel to speed the world's progress is our stock of knowledge, and the brake is our lack of imagination.
- All of us necessarily hold many casual opinions that are ludicrously wrong simply because life is far too short for us to think through even a small fraction of the topics that we come across.