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According to John Maynard Keynes, "The Theory of Economics does not furnish a body of settled conclusions immediately applicable to policy. It is a method rather than a doctrine, an apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions."
The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. – John Maynard Keynes
I think my role is to prescribe what should be done in light of what can be done, politics aside, and not to predict what is politically feasible and then to recommend it. - Milton Friedman