quote: Churchill on Profit & Loss, Risk & Responsibility


“When losses are made, under the present system those losses are borne by the individuals who sustained them and took the risk and judged things wrongly, whereas under State management all losses are quartered upon the taxpayers and the community as a whole.  The elimination of the profit motive and of self-interest as a practical guide in the myriad transactions of daily life will restrict, paralyse and destroy British ingenuity, thrift, contrivance and good housekeeping at ever stage in our life and production, and will reduce all our industries from a profit-making to a loss-making process.”

— Winston Churchill, Manchester, Dec. 6, 1947.  From Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations, p. 392.

The editor, Richard Langworth, adds, “Churchill had been reading, and was deeply impressed by, the Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek’s seminal book, The Road to Serfdom.  This statement could have been made by Hayek himself.”

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