"If economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion” is a quip usually attributed to George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), but there is no evidence that he said it.
In May 1933, “New York Day by Day” syndicated columnist O. O. McIntyre wrote: “The best answer to economics is Isaac Marcosson’s: ‘If all the economists in the world were placed end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.’”
Isaac Frederick Marcosson was the financial editor of The Saturday Evening Post and frequently wrote about economic issues.
If economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.
George Bernard Shaw
Wikipedia: Isaac Frederick Marcosson
Isaac Frederick Marcosson (1877-1961) was an American editor, born at Louisville, Kentucky, and educated in the schools of Louisville.
In 1903, he became associate editor of The World’s Work, and in 1907, he became a member of and financial editor of The Saturday Evening Post. From 1910 to 1913, he was editor of Munsey’s Magazine.
Google News Archive
20 May 1933, San Jose (CA) Evening News “New York Day by Day” by O. O. McIntyre, pg. 10, col. 6:
The best answer to economics is Isaac Marcosson’s: “If all the economists in the world were placed end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.”
Google News Archive
28 September 1933, Cape Girardeau (MO) Southeast Missourian, ‘Washington Letter” by Rodney Dutcher, pg. 4, col. 8:
Even statisticians can kid themselves. Some of them match the one about “if all the economists were laid end to end they’d never reach a conclusion” with the assertion that “if all the statisticians were laid end to end it wouldn’t make a difference.”
If all the economists in the world were laid end to end, they would never reach a conclusion.
Derby Day and other adventures
By A. Edward Newton
Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Company
It has been said that if all the economists were laid end to end they would reach around the world, but not a conclusion.
Business & Finance: Ithaca Sweatshop
Monday, Jul. 29, 1935
After presiding at one session of the conference President Harper Sibley of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce politely surmised: “If all economists were laid end to end, they would reach no conclusion.”
Speaker’s Handbook of Epigrams and Witticisms
By Herbert V. Prochnow
Blackpool: A. Thomas & Co.
If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion. George Bernard Shaw
15 March 1961, New York (NY) Times, pg. 39:
Interviewed Leading World
Figures—Was Top Writer
on Saturday Evening Post
Isaac F. Marcosson, writer on political and economic affairs, died last night at Doctors Hospital. he was 83 years old.
A man who had traveled the world and interviewed as many of its noted personages as any other present-day journalist, Mr. Marcosson was believed to have been one of the highest paid correspondents of his day.
During the thirty years beginning in 1907, Mr. Marcosson was a leading writer for The Saturday Evening Post.
Isaac Frederick Marcosson was born in Louisville, Ky.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Friday, November 05, 2010 • Permalink