This will be a loose series of relevant, insightful, amusing or otherwise noteworthy quotes from great economists. This one is from Keynes who in 1930 pondered the question of what humanity would do with its freedom once it had solved the 'economic problem', i.e. was able to provide for all material wants with relative ease:
'We have been expressly evolved by nature-with all our impulses and deepest instincts for the purpose of solving the economic problem. If the economic problem is solved, mankind will be deprived of its traditional purpose.
Will this be a benefit? ... To use the language of to-day-must we not expect a general “nervous breakdown”? We already have a little experience of what I mean, a nervous breakdown of the sort which is already common enough in England and the United States amongst the wives of the well-to-do classes, unfortunate women, many of them, who have been deprived by their wealth of their traditional tasks and occupations--who cannot find it sufficiently amusing, when deprived of the spur of economic necessity, to cook and clean and mend, yet are quite unable to find anything more amusing.'