"Schumpeter advanced the paradox that economic progress destabilizes the world.
Progress and job destruction go hand in hand in a dynamic process he called creative
destruction. Today, as in the 1930s, Schumpeter's insights help explain how jobs
emerge and disappear through the innovation and entrepreneurship of free enterprise."
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
- Free Enterprise -- Appreciating the Churn
- Schumpeter in His Own Words
Harvard University Press:
'Pan Am, Gimbel's, Pullman, Douglas Aircraft, Digital Equipment Corporation, British Leyland--all once as strong as dinosaurs, all now just as extinct. Destruction of businesses, fortunes, products, and careers is the price of progress toward a better material life. No one understood this bedrock economic principle better than Joseph A. Schumpeter. "Creative destruction," he said, is the driving force of capitalism.
Described by John Kenneth Galbraith as "the most sophisticated conservative" of the twentieth century, Schumpeter made his mark as the prophet of incessant change. His vision was stark: Nearly all businesses fail, victims of innovation by their competitors. Businesspeople ignore this lesson at their peril--to survive, they must be entrepreneurial and think strategically. Yet in Schumpeter's view, the general prosperity produced by the "capitalist engine" far outweighs the wreckage it leaves behind.
During a tumultuous life spanning two world wars, the Great Depression, and the early Cold War, Schumpeter reinvented himself many times. From boy wonder in turn-of-the-century Vienna to captivating Harvard professor, he was stalked by tragedy and haunted by the specter of his rival, John Maynard Keynes. By 1983--the centennial of the birth of both men--Forbes christened Schumpeter, not Keynes, the best navigator through the turbulent seas of globalization. Time has proved that assessment accurate.'