During this English interlude, Drucker discovered that he was not an economist.
Every week he took the train down to Cambridge University to attend John
Maynard Keynes' seminar. While literally sitting at the great man's feet he
"suddenly realized that Keynes and all the brilliant economics students in the
room were interested in the behavior of commodities while I was interested in
the behavior of people." His interest in people would lead him to the study of
management, which, seeming to be about commodities, is for Drucker all about
people. It would lead as well to his career as a management consultant. "This
is a person business," he'd say about consulting. "We are not greengrocers
selling commodities." As for economics, "There is only one point on which the
economists and I are in agreement: I am NOT an economist." And as for Keynesian
economics, notably its advice to governments to spend their way out of
depressions, "It was like a doctor telling you that you have inoperable liver
cancer, but it will be cured if you go to bed with a beautiful
from The World According to Peter Drucker
(The Free Press, 1998)
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Copyright © 1998 by Jack Beatty. Published by The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc.