If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

Herb Stein (1916-1999) American economist
Stein’s Law (c. 1980)

This was a frequent statement by Stein. He explained it: "This proposition, arising first in a discussion of the balance-of-payments deficit, is a response to those who think that if something cannot go on forever, steps must be taken to stop it -- even to stop it at once."

- "If something can’t go on forever, it won’t."
- "Anything that can’t go on, won’t."
- "Trends that can't continue won't.

Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Mar-15
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