John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith, OC (properly /ɡælˈbreɪθ/ gal-BRAYTH, but commonly /ˈɡælbreɪθ/ GAL-brayth; 15 October 1908 – 29 April 2006), was a Canadian-American economist. He was a Keynesian, an institutionalist, and a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s and he filled the role of public intellectual from the 1950s to the 1970s on matters of economics.

Galbraith was a prolific author who produced four dozen books and over a thousand articles on various subjects. Among his most famous works was a popular trilogy on economics, American Capitalism (1952), The Affluent Society (1958), and The New Industrial State (1967). He taught at Harvard University for many years. Galbraith was active in Democratic Party politics, serving in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; he served as United States Ambassador to India under Kennedy. Due to his prodigious literary output he was arguably the best known economist in the world during his lifetime and was one of a select few people to be awarded the Medal of Freedom, in 1946, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2000, for services to economics. The government of France made him a Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur.

Read more about John Kenneth GalbraithPostwar, Works, Honors

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    The Metropolis should have been aborted long before it became New York, London or Tokyo.
    John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)

    The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.
    John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)

    Clearly the most unfortunate people are those who must do the same thing over and over again, every minute, or perhaps twenty to the minute. They deserve the shortest hours and the highest pay.
    —John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)

    We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had much.
    —John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)

    Old men who never cheated, never doubted,
    Communicated monthly, sit and stare
    At the new suburb stretched beyond the run-way
    Where a young man lands hatless from the air.
    —Sir John Betjeman (1906–1984)

    Among all the world’s races, some obscure Bedouin tribes possibly apart, Americans are the most prone to misinformation. This is not the consequence of any special preference for mendacity, although at the higher levels of their public administration that tendency is impressive. It is rather that so much of what they themselves believe is wrong.
    —John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)