John Kenneth Galbraith: born 100 Years ago Today

Galbraith was born on October 15, 1908 in the rural farming community of Elgin County, Canada. He died in Boston, April 8, 2006 after a very distinguished public service and academic career.

I am reading Professor Galbraith’s book, The Great Crash 1929 right now. [Wikipedia] See my posting on Financial Speculation.

  • The man who is admired for the ingenuity of his larceny is almost always rediscovering some earlier form of fraud. The basic forms are all known, have all been practiced. The manners of capitalism improve. The morals may not.
  • In economics, the majority is always wrong.
  • People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.

This photograph peers down on me from the wall as I type these words. He and his administrative assistant Ms. Baldwin were kind enough to send it to me a year before he died.

  • The contented and economically comfortable have a very discriminating view of government. Nobody is ever indignant about bailing out failing banks and failed savings and loans associations. But when taxes must be paid for the lower middle class and poor, the government assumes an aspect of wickedness.

I grew up and was named after one of these long faced, dour Scotch Presbyterians on my Dad’s side. Johnny and Mary Boychuk raised Mom on a section and a half of the red clay of southern Manitoba.

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