Japan's economy in freefall

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Fri Sep 18 11:25:05 PDT 1998

> . . .
>Last night, you interviewed James Galbraith, who represents the most banal
sort of left-liberal policy-wonkism. Like his father, he seems to think that progress comes about when the ruling class decides to stop acting in a foolish and self-destructive manner and begins listening to enlightened voices. It is the Plato's Republic model. And completely ridiculous.>

Galbraith the Younger, as I call him, is one of the smartest, coolest progressive guys around. Some of his journalistic pieces can be found at http://tap.epn.org/galbraith. Check them out and decide for your own self. Much recommended. Notable is his well-roundedness, relative to the methodological insularity of his professional peers.

> . . .
>One last thing on this knucklehead Galbraith. When I was working with the
Trotskyists in the Harvard Student Mobilization Committee in 1971, Jamie Galbraith nearly co-opted the committee into supporting Democratic Party "peace candidates". I debated him at a meeting of over 100 students and helped to keep the SMC independent. My impression of Galbraith was that he was just another opportunist who was using the cachet of the peace movement to advance his career. Just like Bill Clinton, in other words.>

I'll resist the temptation to comment on the "independence" of the SMC (yuk), lest we get into rehashing 30-year old debates. If Galbraith the Younger was an opportunist, we would have chosen a different school of economic thought to which to belong, and a different set of political positions. In both cases, he is in a clear minority.

As for Galbraith the Elder, or Big Daddy (he's about six feet ten or something), I much recommend his books to those not versed in the technical side of econ and with little interest in becoming so. They are as lucid and enjoyable to read as anything on the subject. They are also easy to find in used book stores, and cheap. Daddy was also a methodological maverick, though not the same ilk as Junior.



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