John K Galbraith (was economists are corrupt)

alec ramsdell a_ramsdell at
Tue Sep 29 08:45:37 PDT 1998

This peeved me much when I read it. Is this lazy thinking? Or is it words of a bourgeois economist, unable to see the glaring contradiction? Or maybe _The Good Society_ is one of JKG's weaker episodes.

>From the chapter "The Distribution of Income and Power," p. 59:

The good society does not seek equality in the distribution of income. Equality is not consistent with either human nature [!] or the character and motivation of the modern economic system. As all know, people differ radically in their commitment to making money and also in their competence in doing so.

...[meanwhile, one page later]...

By 1992, the top 5 percent were getting an estimated 18 percent, a share that in more recent years has become substantially larger, as that of those in the poorest brackets has been diminishing. This, the good society cannot accept. Nor can it accept intellectually the justification, more precisely the contrivance [wait, what about "human nature"?], that defends this inequality [!]. The latter is one of the most assiduously cultivated exercised in economic thought. Never, however, does it quite conceal the fact that the economic and social doctrine involved is subordinate to the pecuniary purpose (and forthright greed) that it serves.

[end excerpt]



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