John K Galbraith (was economists are corrupt)

alec ramsdell a_ramsdell at
Tue Sep 29 12:08:50 PDT 1998

James Devine wrote:

>At 08:45 AM 9/29/98 PDT, you wrote:
>>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
>>Or maybe _The Good Society_ is one of JKG's weaker episodes.
>I don't see a big contradiction between the two passages. He first says
>he's not in favor of equality, by which I presume, from context, he
>_total equality_ (everyone having the same income).
>Then he says that we currently have _too much_ inequality.
>I would read this as saying that he wants to "split the difference,"
>toward somewhere in between the degree of inequality we have now and
>It may be fuzzy, but it's not a glaring contradiction.

It was a bit of a howl on my part. I just question JKG's *use* of fuzzy metaphysical absolutes (it's the way he uses them, I think) like "human nature" and "compassion." But then I shrill whenever I see the word "nature", even without a capital n.

I also question conflating inequality in "human nature" and income distribution. I read it as a construction that's ideologically slippery, intentionally or not.

I guess I'm less fond of the manifesto-esque aspects of the book, though it is good for someone new to economics, like me, getting a grasp of various parts of the economy.


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