Liberal economists are as rare as trucks on the highway, but I always took a bit of a liking to John Kenneth Galbraith. Why? Because he never ran from the accurate title he earned: liberal. It’s rare to find a liberal who doesn’t get mad when they’re called a liberal.
Anyway, the guns and/or butter finally got the best of Mr. Galbraith:
John Kenneth Galbraith, the Harvard professor who won worldwide renown as a liberal economist, backstage politician and witty chronicler of affluent society, died Saturday night, his son said. He was 97.Galbraith died of natural causes at Mount Auburn Hospital, where he was admitted nearly two weeks ago, Alan Galbraith said.During a long career, the Canadian-born economist served as adviser to Democratic presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, and was John F. Kennedy’s ambassador to India.Ã‚Â
As an economist at a party might euphemize, “God put the Pareto Optimality into effect”.
The departure of Galbraith now leaves Noam Chomsky carrying almost the full burden of liberal economic misinterpretation.
More credit where credit it due- Despite battling chronic liberal syndrome his entire life, Galbraith is the creator of some great quotes. Here are a couple:
–“Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists”.
–“Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything”.
And, of course, Galbraith tookÃ‚Â jabs at people of my particular political leaning. Ya can’t have a CambridgeÃ‚Â cotillion without it:
–“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness”.
Since we’re in mourning for Mr. Galbraith, I’ll not point out that I’d rather have a people searching for a superior moral justification for selfishness than the way liberals would like it done, which isÃ‚Â the insufficient immoral justification for theft. So, instead, we can only say “rest in peace, Mr. Galbraith”.
On a completely unrelated topic, I’m now watching “The Aviator”, the film about Howard Hughes. It’s interesting to note that this is one of those rarest of films: biopics that are actuallyÃ‚Â longer than the life of the person they’re depicting.
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