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John Kenneth Galbraith Quotes

Canadian-American economist and diplomat, Birth: 15-10-1908, Death: 29-4-2006 John Kenneth Galbraith Quotes
1.
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.
John Kenneth Galbraith

2.
Oligopoly is an imperfect monopoly. Like the despotism of the Dual Monarchy, it is saved only by its incompetence.
John Kenneth Galbraith

3.
Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite.
John Kenneth Galbraith

4.
Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy — what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.
John Kenneth Galbraith

5.
Commencement oratory must eschew anything that smacks of partisan politics, political preference, sex, religion or unduly firm opinion. Nonetheless, there must be a speech: Speeches in our culture are the vacuum that fills a vacuum.
John Kenneth Galbraith

Similar Authors: Ludwig von Mises Milton Friedman David Hume John Stuart Mill Paul Ryan Kofi Annan Pablo Neruda Madeleine Albright John Maynard Keynes Daniel Kahneman Adam Smith Paul Krugman Muhammad Yunus Robert Reich Joseph Stiglitz
6.
But there is merit even in the mentally retarded legislator. He asks the questions that everyone is afraid to ask for fear of seeming simple.
John Kenneth Galbraith

7.
Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
John Kenneth Galbraith

8.
If all else fails immortality can always be assured by adequate error.
John Kenneth Galbraith

Quote Topics by John Kenneth Galbraith: Men People Political World Investing War Government Economics Thinking Believe Writing Economy Politics Ideas Simple Important Business Mind Country Long Class May Organization Economic Should Knows Reality Use Technology Two
9.
The masters thought they were loved until one day one of their favorites farted loudly while serving dinner and the next day was gone. The very first manifestation of the classless society is the disappearance of the servant class.
John Kenneth Galbraith

10.
The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.
John Kenneth Galbraith

11.
More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.
John Kenneth Galbraith

12.
There is certainly no absolute standard of beauty. That precisely is what makes its pursuit so interesting.
John Kenneth Galbraith

13.
In the United States all business not transacted over the telephone is accomplished in conjunction with alcohol or food, often under conditions of advanced intoxication. This is a fact of the utmost importance for the visitor of limited funds... for it means that the most expensive restaurants are, with rare exceptions, the worst.
John Kenneth Galbraith

14.
What is called a high standard of living consists, in considerable measure, in arrangements for avoiding muscular energy, for increasing sensual pleasure and enhancing caloric intake above any conceivable nutritional requirement.
John Kenneth Galbraith

15.
Every corner of the public psyche is canvassed by some of the most talented citizens to see if the desire for some merchandisable product can be cultivated.
John Kenneth Galbraith

16.
Simple minds, presumably, are the easiest to manage.
John Kenneth Galbraith

17.
No solution [to the problem of poverty] is so effective as providing income to the poor. Whether in the form of food, housing, health services, education or money, income is an excellent antidote for deprivation. No truth has spawned so much ingenious evasion.
John Kenneth Galbraith

18.
All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.
John Kenneth Galbraith

19.
Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.
John Kenneth Galbraith

20.
The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
John Kenneth Galbraith

21.
The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.
John Kenneth Galbraith

22.
The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled.
John Kenneth Galbraith

23.
There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know.
John Kenneth Galbraith

24.
All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.
John Kenneth Galbraith

25.
Economic theory is the most prestigious subject of instruction and study. Agricultural economics, labor economics and marketing are lower caste fields of study.
John Kenneth Galbraith

26.
The Metropolis should have been aborted long before it became New York, London or Tokyo.
John Kenneth Galbraith

27.
In economics, the majority is always wrong.
John Kenneth Galbraith

28.
In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension and also a deep desire for respectability.
John Kenneth Galbraith

29.
A wrong decision isn't forever; it can always be reversed. The losses from a delayed decision are forever; they can never be retrieved.
John Kenneth Galbraith

30.
People are the common denominator of progress; no improvement is possible with unimproved people.
John Kenneth Galbraith

31.
Power is not something that can be assumed or discarded at will like underwear.
John Kenneth Galbraith

32.
Do not be alarmed by simplification, complexity is often a device for claiming sophistication, or for evading simple truths.
John Kenneth Galbraith

33.
Wisdom... is often an abstraction associated not with fact or reality but with the man who asserts it and the manner of its assertion.
John Kenneth Galbraith

34.
The problem of the modern economy is not a failure of a knowledge of economics; it's a failure of a knowledge of history.
John Kenneth Galbraith

35.
Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
John Kenneth Galbraith

36.
Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
John Kenneth Galbraith

37.
Among all the world's races, some obscure Bedouin tribes possibly apart, Americans are the most prone to misinformation. This is not the consequence of any special preference for mendacity, although at the higher levels of their public administration that tendency is impressive. It is rather that so much of what they themselves believe is wrong.
John Kenneth Galbraith

38.
In a community where public services have failed to keep abreast of private consumption things are very different. Here, in an atmosphere of private opulence and public squalor, the private goods have full sway.
John Kenneth Galbraith

39.
Much literary criticism comes from people for whom extreme specialization is a cover either for grave cerebral inadequacy or terminal laziness, the latter being a much-cherished aspect of academic freedom.
John Kenneth Galbraith

40.
Men have been swindled by other men on many occasions. The autumn of 1929 was, perhaps, the first occasion when men succeeded on a large scale in swindling themselves.
John Kenneth Galbraith

41.
Any consideration of the life and larger social existence of the modern corporate man begins and also largely ends with the effect of one all-embracing force. That is organization - the highly structured assemblage of men, and now some women, of which he is a part. It is to this, at the expense of family, friends, sex, recreation and sometimes health and effective control of alcoholic intake, that he is expected to devote his energies.
John Kenneth Galbraith

42.
The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character building values of the privation of the poor.
John Kenneth Galbraith

43.
People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.
John Kenneth Galbraith

44.
The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.
John Kenneth Galbraith

45.
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.
John Kenneth Galbraith

46.
Change comes not from men and women changing their minds, but from the change from one generation to the next.
John Kenneth Galbraith

47.
The real accomplishment of modern science and technology consists in taking ordinary men, informing them narrowly and deeply and then, through appropriate organization, arranging to have their knowledge combined with that of other specialized but equally ordinary men. This dispenses with the need for genius. The resulting performance, though less inspiring, is far more predictable.
John Kenneth Galbraith

48.
The family which takes it mauve and cerise, air conditioned, power-steered, and power braked automobile out for a tour passes through cities that are badly paved, made hideous by litter, blighted buildings, billboards, and posts for wires that should long since have been put underground.
John Kenneth Galbraith

49.
Then came the second Amsterdam discovery, although the principle was known elsewhere. Bank deposits...did not need to be left idly in the bank. They could be lent. The bank then got interest. The borrower then had a deposit that he could spend. But the original deposit still stood to the credit of the original depositor. That too could be spent. Money, spendable money, had been created. Let no one rub his or her eyes. It's still being done-every day. The creation of money by a bank is as simple as this, so simple, I've often said, that the mind is slightly repelled.
John Kenneth Galbraith

50.
The commencement speech is not, I think, a wholly satisfactory manifestation of our culture.
John Kenneth Galbraith