John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith (October 15, 1908 – April 29, 2006) was a Canadian-born economist, public official, and diplomat, and a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s, during which time Galbraith fulfilled the role of public intellectual. 

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Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.

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.

The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.

War remains the decisive human failure.

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

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

Of all classes the rich are the most noticed and the least studied.

Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine. A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does.

In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

Few can believe that suffering especially by others is in vain. Anything that is disagreeable must surely have beneficial economic effects.

We have escapist fiction so why not escapist biography?

The Metropolis should have been aborted long before it became New York London or Tokyo.

All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.

If all else fails immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.

Meetings are a great trap. Soon you find yourself trying to get agreement and then the people who disagree come to think they have a right to be persuaded. However they are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.

If wrinkles must be written upon our brows let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old.

In economics hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension and also a deep desire for respectability.

A person buying ordinary products in a supermarket is in touch with his deepest emotions.

Power is not something that can be assumed or discarded at will like underwear.

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