imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

John Kenneth Galbraith: Relentless Fighter Against the Powerful

by Uwe Jean Heuser Thursday, Jul. 23, 2009 at 8:44 AM
mbatko@lycos.com

In the 1960s John Kenneth Galbraith decried the coexistence of private affluence and public squalor and denounced trickle-down economics, feeding the horse so the sparrow can live. System- and structural criticism are vital today as the myth of the self-healing market lies shattered

JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH – RELENTLESS FIGHTER AGAINST THE POWERFUL

By Uwe Jean Heuser

[John Kenneth Galbraith was a renowned economist, professor and author of many books including “The Affluent Society” and “The Great Depression.” In the 1960s, he was aghast at the coexistence of private affluence and public squalor. He mocked trickle-down economics as the horse-sparrow theory: horses must be fed to sparrows can live. This commemorative essay published in DIE ZEIT Nr. 36, 8/26/2009 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.zeit.de/2004/36/Rezension.]




The giant from Harvard is 75 years old. Many insights of John Kenneth Galbraith have become new again. The uncontrolled hired managers of big corporations were suspect to the leftist economist long before the Enron scandals moved them into a bad light. He also criticized the financial industry before the New Economy crash.

When this critic of capitalism who loved glamour and earned much money with his books now takes up his pen again, he is always worth reading. “This is a 65-page treatise on the myths, lies and false perceptions of today’s capitalism,” we read in the introduction. Even though these are his old themes and theses meant for contemporary America, they are fresher than the attacks of many anti-globalists who could be his grandchildren.

Compared to other economists, Galbraith was always a word genius. As a literary critic, he knew the importance of words in conversation. Calling capitalism a “market system” annoyed him – as though it were only a mechanism for coordinating supply and demand and not also a mechanism involving power and powerlessness. Its bureaucracies were successfully sold as very efficient “management” while the state administration structures were generally hated. Galbraith regarded the difference as trifling.

Today the state is increasingly dominated by private enterprise in his opinion. The lobbies of industry are strong and the powerful give each other exclusive information. Power appears very clearly in the military industry. New weapon systems are developed automatically and forced through the legislatures.

Voters are greatly influenced by advertising campaigns and private enterprise interests, not only consumers, the critic said. His great colleague Paul Samuelson reproached him for not being a real economist. “Nothing could concern me less,” Galbraith responded. He included his politics in his analysis and focused on the institutions that guide citizens, for example banks and their advisors. This branch sells predictions of the unpredictable, Galbraith wrote. Resisting is very hard since the predictions come in the garb of professionalism and power. However in reality all its prognoses are worthless since the fate of a market or business cannot be foreseen. Therefore the so-called experts simply write what their big customers want to read. The economists on Wall Street are not free from this pressure.

All this is in the rhythm of myths. For Galbraith, the power of the American Federal Reserve and its chairman Alan Greenspan is a delusion. Interest-rates do not really play an important part in recessions because hardly any business invests in recessions. In the boom, everyone invests because they can buy something. That is a gross simplification, as with many statements by Galbraith. Still the idolization of Greenspan provokes such an answer.

Again and again managers break all limits. Laws and district attorneys alone cannot curb them when they violate their duty. Only a vigilant public can keep a tight rein on them. The problem lies here. In the next boom, all skepticism will presumably be forgotten.

But Galbraith was different. More than all others, he was a critic of power who did not need to justify himself. Because that instinct never left him, he remains interesting, even for those who want to promote capitalism.

John Kenneth Galbraith

The Economies of Innocent Fraud

Truth for Our Time, Houghton Mifflin Corp, Boston 2004

Report this post as:

Local News

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Allo, quelqu'un ? Allo, quelqu'une ? D09 9:16AM

deral Government Officials are not allowed to take leaflets nor pick up items in privste D09 4:15AM

Communist Mouthwash Hides Nature of Nations Suffering in Comm Pyramids Ploys D09 12:01AM

Atlanta: metro Pillage, Poison Gas, Pricks D08 9:13PM

Atlanta Metro Suffers Under Pillage, Shame lso Political Poison Gases D08 8:41PM

Fed Says College Students Have More Debt than Previous Generations D07 3:08PM

Paraphysique de l'insurrection et de l'émeute D07 9:55AM

Corruption of USA government D06 4:14AM

"We live in a time of radical counter-enlightenment" D04 1:45AM

Did Woolsey Fire Cause Radioactive Fallout? D03 10:26PM

G20 Discusses Preventing Financial Crisis and Small Island Economies N30 3:10PM

Driver near Campbell San Jose researches Bus Traffic from Northern Mexico N29 4:04AM

The Death of Small Businesses in Big Cities, Explained N28 3:43PM

Felons Shw Ninjasred Heavy Truck Tyres N28 2:28PM

Paraphysique de la consommation/pollution N28 8:08AM

Paraphysique de l'effet spectateur N26 11:13AM

Condominium, terrorisme du capital N24 8:52AM

Debt and Tax Policies Needed to Prevent Crisis Says Finance Watchdog Group N23 2:40PM

Independent Media Crackdown and Global Social Movements N22 9:45PM

Abécédaire du fascisme restreint et général N22 8:41AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen Heads to Portland, Oregon N20 8:39PM

Socialism in American English N20 12:04PM

Noske, noskisme réactualisé N20 11:29AM

Oprah Please Stop Selling Dead Animal Pieces N20 3:32AM

Down In Smoke SF N20 12:03AM

Lucifers Banker N18 7:38PM

Paraphysique du scientisme N18 9:19AM

USDA Withholds Names Of Turkey Companies Spreading Salmonella N17 7:51PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy