Zitate von John Kenneth Galbraith

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John Kenneth Galbraith

Geburtstag: 15. Oktober 1908
Todesdatum: 29. April 2006

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John Kenneth Galbraith war ein kanadisch-US-amerikanischer Ökonom, Sozialkritiker, Präsidentenberater, Romancier und Diplomat. Galbraith war einer der einflussreichsten Ökonomen des 20. Jahrhunderts, als Keynesianer und Linksliberaler setzte er sich zeitlebens für eine Stärkung der staatlichen Institutionen und für eine Förderung der Nachfrage ein.

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Zitate John Kenneth Galbraith

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„In the usual (though certainly not in every) public decision on economic policy, the choice is between courses that are almost equally good or equally bad. It is the narrowest decisions that are most ardently debated.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: In the usual (though certainly not in every) public decision on economic policy, the choice is between courses that are almost equally good or equally bad. It is the narrowest decisions that are most ardently debated. If the world is lucky enough to enjoy peace, it may even one day make the discovery, to the horror of doctrinaire free-enterprisers and doctrinaire planners alike, that what is called capitalism and what is called socialism are both capable of working quite well. "The American Economy: Its Substance and Myth," quoted in Years of the Modern (1949), edited by J.W. Chase

„When the modern corporation acquires power over markets, power in the community, power over the state and power over belief, it is a political instrument, different in degree but not in kind from the state itself.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: When the modern corporation acquires power over markets, power in the community, power over the state and power over belief, it is a political instrument, different in degree but not in kind from the state itself. To hold otherwise — to deny the political character of the modern corporation — is not merely to avoid the reality. It is to disguise the reality. The victims of that disguise are those we instruct in error. The beneficiaries are the institutions whose power we so disguise. Let there be no question: economics, so long as it is thus taught, becomes, however unconsciously, a part of the arrangement by which the citizen or student is kept from seeing how he or she is, or will be, governed.

„To pay off the debt was to destroy the money supply.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: In numerous years following the war the Federal government ran a heavy surplus. It could not pay off it's debt, retire its securities, because to do so meant there would be no bonds to back the national bank notes. To pay off the debt was to destroy the money supply. Chapter VIII, The Great Compromise, p. 90

„Few can believe that suffering, especially by others, is in vain.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: Few can believe that suffering, especially by others, is in vain. Anything that is disagreeable must surely have beneficial economic effects. Chapter 7, p. 211

„We now in the United States have more security guards for the rich than we have police services for the poor districts.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: We now in the United States have more security guards for the rich than we have police services for the poor districts. If you're looking for personal security, far better to move to the suburbs than to pay taxes in New York. The Guardian [UK] (23 May 1992)

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„I react pragmatically. Where the market works, I'm for that. Where the government is necessary, I'm for that. I'm deeply suspicious of somebody who says, "I'm in favor of privatization," or, "I'm deeply in favor of public ownership." I'm in favor of whatever works in the particular case.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: I react to what is necessary. I would like to eschew any formula. There are some things where the government is absolutely inevitable, which we cannot get along without comprehensive state action. But there are many things — producing consumer goods, producing a wide range of entertainment, producing a wide level of cultural activity — where the market system, which independent activity is also important, so I react pragmatically. Where the market works, I'm for that. Where the government is necessary, I'm for that. I'm deeply suspicious of somebody who says, "I'm in favor of privatization," or, "I'm deeply in favor of public ownership." I'm in favor of whatever works in the particular case.

„The Senate has unlimited debate; in the House, debate is ruthlessly circumscribed. There is frequent discussion as to which technique most effectively frustrates democratic process.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: The Senate has unlimited debate; in the House, debate is ruthlessly circumscribed. There is frequent discussion as to which technique most effectively frustrates democratic process. However, a more important antidote to American democracy is American gerontocracy. The positions of eminence and authority in Congress are allotted in accordance with length of service, regardless of quality. Superficial observers have long criticized the United States for making a fetish of youth. This is unfair. Uniquely among modern organs of public and private administration, its national legislature rewards senility.

„The present age of contentment will come to an end only when and if the adverse developments that it fosters challenge the sense of comfortable well-being,“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: The present age of contentment will come to an end only when and if the adverse developments that it fosters challenge the sense of comfortable well-being Ch. 13

„Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable, much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: 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. Foreword to The Beach Book by Gloria Steinem (1963); reprinted in Galbraith's A View from the Stands (1986)

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„I react to what is necessary. I would like to eschew any formula.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: I react to what is necessary. I would like to eschew any formula. There are some things where the government is absolutely inevitable, which we cannot get along without comprehensive state action. But there are many things — producing consumer goods, producing a wide range of entertainment, producing a wide level of cultural activity — where the market system, which independent activity is also important, so I react pragmatically. Where the market works, I'm for that. Where the government is necessary, I'm for that. I'm deeply suspicious of somebody who says, "I'm in favor of privatization," or, "I'm deeply in favor of public ownership." I'm in favor of whatever works in the particular case.

„Two men jumped hand-in-hand from a high window in the Ritz. They had a joint account.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: Clerks in downtown hotels were said to be asking guests whether they wished the room for sleeping or jumping. Two men jumped hand-in-hand from a high window in the Ritz. They had a joint account. Chapter VII, Things Become More Serious, Section VIII, p. 131-132

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

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door. The violence of revolutions is the violence of men who charge into a vacuum. Chapter 3, "The Massive Dissent of Karl Marx" p. 96

„Conscience is better served by a myth“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: Conscience is better served by a myth. Chapter 4, p. 111

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