„People are the common denominator of progress.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith

Economic Development (1964), ch. 2
Contesto: People are the common denominator of progress. So, paucis verbis, no improvement is possible with unimproved people, and advance is certain when people are liberated and educated. It would be wrong to dismiss the importance of roads, railroads, power plants, mills, and the other familiar furniture of economic development. At some stages of development — the stage that India and Pakistan have reached, for example — they are central to the strategy of development. But we are coming to realize, I think, that there is a certain sterility in economic monuments that stand alone in a sea of illiteracy. Conquest of illiteracy comes first.

„To add to the technostructure is to increase its power in the enterprise.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith, libro The New Industrial State

Origine: The New Industrial State (1967), Chapter XXI, Section 2, p. 236

„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

"The American Economy: Its Substance and Myth," quoted in Years of the Modern (1949), edited by J.W. Chase
Contesto: 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.

„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

Power and the Useful Economist (1973)
Contesto: 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

Origine: Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went (1975), Chapter VIII, The Great Compromise, p. 90
Contesto: 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.

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

—  John Kenneth Galbraith

Origine: The Age of Uncertainty (1977), Chapter 3, "The Massive Dissent of Karl Marx" p. 96
Contesto: 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.

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

—  John Kenneth Galbraith

Origine: The Age of Uncertainty (1977), Chapter 7, p. 211
Contesto: Few can believe that suffering, especially by others, is in vain. Anything that is disagreeable must surely have beneficial economic effects.

„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

The Guardian [UK] (23 May 1992)
Contesto: 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.

„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

Booknotes interview (1994)
Contesto: 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

The United States (1971)
Contesto: 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.

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

—  John Kenneth Galbraith

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

„Conscience is better served by a myth.“

—  John Kenneth Galbraith

Origine: The Age of Uncertainty (1977), Chapter 4, p. 111

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

—  John Kenneth Galbraith

Booknotes interview (1994)
Contesto: 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 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

“Stop the Madness,” Interview with Rupert Cornwell, Toronto Globe and Mail (6 July 2002) (see http://wist.info/galbraith-john-kenneth/7463/ )

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

—  John Kenneth Galbraith

Though often attributed to Galbraith, as early as 1988 in U.S. News & World Report, the earliest publications of this statement, in The Bulletin (1984) and Reader's Digest (1985) attributes it to Ezra Solomon.
Misattributed

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