April 2006 Archives

April 30, 2006

John Kenneth Galbraith: Public Intellectual?

Acclaimed Economist and intellectual John Kenneth Galbraith died April 29, 2006. John Nichols, The Nation's Washington correspondent says,

"Had it not been for the accident of his birth in Iona Station, Ontario, John Kenneth Galbraith, the greatest public intellectual of the second half of the American century, would surely have been considered presidential timber.
"As it was," Nichols opined April 30, 3006 in "Galbraith for President, "the man whose Canadian birth barred him from seeking the nation's highest office had to settle for shaping every presidency since that of Franklin Roosevelt – either as a trusted counselor to the occupant of the Oval Office, a wise critic or, as was frequently the case, both."

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at The Daily Telegraph of London assered in a May 1, 2006 article headlined "A prophet let down by history" that Galbraith "never won the Nobel Prize, but his waspish prose and left-wing Harvard nostrums shaped popular economics across the world for half a century."

The Independent's Washington correspondent, Andrew Buncombe, said Galbraith "was often at odds with the mainstream ideas of the day but this was something he appeared to relish. In his most famous work, 1958's The Affluent Society, which became a bestseller, he argued that the US had become rich in consumer goods but poor in social services." See "JK Galbraith, liberal economist, dies at 97."

The Guardian's Mark Milner noted in "Brown leads tributes to JK Galbraith" that the economist " was a follower of the British economist John Maynard Keynes, who argued governments could smooth the cycles of boom and bust by spending more in bad times and raising taxes when economies picked up."

Many U.S. and international publications from Africa, Australia and Asia have also noted Galbraith's death.

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Why I haven't Been Blogging Here

Since December 23, 2005, I've spent most of my time blogging at The Blogging Journalist, The Diplomatic Times Review and trying to decide whether I want to keep this site going. I'm still trying to decide.

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