Wednesday, May 10, 2006

John Galbraith

In the back of my head I always vaguely knew who John Galbraith was; you know, the economics guy, who did the thing. Well he died last month, and I missed it. However, insidehighered.com, my new favorite reading material since their article about hot professors, has included a nice little bio piece that talks about some of the lesser known, and brilliantly hilarious things that he did.

Ayn Rand and libertarians despised him, so if you want to annoy Kris Wampler, isn’t it your duty to read as much about him as possible, and enjoy it immensely?

The write up is here.

Galbraith proves one thing that I strongly believe: liberals and academics are at their best when they embrace satire. It helps them avoid their admittedly well-deserved image of being pretentious and boring. Galbraith does a good job of getting his points across in a concise, witty way. Take for example, some of my favorite of his quotes that are attributed (and I must confess, probably unverified) at Wikipedia.

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."

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

"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."

"It is a well known and very important fact that America's founding fathers did not like taxation without representation. It is a lesser known and equally important fact that they did not much like taxation with representation."

"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable."

"It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than to put out on the troubled sea of thought."

1 Comments:

Blogger The Wampler said...

Liberals can't annoy me, only provide me with hours and hours of laughter and beliefs to mock. :)

But thanks for trying, and for the extra hits to my blog via yours.

4:57 PM  

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