Frases de John Kenneth Galbraith

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John Kenneth Galbraith

Fecha de nacimiento: 15. Octubre 1908
Fecha de muerte: 29. Abril 2006

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John Kenneth Galbraith fue un economista canadiense

Galbraith no responde al estereotipo de economista norteamericano, por sus ideas iconoclastas sobre la economía y prácticas de sus pares. Su mayor preocupación no era el análisis econométrico o teoría económica, sino analizar las consecuencias de la política económica en la sociedad y la economía política, en una forma accesible y eliminando gran parte del tecnicismo utilizado por los economistas[cita requerida].

Autor de numerosos libros y artículos, fue profesor de la Universidad de Harvard desde 1949. Su obra incluye elementos del institucionalismo crítico, pues da un papel central a las instituciones y, en particular, a las organizaciones industriales con una política económica propia del keynesiano más progresista.

Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Galbraith trabajó en la Oficina de Administración de Precios. Después de la guerra se le encargó el estudio sobre bombardeos estratégicos de los Estados Unidos y sus aliados, concluyendo que los bombardeos no acortaron la guerra, declaración que le costó enemistades con algunos altos cargos de la administración[cita requerida]. Posteriormente, se hizo consejero de las administraciones de posguerra en Alemania y Japón.

En 1949, Galbraith fue nombrado profesor de economía en Harvard. Fue también editor de la revista Fortune.

Lo principal de su obra se puede ejemplificar en su famosa y clásica trilogía. En su primera gran obra, Capitalismo americano, señala que las grandes corporaciones han desplazado a las pequeñas o negocios de carácter familar, y, como consecuencia, los modelos de competencia perfecta no pueden ser aplicados en la economía de EE.UU. Una forma para contrarrestar ese poder, según Galbraith, es el surgimiento de grandes sindicatos. En La sociedad opulenta , contrasta la opulencia del sector privado con la avaricia ejercida sobre el sector público. Con ello demuestra que EE.UU., en los años cincuenta, era el ejemplo de un país con una economía en crecimiento, pero que en su interior existían grandes desigualdades sociales. Finalmente, en El nuevo Estado industrial señala que las grandes corporaciones dominan el mercado de EEUU. Esto, como resultado de su gran crecimiento productivo y el nivel en sus operaciones, que les permite controlar sus mercados.

Amigo del ex presidente John F. Kennedy, fue nombrado embajador de los Estados Unidos en India de 1961 a 1963. Allí intentó ayudar al gobierno indio a desarrollar su economía. Durante su estancia, procuró ayuda también a uno de los primeros departamentos de ciencias de la informática, el Instituto Indio de Tecnología en Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Galbraith falleció a los 97 años de edad.

Su hijo James K. Galbraith también es un destacado economista.

Frases John Kenneth Galbraith

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„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

„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.

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„If the state is the executive committee of the great corporation and the planning system, it is partly because neoclassical economics is its instrument for neutralizing the suspicion that this is so.“

— John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: This is what economics now does. It tells the young and susceptible (and also the old and vulnerable) that economic life has no content of power and politics because the firm is safely subordinate to the market and the state and for this reason it is safely at the command of the consumer and citizen. Such an economics is not neutral. It is the influential and invaluable ally of those whose exercise of power depends on an acquiescent public. If the state is the executive committee of the great corporation and the planning system, it is partly because neoclassical economics is its instrument for neutralizing the suspicion that this is so.

„People are the common denominator of progress.“

— John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: 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. Economic Development (1964), ch. 2

„Conscience is better served by a myth“

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

„When you see reference to a new paradigm you should always, under all circumstances, take cover.“

— John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: When you see reference to a new paradigm you should always, under all circumstances, take cover. Because ever since the great tulipmania in 1637, speculation has always been covered by a new paradigm. There was never a paradigm so new and so wonderful as the one that covered John Law and the South Sea Bubble — until the day of disaster. As quoted in "Galbraith on crashes, Japan and Walking Sticks" by Ben Laurance and William Keegan, in The Observer (21 June 1998)

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

— John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: To add to the technostructure is to increase its power in the enterprise. Chapter XXI, Section 2, p. 236

„The first goal of the technostructure is its own security“

— John Kenneth Galbraith
Context: The first goal of the technostructure is its own security. Chapter XXIII, Section 2, p. 265

„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

„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

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