...busting up my brains for the words

Sunday, April 30, 2006

John kenneth galbraith, rip

Today, at the age of 97, economist, author and ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith passed away.

That this giant of economic history has only just passed now is amazing. He was very influential to the economic ideas of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But moreso, Galbraith was very much the soul of Lyndon Baines Johnson's Great Society, the natural successor to FDR's New Deal Big Government.

In the 1930s, when Galbraith began work with FDR's big government machine, the world was seeing a consistent trend toward state centralization and planning. In the Soviet Union it was the economic plans of the Kremlin. In Nazi Germany, the Fuehrer dictated economic policy. The Roosevelt Administration was America's version of this historic trend and Galbraith cut his teeth there. As Red State blog points out;

In speaking of his appointment as the head of the Office of Price Controls in the (Franklin) Roosevelt, Galbraith noted that his staff at the OPC was initially sized at 7 people.

It eventually reached 15,000.

15,000 people. And they were in charge of price controls.

Galbraith authored, The Affluent Society, in which he argued that Americas corporations had grown too large and were growing ever wealthier at the expense of the poor. It can be said that the writing of this book led to LBJ's "war on poverty", a dismal failure that not only failed to eradicate poverty, it only served to make big government yet bigger.

In short, Galbraith was a key player in steering America away from the free ideals of its founding, changing her forever, despite Ronald Reagan's subsequent revolution, into a state of big taxes and liberal wealth redistribution.


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