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By John Kenneth Galbraith

After such books because the nice Crash 1929 and The prosperous Society it really is hardly ever miraculous that Professor Galbraith has usually ranked, in literary surveys, because the top non-fiction author in English. no matter what defence he himself deals for 'The Language of Economies', such a lot folks stay confident that the topic has now not regularly been provided within the so much limpid and digestible prose. yet Galbraith has regularly been assorted: he has possessed the knack of clarifying the antics of capitalism with no totally endorsing the pretensions of socialism.

The essays during this quantity are serious about financial matters, with peace and international coverage, along with his personal memories of up to date statesmen and writers, and with pleasant stories of California, Vermont and Switzerland. And Galbraith's observations at the 'Great Socialist Revival' below Nixon or on economics as a approach of trust are as lucid and funny as his account of Khrushchev assembly the richest males in the US or John Steinbeck urging him to not develop into an envoy.

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Extra info for Economics, Peace, and Laughter

Sample text

And economists themselves, in their frequent exercises in introspection, regularly wonder whether they are making themselves intelligible to students, politi­ cians and the general public. Committees are occasionally impaneled to consider their communication with the world at large. Invariably they urge improvement. My purpose in this essay is to go into these charges and assess their substance. My ambition is to put a period, or at least a semicolon, to this discussion. For I hope to show that the transgressions of the economists in transmitting their knowledge, though some must be conceded, are not remark­ able.

It is the argument of those who want no interference in their management of the public choice. It will be sensed that these are controversial matters much more controversial than the questions surrounding eco­ nomic growth and full employment. Important questions of social policy inevitably arouse passion. A consensus is readily reached on things that are unimportant or on their way to solution. That these matters are controversial and that expansion of output and employment is not is very good proof that economics is now concerned with the wrong problem.

But, most of all, he was a man for whom economic ideas had no standing apart from their use. Most economists of established reputation had not taken to Keynes. Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. So it was then. Hansen had an established reputation, and he did change his mind. Though he had been an effective critic of some central prop­ ositions in Keynes's Treatise on Money, an immediately pre­ ceding work, and was initially rather cool to The General Theory, he soon became strongly persuaded of Keynes's importance.

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