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John Kenneth GALBRAITH

diplomat , economist

John Kenneth was a Canadian economist, public official, and a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism. He was a Keynesian and an institutionalist. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s and he filled the role of public intellectual from the 1950s to the 1970s on matters of economics.


GALBRAITH, John Kenneth was born in 1908 in Iona Station, Ontario, Canada.


Bachelor of Arts Ontario College Agriculture, Guelph, 1930. Doctor of Philosophy (Agriculture Economics) University California Berkeley, 1934.


Galbraith was known more as a popular writer on economic subjects than as an economist. He owed his popularity as a writer to his witty, readable style and to his willingness to reject the dogmas and traditions of the economics profession--especially the idea that large corporations are at the mercy of the market forces of supply and demand. Galbraith's writings, in contrast, emphasized the power of big businesses to shape the economy as they please, largely free of the constraints that competition places on smaller firms. As a cure for inflation, Galbraith advocated price controls.

Despite his emphasis on corporate power, Galbraith was no Marxist. He believed that the policies of large corporations are governed mainly by technological and bureaucratic necessity, not by the capitalists' search for profits.


  • Chairman, American Democratic Action, 1967-1969. President, American Economic Association, 1972.



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