John Kenneth Galbraith Quotations

-Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.

-If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error.

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

-Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.

-Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.

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

-Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.

-Where humor is concerned there are no standards – no one can say what is good or bad, although you can be sure that everyone will.

-You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too.

-Modesty is a vastly overrated virtue.

-In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.

-People are the common denominator of progress. So… 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…. But we are coming to realize… that there is a certain sterility in economic monuments that stand alone in a sea of illiteracy. Conquest of illiteracy comes first.

-The happiest time of anyone’s life is just after the first divorce.

-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.

-The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

-Inventions that are not made, like babies that are not born, are not missed.

-Self-interest and freedom of enterprise were a secular faith in the old world. In the new world, they emerged as a religion.

-The ideas by which people…..interpret their existence and in measure guide their behaviour, were not forged in a world of wealth.

-In the affluent society no useful distinction can be made between luxuries and necessaries.

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

-Faced with a choice of changing ones mind or proving there is no need to, almost everyone gets busy with the proof.

-Recessions catch what the auditors miss.

-There are two classes of people who tell what is going to happen in the future: Those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know.
John Kenneth Galbraith