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John Kenneth Galbraith's Quotes

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Born: 1908-10-15
Profession: Economist
Nation: American
Biography of John Kenneth Galbraith

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The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character building values of the privation of the poor.

Tags: Character, Poor, Values

A person buying ordinary products in a supermarket is in touch with his deepest emotions.

Tags: Emotions, Ordinary, Touch

In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

Tags: Between, Busy, Mind

People who are in a fortunate position always attribute virtue to what makes them so happy.

Tags: Happy, Makes, Virtue

There is something wonderful in seeing a wrong-headed majority assailed by truth.

Tags: Seeing, Truth, Wonderful

In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension and also a deep desire for respectability.

Tags: Faith, Great, Hope

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

Tags: Business, Meetings

Modesty is a vastly overrated virtue.

Tags: Modesty, Overrated, Virtue

Money differs from an automobile or mistress in being equally important to those who have it and those who do not.

Tags: Automobile, Mistress, Money

There's a certain part of the contented majority who love anybody who is worth a billion dollars.

Tags: Anybody, Love, Worth

War remains the decisive human failure.

Tags: Failure, Human, War

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

Tags: Big, Small, State

By all but the pathologically romantic, it is now recognized that this is not the age of the small man.

Tags: Age, Romantic, Small

Few people at the beginning of the nineteenth century needed an adman to tell them what they wanted.

Tags: Few, Tell, Wanted

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

Tags: Else, Error, Fails

If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old.

Tags: Heart, Old, Spirit

In the United States, though power corrupts, the expectation of power paralyzes.

Tags: Power, Though, United

It would be foolish to suggest that government is a good custodian of aesthetic goals. But, there is no alternative to the state.

Tags: Good, Government, State

Of all classes the rich are the most noticed and the least studied.

Tags: Classes, Noticed, Rich

One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know.

Tags: Economic, Greatest, Wisdom

Power is not something that can be assumed or discarded at will like underwear.

Tags: Assumed, Power, Underwear

The commencement speech is not, I think, a wholly satisfactory manifestation of our culture.

Tags: Culture, Speech, Wholly

The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.

Tags: Enemy, Ideas, Wisdom

The Metropolis should have been aborted long before it became New York, London or Tokyo.

Tags: London, Metropolis, York

There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose.

Tags: Lose, Politics, Times

There is certainly no absolute standard of beauty. That precisely is what makes its pursuit so interesting.

Tags: Beauty, Makes, Pursuit
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We have escapist fiction, so why not escapist biography?

Tags: Biography, Fiction, Why

Wealth is not without its advantages and the case to the contrary, although it has often been made, has never proved widely persuasive.

Tags: Finance, Often, Wealth

It has been the acknowledged right of every Marxist scholar to read into Marx the particular meaning that he himself prefers and to treat all others with indignation.

Tags: Others, Read, Treat

A bad book is the worse that it cannot repent. It has not been the devil's policy to keep the masses of mankind in ignorance; but finding that they will read, he is doing all in his power to poison their books.

Tags: Bad, Ignorance, Power

There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.

Tags: Few, Rules, Useful

Economics is a subject profoundly conducive to cliche, resonant with boredom. On few topics is an American audience so practiced in turning off its ears and minds. And none can say that the response is ill advised.

Tags: American, Boredom, Off

Meetings are a great trap. Soon you find yourself trying to get agreement and then the people who disagree come to think they have a right to be persuaded. However, they are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.

Tags: Great, Trying, Yourself

Much literary criticism comes from people for whom extreme specialization is a cover for either grave cerebral inadequacy or terminal laziness, the latter being a much cherished aspect of academic freedom.

Tags: Criticism, Freedom, Laziness

The great dialectic in our time is not, as anciently and by some still supposed, between capital and labor; it is between economic enterprise and the state.

Tags: Between, Great, Time

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.

Tags: Moral, Philosophy, Politics

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

Tags: Capitalism, Communism, Finance

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

Tags: Economics, Government, Useful

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

Tags: Far, Put, Thought

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.

Tags: Between, Busy, Mind

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.

Tags: Astrology, Economic, Function

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

Tags: Job, Painful, Thinking

The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.

Tags: Himself, Nature, Personal

Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.

Tags: Art, Between, Politics

All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.

Tags: Great, Leadership, Time

We all agree that pessimism is a mark of superior intellect.

Tags: Intellect, Intelligence, Superior

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.

Tags: Comfort, Life, Wrong

Liberalism is, I think, resurgent. One reason is that more and more people are so painfully aware of the alternative.

Tags: Aware, Politics, Reason

In economics, the majority is always wrong.

Tags: Economics, Majority, Wrong

More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.

Tags: Die, Food, United

Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable, much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine. A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it, thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does.

Tags: Ourselves, Place, Problems

All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.

Tags: Door, Kicking, Successful

Wealth, in even the most improbable cases, manages to convey the aspect of intelligence.

Tags: Finance, Improbable, Wealth

Humor is richly rewarding to the person who employs it. It has some value in gaining and holding attention, but it has no persuasive value at all.

Tags: Attention, Humor, Value

We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had much.

Tags: Money, Rich, Working

Few can believe that suffering, especially by others, is in vain. Anything that is disagreeable must surely have beneficial economic effects.

Tags: Few, Others, Suffering

Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.

Tags: Memory, Politics, Short

The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.

Tags: Mind, Money, Simple

In any great organization it is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone.

Tags: Alone, Great, Wrong

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

Tags: Art, Between, Politics
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