John Kenneth Galbraith Essay Research Paper This

John Kenneth Galbraith Essay, Research Paper

This recognized economist was borned in October 15, 1908 at Ontario, Canada. He comes from a Scottish farming community on the north shore of Lake Erie. His father was a teacher at first who later became a farmer. His father was very interested in politics and he was somehow related to it in his community. He used to give speeches concerned on his liberal way of thinking. John remembers how much his dad advised him of how he has to bring changes to the world. Nowadays, he is married to Catherine Atwater and they have three sons. The couple lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts but go to Newfane, Vermont during the summer.

After finishing high school, Galbraith was admitted into the College of Agriculture at Guelph, Ontario and he got his bachelor’s degree in 1931. There, he earned a scholarship for the opportunity to study outside Canada for his Ph. D. at the University of California in Berkeley. He ended up liking California very much. During his third year of studies at Berkeley, he was hired for a job as teacher of economics at the University of California.

In 1934, he got his doctorate in Agricultural Economics. He went to the University of Cambridge at England in 1936. There he met famous people like some members of the Kennedy family. A year later, he became a citizen of the United States. In 1939, he taught for a short period of time at Princeton University. Then, he was hired by President Roosevelt to work as the administrator of the OPA (Office of Price Administration), in 1941. He last only two years in government when he decided to quit working. He tried to apply for the Army but he wasn’t qualified because of his height. He then became an editor for the Fortune Magazine.

In 1945, he became director of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. A year later, he received the Medal of Freedom because of his services to the country. In 1948, he became a professor of Economics at Harvard. In the early 1960s, Galbraith became the American ambassador to India for a two year period.

During presidential campaigns, he served as advisor to Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Later, he was a chairman of the Americans for Democratic Action where he supported Senator Eugene McCarthy because he was concerned about Eugene’s participation at the Democratic Convention in 1968. Galbraith didn’t think it was right for the United States intervention at Vietnam. He retired in 1975, having received many acknowledgements from different institutions like Harvard University because of his great effort, persistency and support. From 1984 to 1987, he was President of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

His Contributions to Society and Economics

During the 1930s, Galbraith along with Alvin Hansen and many other recognized economists helped in the development of the Keynesian Economics. In 1938, he did a research on Modern Competition and Business Policy. Fourteen years later, he published a book called “The Theory of Price Control”. It didn’t turn out to be good according to economists’ points of view. That same year, he published another work called “American Capitalism”. This book was based on American society who tends to constantly discuss about the ideology of competition and the realities of large economic enterprises.

In 1958, he won the Tamiment Book Award and the Sidney Hillman Award for his book “The Affluent Society”. He talked in this work about American people who are dependent of the nation’s GDP (Gross National Product) in order to live a wealthy life. “The New Industrial State” published in 1967 is considered to be one of Galbraith’s most important works. In it he explains the great amount of capital that people need in order to have a large enterprise. It focuses much about both important sectors of the economy: the household and the business sectors. It seems that both the “New Industrial State” and the later published “Economics and the Public Purpose” received great support from readers.

Most of His Works

h The Great Crash, 1929

h Economics and the Art of Controversy, 1955

h The Liberal Hour, 1960

h The Scotch, 1964

h The Triumph, 1968

h Ambassador’s Journal, 1969

h Economics, Peace and Laughter, 1972

h Power and the Useful Economist, 1973

h A China Passage, 1973

h Money, 1975

h The Age of Uncertainty, 1977

h Annals of an Abiding Liberal, 1979

h Almost Everyone’s Guide to Economics, 1979

h The Nature of Mass Poverty, 1979

h A Life in Our Times, 1981

h The Tenured Professor, 1990

h A Journey Through Economic Time, 1994

h The Good Society: the human agenda, 1996

h Letters to Kennedy, 1998

h Name-Dropping from F.D.R., 1999

This economist is a very smart and intellectual man. Considering his curriculum, he seems to be very efficient in his works. He worked extremely hard in different fields like in the education and the government sector. He brought changes in the behavior of people about economy what made him somehow controversial in his works. He has been recognized for most of his books that have always been in the list of the best sellers. Galbraith is one of the most important economists of the century and the main follower of John Maynard Keynes economic thoughts.


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