Available Now!

Available Now!
What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Galbraith, Again

It occurred to me that I was too easy on the recently late John Kenneth Galbraith the other day. In the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, David Henderson reminded us:
He was also Kennedy's ambassador to India in the early 1960s. While there, Galbraith gave a series of speeches on economic development in which he hailed the role of government planning as opposed to economic freedom. In one speech, Galbraith stated, "The market cannot reach forward to take great strides when these are called for. . . . To trust to the market is to take an unacceptable risk that nothing, or too little, will happen." As is well known, the Indian government did not take the "risk" of relying on the market but, instead, stuck with its system of detailed controls over every industry. As is also well known, nothing, or too little, happened. India was mired in poverty which only began to lift after some decontrol started in 1991.
Where Galbraith says "the market" substitute "the ingenuity of free individuals." So, Galbraith is one of the people responsible for untold death, starvation, and misery -- and not just in India. Not bad for an arrogant elitist (and a collectivist moralizer masquerading as an economic "scientist") who probably never got his hands dirty.

Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.

No comments: