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Economics and the Public Purpose

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Economics and the Public Purpose is a 1973 book by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. Galbraith advocates a "new socialism" as the solution, nationalising military production & public services such as health care. He also advocates introducing disciplined wage, salary, profit & price controls on the economy to reduce inequality & restrain the power of gi ...more
Hardcover, 381 pages
Published September 28th 1973 by Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston) (first published 1973)
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Erik Graff
Apr 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: US citizens
Recommended to Erik by: David Schweickart
So far as I know, this is the book in which John Kenneth Galbraith came out of the closet and declared himself a democratic socialist. I read it, along with American Capitalism (where much is prefigured) and The New Industrial State, for David Schweickart's course on Capitalism, Democracy, Socialism during the first semester of 1981/82 at Loyola University Chicago.
Paul W
Mar 19, 2016 rated it liked it
There have been a number of books recently about the failures of market economics. You could be forgiven for thinking this is a recent concern following the global financial crisis (what the US calls the Great Recession). But this debate has been raging for decades, with one of the key contributors being John Kenneth Galbraith. Galbraith’s core conclusion in this book is that "left to themselves, economic forces do not work out for the best except perhaps for the powerful.’ (p ix)

Galbraith notes
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Nada
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: economic historians
I'm not sure exactly which audience this book was intended for, but right now, in 2007, it's not especially worth reading. He often speaks as if a number of well-known economic theories did not exist, and makes very obvious oversimplifications. Maybe this book was intended to be a clarion call to the semi-educated? Economics without math for the politico?
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John Kenneth Galbraith was a Canadian-American economist. He was a Keynesian and an institutionalist, a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism and democratic socialism. His books on economic topics were bestsellers in the 1950s and 1960s. A prolific author, he produced four dozen books & over a 1000 articles on many subjects. Among his most famous works was his economics trilogy ...more
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