The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too
This is also a dense book. Despite weighing-in at barely 200 pages, this book takes a while to read. Galbraith is unsparing in a general overestimation of his readership’s fluenc ...more
James K. Galbraith, the son of the more famous (or infamous) John Kenneth Galbraith and a professor at the University of Texas, wrote this short book about economics and economic policy towards the end of George W. Bush's presidency. His approach to the topic is certainly different from what the other books, aimed at the general reader, take towards the subject. It was interesting to see a different point of view which seems to have a certain logic to it.
Probably his most contentious claim a...more
Hereditary Economists? Sounds a dubious proposition but J.K.Galbraith the second has written a stimulating, provocative book that is easily up to his fathers standards. "The Predator State" is a book of two halves; the first section is somewhat pedestrian in pace, generally interesting and occasionally confusing. The second and third sections see Galbraith up a couple of gears and in a relatively short space makes his case against what he regards as the reigning model fo ...more
Given the recent financial meltdown and the bonus-enabling bailout, the book is very topical. Chapter Seven on inequality is particularly insightful, essentially rendering irrelevant much of the interminable economists' debate over the causes of ineq ...more
I will have much more to say on this book in an upcoming column. Suffice it to say that if I could insist that the president read just one book, any book, it would be this one.
I have critiques sure — early on it could use either more technical backing up, or more layperson-friendly walking through.
But it's so incredibly refreshing to have a decidedly capitalist, non-radical economically trained someone call such thorough bullshit on the "but we have to let the markets decide" excuse for everythi ...more
BuzzFlash.com's Review (excerpt)
What should we do with a free market that's really a rigged market?
James K. Gailbrath has some answers.
James K Gailbrath: "Today, the signature of modern American capitalism is neither benign competition, nor class struggle, nor an inclusive middle-class utopia. Instead, predation has become the dominant feature — a system wherein the rich have come to feast on decaying systems built for the middle class. The predatory class is not th ...more
But this book was written in 2008. That last chapter about how we could mend our ways seems quaint and tragicomic at this point. Is it treasonous, shortsighted (or both?) to say that part of me awaits China's gia ...more
There is a lot here that people don't usually talk about, and from an ideological (liberal) but not partisan (attacks the Democrats as much as the Republicans, sometimes more and not alw ...more
Not surprisingly (considering he is the son of his famous (or infamous) father) I found much of what Galbraith said to be anathema to my predispositions.
What was surprising: I found myself to be in agreement with him many, many times.
Even though he seems to be a "big government" liberal, his concerns over concentrations of power being a threat to our concepts of freedom struck a chor ...more
Enjoyable Fact: Galbraith père spoke at one of my own father's numerous graduation ceremonies and the old man was thoroughly unimpressed.