James K. Galbraith
James Kenneth Galbraith
January 29, 1952
|Thesis||A Theory of the Government Budget Process (1981)|
|Influences||John Kenneth Galbraith|
|School or tradition||Post-Keynesian economics|
|Institutions||University of Texas at Austin|
James Kenneth Galbraith (born January 29,1952) is an American economist. He is currently a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and at the Department of Government,University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Senior Scholar with the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and part of the executive committee of the World Economics Association,created in 2011.
Galbraith is a son of the renowned Canadian-American economist John Kenneth Galbraith and Catherine (Kitty) Atwater Galbraith and is the brother of the former diplomat,commentator and 2016 Vermont gubernatorial candidate Peter W. Galbraith. He earned his BA,magna cum laude,from Harvard in 1974 and PhD from Yale in 1981,both in economics. From 1974 to 1975,Galbraith studied as a Marshall Scholar at King's College,Cambridge.
From 1981 to 1982,Galbraith served on the staff of the Congress of the United States,eventually as Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee.In 1985,he was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.
Galbraith is currently a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and at the Department of Government,University of Texas at Austin. Galbraith heads up the University of Texas Inequality Project (UTIP),which has been described by economic historian Lord Skidelsky as "pioneering inequality measurement".UTIP is also noted for replacing the established Gini coefficient with the Theil index as the measurement of choice for comparing inequality between groups,regions and countries.
In March 2008 Galbraith used the 25th Annual Milton Friedman Distinguished Lecture to launch a sweeping attack on the Washington Consensus on free market policies,especially the monetarist version.He argued strongly that Keynesian economics offered a solution to the financial crisis that started in 2007 whereas monetarist policies would deepen the recession. Towards the end of 2008 and into 2009 many policymakers around the world increased government spending and/or cut taxes,arguably in line with Galbraith’s views,as part of the Keynesian resurgence described by the Financial Times as "a stunning reversal of the orthodoxy of the past several decades".
In 2010 he edited an edition of his father's works for the Library of America series.
Galbraith's books include Balancing Acts: Technology, Finance and the American Future, 1989; Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay, 1998; Inequality and Industrial Change: A Global View, 2001, co-edited with Maureen Berner; and The Predator State , 2008. He is the author of two textbooks – The Economic Problem (with Robert L. Heilbroner) and Macroeconomics (with William Darity Jr.)
He also contributes a column to The Texas Observer and writes regularly for The Nation , The American Prospect , Mother Jones , and The Progressive . His op-ed pieces have appeared in The New York Times , The Washington Post , Boston Globe and other newspapers.
Galbraith argues that modern America has fallen prey to a wealthy, government-controlling "predatory class":
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 the whole of the wealthy; it may be opposed by many others of similar wealth. But it is the defining feature, the leading force. And its agents are in full control of the government under which we live.
Galbraith is also highly critical of the Bush administration's foreign policy apropos of the Iraq invasion:
There is a reason for the vulnerability of empires. To maintain one against opposition requires war — steady, unrelenting, unending war. And war is ruinous — from a legal, moral and economic point of view. It can ruin the losers, such as Napoleonic France, or Imperial Germany in 1918. And it can ruin the victors, as it did the British and the Soviets in the 20th century. Conversely, Germany and Japan recovered well from World War II, in part because they were spared reparations and did not have to waste national treasure on defense in the aftermath of defeat... The real economic cost of Bush's empire building is twofold: It diverts attention from pressing economic problems at home and it sets the United States on a long-term imperial path that is economically ruinous.
Much like his father in writing A Tenured Professor , the junior Galbraith is also a critic of his own profession:
Leading active members of today's economics profession, the generation presently in their 40s and 50s, have joined together into a kind of politburo for correct economic thinking. As a general rule — as one might expect from a gentleman's club — this has placed them on the wrong side of every important policy issue, and not just recently but for decades. They predict disaster where none occurs. They deny the possibility of events that then happen. They offer a "rape is like the weather" fatalism about an "inevitable" problem (pay inequality) that then starts to recede. They oppose the most basic, decent, and sensible reforms, while offering placebos instead. They are always surprised when something untoward (like a recession) actually occurs. And when finally they sense that some position cannot be sustained, they do not re-examine their ideas. Instead, they simply change the subject.
Galbraith is the Chairman of Economists for Peace and Security, formerly known as Economists Against the Arms Race and later Economists Allied for Arms Reduction (ECAAR), an international association of professional economists concerned with peace and security issues.
In 2009, he joined the project for Soldiers of Peace , a documentary for global peace and against all wars, which has won various awards in film festivals.
Keynesian economics are the various macroeconomic theories and models of how aggregate demand strongly influences economic output and inflation. In the Keynesian view, aggregate demand does not necessarily equal the productive capacity of the economy. Instead, it is influenced by a host of factors – sometimes behaving erratically – affecting production, employment, and inflation.
John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes, was an English economist, whose ideas fundamentally changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics and the economic policies of governments. Originally trained in mathematics, he built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles. One of the most influential economists of the 20th century, his ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots.
Monetarism is a school of thought in monetary economics that emphasizes the role of governments in controlling the amount of money in circulation. Monetarist theory asserts that variations in the money supply have major influences on national output in the short run and on price levels over longer periods. Monetarists assert that the objectives of monetary policy are best met by targeting the growth rate of the money supply rather than by engaging in discretionary monetary policy.
Economic history is the academic study of economies or economic events of the past. Research is conducted using a combination of historical methods, statistical methods and the application of economic theory to historical situations and institutions. The field can encompass a wide variety of topics, including equality, finance, technology, labour, and business. It emphasizes historicizing the economy itself, analyzing it as a dynamic force and attempting to provide insights into the way it is structured and conceived.
Post-Keynesian economics is a school of economic thought with its origins in The General Theory of John Maynard Keynes, with subsequent development influenced to a large degree by Michał Kalecki, Joan Robinson, Nicholas Kaldor, Sidney Weintraub, Paul Davidson, Piero Sraffa and Jan Kregel. Historian Robert Skidelsky argues that the post-Keynesian school has remained closest to the spirit of Keynes' original work. It is a heterodox approach to economics.
John Kenneth Galbraith, also known as Ken Galbraith, was a Canadian-American economist, diplomat, public official and intellectual. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s. As an economist, he leaned toward post-Keynesian economics from an institutionalist perspective.
Paul Anthony Samuelson was an American economist, who was the first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. When awarding the prize in 1970, the Swedish Royal Academies stated that he "has done more than any other contemporary economist to raise the level of scientific analysis in economic theory". Economic historian Randall E. Parker has called him the "Father of Modern Economics", and The New York Times considers him to be the "foremost academic economist of the 20th century".
Robert L. Heilbroner was an American economist and historian of economic thought. The author of some 20 books, Heilbroner was best known for The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (1953), a survey of the lives and contributions of famous economists, notably Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes.
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The history of economic thought is the study of the philosophies of the different thinkers and theories in the subjects that later became political economy and economics, from the ancient world to the present day in the 21st century. This field encompasses many disparate schools of economic thought. Ancient Greek writers such as the philosopher Aristotle examined ideas about the art of wealth acquisition, and questioned whether property is best left in private or public hands. In the Middle Ages, scholasticists such as Thomas Aquinas argued that it was a moral obligation of businesses to sell goods at a just price.
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Steven Pressman is an American economist. He is a former Professor of Economics and Finance at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. He has taught at the University of New Hampshire and Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Following the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, there was a worldwide resurgence of interest in Keynesian economics among prominent economists and policy makers. This included discussions and implementation of economic policies in accordance with the recommendations made by John Maynard Keynes in response to the Great Depression of the 1930s, most especially fiscal stimulus and expansionary monetary policy.
The Keynesian Revolution was a fundamental reworking of economic theory concerning the factors determining employment levels in the overall economy. The revolution was set against the then orthodox economic framework, namely neoclassical economics.
Macroeconomic theory has its origins in the study of business cycles and monetary theory. In general, early theorists believed monetary factors could not affect real factors such as real output. John Maynard Keynes attacked some of these "classical" theories and produced a general theory that described the whole economy in terms of aggregates rather than individual, microeconomic parts. Attempting to explain unemployment and recessions, he noticed the tendency for people and businesses to hoard cash and avoid investment during a recession. He argued that this invalidated the assumptions of classical economists who thought that markets always clear, leaving no surplus of goods and no willing labor left idle.
The post-war displacement of Keynesianism was a series of events which from mostly unobserved beginnings in the late 1940s, had by the early 1980s led to the replacement of Keynesian economics as the leading theoretical influence on economic life in the developed world. Similarly, the allied discipline known as development economics was largely displaced as the guiding influence on economic policies adopted by developing nations.
Keynes: The Return of the Master is a 2009 book by economic historian Robert Skidelsky. The work discusses the economic theories and philosophy of John Maynard Keynes, and argues about their relevance to the world following the Financial crisis of 2007–2010. In contrast to the 30 years he needed to write his prize-winning biography on Keynes, the author was able to write this 240-page book in only three months.
Throughout modern history, a variety of perspectives on capitalism have evolved based on different schools of thought.
The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too is a book by economist James K. Galbraith, first published in 2008. The title refers to how in US society, as Galbraith sees it, public institutions have been subverted to serve private profit: the "predators" being corporate elites. He argues that these corporate interests run the state "not for any ideological project—but simply in a way that would bring to them, individually and as a group, the most money.”
Marxism and Keynesianism is a method of understanding and comparing the works of influential economists John Maynard Keynes and Karl Marx. Both men's works has fostered respective schools of economic thought that have had significant influence in various academic circles as well as in influencing government policy of various states. Keynes' work found popularity in developed liberal economies following the Great Depression and World War II, most notably Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal in the United States in which strong industrial production was backed by strong unions and government support. Marx's work, with varying degrees of faithfulness, led the way to a number of socialist states, notably the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. The immense influence of both Marxian and Keynesian schools has led to numerous comparisons of the work of both economists along with synthesis of both schools.
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