James K. Galbraith

American economist

James Kenneth Galbraith (born January 29, 1952) is an American economist who writes frequently for the popular press on economic topics.


  • For Brzezinski, doing damage to Russia is a hobby.
    • James K. Galbraith, Democracy inaction, Salon.com, November 30, 2004
  • Since the 1980s, the American business cycle has been based on financial and credit bubbles, and therefore on the enrichment, through the capital markets, of a very small number of people in a very few places. Truly we have become a 'trickle-down economy' — as we were not before. A rising tide may lift all boats, but recent business cycles have been more like waves, whereby certain sectors and areas ride the peaks before crashing to the shore. This is a sign, surely, not of the social evil of inequality per se but of the instability of bubble economies, closely associated with inequality of income, wealth, and power, for which we now pay a fearsome price.
  • Is the country full? No of course it isn’t. Have you tried flying over it lately?... Net immigration brings people, economic activity, jobs and taxes; businesses flourish where the population is growing and they suffer where it is not... So what is the argument about? Politics, mainly. Legal immigrants... are helping to turn the Southwest from red to blue... a mortal threat — to the leadership of the Republican Party. There’s also the appeal, in some parts of the country, to fear of ‘the other.’

The Predatory State, 2008


James Kenneth Galbraith, The Predatory State, (2008), Free Press Publishers,

  • The Predatory State is an economic system where entire sectors have been built up to feast upon public systems built originally for public purposes and largely serving the middle class. The corporate republic simply administers the spoils system. On a day-to-day basis, the business of its leadership is to deliver favors to their clients. These range from coal companies to sweatshop operators to military contractors.
    • p. 146-7
  • They include the privatizers of social security and those who put the drug companies in position to profit from Medicare. Everywhere you look, regulatory functions have been turned over to lobbyists. Everywhere you look, public decisions yield gains to specific private persons. Everywhere you look, the public decision is made by the agent of a private party for the purpose of delivering private gain. This is not an accident: it is a system.
    • p. 147
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