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 :: 1908-, American Economist

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Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Meetings]

 

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Money differs from an automobile or mistress in being equally important to those who have it and those who do not.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Money]

 

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Money is a singular thing. It ranks with love as man's greatest source of joy. And with death as his greatest source of anxiety. Over all history it has oppressed nearly all people in one of two ways: either it has been abundant and very unreliable, or reliable and very scarce.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Money]

 

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More die in the United States from too much food that from too little.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Food and Eating]

 

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Much literary criticism comes from people for whom extreme specialization is a cover for either grave cerebral inadequacy or terminal laziness, the latter being a much cherished aspect of academic freedom.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Literary Criticism]

 

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Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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Of all classes the rich are the most noticed and the least studied.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Riches]

 

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Once the visitor was told rather repetitively that this city was the melting pot; never before in history had so many people of such varied languages, customs, colors and culinary habits lived so amicably together. Although New York remains peaceful by most standards, this self-congratulation is now less often heard, since it was discovered some years ago that racial harmony depended unduly on the willingness of the blacks (and latterly the Puerto Ricans) to do for the other races the meanest jobs at the lowest wages and then to return to live by themselves in the worst slums.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Multiculturalism]

 

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One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Wisdom]

 

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People who are in a fortunate position always attribute virtue to what makes them so happy.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Virtue]

 

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Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character building values of the privation of the poor.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Wealth]

 

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The contented and economically comfortable have a very discriminating view of government. Nobody is ever indignant about bailing out failed banks and failed savings and loans associations. But when taxes must be paid for the lower middle class and poor, the government assumes an aspect of wickedness.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Government]

 

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The enemy of the conventional wisdom is not ideas but the march of events.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Events]

 

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The great dialectic in our time is not, as anciently and by some still supposed, between capital and labor; it is between economic enterprise and the state.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Free Enterprise]

 

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The man who is admired for the ingenuity of his larceny is almost always rediscovering some earlier form of fraud. The basic forms are all known, have all been practiced. The manners of capitalism improve. The morals may not.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Crime and Criminals]

 

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The Metropolis should have been aborted long before it became New York, London or Tokyo.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Cities and City Life]

 

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The real accomplishment of modern science and technology consists in taking ordinary men, informing them narrowly and deeply and then, through appropriate organization, arranging to have their knowledge combined with that of other specialized but equally ordinary men. This dispenses with the need for genius. The resulting performance, though less inspiring, is far more predictable.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Science and Scientists]

 

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The traveler to the United States will do well to prepare himself for the class-consciousness of the natives. This differs from the already familiar English version in being more extreme and based more firmly on the conviction that the class to which the speaker belongs is inherently superior to all others.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Class]

 

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There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith - [Diplomacy]

 

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