John Kenneth Galbraith Quotes

One can relish the varied idiocy of human action during a panic to the full, for, while it is a time of great tragedy, nothing is being lost but money.

The myth that holds that the great corporation is a puppet of the market, the powerless servant of the consumer, is, in fact, one of the devices by which its power is perpetuated. Colonialism, we saw, was possible only because the myth of higher moral purpose regularly concealed the reality of lower economic interest. Similarly […]

In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.

An important antidote to American democracy is American gerontocracy. The positions of eminence and authority in Congress are allotted in accordance with length of service, regardless of quality. Superficial observers have long criticized the United States for making a fetish of youth. This is unfair. Uniquely among modern organs of public and private administration, its […]

Once the great dialectic was capital vs. labor. Now it’s the conflict between the comfortable and the deprived. And the comfortable see the government as the threat because it is the only hope for the deprived.

Meetings are held because men seek companionship or, at a minimum, wish to escape the tedium of solitary duties. They yearn for the prestige which accrues to the man who presides over meetings, and this leads them to convoke assemblages over which they can preside. Finally, there is the meeting which is called not because […]

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.

I want to change things. I want to see things happen. I don’t want just to talk about them.

A businessman who reads “Business Week” is lost to fame. One who reads Proust is marked for greatness.

The salary of the chief executive of the large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.