John K. Galbraith Ê

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John K. Galbraith

1908-2006

Economist

John Kenneth Galbraith was born in Ontario, Canada and studied at the University of Toronto, the University of California and Cambridge University.

He emigrated to the United States in 1931 and became an assistant professor of economics at Princeton University in 1939. After holding a number of administrative positions, he became Paul W. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard University, a chair he held from 1949 to 1975. A politically active liberal Democrat, Galbraith became an advisor to Adlai Stevenson and President Kennedy. Kennedy appointed him US Ambassador to India (1961-63) during the Chinese-Indian border conflict.

Galbraith has written many books in economics, and has also published works of fiction and non-fiction in other fields. His best known works are American Capitalism (1952), The Affluent Society (1958) and The New Industrial State (1967). A Keynesian by training, Galbraith held that free enterprise has its limits, and that political decisions are very important in shaping an economic system. In addition, he believed that the US government should take care of housing, heath care, and other areas of the economy which are not effective in providing basic services for many Americans.