Sunday, April 30, 2006

Adieu John Kenneth Galbraith

The famous economist and liberal John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15 1908 - April 29 2006) is no more. He was U.S. Ambassador to India from 1961 to 1963. He was also a gifted writer. It is impossible that one reads him and does not smile as he had a fantastic sense of humour. According to his obituary in CBC Kennedy enjoyed reading his writing so much that he insisted on seeing all cables he sent from India including those which had been sent to other officials. He was famous for his pithy quotes and sense of humour, take his attempt to describe trickle down economics: "If you feed enough oats to the horse, some will pass through to feed the sparrows".
Former Professor at Harvard and Princeton he is also well known for the many books he wrote. He is one of the few Americans who continued to be extremely popular in India. Maybe it was because of his Canadian birth. Call it the Commonwealth effect!! One of the articles he had co-authored along with Mohinder Singh Randhawa was on Indian Paintings.
For more detailed information on one of towering figures of the twentieth century do take a look at the Wikipedia entry on him.
I end my salaam with a few quotes from one of America's best known liberals:
"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."
"The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable."
"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable."