The Good Society: The Human Agenda

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The legendary economist explains how a nation can remain both compassionate and fiscally sound, with “common sense raised to the level of genius” (The New Yorker).
 
This compact, eloquent book offers a blueprint for a workable national agenda that allows for human weakness without compromising a humane culture. Arguing that it is in the best interest of the United States to avoid excessive wealth and income inequality, and to safeguard the well-being of its citizens, he explores how the goal of a good society can be achieved in an economically feasible way.
 
Touching on topics from regulation, inflation, and deficits to education, the environment, bureaucracy, and the military, Galbraith avoids purely partisan or rigid ideological politics—instead addressing practical problems with logic and well-thought-out principles.
 
“Carefully reasoned . . . the pragmatically liberal Galbraith [argues] that both socialism and complete surrender to market forces are irrelevant as guides to public action.” —Publishers Weekly
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About the author

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908–2006) was a critically acclaimed author and one of America’s foremost economists. His most famous works include The Affluent Society, The Good Society, and The Great Crash. Galbraith was the recipient of the Order of Canada and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Lifetime Achievement, and he was twice awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Apr 30, 1997
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9780547349572
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / Macroeconomics
Business & Economics / Government & Business
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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John Kenneth Galbraith has long been at the center of American economics, in key positions of responsibility during the New Deal, World War II, and since, guiding policy and debate. His trenchant new book distills this lifetime of experience in the public and private sectors; it is a scathing critique of matters as they stand today.
Sounding the alarm about the increasing gap between reality and "conventional wisdom" -- a phrase he coined -- Galbraith tells, along with much else, how we have reached a point where the private sector has unprecedented control over the public sector. We have given ourselves over to self-serving belief and "contrived nonsense" or, more simply, fraud. This has come at the expense of the economy, effective government, and the business world.
Particularly noted is the central power of the corporation and the shift in authority from shareholders and board members to management. In an intense exercise of fraud, the pretense of shareholder power is still maintained, even with the immediate participants. In fact, because of the scale and complexity of the modern corporation, decisive power must go to management. From management and its own inevitable self-interest, power extends deeply into government -- the so-called public sector. This is particularly and dangerously the case in such matters as military policy, the environment, and, needless to say, taxation. Nevertheless, there remains the firm reference to the public sector.
How can fraud be innocent? In his inimitable style, Galbraith offers the answer. His taut, wry, and severe comment is essential reading for everyone who cares about America's future. This book is especially relevant in an election year, but it deeply concerns the much longer future.
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