Last week, we took note of FT columnist Stefan Stern theory that the quiet reaction of economists to the death of John Kenneth Galbraith was fueled by for his commercial successes. We might have said the reaction was "quiet, too quiet"--like an action movie hero knowing he is walking into an ambush. This week they've come after the corpse of JKB with guns ablazing.
Jane Galt tells us that JKB was instrumental in keeping her from getting caught up in the last tech bubble. Sounds promising. Then she adds:
It was natural enough, then, that when my introductory macro professor was outlining the various schools of economic thought, I should ask into which school JKG fell. My professor furrowed his brow, thought for a moment, and finally said "his ideas are less of a school than a conspiracy theory."
Galt goes on to quote Clive Crook's "brutal assessment" in National Journal:
Galbraith's special gifts were not intellectual penetration or access to deeper wisdom, but gravitas, worldly sophistication, armor-plated apprehension of his own intellectual superiority
And from the Mises Institute, William Anderson pokes fun at JKB's good looks.
Staples used to have an advertisement in which the clueless boss comes to Dilbert's cubicle with a visitor in tow. "Dilbert, meet our new executive vice president," says the boss, adding, "He's tall, so we know he'll go far."
"I also have executive-style hair," says the new VP, and the boss interjects, "Which we think will turn silver."
Indeed, if being tall and having silver hair is what is required for being "distinguished," then the late John Kenneth Galbraith certainly fit that description.
John Kenneth Galbraith RIP [Asymetrical Information. Hat tip: Paul Frankenstein in our comments]
John Kenneth Galbraith, Revisited [National Journal]
J.K. Galbraith Celebrated Power, Not Freedom [Mises.Org]