domingo, abril 30, 2006

387) Morte do economista John Knneth Galbraith

Economist John Kenneth Galbraith Dies
Published: April 30, 2006

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Kenneth Galbraith, an influential liberal economist and author of ``The Affluent Society,'' has died at age 97, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
Galbraith, a professor emeritus at Harvard University, died on Saturday at a hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the paper said.
His most famous work, 1958's ``The Affluent Society,'' became a bestseller. In it he argued that the United States had become rich in consumer goods but poor in social services.
British Finance Minister Gordon Brown said Galbraith's work would not be forgotten. ``John Kenneth Galbraith was a brilliant economist and writer and a great friend of the United Kingdom and his books will be widely read in generations to come,'' Brown told Reuters.
The Canadian-born economist, one of the towering economic thinkers of the century, often found himself at odds with the mainstream ideas of the day but delighted in his stubborn defense of principle.
An early opponent of the Vietnam War and outspoken critic of supply-side economics which dominated the 1980s, Galbraith taught for more than a half a century at Harvard where few colleagues -- with the marked exception of Henry Kissinger -- had as much influence on American policy.
A life-long Democrat, Galbraith was heavily influenced by British economist John Maynard Keynes, who advocated government spending to reduce unemployment.
Galbraith, who often described himself as an ``evangelical Keynesian,'' supported a much shorter work week, the women's liberation movement and an international council to help the victims of man-made disasters.
A giant of a man physically as well -- he stood 6 feet 8 inches and often stooped before audiences -- Galbraith nevertheless had a rare ability to reduce complex economic theory to a level understood by the man in the street.
In a November 1996 interview with Reuters commenting on the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 1,500 point climb to break the 6500 mark that month, Galbraith remarked, ``There is too much money chasing too little intelligence to manage it. It can't last.''
Galbraith remained a proponent of traditional Democratic ideals even as they came to appear shrill and out of step.
``Consigning the least fortunate of our people to the neglect and despair that a purely individualist society prescribes ... is not, I submit, a sound conservative strategy,'' he said in his 1986 book, ``A View from the Stands.''

John Kenneth Galbraith was born October 15, 1908, on a farm in Ontario, Canada.
He received a science degree from the University of Toronto in 1931 and three years later earned a doctorate in economics at the University of California and began teaching there.
His life at Harvard began as a tutor in 1934 but three years later he moved to Cambridge University, England, on a fellowship.
Galbraith married the former Catherine Atwater in 1937 -- the same year that he became a U.S. citizen. They had three sons.
He taught economics at Princeton University in 1939 and 1940 and in 1941 joined the Office of Price Controls. Later, Galbraith said, his office had started with no price controls and by 1943 almost every price was under control.
In 1949 Galbraith received his appointment as an economics professor at Harvard.
Galbraith was a close friend and early supporter of President Kennedy, who named him ambassador to India from 1961 to 1963, the only years he did not spend at Harvard.
Galbraith also wrote speeches for two other Democratic candidates for the presidency, the late Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and 1956, and Sen. George McGovern in 1972.
In 1967 he told a Chicago conference that the United States had made a serious mistake in becoming involved in the Vietnam War and should take steps to withdraw.


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