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Critique of Galbraith's Account of American Capitalism

Critique of Galbraith's Account of American Capitalism

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Published by MisesWasRight
An Economic Misinterpretation of History: A Critique of Galbraith's Account of American Capitalism. By Chris R. Tame.
from the Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Fall 1985.
A review of J.K. Galbraith's The Age of Uncertainty.
An updated version of this essay is available from http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/histn/histn006.pdf
An Economic Misinterpretation of History: A Critique of Galbraith's Account of American Capitalism. By Chris R. Tame.
from the Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Fall 1985.
A review of J.K. Galbraith's The Age of Uncertainty.
An updated version of this essay is available from http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/histn/histn006.pdf

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Published by: MisesWasRight on Sep 02, 2010
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THE
JOURNAL
OF
SOCIAL,
POLITICAL
AND
ECONOMIC
STUDIES
ROGERPEARSON
General
Editor
Fall
1985
Vol.
10,
No.
3
Famine
inAfrica
ByDavidOsterfeld
259
AdamSmith
versusKarl
Marx
in
China
ByDonald
J.
Senese
277
The
Philippines
under
Marcos
ByZ.MichaelSzaz
305
The
U.S.ImmigrationCrisis
ByG.PalmerStacy
III
and
WayneLutton
333
The
Integrity
of
the
U.S.Electoral
System
ByWilliamM.Thomas,M.C.
351
An
Economic
Misinterpretation
of
History:
ACritique
of
Galbraith's
Account
of
American
Capitalism
ByChrisR.Tame
357
Book
Reviews
373
 
EDITORIALBOARD
General
Editor
Roger
Pearson
Council
for
SocialandEconomicStudies
Washington,D.C.
Advisory
Committee
JamesT.Bennett
George
Mason
University,
Virginia
ClintBolick
MountainStatesLegalFoundation
Stuart
Butler
Washington,D.C.
SamS.Crutchfield,Jr.
Washington,D.C.
DanielEllegiers
University
of
Brussels
Julien
Freund
University
of
Strasbourg
Robert
E.
Gilbert
NortheasternUniversity,
Mass.
John
H.Hallowell
DukeUniversity
Garrett
Hardin
University
of
California,SantaBarbara
Dan
C.
Heldman
Washington,D.C.
CliffordA.Kiracofe,Jr.
Washington,D.C.
James
Mayall
LondonSchool
of
Economics
James
McClellan
Alexandria,Virginia
Maxwell
A.
Miller
MountainStatesLegalFoundation
Robert
C.Richardson,HI
Washington,D.C.
R.J.
Rummel
University
of
HawaiiatManoa
AlanNedSabrosky
U.S.
Army
WarCollege,Carlisle,Pa.
HelmutSchelsky
WestfalischeUniversity
RobertSchuettinger
YaleUniversity
Kenneth
W.
Watkins
University
of
Sheffield
Udo
Weiss
HeidelbergUniversity
Oleg
Zinam
University
of
Cincinnati
Russell
Kirk
Mecosta,Michigan
 
AN
ECONOMIC
MISINTERPRETATION
OF
HISTORY:
ACRITIQUE
OF
GALBRAITH'SACCOUNT
OF
AMERICANCAPITALISM
ByChrisR.
Tame
Suchis
the
devastating
rebuttal
by
contemporary
economists
of
J.K.
Galbraith,
that
toaddtoitwouldalmostseemsuper
fluous.(1)Eventhose
of
hisprofessionalpeerswhosharehispoliticalorientationmaintainadiscreetsilenceregardingthe
merits
or
demerits
of
Galbraith's
contribution
to
economic
science.
But,
alas,inthisagealack
of
intellectualclothes
does
not
seemtodebaranyonefromacclaim
or
influence,
and
Galbraithsurelyconstitutes
the
barestacademic
"Emperor"
of
our
time.While
othersexpound
socialismwithineconomics
with
atleastsomesemblance
of
dignity
and
adherenceto
the
standards
of
their
profession,
Galbraith
aims
at,
and
influences,
the
lumpen
intelligentsia,
the"new
class"purveyors,popularizers
and
con
sumers
of
ideas,
and,
of
course,
those
sociologists
for
whom
an
objective,
value-freesocial
science
remains
a
closed
book.
Given
the
failure
of
past
criticism
of
Galbraith
to
have
had
muchimpactupon
his
influenceand
reputation,
it
might
seem
arrogant
or
quixotic
to
add
toit.
But
the
repeated
refutation
of
error,
as
tediousand
unending
as
it
might
often
seem,
isa
scholarly
duty,
and
the
only
path
to
the
eventual
defeat
of
sucherror.
It
becomesamoreurgent
duty
when
that
error
ispreg
nant
withdeleteriousconsequencesfor
the
lives
and
liberties
of
the
greatmass
of
ordinarypeople.TheAge
of
Uncertainty
AmongstGalbraith'srecentworks
TheAge
of
Uncertainty
is
distinctive
in
two
respects:
it
appeared
both
asa
book
and
asa
lavishly
producedthirteen
part
televisionseries;
and
it
aimed
tobe
"a
history
of
economicideas
and
theirconsequences,"(2)
amixture
of
intellectualandeconomichistory.Acertaindegree
of
superficiality
or
simplificationmightbeexcusedbecause
of
its(intended)
popular
audience,
but
ProfessorGalbraith
cannot
excusehimselffromadherencetobasicstandards
of
scholarship
or
honesty.Inspite
of
hisclaimtohaveprepared
"careful
essays"(3)
on
the
topics
of
eachchapter,
TheAge
of
Uncert-

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