Must We Have Inflation, Recession, or Both October 14, 1979

John Kenneth Galbraith, October 14, 1979

“ The great conservative revolution is no more that old conservatives talking louder. A large share of all economic comment comes from people with comfortable economic positions, who have access to the media. And as the conservative voice becomes louder, it seems to suggest that the tide of public opinion has shifted to the right.

“ It is the beginning of wisdom to mistrust these great right-wing revivalists. Many of their ideas are deeply in conflict with reality. Their philosophy can be summarized as ‘Services are a burden hoisted on unwilling taxpayers for no particular reason by bureaucrats.’

“ The ideal free market system is inoperable in today’s economy because of monopolies and oligarchies. Something is wrong when economists argue that Exxon and neighborhood newsboys are operating under the same economic forces.

“ The argument that the market gives people choices while the intervention of government takes choice away ignores the fact that government intervention gives freedom to the poor although it takes some freedom away from the more affluent.”

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