Inequality and Instability

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

James Galbraith, professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, talks about his new book, Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis.


James K. Galbraith

Comments [13]


Galbraith is and always has been very astute. I appreciate his smashing the canard that improving education in and of itself will reduce the vast and growing inequality we're seeing in this country. That's a favorite topic of self-annointed education "reformers" who propagate nonsense to justify destroying the public sector, so that private enterprise can feed at the public trough. His healthy outside-the-Wall-Street/Beltway-zone point of view is a breath of fresh air. Those few in this country -- the handful of CEOs and the top of the financial sector making outsized salaries -- would like the rest of us to believe that they are the "best and the brightest." Of course, what we've really seen for decades now is a vast upward transfer of wealth -- and the same characters who brought us the 2008 banking crisis now push austerity.

May. 13 2012 10:32 PM

Bravo Brian:

Even Mr. Galbraith thinks your last question (which begins at 18:32)
is "excellent". (and BTW does this gentleman have a brother or Uncle who is also a somewhat famous economist?)

"Where would the tax base come from if the private sector is shrinking and the public sector economies are growing?"

To which Mr. Galbraith replies in the manner of a character, whose memory may belong only to an older generation:
"I'll have a hamburger - for which I will gladly pay you Tuesday."

A longer explication of that philosophy appears here ,
Mr. Galbraith appears at approximately 1:15.

Peace and Love

May. 09 2012 02:37 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, More money for more people. Almost no poverty--or just no poverty. Eugenia Renskoff

May. 09 2012 02:13 PM

James Galbraith is as economically-ignorant as his more famous late Keynesian economist father John Kenneth Galbraith. Still promoting the atrocious bad economic policies that have gotten us into the messes we've been in for the last 60 years.

May. 09 2012 01:10 PM
meredith from nyc

He thinks it's inevitable that most of our manufacturing will keep going overseas? Here our jobs will be in health care, education, and repairing roads/bridges etc? Is this pessimistic? Will that sustain 300 million people? Are other countries doing this successfully?

May. 09 2012 11:32 AM
John from NYC

Could you invite Professor Galbraith once a month for a discussion?

May. 09 2012 11:23 AM
Brian from NYC

Is there anything we can do on an individual basis to fix income inequality besides voting and writing to our congressman?

May. 09 2012 11:21 AM
Janet from South Plainfield, NJ

Questions please: In Australia last year they raised the minimum wage to almost $700/wk USD. How can we overcome the idea that a living minimum wage is socialism? Also how to convince the 99% that THEY ARE THEY REAL ENGINE OF THE ECONOMY?

May. 09 2012 11:21 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The momentous rise of Asia is an inescapable fact that the West will have no choice but accommodate itself to that inescapable fact of life. The "halcyon" post-WWII decades are history now, and what is needed is vocational training, thrift and hard work. There will be no magical shortcuts and talk of "sending our good jobs abroad" is nonsense. There is no such thing as "their jobs" versus "our jobs." All investments and jobs go to where there is the greatest return on capital, and that's all there is to it. The German system has always made craftsmenship and hard work, thrift and efficiency integral to their very essence as a nation. The US has always relied on exploiting its natural resources and wastefulness. That shall change, or else.

May. 09 2012 11:20 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The professor is tip toeing around the need for highy skilled vocational training. Typical Professor

May. 09 2012 11:15 AM
John from Fanwood

Brian, please ask professor Galbraith how much the economy is being dammaged by the inanbility of congress to agree on anything.

May. 09 2012 11:14 AM
meredith from NYC

Question for Galbraith

Have european workers seen their jobs taken away to other countries in the same way Americans have, and if so, did they do anything to protect their jobless workers from the bad consequences of unemployment?

May. 09 2012 11:09 AM
oscar from ny

Not until jesus nd the iman solve this is god

May. 09 2012 10:30 AM

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