John Kenneth Galbraith

United States
15 Oct 1908 // 29 Apr 2006


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The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.
Money differs from an automobile or mistress in being equally important to those who have it and those who do not.
Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.
In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension and also a deep desire for respectability.
In economics, the majority is always wrong.
The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.
Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.
Wealth, in even the most improbable cases, manages to convey the aspect of intelligence.
People want to be head of General Motors, General Electric... they want those jobs certainly for the income that is returned. But the income is itself a measure of the prestige and power, authority, that goes with achieving those positions.

Interview, 1986
The superior confidence which people repose in the tall man is well merited. Being tall, he is more visible than other men and being more visible, he is much more closely watched.

The Scotch (1964)
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."