Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Liberal Economist

John Kenneth Galbraith dead at 97. When I checked the internet for news I found more international coverage than US. wrote about how Galbraith held a mirror to society. The Guardian UK wrote about how British Chancellor Brown paid tribute to Galbraith. Top Google News results also included The Scotsman, New Zealand's National Business Review, and Britain's Times Online. Where's the love, America? I had to dig for the ABC News link that I posted first.

I think that I first read "The Affluent Society" when I was 13 and working my way through every book in the house. I've had a soft spot for Galbraith ever since. It wasn't only his progressive politics that attracted me (and have probably had a deeper impact than I've realized), but his wit that I loved. In tribute to Galbraith's deep but playful mind I'm posting some of his quotes.
“It is almost as important to know what is not serious as to know what is.”

On Economics
“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”
“Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.”
“In economics it is a far, far wiser thing to be right than to be consistent”
“In economics, the majority is always wrong.”
“Economics is a subject profoundly conducive to cliche, resonant with boredom. On few topics is an American audience so practiced in turning off its ears and minds. And none can say that the response is ill advised.”
“In economics, hope and faith coexist with great scientific pretension and also a deep desire for respectability.”

On Politics
“There is something wonderful in seeing a wrong-headed majority assailed by truth.”
“There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose.”
“Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.”
“In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.”
“Liberalism is, I think, resurgent. One reason is that more and more people are so painfully aware of the alternative.”
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
“The contented and economically comfortable have a very discriminating view of government. Nobody is ever indignant about bailing out failed banks and failed savings and loans associations. But when taxes must be paid for the lower middle class and poor, the government assumes an aspect of wickedness.”
“If it is dangerous to suppose that government is always right, it will sooner or later be awkward for public administration if most people suppose that it is always wrong”
“The great dialectic in our time is not, as anciently and by some still supposed, between capital and labor; it is between economic enterprise and the state.”
“Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.”
“You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too.”
“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite.”

What is Wrong with People
“Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything.”
“Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”
“There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.”
“The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.”
“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.”
“The conspicuously wealthy turn up urging the character building values of the privation of the poor.”
“In any great organization it is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone.”
“People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage”
“The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.”

On Leadership
“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”

“Power is not something that can be assumed or discarded at will like underwear.”
Hat tip to The Green Knight for breaking the news in my universe.
Which Animaniacs Character are You?

You have megalomaniacal impulses regularly. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however, as you have the cranial capacity of a small planet. Trying to take over the world is hard work, though, and you're not above exploiting your lessers. Even now, you have a plan that's being enacted which will pitch the world's economy into turmoil, leaving the floodgates of trade exposed for the sole owner of stock in the � company! You are en route to taking over the world!

Oh, and you ARE pondering what I'm pondering.

Click here to see my Livejournal.
Hat tip to The Green Knight for the link.

Friday, April 28, 2006

You scored as Lara Croft. A thrill-seeking, slightly unscrupulous, tough-as-nails archaeologist, Lara Croft travels the world in search of ancient relics perhaps better left hidden. She packs two Colt .45s and has no fear of jumping off buildings, exploring creepy tombs, or taking on evil meglomaniacs bent on world domination.

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Rush to Judgment

When my sister sent me this story I was immediately reminded of this essay. I can see the strong correlation between Rush listeners (how can they NOT get a clue about what a hypocrite and a liar he is?) and Bush voters (how can they NOT get a clue about what a hypocrite and a liar he is?).

"I conclude something we've always suspected. I conclude that Bush voters aren't very bright."

Right about now with Rush in the news for prescription drugs again I'm thinking someone in the Whitehouse is glad they picked Snow instead of Limbaugh for the Press Secretary. But there must have been an undeniable attraction to getting the guy who wouldn't even be able to hear the reporters ask their questions.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Which Jane Austen Character Are You?

My mother always said I was "a little too Jane Austen." With this result I guess I have to agree she was right...

You scored as Elizabeth Bennet. As one of Austen's most beloved characters, Elizabeth Bennet represents what most women would like to become: strong, independent, and loyal. Of course, she has her faults including a stubborn will of iron and a clinging to first impressions. Overall, Lizzie is bright and lovable...something to admire and aspire to.

Elizabeth Bennet


Elinor Dashwood


Jane Bennet


Emma Woodhouse


Marianne Dashwood


Charlotte Lucas


Lady Catherine


Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with

Kindly nod of the head to Pam the Beancounter. Indubitably indeed!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Thoughtful Quotes
Life is like a book waiting for you to write it.
The hardest battle you're ever gonna fight is the battle to just be you.
It's when we allow others to think for us, that the whole world suffers.
Your dream starts as soon as you wake up.
You already are a role model, the question is: what kind?
Always listen to your heart, because your head has too much to say.
If you fell and tripped over because you were relying on someone else's feet....then you've got to learn to climb back up with your own.
God made family to comfort--but he made friends to understand.
One day you will start to fly and you will never look back.
You have to accept the past to change the future.
The world is a messed up place, and to tell the truth, I like it that way.
Nothing lasts forever. So love what you have while you still have it.
Don't take anything for granted 'cause you never know when something will come to an end.
Take this quiz!

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Sunday, April 2, 2006

I Think They Are Saying I'm Brainy.... Right?

You are... The Cingulate Gyrus!!!
Snugly encircling the superior thalamus, and sitting atop the corpus callosum,
you are an integral part of the limbic system.
You remain a mystery, but common thought is that your reciprocal connections
to the frontal cortex and limbic system link decision-making and emotion!
Although you are mushy in consistency, you are a great friend to those around you
and your word is as solid as oak. You detest it when
people prod you, so you do need to lighten up a bit.
All in all, though, you are a solid citizen.
(And without you, people often find themselves unable to talk or move!)

Take the Personality Quiz, brought to you by Mr. Poon.