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Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert SolowMany reformers—Galbraith is not alone in this—have as their basic objection to a free market that it frustrates them in achieving their reforms, because it enables people to have what they want, not what the reformers want. Hence every reformer has a strong tendency to be averse to a free market.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Solow, in a review of The New Industrial State, points at Galbraith's lack of empiricism and selectiveness in his use of evidence. He points out that "It may be unjust and pointless to consider the degree of literal truth of each of the assertions that make up this argument. One would hardly discuss Gulliver's Travels by debating whether there really are any little people, or criticize the Grande Jatte because objects aren't made up of tiny dots. Nevertheless, it may help to judge the truth of Galbraith's."[96]

Richard Par

Richard Parker, in his biography, John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Economics, His Politics, characterizes Galbraith as a more complex thinker. Galbraith's primary purpose in Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power (1952) was, ironically, to show that big business was now necessary to the American economy to maintain the technological progress that drives economic growth. Galbraith knew that the "countervailing power", which included government regulation and collective bargaining, was necessary to balanced and efficient markets. In The New Industrial State (1967), Galbraith argued that the dominant American corporations had created a technostructure that closely controlled both consumer demand and market growth through advertising and marketing. While Galbraith defended government intervention, Parker notes that he also believed that government and big business worked together to maintain stability.[97]

Paul Krugman downplayed Galbraith's stature as an academic economist in 1994. In Peddling Prosperity, he places Galbraith as one among many "policy entrepreneurs"—either economists, or think tank writers, left and right—who write solely for the public, as opposed to those who write for other academics, and who are, therefore, liable to make unwarranted diagnoses and offer over-simplistic answers to complex economic problems. Krugman asserts that Galbraith was never taken seriously by fellow academics, who instead viewed him as more of a "media personality". For example, Krugman believes that Galbraith's work, The New Industrial State, is not considered to be "real economic theory", and that Economics in Perspective is "remarkably ill-informed".[98]

Welfare economist Thomas Sowell wrote in his 1995 book The Vision of the Anointed that Galbraith was a notable "teflon prophet" alongside American biologist Paul R. Ehrlich, and institutes like the Club of Rome and Worldwatch Institute; they were utterly certain in their predictions, yet completely disproven empirically, though their reputations remained perfectly undamaged. Sowell first noted that in The Affluent Society, Galbraith argued that discussions of income inequality in the United States appeared to be declining in urgency. However, Sowell contended that since 1958, the year Galbraith's book was written, preoccupation with income distribution had been at an all-time high. Next, Sowell criticized Galbraith's claims in The Affluent Society and The New Industrial State that large corporations are invincible to competition. Sowell refuted this claim by citing Toyota and Honda's takeover of the United States' automobile market at the expense of General Motors, the previously dominant and allegedly infallible car company. Sowell also pointed out the decline of Life (magazine), the disappearances of W.T. Grant and Graflex, the folding of Pan American, the collapse of newspaper companies in cities all across the country, the near extinction of Chrysler, and overall, the displacement of almost half of the firms in 1980's Fortune 500 in the 1990 edition. Sowell's third point of refutation was against Galbraith's assertion in The New Industrial State that successful corporate management was immune to corporate shake-ups, Sowell penned that, in reality, heads were "rolling in corporate suites across the land". The fourth of Galbraith's claims that Sowell believed to not have stood up to the test of time is Galbraith's contemptuousness towards the idea of a lone entrepreneur starting up a new, powerful company; Sowell used multibillionaires Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as counterexamples.[99]

The first edition of The Scotch was published in the UK under two alternative titles: as Made to Last and The Non-potable Scotch: A Memoir of the Clansmen in Canada.[100] It was illustrated by Samuel H. Bryant. Galbraith's account of his boyhood environment in Elgin County in southern Ontario was added in 1963. He considered it his finest piece of writing.[101]

Galbraith memoir, A Life in Our Times was published in 1981.[102] It contains discussion of his thoughts, his life, and his times. In 2004, the publication of an authorized biography, John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics[25] by a friend and fellow progressive economist Richard Parker renewed interest in Galbraith's life journey and legacy.

Honors

John Kenneth Galbraith was one of the few people to receive both the World War II Medal of Freedom and the Presidential Medal of Freedom; respectively in 1946 from President Truman and in 2000 from President Bill Clinton.[103] He was a recipient of Lomonosov Gold Medal in 1993 for his contributions to science. He also was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1997[75] and, in 2001, awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, for his contributions to strengthening ties between India and the United States.Galbraith memoir, A Life in Our Times was published in 1981.[102] It contains discussion of his thoughts, his life, and his times. In 2004, the publication of an authorized biography, John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics[25] by a friend and fellow progressive economist Richard Parker renewed interest in Galbraith's life journey and legacy.

John Kenneth Galbraith was one of the few people to receive both the World War II Medal of Freedom and the Presidential Medal of Freedom; respectively in 1946 from President Truman and in 2000 from President Bill Clinton.[103] He was a recipient of Lomonosov Gold Medal in 1993 for his contributions to science. He also was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1997[75] and, in 2001, awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, for his contributions to strengthening ties between India and the United States.[104]