# John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith (October 15th 1908 with Iona Station, Ontario, Canada - April 29th 2006 with Cambridge) was a Canadian economist of Scottish origin. He is especially known as an economic council different presidents from the United States, of Franklin Delano Roosevelt with John Fitzgerald Kennedy until Lyndon B. Johnson.

## Biography

After an agricultural thesis of economics, Galbraith becomes assistant professor with the Université of Princeton in 1934. As from 1940, it is employed by the American federal government at various stations, in particular to control the prices during the Second world war. He works thereafter for the magazine Fortune . Professor with the University of Harvard in 1949, it remains close to the democratic party.

John F. Kennedy appoints it ambassador in India (1961 - 1963). He will be economic council of democratic US presidents thereafter. Starting from 1971, it teaches in several European universities.

There work out its corpus theoretical within a framework with the tendencies at the same time keynésiennes and especially institutionnalists, while remaining very hétérodoxe and very critical with respect to his colleagues.

It besides will strongly criticize the policy of deregulation carried out by Ronald Reagan and the economic integrism by its larger enemy Milton Friedman.

Author of very many books and articles, he is for this reason the economist more read 20th century.

## Theoretical corpus

The university economy will retain especially theoretical work of Galbraith, continued throughout its long career, the two concepts of reversed die and technostructure.

### The reversed die

This notion was developed in the Era of opulence , published into 1958 in the United States. Its statement is simple: “  In fact the companies impose products to the consumers, and not the inverse  ”.

The classical theories and neo-classic explain why the decisions of production of the companies are done according to the request which is addressed to them by the consumers. It is the basic idea of balance, central idea in the liberal economy: there is on a side a function known as “  of request collective  ”, other a function “  of collective  offer; ”, and it is the meeting of these two functions (when $O=D$) which determines the level of the production.

However, Galbraith refuses this theory. Not only its angle of incidence would be bad (it is based on a methodological Individualisme, whereas Galbraith is in favor of the methodological Holisme), but in more its deductive character would make it not very realistic. He proposes in the place the “  theory of the die inversée  ”: because they have an economic weight, policy and media enormous, more the large companies can impose the purchase of certain products to the consumers by the means of the Publicité, certain price policies, etc In fact, the consumers would be imprisoned by what Galbraith will name later the technostructure.

In short, the reversed die bears this name, because instead of seeing the companies collecting information by the means of the prices as for the required level of their production, it is actually themselves which lay down an objective to be reached, making pressure on the consumer to arrive at the known as objectives.