Why Didnt Galbraith Convince Us That America Is an Affluent Society?
By Robert M. Whaples
Readers bought enough copies of John Kenneth Galbraiths The Affluent Society (1958) to make it a bestseller, but they didnt buy its claim that America had become so rich that people would derive no extra utility from consuming more goods and services. Although subsequent research suggests that continued economic growth and rising consumption do bring us smaller and smaller gains in well-being, Galbraiths argument that government should control any surplus balance is paper thin.
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