The affluent society by john kenneth galbraith REVIEW

His work was criticized to have flaws, which is obvious for most social scientists, yet his work remains true and practical even today. He was accused of wrongly predicting a great out of control unemployment and inflation rate. Silent Spring, a book which is held responsible for initiating the American environmental move, came four years after Galbraith wrote about the plight of consumerism was a threat to the environment and hence, there should be an increase in creating awareness about the environment (Galbraith, 2010, p.114). Fifty years ago when ‘The Affluent Society’ was published for the very first time it was a strong written attack against the situation of that time period. In 1958 America was in a period of economic boom post Second World War and the conservative view was that the economy was prospering and flourishing. This provoked the Harvard economics professor Galbraith to introduce the term ‘conventional wisdom’ which was meant to describe and explain the bandwagon view that was prevalent at that time (Galbraith, 2010, p.6 Meissner, 1966, 31). … The Americans at that time believed that high rates of production is an indicator of economic prosperity, Galbraith emphasized that there might be other factors which could be termed even more important than the production rate. He was also a great advocate of the power of advertising to help create high rates of consumption in support of the high production rates. This form of increasing the wealth in the country is also emphasized in the article written by Robert Davis. This clearly means that many authors thought the same way as Galbraith himself did (Davis, 1963, p.335). He believed that the production or growth model is too irrelevant for America as it was used to pull out US from poverty and to meet the various , different need of people, t had worked well enough for that purpose but now that the society has flourished and people’s basic, primary needs are met this model is highly irrelevant. People are still unhappy as not only do they work extremely hard there is also a great gap between the richest and the poorest and immense inequality. He writes that the most puzzling problem for modern times is why the affluence of America is not used properly (Galbraith, 2010, p.225). The salient features of Galbraith’s work while reevaluating American economy were: The influence of America worldwide Relationship that exists between production, advertising and consumption Poverty and inequality in the economy The altering reasons of these economic problems: inflation, employment and consumer debt. He was eventually in support of enforcing a greater sales tax as compared to property tax, increase in government spending on public amenities like education and healthcare and a local vision to develop and expand the ‘new class’ of