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The Culture of Contentment$
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John Kenneth Galbraith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171654

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171654.001.0001

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The Economic Accommodation, II

The Economic Accommodation, II

(p.74) Chapter 8 The Economic Accommodation, II
The Culture of Contentment

John Kenneth Galbraith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines economic accommodation in the age of contentment. For some centuries, reputable mainstream economics has given grace and acceptability to convenient belief—to what the socially and economically favored most wish or need to have believed. This economics permeates and even dominates professional discussion and writing, the textbooks and classroom instruction, as can be seen in the area of monetary policy. The chapter first considers three basic requirements to serve contentment: the need to defend the general limitation on government as regards the economy; to find social justification for the unbridled pursuit and possession of wealth; and to justify a reduced sense of public responsibility for the poor. It then explores Adam Smith's case against unwanted government action, or more specifically that part which is not in the service of contentment. It also discusses economic accommodation in relation to the welfare state, supply-side economics, and tax reductions.

Keywords:   economic accommodation, contentment, monetary policy, government, wealth, the poor, Adam Smith, welfare state, supply-side economics, tax reductions

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