The Affluent Society Essay

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The influence enjoyed by opponents of enlightened public policy clearly peaked during the 1980s with the ascendance of monetarism, supply-side economics, and Reaganomics. But the popularity of this view has always been strong in policy circles, and has provided Galbraith with a consistent target over the years. And, like Galileo, whose work made him a heretic in the eyes of the church, Galbraith has, on many occasions, found himself in violation of accepted doctrine. He confessed in his autobiography that "One of my greatest pleasures in writing has come from the thought that perhaps my work might annoy someone of comfortably pretentious position." His assault on those wearing the Adam Smith necktie—advocates of laissez-faire and neoclassical economics—must have provided a particularly rich source of enjoyment.

A principal belief of the opponents of public policy concerns the alleged superiority (if not perfection) of the unimpeded market. While...

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This section contains 834 words
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The Affluent Society from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.