"The man who is admired for the ingenuity of his larceny is almost always rediscovering some earlier form of fraud. The basic forms are all known, have all been practiced. The manners of capitalism improve. The morals may not."
John Kenneth Galbraith
(1908-2006) Canadian-born economist, Harvard professor
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Reader comments about this quote:
Galbraith makes an excellent observation that falls apart on closure. What he is describing is not capitalism, it is and remains larceny. Capitalism has no morals good or bad...it's just a natural form of trade and the production of goods. Each of us gets up in the morning to "capitalize" on our skills or product and better our own lives and the lives of our families...simple concept isn't it?
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    The first 2 sentences were a self portrait of the individual author. Galbraith only spoke of capitalism in propaganda forms from a good socialism religionist's perspective. The morals he refers to differ greatly from that of the freeman and expressions of natural law.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    J Carlton and Mike summed it up well.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    Galbraith nails it again. To admire and celebrate the wealthy, is more often a celebration of their crimes, than their toil or ingenuity. And to pattern our society after these criminals will only lead to it's destruction.
     -- L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada     
    Linking wealthy to crimes, Hanson has done a fairly good job at describing those of most governments around the world - most notably, the western hemisphere's northern countries. He never addressed capitalism or the liberals / socialist mis-explanation of it.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Hanson...the wealthy are who...exactly?
    The guy who started out with nothing and built a fortune? Absolutely we need to tear that person down right?
    Or do you mean the Central Bankers and their Corporate buddies, and their buddies in Government no matter which party they belong to? Because there is a difference and far too many people are just to stupid to realize that.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Not sure this has anything to do with capitalism per se. Larceny is not capitalism -- it is stealing the capital of another. The Federal Reserve comes to mind as the greatest theft of the nation's wealth in history -- imagined by some to be an ingenious solution to economics. Of course this con has been played out many times before bankrupting European monarchies. 'Derivatives', quantitative easing, wealth 'distribution', 'progressive' taxation, and dozens of other financial Ponzi schemes are just rehashed versions of the same shell games. Capitalism creates the capital, and these forms of larceny steal it. Wealth is accumulated in a number of different ways -- if it is accumulated by graft and deception, then it is not capitalism.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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