Economist John Kenneth Galbraith Dies

Strange as it might seem, I owe a debt of gratitude to this man, as he was indirectly responsible for my discovery of the whole philosophy of libertarianism.

I happened during a broadcast of Firing Line, which I was watching as a freshman in high school to bone up on my debating skills. Both host William F Buckley and Galbraith took potshots at a philosopher I'd never heard of, a lady named Ayn Rand. I figured that if Left and Right both thought she was bad news, maybe she was onto something, as Left and Right were both rather obviously full hot air, with policy differences of mere quantity. With Rand as a base, within five years I'd found Ludwig von Mises, Rothbard and my political identity. It's varied and shifted over the years, but always around the central premise of freedom. So "Thank you!", Professor Galbraith, and rest in peace.

AP - John Kenneth Galbraith, the Harvard professor who won worldwide renown as a liberal economist, backstage politician and witty chronicler of affluent society, died Saturday night, his son said. He was 97.

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