Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A BRIEF FORAY INTO ECONOMICS

"One cannot defend production as satisfying wants if that production creates the wants. Were it so that a man on arising each morning was assailed by demons which instilled in him a passion sometimes for silk shirts, sometimes for kitchenware, sometimes for chamber pots, and sometimes for orange squash, there would be every reason to applaud the effort to find the goods, however odd, that quenched this flame. But should it be that his passion was the result of his first having cultivated the demons, and should it also be that his effort to allay it stirred the demons to ever greater and greater effort, there would be question as to how rational was his solution. Unless restrained by conventional attitudes, he might wonder if the solution lay with more goods or fewer demons. So it is that if production creates the wants it seeks to satisfy, or if the wants emerge pari passu with the production, then the urgency of the wants can no longer be used to defend the urgency of the production." - John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958)

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