The Economics of Innocent Fraud, John Kenneth Galbraith, 2004

You can read this short book in an hour, but you’ll be thinking about it for much longer. Galbraith, a man of impeccable credentials, points out some of the unspoken (by mainstream culture) truths of our times:

  1. “The free-market system” is the meaningless replacement term for what capitalism has become, and what should truthfully be called the “corporate system.”
  2. We hide a deep social injustice by referring to two entirely separate things with same word: “work.” Work is used for both the painful life-sapping labor for bare necessities, as well as for the meaningful effort of pursuing ones calling.
  3. It is not the shareholders nor the directors of corporations that control them, it is their management. The consequences of this fact is far-reaching, a small example of which is simply that management gets to set it’s own rate of compensation which amounts to massive legalized theft.
  4. There is no longer such thing as the public and private sectors. What was the public sector is almost entirely controlled by private interests for private benefit.
  5. The idea that the Federal Reserve prevents inflation and helps the economy out of recession by raising or lowering interest rates is and has always been, entirely a fiction.
  6. Foreign policy is dictated by the pecuniary desires of the military industrial complex.

Whether you agree his analysis or not, I’d recommend reading the book. The sad thing is that he says absolutely nothing about how to fix this mess, except by hinting at regulation of some sort, some how, but this after having just explained how the regulators themselves are in on the game.

In Galbraith’s 1975 book Money, whence it came, where it went, he describes perfectly our modern monetary system. Unlike most people, he fully understood money as a human invention. So it would seem surprising that he wouldn’t understand the underlying pattern of all thetruths that he so clearly does see. It’s simply money. None of these patterns will be fixed until we evolve the money itself that is the driving force behind each of those six truths. Check out for more on how and why.

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