Galbraith attempts to solve poverty

Larry Harris

“The Nature of Mass Poverty” by John Kenneth Galbraith can open minds to the deeper issues surrounding mass poverty and provide practical solutions to aiding countries whose citizens find themselves living in poverty.

John Kenneth Galbraith is a former Paul M. Harding professor of economics at Harvard, a former president of the American Economic Association and former ambassador to India under the Kennedy administration.

The author’s experiences as a western economist and his on-the-ground diplomatic duties in India gave him first-hand experiences of two different cultural perspectives, that of a wealthy nation and that of a nation in mass poverty.

He defines mass poverty as poverty which affects an entire culture or nation.

Galbraith deals with the issues of poverty from two perspectives. He first discusses the views of a rich society looking at poverty from the outside.

He then discusses poverty from the perspective of someone on the ground, working in the fields, within an impoverished environment, and develops several concepts that entrap a culture in poverty, such as “accommodation” and the “equilibrium of poverty.”

Galbraith’s rhetoric is clear and simple. His paragraph structures are short and easily understood. Overall I found the book was an easy read, interesting and thought-provoking.

The one drawback of “The Nature of Mass Poverty” is the omission of actual case examples.

List price: new $34.99, used $4.00

137 Pages
4 out of 5 stars