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The Satisfaction of Wants

  • David Reisman

Abstract

The case for economic growth traditionally reposes in substantial measure on the presumed satisfaction of authentic consumer desires. Galbraith writes: ‘That social progress is identical with a rising standard of living has the aspect of a faith. No society has ever before provided such a high standard of living as ours, hence none is as good.’1

Keywords

Market Capitalism Consumer Choice Affluent Society Consumer Sovereignty Madison Avenue 
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The Satisfaction of Wants

  1. 42.
    J. Strachey, ‘Unconventional Wisdom’, Encounter, October 1958, p. 80.Google Scholar
  2. 45.
    M. Zinkin, ‘Galbraith and Consumer Sovereignty’, loc. cit., p. 5. See also F. A. von Hayek, ‘The Non Sequitur of the “Dependence Effect”’, Southern Economic journal, 1961;Google Scholar
  3. reprinted in Hayek, Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967 ).Google Scholar
  4. 46.
    E. van den Haag, ‘Affluence, Galbraith, the Democrats’, Commentary, 1960, p. 209.Google Scholar
  5. 59.
    G. C. Allen, Economic Fact and Fantasy ( London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 1967 ), p. 20.Google Scholar
  6. 60.
    R. P. Wilder, ‘Advertising and Inter-Industry Competition: Testing a Galbraithian Hypothesis’, Journal of Industrial Economics 1974, p. 220. Note, however, that books, drugs, soap and detergents are ‘exceptional industries which have positive and statistically significant coefficients for absolute advertising’, ibid., p. 223.Google Scholar
  7. 64.
    C. A. R. Crosland, ‘Production in the Age of Affluence’, The Listener, 25 September 1958, p. 448. Crosland’s essay is reprinted as Chapter 6 of his The Conservative Enemy ( London: Cape, 1962 ).Google Scholar

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© David Reisman 1980

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  • David Reisman

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