(TORONTO, ON) – Robert Stephen visits with John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Affluent Society for today’s Words of Wisdom.
We ignore poverty because we share with all societies the capacity for not seeing what we do not wish to see. Anciently this has enabled the nobleman to enjoy his dinner while remaining oblivious to the beggars around his door.
In our day, it enables us to travel in comfort by Harlem and into the lush precincts of midtown Manhattan. But while our failure to notice can be explained it cannot be excused.
“Poverty,” Pitt exclaimed, “is no disgrace but it is damned annoying.”
In the contemporary United States it is not annoying but it is a disgrace.
The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1969, page 196