Age of Uncertainty: 12 -- Democracy, Leadership, and Commitment
Series Produced by
Dick Gilling ... producer (1 episode, 1977)
Mick Jackson ... producer (1 episode, 1977)
David Kennard ... producer (1 episode, 1977)
Adrian Malone ... executive producer (1 episode, 1977)
The Age of Uncertainty
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The Age of Uncertainty
Created by John Kenneth Galbraith
Starring John Kenneth Galbraith
Country of origin United Kingdom, United States, Canada
No. of episodes 15
Running time approx. 60 minutes (per episode)
Original network BBC, CBS, KCET, OECA
Original release 1977 –
The Age of Uncertainty is a 1977 book and television series about economics, co-produced by the BBC, CBC, KCET and OECA, and written and presented by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith.
3 Series outline
Galbraith fully acknowledged the successes of the market system in economics but associated it with instability, inefficiency and social inequity. He advocated government policies and interventions to remedy these perceived faults. In his book Economics and the Public Purpose (1973) he proposed the extension of the planning system used in the industrial core of the economy to the wider market economy. He argued for a new socialism, with more steeply progressive taxes, public housing, medical care and transportation, public support of the arts and the conversion of some corporations and military contractors into public corporations.
He was the most read social scientist of his era. Galbraith's association with the U.S. Democratic Party and his criticism of fellow economists, who promoted individualistic free-market economics that he perceived as a false social reality, occasioned strong responses. He was of the opinion that "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding".
In the midst of the Watergate scandal in the summer of 1973 Galbraith was called by Adrian Malone of the BBC and asked if he would be interested in doing a television series on the history of economic or social ideas. Galbraith had been thinking of retirement but quickly accepted Malone's proposal. At an early point they settled on the title "Age of Uncertainty" to reflect the sharp contrast between the great certainty in 19th century economic thought with the much less assured views in modern times.
As discussions about the series continued a further theme was developed: that what people believe about the workings of markets and their relationships to the state shapes history through the laws that are enacted or discarded. It was therefore decided that the treatment of these themes would loosely fall into two parts, ideas followed by their consequences.
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