Affluent society - American business
The term affluent society comes from economist John Kenneth Galbraith’s 1958 book The Affluent Society. Writing during a period when the United States maintained unilateral dominance of the global economy, Galbraith predicted a widening gap between rich and poor which, in turn, would destabilize economic systems. To overcome the disparities between the wealthiest and poorest Americans, Galbraith argued for significant public investment in education, transportation, parks, and social needs.
The Affluent Society remains a classic analysis of the conflict between capitalism and society’s needs. Using the language and logic of an economist, Galbraith articulated more expanded economic role for government than was generally accepted at that time. His book is credited with influencing such politicians as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. The affluent society has come to symbolize widespread prosperity, sometimes referring to levels of conspicuous consumption associated with 1980s in the United States.
Galbraith, John Kenneth. The Affluent Society. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1958.