John Maynard Keynes was the guru of the new economics. Galbraith and other young enthusiasts heralded his concept of state responsibility for economic management, even to the extent of deficit spending, as revolutionary (American businessmen said heretical), and appointed themselves his disciples. Galbraith had gone to Cambridge intending to study under him, but Keynes was recovering from a heart attack and did not teach that year.
Now he had materialised in Galbraith's office, quite without fanfare. Keynes came right to the point, which was hogs and corn - or as he termed it, pigs and fodder. He had brought along "A Memorandum on the Pig/Pig Fodder Ratio", and he was anxious to talk about the very important matter of how to price corn in relation to pigs to avoid wasted grain but still ensure an adequate supply of pork. Keynes was ever the pragmatist. As the bursar of King's College, he regularly oversaw the farming of college land, studied the finer points of livestock and attended pig sales, and he had even tried breeding.
Any semblance of work was abandoned that day. Later, there would be discussion of a more arcane nature, but Galbraith never forgot that on this first occasion he and Keynes met not as the young price czar and the most influential economist of the century, but as an ex-farmboy and his much-admired mentor, who just happened to run a pig farm on the sideReuse content