In response to:
How to Get Ahead: From an Address to the Yale Graduating Class from the July 19, 1979 issue
To the Editors:
In your July 19, 1979 issue you reprinted a speech given by J. Kenneth Galbraith at Yale. You incorrectly indicate that this was the Commencement address. It was an address at the Class Day of the Yale College graduates. Yale University has no Commencement address.
Stephen A. Kezerian
University Communications and Information
News Bureau Director
New Haven, Connecticut
John Kenneth Galbraith replies:
My address to the graduating class in New Haven, for those who did not hear or read, was on how, in these days of deeply thoughtful self-concern, Yale graduates could serve themselves and the rich while persuading themselves, and perhaps even others, that they are compassionately on the side of the masses. Never ask for more pay or lower taxes. Instead speak reverently of the need for greater incentive for investment and job creation. And so on. When I saw that the editors had given my homily the seemingly official sanction of the commencement address, I thought that the University would be pleased. Here was proof that the liberal ambiguities of the Brewster years were at an end. Money could now flow in. A rich and literate Yale man did write to tell me how much he liked my new design for self-interest, but the University, as we see, protests. Its unfashionable and unsophisticated commitment to the masses is unshakable, at least in that most strategic (and tautological) of sanctuaries the office of University Communications and Information. I underestimated you, Mr. Kezerian, and I am sorry.
September 27, 1979