“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable” — John Kenneth Galbraith
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In this quote, John Kenneth Galbraith is criticizing the field of economic forecasting. His view seems to be that attempting to predict future economic conditions and trends is as unrealistic and unreliable as astrology.
By calling economic forecasting the “only function” of astrology, Galbraith implies that forecasting serves more to legitimize an implausible practice than to actually provide useful information.
The best interpretation is that Galbraith believed economic forecasting to be an inexact science with questionable ability to anticipate economic changes, making it more comparable to astrology than a true analytical discipline in his view.