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illustration by Ken Garduno PREDATORY PACHYDERMS Government of Big Business, by Big Business, and for Big Business. From The Predator State by James K. Galbraith. Copyright 2008 by James Galbraith. Reprinted by permission of Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. In his new book, The Predator State, James Galbraith charts the course of U.S. economic policy over the past 30 years, leading to the disastrous economics of the Bush presidency. Galbraithan Observer contributing writer and holder of the Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texasshows how the ideology of the free market failed in application under Reagan but devolved into a mythology that still has many Democratic leaders mouthing its creed. Meanwhile, Republicans under Bush have moved on to a new vision of the corporate republic, in which public purpose and public resources become fodder for corporate profit. In the following excerpt from the book, Galbraithson of the late economist, author, and ambassador, John Kenneth Galbraithexplains the current health-care and publiceducation debates as they play out in the “predator state.” 18 THE TEXAS OBSERVER SEPTEMBER 5, 2008