23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

4.3 12
by Ha-Joon Chang
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1608191664

ISBN-13: 9781608191666

Pub. Date: 01/04/2011

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Thing 1: There is no such thing as free market.
Thing 4: The washing machine has changed the world more than the Internet.
Thing 5: Assume the worst about people, and you get the worst.
Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer.

If you've wondered how we did not see the economic collapse coming, Ha-Joon

Overview

Thing 1: There is no such thing as free market.
Thing 4: The washing machine has changed the world more than the Internet.
Thing 5: Assume the worst about people, and you get the worst.
Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer.

If you've wondered how we did not see the economic collapse coming, Ha-Joon Chang knows the answer: We didn't ask what they didn't tell us about capitalism. This is a lighthearted book with a serious purpose: to question the assumptions behind the dogma and sheer hype that the dominant school of neoliberal economists-the apostles of the freemarket-have spun since the Age of Reagan.

Chang, the author of the international bestseller Bad Samaritans, is one of the world's most respected economists, a voice of sanity-and wit-in the tradition of John Kenneth Galbraith and Joseph Stiglitz. 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism equips readers with an understanding of how global capitalism works-and doesn't. In his final chapter, "How to Rebuild the World," Chang offers a vision of how we can shape capitalism to humane ends, instead of becoming slaves of the market.

Ha-Joon Chang teaches in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge. His books include the bestselling Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism. His Kicking Away the Ladder received the 2003 Myrdal Prize, and, in 2005, Chang was awarded the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608191666
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
01/04/2011
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
725,621
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

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23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
willyvan More than 1 year ago
Ha-Joon Chang, Reader in the Political Economy of Development at Cambridge University, has written a fascinating book on capitalism's failings. He also wrote the brilliant Bad Samaritans. Martin Wolf of the Financial Times says he is 'probably the world's most effective critic of globalisation'. Chang takes on the free-marketers'' dogmas and proposes ideas like - there is no such thing as a free market; the washing machine has changed the world more than the internet has; we do not live in a post-industrial age; globalisation isn't making the world richer; governments can pick winners; some rules are good for business; US (and British) CEOs are overpaid; more education does not make a country richer; and equality of opportunity, on its own, is unfair. He notes that the USA does not have the world's highest living standard. Norway, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Sweden and the USA, in that order, had the highest incomes per head. On income per hours worked, the USA comes eighth, after Luxemburg, Norway, France, Ireland, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands. Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, Finland and Sweden have the highest industrial output per person. Free-market politicians, economists and media have pushed policies of de-regulation and pursuit of short-term profits, causing less growth, more inequality, more job insecurity and more frequent crises. Britain's growth rate in income per person per year was 2.4 per cent in the 1960s-70s and 1.7 per cent 1990-2009. Rich countries grew by 3 per cent in the 1960s-70s and 1.4 per cent 1980-2009. Developing countries grew by 3 per cent in the 1960s-70s and 2.6 per cent 1980-2009. Latin America grew by 3.1 per cent in the 1960s-70s and 1.1 per cent 1980-2009, and Sub-Saharan Africa by 1.6 per cent in the 1960s-70s and 0.2 per cent 1990-2009. The world economy grew by 3.2 per cent in the 1960s-70s and 1.4 per cent 1990-2009. So, across the world, countries did far better before Thatcher and Reagan's 'free-market revolution'. Making the rich richer made the rest of us poorer, cutting economies' growth rates, and investment as a share of national output, in all the G7 countries. Chang shows how free trade is not the way to grow and points out that the USA was the world's most protectionist country during its phase of ascendancy, from the 1830s to the 1940s, and that Britain was one of world's the most protectionist countries during its rise, from the 1720s to the 1850s. He shows how immigration controls keep First World wages up; they determine wages more than any other factor. Weakening those controls, as the EU demands, lowers wages. He challenges the conventional wisdom that we must cut spending to cut the deficit. Instead, we need controls capital, on mergers and acquisitions, and on financial products. We need the welfare state, industrial policy, and huge investment in industry, infrastructure, worker training and R&D. As Chang points out, "Even though financial investments can drive growth for a while, such growth cannot be sustained, as those investments have to be ultimately backed up by viable long-term investments in real sector activities, as so vividly shown by the 2008 financial crisis." This book is a commonsense, evidence-based approach to economic life, which we should urge all our friends and colleagues to read.
steve10 More than 1 year ago
Not sure why it didn't download for the other reviewer, but I had no problem purchasing it, and it downloaded just fine to my own Nook Color in seconds. BTW, I purchased this book based on other online reviews, including by John Gray of The Observer in the UK, who pointed out the following regarding Chang's criticism of capitalism: ?'Chang may be our best critic of capitalism, but he is far from being any kind of anti-capitalist. He recognises the failings of centrally planned economies, and rightly describes capitalism as "the worst economic system except for all the others". Chang states that there are a number of competing forms of capitalism, and that it doesn't do much good to cling to one's own definition with blinders vs the others. "There are different ways to organise capitalism. Free-market capitalism is only one of them - and not a very good one at that. There is no one ideal model."
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RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Economist Ha-Joon Chang challenges conventional thinking about economics with 23 points you may not know about market economies. He takes on those who righteously defend unbridled free-market capitalism and minimal regulation as the only paths to financial nirvana for all. Using compelling research, statistics and case studies, Chang explains how change disarms the fiercest “free-marketeers” of their received wisdom. While some of his arguments may be debatable, he offers an interesting alternative to the other explanations for the world’s currently dismal fiscal dilemma and uncertain political landscape. getAbstract recommends this fresh interpretation to readers interested in their own, and the world’s, economic future.
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HLB_Engineering More than 1 year ago
This item did not correctly download to my brand new Nook Color. And Barnes & Noble won't respond to my repeated emails/contact forms re: the matter. A real shame as this looks like a very good book. Thanks much. Harry Lynn Beck, P.E.