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23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism Paperback – January 17, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
1)"There is no such thing as a free market" - we already have hygiene standards in restaurants, ban child labor, pollution, narcotics, bribery, and dangerous workplaces, require licenses for professions such as doctors, lawyers, and brokers, and limit immigration. In 2008, the U.S.Read more ›
The 23 things he discusses can be roughly clustered into a number of groups: he discusses the orthodoxies of free trade as against protectionism, the orthodoxies of free markets as against government intervention, the orthodoxies of wage policy (particularly the idea that wages are infallibly determined by individual marginal productivity), the orthodoxy that inequality of income and outcome does not matter, and finally the idea that financial managers and economists know best. On all of these points, he has very important lessons to convey to policymakers, civil servants, and the general public to show that these things should either be rejected out of hand or be taken with a large truckload of salt. Using the strengths of economic history, he accessibly shows in each of these cases how the cliché is either refuted by the facts or itself an incoherent idea, or both.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Provocative Counterpoint to Conventional Free-Market Dogma. While a bit polemical it offers some interesting alternatives to economic theories that have consistently failed to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dana D.
Excellent book for the layperson, for anyone who wants to understand how our capitalist system works. Professor Chang has a great sense of humor as well.Published 2 months ago by Barbara P.H.
Questions many assumptions about capitalism and 'free trade' that even many anti-capitalist miss. (i.e. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Edward W. Duhaime
Let’s call this book what it is, an attack on free-trade. If I remove the “Things” primarily regarding trade, this may be one of the most free-market books I’ve read yet. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Derek Zweig
A quick lesson in Economics 100 and current political trends Mr. Chang provides in his excellent book.Published 4 months ago by Frank A. Longoria
Ha-Joon Chang’s book comprises 23 “things” (chapters) that each states one claim made by exponents of free markets, then tears it to pieces with examples of economic development... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ross W V Milburn
Another tremendous economics book. Literally shaking the foundations of the present Weltbild. Read more