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23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (2010)

by Ha-Joon Chang(Favorite Author)
3.96 of 5 Votes: 2
1608191664 (ISBN13: 9781608191666)
Bloomsbury Press
review 1: Winston Churchill once famously remarked "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."Combining a delectable mix of irreverent wit, dollops of common sense and precocious statistics, Ha-Joon Chang delivers a veritable tour de force scything wide open some of the 'taken-for-granted' virtues of unbridled capitalism.Setting out 23 concrete examples, this intrepid Economist ventures to debunk what he himself terms to be "myths" in the form of neo- liberal ideologies. Ranging from the tickle down effect to the pressing need for regulating esoteric financial instruments once termed "financial weapons of mass destruction" by Warren Buffet, Ha-Joon Chang revels in his methodical, meticulous... more and meaningful dismantling of ultra-capitalist notions.The most heartening feature of this book is the fluid language employed to explain even complicated topics. One need not be an Economist to grasp the contours of the logic elucidated by this ebullient economist. For example when explaining the perils and deviousness of excessive immigration control, the author provides a classic example of obscene differentials in the level of wages earned between a bus driver in Scandinavia and his counterpart in India - an unfair scenario especially when considering the fact that the Scandinavian driver in all probability would never have encountered a situation of having had to dodge a cow in stark distinction to his Indian counterpart.23 Things... is a fervent appeal to the policy makers, public and the proponents of neo liberalism to untangle the global economy from the complicated and avoidable mess that it finds itself in today. And the most realistic manner in which such a liberating deed is by a thorough, clinical and candid reassessment, reevaluation and review of some of the myopic and jaundiced policies being practiced today.
review 2: The title if provocative, but the author says he has nothing against capitalism only the overstated claims that a completely "free market" will cure all ills. First of all, there are few entirely free markets and the United States is definitely not one of them. (The book Travels of a T-shirt in a Global Economy says that an unofficial used clothing bazaar in Africa was the only free market an average T-shirt goes through.) The concern I have had, watching the development of various countries, is that the IMF countries insist that developing countries use policies the developed countries never used. All of the developed nations went through periods of protectionism and direct government involvement in some industries as they were growing (King Cotton being one example as it is still subsidized in the USA). less
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All the things you suspected, explained by an economist at Cambridge. I recommend it highly.
Didn't agree with many of his conclusions, but the book is well written.
Great read on some common misunderstanding of capitalism.
This is consistent with with Prof Chang's thinking.
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