23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-01-04
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Press

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Thing 1: There is no such thing as the free market. Thing 5: The washing machine has changed the world more than the Internet. Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer. Thing 22: Financial markets need to become less, not more, efficient. If you've wondered, how did we 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 free-market fundamentalists have spun since the Age of Reagan. Chang, author of the international bestsellerBad 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 Capitalismequips 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.

Author Biography

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

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. x
Introductionp. xiii
There is no such thing as a free marketp. 1
Companies should not be run in the interest of their ownersp. 11
Most people in rich countries are paid more than they should bep. 23
The washing machine has changed the world more than the internet hasp. 31
Assume the worst about people and you get the worstp. 41
Greater macroeconomic stability has not made the world economy more stablep. 51
Free-market policies rarely make poor countries richp. 62
Capital has a nationalityp. 74
We do not live in a post-industrial agep. 88
The US does not have the highest living standard in the worldp. 102
Africa is not destined for underdevelopmentp. 112
Governments can pick winnersp. 125
Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richerp. 137
US managers are over-pricedp. 148
People in poor countries are more entrepreneurial than people in rich countiresp. 157
We are not smart enough to leave things to the marketp. 168
More education in itself is not going to make a country richerp. 178
What is good for General Motors is not necessarily good for the United Statesp. 190
Despite the fall of communism, we are still living in planned economiesp. 199
Equality of opportunity may not be fairp. 210
Big government makes people more open to changep. 221
Financial markets need to become less, not more, efficientp. 231
Good economic policy does not require good economistsp. 242
Conclusion: How to rebuild the world economyp. 252
Notesp. 265
Indexp. 277
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