23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

Ha-Joon Chang

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 1608193381

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The acclaimed Ha-Joon Chang is a voice of sanity-and wit-in this lighthearted book with a serious purpose: to question the assumptions behind the dogma and sheer hype that the dominant school of neoliberal economists have spun since the Age of Reagan. 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism uses twenty-three short essays (a few great examples: "There Is No Such Thing as a Free Market," "The Washing Machine Has Changed the World More than the Internet Has") to equip readers with an understanding of how global capitalism works, and doesn't, while offering a vision of how we can shape capitalism to humane ends, instead of becoming slaves of the market.

Praise for 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism:

"A lively, accessible and provocative book."-Sunday Times (UK )

"Chang, befitting his position as an economics professor at Cambridge University, is engagingly thoughtful and opinionated at a much lower decibel level. 'The "truths" peddled by free-market ideologues are based on lazy assumptions and blinkered visions,' he charges."-Time

The Production of Difference: Race and the Management of Labor in U.S. History

Introducing Capitalism: A Graphic Guide

The Second Era of Great Expansion of the Capitalist World-Economy, 1730s-1840s (The Modern World-System, Volume 3)

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism















Africa was estimated to be $952 in 2007. This is somewhat higher than the $880 of South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), but lower than that of any other region of the world. What is more, many people talk of Africa’s ‘growth tragedy’. Unlike South Asia, whose growth rates have picked up since the 1980s, Africa seems to be suffering from ‘a chronic failure of economic growth’.1 Sub-Saharan Africa’s per capita income today is more or less the

today’s rich countries have developed despite suffering from similar handicaps.4 Let us first take the case of the climate. Tropical climate is supposed to cripple economic growth by creating health burdens due to tropical diseases, especially malaria. This is a terrible problem, but surmountable. Many of today’s rich countries used to have malaria and other tropical diseases, at least during the summer – not just Singapore, which is bang in the middle of the tropics, but also Southern Italy,

rather than a natural, construction. In other words, rich countries do not suffer from ethnic heterogeneity not because they do not have it but because they have succeeded in nation-building (which, we should note, was often an unpleasant and even violent process). People say that bad institutions are holding back Africa (and they are), but when the rich countries were at similar levels of material development to those we find in Africa currently, their institutions were in a far worse state.6

which has served humanity so poorly, and install a better-regulated variety. What that variety would be depends on our goals, values and beliefs. Second: we should build our new economic system on the recognition that human rationality is severely limited. The 2008 crisis has revealed how the complexity of the world we have created, especially in the sphere of finance, has vastly outpaced our ability to understand and control it. Our economic system has had a mighty fall because it was rewired

the problem, not a solution to the ills of our society. True, there are instances of government failure – sometimes spectacular ones – but markets and corporations fail too and, more importantly, there are many examples of impressive government success. The role of the government needs to be thoroughly reassessed. This is not just about crisis management, evident since 2008, even in the avowedly free-market economies, such as the US. It is more about creating a prosperous, equitable and stable

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