As someone who grew up in communist Eastern Europe and now lives in the ultimate capitalistic state (the US), I thoroughly enjoyed "reading" this fascinating breakdown of the balance between free capitalism and help/control from the government. It opened my eyes to many things I never knew about how countries don't necessarily do as they preach and a lot of the "advice" to weaker economies is contrary to what is needed for genuine improvement.
I get a high from learning new things and seeing the world in a different light. Books do that for me and audio books fit my daily routine.
I enjoyed the way this book turned many of my previously held assumptions or beliefs up-side-down. The author clearly skewers the economic policies of the free marketeers by demonstrating the flaws in their logic, the important factors they failed to consider, and by presenting the evidence that counters their flawed theories. Everyone interested in the politics and the economy should give this a listen.
I thought "Bad Samaritans," another book by Chang also available here, was the best nonfiction audiobook I have listened to, so I was happy to have the chance to listen to "23 Things" as well.
This one is a bit of a disappointment as an audiobook, because it relies on a "bullet point" style, with headlines announcing the received economic wisdom and then Chang's refutations. This probably makes for a visually appealing book, but it doesn't work so well in the audiobook format, and I found myself getting lost quite a bit.
The audiobook reader doesn't help by over-enunciating phrases which often the points Chang is actually trying to refute. The reader sounds a bit like Casey Kasem delivering a Top 40 list, which detracted from the seriousness of Chang's ideas.
As a complete stranger to economics, I learned much from this appealing book, but I had to rewind often to follow the flow of the argument. I may just check out the physical book from the library instead of trying to listen to it again.
Every point Ha-Joon Chang makes about Capitalism is supported by examples. Every point is very relevant to the world of economics and monetary system structure. This is the best published work I have found advocating a rethinking of our world's monetary and political systems.
In the end this book advocates capitalism and democracy. It suggests that certain ideologies have allowed policies to drift over the decades causing us to loose sight of long term planning, among other things, partially contributing to the greater economic instability felt worldwide today.
Offering excellent data to defend more equatable financial and monetary policies this book is a must have for those interested in monetary policy, finance or economics. However, it requires no prior knowledge of such subjects making it a good introductory book to these subjects.
Unfortunately, there is no technical data about how a improved democratic-capitalistic government-markets would operate but, it definitely establishes a precedent for such work.
Much more interesting NPR voice
More information about differnent countries handle unemployment/ job training/ welfare.
This is good for getting more information about how different countries work and other ideas to improve society as a whole. Worth a listen no matter how you feel about capitalism.
The author should learn something about what he is going to criticize before he sets about criticizing it. But then, if he did, he wouldn't have written the book at all.
The scene where the wealth created by the rich person got magically "redistributed up" from the poor person that didn't create it, to the rich person that did. It was confusing, but hilarious!
He does make a few good points, such as how certain political factors are incorporated into, and shape, markets, without free-market proponents noticing (in chapter 1). On the other hand, he proves practically none of his assertions, and most of his arguments "against" capitalism are based on his own misunderstandings of free-market arguments, i.e., straw-man arguments. As an avid free-marketer myself, I welcome *valid* opposing viewpoints. This book does not supply that.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
This is a refreshing book that explores and argues against some of the most common arguments and points that supporters of capitalism use. It is thought provoking, and raises some very uncomfortable questions about how we work, spend, live and create policies as a global society.
Ha-Joon Chang no way.Joe Barret yes.
The narrator was good.
Disappointment as it contain incorrect "facts".
Some of the things that ruined the book:Fanny May and Freddie Mac was never true private companies. He does not even mention the affordable housing act, and the real involmemnt of these two giants. The time periode from the 80's until now did not have a completely free market as he claims. He also equate personal risk and benefit with the notion that this automatically leads to people trying to cheat and hurt everybody else. This is the worst drivel I have ever tried to read.
Informative, Interesting, Well-written
One of the most interesting and informative books I have read in a very long time.
It touched on such a broad array of areas that covered such diverse and often mundane topics such as market forces, economy, poverty, one could easily get lost.
The author undoubtedly is a great teacher - something rare of very smart people...the ability to impart to others what's in their minds. A must read!
I've been listening to audio books for well over twenty years (even before audible was available). Secretly, I wish I could be a narrator.
This is a very good contrarian economics book that will help you understand opposing economics viewpoints. As an MBA graduate, I've often thought the same way, but didn't have the level of education to explain my logic. Dr. Ha-Joon Chang really made some compelling logical arguments. I really believe the time is ripe for policy makers to rethink old economic ideas vis-a-vis Milton Friedman. The book is written in such a way that anyone can understand it. I highly recommend the book.