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23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism | [Ha-Joon Chang]

23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism

If you've wondered how we did 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 the dominant school of neoliberal economists-the apostles of the freemarket-have spun since the Age of Reagan.
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Publisher's Summary

Thing 1: There is no such thing as the free market.
Thing 4: The washing machine has changed the world more than the Internet.
Thing 5: Assume the worst about people, and you get the worst.
Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer.

If you've wondered how we did 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 the dominant school of neoliberal economists - the apostles of the freemarket - have spun since the Age of Reagan.

Chang, the author of the international best seller Bad 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 Capitalism equips listeners 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.

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

©2011 Ha-Joon Chang (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Shaking Economics 101 assumptions to the core … Eminently accessible, with a clearly liberal (or at least anticonservative) bent, but with surprises along the way—for one, the thought that markets need to become less rather than more efficient." (Kirkus Reviews)

"An advocate of big, active government and capitalism as distinct from a free market, Chang presents an enlightening précis of modern economic thought - and all the places it's gone wrong, urging us to act in order to completely rebuild the world economy: 'This will make some readers uncomfortable... it is time to get uncomfortable.'" (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (679 )
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  •  
    Harald Anthem, AZ, United States 06-10-13
    Harald Anthem, AZ, United States 06-10-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
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    Story
    "Worthless book with factual errors"
    Would you try another book from Ha-Joon Chang and/or Joe Barrett?

    Ha-Joon Chang no way.Joe Barret yes.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ha-Joon Chang again?

    No


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was good.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment as it contain incorrect "facts".


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Mabry, Jr. 05-16-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "23 Things I questioned regarding capitalism answer"

    This is by far the best book on economics that I have read. Dr. Chang is clear, articulate, interesting and at times even humorous as he peels back the myths people believe regarding capitalism as well as the misunderstandings and false assumptions most folks labor under regarding this American sacred cow. He is in no way anti capitalism. Like Churchhill was about democracy, Chang argues that capitalism is the best of many poor economic choices. He does go into great detail explaining how he believes this sacred system could be tweaked and engineered to serve more of society with better outcomes. This liberal message did more to move me to the right in my economic philosophy than anything that I have read. He gave me hope that there can be a form of capitalism that does not produce more losers than winners. I am looking forward to reading his previous book, Bad Samaritans .

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Leawood, KS, United States 12-26-11
    William Leawood, KS, United States 12-26-11 Member Since 2015

    Bill K

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent critique of present day economics"
    What made the experience of listening to 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism the most enjoyable?

    A liberal's view of what's right and wrong with both free market and government controlled economics.


    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Chesley, Ontario, Canada 02-08-12
    Stephen Chesley, Ontario, Canada 02-08-12
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    "Must read for many."
    What did you love best about 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism?

    Should be mandatory reading for all politicians and bankers.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not applicable.


    What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He does not stumble over the big words.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Global finances 101.


    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Southfield, MI, United States 01-09-12
    Timothy Southfield, MI, United States 01-09-12 Member Since 2010

    Lars

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What They Don't Tell You"

    I agree with most of the analysis and conclusions of this book. The author promises to talk plainly about the economic points he is making -- but the "econ-o-speak" is definitely still present. Some of the information could have been better translated into everyday English.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sami Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 01-09-12
    Sami Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 01-09-12 Member Since 2010

    Addicted to audible. One the best things that happened to me

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not like anything else I read"

    This book is a must read for developing nations that are following blindly what is done at the developed countries economies without considering their action.

    I read this book with an open mind. Its rationale, articulate and precise thoughts made me listen carefully to every word with all my senses. Surely, after done reading it, you will believe that the market is not as free as we like to think it is, but rather as long as humane efforts are based on individualism and the interest of big powers vs. those who are crushed in developing and underdeveloped nations, the world will never have hope for the future. It is only by the collective minds and powers of all people can we overtake this critical stage in humanity's life.

    Finally, it is interesting to listen to this book from a southern American accent while the author is Korean!

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjam!n 12-26-11
    Benjam!n 12-26-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very interesting and enlightening"
    What did you love best about 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism?

    A great informative book, that helped me see deeper into economics and policies. I saw it as a center of the isle view into what is going on.


    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Choon Seoul, Korea (South) 12-19-11
    Choon Seoul, Korea (South) 12-19-11
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    "Wows and hmms"
    What did you love best about 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism?

    Gives you new insight on free market capitalism and as you read along you start to realize about the problems that lied underneath our current economic crisis isn't just a coincidence. Offers you new sight and viewpoints on current


    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R.S. Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada 10-13-11
    R.S. Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada 10-13-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Lucid and Clear"

    This book is a lucid and clear disquisition on what goes for "free market" thinking. It examines 23 commonly expressed platitudes about economics and where they fail to explain economic and financial processes. It thereby provides interesting insights to the financial failures of 2008 and the present days. The reading matches the writing, making it difficult to put down. I now want to review the arguments on paper, as they are worthy of closer study.

    5 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs West Pymble, Australia 10-24-12
    Mrs West Pymble, Australia 10-24-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "23 Things .. I don't think so"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I might be a little impatient and I did start flicking through chapters at the end, I would recommend listening to the book but only the first 5 min of last 14 points. I have to say I did take away a few really good points and questions on process, and what I though some solid arguments for the points being raised. The book was detracted from however in the second half as the view for the justifications started to get less factual and more "evangelical" in my view.

    All in all I think a 4 star book if you do the "Abridged" version by listening to the first few chapters in full and then just the opening, as the reasoning becomes repetitive and the points less relevant.

    I listened to this and then "The Age of Turbulence" gave an interesting view into some of the comments.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    There were some great points raised that I think sparked the thought process and will continue to float in the back of my mind, especially when the discussion of "free markets", "wage control" etc arise.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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