This book calls on America to return to its abandoned role, to offer a helping hand instead of a closed fist to countries struggling to follow in our footsteps....
Now, in an entertaining and accessible primer, Ha-Joon Chang explains how the global economy actually works - in real-world terms....
Ha-Joon Chang claims that First World economic success was due to exactly the kinds of state intervention that traditional economic thinking consistently opposes today....
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Black Swan, a bold new work that challenges many of our long-held beliefs about risk and reward, politics and religion....
A hilarious investigation into future technologies - from how to fling a ship into deep space on the cheap to 3D organ printing....
50 Economics Classics is the smart person's guide to two centuries of discussion of finance, capitalism, and the global economy....
Governments today in both Europe and the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse....
Noam Chomsky is universally accepted as one of the preeminent public intellectuals of the modern era....
In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from 20 countries, ranging as far back as the 18th century, to uncover key economic and social patterns....
The Economics of Inequality is the ideal place to start for those who want to understand the fundamental issues at the heart of contemporary economics....
Noam Chomsky is widely regarded as the most influential thinker of our time, but never before has he devoted a major book to one topic: income inequality....
Noam Chomsky argues that the United States, through its military-first policies and its unstinting devotion to maintaining a world-spanning empire, is risking catastrophe....
The top 1 percent of Americans control 40 percent of the nation's wealth. Stiglitz draws on his deep understanding of economics to show that growing inequality is not inevitable....
Renowned economist and former finance minister of Greece Yanis Varoufakis gives the full account of his momentous clash with the mightiest economic and political forces on earth....
With his trademark sardonic wit and lacerating logic, Frank lays bare the essence of the Democratic Party's philosophy and how it has changed over the years....
Here, anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: He shows that before there was money, there was debt....
In The End of Alchemy, Mervyn King offers us an essential work about the history and future of money and banking, the keys to modern finance....
Here is a bracing deconstruction of the framework for understanding the world that is learned as gospel in Economics 101, regardless of its imaginary assumptions and half truths....
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.
Pretty interesting but some parts were a little complicated to someone like me. I understand some basic economics but some of the things he discusses are fairly technical and in depth. Still very interesting nonetheless
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Overall I thing Chang was successful in offering up an alternative viewpoint to the free-market capitalism rhetoric that is prominent in certain circles. However I find some of the arguments presented very thin and I do believe that Chang picks and chooses historical perspective when it suits his argument. I also believe that he does over-simplify many arguments for the his opposition. With that said, in other respects he does present data and case studies that suggest that the "free-market" policies should be more scrutinized and not taken as common sense.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
An excellent introduction for someone with no background in economics. Yet, so one-sided it's not even funny. Feels like only half the story.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
This book was a little bit too technical for me. Didn't tell enough of a story and it didn't engage me that much.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I support the free market and capitalism, but nothing is perfect, so I bought this book to see how it could be better. What I got was some unsubstantial arguments and a feeling of who cares.
He starts out by saying we have no free market because we have laws such as you can not make cars that pollute. I understood this, but thought he was being pretty picky. This then was the foundation for much of the rest of what I listened to. He was as bad as Rush Limbaugh when it comes to cherry picking his arguments and putting words into those who disagree.
I was educated in that I learned that large corporations that just try to make money for their share holders helped bring down manufacturing. I agreed, but did not see what I could do about this.
Several of his things left me thinking, And I care Why?
Unless your a socialist who likes listening to someone who thinks like you, I believe this to be a waste of your time.
126 of 157 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
We all know that not all narrators are created equal and one listener's favorite is another listener's turn-off. For me Joe Barrett is in the latter category...but you may love to listen to his voice - I do not.
What was most disappointing about Ha-Joon Chang’s story?
I thought the structure of the story, didn't work for an audio book. Each "thing" is laid out as 1) What the thing is they don't tell you about capitalism 2) What "they" tell you 3) What "they" don't want you to know. This structure may work when you're reading the book, but for me, it just didn't work as a "listen"...I kept finding myself asking, wait, is THIS the "spin" part or the "truth" part. Maybe my level of concentration isn't up to the challenge of this book - but for me it just didn't work...I found it toomoved on to another book half way through.
How could the performance have been better?
The performance was fine I just didn't care for the sound of the narrator's voice.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Dissapointment...I was hoping it would be a more enjoyable listen.
23 of 30 people found this review helpful
Difficult to read because of the authors level of distain for the method of capitalism used in the US.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
This book contains some interesting anecdotes, if you can keep your blood pressure down. I only made it half way through. The only way in which I could recommend this work is as an example of everything that's wrong with political and economic discourse. It's not actually a book on economics by any stretch of the imagination. It is an overtly political book, which sets up a straw man in the form of "free market economists" and proceeds, impotently, to attempt to knock it down. Here is a summary of my reasons for hating it:
- It argues against people, not ideas. For example, it argues that opposing protectionism is an invalid opinion because several illustrious American politicians were in favor of it. It then counters the perceived "counter-argument" that Jefferson was for free trade by stating that he was also against patents, which makes him inconsistent with other free market economists. No discussion of the actual merits of free trade seems to be present here.
- It throws around lots of statistics about prices, wage rates, per capita income, and so on very carelessly. No specification is ever even given as to whether the figures are real or nominal ones.
- The book assumes a great deal about the reader. For example, it seems to pander to an audience that desires secure jobs with as little variation in work responsibilities as possible. The book repeatedly characterizes changing jobs often, working part time, or working harder as bad, with no explanation as to why it makes these assumptions.
- Many arguments are not arguments at all, and are easily debunked via reductio ad absurdum. Of course the author seems to be attempting to weasel out of this trap by not presenting any concrete opinions of his own, only attacking others', but that doesn't really improve anything for me. For example, he claims outright that capital flow across borders causes instability and is bad for growth. If this is true, then where is the limit? Should each town have capital flow restrictions to neighboring towns? Why are national boundaries the right lines of delineation?
- Many arguments seem circular. For instance, although lip service is payed to certain historical "collective actions" causing certain countries to become rich, this seems to become a circular argument when it is claimed that the rich only do these "collective actions" because of their existing circumstances. Or maybe the collective actions were something else, and the author was only referring to the productivity of the rich. I have no idea, and the author does nothing to help elucidate his points.
- The author is a big fan of China as an example of a heavily controlled economy experiencing great growth. He never addresses the obvious issues that: 1. Much of this growth is in "special economic zones" with more freedom than the rest of the country 2. Much of it is via foreign direct investment 3. The conventional wisdom is that China began to grow after liberalization under Deng Xiaoping.
- What finally stopped me was the author's quite un-nuanced use of the US as an example of the success of protectionism, while ignoring that the US itself was the largest economic union in history. Given its continual wars with European powers, the only other major economic powers of the time, the US had many security and other non-economic reasons for protectionism. This is ignored.
196 of 276 people found this review helpful
What would have made 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism better?
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.
Would you ever listen to anything by Ha-Joon Chang again?
Which scene was your favorite?
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!
What character would you cut from 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism?
Any additional comments?
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.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful
Criticism of democracy and capitalism is quite popular around the world. But, as Winston Churchill quotes, in a speech to the House of Commons in 1947, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Professor Ha-Joon Chang, the author of “23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism” suggests the same sentiment about capitalism. Capitalism is the worst form of economic development, except for all the others.
However, Chang is not exactly saying capitalism is better than other economic systems. Chang believes capitalism is falsely defined or understood. Capitalism is a chimera, “a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory…” A standard definition of capitalism is—an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit. Synonyms are free enterprise, private enterprise, or free market economy.
Chang suggests a misunderstanding of what makes capitalism work is causing 1) inequality of opportunity, 2) inequality of income, 3) failure to provide a safety net that capitalizes on human potential, 4) loss opportunity for synergistic government and private sector research and development, and 5) a false science of economics that idealistically represents capitalist complexity. Chang suggests misunderstanding capitalism creates a false vision, like that in the movie “Matrix”, with human presumption of freedom, when there is none. It is not that there is no freedom in capitalism but it is regulated and significantly defined by government policy.
In the end, Chang is an optimist. He believes the general public will demand change. Chang reinforces belief in capitalism as the best economic system in the world. With better understanding of how capitalism really works, Chang infers civilization will continue to improve.
11 of 17 people found this review helpful
Loved this book, well thought out and fascinating insight in to capitalism. I hold a lot of the same view as the author but regardless I think more people should know of the underlying problems with our current system.
After listening to the book I can no longer hear a news report when the word "deregulation" is mentioned without me thinking back to this book, and thinking who it is really benefiting?
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Loved it. Learned a lot about how politics speak, and how rubbish it truly is.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Written in 2010 this book was a chilling premonition of Brexit & election of Trump.
Excellent description of the failures of Free Market economics.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Wow, if only everybody would read this book and start making changes to this increasingly misfunctioning global economy! Ha-Joon Chang named everything that I feel is wrong with today's world and his book has armed me with strong arguments for future debates with free-market zealots.
Politics aside, this is a must-read for anyone even mildly interested in current affairs, definitely not just for readers interested in economics! It's wonderfuly accessible, engaging and eye-opening book that will make you question everything you have heard about economy in recent years.
The reader is great and the audiobook is a pure joy to listen to. I like this book so much that I will buy a paper copy for future reference. Plus, I would love to listen to his previous book Bad Samaritans.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful
Would rather it was read by the author but still the content was good. Easier to listen to than read. Often I find reading economics books that I can become lost. A human voice signposted things better and made the ideas easier to follow.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If every educated man read this the world would change. This is the medicine needed to cure minds locked into the fantasy of neo liberalism and free market capitalism
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
While I am of a socialist inclination, and the author is very much not, his exposition of the failures of the neoliberalism economic school is a compelling and well set out introduction to the notion that there very much are alternatives to the way in which our economies have been run for the last three and a half decades.
In layman's terms throughout, it is suitable for those who would like to know more, and the reading is excellent.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Very interesting and listenable. He exposes the unacceptable face of capitalism and how the richest in society are protected as opposed to the masses.
This book is clarifying and interesting. Why despite many good economic news the live standards fell down in many development counties? Listen and discover.
Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in an honest analysis.of modern capitalism and todays finance. The book will make you question a lot.of things that we are made to believe are great or are fundamental to modern economy. Great book! Looking forward to more work from the author.