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23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism Audiobook

23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism

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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Marcus White Earth 05-29-16
    Marcus White Earth 05-29-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much like a textbook"

    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
  •  
    Fred 02-15-16
    Fred 02-15-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Extremely liberal viewpoint"

    Difficult to read because of the authors level of distain for the method of capitalism used in the US.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer the Hague 02-03-16
    Amazon Customer the Hague 02-03-16 Member Since 2015
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    "mindful economics.."

    this book is a must read for future policy makers, well argumented and carrying a powerful message

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anja Schmidt Denmark 12-27-15
    Anja Schmidt Denmark 12-27-15 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Balanced reveiw"
    What made the experience of listening to 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism the most enjoyable?

    I particularly liked the points about education, immigration and service economy because he explains so well why some of these things that most are quite inclined to believe in might not be such good ideas after all.


    Any additional comments?

    It promotes some reflection about asumptions that we often consider to be self-evident.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    startup_eng1 Tavares, Florida United States 10-12-15
    startup_eng1 Tavares, Florida United States 10-12-15
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    "Very interesting!"

    The author's focus is on the problems free trade has caused in the world's markets. I have not read his first book, Bad Samaritans, but I will now based on what I learned from this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alessio 09-30-15
    Alessio 09-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "This Ignoramus Should Read, Not Write, Books"
    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?

    No.


    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?

    Ha-Joon Chang.


    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    todd United States 05-28-13
    todd United States 05-28-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nothing to Say"
    What would have made 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism better?

    If the author didn't hide behind his understanding of the issue in order to promote his agenda. There are brief snippets that we see the author stating that we do not have capitalism, but rather than addressing that fact he is constantly setting up strawmen in order to push a story. His interpretation of history like his definition of capitalism is questionable, but he never stops to discuss, each section is a sprint in order to get to the point he can shout about how bad free exchange is. Nothing new, interesting, or true here.


    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Maple Ridge, BC 03-25-13
    Karen Maple Ridge, BC 03-25-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Balanced and informative"

    I love the fact that I can listen to a capitalist who can distinguish between reality (humans are not necessarily rational and the market will not necessarily create the best outcomes if left alone) and fantasy (free markets are the ultimate moral force). I now have a much clearer understanding of where the economy has gone wrong, and what can be done about it. Excellent!

    18 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dCote 01-23-12
    dCote 01-23-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Accessible & Worthy"

    Appreciated the easy not overtly technical way Ha-Joon Chang laid out points on how USA have interpreted capitalism through domino choices. I walked away thinking Capitalism equals Politics whether that nature of leadership is in government or business with each describing and acquiring their own piece of the pie.

    Each thing was well explained and seemed uncomfortably factual. The first thing "there is no such thing as a free market" is like "fat-free" there is no such thing as free. Thing 4 "the washing machine has changed the world more than the Internet" helped me understand the efficiency and liberation of what inventiveness has and has not done for our political system. And especially right now, I totally agreed with thing 13 "making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer" - there is no such thing has trickle down in a broad and lasting sense. Hence the 99% vs 1% protests. Thing 15 " People in poor countries are more entrepeneurial than people in rich countries" is just like a kid (adult or young) clamoring to be bored while having way too many toys in the box with the lack of motivation to master anyone of them. The gulp and contrary thought I had was on thing 22 with financial markets need to become less, not more, efficient".

    Chang's views seem arrestingly accurate and yet the reforms seem extremely far reaching with today's leadership. This easy to listen to book is for the "common day" person who is actually trying to understand how the USA is quivering and crumbling each day for a extremely high percentage of people.

    20 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelson Alexander New York, NY, United States 01-30-11
    Nelson Alexander New York, NY, United States 01-30-11 Member Since 2007
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    Overall
    "Tear Down this Myth"

    Our recent financial meltdown provided a truly dramatic, frightening, undeniable refutation of every single free market verity that has dominated Western thinking since Thatcher and Reagan. It was as if a gigantic mask slipped for a moment. In the event, when all the economic theories proved false, when we learned that our grotesquely overpaid bankers and CEOs have actually been destroying value not building it, what happened?

    They simply grabbed the money anyway. The Bush administration simply violated its own proclaimed ideology, pushed aside legal rules and constitutional niceties, and handed the plutocrats billions in taxpayer funds. It was not just socialism for the rich. It was more like the rich carrying out a brutal smash and grab job on a mammoth scale.

    Since that ugly crime, has free market ideology lost ground in the United States? Hardly. It has only lost its mind. As GOP dissents on the financial crisis report show, Marketism has evolved into a blind, violent fundamentalism complete with a rising cadre of political goons.

    Don't worry, Ha-Joon Chan isn't quite as virulent as I am. He is no fire breathing leftist. I liked this last book "Bad Samaritans" well enough to try this one, and found it an ideal primer on the economic (actually, political) myths that keep our system hurtling towards its next crisis. He takes 23 things you are likely to hear every free market ideologue (and most Americans) utter with confidence, and provides compelling rational and historical refutations.

    And nice tidbits. Did you know, for example, that Marx was actually a bigger fan of the joint stock corporation than was Adam Smith? The brief, thematic chapters and a good reading make this an ideal economics book for the audio format. It is pitched at the average reader, but even those with some background will learn a thing or two.

    Should be required reading for Marketism's brainwashed masses. If you are among them, be brave, read it and think.

    73 of 151 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Gregory Monk
    7/19/17
    Overall
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    "Pulls down neoliberalism expertly"
    Would you listen to 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism again? Why?

    I think it will be useful at some point so as to refresh myself when it comes to those late night drunken debates.


    Any additional comments?

    Understanding that a truly free market would potentially include absolutely no worker rights, child labour and an absence of information on the packaging of the food you purchase better helped me to understand exactly what neoliberalism could become if pursued religiously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard Smithston
    Wiltshire, England.
    7/11/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "An Incredible Listen"

    If you know very little about economics this book is for you. If you are skepitical about free market economics this book is for you.

    It is truly heart warming to know that someone out there in the sphere of economics cares about people and right financial governance in an age where there are so many horrible titans of industry and corrupt politicians trying to screw the world and people for every penny they can get.

    Such a lucid and eye opening listen. Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sian
    1/1/16
    Overall
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    "Clear, incisive, accessible; essential reading"
    Would you listen to 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism again? Why?

    Yes. I already have, three times! Ha-Joon Chang has made a (to me) complex and . mysterious subject accessible, and enabled me better to understand how western economies function and the ways in which western neo-liberal capitalism impacts on other countries and peoples. I think this book should be a core title on the school curriculum.


    What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

    His performance is far and away the best I've encountered in audio-books - his inflection and emphasis demonstrate an understanding of the subject matter and the intentions of the author, and his style is easy, relaxed, very listenable.


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone; read it!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Fredrik
    Eskilstuna, Sweden
    11/14/13
    Overall
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    "Extremely brilliant and insightful!"
    Where does 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best - if not THE best -book about the state of the world today.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • TominCumbria
    England
    6/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A brilliant affirming listen..."

    ...what many of us think, feel and have experienced but can't verbalise quite as well.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Upal
    BELFAST, United Kingdom
    2/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good insight"

    Very insightful but the author left out the crucial economic factor - impact of war

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • pheeqzie
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    11/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliantly presented"

    Delivered in a way that any listener regardless of educational level can comprehend. You don't have to agree with all the views expressed but can't help but appreciate the differing views offered by the author.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    4/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simple and insightful"

    On the whole, a great book if you would like to learn about the mechanisms of modern capitalism. The author generally keeps it simple and explains any jargon that is necessary. I did get a little bored occasionally when numerous facts and figures are mentioned but this is obviously important with a book about economics.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Craig
    Worsley, United Kingdom
    2/18/14
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    Performance
    Story
    "A very important book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism to be better than the print version?

    I think this should be mandatory in colleges across the globe. To say its an eye opener would be understatement of the highest order. At once anger inducing and jaw dropping, the book reveals some real truths about our supposed "experts" who sit on high. Excellent book!


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • firemonkey
    Harrogate, United Kingdom
    12/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Honestly political expose - restores common sense"
    If you could sum up 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism in three words, what would they be?

    The book explains the difference between politics and structure in national economic choices, their contemporary effects, and where the political levers (and true facts) actually are.


    What other book might you compare 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism to, and why?

    I don't read books like this normally, so no comparison yet.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Comfort with the actual honesty about the political nature of the choices and recommendations. Happy to hear well articulated versions of some of the notions I had already formulated. Trouble at the - not entirely new - insights to the not-yet-being-fixed western education systems.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll be listening to this a few times - making it very good value too.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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