Radical Markets

Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society
Narrated by: James Conlan
Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (206 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Revolutionary ideas on how to use markets to bring about fairness and prosperity for all

Many blame today's economic inequality, stagnation, and political instability on the free market. The solution is to rein in the market, right? Radical Markets turns this thinking - and pretty much all conventional thinking about markets, both for and against - on its head. The book reveals bold new ways to organize markets for the good of everyone. It shows how the emancipatory force of genuinely open, free, and competitive markets can reawaken the dormant 19th century spirit of liberal reform and lead to greater equality, prosperity, and cooperation.

Eric Posner and Glen Weyl demonstrate why private property is inherently monopolistic and how we would all be better off if private ownership were converted into a public auction for public benefit. They show how the principle of one person, one vote inhibits democracy, suggesting instead an ingenious way for voters to effectively influence the issues that matter most to them. They argue that every citizen of a host country should benefit from immigration - not just migrants and their capitalist employers. They propose leveraging antitrust laws to liberate markets from the grip of institutional investors and creating a data labor movement to force digital monopolies to compensate people for their electronic data.

Only by radically expanding the scope of markets can we reduce inequality, restore robust economic growth, and resolve political conflicts. But to do that, we must replace our most sacred institutions with truly free and open competition - Radical Markets shows how.

©2018 Princeton University Press (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible Reader ruins this book

The underlying text is greatly interesting — but the reader is just awful, monotone and lacking all comprehension of the underlying material. It’d be like me reading Spanish (which I can pronounce but have only limited understanding of) while smiling the whole time and trying to sound “suave”.
I seriously thought the book would reveal in the end that it was read by a computer, an AI. In which case that AI would have failed the easiest of Turing Tests. I can not recommend this version. Read it instead.

H

7 people found this helpful

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is this a human narrator?

Very interesting book, but it sounds like an AI is narrating, with no common sense breaks between sentences, paragraphs, or even chapters. The pace is brisk and perfectly uniform, through dense and banal passages alike.

I thought at first that it must just be an inexperienced narrator, but he is excellent from a purely technical standpoint: diction is flawless, with no detectable switches from one recording session to another and never a mistimed pause for breath. Maybe he's just profoundly uninterested in the topic and isn't bothering to understand what he reads?
In any case, I found the uniformity of narration and lack of appropriate pauses to get incredibly frustrating after a while.

I do recommend the book, just not the format.

4 people found this helpful

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Radical.

Really worthwhile discussion of quadratic voting. This could be the overdue revision reviving democracy.
More questionable endorsement of sponsorship based immigration. Where it exists it leads to serfdom as in the Gulf.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting but not a Page Turner

Interesting read for the politically wonkish and Freakonomics listeners, I know but one person I could ever recommend this to. It does provide some fantastic dinner conversation though.

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Economically 'incontournable'

Must read or listen for anyone working in the economical or political sector. Happy I listened to the audiobook and not read it, but still agreeing with other feedback I've read : the narrator is not the most fun to listen to. Hope they'll re-record this one day because the content is fantastic.

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Wanted to love. Fell short.

This is an interesting book, and I've certainly taken some of the ideas in it on board for future reference. Unfortunately, I have to say my enthusiasm for it followed something of a bell curve. At the very beginning the whole thing seems like a trite rehash of the last 10 years' headlines.

Then several times mid-way through the book I found myself thinking "Damn, that's ingenious. We absolutely should do that." But after sleeping on the ideas for a couple of nights, and subjecting them to even basic scrutiny, I found the quite a few fell apart with the least prodding. By the end, I was back in the doldrums. Worth a read, but not particularly compelling.

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Big, wild, crazy, smart ideas

If you like big ideas (and don't mind a little technical detail), you will love this book. The authors offer six fairly detailed and wildly original proposals for how we might harness market forces to solve the world's problems including (surprisingly) income / wealth inequality.

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Content great; Narration bleh

This book totally changed the way I think about markets. Its contents are revolutionary and insightful (tho the narration was robotic and hard to pay attention to). Still, the narrator was much better than many others I have heard.

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Important book in my view, thoughtfully written

This book 'Radical Markets' lives up to it's name. It is full of ideas on how to reform monopolistic tendencies in capital markets, property rights, voting, democracy, allocation of other resources and public goods fairly to reduce inequality, bring about fairness in elections etc. It gives a beautiful history of ideas from Adam Smith, to the utilitarian philosophers Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill to modern day. Starting with Henry George's ideas on auctions, it builds new ideas about property rights, voting, capital markets etc. These ideas are based in economic theory, and seem to make sense. And the authors say these ideas would increase world GDP significantly in the future if tried out.

The last chapter states clearly that these are far-out ideas that must be experimented with in small ways. If they are wrong, they can be discarded without any harm. The authors humbly state that economists cannot predict human behavior which can circumvent any system for their own gain. Yet they say these ideas take advantage of this human tendency to create a more just and fair society where allocation of public goods such as land is fair.

The narrator wasn't very good, he was very mechanical in his delivery and often emphasized the wrong words, which makes for difficult listening. Still the book was very interesting to be.

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Radical Markets need companion material

The book has some very thought provoking ideas and sets examples that can be seen in todays business. I believe that it will give people an awareness to things happening today that they had no clue was taking place or why. On the negative side it is somewhat of a dry topic and lofty. But, if you are trying to get at what drives markets or the changes this may offer some great insight.

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  • J
  • 03-20-19

Great book

The most interesting and thought-provoking book I've come across in a long time. Incisive analysis of the problems that afflict existing economic systems and original ideas on how to solve these problems.

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  • Nick
  • 09-12-18

Great ideas, mediocre telling

Really innovative and inspiring ideas that genuinely go beyond the usual, but it’s not very riveting to listen to the details.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-28-18

A cool new idea for every day of the week

Posner and Weyl's book is a collection of thought-provoking ideas. They center around the idea of radicalizing markets in different ways, e.g. through quadratic voting (QV), monetizing personal digital data, providing a social dividend (UBI) to all citizens, liberalizing immigration through a new work patronage system, etc.

The book is a timely incision into the big socioeconomic debates of our times. The idea of radicalizing laissez-faire is a key that opens a hatch into the abandoned attic of heterodox economics, from where many ingenious and golden ideas of the past centuries may be recovered (together with some kooky ones) and mixed in with some cutting-edge thinking about complexity, computation and citizenship.

Not all of the ideas strike me as equally plausible, but they all address real and growing problems with our capitalistic social democratic societies. There is a space for radical ideas that is calling out for new occupants, and it's better to fill that space with Henry George than with Karl Marx. Even if many of the included utopian schemes are full of obvious holes, and subject to many obvious counter-arguments, they may provide rudimentary building blocks for more carefully thought-out solutions in the future.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-20-20

Very thoughtful insight about current market’s failure

Very good thought about how to overcome the problems in our society. I personally interested very much in the PV voting system, which could be applied to some situations in our society. And the solution suggested to overcome the problem of monopoly is also thought-provoking.