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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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good but boring

Unfortunately the topic is somewhat of a snooze fast. The examples used and theories are Eye opening. It is a strange look into markets outside of what we think of a free markets. It opens all sorts of issues around what are social norms in market planning and how democratic decisions may not be right for the marketplace. #tagsgiving #slowread

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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

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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.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Using Markets to Improve Society

Provides a thought provoking and mind expanding discussion on how various forms of markets can be used to improve society. Thesis is that by using advanced and innovative markets, combined by similar voting techniques (specifically quadratic voting), we can find ways to improve the efficiency and fairness of our societies. It is not simply saying that 'more markets' are required, instead it is a proposal to use various market techniques to better solve our problems. I found it a very good listen.

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  • Ryan
  • BEAVERTON, OR, United States
  • 06-02-18

Great ideas to use markets to improve the world

Overall, one of the best books I've ever read. Basically describes ways markets could be used to increase economic inefficiency, decrease inequality (and in particular, increase the proportion of rewards going to productive labor vs. accumulated capital), and fix various systems (political and social). Largely an extension of the ideas of William S. Vickrey.

Things I particularly liked about the book: a credible argument against "conventional" Georgist land-value tax (difficulties in valuation), and an interesting alternative. A superior form of voting (accumulated/bankable votes). "Quadratic" increases in cost for certain policy preferences (such as reducing pollution, or regulations. An interesting immigration scheme where individuals could sponsor foreign workers, gaining a portion of their income, to more broadly distribute the benefits of immigration along with costs.

The chapter on data (data sovereignty, data markets, etc.) seemed pretty weak in comparison to the rest of the book (ironic given the background of the authors), and detracted from the whole.

One interesting element was prefacing each chapter with a fictional story of what life would be like under their proposed rules -- more abstract policy arguments should include these.

There were a lot of flaws with the specific proposals they make, and overall I think for most private property, taxation is theft, and their taxing schemes were in some ways even more immoral than the status quo (personal/portable property being taxed in such a way that third parties could forcibly purchase it for the declared value at any time seems rife for malicious exploitation by trolls, or effective censorship of unpopular people), but they propose testing in much less challenging environments (such as as an alternative way to distribute public assets like radio spectrum or resource exploitation on public property), which I'd support.

I strongly recommend this book.

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Realistically Optimistic

This piece outlines some pretty radical changes to existing markets and governance systems. There are a number of great thought exercises (especially the in depth look at quadratic voting) that help put into perspective how much more representative and efficient these systems can be.

I have a lot of hope for a number of ideas in this work and will definitely be considering a number when implementing some of the software systems I'm currently working on.

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Love the premise, let's explore the ideas!

Excellent book with some very unique ideas. I believe many of these ideas will be utilized in decentralized economic systems going forward. It will be interesting to see how these radical markets interplay with trustless consensus mechanisms such as those used in blockchain.

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Wrongheaded

The authors propose a lot of bad ideas with little or no consideration of unintended consequences.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.