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Publisher's Summary

Since the demise of the USSR, the mantle of the largest planned economies in the world has been taken up by the likes of Walmart, Amazon, and other multinational corporations.

For the left and the right, major multinational companies are held up as the ultimate expressions of free-market capitalism. Their remarkable success appears to vindicate the old idea that modern society is too complex to be subjected to a plan. And yet, as Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski argue, much of the economy of the West is centrally planned at present. Not only is planning on vast scales possible, we already have it and it works. The real question is whether planning can be democratic. Can it be transformed to work for us?

An engaging, polemical romp through economic theory, computational complexity, and the history of planning, The People's Republic of Walmart revives the conversation about how society can extend democratic decision-making to all economic matters. With the advances in information technology in recent decades and the emergence of globe-straddling collective enterprises, democratic planning in the interest of all humanity is more important and closer to attainment than ever before.

©2019 Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski (P)2019 Tantor

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compelling but not convincing

I feel like the author made several good points in favor of economic planning in particular that economic planning is done by capitalist firms and businesses. However, to say that government planning could work since private sector planning works seems like a false equivalence. Also I do not think that the author made a very compelling argument in defense of the Soviet model. I don't think the authors reasons successfully explain away why the Soviet system failed. This is a compelling attempt to rehabilitate economic planning in the wake of the failures of Soviet socialism. Compelling but not convincing. Nonetheless, I would recommend anybody interested in economic theory especially someone open to hearing opposing views read this book.

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This book is important

This book is lovely, concise, and too the point. The only complaint is that someone could rightly accuse it of being anecdotal - however, the author does a good job at weaving his points onto broader self-evident trends.

A worthy read, regardless of one’s economic or political leanings

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Insightful from start to finish

I hated supply chain classes in college but the history behind it is quite fascinating.

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narration sucks

why would they pick somebody who speaks so oddly to read a book? the person reading doesn't speak like normal people do he ends everything he says in such a positive manner it makes everything sound like I don't know the most important thing he said?

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great content ideology lacking

good look at the apologist view for socialism being technically achievable through the planned market system. The twilight zone narrator voice is annoying and condescending though.

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  • ::m::
  • 01-25-20

Narrator sounds like comic book guy from the Simpsons

Interesting book written on a decent premise. But the narrator seems to think the material isn’t engaging enough and that it’s up to him to exaggerate his performance in a order to make up for it.
Will buy the book instead.

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  • Rob
  • 01-13-20

Some interesting points hidden in the partisan nonsense

I enjoyed this book as it had some interesting ideas I had not heard expressed elsewhere. However, even as someone well to the left of the average person, I could certainly have done without the clear left wing tone. Tribalism has no place in academic idea exploration- it probably serves to put off half the audience before they consider the broad point that planning is more effective than generally considered.