Tuesday 7 August 2012

Ha-Joon Chang, 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

ha-joon chang 23 they don't tell you about capitalism

This book should be on the 'required reading' list if not at all, then at least at some schools.  Most definitely it should be read by those who actually make the BIG decisions.

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism.  I checked the book out for the title alone.  I would love someone to tell me all those things they don't tell me about capitalism, politics, big finance and the likes.

I doubt if ordinary people will ever know the really interesting (and infuriating) bits.  Still, the 23 Things presented here are actually quite tasty.

Mr Ha-Joon Chang doesn't really disclose any secrets.  All it takes to come to similar conclusions is a bit of common sense (and, in some cases, extraction of the greed gland).  Still, most of us wouldn't be able to present them in such a coherent way, so well done and thank you to the author.

So, what are the 23 things they don't tell you about capitalism?  Obviously, you need to read the book to learn about them in any detail, but it all boils down to one thing: free market is not good for us.  It is not good for the economy (as current global crisis certifies), it is not good for people (I don't judge the minority who got extremely rich by shady deals worthy of this name), it is not good for the environment and it is not good for our future prospects.  We either curb it or live with the consequences, which are likely to get far more serious than dramatic headlines we're getting today.

I'm not sure if Ha-Joon Chang's recipe for improvement is the best option, but compared to some alternatives, it is actually fairly decent (if a tad too reliant on statistics).

It is definitely preferable to the current state of affairs.

But now we are in the realm of social criticism and I will say nothing more, because this is an obscenity-free (ish) blog.

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