Bad Samaritans

Bad Samaritans

The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism

Book - 2008
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Contrarian economist Chang blasts holes in the "World Is Flat" theories of Thomas Friedman and other neo-liberal economists who argue that only unfettered capitalism and wide-open international trade can lift struggling nations out of poverty. On the contrary, Chang shows, today's economic superpowers--from the United States to Britain to his native South Korea--all attained prosperity by protectionism and government intervention in industry. We in the wealthy nations have conveniently forgotten this fact, telling ourselves a fairy tale about the magic of free trade and forcing policies that suit ourselves on the developing world. Unlike typical economists who construct models of how economies are supposed to behave, Chang examines the past: what has actually happened. He calls on America to return to its abandoned role, embodied in programs like the Marshall Plan, to offer a helping hand, instead of a closed fist, to countries struggling to follow in our footsteps.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury Press : Distributed to the trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2008
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781596913998
Call Number: 382.71 C36232b 2008
Characteristics: xi, 276 p. ; 25 cm


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Mar 21, 2017

This is an informally written book that aims to debunk the development economics ideology of the 'Chicago boys' (free trade, open markets globalization agenda), by using simple explanations and historical examples. My favorite chapter was the sixth, on IP (including introducing but not developing ideas like patent pools and matching policies), and the last chapter, on culture, was one I looked forward to, but whilst it was funny, it was a bit disappointing (its the weakest chapter).

Sep 13, 2013

Written for an popular audience. Academic audience version is "Kicking Away to Ladder". Summary: History shows developed nations have developed using government intervention (protectionism, etc.) in market, which they then both abandon when they become developed (as unnecessary any longer) and try to prevent less developed nations from using (either to avoid more competition, or rewriting of own history).

Oct 20, 2010

Finally, an antidote to neoliberal economic baffle-gab that is easy to understand... well worth the listen.


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