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23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,699 Ratings  ·  572 Reviews
The acclaimed Ha-Joon Chang is a voice of sanity—and wit—in this lighthearted audiobook with a serious purpose: to question the assumptions behind the dogma and sheer hype that the dominant school of neoliberal economists have spun since the Age of Reagan. 23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism uses twenty-three short essays (a few great examples: “There Is No Such ...more
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Published by Bloomsbury Press (first published March 10th 2010)
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Jan-Maat
At first I turned my nose up at this book. I couldn't imagine that it would have anything interesting to say to me. Indeed but for the personal recommendation of the author I would have passed over this book altogether. Well, I say personal recommendation but what I mean is that I listened to this podcast in which Ha-Joon Chang talks through three of the twenty-three things that he discusses in this book. Anyhow the author's presentation convinced me and I seized a copy of the whole book at the ...more
Caroline
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caroline by: Jan-Maat Landlubber
As someone who knows nothing about economics, but is finding herself more and more interested in the subject - this was an excellent read. Ha-Joon Chang is an economist/reader at Cambridge University, but he writes with the simplicity and clarity of a high school teacher, illustrating his arguments superbly well with anecdotes and examples that are entertaining, gripping and easy to understand.
He has been writing for The Guardian since 2008.

The basic tenet of the book is that the USA and UK ha
...more
Jonas
Jun 11, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
"23 Things" (for short) purports to be a rebuttal of commonly held views about the free market, capitalism and the science and profession of economics. Chang's position is pro government action and intervention (left wing, if you will), and he seeks to back it up with evidence and arguments.

I find it rather disappointing. It often addresses straw men and commonly held misconceptions about how economists think (rather than how economists actually think), and often fails to present opposing argume
...more
Trevor
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
This is a book that systematically takes apart neoliberal economic assumptions – the ‘things’ here are all nicely summed up in an opening paragraph per chapter where they are stated in the standard, unforgiving terms of neoliberal ideology. This is a book that really does deserve to be read. This guy is so clear he is a joy to read. Not only that, he also opens up the possibility of understanding what is far too often presented as only available to the expert and in impenetrable jargon. You actu ...more
Miquixote
Brilliantly simple yet effective fare which a wide variety on the political compass can digest.

Admittedly not revolutionary. Pure reformist stuff. But makes very important observations on how destructive free-market economics are and have been. One doesn't have to agree with Chang's argument that capitalism itself is not necessarily a bad thing to appreciate his well-founded critisms of the free market.

It debunks the very possibility of the existence of a a free market, it elaborates why owner
...more
Zanna
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In recent years I've come to accept the fact that I forget most of what I read and that there is very little I can do to change this. Even when I re-read, I forget again. Economics is a topic that excites me as much as doing the ironing, but I am compelled to keep trying to educate myself in the field by rage and disgust. Since I forget things, I force myself to keep reading books like this so that, hopefully, when I need them, I'll be able to pull a few concepts and examples out of my back pock ...more
Saeed
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
موقع خوندنش خیلی اذیت شدم، پنبه کرد بعضی چیزهایی که رشته کرده بودم

کتاب درست حسابیه نگاه به اسمش که شبیه پروپاگانداست نکنید، تصمیم گرفتم کتاب دیگه ی نویسنده رو هم بخونم

این کتاب رو از تویه کتاب های
Yuval Noah Harari
پیدا کردم

خیلی جالبه که من کتاب اقتصاد در یک درس رو هم خوندم، به نظر من با هم خوندن این دو کتاب معجون جالبی میتونه باشه
Barry Pierce
This is a really accessible book on economics and capitalism. It may not sound like the most fun book to read but Chang actually writes this for the "common person" to use somewhat problematic phrase. He uses many references to pop culture and film in order to get his points across as easily as he can. This also contains a good history of economics and mentions many famous economists (Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, John Maynard Keynes, and the such) which is interesting if you are new to economics ...more
Maru Kun
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
Ha-Joon Chang is one of the few economists who you can actually trust to tell the truth as he sees it based on objective evidence. Shiller and Stiglitz are also rare exceptions among economists as both are in this same category.

This book is a great antidote to the free market propaganda that passes for economic analysis these days. A good example is the section on the birth of the South Korean steel industry. Despite the predictions of every free-market economist worth his Heritage Foundation re
...more
Nick
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plain talk about capitalism - from a Cambridge economist who believes in it, but not in the free market ideology which has surrounded it for the last thirty years. Required reading for anyone who wants a grip on what's actually going on with the global economy, and anyone who likes to kid themselves they vote rationally...
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publication date 3 20 Sep 20, 2014 09:32AM  
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Ha-Joon Chang teaches economics at Cambridge University. His book 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism was a no.1 bestseller and was called by the Observer 'a witty and timely debunking of some of the biggest myths surrounding the global economy.' He is a popular columnist at the Guardian, and a vocal critic of the failures of our economic system.
More about Ha-Joon Chang...
“Once you realize that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich as what they are -- a simple upward redistribution of income, rather than a way to make all of us richer, as we were told.” 92 likes
“Equality of opportunity is not enough. Unless we create an environment where everyone is guaranteed some minimum capabilities through some guarantee of minimum income, education, and healthcare, we cannot say that we have fair competition. When some people have to run a 100 metre race with sandbags on their legs, the fact that no one is allowed to have a head start does not make the race fair. Equality of opportunity is absolutely necessary but not sufficient in building a genuinely fair and efficient society.” 72 likes
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