23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism

I have just been following an online interview/chat on Firedoglake with Ha-Joon Chang and economist that teaches at Cambridge Univ.  discussing his latest book 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About CapitalismThey are listed here.

“95 percent of economics is common sense deliberately made complicated.”  – Ha-Joon Chang

Thing One. There is really no such thing as a free market.

Thing Two. Companies should not be run in the interest of their owners.

Thing Three. Most people in rich countries get paid more than they should.

Thing Four. The washing machine has changed the world more than the internet.

Thing Five. Assume the worst about people, and you get the worst.

Thing Six. Greater macroeconomic stability has not made the world economy more stable.

Thing Seven. Free-market policies rarely make poor countries richer.

Thing Eight. Capital has a nationality.

Thing Nine. We do not live in a post-industrial age.

Thing Ten. The US does not have the highest living standard in the world.

Thing Eleven. Africa is not destined for under-development.

Thing Twelve. Government can pick winners.

Thing Thirteen. Making rich people richer doesn’t make the rest of us richer.

Thing Fourteen. US managers are over-priced.

Thing Fifteen. People in poor countries are more entrepreneurial than people in rich countries.

Thing Sixteen. We are not smart enough to leave things to the market.

Thing Seventeen. More education in itself is not going to make a country richer.

Thing Eighteen. What is good for the General Motors is not necessarily good for the US.

Thing Nineteen. Despite the fall of Communism, we are still living in planned economies.

Thing Twenty. Equality of opportunities is unequal.

Thing Twenty-one. Big government makes people more, not less, open to changes.

Thing Twenty-two. Financial markets need to become less, not more, efficient.

Thing Twenty-three. Good economic policy does not require good economists.

The capitalist system is not working, despite what elite opinion says.  Starting with these points is a great place to look into our perceptions of what Capitalism is.

Here is a multipart interview that was done on Real News with Dr. Chang.

I highly recommend watching it.

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5 thoughts on “23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism

    1. cmaukonen

      Think about it though. It took most of the day to wash you clothes after the washing machine, only a few hours. And the clothes got cleaner and lasted longer.

      But that I don’t think is the point. The point is that things we take for grated were a major big deal when they were invented.

    2. We’ll take away your washer and dryer for a month (or jug of quarters) and then see if you still don’t believe it. Not only that but your washer and dryer consume a not insignificant chunk of your household energy budget. And for families with kids it’s way bigger.

  1. cmaukonen

    I find it interesting that this same post has been up at Dagblog for the same period of time and has garnered 8 reads and no comments.

    Which should not be surprising as it rather confirms what I have suspected for a while. That those who Hang there consist mainly of democratic apologists and republican enablers.

    Rather like what Malcolm X referred to as as House Negros

    “Back during slavery, when Black people like me talked to the slaves, they didn’t kill ’em, they sent some old house Negro along behind him to undo what he said. You have to read the history of slavery to understand this. There were two kinds of Negroes. There was that old house Negro and the field Negro.

    And the house Negro always looked out for his master. When the field Negroes got too much out of line, he held them back in check. He put ’em back on the plantation. The house Negro could afford to do that because he lived better than the field Negro. He ate better, he dressed better, and he lived in a better house. He lived right up next to his master – in the attic or the basement. He ate the same food his master ate and wore his same clothes. And he could talk just like his master – good diction. And he loved his master more than his master loved himself. That’s why he didn’t want his master hurt. If the master got sick, he’d say, “What’s the matter, boss, we sick?” When the master’s house caught afire, he’d try and put the fire out. He didn’t want his master’s house burned. He never wanted his master’s property threatened. And he was more defensive of it than the master was.

    That was the house Negro. But then you had some field Negroes, who lived in huts, had nothing to lose. They wore the worst kind of clothes. They ate the worst food. And they caught hell. They felt the sting of the lash. They hated their master. Oh yes, they did. If the master got sick, they’d pray that the master died. If the master’s house caught afire, they’d pray for a strong wind to come along. This was the difference between the two.

    And today you still have house Negroes and field Negroes. I’m a field Negro.”

    I’m a Field Negro. Waiting for the house to burn down.

  2. I already responded at Dag, I think?

    Trickle down economics has always seemed to me like a theory that rich repubs will drink Campaign and piss out opportunity upon the masses! hahahahahah

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