Book Summary: 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang Book Cover

Written by renowned economist Ha-Joon Chang, “23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism” is a thought-provoking book that challenges the conventional wisdom about the free market economy. In this book, Chang debunks the myths and falsehoods that are often associated with capitalism and provides a fresh perspective on how the economy works. Throughout the book, Chang presents 23 things that are often overlooked or ignored in discussions about capitalism, but are crucial to understanding its true nature.

Chapter 1: The Myth of the Free Market

In the first chapter, Chang debunks the myth of the free market by showing how governments and other powerful institutions often interfere with the market to favor certain groups. He argues that the free market is not as free as it is often portrayed and that it is often distorted by government policies, subsidies, and other forms of intervention.

Chapter 2: The Myth of the Level Playing Field

In the second chapter, Chang examines the myth of the level playing field by showing how the market is often skewed in favor of large corporations and against small businesses and consumers. He argues that the market is anything but level and that it is often rigged in favor of the powerful.

Chapter 3: The Myth of Efficient Markets

In the third chapter, Chang challenges the idea of efficient markets by showing how market failures and externalities often lead to inefficient outcomes. He argues that the market is not always efficient and that it often fails to account for social and environmental costs.

Chapter 4: The Myth of the Invisible Hand

In the fourth chapter, Chang debunks the myth of the invisible hand by showing how markets often lead to negative outcomes, such as pollution and inequality. He argues that the invisible hand is not always benevolent and that it often leads to negative externalities.

Chapter 5: The Myth of the Small Business

In the fifth chapter, Chang challenges the idea of the small business as the backbone of the economy by showing how large corporations often dominate the market and stifle competition. He argues that the small business is not always the engine of growth and innovation that it is often portrayed to be.

Chapter 6: The Myth of the Free Press

In the sixth chapter, Chang examines the myth of the free press by showing how the media is often controlled by powerful interests and fails to provide accurate information to the public. He argues that the free press is not always free and that it often fails to hold power accountable.

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Chapter 7: The Myth of the Free Vote

In the seventh chapter, Chang challenges the idea of the free vote by showing how the political process is often skewed in favor of the powerful and against ordinary citizens. He argues that the free vote is not always free and that it often fails to represent the will of the people.

Conclusion

Overall, “23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism” is a thought-provoking book that challenges the conventional wisdom about the free market economy. Throughout the book, Chang presents 23 things that are often overlooked or ignored in discussions about capitalism, but are crucial to understanding its true nature. By debunking the myths and falsehoods that are often associated with capitalism, Chang provides a fresh perspective on how the economy works and what can be done to make it work better.

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