[From the book jacket]
With irreverent wit, an engagingly personal style, and a battery of real-life examples, Ha-Joon Chang blasts holes in the "World Is Flat" orthodoxy 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 superpowersfrom the United States to Britain to his native South Koreaall attained prosperity by shameless 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 andvia our proxies such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organizationramming policies that suit ourselves down the throat of the developing world.
Unlike typical economists who construct models of how economies are supposed to behave, Chang examines the past: what has actually happened. His pungently contrarian history demolishes one pillar after another of free-market mythology. We treat patents and copyrights as sacrosanctbut developed our own industries by studiously copying others' technologies. We insist that centrally planned economies stifle growthbut many developing countries had higher GDP growth before they were pressured into deregulating their economies.
- 2008 Ha-Joon Chang
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