Action Pages

We can make a difference on these issues.

Right now our main issues include: getting medicaid expansion here in Pennsylvania, stopping all social security and medicare cuts at the federal level, and easing the massive debt of college students.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Economists We Like: Ha Joon Chang. 23 things they don't tell you about Capitalism.

Our house economists here at the Greater Good Coalition include Robert Reich, Dean Baker, Joe Stiglitz, Roubini and Paul Krugman. With the sixth Beatle being Lori Wallach over at Public Citizen. I worked with her early in the 90s as well. A new addition would have to be Ha Joon Chang, an economist out of Britain. Let's learn all we can about Ha Joon Chang.

First, here's an article he wrote called "23 things they don't tell you about Capitalism".

What they tell you

Markets need to be free. When the government interferes to dictate what market participants can or cannot do, resources cannot flow to their most efficient use. If people cannot do the things that they find most profitable, they lose the incentive to invest and innovate. Thus, if the government puts a cap on house rents, landlords lose the incentive to maintain their properties or build new ones. Or, if the government restricts the kinds of financial products that can be sold, two contracting parties that may both have benefited from innovative transactions that fulfill their idiosyncratic needs cannot reap the potential gains of free contract. People must be left "free to choose," as the title of free-market visionary Milton Friedman’s famous book goes.

What they don’t tell you

The free market doesn’t exist. Every market has some rules and boundaries that restrict freedom of choice. A market looks free only because we so unconditionally accept its underlying restrictions that we fail to see them. How "free" a market is cannot be objectively defined. It is a political definition. The usual claim by free-market economists that they are trying to defend the market from politically motivated interference by the government is false. Government is always involved and those free-marketeers are as politically motivated as anyone. Overcoming the myth that there is such a thing as an objectively defined "free market" is the first step towards understanding capitalism.

What's that? You're too tired to read? Then you should read books the way I do now: by way of Youtube.

Or this:

and part 2:

He also gives an hour long talk here.

No comments:

Post a Comment