Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret by Ha-Joon Chang

By Ha-Joon Chang

“Lucid, deeply educated, and enlivened with extraordinary illustrations, this penetrating examine may be entitled ‘Economics within the genuine World.’ Chang finds the yawning hole among common doctrines touching on fiscal improvement and what relatively has taken position from the origins of the economic revolution until eventually this day. His incisive research indicates how, and why, prescriptions in accordance with reigning doctrines have prompted critical damage, relatively to the main susceptible and defenseless, and are inclined to proceed to do so.”—Noam Chomsky

Using irreverent wit, an engagingly own kind, and a battery of examples, Chang blasts holes within the “World I s Flat” orthodoxy of T homas Friedman and different liberal economists who argue that merely unfettered capitalism and wide-open overseas alternate can carry suffering international locations out of poverty. to the contrary, Chang exhibits, today’s fiscal superpowers—from the U .S. to Britain to his local Korea—all attained prosperity by means of shameless protectionism and govt intervention in undefined. we now have with ease forgotten this truth, telling ourselves a fairy story concerning the magic of unfastened exchange and—via our proxies resembling the area financial institution, I nternational financial Fund, and global T rade Organization—ramming rules that swimsuit ourselves down the throat of the constructing global.

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Additional info for Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism

Sample text

The final curtain coming down on the episode—that is, Britain’s abandonment of free trade—is also presented in a biased way. It is rarely mentioned that what really made Britain abandon free trade was precisely the successful use of protectionism by its competitors. 3. Neo-liberals vs neo-idiotics? In the official history of globalization, the early post-Second-World-War period is portrayed as a period of incomplete globalization. While there was a significant increase in integration among the rich countries, accelerating their growth, it is said, most developing countries refused to fully participate in the global economy until the 1980s, thus holding themselves back from economic progress.

The I M F was set up to lend money to countries in balance of payments crises so that they can reduce their balance of payments deficits without having to resort to deflation. The World Bank was set up to help the reconstruction of war-torn countries in Europe and the economic development of the post-colonial societies that were about to emerge—which is why it is officially called the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. , roads, bridges, dams). Following the Third World debt crisis of 1982, the roles of both the I M F and the World Bank changed dramatically.

Indeed, the leader of the anti-Corn Law movement, Richard Cobden, argued that, without the Corn Laws: ‘The factory system would, in all probability, not have taken place in America and Germany. [23] Moreover, it was not until 1860 that tariffs were completely abolished. [24] No wonder Friedrich List talked about ‘kicking away the ladder’. 3. America enters the fray The best critique of Britain’s hypocrisy may have been written by a German, but the country that best resisted Britain’s ladder-kicking in terms of policy was not Germany.

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