Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Ha-Joon Chang

I recommend the Cambridge heterodox economist Ha-Joon Chang. He's the most readable of the new economists (in my opinion). He's probably not massively original, but I think he consolidates a coherent sensible economic position and makes it accessible. He isn't biased against the developing world.

ETA - re-reading that, it might come across as faint praise. In fact I am very enthusiastic. Just trying to give a rounded view.

Here is a short article by him in The Guardian arguing that drastic cuts in bonus pay-outs to 'bankers' would not damage the UK economy.

I am working my way through his 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (published last March) which is a straightforward debunking of modern free-market ideology. Chang argues, I think quite rightly, that every market is structured and limited (in a sense it is the existence of an agreed structure which makes any activity a 'market') but some structures are treated as invisible or natural, and others as an assault on freedom.

Compared to my views, he is much more pro-capitalist. However, my attitude is, we live in this system now, it has good and bad features, and our best chance is to try to keep it going as long as possible, and minimise the bad sides. If I were a die-hard anti-capitalist I would welcome the spiral of global idiocy we are experiencing at present, and the mistakes of our Government.

So, really, a critical pro-capitalist like Chang, and a worried anti-capitalist like me have a lot of common ground, because we feel that intervention and redistribution will make us more prosperous than current more bloodthirsty policies.
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