Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism
"Lucid, deeply informed, and enlivened with striking illustrations, this penetrating study could be entitled ‘Economics in the Real World.' Chang reveals the yawning gap between standard doctrines concerning economic development and what really has taken place from the origins of the industrial revolution until today. His incisive analysis shows how, and why, prescriptions based on reigning doctrines have caused severe harm, particularly to the most vulnerable and defenseless, and are likely to continue to do so."―Noam Chomsky
Using irreverent wit, an engagingly personal style, and a battery of examples, Chang blasts holes in the "World I s Flat" orthodoxy of T homas Friedman and other 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 superpowers―from the U .S. to Britain to his native Korea―all attained prosperity by shameless protectionism and government intervention in industry. We have conveniently forgotten this fact, telling ourselves a fairy tale about the magic of free trade and―via our proxies such as the World Bank, I nternational Monetary Fund, and World T rade Organization―ramming policies that suit ourselves down the throat of the developing world.
thwarted both times, so the developed countries have shifted their focus and are now concentrating on a proposal to drastically reduce industrial tariffs in the developing countries. This proposal, dubbed N A M A (non-agricultural market access), was first launched in the Doha ministerial meeting of the W T O in 2001. It got a critical impetus when, in December 2002, the US government dramatically upped the ante by calling for the abolition of all industrial tariffs by 2015. There are various
regulation of foreign direct investment over the last decade or so. Through the W T O, they have introduced the TRIMS (Trade-related Investment Measures) Agreement, which bans things like local content requirements, export requirements or foreign exchange balancing requirements. They have been pushing for further liberalization through the current GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) negotiations and a proposed investment agreement at the W T O. Bilateral and regional free trade
if not exactly hide, the fact that they became world-class firms under state ownership. Partial state ownership is practically hushed up. For example, few people know that the state (Land) government of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), with an 18.6% stake, is the largest shareholder in the German carmaker Volkswagen. The unpopularity of state ownership, however, is not entirely, or even mainly, due to the power of neo-liberal ideology. There are many S O Es all over the world that are not
prevent this from happening. 6.2. John Law and the first technological arms race As water flows from high to low, knowledge has always flowed from where there is more to where there is less. Those countries that are better at absorbing the knowledge inflow have been more successful in catching up with the more economically advanced nations. On the other side of the fence, those advanced nations that are good at controlling the outflow of core technologies have retained their technological
started in full spate by John Law (1671– 1729), the legendary Scottish financier-economist who even became France’s finance minister for just under a year. Law was named the ‘moneymaker’ by the author of his popular biography, Janet Gleeson. He was a moneymaker in more than one sense. He was an extremely successful financier, making huge killings on currency speculation, setting up and merging large banks and trading companies, getting royal monopolies for them and selling their shares at