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23 Things They Don 39;t Tell You About Capitalism Pdf Free Download

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism PDF Free Download

If you are looking for a book that challenges the conventional wisdom about capitalism, you might want to check out 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang. This book is a non-fiction work by a renowned economist who offers a 23-point critique of neoliberal capitalism and its myths. The book was published in 2010, but it is still relevant today as we face the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the ongoing effects of globalization and free trade.


The book covers a wide range of topics, from the role of markets and governments to the impact of technology and culture on economic development. Here are some of the main points that Chang makes in his book:

23 things they don 39;t tell you about capitalism pdf free download


  • There is no such thing as a free market. Markets are always regulated by political and social forces, and sometimes more regulation can lead to better outcomes.

  • Companies should not be run in the interest of their owners. Shareholders are not the only stakeholders in a company, and maximizing profits can harm other aspects of social welfare.

  • Most people in rich countries are paid more than they should be. The wages of workers in rich countries are often inflated by protectionism, immigration controls, and intellectual property rights.

  • The washing machine has changed the world more than the internet has. The internet may have revolutionized communication and information, but the washing machine has freed up millions of hours of labor, especially for women.

  • Assume the worst about people and you get the worst. If we design economic policies based on the assumption that people are selfish and irrational, we will create a society that encourages such behavior.

  • Greater macroeconomic stability has not made the world economy more stable. The pursuit of low inflation and fiscal discipline has reduced the ability of governments to respond to shocks and crises.

  • Free-market policies rarely make poor countries rich. Most rich countries became rich by using protectionist and interventionist policies, not by following free trade and laissez-faire.

  • Capital has a nationality. Globalization has not erased the importance of national borders and cultures. Capital still flows mostly within national boundaries, and national policies can affect its mobility and performance.

  • We do not live in a post-industrial age. Manufacturing still matters for economic development and prosperity. Services cannot replace manufacturing as the engine of growth.

  • The US does not have the highest living standard in the world. The US may have a high GDP per capita, but it also has high inequality, low social mobility, poor health care, and low life expectancy.

  • Africa is not destined for underdevelopment. Africa has been held back by colonialism, slavery, unfair trade, debt, corruption, and bad governance. But it also has enormous potential and diversity.

  • Governments can pick winners. Industrial policy can be effective in promoting economic development and innovation, if done properly.

  • Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer. Trickle-down economics does not work. Inequality can hamper growth, democracy, and social cohesion.

  • US managers are overpriced. The high salaries of US CEOs are not justified by their performance or contribution to society. They are largely determined by market power and social norms.

  • People in poor countries are more entrepreneurial than people in rich countries. Entrepreneurship is not a matter of culture or genes, but of opportunities and incentives. Poor people have to be entrepreneurial to survive, but they face many barriers to success.

  • We are not smart enough to leave things to the market. Markets are not perfect or rational. They are prone to bubbles, crashes, frauds, and externalities. We need to regulate them for our own good.

  • More education in itself is not going to make a country richer. Education is important for economic development, but it is not enough - it also depends on the quality and relevance of education, and the availability of other factors of production.

  • What is good for General Motors is not necessarily good for the United States. The interests of corporations and nations are not always aligned. Corporations can benefit from outsourcing, tax evasion, and environmental degradation, while nations can suffer from them.

  • Despite the fall of communism, we are still living in planned economies. The market is not the only way to coordinate economic activities. We all live in mixed economies, where the government, the market, and other institutions play different roles.

  • Equality of opportunity may not be fair. Equality of opportunity is not enough to ensure a just society. We also need to consider the initial conditions and the outcomes of the opportunities.

  • Big government makes people more open to change. Big government can provide public goods, social protection, and regulation that can enhance economic efficiency and innovation, as well as social stability and trust.

  • Financial markets need to become less, not more, efficient. Financial markets are too volatile and short-term oriented. They need to be more regulated and restrained, to serve the real economy and the long-term interests of society.

  • Good economic policy does not require good economists. Good economic policy is not a matter of technical expertise, but of political judgment and democratic accountability. Economists can provide useful information and analysis, but they cannot prescribe the best policy for every situation.


The book is a provocative and insightful critique of the dominant economic paradigm of our time. Chang exposes the flaws and contradictions of neoliberal capitalism, and offers alternative perspectives and policies that are more realistic and humane. The book is written in a clear and accessible style, with examples and anecdotes that illustrate the points. The book is also well-researched and supported by evidence and data from various sources.

However, the book is not without its limitations and criticisms. Some of the points are more convincing than others, and some may be oversimplified or exaggerated. The book may also be biased by the author's own ideological views and preferences. The book does not provide a comprehensive or coherent alternative to capitalism, but rather a series of critiques and suggestions that may or may not be compatible with each other. The book may also be outdated by some of the recent developments and trends in the global economy.


23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism is a book that challenges us to rethink our assumptions and beliefs about capitalism and its effects on our lives. It shows us that capitalism is not a natural or inevitable system, but a human-made and contested one. It also shows us that there are different ways to organize our economy and society, that can better serve our needs and values. The book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand the complexities and controversies of capitalism, and who wants to imagine and create a better world.


  • Q: Where can I download the PDF version of the book for free?

  • A: You can download the PDF version of the book for free from this link: [23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism PDF].

  • Q: Who is Ha-Joon Chang?

  • A: Ha-Joon Chang is a South Korean economist who teaches at the University of Cambridge. He is an expert on development economics, industrial policy, trade, and globalization. He has written several books and articles on these topics.

  • Q: What are some other books that are similar to this one?

  • A: Some other books that are similar to this one are Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier, The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs, The Myth of the Rational Market by Justin Fox, The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Globalization Paradox by Dani Rodrik, The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz, The Rise and Fall of Nations by Ruchir Sharma, The Worldly Philosophers by Robert Heilbroner.

  • Q: What are some of the main criticisms of neoliberal capitalism?

  • A: Some of the main criticisms of neoliberal capitalism are that it creates inequality, instability, environmental degradation, social alienation, cultural homogenization, democratic erosion, human rights violations, and moral decay.

  • Q: What are - some of the alternative models or proposals to neoliberal capitalism?

  • A: Some of the alternative models or proposals to neoliberal capitalism are social democracy, democratic socialism, green economy, degrowth, circular economy, solidarity economy, cooperative economy, participatory economy, commons-based economy, and post-capitalism.

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