23-things-ha_jong-chan23 Things Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism — Ha-Jong Chang – 2010

Ha-Jong Chang is a very bright economist at Cambridge and the London School of Economics and Political Economy.  The importance of this work is that it makes you rethink, opens your mind to the world you though you understood! As the author states, “you need to know a lot of things about capitalism so you can know how it really works and how you can make it better.”

This is a book about capitalism, which the author believes is “still the best economic system humanity has invented.”  It is particularly about the author’s criticism of a particular form of capitalism, “neo-liberalism” that has dominated the world for almost 35 years with profound consequences.  

This book will simply change your perspective about economics and political policies.   It forced me to pause and reconsider all I thought I knew about economics.  Before this work I had never really understood neo-liberal economic policies, how they had slipped into our accepted consciousness, how they had been miss-labeled as inevitable, as opposed to substantially challengeable, and how they had become such a pervasive influence on our economic world — without being seriously challenged.

The author’s presentations can sometimes seem awkward,  but his style forces you to stop, reread what he has just proposed and move forward with a new perspective.  This is a must read to understand how and why policies are made, in whose interest, and why it is important to understand things economic.