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Download Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Ha-Joon Chang
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (827 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ha-Joon Chang Narrator: Jim Bond Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2008 ISBN:
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With irreverent wit, an engagingly personal style, and a battery of real-life examples, Ha-Joon Chang blasts holes in the World Is Flat orthodoxy of Thomas Friedman and other neo-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 United States to Britain to his native South Korea - all attained prosperity by shameless protectionism and government intervention in industry. We in the wealthy nations 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, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization - ramming policies that suit ourselves down the throat of the developing world.

Unlike typical economists who construct models of how economies are supposed to behave, Chang examines the past: what has actually happened. His pungently contrarian history demolishes one pillar after another of free-market mythology. We treat patents and copyrights as sacrosanct - but developed our own industries by studiously copying others' technologies. We insist that centrally planned economies stifle growth - but many developing countries had higher GDP growth before they were pressured into deregulating their economies. Both justice and common sense, Chang argues, demand that we reevaluate the policies we force on weaker nations.

Bad Samaritans calls on America to return to its abandoned role, embodied in programs like the Marshall Plan, to offer a helping hand, instead of a closed fist, to countries struggling to follow in our footsteps. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rich | 2/8/2014

    " The perfect antidote to Friemdan's Flat World fantasy land. Chang describes how the worlds' fastest growing countries really got there - from government investment, government planning and government picking winners and losers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marne | 2/7/2014

    " Everything that the developing world has known but were afraid to say or could not articulate, or were helpless against under trading or financing terms imposed by the developed world, is what Bad Samaritans is all about. Contrary to Friedman and others, the world is not flat and the developing world is always at the brunt of "free trade." The wealthy nations imposing "free trade" on the poorer nations did not become wealthy because they practiced free trade. Their own histories prove the contrary, as Ha Joon Chang so convincingly narrates with a lot of insights and examples. The wealthy world became wealthy because they were protectionists at many points in their economic histories: they protected their infant industries, they imposed high tariffs on foreign goods and technologies, they stymied competition from abroad--precisely the economic strategies they do not want the poor developing world to adopt. The developing world cannot play in a lopsided playing field, they must protect themselves against the Bad Samaritans if they must survive. That has been the truth since "free trade" was invented and imposed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arun | 1/30/2014

    " Great book for anyone interested in developmental economics. It presents an alternative argument to neo-liberal economics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 yaoknerd | 1/30/2014

    " cool book important shit i don't really like his writing style not a big deal though "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ilya | 1/29/2014

    " In 1963, when the author was born, South Korea was one of the world's poorest countries, with half the per capita income of Ghana. The fratricidal war with interventions by the United States and China had destroyed half her industry and three quarters of her railways. The country's principal exports were fish, tungsten, and wigs made of human hair. In 1982, when the author finished high school, South Korea was a middle-income country, on par with Ecuador. In 1997, when he was an adult professor of economics, she was an upper-middle income country, on part with Portugal. She has since left Portugal behind, and is now a rich country on par with Italy; her principal exports are semiconductors, computers, ships, cars, and steel. The way South Korea did it was to limit her imports (in school, Chang was told to report to the authorities anyone smoking foreign cigarettes), and expand her exports in order to accumulate the capital necessary for launching the new industries. A lot of the new industries were state-owned; their management was focusing not on short-term profits, but on the long-term industrialization of the country. The ruthless exploitation of the workers that this entailed was incompatible with democracy, so the country was a military dictatorship through much of the period. This book claims that the rich countries, through the "Bad Samaritan" institutions of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO, deliberately hurt the poor countries by forcing them to adopt neo-liberal policies such as free trade, low tariffs and privatization; they would be better off following in South Korea's footsteps. In fact, says the author, that is what most rich countries themselves did when they industrialized. Now, in order for South Korea to be able to export so much, there had to be a market for her exports. The market was the United States, which wanted to support this outpost of anti-Communism. South Korea could not export to the Soviet Union, or to the People's Republic of China; likewise, North Korea could not export to the United States. Now, all the poor countries could not follow in South Korea's footsteps because they do not have wealthy patrons like that; how could all the poor countries limit their imports and expand their exports if they trade with each other? The industrializing United States in the late nineteenth century did have large tariffs, but how else could the government collect revenue and finance the American Civil War, there being no income tax? Among other criticisms of the "Bad Samaritans", Chang says that their fight against corruption is misguided: Indonesia under Suharto experienced large economic growth despite being a very corrupt country; Chang says that this is because in Indonesia, unlike in Zaire, the bribes were invested inside the country. First, apparently, Suharto did stash billions outside his country. Second, Zaire's Mobutu did spend a lot inside his country: he built a replica Versailles in the middle of his tribal territory in the jungle near the border with the Central African Republic, where he could quickly escape should things take a wrong turn for him, with a landing strip that could accommodate the Concorde; it is just that this spending did nothing for the country's welfare. I think, William Easterly wrote that many African presidents-for-life liked to build new national capitals in their tribal homelands. Is it really misguided for the IMF to demand that this practice stop before giving out new loans? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh Stewart | 1/25/2014

    " this looks like a boring me-too business book on the cover - a friend had to twist my nipple to get me to crack the cover. What a great surprise. The author takes the neo-liberal economist trade dogmas and exposes them as unproven and likely very damaging policy choices for the poor developing countries they are often forced upon. The label "neo-liberal" is confusing because these are ideas strongly supported by conservative politicians and violently supported by right wing commentator crazies. Think 'free trade and free markets are the be all end all', 'governments are bad and should never subsidize industries', 'patents are well deserved and should last for a long long time'. Granted i was already interested development economics so this might not be for everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martina | 1/18/2014

    " have got a major pop-sci harden for this man. one day I will get it together and write a proper review detailing why. highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leonard Pierce | 1/16/2014

    " Kim's prose style is simple to the point of being ingratiating at times, but the book has some fascinating insights into the ways rich nations get that way -- and then rewrite history to discourage others from doing the same. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 1/11/2014

    " A must read for anyone who wants to find out why the world has become so unequal with some possible ways of changing this neo-con approach to politics & economics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stuart | 1/10/2014

    " ANYONE WHO RATED THIS LESS THAN THREE STARS PROBABLY DOESNT "GET" ECONOMICS. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan | 1/5/2014

    " Excellent! Anyone concerned about world development should read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/31/2013

    " One of the few econ books on my shelf I actually enjoyed reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Axel | 12/28/2013

    " This a great Book... I enjoyed so much! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kyle Brooks | 12/19/2013

    " Fascinating tale of how the global economy really works and how it has come to be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roger | 12/14/2013

    " Good analysis but impossible to apply nowadays "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 12/12/2013

    " Excellent book that puts development and free trade into a historical perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 12/10/2013

    " Presented arguments for and against capitalism in a way I had not read before. Very Interesting. Best part was the middle section which covered the impact of copyright, patent, and intellectual property law. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua Blanchard | 11/12/2012

    " Want to read a book better than the Bible? Read Ha-Joon Chang's "Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 6/18/2012

    " Great. A useful sword of truth one can wield to decapitate the hydra headed lies of globalist shills (COUGH*Tom Friedman*COUGH*Fareed Zakaria*COUGH). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 4/16/2012

    " This book is the clearest and most readable refutation of neo-liberal development theory. It is a corrective where I teach to what my colleagues seem to find most valuable in the field of economic development. I read anything I can by Ha-Joon Chang. He manages to be smart, clear and funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 S | 8/29/2011

    " So far, so good! Thomas Friedman: butter:: Ha-Joon Chang: brown rice. Haha, I don't know. That's just to say that you can't eat buttery foods all the time. I appreciate the counter-narrative to the popular understanding of globalization & free trade. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 5/27/2011

    " really good audio book. learned a lot. free markets are not helpful for poorer countries.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 4/6/2011

    " Really tried, another non- fiction failure for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara | 2/19/2011

    " This book develops as it progresses. It provides a fine critique of simplistic theories of economic development and free trade. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Madeleine | 1/23/2011

    " I wonder if Dad read this book. If he hasn't read it already, this would be just the sort of book for him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stuart | 11/25/2010

    " ANYONE WHO RATED THIS LESS THAN THREE STARS PROBABLY DOESNT "GET" ECONOMICS. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 10/5/2010

    " Awesome. Must read. Makes Thomas Friedman look even worse than you could possibly imagine. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roger | 7/28/2010

    " Good analysis but impossible to apply nowadays "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 D.h. | 6/30/2010

    " being selfish, pursuing only money with no mercy, that's capitalism, which sometimes people confused with democracy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 6/15/2010

    " Very well written and easily understood look at how the rich and powerful will always try to exploit those who are not. Here it applies to countries. The author shows how rich countries got rich by doing precisely what they want to keep poor countries from ding today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 3/11/2010

    " Presented arguments for and against capitalism in a way I had not read before. Very Interesting. Best part was the middle section which covered the impact of copyright, patent, and intellectual property law. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steep | 12/14/2009

    " Great intro overview. Very accessible. You can tell he was a Stiglitz student. "

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About the Narrator

Jim Bond is a writer and audiobook narrator who has voiced nearly two hundred titles including Blood Is the Sky, Escape the Rat Race, A Thousand Country Roads, and many of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books.