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There is no such thing as a Free Market

As long as President Obama has financial advisors like Jeffrey Immelt–expect no change in the economy

All of these advisors support the broken economic ideology of Milton Friedman that has been in place in the USA for the past 50+ years. The entire DLC faction of the Democratic Party as well as the leadership of the Republican Party support this broken economic ideology because  it works for them and the upper 12% of the richest in our nation.

Ha-Joon Chang is one of the truth-teller heroes from my upcoming book:  BACKSTAGE WITH THE HIDDEN PERSUADERS.  I was happy to see this morning that  TruthOut featured an article on this brilliant economist.  Too bad that Obama doesn’t have people like Chang giving him financial advice instead of the likes of Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE, the world’s largest war contractor who, although they have made billions in profit, have not paid a dime of income tax for 2009 and 2010, thus cheating the American people, the majority of whom pay on average 25% of our income in federal tax, of billions of dollars for our tax coffers to support our infrastructure.

Chang, born in South Korea in 1963, is one of the leading heterodox economists and institutional economists specializing in development economics. Currently a Reader in the Political Economy of Development at the University of Cambridge, Chang is the author of several influential policy books, including 2002?s Kicking Away the Ladder: Development Strategy in Historical Perspective.

In his book Kicking Away the Ladder (which won the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy’s 2003 Gunnar Myrdal Prize), Chang argued that all major developed countries used interventionist economic policies in order to get rich and then tried to forbid other countries from doing similarly. The WTO, World Bank and IMF come in for strong criticism from Chang for this kind of ladder-kicking which is, according to Chang, the fundamental obstacle to poverty alleviation in the developing world.

“Things they Don’t Tell You about Capitalism” is another of Chang’s brilliant books on capitalism the economy, and what has gone wrong and why it continues to go wrong. Again, until we adjust the problems at the root cause–the fundamental myths that prop up the economic system, not only of the USA, but the world, little will change. Not altering the false economic ideology and related myths of Milton Friedman that are at the heart of the current economic misery is like taking an Aspirin and hoping that it will cure a brain tumor. At best it may alleviate the symptom of a headache for a while.

Just a thought: If the presidential candidates stand before the American people in 2012 and “debate” such topics as flag pins and evolution instead of real topics of job creation and the rising poverty in the USA, I hope that the American people boo them and their mainstream corporate sponsored BS off the stage. But even more important, I hope that we have some real candidates–independents and third party candidates to replace these sock monkeys for the rich.


(Image by Bloomsbury Publishing)

Ha-Joon Chang, Bloomsbury Publishing | Book Excerpt

Thing 1: There is No Such Thing as a Free Market

What They Tell You

Markets need to be free. When the government interferes to dictate what market participants can or cannot do, resources cannot flow to their most efficient use. If people cannot do the things that they find most profitable, they lose the incentive to invest and innovate. Thus, if the government puts a cap on house rents, landlords lose the incentive to maintain their properties or build new ones. Or, if the government restricts the kinds of financial products that can be sold, two contracting parties that may both have benefited from innovative transactions that fulfil their idiosyncratic needs cannot reap the potential gains of free contract. People must beleft ‘free to choose’, as the title of free-market visionary Milton Friedman’s famous book goes.

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Liz Berry

Liz Berry