FREE SPEECH ZONE | Free-Trade Doctrine Takes (Another) Hit (A Book Review)

Bad Samaritans:  The Myth of Free-Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism, by Ha-Joon Chang.  2008.  Bloomsbury Press. Free trade stifles economic development in poor countries, and disproportionately benefits the rich, powerful countries.  It was rampant protectionism, state-owned or -subsidized enterprises, other government assistance, and copying or theft of ideas, instead of adherence to intellectual property protection, that allowed nearly all of today’s powerful economies to develop to their positions of power.  So argues Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang in his 2008 book “Bad Samaritans:  The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism”. The book is a partial non-chronological history of economic development, explaining first how two of the largest economic empires of the last 500 years, Britain and the United States, contrary to the dogma of neoliberal free-marketeers (Chang’s “Bad Samaritans”), developed economically using militant protectionism to keep their infant industries from failing in competition with larger, more sophisticated industries of other nations.  Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. Continue Reading