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All Quotes by author - Ha-Joon Chang
" A lot of things that we cannot buy and sell in markets used to be totally legal objects of market exchange - human beings when we had slavery, child labour, human organs, and so on. So there is no economic theory that actually says that you shouldn't have slavery or child labour because all these are political, ethical judgments. "
" As a consumer, I don't create art, but I think whatever the message is, art has to touch you. "
" As someone from a developing country, I have a problem with rich countries thinking they can tell us anything, simply because they are giving money. "
" Basically, the myth is that America has been founded on the free market; the government has done very little; it has thrived under free trade. But actually, if you look at the history, this is actually the country that has succeeded most with protectionist policies. "
" By liberating women from household work and helping to abolish professions such as domestic service, the washing machine and other household goods completely revolutionised the structure of society. "
" Charities are now working to give people in poor countries access to the Internet. But shouldn't we spend that money on providing health clinics and safe water? Aren't these things more relevant? I have no intention of downplaying the importance of the Internet, but its impact has been exaggerated. "
" Contrary to what professional economists will typically tell you, economics is not a science. All economic theories have underlying political and ethical assumptions, which make it impossible to prove them right or wrong in the way we can with theories in physics or chemistry. "
" Democracy, despite its limitations, is in the end the only way to ensure that policies do not simply benefit the privileged few. "
" Economics should be defined in terms of what it is about. It should be about how people produce things, how people exchange them, how people earn income, how they pay taxes, how the government provides infrastructure with tax revenue, and how it conducts monetary policy. The subject has to be defined in terms of the object of inquiry. "
" Every market has some rules and boundaries that restrict freedom of choice. A market looks free only because we so unconditionally accept its underlying restrictions that we fail to see them. "
" Few countries have become rich through free-trade, free-market policies, and few ever will. "
" Free market economists frequently see minimum wage legislation as mere political intervention. However, there are decent economic theories which show that, under certain circumstances, minimum wages can be beneficial, as it makes workers more productive. "
" Gone are the days when the upper classes were terrified of the angry mob wanting to smash their skulls and confiscate their properties. Now their biggest enemy is the army of lazy bums, whose lifestyle of indolence and hedonism, financed by crippling taxes on the rich, is sucking the lifeblood out of the economy. "
" I am one of the most successful economists, according to what markets tell us, though most of my professional colleagues, who are much keener to accept market outcomes than I am, would dismiss me as a crank or - the worst of all abuses among economists - a 'sociologist.' "
" I don't drink at lunchtime because I'm very weak at alcohol like most Asians. "
" If we are really serious about preventing another crisis like the 2008 meltdown, we should simply ban complex financial instruments unless they can be unambiguously shown to benefit society in the long run. "
" I like all kinds of music - classical, pop, rock, electronic. "
" Imagine if all those kings and dukes hadn't commissioned those crazy cathedrals, paintings and music... we'd still be living in sticks and mud. Because none of those things made any economic sense. Human beings' capacity to 'waste time' is a miracle - but that's exactly what art is for. "
" I'm not an anti-capitalist, or anarchist. I want capitalism to work. "
" Indeed, willingness to challenge professional economists and other experts is a foundation stone of democracy. If all we have to do is to listen to the experts, what is the point of having democracy? "
" Instead of reading a paper, we now read the news online. Instead of buying books at a store, we buy them on-line. What's so revolutionary? The Internet has mainly affected our leisure life. "
" In the 19th century, a lot of people were against outlawing child labour, because to do so would be against the very foundations of a free market economy: 'These children want to work, these people want to employ them... what is your problem? It's not as if anyone has kidnapped them...' "
" I think this notion that public enterprises do not work and therefore nationalization will be a disaster, I mean, it's not supported by evidence. "
" It is impossible to objectively define how free a market is. This is a political definition. Government is always involved, and those free marketers are as politically motivated as anyone. "
" It is one thing to tell the citizens of some faraway country to go to hell, but it is another to do the same to your own citizens, who are supposedly your ultimate sovereigns. "
" It is time that we dispensed with the myth that the market is a force of nature that should not be meddled with. Markets are social creations that can be, and have been, modified for social purposes. "
" I used to joke that I came to England - not to the U.S. where most Koreans go - because I like Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. "
" I've read quite a few readers' reviews of my book on Amazon, saying, 'Ah, he criticises the free market, he advocates central planning.' I don't do that for a minute! But this is our black and white, dichotomous way of thinking - which has really been harmful. "
Black And White
" Many financial and industrial companies have been bailed out with the public's money, but very few of those who had run those companies have been punished for their failures. Yes, the top managers of those companies have lost their jobs - but with a fat pension and mostly with a handsome severance payment. "
" Many people think that the U.S. is ahead in the frontier technology sectors as a result of private sector entrepreneurship. It's not. The U.S. federal government created all these sectors. "
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