Ha-Joon Chang

The invention of the printing press was one of the most important events in human history.Ha-Joon Chang

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Democracy, despite its limitations, is in the end the only way to ensure that policies do not simply benefit the privileged few.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Democracy, End, Way

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Black And White, Planning

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Money, Financial, Lost

Unfortunately, a lot of economists wanted to make their subject a science. So the more what you do resembles physics or chemistry, the more credible you become.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Science, Chemistry, Physics

Sometimes people with strong ideology, whether left-wing or right-wing, refuse to do something simply because they believe it is wrong, when doing it actually benefits them. For some people, it's not just about money and political power.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Money, Power, Strong

When we assess the impact of technological changes, we tend to downplay things that happened a while ago.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Changes, Impact, Things

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Political, Legal, Slavery

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote History, Government, Free

Patent monopoly creates a lot of problems. It allows the patentee to charge the maximum to consumers. This may not be a problem if the patented product is a luxury item, like parts that go into a smartphone, but can violate basic human rights if it involves things such as life-saving drugs.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Problem, May, Problems

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Government, People, Tax

The feeling of insecurity is inimical to our sense of wellbeing, as it causes anxiety and stress, which harms our physical and mental health. It is no surprise then that, according to some surveys, workers across the world value job security more highly than wages.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Health, Stress, Job

People always think they're in the middle of a revolution while they tend not to realize the enormity of a change that has happened in the past. The telegraph was a revolution, but who looks at it that way these days? The telegraph sped up the transportation of messages over long distances by a huge factor.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Change, Past, People

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Work, Women, Service

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Political, Free, Economic

I don't drink at lunchtime because I'm very weak at alcohol like most Asians.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Alcohol, Weak, Most

What free-market economists are not telling us is that the politics they want to get rid of are none other than those of democracy itself. When they say we need to insulate economic policies from politics, they are in effect advocating the castration of democracy.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Politics, Democracy, Want

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Freedom, Rules, Free

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?Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Challenge, Democracy, Stone

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Enemy, Angry, Lazy

When I was growing up in South Korea in the '70s and early '80s, the country was too poor to buy original records. Everything was bootlegged.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Growing Up, Country, Growing

People tend to think that numbers are quite objective, but numbers in economics are not like this. Some economists say they're like sausages: you don't know what they really are until you cut into them.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote People, Numbers, Think

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Music, Art, Time

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Money, Thinking, Giving

We need to accept that consumption is not the end goal of our life and stop measuring our well-being simply on the basis of earnings. We need to explicitly take the quality of our work-related life into account in judging our well-being.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Life, Goal, Quality

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.Ha-Joon Chang

0 likes view quote Hell, Country, Same
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