What they don’t tell you about capitalism


I have been dipping into Ha-Joon Chang’s “23 things they don’t tell you about capitalism“. I recommend it. Its author, Ha-Joon Chang, lectures at Cambridge. He provides a useful corrective to a lot of economic myth-making we have absorbed of late. He seems neither Friedmanite nor Marxist, so much as an acute observer of the gap between theory and reality and an exponent of the political element in economics.

I pulled him off the shelf this morning while trying to find a place for Fawcett’s book on Liberalism. (Bookshelf space provides the necessary Darwinian selective pressure in these parts).

I opened to chapter three, and read:

The wage gaps between the rich and poor countries exist not mainly because of differences in individual productivity, but mainly because of immigration control. If there were free migration, most workers in rich countries could be, and would be, replaced by workers from poor countries. In other words, wages are largely politically determined. (p.23)

[Westerners’] high productivities are possible only because of the historically inherited collective institutions on which they stand.

First, will someone tell me why Trump is not exactly right in enforcing US immigration law at US borders in order to protect the US working class?

Second, is not his observation perfectly consistent with what Vdare, American Rennaissance, Razib Khan, and jayman argue from their respective points of view about “inherited collective institutions”?

It is amazing what agreements are possible among thinking people when one escape’s the narrow strictures of political correctness.