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How Rich Countries Got Rich . . . and Why…
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How Rich Countries Got Rich . . . and Why Poor Countries Stay Poor

by Erik Reinert

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"Since anyone who criticizes the entire system of others has a duty to replace them with an alternative of his own, containing principals that provide a more felicitous support for the totality of effects to be explained, we shall extend our meditation further in order to fulfill this duty." ~ Giambattista Vico, La Scienza nuova, 1725. ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786718420, Hardcover)

In this refreshingly revisionist history, Erik Reinert shows how rich countries developed through a combination of government intervention, protectionism, and strategic investment, rather than through free trade. Reinert suggests that this set of policies in various combinations has driven successful development from Renaissance Italy to the modern Far East. Yet despite its demonstrable success, orthodox developemt economists have largely ignored this approach and insisted instead on the importance of free trade.

Reinart shows how the history of economics has long been torn between the continental Renaissance tradition on one hand and the free market theories of English and later American economies on the other. Our economies were founded on protectionism and state activism — look at China today — and could only later afford the luxury of free trade. When our leaders come to lecture poor countries on the right road to riches they do so in almost perfect ignorance of the real history of national affluence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:34 -0400)

"Erik S. Reinert is a key figure in the growing worldwide movement against neo-classical economic theory. He argues that rich countries have developed through a combination of government intervention, protectionism, and strategic investment, yet, when it comes to today's poorer nations, the orthodoxy insists on unqualified and absolute standards of free trade. Reinert's strongly revisionist history reveals how evonomic theory has long been torn between the continental Renaissance tradition and the free market ideas of English and later American economics. Our economies were founded on protectionism and state activism and could only later afford the luxury of free trade, so when our leaders come to lecture poor countries on the right road to riches they do so in almost perfect ignorance of the real history of mass affluence. His book mounts a strong challenge and opens up the debate on why free trade is not the best answer for our hopes of worldwide prosperity."-- Back cover.… (more)

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