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Critical Analysis of Bad Samaritans Book by Ha-Joon Chang

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The international coercions include forcing developing countries to raise interest rates when these countries get into a recession, even though, when rich countries get into a recession, they do just the opposite. Chang states that the World Bank gets away with these policies because it is essentially controlled by rich countries. The coercion of these countries is galling for Chang, as these liberal policies have been harmful to develop countries. Chang points out that developing countries, prior to implementing neo-liberal policies had a per capita growth rate of 3.2% per year, then 2.1% in the two decades after the neo-liberalism policies have been implemented (Chang, 2008, p.

26). The policies that worked for these countries included protectionism and state intervention and resulted in the per capita incomes growing at over 3% per year. Chang also states that these countries per capita growth rate average would be even worse than the paltry growth rate they have experienced since implementing neo-liberal policies, if China and India, two rapidly growing countries, were not included in the analysis (Chang, 2008, p. 27). Chang also notes that economic instability is being experienced in these developing countries, and has been experienced since the advent of the global neo-liberal policies, which means that “ neoliberal globalization has failed to deliver on all fronts of economic life – growth, equality, and stability” (Chang, 2008, p.

28). Chang later compares the developed countries coercion of developing countries to liberalize their trade policies to coercing a six-year-old child to get a job – while the six-year-old child can start earning money early, that same child will never become a brain surgeon if he is forced to leave school at the age of six to get a job.

Likewise, developing countries will not thrive if they are forced into international competition too early (Chang, 2008, p. 66). Chang’ s central argument is that, like his six-year-old son, developing countries need to be protected until their infant industries are developed enough to sustain the country and then, and only then, should they develop more neo-liberal policies (Chang, 2008, p. 73). Moreover, Chang shows the hypocrisy of Great Britain, who is one of the countries trying to coerce the developing countries into neo-liberal policies.

As Chang points out, Great Britain became a super-power because of protectionist policies, and that, before implementing these policies, their economy was backward.  

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