How rich countries got rich and why poor countries stay poor
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 economic theory has long been torn between the continental Renaissance tradition and the free market ideas of English and later American economics. Our economics 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. This 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. (Anthem Press)