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Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order [Paperback]

Our Price $ 17.70  
Item Number 289286  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   175
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 6, 2011
Publisher   Seven Stories Press
ISBN  1888363827  
EAN  9781888363821  

Availability  23 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 02:21.
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Item Description...
Why is the Atlantic slowly filling with crude petroleum, threatening a millions-of-years-old ecological balance? Why did traders at prominent banks take high-risk gambles with the money entrusted to them by hundreds of thousands of clients around the world, expanding and leveraging their investments to the point that failure led to a global financial crisis that left millions of people jobless and hundreds of cities economically devastated? Why would the world's most powerful military spend ten years fighting an enemy that presents no direct threat to secure resources for corporations?
The culprit in all cases is neoliberal ideology—the belief in the supremacy of "free" markets to drive and govern human affairs. And in the years since the initial publication of Noam Chomsky's Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order, the bitter vines of neoliberalism have only twisted themselves further into the world economy, obliterating the public's voice in public affairs and substituting the bottom line in place of people's basic obligation to care for one another as ends in themselves. In Profit Over People, Chomsky reveals the roots of the present crisis, tracing the history of neoliberalism through an incisive analysis of free trade agreements of the 1990s, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund—and describes the movements of resistance to the increasing interference by the private sector in global affairs.
In the years since the initial publication of Profit Over People, the stakes have only risen. Now more than ever, Profit Over People is one of the key texts explaining how the crisis facing us operates—and how, through Chomsky's analysis of resistance, we may find an escape from the closing net.
NOAM CHOMSKY is known throughout the world for his political and philosophical writings as well as for his groundbreaking linguistics work. He has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955 and remains one of America's most uncompromising voices of dissent.

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More About Noam Chomsky

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor (Emeritus) in the M.I.T. Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. His work is widely credited with having revolutionized the field of modern linguistics. Chomsky is the author of numerous best-selling political works, including the New York Times bestseller Hegemony or Survival, Failed States, Imperial Ambitions, What We Say Goes, and Hopes and Prospects.

Noam Chomsky currently resides in Lexington, in the state of Massachusetts. Noam Chomsky was born in 1928 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Techn.

Noam Chomsky has published or released items in the following series...
  1. American Empire Project
  2. City Lights Open Media
  3. Columbia Themes in Philosophy

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
reader's digest of Chomsky  Feb 15, 2008
Short published articles by Noam, usually as South American pamphlets or leftist newspaper articles. Easy to read and to the point, quicker to get though than the comprehensive Understanding Power. A good short Chomsky to introduce his most important concepts. A good first Chomsky too see if you want more.
Chomsky in a nutshell -- i.e., where he belongs  Jan 29, 2006
1) Open book; 2) the U.S. is the root cause of all bad things in the world; 3) repeat #2 until it's permanently imprinted on your brain; 4) close book. There, I've just saved you $11.
As always Noam Chomsky's books are a must read.  Aug 21, 2005
Excellent read, the author never fails to open ones eyes in his books.
Recommended highly.
Profit Over People: Neoliberalism & Global Order  Apr 13, 2005
Chomsky's Profit Over People is an insighful and at times shocking analysis of the true motives and practices of multinational corporations and the governement economic policies they operate within. Chomsky spares no time in hammering his message against the concentration of power in the hands of the few through the use of several detailed case studies. As a student of economics and finance at Oklahoma State University, this book caused me to step back and question the very foundation of Smith's free market theory which has comprised my studies thus far. As a reader, I became disgusted by the prospect of private interests having the ability to manipulate the world economy, government policy, and the subposively "free" press to serve their own greed-driven interests while watching the masses suffer.

Although this book succeeded tremendously in causing me to question my own assumptions and encouraged me to stand for a change, it left me wondering how to go about doing so. I feel the book could be strengthened tremendously if Chomsky had included a true conclusion in which he provides a means for change to compliment his call to arms.
A poor treatment of complex global issues  Jul 25, 2002
In this polemic Chomsky attacks `neo-liberalism' in international political economy. To that effect, he damns every supranational economic organisation and agreement that he can think of (the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation, NAFTA, MAI etc.), charging them with being the agents or instruments of US multinational corporations intent on pillaging the Third World, despoiling the environment, and various other sins. The book is not so much an argument as an expostulation; and it is undermined at almost every turn by extravagant rhetoric and weak reasoning.

International political economy is - like all economics - a discipline about trade-offs and the assessment of costs and benefits. There are various criticisms that can plausibly be levelled at all of the bodies or treaties that Chomsky fulminates against, but it is important in formulating them to have a mind to what these institutions or agreements are designed for. To put mildly, the targets Chomsky denounces are not the same thing and do not pursue the same ends. It serves no purpose and does violence to critical inquiry merely to denounce them all as agents of US big business and of free-market fanaticism. The IMF, for example - a prime villain in Chomsky's account - has received much criticism from the school of free market economists that Chomsky believes it represents. These economists (see, for example, Money and the Nation State, edited by Kevin Dowd & Richard Timberlake, and published by the libertarian Independent Institute in 1998) charge the IMF with creating `moral hazard' in international lending, and wish to see the institution abolished. A different view, which I hold, is that the IMF performs a valuable service in allowing troubled economies a breathing space to sort out their difficulties, as was clearly the case with the `tequila crisis' in Mexico in 1994-5, and in fact ought to be more active in its prescriptions than it has been - consider the case of Argentina's ruinous currency peg, which the IMF was highly sceptical of and ought to have stood out against. There is room for discussion and disagreement about how far the IMF should loosen conditionality for its loans (and I am something of a dove in this respect), but these are inevitable debates about how to make effective a necessary and valuable part of the global economy.

Similarly, the World Trade Organisation has nothing whatever to do with free-market fundamentalism or US big business: it is neither more nor less than a commercial court that tries to eliminate discrimination on grounds of nationality. It is a thoroughly progressive institution whose effectiveness is greatly in the interests of the developing world, as evidenced by its first major ruling when it upheld Venezuela's complaint against a US levy on foreign petroleum producers. The World Bank, which under its current management - much to my regret - has veered very far from the cause of globalisation, went to immense lengths to support Third World socialist projects (such as the `ujaama' projects of President Nyerere's Tanzania), with extremely bad results for the impoverished peoples of the countries concerned.

To subsume these differing institutions, aims and approaches into a catch-all damnation of the machinations of big business is neither a profound nor a reliable guide to the modern global economy. Quite how Chomsky reaches his conclusions is of some interest, however, for it indicates quite a lot about the economic reasoning of the anti-globalisation movement. In short, Chomsky just hasn't acquainted himself with the normative arguments and positive findings of those he attacks; this is just not good enough in a book that aims to scrutinise the global economic order, for economics is a rigorously technical and empirical discipline, and not a matter of opinion. I give just two instances if the book's deficiencies in this respect, but they could be multiplied at great length.

Chomsky attacks the advocates of NAFTA, the North America Free Trade Agreement, for supposedly claiming the it would create jobs. In this, Chomsky has just not understood the point - a very fundamental one - about trade. The basic Ricardian argument for trade does not depend on its effect on aggregate employment (which is virtually unaffected by trade: what matters in the short run is the level of aggregate demand, and in the long run is the so-called NAIRU, or Non-Accelerating-Inflation Rate of Unemployment); trade raises not employment but living standards. The chronic poverty that has afflicted Third World nations like Tanzania under a policy of 'self-reliance' demonstrates the point.

My second instance of the weakness of this book's treatment of economics is Chomsky's throwaway reference to William Greider's anti-globalisation polemic One World, Ready or Not. The Greider thesis that Chomsky has latched on to is that there is excess supply in the global economy owing to workers' not receiving enough to buy the goods capitalism produces. This claim is absolutely untenable in theory and in practice: wages are not set abstractly, but are pinned to the marginal product of labour. To put it simply, an additional dollar of output must represent an additional dollar of income to someone. The only way the `excess supply' nostrum could hold is if you claim that the additional dollar of income goes to someone with a higher marginal propensity to save - and that conclusion requires a study of the facts. This book doesn't trouble with the facts, which are that savings rates in most industrial economies have been falling for years, while in the developing countries they have been growing less quickly than investment demand.

Enough already. Chomsky is not an international economist, and his book is depressingly short on empirical research and economic logic. Indeed the book is almost a logical fallacy itself, for it exemplifies the anthropomorphic fallacy that one may attribute personality - in this case a wicked and grasping avarice - to an abstraction, namely the `capitalist system'. At any rate, it is a poor book that does nothing to enhance its author's reputation in his chosen personal interest - far from his specialist field - of politics and economics.


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