What is good for General Motors is not necessarily good for the United States (Ha-Joon Chang’s Thing 18)

23-things-they-don-t-tell-you-about-capitalismA thought-provoking quote from Ha-Joon Chang’s 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism (p.190-191), part of my occasional series of brief excerpts from his bestselling book:

“Despite the importance of the corporate sector, allowing firms the maximum degree of freedom may not even be good for the firms themselves, let alone the national economy. In fact, not all regulations are bad for business. Sometimes, it is in the long-run interest of the business sector to restrict the freedom of individual firms so that they do not destroy the common pool of resources that all of them need, such as natural resources or the labour force. Regulations can also help businesses by making them do things that may be costly to them individually in the short run but raise their collective productivity in the long run – such as the provision of worker training. In the end, what matters is not the quantity but the quality of business regulation.”

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