Credit has crunched, debt has turned toxic and the gears of the world economy have ground to a halt. It's time to address one of the most fundamental questions a society can ask: why do things cost what they do? Writer and activist Raj Patel incorporates some basic, but forgotten, economics as well as cutting-edge neuroeconomics, history, philosophy and sociology to show how the price we pay for everything - from food, to handbags, to fridges, to entertainment - is systematically distorted, reflecting neither true value nor real cost. He also looks at the impact of free goods and services (such as the internet and Google, TV, healthcare, even thoughts and love) and the distortions they too produce in a market economy. The Value of Nothing is radical, original and nimbly argued. After reading it, the question "How much?" will no longer be simply about the price on the box.
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