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Heavens on Earth: How To Create Mass Prosperity Paperback – 11 Mar 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback (11 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849545197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849545198
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 2.2 x 13.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 793,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

a timely and well-written refresher on what truly drives economic growth. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic should read it, quickly --Dalibor Rohac, Washington Times

Floru s writing style is instantly engaging...Because of this, it s one of the first books I will now recommend to people who don t believe in the power of the free-market, but want to understand more about it... you won t regret having picked it up. --Backbencher

Heavens on Earth is indispensable bedtime and boardroom reading… The book is thorough, enlightening and fun, and a must-read in times like these --ASI Blog

About the Author

J. P. Floru is a Senior Research Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute. A prolific writer, speaker and blogger, his articles appear in The Daily Telegraph, City A.M. and ConservativeHome.com.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lydia Ellis on 12 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
For those who, after five years of austerity (and rising deficit), despair about how to create growth, Heavens on Earth is indispensable bedtime and boardroom reading. In it, JP Floru investigates eight countries which have transformed their economies to create lasting high growth. In different times and places the methods used to make the switch from scarcity to plenty have been remarkably similar. At times it is surprising: who would think that there are great correlations between the Industrial Revolution in Britain, 2013 Communist China, post-World War II America and Pinochet-era economics?

"If Julius Caesar had met George Washington in 1760, he would have found the world barely changed. He would have been served food prepared by slaves in a stately home. The average age would have been twenty-eight to thirty-five. Just 250 years later he would have heard talk of missions to Mars..." So what happened? The book brings these arguments to life throughout with such insights. Meet "Sideline Stan", the New Zealand Minister of Labour who systematically refused to intervene in social conflicts. Meet Hong Kong's John Cowperthwaite, who sent statisticians arrived from Whitehall on the first plane back: statistics would only be used to interfere and harm the economy. At the same time Heavens on Earth explains the main economic concepts which are relevant today: the Laffer Curve, Austrian economics, the wisdom of Adam Smith (no coincidence: JP Floru is a Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute) and the workings of Keynesian economics (or rather: why they do not work).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John on 15 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
More serious than JP Floru's previous book (What the Immigrant Saw), Heavens on Earth is just as enjoyable. I never thought that countries as diverse as Chile, New Zealand, and China had so much in common policy-wise. While in Britain, Europe and the US political leaders are bickering about the redistribution of a reducing pie, enlightened leaders in Hong Kong and Singapore make the pie grow so everybody is better off.

The book explains how failing countries became and are becoming rich. Sometimes too detailed, there are some real gems in it: "When tax is 50%, you work one day out of two for the state and you are only half free"; "When the state takes responsibility over our lives, we become like animals living in herds who are led by shepherds"; "Rulers always think that they can do better than the ruled". Or, even in the dedication: "To leaders who don't redistribute what is, but allow people to create what can be".

What are we waiting for? Or, as the writer puts it: "The choice is yours. Will your children live in poverty, under the status quo, or be prosperous beyond your wildest imagination? Do you choose regulation, a "third way", or freedom?

This is a must read for anybody interested in politics or economics at any level. Easy to approach and very readable. As you might have guessed, I enjoyed it immensely!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By RogerV on 27 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
What could be a boring read comes to life through a large number of anecdotes, funny and erudite information. My personal favourites were the chapters on China and Hong Kong - countries which are prospering by following the capitalist route which the West has now abandoned. Other countries discussed are New Zealand, USA, Singapore, Erhard's Germany, Chile, and...Britain. Britain, which long ago ditched the open economy, is reminded of its illustrious past through a highly informative chapter on the industrial revolution. Most of what Britain did in the 18th century could be so useful today.

It's also a very positive book: at the end it recommends a number of ways in which prosperity can be increased: reducing the size of the state, privatisations, cutting state spending, deregulating, lowering tax, rule of law, safety, abandoning state privileges and free trade. I hope our politicians take note.
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