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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavens on Earth: indispensable reading for the boardroom and bedtime.
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...
Published 17 months ago by Lydia Ellis

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A rather one-sided view?
Possibly an interesting book, but it only seems to interest right-wing free-market commentators - I can't find any comment on it, favourable or unfavourable, from any other quarter. Perhaps the praise for Pinochet's Chile is too much to take: whatever its economic benefits, the way that regime came to power was unacceptable in a civilised world.

To take one of...
Published 14 months ago by Denis Mollison


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavens on Earth: indispensable reading for the boardroom and bedtime., 12 Feb 2013
This review is from: Heavens on Earth: How To Create Mass Prosperity (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).

Although well-known existing ideas and quotes are used, at times the book is highly original: "Regulatory Failure Spiral" is the common enough situation of governments trying to rectify failing regulations with more failing regulations. The "Holy Trinity of Profligate Government: taxing, printing and borrowing" is extensively identified and lambasted. As said before, the links between highly different economic cultures may seem surprising. The ill-informed may also be surprised to learn that concern for the poor permeates the book. Poverty is not just a state in which people exist, it has to be created: it is created by economic oppression and only free markets can free the poor.

Heaven on Earth's sub-title: "How to Create Mass Prosperity?" is laid out in chapter 9 but I won't give the recipe away. Thorough, enlightening and fun.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone interested in economic growth!, 27 Feb 2013
This review is from: Heavens on Earth: How To Create Mass Prosperity (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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 15 Feb 2013
This review is from: Heavens on Earth: How To Create Mass Prosperity (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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading, 16 Feb 2013
This review is from: Heavens on Earth: How To Create Mass Prosperity (Paperback)
This clearly written, enlightening tome should be required reading for our politicians befuddled by the snake-charming peddlers of hight debt, low expectations economics. In contrasting chapters dealing with different countries at different times, Floru distils the essence of their common recipe for mass prosperity. Here is someone who calls on his fellow politicians to be leaders of their people towards a promised land of prosperity for all, rather than being lazy followers of fashion. Top marks.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How nations become rich, 28 April 2013
This review is from: Heavens on Earth: How To Create Mass Prosperity (Paperback)
A well-researched book which convincingly explains why countries are able to get rich. At a time when much of Europe is doing badly, this is a book that politicians - and concerned voters, too - would do well to examine. I liked the chapter on Hong Kong in particular - its success is an amazing story that is too rarely told in the West, but one which the Chinese know very well.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A rather one-sided view?, 1 May 2013
This review is from: Heavens on Earth: How To Create Mass Prosperity (Paperback)
Possibly an interesting book, but it only seems to interest right-wing free-market commentators - I can't find any comment on it, favourable or unfavourable, from any other quarter. Perhaps the praise for Pinochet's Chile is too much to take: whatever its economic benefits, the way that regime came to power was unacceptable in a civilised world.

To take one of the book's admired phrases,"When tax is 50%, you work one day out of two for the state and you are only half free". The alternative view is that you work one day for yourself and one day for the society you live in - seems a fair balance to me, but obviously not to the people attracted by this book.
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Heavens on Earth: How To Create Mass Prosperity
Heavens on Earth: How To Create Mass Prosperity by J P Floru (Paperback - 11 Mar 2013)
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