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Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change Audio Download – Unabridged

3.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Though this book is well written, there is not enough to it to justify the price or the time involved in reading it. Essentially it is one long platitude - market capitalism is the best way of providing people with satisfying lives - but very light on any kind of substantiating data. For example, the author assures us that people were/are extremely satisfied with jobs in factories - the evidence for this though is somewhat lacking and the counter argument (that such routine jobs are soul destroying and people take them because capitalism effectively gives them no choice) is not defeated.

I actually have some sympathy with what seems to be Phelps' main point - that modern capitalism is insufficiently able to take risks to be sustainable - but he does surprisingly little to prove it.
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By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The author is a Noble Laureate. His book chaiienges many of our cherished assumptions about how economles succeed.

As he points out it is not engineering skills or education or scientific discovery or entrepreneural enterprise that leads to economic change, it is the willingness of all society to plunge into the 'frenzy of development'. In brief, to embrace novelty. The whole of society has to change habits, attitudes and ideas, and depart the safe harbour.

He disputes, as have others, the theories of Schumpeter and Spiethoff. He exposes, with ease, the errors of Marx and his historical determinism. He points out that the industrial revolution in this country was not made by scientists, but by humble men with ideas. For example, Arkwright was a wigmaker who invented the water-powered spinning frame.

Phelps points out that culture is the key to economic growth. He cites Israel as a prime example. Business plans abound in the state. Innovation thrives. During the 1990's Israel absorbed one million Russians. Some 57,000 of them were engineers, twice the number of engineers in Israel before they arrived. Israel's population is around 7m, yet the number of start-ups is huge.

The author also examines America's innovative history and suggests why it has declined in recent years.

The most fascinating part of this book is that devoted to China. She has to innovate. In the past 30 years China has dramatically increased R and D spending and dual-use technologies. Once a formidable totalitarian state, she is emerging into an innovative Asian giant. By 2020, China will have a national system that can track everyones credit history, meaning marginal costs of getting bank deposits will fall to zero.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book is quickly turning in to a disappointment. On and on it goes without ever accomplishing much. I had such high hopes given te provenance of the author. 10% into the book, I wish I hadn't bothered.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author is trying to propose a new way of looking at economic history, which is admirable enough, but his broad-brush conclusions are supported by little evidence and key concepts like 'innovation' and 'dynamism' are poorly defined.

Perhaps more worryingly the text fails to really carry the reader along or give context to where the story is headed.

A real disappointment :-(
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Format: Hardcover
Ignore the last two reviews. It's a great book. . Hard going in places but that's because the ideas are complex. Put the time in and it will change your world view.
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