- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 16 hours and 25 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 9 Dec. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00H4P8790
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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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