Fortune Favors the Bold: What We Must Do to Build a New and Lasting Global Prosperity (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/3/15
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Bestselling author and renowned economist Lester Thurow argues forcefully that globalization is not a done deal and we must seize the moment now if we are to create a new global economy in which all can prosper.
In this new book, Thurow examines the newly–forming global economy, with a special focus on the role of the US and the dangers to our own national well–being. He examines such questions as: What's at stake for us in the global economy? Why is it important that the system be equitable and that other countries prosper along with us? What should our goals as a nation be – long term and short term? What are the tough choices that need to be made in our relationship with other countries and world regulatory bodies? What role should we be playing globally? What are the political, economic, social choices / tradeoffs we will have to confront?
Thurow contends that the huge and growing US trade deficit poses grave dangers to the value of the dollar and is putting our own economy in jeopardy.
As the world economy leaps national boundaries, its hallmark seems to be a rising instability and a growing inequality between the first and third worlds. Financial crises in the third world come ever more frequently and seem to be ever more severe. The first world economies seem to be in ever more frantic boom and bust cycles. Globalization causes riots throughout the world and is one factor in the rise of terrorism against the West.
Thurow shows how some nations, including Ireland and China, have embraced the concept of globalization and placed themselves into a position to prosper with growing and productive national economies. He contrasts their positive actions with Japan, whose leaders have allowed the nation to drift into stagnation and have destroyed its prosperity.
He argues that this is the time to choose globalization or be left behind, the time to "build a global economy that eliminates the defects," and he provides plenty of ideas for corporations, governments, economists, and citizens to act upon.
“a book about globalization...it’s a pageturner. Thurow...proposes provocative changes to those who shape the global economy” (Fortune)
“The disputes over globalization have evolved...[this] book captures the key issues.” (Harvard Business Review)
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It was fascinating to learn about how patents can be used as weapons or strategic pawns in the race to innovate. Cluster, picket, and submarine patents are all strategies that can allow one to deny an innovator his innovation.
During a recent Christmas season Amazon suddenly announced it had a patent on one click checkout and sought to stop other online retailers from using the one click checkout system. Now, Amazon expected to loose their case, but they gained tremendous advantage by disrupting others. Smart!
You will, I trust, enjoy this book as much as I did.
This is more a consciousness raising tome than a fun, fact-filled poolside read. The writer is expressing that Globalism is here and here to stay and it makes sense to - pardon - "join 'em if y' can't beat 'em". We can lay back into the Socialisic nature of the phenomenon, the capitalist impetus of the phenomenon, or we can simply...lead it!
Much has been written here regarding the author's views on China, his assessment of its' industry and communications: he seems to have forgotten to buy the Almanac in his manuscript phase. This Reviewer is no expert in this area, but let's remember that in '09 China was able to buy the USA debt and give us conniptions with their (suddenly) aggressive exporting. In '05, I assume it was a more quiet, stable working relationship.
Some food for thought: the author challenges us to apply ":bold" to actually willingness to lose some cache econmociall to help another continent, always held back by France and England...Africa. We have put a lot of resource and energy - and sent 10s of 1000s of American lives to an early grave in the Indochina and the Middle East while the Sudan suffered beyond dreams of the Vietcong and Al Caeda. Globalization would invite Africa to the table for the first time.
Another probability for the "new bold" to digest: a new Department of Knowledge for the USA, as information Technology grows by leaps and bounds, as it does already with "Obamacare".
I wonder if a 12 page piece (with lively humourous hypotheticals, even cool cartoons) for the New Yorker would have gotten the message across; but I suspect that, over time, this book will have stronger resonance in the pundit community. For example, his muse on "intellectual rights" lends to lingering wonder about our distinctly American *creativity*: as copyright laws are different in every country, as patents are as difficult as ever in our country, will our literary, performing arts, sporting industries be affected as much as our financial sector?
The book lays out some ideas for averting the worst of possible economic futures. I would agree that many are idealistic and probably unworkable. But if this book does no more than prime an intelligent public dialog on the subject of deficit financing, it will have helped this democracy function with it's collective eye on the most important questions.
The reviewer who gave this volume such a low score is himself a "part of the problem." Everywhere I wander in search of economic enlightenment, I find doctrinaire petty political philosophers who are captured by this or that "school" of economics, finding truth exclusively in Keynes, M. Friedman, Laffer/Gilder or some other. The problem is that none of these "schools" or their mindless proponents would recognize a real dynamic model capable of prediction. Economics has not yet become a mature science: it has no equivalent to quantum mechanics which can predict the outcome from a set of initial conditions. So almost all economic writings are anecdotal and filled with special terminology that poorly substitutes for mathematical precision. One can comfortably adopt any particular "school" that fits one's world view because there is no predictive test to say that one or the other is wrong. I have the intuition, admittedly unschooled, that both Keynes and Friedman contribute to an accurate set of expectations.
Thurow certainly does NOT advocate prolonged US trade deficits of the sort we have now. But his view that foreign investment in the US drives our trade deficit, and not the other way around, is supported by none other than the libertarian, Ayn Rand disciples at the CATO Institute. See, for example, work of Daniel Griswold. The CATO work also sees global economic health in a balance which favors capital investment in the US and a constrained non-zero trade deficit.
Having said all this praise, I would nevertheless recommend some other economic books over this one. FFB really needed a post-2008 update. Being written about 10 years ago, too much information is irrelevant to our current economic circumstances. Hopefully, Thurow will write an analysis of the post financial crash soon. I'll be among the first to read (and) review that book.
With the demise of communism in the last decade of the twentieth century, capitalism is the only remaining vehicle of economic development that appears to have succeeded in creating prosperity in the developed world. Globalization in the context of the third industrial revolution led by knowledge based industries is the spread of capitalism across boundaries. Capitalism has three basic traits as outlined by the author - greed, optimism and herd mentality. It is this combination that drives capitalists to establish global supply chains - produce where it is cheap and sell where it is attractive; and everyone has something to sell. Globalization is driven by businesses and not by national governments. While governments can play a catalytic role in attracting businesses, it is business that fuels the engine of growth.
The distribution income and wealth has never been so skewed in the history of mankind. While just a couple of hundred years ago the per capita incomes across nations was almost uniform, and perhaps uniformly low, today the top 20 percent of the nations control 80 percent of the planet's wealth, and this disparity is increasing. While America with over 32 percent of global GDP in dollar terms is the locomotive of global growth, the author emphasizes the urgent need to kick start two other big locomotives- Europe and Japan, that can pull the global economy faster into prosperity. The American locomotive is now struggling with a huge trade deficit and a overvalued dollar. It can stop. Europe and Japan are shut. It is this scenario of no locomotive in action that threatens to bring global economies to a halt, and into a recession. The third world countries will be hit hard should this happen.
There are conflicting interests between the developed world and developing countries when it comes to some vital issues on global prosperity. Capitalism aims at rewarding intellectual properties, and there is no limit to such rewards. Capitalism ignores human aspects. On the other hand there are billions of poor people in developing countries for whom a square meal a day is a luxury. They just cannot afford health care and drugs at international prices. Governments in these countries need to find a way for providing health care though it may not satisfy the prices demanded by global pharmaceutical companies. Intellectual property is important but human life is priceless. Similarly when it comes to agriculture, developed nations protect and subsidize their farmers, which denies a huge opportunity for developing countries to export their production and earn higher incomes.
Singapore and Taiwan receive accolades as models of globalization and growth in Asia. The picture on china is mixed. Growth statistics projected by China are shown as suspect in accuracy and bordering on intentional exaggeration. Despite attracting huge FDIs, China has inherent weaknesses in her banking system and continued government support to inefficient State Owned Enterprises weakens it further. Growth is confined to certain pockets and has not reached large provinces in the interior. China's bet on an export led economy is also not sustainable according to the author.
The IMF and the World Bank are heavily criticized for their outdated policies. The author is in agreement with some observations by Prof. Joseph Stiglitz in his book " Globalization and Its Discontents" on this aspect.
The chapter on the role of a Chief Knowledge Officer for companies and governments is not convincing and there appears to be a lack of continuity with other chapters. Strategic planning in the perspective of a global economy based on knowledge assets is of course very clear, but strategies for managing knowledge in that scenario is a huge topic by itself.
The book starts by drawing an analogy between globalization and the construction of the tower of Babel. According to mythology, the Lord came down, saw the tower and decided to scatter the men who built the tower across the globe and confused the languages of all the earth so that they may not understand each others speech. Hope this time the Lord is pleased by the new tower and shall bless humanity with all prosperity into posterity. This is the tower of the twenty first century.
This book is a call upon all nations to join in this exciting journey. There is no guarantee for success. " Those who leap sometimes lose, but those who do not leap always lose. Fortune favors the bold."