Read The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato Online

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This book debunks the myth of the State as a large bureaucratic organization that can at best facilitate the creative innovation which happens in the dynamic private sector. Analysing various case studies of innovation-led growth, it describes the opposite situation, whereby the private sector only becomes bold enough to invest after the courageous State has made the high-This book debunks the myth of the State as a large bureaucratic organization that can at best facilitate the creative innovation which happens in the dynamic private sector. Analysing various case studies of innovation-led growth, it describes the opposite situation, whereby the private sector only becomes bold enough to invest after the courageous State has made the high-risk investments.The volume argues that in the history of modern capitalism, the State has generated economic activity that would not otherwise have happened, and has actively opened up new technologies and markets that private investors can later move into. Far from the often heard criticisms of the State potentially 'crowding out' private investments, the State makes them happen, shaping and creating markets, not only 'fixing' them. Ignoring this reality only serves ideological ends, and hurts effective policymaking.This book examines case studies ranging from the advent of the Internet to the emergence of the biotechnology and nanotechnology industries. In particular, the volume debunks the myth that Silicon Valley was created by entrepreneurial venture capital. A key chapter focuses on the State investments behind Apple's success, and reveals that every major technology behind the iPhone owes its source to public funds. Thus, while entrepreneurial individuals like Steve Jobs are needed, their success is nearly impossible without their ability to ride the wave of State investments. And if Europe wants its own Googles, it needs more State action, not less.Two forward-looking chapters focus on the emergence of the next big thing after the internet: the 'green revolution'. Both solar and wind technology are currently being led by State spending, whether through the US ARPA-E programme or the Chinese and Brazilian State investment banks. The discussion refreshingly moves beyond the usual division between proponents of austerity vs. the proponents of fiscal stimulus. It argues that State investments not only help kick-start growth during periods of recession, but that they also, even in boom periods, lead to productive investments in radical new technologies which later foster decades of growth.The book ends with a fundamental question: if the State is so important to investments in high-risk innovation, why does it capture so little direct return?...

Title : The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths
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ISBN : 9780857282514
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 266 Pages
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The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths Reviews

  • Ben Thurley
    2018-10-04 09:49

    Check out the one-star reviews for this work and you'll quickly get an idea of why it is so very, very good. (G)libertarians and free-marketers are hyperventilating as Mazzucato Mariana surgically dissects their treasured myths about the desirability of a small and feeble State and the power and dynamism of unfettered capitalism, stretches their entrails out across the landscape, and leaves their corpses on public display.The core myth that Mazzucato methodically skewers, punctures, deflates, shreds (pick your preferred metaphor here) is that business is innovative and dynamic, the driver of economic progress, while the State is passive, inert, or even a hindrance. Far from it. Although innovation is not the State's main role, Mazzucato demonstrates in well-researched and -argued chapters that a courageous and entrepreneurial State has often played the leading role in technological innovation and creating the foundations for major economic transitions and breakthroughs. Most tellingly, she highlights that every single technology that make Apple's iPhone "smart" were government-funded or developed directly by organs of the State or consortiums convened through State brokerage – the internet, GPS, touch-screens display, wi-fi, and voice-activation. Such radical investments – which embedded extreme uncertainty – did not come about due to the presence of venture capitalists, nor of 'garage tinkerers'. It was the visible hand of the State which made these innovations happen. Innovation that would not have come about had we waited for the 'market' and business to do it alone – or government to simply stand aside and provide the basics.She pushes beyond the role of the State in providing the basics or fixing "market failures" and demonstrates that there is an active and visionary role for the state in directing economic development in particular sectors, recruiting expertise, mapping the landscape, coordinating public and private actors (including businesses, academics, research bodies, and others) – to make things happen that otherwise would not have.In contrast, she demonstrates how entrepreneurs are generally developing or finding business applications for technologies which are already available, and that venture capital – far from funding dynamic, early-stage, innovation – generally hangs back until public funding has created enough certainty to attract their investment. The biotech and renewable energy revolutions are cases in point.Along the way, she murders the notion that businesses do best when there is low tax or weak regulatory environments. She argues firmly that – given their risk leading role – States need to become more assertive against rent-seeking businesses. "In so many cases," she writes, "public investments have become business giveaways, making individuals and their companies rich but providing little (direct or indirect) return to the economy or to the State."Rigorous and refreshing. And one to share (and argue over) with your favourite right-wing friends.

  • Herve
    2018-10-06 14:51

    I have been very much impressed by the Entrepreneurial State but I also have some major doubts and even some disagreements. Maybe I have been brain-washed in the last 20 years of my life but my experience in Silicon Valley and venture capital and also my less than satisfying experience with planned innovation by the State convince me that entrepreneurship is crucial and maybe more important than the State role in the innovation part (not the research or even the R&D).Now I fully agree that seed funding by the State of innovation through research and the taxes to be paid by companies are essential. I also agree that VC is less and less risk taking and that corporate R&D is just a D and the R has disappeared both in IT and pharma.A great book about why innovation is in crisis and how the State might contribute to solving what the private sector stopped doing.

  • Agnès
    2018-10-05 06:49

    A really interesting essay about innovation, the role of the State and the myths surrounding the risk-taking in the private sector, venture-capital (VC) or SMEs. Studying how Apple built its innovative products using State-financed innovation, or how Big Pharma is only expanding the existing public-based research, Mariana Mazzucato convincingly demonstrates how public policies should be focused on investments and innovation in the long run, creating a stable regulatory environment and sometimes creating markets which the private sector will not launch on its own (renewable energies for instance). Finally, she also underlines the importance of inclusive growth, and in that context, of better rewarding public risk-taking, establishing symbiotic innovation ecosystems to replace the current parasitic ones.A very good read, written in a simple and engaging style. Highly recommended!

  • Keith
    2018-10-07 14:32

    This is a long review so stick with me. But I need to point out why you should not read this book or anything else this author writes pertaining to economics (maybe she knows something about art, who knows).The author claims "there is a danger whena general desire to reduce the size of the state translates into weak and non-ambitious economic policy." As though reducing the size of the state somehow makes the economy non-ambitious. Or the reverse, that increasing the size of the state would make the economy more ambitious (try telling this to those that had to live in the Soviet Uniont) But this shows a very poor understanding of economics on the part of the author because, as should be obvious to anyone, the state doesn't exist without siphoning funds away from the private industry in the first place. She says that "over the last three decades in the development of the computer industry, the internet, the pharma biotech industry,and many more including today's nanotech industry. None of these technological revolutions would have occurredwithout the leading role of the state." But the government did not invent the internet, the computer industry or any of these. She somehow thinks that if the government steals money from these industries then gives a little of the money back to politically connected businesses, that it is then responsible for the success of any of those businesses (but not for the failures). She repeatedly claims the government (DARPA) invented the internet. But the internet was not invented by any one person or group. It started with hackers then with other groups along the way, and at some point DARPA had internet technology that it did nothing with for over 20 years other than make TELNET. She makes these same claims for the computer industry! How incredible that if the government gives google or apple a $5000 grant but venture capital and private investment gives them millions that the government is somehow responsible for the entire computer industry. She also claims the government created google's search algorithm. This is such a stretch of the truth. Google used a simple algorithm developed by government researchers that it combined with many other developments from others and their own to create what they have today! This is like saying the government came up with the theory of relativity because they taught Einstein arithmetic when he was a kid. That is absurd. But she repeatedly points out DARPA, and holds it up as a shining example of government achievement. What is not mentioned, is how much money DARPA has wasted to achieve so very little. The other important point is that the few useful things DARPA has managed to create that the private sector can use are then given to politically connected businesses that didn't share in the cost of the technology they're now using. She points out what Keynes and Polyani say about the free market not being stable, but fails to see that the economy was far more stable before implementing their centralized plan of government and monetary policy. The great depression happened after centralization of the banking sector! Her claim is that the government is the only one willing to take the risk of long term investments. But reality flies in the face of this. The Wright Brothers created the airplane with less than $1,000 of their own money, meanwhile the government gave Samuel Pierpont Langley $50,000 to build an airplane and he couldn't do it! The Wright Brothers then offered to sell their plane to the war department who refused and told them they were just crazy kooks. Does the government sound like someone you want "investing" your money in R & D?What the author fails to understand is the basic principle of cost effectiveness. Meaning that when people invest their own money in research they analyze the cost benefits of such an investment. The government on the other hand has no incentive to do so because they don't care how much money they lose. Why should they? It's not their money anyway. The government instead, takes money from the private sector then gives it out to "research" in companies that have political connections such as Solyndra. Yet the author points out these "investments" by the government as successes, even though the majority have either filed bankruptcy or can't make a profit and are still lining up for more taxpayer dollars. Alongside DARPA she points out the NIH and their research. It's true that "two thirds of new molecular drugs in the past ten years were discovered with government spending" but 1. that money came from the private sector to start with. 2. the large politically connected pharmaceutical companies get to decide how that money is spent. and 3. the patents filed as a result of that research are handed over FOR FREE to those same politcally connected large companies. On top of this the NIH conducts research fraud in many cases to discredit competitors of the large pharmaceutical companies as they did with Dr. Burzynski. Smaller companies continually get the shaft because they don't have the political connections to get the NIH to fund their research and hand them patents. Taxpayers are funding the research of these large companies, only to see the NIH hand a patent over to the large companies that then gouge the medical patients for all they can. If the government is so benevolent and cares for our well being then why isn't it dissolving the patent and allowing generic drug producers to provide the taxpayers that funded the original research with affordable drugs??!! She points out the huge costs of developing drugs that pharma companies have to deal with. This is her rationale for government picking who wins and loses. But why are the costs so high in the first place? Look no further than the government itself! The FDA has mountains of rules and regulations. They even have a pay to play policy that favors the largest corporations that can afford to effectively bribe FDA officials. They also do all they can to ban competition from unpatentable drugs and natural alternatives further driving up our healthcare costs. How can the author ignore this? How can she complain of the high costs of drug development (a government created problem) and then say the solution is more government!What these examples of the NIH, DARPA, and so many others indicate is a fascist policy of corrupt interbreeding between government and large politically connected companies. The author realizes that if these government agencies fund research then they should get some of the reward when profits are made, but what she doesn't understand is that's not how government works. Oddly enough, that is exactly how private investors work!The bottom line here is do not read this book! The author does not understand basic economics. She stretches the truth on purpose in many cases and sometimes flat out lies (saying the government invented the internet). Her misunderstanding of basic financial concepts such and cost effectiveness is astounding. I hope any reader that believes what this author wrote will eventually take the time to learn economics and finance so they can understand the folly of this author's writing.

  • Dominik
    2018-10-02 06:43

    This is an important book that shows how the state plays a crucial role for innovation at different stages of their development and implementation. It also debunks several myths about companies and VC propensity to take risks and their ability to carry out research leading to innovation.

  • Martin Dubeci
    2018-10-08 13:47

    V Menej štátu a podobných kruhoch sa často používa schopnosť súkromného sektoru prinášať inovácie za zmanenie jeho nadradenosti, v porovnaní so skosnatelým verejným. Táto kniha túto tézu celkom elegantne rozložila. Hen v toľko ospevovanom IPhone je vlastne väčšina technológii výsledkom štátom financovaného výskumu. (Firma to pospájala do pekného obalu a user experience, všetka česť) Na veľké vedecké prielomy je potrebná stabilita a širšie horizoty, ochota podporiť základný výskum, ktoré so sebou prinášajú verejné peniaze a schopnosť štátu reguláciou ovplyvňovať ekonomiku. (Predstavme si: obnoviteľnú energiu, lieky, či kedysi IT, internet či vesmír). Súkomný sektor prichádza, až keď sú horizonty výnosnosti ako tak jasné. Nevolá po komunistickej revolúcii, ale po triezvejšom postoji voči verejnému kapitálu a inštitúciam a ich vzťahu so súkormným. Vzťah z ktorého často berie zisk ten druhý menovaný a riziko ten prvý. Štavnatú samostatnú kapitolu si už v roku 2013 vyslúžil Apple so svojim veselým využívaním štátnej podpory, vedy, regulačnej náklonnosti a podpore vládou v expanzuií spojenej s vyhýbaním sa daniam. (Viď napr. staršiu investigatívu NYTimes - http://goo.gl/8qq6p)Čo je však z nášho pohľadu najblbšie zistenie je iný argument knihy. Nejde o peniaze, ktoré naleješ do výskumu a vedy (vzťah medzi inováciami a peniazmi je nejasný), ale o systém ktorý podporuje vzdelanie, rozvoj ľudí, firiem, inštitúcie. Máme čo robiť a povedať nechať všetko na trh asi nestačí, aj keď to intuitívne znie lákavo a pohodlne. Škoda, že namiesto tohto riešime horalky, koncesie a čakáme, kedy nám migranti unesú krajinu.

  • Tara Brabazon
    2018-10-11 10:38

    What a ripper. This is a magnificent book. Based on a DEMOS report and now expanded, this book should be read by every politician and policy maker who describes the private sector as exciting, innovative, profit-leading and dynamic and the state as boring, risk-averse and damaging to entrepreneurship. Mazzucato makes a case and a powerful argument that for the big risks - the seriously innovative research that can enable leaps in business, technology, agriculture and industrialization - 'the market' is risk averse. Businesses want easy profits. The real innovations take time, persistence and doggedness to accomplish. Shareholders are too impatient for such innovations.It is important to remember - and a key chapter in this book - that the innovations that emerged from Apple via the iPod to the iPad were based on state-based and funded research. In other words, Apple made a profit and reaped the rewards of being 'innovative' yet these innovations were developed in state-based and funded organizations.The ideology post the GFC, that the state is the problem and only has a role in mopping up the mess when markets 'go to far,' is destroyed in this book. It is impossible to read Mazzucato's book and not be transformed. Any time anyone mentions the innovations in private business and the importance of keeping the state out of economics and business, send them a link to this book. Make sure they read it.

  • Bob Duke
    2018-09-18 10:49

    The book made some good arguments in regard to the state having an important role in fundamental research. I approached the "Green" chapters with much trepidation which was proven do be justified. The author had indeed drunk the Green Koolaide by quickly dissing any research into nuclear power and quoted the installed capacity of renewable energy sources rather than their actual output. The criticism of the role of the state in picking winners has often been illustrated by such things as Concorde. The authors explaining away of this is not helped when she accepts bio fuels as being a positive rather than realizing that they are an environmental and economic disaster promoted by green and agricultural interests. What could have been a good book was eventually rather under whelming.

  • Athan Tolis
    2018-09-29 07:46

    Could not be reading this book at a more appropriate time. Last week Merck announced they are firing some 7.500 scientists. This week it's Alcatel firing another 5,000. That's not any company, Alcatel, it's owned by Lucent, previously known as Bell Labs.One of the main theses of the book is that business these days concentrates its efforts in bidding up the share price through buybacks, that it puts more emphasis on returning money to its shareholders rather than fostering the research that benefits all stakeholders and society in general. Government, on the other hand, can be and has been a patient long term investor.My problem with the book is that it moves freely from facts to theories, from theories to conjectures, from conjectures to opinions, from opinions to pure ideology and from ideology back to facts. There are no clear demarcations here.Example of a very powerful fact from the book: The NIH spends USD 30 billion per annum on research. To which my reaction is "wow, shame on me, I had no idea, that's massive"Example of a well-accepted theory from the book: There are times when the government is best placed to step in. Market failures (example: lighthouse, air traffic control), national interest (the military springs to mind), externalities (example: curbing pollution, getting everybody to learn how to read and write). Few people dispute this.Example of a conjecture in the book: The state is capable of kickstarting a green economy through 1. fostering the right collaborative environment for researchers in universities and the private sector and 2. through backing early initiatives with patient capital. (You'd have to agree, is my view, the question is what else that money could have gotten for you, of course.)Example of an opinion from the book: Companies should not pursue profit maximization first and foremost. (For the record, I find the alternatives appealing, but ultimately romantic dead ends. There! How's that for an opinion?)Example of (implicit) ideology from the book: Bottom of page 187 the author starts a sentence as follows: "While the classical economists (such as David Ricardo or Karl Marx) studied innovation and distribution together..." and it's a good thing she tucks that in so deep in the book rather than at the beginning, or I would have put the thing down. I genuinely don't think "classical economist" is the first description of Karl Marx that springs to anybody's mind.Don't mean to subvert here, just to point out that the book definitely has an angle and plays around with facts, theories, conjectures, opinions and ideology.I am a former entrepreneur, have suffered in the hands of the VCs the author has so little time for (the accusation is they find the ready work of government and jump in at time epsilon before there's any money to be made) and I'm extremely sympathetic to many of the arguments she makes. I really really wanted this book to be awesome.It falls short.The weakest part of the book is the case against Apple. I really could not care less that the government invented/fostered/supported technologies such as 1. The DRAM cache, 2. Lithium-ion batteries, 3. Signal compression 4. Liquid Crystal Display 5. Micro Hard Drives, 6. Microprocessors, 7. Click-wheel, 8. Multi-touch screen, 8. GPS, 9. The Internet, 10. Cellular technology, 11. SIRI.I credit my wife with being an excellent cook. She goes to the same supermarket that's available to me. She can make a dinner to truly entertain ten people; I am merely qualified to poison them. It took a mad (and mad he was) genius to take all these technologies and put them in the palm of my hand. Perhaps I know this (and the author does not) because I'm a former entrepreneur:Mariana, my friend, IT'S IN THE DOING. Steve Jobs did it. Thousands failed. So did he, at first. Ever played with an Apple Newton?It gets better. Apple made millions, but others are now catching up. Pretty soon, unless it innovates again, Apple will be making "normal profits" on the devices it pioneered. Rich fellows like me paid 700 dollars for an iPhone, but in ten years' time everybody will be able to buy an iPhone equivalent for ten bucks, if the phone company is not already giving one away with the contract.The other thing I found a bit disingenuous is the following: The ten inventions mentioned above were all fostered by the Department of Defence. Forgive me, but as far as I'm concerned, there is no worse den of inefficiency on the face of the planet. I know, this is ex-post. If we had the red flag flying here my feelings would be very different. We'll never know, because we don't have the "what-if" world to compare with.But I've read the book and I'll be damned if the author disagrees with me that the DoD wastes tons and tons of money. They HAD BETTER be getting some type of dividend from their work. I don't think this can all be presented as some sort of triumph.Moreover, if we spend on energy what we've spent on defence, I bloody hope we solve the energy problem forever. Funnily enough, the amounts the government has spent on defence since the end of the war are similar order of magnitude to the amounts the US has spent on energy.China is presented as some kind of poster-boy for fostering green energy, except the very company the author decides to make an example of has gone bankrupt.Don't get me wrong. Ultimately, I share the author's view that there's something fundamentally wrong with capitalism in 2013 versus capitalism in 1960. I also share the author's view that there is a clear role for government in innovation. The paper lists today who works for government because we're in the middle of the 2013 US government shutdown as I'm reading this. Away from the military, it looks bloody lean to me (and stop pelting me with rotten tomatos before you look at the numbers for yourselves!!!!)There's one more thing here that's of interest. The author is an expert in mathematical models of growth and innovation. She refers briefly to the various "endogenous models" for innovation, but merely to mention they exist. Why not dedicate a chapter in the book to how these models work? Give us some credit, maybe we could read them and stay with you. I don't bear Stephen Hawking any grudge for that book I bought once, and he lost me pretty early on!In summary, this is not a book that has served me a great deal of ammunition to fuel my prejudices. Which is a shame.

  • Max
    2018-09-17 13:34

    De centrale stelling van dit boek, dat de staat verantwoordelijk is voor veel technologische innovatie zonder daar de credits en beloning voor te krijgen, wordt goed uitgewerkt, al mis ik weerwoord. Interessant zijn de case studies van onder andere de farmaceutische industrie en apple, waarbij ook vermeld moet worden dat de auteur 1 richting op redeneert en geen voorbeelden laat ziet waarbij de innovatie niet vanuit de overheid is gekomen. Ja de overheid subsidieert de ontwikkeling van medicijnen die niet perse winstgevend zijn, en krijgt daar dan geen tot weinig beloning voor terug. Hetzelfde geldt voor alle onderdelen in de ipod/phone die door de overheid ontwikkeld zijn en door apple gemarket. Of het algoritme van google dat onder overheidssubsidie tot stand is gekomen. Belangrijkste rol van dit boek is voedsel te geven in de grote discussie over de rol van de overheid. In Nederland minder een issue dan in Amerika. Het boek zelf is een zeer dun uitgesmeerd verhaal, wat makkelijk in 1/3 van de pagina's vermeld had mogen worden: Zelden een boek gelezen waarin zoveel nietszeggende, zichzelf herhalende alinea's gepropt zijn.

  • Mike O'Brien
    2018-09-28 07:37

    As the intro says: 'this book...challenges the widespread idea that the State cannot pick winners, that it is clumsy, bureaucratic and incapable of entrepreneurial risk taking'Essential reading for a more rounded view of the role of the state than is usually promulgated by much of the media.

  • Paul
    2018-10-09 13:48

    Ogen openend boek over de rol van de overheid in investeringen in ontwikkelingen. Lezen.

  • Kevin
    2018-09-24 07:53

    In "The Entrepreneurial State", Diane Mazzucato fleshes out a cogent and encompassing argument for the necessity of State-led intervention and direct financial investment within the realm of technical "innovation" (and related technological development). To form her argument, Mazzucato first lays out her idea of the 'alternative hypothesis', or the traditional argument, that the best role of the State is to stay out of the free-market and to avoid "picking winners". This position, which is built atop 'Classical Liberal' ideas related to deregulation, decentralization, and the "free market-driven" economy, is a staple within laizes-faire economic schools such as those of Austria and Chicago. In this traditional view, the State is a barrier to entry for innovation, and functions little more then as a hurdle or regulatory 'check' to the outgrowth of technological progress. Mazzucato, however, believes that story of the "innovative Private Sector" and the "slow, meddling State" is an oversimplification of a more nuanced, complex reality. In her book, Mazzucato attempts to shut the argument against State investment down by citing a wide-range of statistical and anecdotal evidence in an attempt to show the importance of active state intervention in the domestic marketplace, which the author views as "more entrepreneurial then the private sector" (p. 77). According to Mazzucato, some of the most important (and broadest reaching) technological developments result from state-led initiatives through agencies like ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the DoE (Department of Energy). Because of the State's position and high level of leverage, it is able to act as an early stage investor for research and development initiatives with high levels of risk and/or uncertainty. As a result, State-driven funding often precedes that of its venture capital (VC) counterpart, which Mazzucato describes as "impatient". In addition, R&D funds from the Private sector may have some level of an implicit contract to not "bite the hand that feeds them" by 'canabalizing' an industry through a Schumpetarian act of "Creative Destruction". This leads the author to conclude that "investment in basic research is a typical example of 'market failure'" (p. 66) because in the "innovation game", the relationship between risk and return is not fairly distributed (p. 179)In "The Entrepreneurial State", Mazzucato describes multiple instances of government success in creating cross-industry, general purpose technologies (GPT's). Ruttan (2006) argues that large-scale and long-term government investment has been the engine behind almost every GPT in the last century. Examples of these GPT's include the US 'mass production' system, aviation technologies, space technologies, information technologies, and energy (nuclear) technologies. In my view, the most important example of state-led innovation which Mazzucato cites is ARPA's role in creating the ARPAnet – which grew into today's 'world wide web'. The author's argument that the iPhone would be impossible without the development of standards resulting from state-led investment in "high-risk" technologies is also thoroughly fleshed out and backed by historical evidence. Before concluding, Mazzucato argues cogently for the intervention of the State in the energy market, calling for a 'push' rather then a 'nudge' into the creation of a "Green Energy" infrastructure. She argues for the creation of a 'symbiotic', green innovation system as a way to offset the current externalities which result from carbon emissions. According to Mazzucato, the future of energy lies in wind and solar, rather then in nuclear-based power (as some 'energy experts' point towards).Mazzucato wraps up her argument for the necessity of State-led market intervention by restating and finalizing the assertion that "market-failure" lies in the uneven "reward-from-risk' distribution in which failures fall on the public sector (by means of increased debt), and the fruits of success goes to private industry (Ch. 9). In Mazzucato's view, in order to create an 'innovation ecosystem', it is important to understand the key differences in the roles of State and Private actors, and especially "what each actor brings to the system" (p. 207). After reading this book, I have come to agree with Mazzucato's emphasis on the importance of State's role in creating deep institutional links between research and enterprise – and in the internalization and absorption of the risk involved in this process.

  • Pete
    2018-09-30 13:29

    The Entrepreneurial State (2013) by Marianna Mazzucato looks at how the state is, according to Mazzucato, entrepreneurial in its development of science and technology.The first thing about the book is that it abuses the word 'Entrepreneur'. Mazzucato tries to put forward the idea that the state, by financing research is being 'Entrepreneurial'. But it's not really. The financial risk for the state itself isn't that great. The financial risk for the people who allocate the funding is also small. The book does make the case well that a lot of technology had much of the initial development paid for by the state. The book looks at the IPhone extensively and points out that microprocessors, the internet, touchscreens and the GPS in the device were all built for the US government. She then implies that Apple and other technology companies and VC firms just took the money and should pay more of it in tax. The book downplays the difficulty of performing this kind of integration and ignores the many companies who tried and failed to build a successful smartphone prior to the IPhone. There is a very interesting review of the book in The Guardian that points out the problems with her general thesis. The book then puts forward the idea that the government is the key entity that needs to shape clean energy by being entrepreneurial, but also in taking the upside and more of the profit. She jumps from pointing out that the state created various technologies used by Google and Apple and pharmaceutical companies to saying that it can just shape the market to prefer her favored energy choices. It's not a strong argument. The US government did invest in IT, but there was no design of a market for computers, software and smartphones. That simply evolved. Mazzucato makes the point that Apple doesn't pay their 'fair share' of tax by pointing out that they use tax shelters to minimize the tax they pay. She doesn't mention the raw figure of how much tax big US IT companies pay. Even with various tricks to reduce their tax they still pay billions and their employees, in jobs created by these companies also pay a great deal of tax.  The Entrepreneurial State makes the case that well that state spending on R&D has paid off in many instances. The claims it makes that the state should obtain more of the profits and benefits and shape markets is not well made. 

  • Piet Boels
    2018-09-17 08:46

    A gem of a book for all those snow-flake lefties/liberals who are feeling left behind in the current onslaught of red-toothed and -clawed deregulationism and small-state-ism and its pernicious effects on... well, everything Essential reading for all those who keep on insisting that everything new, exciting, problem-solving, trailblazing and money-making idea comes from the individual, and only the individual, working alone in/at his/her shed/desk/room/headspace. Then again, those who insist on the universality of this meme, do not usually read. I am tempted here to exchange the auxuliary verb "do" with "can", but that would be insulting, but only when the direct and formal meaning of the sentence thus rendered is considered. A multitude of well-researched examples are competently described to prove her thesis. Moreover, those all-too-readily available examples of the meme above (Gates, Jobs et. al.) are eye-openingly placed in their relevant context, further strengthening her case. Academic but immensely readable, dry but still page turning, I finished the book as bed-side reading in a fortnight (I should go out more, but that is another discussion). As in any competent white-collar crime investigation or thriller, the basic premise of the book is: Follow the money. With hindsight, it should be blindingly obvious: inventing, improving, developing or simply managing something to a decent standard, costs money. Be it a military, borders, healthcare or public order. I always have wondered why, in the mind of the small-state-ists, the state can be trusted to run border control, defense, intelligence gathering or running the judicary but should keep out of healthcare, social security or, do not even dare to mention it, runnig a business. Whereas this, on the surface, is already indicative of muddled thinking, willfully ignoring successful stories of managing complex organisations and services, there is a world of underlying confused thinking. A state, or for that matter, any public body different from a commercial organisation, running a business should not be confused with the state owning or imposing a monopoly (as in communism, as in owning all the means of production etc). There is no denying that untold dire consequences ensued when states ran monopolies and used the advantages of the legislative/executive/judiciary, size and opaque distribution of ultimate responsibilities to the advantage of bureaucrats and only the bureaucrats. But for every such example of abuse of power by the state, there is an example of a big commercial entity, throwing its weight about, monopolising a product or service, using the advantages of the legislative/executive/judiciary, size and opaque distribution of ultimate responsibilities to the advantage of...chief executive officers and their immediate subordinate minions. Reading the book was like seeing the area you live in and know intimately for the first time from a bird's perspective. The only thing I could not work out in the end was the design of the cover which reminded me immediately of the Lion King. Maybe this is a completely faulty association on my part, but it is the only question mark remaining in a mind filled for the rest with exclamation marks.readReady when you are to strom the barricades, Mufasa.

  • Wilte
    2018-10-09 12:29

    Powerful book that hammers home an important point: the State plays and has played a pivotal and vital role in innovation that is very under-appreciated; many break-troughs and innovations are the result of the state taking risks and investing money. Mazzucato convincingly shows that even darling Apple is much indebted to technology done by and paid for by the government. Forcefully debunks many myths, like the risk-appetite of venture capital (pretty short-term and not too high risk appetite) and that a major role for the state would be communist (No, most successful capitalist economies have had active States).Great book with clear and convincing argument, based on sound (economic) research.page 37 As eloquently argued by Keynes in the The End of Laissez Faire (1926, xxx), ‘The important thing for Government is not to do things which individuals are doing already, and to do them a little better or a little worse; but to do those things which at present are not done at all.’page 49 From the development of aviation, nuclear energy, computers, the Internet, biotechnology, and today’s developments in green technology, it is, and has been, the State – not the private sector – that has kick-started and developed the engine of growth, because of its willingness to take risks in areas where the private sector has been too risk averse.page 141 Apple concentrates its ingenuity not on developing new technologies and components, but on integrating them into an innovative architecture: its great in-house innovative product designs are, like that of many ‘smart phone’ producers, based on technologies that are mostly invented somewhere else, often backed by tax dollars.page 152 Apple’s new generation of iPods, iPhones and iPads have been built under the assumption that new consumer needs and preferences can be invented by hybridizing existing technologies developed after decades of government support.page 157 Apple is on the verge of building the future for information and communication industry based on the radically complex ideas and technologies conceived and patiently fostered by the government.page 160 Source: Author’s own drawing based on the OSTP diagram ‘Impact on Basic Research on Innovation’ that illustrates the benefits of basic research on innovation (2006, 8).page 163 In sum, ‘finding what you love’ and doing it while also being ‘foolish’ is much easier in a country in which the State plays the pivotal serious role of taking on the development of high-risk technologies, making the early, large and high-risk investments, and then sustaining them until such time that the later-stage private actors can appear to ‘play around and have fun’. Thus, while ‘free market’ pundits continue to warn of the danger of government ‘picking winners’, it can be said that various US government policies laid the foundation that provided Apple with the tools to become a major industry player in one of the most dynamic high-tech industries of the twenty-first century so far.page 222 One of the biggest challenges for the future, in both cleantech and whatever tech follows it, will be to make sure that in building collaborative ecosystems, we do not only socialize the risks but also the rewards. It is only in this way that the innovation cycle will be sustainable over time, both economically and politically. Politically it is important for taxpayers to understand how they benefit from the massive State investments that build the foundation for future private profits. As jobs are increasingly global, rather than resisting this with nationalistic dogma, there are concrete ways for returns from State investments to be captured so that the citizens who funded technological development can be sure to share in the gains. page 242 in 2012, the compensation package for these Apple executives was $411.5 million. To put this in greater perspective, the average employee at Foxconn earns $4,622 annually, meaning the top 9 executives earned the same amount of money as 95,000 workers did in 2011 and 89,000 workers did in 2012.page 252 Future competitiveness – consequently the socioeconomic prosperity – of nations and regions is highly dependent on their ability to maintain their most valued asset: the innovation ecosystem that they are part of. Given, however, that the innovation game can also be rigged, it is crucial to understand not only how to build an effective innovation ‘ecosystem’, but also and perhaps especially, how to transform that ecosystem so that it is symbiotic rather than ‘parasitic’, so that public–private partnerships increase the stake, commitment and return of all players investing in the innovation game.page 256 After the financial crisis, many have rightly noted that finance has increasingly privatized the rewards of their activities while socializing the risk (Alessandri and Haldane 2009). page 258 Shareholder-value ideology is based on this notion of shareholders as the ‘residual claimants’ and thus the lead risk takers with no guaranteed rate of returnpage 259 Yet this framework assumes that other agents in the system (taxpayers, workers) do have a guaranteed rate of return, amongst other things ignoring the fact that some of the riskiest investments by government have no guarantee at all: for every successful investment that leads to a new technology like the Internet, there are a host of failed investments – precisely because innovation is so uncertain. But reducing the ability of the State to either collect tax, or to receive its fair share from the returns, hurts its future ability to take such riskpage 267 the most successful capitalist economies have had active States, making such risky investments, and we have been too quick to criticize them when things go wrong (e.g. Concorde) and too slow to reward them when things go right (e.g. the Internet).page 270 What distinguishes the State is of course not only its mission but also the different tools and means that it has to deploy the mission. In Karl Polanyi’s epic book The Great Transformation (1944), he argued the State created – pushing, not only nudging – the most ‘capitalist’ of all markets, the ‘national market’ (while local and international ones have predated capitalism). The capitalist economy will always be subordinate to the State and subject to its changes. Thus rather than relying on the false dream that ‘markets’ will run the world optimally for us ‘if we just let them alone’, policymakers must better learn how to efficiently use the tools and means to shape and create markets – making things happen that otherwise would not. And making sure those things are things we need.

  • David
    2018-10-12 06:38

    One of the popular narratives of the past 35 years (I believe it began with Reagan) is that the federal government is an ineffective and generally useless part of our society. As a government employee, I have a number of friends and family who have happily reminded me of this for years. This book turns that narrative on its head by discussing the many instances in which government research and regulation have yielded outcomes that have benefitted commerce and society. The internet was invented by the government. Every hardware feature on an Ipad, started in a government research lab. Many of our most popular drugs were developed with government funding. Google was started with a National Science Foundation grant. Elon Musk successfully used the same program that Solyndra used. CAFE standards have spurred innovation in the auto industry. Many will argue that all of this could be done in the private sector, but the reality is that most private firms are so focussed on shareholder value that they've cut research budgets (where is Bell Labs today?) in favor of stock buy backs and short-term profits. Basic research matters and the public and university sectors are where much of it is done. It's unfortunate that we're so willing to cut off our noses to spite our faces.

  • Johan
    2018-10-09 09:51

    The book gives rise to interesting thoughts regarding the state's role in the economy. What would happen with innovation in a society with a minimal state? The author is obviously very opinionated on the subject and drives the point that the state's role as an investor is vital for economic growth. However, the book could use more examples from around the world and it is heavily based on the author's own research. As it stands many of the same technologies are repeated over and over again, and despite being relatively short the book could actually be even thinner without loosing any content.Despite these objections, the book is well-written and well-paced and one wishes that this is only the starting point for more research and writing on the subject in order to change the public view of the state's role in the economy. As the author notes the current view held by many is that the state is ineffective and blamed for being bad at "picking winners", while it is seldom getting appreciation for the great technological breakthroughs it has, at least in part, been responsible for.

  • Dschreiber
    2018-10-03 08:30

    Champions of the free market call for the government to play a minimal role in the economy. They see government as useful in setting the conditions, and providing incentives, for private enterprise, and they might allow that government has a limited role in fixing a few things that the market fails to provide, such as roads and pollution cleanups. But essentially the public sector is regarded as fearful, sluggish, and bureaucratic, the enemy, a dead hand on the economy. Dynamism is the result solely of private sector activity. This is the view of most businessmen, politicians, media pundits, and, because of their combined influence, large swathes of the general public.In The Entrepreneurial State:Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths Mariana Mazzucato provides a correction to this view, pointing out the central role that the government plays in innovation. Drawing mostly on the US experience, the epicentre of innovation, she demonstrates that the pussy cat in innovation has been the private sector while the state has been the lion. The state, not the private sector, has led the way in virtually all the fundamental breakthroughs, whether in nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, computers, the Internet, GPS, etc. The state has been the entrepreneurial actor in the economy, taking on the riskiest projects, accepting the certainty of a high failure rate, constantly forging into the unknown while the private sector hung back. It is important to realize, she says, that the state does much more than merely undertake and fund basic research, where high costs and long time horizons hold off the private sector; it also provides the initial impulse, the creative vision that gives direction to research. And, far from simply handing over the results of its basic research to the private sector, it often has to provide assistance along the entire process of commercialization, including the task of creating and stimulating markets through government procurements. Only after the heavy lifting has been done by government does private venture capital and the entrepreneuial individual take an interest.A professor in the Economics of Innovation at the University of Sussex, Mazzucato provides ample support for her view with data, charts, case studies, citations, arguments and counter-arguments. She takes Apple as the prime example of the relationship between public and private sectors in the area of innovation, devoting an entire chapter to the company. When Apple was still a computer company, it was struggling and faced a very uncertain future. Then it produced a wave of new products, the iOS family (iPod, iPad, and iPhone) which created sudden success of astronomical dimensions. But, Mazzucato insists, Apple had nothing to do with developing the twelve key technologies underlying its earth-shaking new products. For decades it was the US government that worked on the core technologies exploited by Apple, the multi-touch screens, the advances in batteries, microprocessors and micro hard drives, the voice-recognition technologies behind SIRI (Apple’s virtual personal assistant), GPS, the creation of the Internet, etc. Apple has been undeniably brilliant, but not in technological innovation; its genius lies in recognizing opportunities in emerging technologies, in the integration of existing technologies, in product design, and in marketing. When R&D investments are compared between Apple and similar companies such as as Microsoft, Samsung, Sony, Google, and HTC, Apple’s commitments are revealed to be decidedly modest. Apple has ridden a wave created by the innovative public sector, enabling it to achieve annual sales of over $100 billion, an annual profit of $30 billion, and a market capitalization of $663 billion. This pattern of reliance on and exploitation of public sector discoveries is repeated across all the high-tech fields, with the pharmaceutical industry being another fine example.The rewards these companies reap are far out of proportion to their own input and the risks they take. The innovation system has become what the financial system was revealed to be in the 2008 crisis—the socialization of risk and privatization of reward. It is not a rational system. Mazzucato calls the public-private relationship parasitic rather than symbiotic. Most importantly, the system is not sustainable in an era of enormous national debts. The state, argues Mazzucato, should get some return from its enormous investments in order to cover the costs of the many failures inevitably bound up with the earliest and riskiest phases of R&D, as well as to fund future innovations. Mechanisms might include royalties, patents held by the government, the state holding equity in companies, or state development banks, which have proven their worth in Germany, China, Norway, and Brazil.It is no defence of the current system to suggest that the state gets its rewards in the form of taxes and employment. With globalization and changes in corporate culture, it is now corporate practice to avoid taxes through complex schemes involving shell companies set up in dozens of jurisdictions around the world, at the same time that tax cuts are demanded as “encouragement” to business. Manufacturing jobs are largely shipped offshore, where wages are at rock bottom. In the case of Apple, most of its American workforce is left in low-wage retail stores.The Entrepreneurial State is not anti-business, and it does not argue for government to be the big player throughout the economy. Its purpose is simply to create a clearer picture of how innovation really works with a view to educating policymakers and the public. Once the state becomes clearer and more confident about its role in innovation, a more rational and sustainable system can be constructed, based on a realistic assessment of risks and rewards for the various actors in the process.

  • Jeff
    2018-10-11 09:54

    A solid tweet turned into a tedious and repetitive book. The tweet would be something like:"The state does a lot of heavy lifting and assumes the greatest risk for innovation. Maybe it could socialize the benefits and not just failures?"There. You've basically read the book.I was looking for something that would propose alternatives to the sensible-sounding bits of free market ideologies. I want a path to ethical regulation that avoids negative externalities. This book didn't offer that. Its points are undoubtedly true, but of little use in the war of propaganda against free market and anti-government ideologues.

  • Themistocles
    2018-10-01 10:44

    So.... yeah. If you thought that the iPhone is the result of great capitalist powers at work, you need to read this. Mazzucato does a great job at dissecting chosen industries (for instance, pharmaceuticals, electronics, power) and gives food for much thought. It also goes on a tangent regarding the externalization of risks and internalization of rewards which is very interesting in itself.Minus one start because the writing, accessible as it is, is nonetheless a bit dry and academic in style, but still a great and very useful read to put things in perspective.

  • CW
    2018-09-19 07:29

    Interesting read and the point that innovations are moving for their source from the private to the public sector was more than credible. Good supporting evidence in the book. Completely agree that the state should be rewarded for its innovations and the lack of a coherent world wide corporate tax regime is crucially required. Only three stars because I felt the books main points were repeated far more than necessary and a shorter punchier book would have been preferably.

  • Carlos Iglesias
    2018-09-17 07:47

    Moi interesante a proposta de cambio de perspectiva na análise do Estado e o avance tecnolóxico. O capítulo 4. "O Estado detra´ do iPhone" moi recomendable. Existe versión en español. "El Estado Emprendedor"

  • Tim
    2018-09-28 06:34

    Great idea, disappointing book. One of those books that could have been an article instead

  • Colin Bruce Anthes
    2018-09-29 08:40

    Essential for understanding what in modern capitalism functions when it functions. The implications are very debatable.

  • Chris F
    2018-09-17 08:43

    This is a fantastic book. Mazzucato's overarching argument is that we need the return of the state in markets, in order for markets to function most effectively and for society to see the highest returns. Mazzucato argues this isn't simply about addressing 'market failures' usually narrowly defined but rather the state needs to retain its role from basic research to application in order to finance objectives the market deems either too uncertain, too risky or simply lacks the capital or horizons to invest in.

  • John
    2018-09-18 13:40

    Written by Mariana Mazzucato, a professor at the University of Sussex (UK), "The Entrepreneurial State" is a short, engaging book that attempts to provide a comprehensive view of how innovation-led growth occurs. Mazzucuto devotes significant space to debunking the some of the more common myths surrounding the causes of innovation, particularly the idea that innovation results solely from the efforts of small private businesses that are led by visionary leaders and that receive key support from private investors who take risks despite intrusive and counterproductive government regulations and policies.Yet what if that view isn't true? What if many of the technological advances upon which "innovative" companies like Apple and its peers in fields like information technology, biopharmaceuticals, and, more recently, clean energy depend actually were funded and created by the public sector? What if innovation-led growth results not from lone visionaries but from an "innovation ecosystem" in which the public sector undertakes the greatest risks, with private actors coming later to build on advancements that appear promising and develop commercial applications? And what happens if those private actors forget their debts to the public at large and engage in "parasitic" behaviors through which the firms appropriate for themselves all of the resulting gains while simultaneously undermining the very innovation ecosystem upon which they owe their success?Through multiple case studies, most notably one of Apple, Mazzucato addresses such questions and highlights the too-often hidden hand of the state in driving innovation. In fact, the author argues that in certain situations the state is the most entrepreneurial agent in the innovation ecosystem since it is able to take on risks that no private actors would, imagine new possibilities, create and shape new markets, and coordinate research across diverse sets of actors. One may disagree with some of Mazzucato's descriptions of individual cases (cases drawn from such diverse places as the US,UK, continental Europe, Brazil, and China), but the sheer number of examples should lead readers to realize that something important is being described--something not captured in either conservative or liberal (in the US sense of the terms)accounts of innovation-led growth and the government's role in the process.Additionally, Mazzucato's book performs an important service in exposing just how large of a role the federal government plays in the innovation economy of thr United States and how positive that role has been at times. Put differently, the author points out just how much industrial policy has occurred in the United States, a country that supposedly eschews industrial policy; in that respect, the book plays an important role in shining light on another aspect of what some writers have termed the United States' "invisible" or "submerged" state. And when the invisible is made visible, citizens should ask hard policy questions about, for instance, the wisdom of preferential tax treatment for firms that profit extensively from taxpayer-funded investments in innovation. Such questions matter not just for fairness, but also for ensuring that the process of innovation continues in the future.Overall, "The Entrepreneurial State" is a fresh, engaging read that is sure to elicit strong emotions from readers all along the political spectrum.

  • Sara
    2018-09-23 10:41

    A glimpse of how the imperial state operates[Through my ratings, reviews and edits I'm providing intellectual property and labor to Amazon.com Inc., listed on Nasdaq, which fully owns Goodreads.com and in 2013 posted revenues for $74 billion and $274 million profits. Intellectual property and labor require compensation. Amazon.com Inc. is also requested to provide assurance that its employees and contractors' work conditions meet the highest health and safety standards at all the company's sites].The books concentrates on state investments in innovation/R&D, revealing the hidden 'visible' hand of the state behind many 'cutting edge' corporations and industries (Apple, Google, pharma at large). While the narrative is impressive in setting the investment record straight, the flimsy, almost naive post-keynesian stance of the author makes her case for a fairer reward of the state innovation efforts totally unconvincing.The 'State' here is taken as a sort of theological entity, whose unity and benevolent agency remains unquestioned. What do we talk about when we talk about the state? Governmental agencies with huge budgets ($30.6 bn spent on pharmaceutical research in the US in 2012) and no accountability to any elected body? The alleged scandal of the public protection of national industries can be hardly understood as such if not in light of the neoliberal double standard. And the role of the state in promoting the international hegemony of the national economy is not advertised not for fear of a right-wing backlash, as the author holds, but because - being right-wing driven - it would reveal the hypocrisy of the Jeffersonian (as opposed to Hamiltonian)/neoliberal official position that the state should not interfere with the markets.The neoliberal apparent contradiction is solved when the state unity is broken down into its potential functions, complementary or alternative based on the institutional framework (the constitution, usually). Neoliberalism attacks the state in its redistributive role as provider of public goods to its citizen, funded via progressive taxation, but appropriates it in its 'imperial' function of defender of the national industrial and financial interests, using military power when convenient. Confusing the imperial state - mainly concerned with global hegemony - with the redistributive keynesian state, primarily interested in the defense of internal social peace, is a major logical shortcoming of the book's argument flow.From a fact finding perspective, the theological unity assumption prevents the author from investigating the decisional processes, the fine agency and the institutional mechanism that allow - in the face of rhetorical 'austerity' - to keep the levels of imperial spending so high.The case of the missing public investments in the reneweable energy sector is particularly interesting, as it confirms that in the currentancien régime"leave it to the markets" is the new "let them eat cake". When elites want something to happen, they use the state to achieve it. When they have no interest - as in the case of the fabled transition to a low carbon economy - the answer is 'the market'.

  • Brian Greiner
    2018-09-22 13:47

    Overall, a fascinating and thought-provoking book. The writing style is a somewhat on the dry, academic side, but reasonably readable for a wider audience.The premise, backed up with a lot of research that is detailed in the bibliography, is that contrary to popular opinion the State can be an active force that drives innovation. For example, where do you think the Internet (protocols and hardware) came from? I'll give you a hint - it wasn't from basement hackers or corporations! Where do you think the WWW protcols came from? Yet another product of government funding (this time it was a by-product of researchers at CERN).After discussing the issues in general terms, she gives detailed examples in the pharmaceutical, wind and solar power, and consumer electronics (specifically Apple)areas. Her historical summary of US government involvement as a driver of high-risk technological development was particularly interesting. I'm old enough to have grown up and worked during those times, and now a lot of what I read about back then makes more sense. For example, the US government did a lot of fundamental research in aeronautics, electronics, and computers, then gave away that research to industry. On top of that, it actively encouraged new companies by acting as their first (and sometimes only) customer. All the big semiconductor firms got their start this way. The story is similar for computers. As the author takes care to point out, it takes more than funding R&D to succeed, and that's where the US got it right. The government did a lot of the basic research, encouraged the commercialization of that research, supplied grants and loans to innovative companies, supplied contracts for high-risk technology, and often acted as the largest (if not sole) customer to get those companies off the ground. The process worked remarkably well, and the author details those successes. Note that the author does not belittle the efforts or talents of the entrepreneurs that created commercial ventures! On the contrary. However, she proves beyond a reasonable doubt that massive government investments both paved the way and supported them.So what's the problem? All that government support has been ignored or forgotten. Those now-big firms are all about maximizing profits and minimizing taxes, which means that the revenue streams that used to be available to fund these firms is drying up. The old-time partnership and understanding between companies and governments has been tossed aside, and now those big companies want and expect special tax treatment and other benefits without paying back into the system that helped to create them.Contrary to what some of the other commentators seem to think, it's not about left or right wing politics. It's about how to create and sustain high-risk/high-reward innovation that is essential to a vigorous economy.

  • Tim
    2018-10-14 12:51

    I ran across the author on a FORA.TV video and then had to start investigating what was really behind her and her views. First, I disagree with most of what she says in any way and I don't see anything that I would equate with learned economists coming out of her. She supports a far-left view of the world, government, and economics. Based on what she tends to say and present a logical conclusion would have been that the US would have lost the cold war and the Soviet Union would have won, because the State is where all innovation comes from - that's her view. Private enterprise and individuals merely leech from it. And her star talking point is the iPhone. Here's what you really get to if you are willing to buy her argument, Steve Jobs really didn't do anything except take technology created by the State and slap it together. Um, innovation doesn't really work like that and people don't usually get rich that way either, but I am going to act like there is something to what she has to say because whether you buy it or not there is a HUGE disconnect in her 'logic'. All these technologies she wants to give credit to were developed by... pretty much NASA and the DOD. Remember that because its a big deal. But where does the government get technology it pays for? Oh, from contracted developers - READ private enterprise. So Raytheon, Grumman, Hewlett Packard, etc., um, those aren't government-employed engineers AND they ARE in competition to get contracts and develop technologies. So when you see those weapon systems, ships, tanks, satellites and so on, somebody built them. I haven't seen very many government-owned factories and any company I ever interacted with tended to have their own development labs. But what I said to remember... the DOD and NASA. Even if I grant her that THEY created those technologies, aren't those the very same institutions her ideological group continually de-fund? How often have we heard this group say the military should be reduced to as little as possible, and that there is no reason to pursue space technology? What have we repeatedly seen when the left is in power? Cut the military. Cut NASA. In the end, is the author saying that we shouldn't have iPods because we never should have budgeted the funds for these things to have been developed? Sounds like it. In the end, the author's views don't stand up to any scrutiny and it seems the only people who support her ideas are those that won't apply any scrutiny. This book is not recommended except as an example of ideology overriding real world economics and logical thinking. Be careful handling such nonsense.