Building Wealth: The New Rules for Individuals, Companies, and Nations in a Knowledge-Based Economy

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Harper Collins, Jul 3, 2000 - Business & Economics - 336 pages
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There is no doubt that we are in the middle of a transition to a knowledge-based economy. Breakthrough technologies in microelectronics, biotechnology, new materials, telecommunications, robotics, and computers are fundamentally changing the game of creating wealth. While these new industries are growing explosively, existing industries such as banking and retail are being transformed beyond recognition. As a result, a new global economy is emerging to replace existing national economies.

What will it take for individuals, companies, and entire countries to succeed in the new economics of the twenty-first century? Rather than focusing on spending, Lester C. Thurow argues that we must emphasize investment in basic knowledge, education, and infrastructure. Only by committing ourselves to building communal wealth can we maximize opportunities for building personal wealth as well. Building Wealth is an indispensable guide to surviving -- and thriving -- in the economies of the twenty-first century.


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Building wealth: the new rules for individuals, companies, and nations in a knowledge-based economy

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The U.S. economy surged past those of Europe and Japan in the last decade in terms of the creation of jobs and market wealth. According to best-selling author and MIT economist Thurow (The Future of ... Read full review

Review: Building Wealth: The New Rules for Individuals, Companies & Nations in a Knowledge-based Economy

User Review  - Jered Skousen - Goodreads

He sure got lots of things wrong--including his view of the past (so no doubt his view of the future, in 1999, was going to be a miss). His principles of wealth-building are so broad they aren't of any use. Read full review


Chapter 2The Glittering Eye at the Top of the Wealth Pyramid
Part TwoThe Archaeology of a Wealth Pyramid
ChapterSEntrepreneurial Skills
Chapter 6Creating Knowledge
Chapter 7Skills
Chapter 8Tools
Chapter 9Natural and Environmental Resourtes
Part ThreeTreasure Hunters within the Wealth Pyramid
Missing Treasures
Part FourThe Builders
Chapter 12Managing the Tensions of Wealth Creation
Chapter 13Building a Wealth Pyramid
EpilogueA Salute to the Builders

Chapter 10Marketable Wealth

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Page xiii - Knowledge is the new basis for wealth. This has never before been true. In the past when capitalists talked about their wealth, they were talking about ownership of plants and equipment or natural resources. In the future when capitalists talk about their wealth, they will be talking about their control of knowledge.
Page 6 - Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth," Archimedes allegedly said (c.
Page 117 - With the advent of the information revolution - or the third industrial revolution (call it what you will) - skills and knowledge have become the only source of sustainable long-term competitive advantage. Intellectual property lies at the center of the modern company's economic success or failure.
Page 33 - ... labour. 7 Thurow is actually writing about changing economic landscapes in the information age: New technologies mean change. Change means disequilibrium. Disequilibrium conditions create high-return high-growth opportunities. The winners understand the new technologies, are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and have the skills to take advantage of these new situations. They become rich . . . Disequilibrium situations usually depend upon radical changes in technology, but...
Page 33 - Suppose parents could add 30 points to their children's IQ. Wouldn't you want to do it? And if you don't, your child will be the stupidest child in the neighborhood...
Page 257 - ... incentives grows. The standard incentive is to give inventors a monopoly on the right to produce the products that can be created with their knowledge - a right that they can use or sell. Whether we like it or not, the corollary of fading government efforts is the need for stronger private monopoly rights. At the same time, once any piece of knowledge exists, the social incentives are reversed 180 degrees. The wider the use and the faster the distribution ofthat new knowledge, the greater the...
Page 31 - Successful businesses must be willing to cannibalize themselves to save themselves. They must be willing to destroy the old while it is still successful if they wish to build the new before it is successful. If they won't destroy themselves, others will destroy them. Representative government (filtering the voters' views through congressmen and senators) was invented to compensate for the slow transportation and communication systems of postcolonial America.
Page xii - Mineral resources at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century.
Page 97 - As we embark upon a new century, the importance of entrepreneurs and their companies will grow. As MIT's Lester Thurow puts it: In the century ahead the economic game will be played on three levels [at the national, company, and individual levels]. . . . Companies will play the game based on the skills they employ, the capital investments they make, their technical prowess, and their ability to globally source and sell new products. New start-ups that rapidly grow to become big multinationals will...

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About the author (2000)

Lester C. Thurow is the Lemelson Professor of Management and Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1968. From 1987 through 1993 he was dean of MIT's Sloan School of Management. His previous books include the New York Times bestsellers The Zero-Sum Society and The Future of Capitalism.

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