Current Reads

Current Reads

June 2020

The Entrepreneurial State – Mariana Mazzucato

This is a great book if you want to learn about some facts about the government’s role in innovation and change. Most Americans know that the internet came out of DARPA. What they would perhaps not know that the wonderful iPhone that you hold in your hand would not have been possible without the U.S. government’s subsidies and loans.

The Entrepreneuraial State

Mazzucato’s argument is simple: It is the state (government) that invests heavily in most basic research and technology developments, subsidizes the creative work by offering loans to many of the well-known ‘innovative’ firms that we know, but does not get enough credit for it. While Steve Jobs is considered a genius – and rightly so – his innovation would have come to naught without the massive government investments in GPS technologies, touch-screen technologies, and related components that make the iPhone.

The image of the pharma industry as innovative is also made up, as much of the work done by NIH and other government agencies is crucial to their success. The government took up the risks that are humungous, she argues.

This is a provocative book that I am enjoying, and you will too. In the meanwhile, if you want a taste of some of these arguments, check out this TED talk that Mazzucato gave, a while ago.

Now, go get this book! You won’t regret it.

Divide – American injustice in the age of wealth gap – Matt Taibbi

I came across the title quite accidentally, when reading an article about the criminal justice system in the U.S. This is a haunting book that shows you why the rich and powerful get away with what they do. It is depressing, demoralizing but also ultimately illuminating, in pointing out how liberals like Eric Holder and his ‘Holder Memo’ have contributed to much of the mess around corporate litigation. As a non-lawyer, I found this book to be engrossing and a must-read.

Divide Matt Taibbi

Well written, with a lot of detail for the lay-person. Add this to your reading list.