Building Wealth by Lester C Thurow
Thurow steps through the currently understood factors to growth: Natural and Environmental Resources, Tools, Skills, Creation of Knowledge, Entrepreneurship, and Social Organization (balancing). He then analyzes the status of these factors haphazardly across countries, distilling his commentary into rules (a subset of which are quoted below).
These insights seem preconceived with no hint as to where he got them from. Without the framework, we can't tell whether he has covered all the factors. I have a sneaking suspicion that he's basing these off someone's growth model. Time to go review the current state of the art macroeconomic growth models.
No one has ever become very rich by saving their money. The rich see opportunities to work and invest in situations where large disequilibriums exist.
Successful businesses must be willing to cannibalize themselves to save themselves. They must be willing to destroy the old while it is still sucessful if they wish to build the new before it is successful. If they won't destroy themselves, others will destroy them.
The secret of success is finding places to employ one's resources where (one's) weaknesses are irrelevant.
Humans have discovered how to operate successful capitalist economies in the midst of modest inflation, but not how to operate them in the midst of even mild deflation.
The economic payoff from more socil investment in basic research is as clear as anything is ever going to be in economics.
Capitalism requires clear easy-to-enforce ownership rights.(easily copied intellectual property = problem)
Only those interested in the future build tools. Whatever they might say, those who build few tools are not interested in the future.
Economic and environmental progress are synonyms -- not antonyms.