Book Review: Creative Destruction. How to Start an Economic Renaissance

The financial crisis of the latest years triggered many authors either to analyze it or to find some kind of solution. One of the latest books, it came out on March 29th, is Creative Destruction by Phil Mullan, published by Policy Press at the University of Bristol. The author works in business, at the moment he is director of Epping Consulting, and had management roles in Easynet Global Services.

His latest book has as subtitle How to Start an Economic Renaissance: that’s why Mullan starts by explaining all that, according to him, went wrong in the last 40 years, concentrating on what he calls a “Long Depression”, lasting until today. Technology is very important in Mullan’s vision, and economy slowing down after two decades since the Second World War coincided with man landing on the Moon and a slow-down in the space research.

Tecno-pessimists’ and techno-optimists’ visions are both analyzed in the chapters. New discoveries in resources, like the extraction of North Sea oil, or in technology like the spreading of the Internet «provided the opportunity to avoid tackling fundamental problems of investment and productivity», as Mullan states explaining what a “resource curse” is. However, «‘creative destruction’ on a significant scale is essential to restore growth. Older, less productive capital assets will have to be written off and replaced by a wave of transformative outlays on the latest technologies in newly emerging sectors of production».

Moreover, while the GDP includes useful activities that add no new economic value, it doesn’t take into consideration products that make life easier or happier.

Mullan tries to tackle all these problems to propose a creative solution, while at the same time explaining some basic concepts in small boxes, thus allowing anyone to read his book.


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