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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
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All About Mass Flourishing

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In the second part of our weekly podcast, Nobel Prize winner and Columbia University Professor Edmund S. Phelps returns to Goldstein on Gelt to speak about his new book Mass Flourishing. Find out what makes a country prosper and the role of innovation in its growth.

About the Author: Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd, a financial planning and investment services firm located in Jerusalem. He specializes in working with clients who live outside of the United States and want to maintain a U.S. brokerage account. Doug’s newest book, co-authored with Susan Polgar, about how using chess strategies to improve your finances, Rich As A King can be purchased at www.richasaking.com. He is a licensed financial professional both in the U.S. and Israel. Securities offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. Accounts held at Pershing LLC., Member NYSE/SIPC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Neither Profile nor PRG gives tax or legal advice. Before immigrating to Israel, it is advisable to consult with a tax attorney who is knowledgeable about Israeli law. Contact at doug@profile-financial.com

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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One Response to “All About Mass Flourishing”

  1. Andrew West says:

    I think it's beneficial to have this conversation, but I think we need to be fair about some of the words that are being used and misused. If we limit our historical analysis to the last 3 decades a few things have happened:

    1. the word "entrepreneur" has been diluted to almost meaningless status. 30 years ago an entrepreneur (French for "undertaker") saw an opportunity because of an existing demand that wasn't being met. That entrepreneur would then "invent" a solution. It wasn't innovation, it was invention. Today, any startup is considered entrepreneurial when they are simply innovating (incremental) and generally speaking they don't create any NEW jobs, they simply replace jobs lost by the losing competitor. It gets worse – buy a franchise and you're an entrepreneur. Many of the activities we refer to as entrepreneurial are simply small business and they too, will displace jobs, not create any. Competition determines that.

    2. Job creation is not something the government of business does, only DEMAND can create a job – A) aggregate demand, B) unmet demand or C) lost demand. Aggregate demand takes care of itself. Unmet demand should be our collective target and lost demand may lost forever (electronics).

    3. Innovation is primarily handled by committees or groups. It is generally risk averse and simply seeks an small advantage of another product or service. Certainly corporations lead in this regard. In 30 years we've settled for innovation and forgot about invention. Invention allowed America to change industries and capture unmet demand. Generally speaking invention comes from inventors, a group we mock on reality shows and fail miserably at giving them assistance. Their ideas and solutions are "too big" and dismissed without any fair, objective review. Part of this stems from our becoming a society of "experts" carving out our own special area. Gone are the generalists that are unafraid to take on entire industries or propose significant (and valuable) changes.

    We have several industries in America that are remarkably inefficient – healthcare, education, agriculture, construction and even charitable giving, yet we don't seek to change those industries, we tolerate the status quo.

    If America is to become productive and economically sustainable we MUST focus on those people believe they can satisfy unmet demand with invention, not incremental innovation.

    America is getting smaller because our ambition and thinking is smaller. If our government wanted to make a bigger difference, how about offering prize money to those that create economically viable solutions to our greatest problems? If they weren't solved we wouldn't waste our money, but entrepreneurs (as we've seen with X Prizes) will embrace the challenge and seek to invent valuable solutions.


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