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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Betterness: Economics for Humans, March 24, 2012
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This review is from: Betterness: Economics for Humans (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
Betterness is a book written by an academic for academics. I can't imagine anyone from the business world getting excited about it. Very little logic is used, and real world realities aren't revealed in any of the pages. It's obvious that the author never worked in a 'corporate' or private business environment because he missed so many of the motives that drive people to innovate and compete in business.

He lauds Steve Jobs and others, along with a few examples of other 'green' companies but misses what Jobs or the others really have done. Steve Jobs, and other, tried and failed more than once before he got it right. Then he went for his competition's jugular by marketing newer and innovative products, cutting his competition off at the ankles. If one of his employees couldn't meet the standards he set, he was gone. This method of operation is true of all successful organizations, big or small. Mr. Haque misses the important human trait that drives innovation: fear. Fear of failure, lost job, lost income, lost prestige, losing. His premise that 'human and environmental capital' etc, is possible falls short because the world isn't a nice place to work in. He doesn't account for 'jobs reality'. Only if jobs were as he describes: magical. But that aint reality because our planet is peopled by people.

Mr. Haque spends one third of his book on corporate mission statements, lauding some and critiquing others. If he had ever worked for a successful company, he would have seen that mission statements are in its customer sales data. And that's how the corporate hierarchy describes it: customer sales data. Nothing more.

Betterness reminded me of Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged'. The government takes over all of the business environment through regulations, strangling the economy, and business goes off to its own world and shrugs. Mr. Haque's premise requires a full socialization of business, government regulation and labor. He doesn't understand, as with most academics, that innovation comes from the free and liberated mind of the inventor who can only see a bountiful future. He doesn't care about his neighbor because he's only interested in getting his product to market.

He lauds Apple but doesn't contend with the reality of life. Apple products are designed and distributed from the US but manufactured overseas with cheap labor. How does Mr. Haque's formula take uneven labor or politics into his equation. He doesn't.

Like most academics who don't have a grip on reality, he just dreams. He uses 'studies' and university findings to support his contention but when it comes to reality, Betterness is really Lousyness.
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