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Do you like to read books on history, politics, or economics--preferably a mix of all three? You don't have to be an expert, just someone who likes good conversations and stimulating reading. There are a lot of great books out there to geek out on. Let's have a chat about them with like-minded people over a beer.

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Let's Read "How Asia Works"

Olympia Provisions Public House

Let's read "How Asia Works: Success and Failure In the World's Most Dynamic Region" by Joe Studwell. I've been meaning to read this one with the group for a while, because I think it will make for good discussion. Studwell has bold, clear arguments, which always make for good conversation. Since the book came out in 2013, there should also be library copies around, and, of course, used and audio versions.



"An Economist Best Book of the Year from a reporter who has spent two decades in the region, and who the Financial Times said “should be named chief myth-buster for Asian business.”

In How Asia Works, Joe Studwell distills his extensive research into the economies of nine countries—Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and China—into an accessible, readable narrative that debunks Western misconceptions, shows what really happened in Asia and why, and for once makes clear why some countries have boomed while others have languished.

Studwell’s in-depth analysis focuses on three main areas: land policy, manufacturing, and finance. Land reform has been essential to the success of Asian economies, giving a kick-start to development by utilizing a large workforce and providing capital for growth. With manufacturing, industrial development alone is not sufficient, Studwell argues. Instead, countries need “export discipline,” a government that forces companies to compete on the global scale. And in finance, effective regulation is essential for fostering, and sustaining growth. To explore all of these subjects, Studwell journeys far and wide, drawing on fascinating examples from a Philippine sugar baron’s stifling of reform to the explosive growth at a Korean steel mill."

Reap what you sow (paywall) https://www.ft.com/content/e3fd267e-9b7c-11e2-a820-00144feabdc0#axzz2VvZXzLmT

Going for growth: https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2013/07/13/going-for-growth

Bill Gates: https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/How-Asia-Works

Some criticism, but also praise: https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/what-studwell-got-wrong

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Let's Read "Shutdown: How Covid Shook the World's Economy"

Olympia Provisions Public House

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