• Mission Economy

  • A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism
  • By: Mariana Mazzucato
  • Narrated by: Lexie McDougal
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Mission Economy

By: Mariana Mazzucato
Narrated by: Lexie McDougal
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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the 2021 Porchlight Business Book Awards, Big Ideas & New Perspectives

“She offers something both broad and scarce: a compelling new story about how to create a desirable future.”—New York Times

An award-winning author and leading international economist delivers a hard-hitting and much needed critique of modern capitalism in which she argues that, to solve the massive crises facing us, we must be innovative—we must use collaborative, mission-oriented thinking while also bringing a stakeholder view of public private partnerships which means not only taking risks together but also sharing the rewards. 

Capitalism is in crisis. The rich have gotten richer—the 1 percent, those with more than $1 million, own 44 percent of the world's wealth—while climate change is transforming—and in some cases wiping out—life on the planet. We are plagued by crises threatening our lives, and this situation is unsustainable. But how do we fix these problems decades in the making? 

Mission Economy looks at the grand challenges facing us in a radically new way. Global warming, pollution, dementia, obesity, gun violence, mobility—these environmental, health, and social dilemmas are huge, complex, and have no simple solutions. Mariana Mazzucato argues we need to think bigger and mobilize our resources in a way that is as bold as inspirational as the moon landing—this time to the most "wicked" social problems of our time. We can only begin to find answers if we fundamentally restructure capitalism to make it inclusive, sustainable, and driven by innovation that tackles concrete problems from the digital divide, to health pandemics, to our polluted cities. That means changing government tools and culture, creating new markers of corporate governance, and ensuring that corporations, society, and the government coalesce to share a common goal.

We did it to go to the moon. We can do it again to fix our problems and improve the lives of every one of us. We simply can no longer afford not to. 

©2021 Mariana Mazzucato (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Mission Economy

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

great core idea, but gets a bit dull

+ the narrator was in not a good in choice for a book written by such a strong voice in current economics

1 person found this helpful

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Why the bureaucrat class must be kept away from the years of power at all costs

It’s hard to give more than a two stars rating to a book by an “economist” who doesn’t understand how printing money can cause inflation, a tax on the poor if there was ever one. Poor she claims to defend throughout the book, by the way.

And by defend I mean defending while her speaking fees reach 100,000 dollars a pop (or, most likely increased in the future due to said inflation…the irony).

But I will give this book a 5 stars because it shows how far away from reality the bureaucrat class is. This book is thus pure gold. Everything you thought about ivory towers and academia was right, and Mariana is proof of it.

This book is a concoction of half baked ideas summarized best as “state spending good capitalism bad”.

It’s basically a defense of bureaucracy by a bureaucrat.

The central point of the book (“big government projects like sending a man (the horror) to the moon worked so why would it not work with gender equality and global warming?”). Mariana doesn’t seem to understand that the deliverables of both kinds of projects are completely different. I bet she never ran a project in her cushioned life. She just wants you to hand over your moolah so that a bureaucrat can spend your cash any way they want, seldom with accountability (she never talks about the state flushing your money down the toilet, ever).

The number of fallacies and contradictions is extensive: she condemns big evil capitalism for hollowing out the middle class, but thinks it’s great that Mother China finances their willing pencil producers (who will both accelerate said hollowing of middle class in the West and pay starvation wages in China itself). She doesn’t see the contradiction. Then, absurdly, within the central topic of the book, she cherry picks and “forgets” to mention that Musks’ SpaceX will save Nasa hundreds of millions of dollars i.e. the money is going in the opposite direction of her claim...money which Musk put on the line from his very own pockets She doesn’t mention why the Challenger exploded (private company wanted the flight to be grounded...but not Nasa). She only mentions that Tesla and SpaceX “got hundreds of millions of dollars from the government” without a modicum of precision because hey, we don’t want the basic premise of our book being questioned do we?

Then she talks about socialized healthcare but also proposes a carbon ID where you pay more if you pollute more. I mean, the fact that if someone eats four tubes of Oreos a day washed down by a gallon of Fanta and expects society to pay for his diabetes is not much different from someone polluting more and not wanting to pay. So, Mariana, what’s gonna be? Why shall we not socialize polluting costs if we socialize bad health choices costs? She never ponders that. She never ponders that without Nuclear Energy none of her global warming dreams will happen, not even the dreams advocated even by radical neo-Malthusians she defends... who are jumping ship from Extinction Rebellion by the way (Zion Lights, their former spokes person now works with Michael Shellenberger who wrote the excellent Apocalypse Never and is an advocate of Nuclear Power). So, the oh so concerned with the little guy Mariana doesn’t have a problem supporting an organization (Extinction Rebellion) who terrorizes children and tells them they will die in 10 years. Neither does she care about the impact of her proposed policies in the poor parts of the world (am writing this review from Zambia, where the alternative to carbon based fuels is eating tree bark...cold uncooked tree bark at that mind you).

I guarantee Mariana has not seen an Economy Class seat in a very, very long time. So long for all her concerns about Co2.

But the most egregious proof that Mariana is just a jester (“one of the most influential economists in the world” they say) singing the popular tunes people want her to sing and that she is what Nassim Nicholas Taleb would call an IYI (Intellectual Yet Idiot) or perhaps Intellectual Yet Hypocrite, is that she condemns capitalism so much specially on the GREED front but her speaking fees are 50,000 to 100,000USD according to All American Speakers dot com. Google for it. It’s the classic Nomenklatura: watery cabbage soup for you, but we feast on caviar and champagne.

To sum it up: read this book if you want to accelerate (or start) your plans of protecting whatever it is you accumulated throughout your life, because bureaucrats like Mariana will come for your money, all of it, so that they can spend on moonshot projects of their choice and invite each other, WITH YOUR MONEY, to events where a speech by Mariana will set taxpayers by 100,000 dollars.

Greed is bad right?

So, Mariana, if you are reading this, I challenge you: show me that you are not a greedy capitalist and catch an economy class flight to Zambia and speak for free for the Zambian kids here who are very energy poor about why should they expect their government to do everything for them instead of them empowering themselves with everything they can to join the global (greedy) economy.

1 person found this helpful

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MIXed Review

While I totally agree with the author's basic thesis, I found her continuous use of acronyms and initialisms to be confusing. With an audiobook, it would be helpful to MIX abbreviations with the words they signify.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Provocative ideas well documented.

Mazzucato‘s book develops new ways of tackling society’s problems based on a comprehensive overview, long range thinking and some good old ideas from the past. She extrapolates from the Apollo moonshot program’s approaches and success to attacking more substantial society issues in a participatory way. I found her book very stimulating.

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l like this book

we need a follow up to this book in the future with all what's going on.

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A civil way forward

Puts her previous works into a format that is salable to the general public. If read carefully by the governing class and put into action this way forward can save democracy and capitalism.

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Excellent

A really timely synthesis of the author’s previous works into an action plan. Very worthwhile for policy makers.