Paul Zane Pilzer

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Paul Zane Pilzer
Paul Zane Pilzer.jpg
Born (1954-01-17) January 17, 1954 (age 60)
Brooklyn, New York
Occupation Economist, Author, Entrepreneur
Spouse(s) Lisa Dang Pilzer
Website
www.paulzanepilzer.com

Paul Zane Pilzer (born January 17, 1954) is an American economist, New York Times best-selling author,[1] and social entrepreneur. He has written nine books, has served in two U.S. Presidential administrations, is the founder of six companies, and he has been profiled on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.[2][3]

Economic Viewpoints[edit]

Traditional economic theories are based on scarcity: that the earth contains a fixed, limited supply of resources and the function of economics (i.e. capitalism, socialism, communism) is to best divide them up. "No wonder," says Pilzer, "they call economics the 'Dismal Science.'"[4]

In contrast, Pilzer's theory of Economic Alchemy is based on abundance: that the earth contains unlimited resources because of human ingenuity—we are continually defining new resources and/or learning how to better obtain and use our existing resources. According to Pilzer, there is no limit to wealth for an individual, or for a society, once they understand the Six Laws of Economic Alchemy based on abundance.

The central equation of Economic Alchemy is W = P x Tn : Wealth = Physical Resources times Technology, and T (Technology) has an exponential multiplier effect on itself.

Just as pre-Galileo scientists failed to explain how the world worked because of their wrong pre-supposition that the sun revolved around the earth, Pilzer believes that the economic theories embraced today by some businesspeople and many world leaders have a similar wrong pre-supposition that resources are fixed and scarce. Pilzer claims that many governments are incorrectly focused on how to "fairly" divide up a fixed pie of wealth when they should be focused on how to help society grow the pie for everyone to get a larger share.

Pilzer began developing Economic Alchemy in 1975 as a graduate student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania when he theologically could not accept his professor's views that God had created a world of growing population but limited resources. Over the next 15 years he developed Economic Alchemy while working at Citibank (1976–1981), at New York University (1979–2000) and in Ronald Reagan's Presidential Administration (1983–1988). Pilzer published his theory in Unlimited Wealth - The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy (Crown Publishers, 1990) and in God Wants You To Be Rich - Theology of Economics (Simon & Schuster, 1995, 1997, 2007).

In addition to his economic theories, Pilzer is an expert and policymaker on employment, U.S. health benefits, and on the emerging Wellness Industry. Since 1985, he has testified before Congress and promoted the idea that employees should have personal, portable health insurance coverage independent of their employment but funded pre-tax by their employer.[5][6] In 1996, he began researching the bifurcation of America based on weight and health and from 1999-2012 wrote four books on the economics of obesity, health insurance, preventative medicine, and wellness. Paul Zane Pilzer has been called the "father of Health Savings Accounts"[7][8] and in 2003 the front page of the Sunday New York Times referred to Pilzer as "the Reagan administration economist turned wellness guru."[9]

Personal life[edit]

Pilzer was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1954 to immigrant parents Miriam and Elias Pilzer. He graduated Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, NY in 1971. He married Lisa Dang Pilzer (formerly Lisa Dang) on January 17, 2000. They have four children and live in Park City, Utah where the children attend public schools. Pilzer helped start Temple Har Shalom in Park City in 1995 and functioned as a lay rabbi leading services, weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs until a full-time rabbi was hired in 2002.[10]

Career[edit]

Academics[edit]

Pilzer earned a BA in Journalism from Lehigh University in 33 months in 1974 at age 20 and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 15 months in 1976.[11] He was appointed an Adjunct Professor at New York University at age 24 where he taught every fall semester for 21 years (1979-2000) and served as Chairman of the Department of Real Estate Finance. He received an honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Parker College (now Parker University) in 2004.[12]

Pilzer served as Contributing Editor from 1979-1995 of the economic journals Real Estate Review published by New York University[13] and Real Estate Finance Journal published by Wharton Business School.[14] He is the author of 16 academic articles. He has served as a Lecturer at Moscow State University in Russia (1985-1991), Peking University (2009), and University of Hong Kong (2013).[15]

Banking Industry[edit]

Pilzer was with Citibank (1976-1981) where he worked in EFT payment technology, government affairs and equity real estate investments. He became Citibank’s youngest officer at age 22 in 1976 and youngest vice president at age 26 in 1980.

Real Estate Industry[edit]

In 1981, Pilzer co-founded Zane May Interests in Dallas, Texas along with real estate investor Alan M. May.[16] From 1981-1989, Zane May Interests acquired and developed 66 projects totaling 7 million square feet of office, retail, and industrial property in six states and the former USSR. Zane May Interests was financed by GE Capital which featured the company in 1989 in its monthly magazine, Financial Enterprise—The Magazine of GE Capital.[17]

Education Industry[edit]

Pilzer was a student-teacher in Computer Science from 1975-1976 at the University of Pennsylvania. His graduate thesis was the construction of an interactive teaching machine on a mainframe computer. He wrote on the cover of his thesis: "One day this technology will be used to affordably bring the best teacher of every subject to every student."[18]

In 1989, Pilzer founded educational CD-ROM publisher Zane Publishing and served as its CEO and Publisher until the company became publicly listed in 1995 (NASD:ZANE).[19][20] From 1989-1999 Zane Publishing produced and sold more than 900 educational CD-ROM titles for schools and colleges.

In 2005, along with investor Anthony E. Meyer, Pilzer co-founded The American Academy, an online high school serving students worldwide in partnership with their local public high school. Pilzer served as President of The American Academy from 2005–2008 and today is a significant investor in the company.[21][22][23]

In 2010-2012, Pilzer developed Zane Math, a 60-concept, 12,000-problem K-8 math curriculum mapped to U.S. Common Core State Standards. Zane Math uses web technology to produce a unique paper-based curriculum for each K-8 student with the results of every lesson reported in real time to parents and teachers. In 2012, Pilzer founded Zane Prep, Inc. which distributes Zane Math and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs through Zaniac corporate and franchised after-school learning centers.[24][25]

Health Benefits Industry[edit]

In 1999, after Pilzer lost his own employer-sponsored health insurance while his wife was pregnant, Pilzer founded Wellness Services, Inc. (now Extend Health) to distribute defined contribution portable health insurance policies through employers. Pilzer served as CEO and then Chairman until 2005 when a majority interest was acquired by Steve Case's Revolution Health Group.[26][27][28] Pilzer remained a significant stockholder in Extend Health which focuses on serving employees and retirees of large U.S. employers through the world's largest Medicare Advantage private health insurance exchange. On January 6, 2012, Extend Health filed an IPO but was acquired by Towers Watson on May 29, 2012.[29][30]

In 2006, Pilzer founded Zane Benefits, Inc. to offer defined contribution health benefits to small employers through a Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) product called ZaneHealth. ZaneHealth allows small employers, brokers, and payroll suppliers to offer employees defined contribution health benefits through their own private health insurance exchanges. ZaneHealth was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal [31] and USA Today,[32] and is today distributed by U.S. payroll suppliers to their small employer customers.[33] Pilzer is currently Chairman of Zane Benefits.

Fitness Industry[edit]

After writing The Next Trillion (VideoPlus, 1999) and The Wellness Revolution (Wiley Press, 2002), Pilzer became a vocal critic of the fitness industry for catering mostly to fit individuals and missing the opportunity to serve a growing international obese population. From 2000-2011, Pilzer delivered keynote speeches at fitness organization meetings worldwide. In, 2008, Pilzer was featured on the cover of Club Business International magazine published by IHRSA, a leading trade organization of for-profit fitness facilities in 71 nations.[34]

In 2008, Pilzer became a paid speaker for Planet Fitness, a leading fitness club operator which became the world's largest fitness club business in terms of membership in 2011. In 2010, Pilzer's wife, Lisa Dang Pilzer, became an area developer franchisee for Planet Fitness in Salt Lake City, Utah.[35] Lisa opened the Pilzer's first Planet Fitness location on July 20, 2011 and the Pilzers are currently developing more Planet Fitness locations in the U.S. and overseas.

Government Service[edit]

Pilzer was an appointed economic advisor on housing and banking issues with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Administration and George H. W. Bush Presidential Administration from 1983-1989. In 1985, Pilzer testified before the U.S. Congress on the then-developing savings loan crisis.[36][37]

In 1985, Pilzer was appointed by the White House as a Consumer Member to the National Manufactured Housing Advisory Council (NMHAC) which regulates the construction of manufactured and mobile homes in the United States. Pilzer was appointed Chairman of the NMHAC by President Reagan in 1987.

In 1987, Pilzer was nominated by U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz and U.S. Senator Phil Gramm to be Chairman of the Dallas Federal Home Loan Bank Board.

Pilzer first visited the former Soviet Union in 1969 as a high school chess player and was a frequent lecturer on economic issues at Moscow University from 1983-1989. He attended the Moscow Summit (1988) between President Reagan and Premier Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988.[38][39][40]

In 1989, Pilzer resigned from his positions with the federal government and wrote a memoir titled Other People’s Money — The Inside Story of the S&L Mess (Simon and Schuster, 1989). This book was reviewed in the The New York Review of Books by economist John Kenneth Galbraith[41] and in The New York Times Book Review by Tony Solomon, former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.[42]

In 1991, Pilzer was a candidate for the U.S. Congress in Texas' 3rd congressional district.[43]

On August 24, 2008, Professor Pilzer explained wellness business opportunities before approximately 100,000 people in Jakarta, Indonesia at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium[44] where he was introduced by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono[45]

In 2009, Pilzer’s book The Wellness Revolution became popular in China and Pilzer was hired by the Chinese government as an economic consultant.[46][47][48][49] Pilzer addressed the Chinese nation on December 7, 2009 from the Center Podium in the Main Auditorium of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, and on December 10, 2009 Pilzer spoke before 3,500 students at Peking University.[50][51]

In 2013, Pilzer was a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong on Social Entrepreneurship. [52]

Professor Pilzer addressing from the Great Hall of the People, December 7, 2009.
Paul Zane Pilzer Speaking at Peking University, Beijing, Dec 10 2009.

Books and Publications[edit]

  • Other People’s Money – The Inside Story of the S&L Mess by Paul Zane Pilzer with Robert Deitz (Simon & Schuster, 1989). Traces the history of savings (deferred gratification for immigrants) through the modern banking system. Pilzer warns of the impending $200 billion savings and loan crisis years before official Washington was willing to listen—a story that was critically acclaimed by The New York Times and The Economist magazine.
  • Unlimited Wealth – The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy by Paul Zane Pilzer (Crown Publishers, 1990). Explains how we live in a world of unlimited physical resources because of rapidly advancing technology. After reading Unlimited Wealth, the late Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, said that he was "amazed at Pilzer's business capacity" and his "ability to put it into layman's terms."[53]
  • God Wants You To Be Rich – The Theology of Economics by Paul Zane Pilzer (Simon & Schuster, 1995, 1997, 2007). Explains how the foundation of our economic system is based on our Judeo-Christian heritage. This New York Times business best-seller was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and on television shows ranging from 60 Minutes to First Person with Maria Shriver.
  • The Next Trillion – Why the wellness industry will exceed the $1 trillion health care (sickness) industry in the next ten years by Paul Zane Pilzer (Video Plus, 1999). Pilzer’s first warning of the impending obesity/sickness epidemic and the newly emerging wellness industry. In citing this book the Sunday New York Times on August 3, 2003 referred to Pilzer as "the Reagan administration economist turned wellness guru."[54]
  • The Wellness Revolution – How to Make a Fortune in the Next Trillion Dollar Industry by Paul Zane Pilzer (Wiley Press, 2002). This book expanded on The Next Trillion and explains how wellness had already reached $200 billion by 2002. Published in 25 languages including special editions in Hebrew[55] and Chinese.[56] For this book Pilzer received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service.[57]
  • The Fountain of Wealth by Paul Zane Pilzer (Nightingale Conant, 2003). Explains the Six Laws of Economic Alchemy and how these laws can be applied to several areas of your individual life.
  • The New Health Insurance Solution – How to Get Cheaper, Better Coverage without a Traditional Employer Plan by Paul Zane Pilzer (Wiley Press, 2005, 2007). This book sets forth a bold new direction for U.S. health insurance and explains how individuals can now get affordable health insurance independent of their employer. This book has been widely reviewed and featured in television specials on CNN, PBS, and Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network.
  • The Next Millionaires by Paul Zane Pilzer (Momentum Media, 2006). Explains why the number of U.S. millionaires doubled in the 1990s, how the economy is now creating one million millionaires a year from 2006-2016, and how ordinary people can become one of them.
  • The New Wellness Revolution - How to Make a Fortune in the Next Trillion Dollar Industry by Paul Zane Pilzer (Wiley Press, 2007). Identifies the newly emerging wellness business and update to The Wellness Revolution (Wiley Press, 2002).
  • The Entrepreneurial Challenge - Why This Is The Best Time To Start a New Business, and How To Find The Right Business For You by Paul Zane Pilzer (Nightingale Conant, 2010). Explains how to use “what you know” and “who you know” to find the best business for you.

References[edit]

  1. ^ God Wants You To Be Rich best-seller listing, The New York Times, February 4, 1996
  2. ^ Chad Terhune, "Employers Turn To Alternative For Insuring Staff", The Wall Street Journal, July 30. 2007
  3. ^ Chad Terhune, "Employers Turn To Alternative For Insuring Staff", The Wall Street Journal, July 30. 2007
  4. ^ David A. Geracioti, "Fertile Human Minds, Fertile Earth", Registered Rep, July 1, 2007
  5. ^ "Economist/Entrepreneur Says Employers Should Stop Offering Group Health Insurance, Help Employees Seek Own Coverage", Medical News Today, 2007
  6. ^ Paul Zane Pilzer, The New Health Insurance Solution, (Wiley Press, 2005, 2007)
  7. ^ Kaja Whitehouse, "When to Choose and HSA" The Wall Street Journal, page 2, September 25, 2005
  8. ^ Parker College, "Parker College to Award Prestigious Doctorate in Public Service to Economist and Wellness Advocate, Paul Zane Pilzer", Press Release from Parker College (now Parker University), April 17, 2004
  9. ^ Betty Streisand, "The Guru of Product Potential", The New York Times, Page 1, Business Section, August 31, 2003
  10. ^ Krieger, Hilary Leila, "Mountain Jews", The Jerusalem Post, September 19, 2008
  11. ^ Paul Wirth, "The Economic Alchemist", Lehigh Alumni Magazine, 1990
  12. ^ Parker College, "Parker College to Award Prestigious Doctorate in Public Service to Economist and Wellness Advocate, Paul Zane Pilzer", Press Release from Parker College (now Parker University), April 17, 2004
  13. ^ Paul Zane Pilzer, Articles in Real Estate Review, published by New York University, 1979-1995
  14. ^ Paul Zane Pilzer, "Ahead to the Past", Real Estate Finance Journal sponsored by Wharton Business School, Summer 1989
  15. ^ University of Hong Kong, "University of Hong Kong poster on Professor Pilzer's Lectures on Social Entreprenership", University of Hong Kong, March 25, 2013
  16. ^ William Summers, "Renaissance and Real Estate", Financial Enterprise—The Magazine of GE Capital, Fall 1989
  17. ^ William Summers, "Renaissance and Real Estate", Financial Enterprise—The Magazine of GE Capital, Fall 1989
  18. ^ About Zane Publishing
  19. ^ Duncan Maxwell Anderson, "Unlimited Wealth", SUCCESS Magazine, October 1993
  20. ^ Peg Verone, "Master of the Deal", SUCCESS Magazine, June 1997
  21. ^ Nicole Stricker, “Online high school could go global”, The Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 4, 2006]
  22. ^ The American Academy, "The American Academy Earns Accreditation from the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools" Press Release from The American Academy, March 4, 2008
  23. ^ "The American Academy, LLC", BloombergBusinessweek
  24. ^ "Article: Zions Bank 'Speaking on Business'", Zions Bank, April 5, 2013
  25. ^ "Video: Zions Bank 'Speaking on Business'", Zions Bank, April 5, 2013
  26. ^ "Economist/Entrepreneur Says Employers Should Stop Offering Group Health Insurance, Help Employees Seek Own Coverage", Medical News Today, 2007
  27. ^ Article in Management Consulting News, Management Consulting News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 6. 2006
  28. ^ Chad Terhune, "Employers Turn To Alternative For Insuring Staff", The Wall Street Journal, July 30. 2007
  29. ^ "UPDATE: Towers Watson To Buy Extend Health For $435 Million", The Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2012
  30. ^ "Towers Watson To Acquire Extend Health", InformationWeek, May 15, 2012
  31. ^ Chad Terhune, "Employers Turn To Alternative For Insuring Staff", The Wall Street Journal, July 30. 2007
  32. ^ Julie Appleby, "Employers put health coverage in workers' hands", USA Today, January 23, 2008
  33. ^ About ZaneHRA
  34. ^ Jon Feld, "Prophet of New Profits", Club Business International, May 2008
  35. ^ "Five new Planet Fitness gyms planned in western Salt Lake County", Wasatch Business Review, April 18, 2011
  36. ^ Paul Zane Pilzer, "Taking Uncle Sam for a $200 Million Ride", Real Estate Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, Summer 1986
  37. ^ "Crisis? What crisis?, The Economist, December 2, 1989
  38. ^ Paul Zane Pilzer, [1], The New Health Insurance Solution, Wiley Press, 2007
  39. ^ Paul Wirth, "The Economic Alchemist", Lehigh Alumni Magazine, 1990
  40. ^ Paul Wirth, "Millionaire Raps S&l Insurance System Author Claims Broad Deposit Guarantees Encouraged Speculation By Thrift Owners", The Morning Call, October 23, 1989
  41. ^ John Kenneth Galbraith, "The Ultimate Scandal", The New York Review of Books, January 18, 1990
  42. ^ Anthony M. Solomon, "Book & Business; The Risks Were Too Good To Pass Up", New York Times Book Review, October 29, 1989
  43. ^ Sally Giddens, "Dough Boy", Texas Monthly, June 1991
  44. ^ Paul Zane Pilzer explains wellness business opportunities, August 24, 2008
  45. ^ Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono introduces Paul Zane Pilzer, August 24, 2008
  46. ^ Fang Yang, "China has greatest opportunity to lead wellness around world", China View, October 26, 2009
  47. ^ "Expert sees big health market in China", People's Daily Online, October 27, 2009
  48. ^ "Innovation is the only way out of the crisis", 21st Century Business Herald, October 29, 2009
  49. ^ Zhang Xu, "Wellness Industry Is a New Stimulus for China's Economy", CRIENGLISH.com, December 11, 2009
  50. ^ Paul Zane Pilzer's China Visit, December 2009
  51. ^ Andrew Kirk, "Caring about Park City and the price of tea in China", The Park Record, December 15, 2009
  52. ^ University of Hong Kong, "University of Hong Kong poster on Professor Pilzer's Lectures on Social Entreprenership", University of Hong Kong, March 25, 2013
  53. ^ Letter to Paul Zane Pilzer from Sam M. Walton, August 8, 1990
  54. ^ Betty Streisand, "The Guru of Product Potential", The New York Times, Page 1, Business Section, August 31, 2003
  55. ^ Paul Zane Pilzer, The Wellness Revolution (Hebrew edition), Prague Publishing House, 2009
  56. ^ Paul Zane Pilzer, "The Fifth Wave of Wealth", Knowledge Press, April 1, 2004
  57. ^ Parker College, "Parker College to Award Prestigious Doctorate in Public Service to Economist and Wellness Advocate Paul Zane Pilzer", Press Release from Parker College (now Parker University), April 17, 2004

External links[edit]