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Great Moments in Economic Thought

In an interview in Spiegel Online, Lawrence Summers, former director of President Obama’s National Economic Council, discusses what he is doing these days and talks about one of the causes of rising inequality in America:

SPIEGEL: You just signed on as a senior advisor to a huge venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. Do you want to spot the next Mark Zuckerberg?

Summers: It is a fascinating environment. And it is still one of the great strengths of the U.S. economy that you can raise your first $100 million before you buy your first suit.

SPIEGEL: So America is still the greatest place on earth for the lucky few like Zuckerberg, but an increasingly difficult place for the “Average Joe”?

Summers: There is no question that the ability of those with ideas to leverage them in the global economy has contributed to rising inequality and to more rewards for those very few with great ideas — and less progress for average Americans.

Is it right for Summers to be helping spot the next Mark Zuckerberg–or others with great ideas–if there is no question it will contribute to rising inequality and less progress for average Americans?


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