Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summers wrong?

I don't want to doubt Larry Summers but this statement seems wrong: “The rebuilt American economy must be more export-oriented and less consumption-oriented.” I would think that it is more important to have productive (whether services or manufacturing, but, in either case, with true efficiency improvements or creation of lasting value) industries and fewer rent-seeking or "skimming" (brokerage fees and similar) activities. Maybe export-oriented is a byproduct of moving to more productive industries (can't find foreign buyers for rent-seeking activities, for example), but why not state the true goal rather than the symptom or upshot. Separately, to get to this more productive economy, I think we will need to emphasize education and training in a wholly new and more serious way than we do now.

No comments: