IPcentral Weblog
  The DACA Blog

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"internal equity" vs. "external competitiveness"
(previous | next)

I don't agree with a lot of Larry Summers' economics, but he is often quite an insightful thinker on globalization. Here the former Treasury Secretary and Harvard president is talking to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal about American universities. But his insight can be applied to the U.S. economy as a whole.

"American universities right now are pre-eminent," says Lawrence Summers, who was deposed as Harvard's president in 2006. "They have enormous advantages in wealth, in the attractiveness of the U.S. as a place to study and teach, in their demonstrated excellence. The threat to the top universities is not imminent. But Oxford and Cambridge didn't perceive the threat as imminent. The combination of Britain's losing relative economic ground and deep complacency, lack of major investment in science and technology and governance modes that favored internal equity over external competitiveness caused them to lose their position over two generations." (my emphasis)

As we know from experience, external competitiveness is usually the key to higher levels of wealth all-around and over time mostly transcends the "internal" distributional concerns. As Summers nicely points out, "equity" is a euphemism for stagnation and decline.

UPDATE: By complete coincidence, I came across this brief Forbes article on the influence of college professors on the "equity" versus "efficiency" debate.

posted by Bret Swanson @ 9:56 AM | Global Innovation

Share |

Link to this Entry | Printer-Friendly

Post a Comment:

Blog Main
RSS Feed  
Recent Posts
  EFF-PFF Amicus Brief in Schwarzenegger v. EMA Supreme Court Videogame Violence Case
New OECD Study Finds That Improved IPR Protections Benefit Developing Countries
Hubris, Cowardice, File-sharing, and TechDirt
iPhones, DRM, and Doom-Mongers
"Rogue Archivist" Carl Malamud On How to Fix Gov2.0
Coping with Information Overload: Thoughts on Hamlet's BlackBerry by William Powers
How Many Times Has Michael "Dr. Doom" Copps Forecast an Internet Apocalypse?
Google / Verizon Proposal May Be Important Compromise, But Regulatory Trajectory Concerns Many
Two Schools of Internet Pessimism
GAO: Wireless Prices Plummeting; Public Knowledge: We Must Regulate!
Archives by Month
  September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
  - (see all)
Archives by Topic
  - A La Carte
- Add category
- Advertising & Marketing
- Antitrust & Competition Policy
- Appleplectics
- Books & Book Reviews
- Broadband
- Cable
- Campaign Finance Law
- Capitalism
- Capitol Hill
- China
- Commons
- Communications
- Copyright
- Cutting the Video Cord
- Cyber-Security
- Digital Americas
- Digital Europe
- Digital Europe 2006
- Digital TV
- E-commerce
- e-Government & Transparency
- Economics
- Education
- Electricity
- Energy
- Events
- Exaflood
- Free Speech
- Gambling
- General
- Generic Rant
- Global Innovation
- Googlephobia
- Googlephobia
- Human Capital
- Innovation
- Intermediary Deputization & Section 230
- Internet
- Internet Governance
- Internet TV
- Interoperability
- IP
- Local Franchising
- Mass Media
- Media Regulation
- Monetary Policy
- Municipal Ownership
- Net Neutrality
- Neutrality
- Non-PFF Podcasts
- Ongoing Series
- Online Safety & Parental Controls
- Open Source
- PFF Podcasts
- Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism
- Privacy
- Privacy Solutions
- Regulation
- Search
- Security
- Software
- Space
- Spectrum
- Sports
- State Policy
- Supreme Court
- Taxes
- The FCC
- The FTC
- The News Frontier
- Think Tanks
- Trade
- Trademark
- Universal Service
- Video Games & Virtual Worlds
- VoIP
- What We're Reading
- Wireless
- Wireline
Archives by Author
PFF Blogosphere Archives
We welcome comments by email - look for a link to the author's email address in the byline of each post. Please let us know if we may publish your remarks.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation