What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: What’s the best way to stimulate the economy?

Christensen:    My sense is that in many forms of the stimulus are like pushing a string, and so these banks, they took all of these risks and therefore find themselves desperately needing liquidity.  You can push the liquidity into a bank but you cannot push the liquidity out of the bank.  It can only be pulled from the other side.  And in a similar way, you can cut taxes and push that liquidity into consumers banking accounts, but you can’t pull it out the other side.  And one of the dangers in a recession is that the instinct of individuals and the instinct of banks is to hunker down and preserve their own financial viability, not to aggressively spend the money or loan the money.  And so even though in normal situations, you know, like Ronald Reagan showed us that the big tax cut really could stimulate a decade of economic growth, in this kind of a risky situation, I suspect that putting liquidity into banks and putting liquidity into people’s bank accounts through tax cuts, the liquidity is likely to stay there and not get pulled out the other side and generate employment.  And so the kinds of things that are part of the stimulus package where the government actually goes to the other side and uses the money to create employment, so the rebuilding of the infrastructure and things like that is really a great idea, because there is a direct causal link between you spending and people going to work and then they’re going to work their ability to consume.  That’s where I would focus the stimulus money.  I think the other stuff, you may want to do it just because you have to prop up the banks, but you should not do it in the anticipation that it will solve the recession’s troubles.

 

Clayton Christensen’s Advic...

Newsletter: Share: