Larry Summers on Savings

Lawrence Summers: We need to save for our future. The country's becoming prosperous. We need to share their prosperity with their citizens and let them spend. That China, for example, consumes less than 40% of its GNP is hardly appropriate.

We need to find the forum that will connect, not a limited set of aging societies dominated by the Atlantic Ocean, but a much wider set of rapidly emerging societies to provide the function of being a kind of global steering committee as we address central global concerns.

We need to find ways in the United States to support a more inclusive democracy and a more inclusive prosperity. If our people are going to be willing to accept the kind of international role that the United States needs to take, if the world is going to remain stable, some of that goes to healthcare; some of that goes to the tax system and much, much else.

We need to forge some kind of international approach to dealing with what are really the existential threats around nuclear weapons, around nuclear proliferation, around global warming – two events that have the chance to profoundly change the terms of life on earth 50 or 100 years from now.

 

Recorded on: June 13, 2007

President Obama's top economic advisor Larry Summers on the global impact of a spendthrift culture.

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice
popular

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less