American Conversation Essentials: Lawrence Summers on Unemployment

June 1, 2012

CAMBRIDGE MA – One of the newest videos in the American Conversation Essentials series features Lawrence Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor of Harvard University, on the topic of “Unemployment: What the Voters Should Know.”

“For two hundred years the story of America was a story of more economic opportunity,” Summers remarks. “But the data are telling us now that we’re a country with more inequality than most others, and inequality has risen very sharply.”

Summers argues that “the gap in life prospects” between the rich and the poor must be addressed by policymakers. “I think that when we get past this election you’re going to see a recognition on the part of people in Washington… that everybody is going to be fed up with everybody in Washington if nothing happens, so I think there is a good chance you’re going to see more cooperation both on the crucial issue of getting the economy going, and on the longer term issue of deficit reduction.”

American Conversation Essentials is a series of compelling videos that puts today’s most important issues – the Middle East, the economy, health care and more – into perspective during this election year. HKS faculty members share their expertise and offer insights to provide Americans with the tools to better understand the world around them, become more engaged citizens and ultimately build a better society. American Conversation Essentials is a collaboration between HKS and the 92nd Street Y (92Y) in New York City, and is a component of 92Y’s Campaign for the American Conversation.

Feel free to embed the newest video on your website. Look for new videos on a range of policy topics each week.

Photograph of Professor Lawrence Summers

University Professor Lawrence Summers

“For two hundred years the story of America was a story of more economic opportunity,” Summers remarks. “But the data are telling us now that we’re a country with more inequality than most others, and inequality has risen very sharply.”


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