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Fortune Favors the Bold

Fortune Favors the Bold

This video was recorded at Authors@MIT. Economists and geologists have something in common. Geologists can trace the San Andreas Fault in chalk and tell you there's going to be a major earthquake somewhere along that line—but they can't say when. Economists, Lester Thurow included, know that the massive trade deficit the U.S. is building ($550 billion as of this year) can't balloon indefinitely, but when the dollar will collapse -- tomorrow or a thousand years from now -- is anybody's guess. And, he warns, don't expect a soft landing. Thurow's talk, which draws both title and subject matter from his new book, describes the promise and hazards emerging from the latest technology-based industrial revolution. While new technologies pay off with enhanced productivity, businesses cut thousands of jobs a month. Globalization may mean foreign markets for American goods, but it also means that Walmart purchases 10% of all of mainland China's exports. And he warns, watch out as more high-paying professional jobs get outsourced to nations like India. Thurow sees a future of vast inequities, within our borders and among countries of the world, unless governments and institutions like the World Bank pursue such innovative policies as embracing biotechnology and educating women.

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