13 November, 2008

Obama's Economic Policy pt. 4

Rumors swirl that Larry Summers is off the Treasury short-list because Obama doesn't want a controversial candidate. Fair enough, but the guy is brilliant. And just for the record...the standard arguments against Summers are based entirely on taking things he's said out of context. The memo where Summers appears to state that we should move dirty industries to poor countries was doctored to make it look as if he did not intend the statement ironically (not to mention authored by someone else entirely, Summers just signed it). As far as the women thing, here's Sheryl Sandberg:

Larry has been attacked by some in the women's community for remarks he made about women's abilities. As he has acknowledged himself, this speech was a real mistake. What few seem to note is that it is remarkable that he was giving the speech in the first place - that he cared enough about women's careers and their trajectory in the fields of math and science to proactively analyze the issues and talk about what was going wrong. To conclude that he communicated poorly -- and even insensitively -- is fair. To conclude that he is opposed to progress for women overlooks the fact that improving this progress was precisely the subject he was addressing.
Read the speech for yourself--it's not offensive in any way.


Elliot said...

i've only tangentially paid attention to the Summers/harvard flap, but heres my question: why not just appoint Krugman who has none of this baggage and a Nobel to boot?

spencer said...

Maybe you're kidding but I think Krugman has enough baggage of his own (eight years of columns brutally attacking Republicans) and I would guess that his managerial skills are...lacking. He does not suffer fools or disagreements lightly.

Elliot said...

Only half :)