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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Feb 21, 2013

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KGNU’s Claudia Cragg talks with Blair Levin about the new book he has co-authored ‘The Politics of Abundance - How Technology Can Fix the Budget, Revive the American Dream, and Establish Obama’s Legacy’

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EXCERPT - “Some will tell the President that the government should never have a growth strategy beyond being fiscally prudent and letting markets allocate capital. But a government that can land a thinking machine on Mars surely can develop an informed opinion about what sectors of the economy can grow rapidly and contribute to a high and rising standard of living for everyone. In any event, currently the knowledge and power markets cannot readily allocate capital appropriately because they are constricted by a web of law, externalities, and monopoly bottlenecks. Moreover, the government plays such a large role as a spender and regulator in these markets, that its conduct, whether or not coherently focused, enormously affects industry trends. Finally, if the United States economy does not rebuild the knowledge and power platform far faster, better, and cheaper than market forces are now doing, then Americans will suffer from inadequate educations, poor and expensive healthcare, and devastating climate change, for generations to come.

However, those who remain unconvinced of the merits of a growth strategy, and prefer single-minded focus on the debt-to-GDP ratio, should be mollified by the fact that our legislative proposals for the two platforms reduce the deficit by about $100 billion, without accounting for the additional tax revenues that will be derived from more rapid economic growth. In Chapter 4, we suggest ways to negotiate for these measures as part of avoiding the “fiscal cliff.” Taken as a whole, our proposals outline the politics of abundance.” -Reed Hundt and Blair Levin

Levin oversaw the creation of the National Broadband Plan as the executive director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the Federal Communications Commission in 2009 and 2010. He is now a fellow at the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and the executive director of Gig.U, a coalition of research university communities working to accelerate the deployment of next-generation networks in the United States.

The book’s co-author Reed Hundt is the CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, a non-profit. He was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 1993 to 1997, and he was on Barack Obama’s Presidential transition team.

He sits on the boards of directors of Intel Corporation, ASSIA, a communications software firm, and Kno Inc., the education software company. He also serves on boards or as an advisor at the United Negro College Fund; the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority of Connecticut; the Advanced Energy Economy Institute; Yale School of Management; Peek, Inc., a mobile technology company; and Mytonomy, a social network for college planning.

Hundt has written many articles and two books: In China’s Shadow: The Crisis of American Entrepreneurship (Yale University Press, 2006) and You Say You Want A Revolution: A Story of Information Age Politics (Yale University Press, 2000). He graduated from Yale College, and Yale Law School.