Writer Daron Acemoglu says ancient Venice could teach the US a historical lesson.
Monitor managing editor Marshall Ingwerson talks with 'Why Nations Fail' co-author Daron Acemoglu.
As American inequality rises, is the economy at risk of elite interest groups gaining political power and stifling competition?
Throughout history, this is how prosperous nations have lost their edge, according to “Why Nations Fail” by MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist James Robinson. Controlling elites block innovation to protect their own interests and growth eventually stalls.
Could that happen here?
“The US is highly innovative and shows no tendency to become less so,” says Dr. Acemoglu, "but I think there are some worrying signs about its political pluralism.”
The power of money in politics in the form of political contributions and organized interest groups seems to have risen in recent decades over the voice of common citizens, he says.
Americans on the left worry about the self-serving political clout of Wall Street and big banks, while Americans on the right worry about the self-serving clout of big public employee unions like Wisconsin’s teachers.