As an economist, Summers is a good politician. Taking responsibility in a very roundabout way. The guy was aggressive and caustic in his enforcement of deregulation. Mr. "Timely, Targeted, Temporary" (also "ineffective) when it came to the 2008 Bush tax cut stimulus. Led the cause for the lower public works stimulus amount under Obama,.. so badly designed. Now federal spending is discredited as an antidote to this recession. Not to say O'Hoover was difficult to convince. 700,000 fewer government (all levels) jobs today than at the start of his presidency.
Okay, so I read the above and wrote before I listened. Summers new critique in the first block is right. And I should be happy he is such a good politician. If he is staking out this territory, as a politician, it must mean there is some chance we go that way. I could quibble with details, and complain about Summers neat way of casting things in the most favorable light ... Infrastructure, climate change mitigation, education, health care rationalization (not Obamacare).
When Tom says, "What happens if we try this stuff and it doesn't work?" Well, we've got shiny new infrastructure, we've got good education and health care, we've taken care of the looming disaster of climate change, people have incomes and financial security... What is "doesn't work" about that?