Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Creative Destruction and Structural Unemployment at the Movies

Here is a cut from an almost 20-year old movie, Other People's Money, which starred Danny DeVito and Gregory Peck, among others. (HT to Marginal Revolution, by the way.)

The cut is from a speech made by DeVito's character, Larry the "Liquidator", who stereotyped the merger and acquisition barons of the 1980s. These were financiers who bought companies, and sold them off in parts, destroying the firm and the usually the lives of employees in the process. The role is similar to the Gordon Gecko character from Wall Street.

But in this speech, at least in the first three minutes of it, DeVito's character gives a very good explanation of the idea of creative destruction - the process that ultimately accompanies growth and progress. The remaining portion of the clip, while entertaining and an indictment of the mindset of "I got mine and to h_ _ _ with the rest", is not as valuable as the first three.

I'm going to have to pick up the movie and view it again.  It's been a while since I watched it.  Take a look and let me know what you think.

No comments: