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Michael Heller: "The Gridlock of Economy" | Talks at Google

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Published on Aug 19, 2008

Professor Michael Heller visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his book "The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives." This event took place on July 18, 2008, as part of the Authors@Google series.

25 new runways would eliminate most air travel delays in America. Why can't we build them? 50 patent owners are blocking a major drug maker from creating a cancer cure. Why won't they get out of the way? 90% of our broadcast spectrum sits idle while American cell phone service lags far behind Japan's and Korea's. Why are we wasting our airwaves? 98% of African American--owned farms have been sold off over the last century. Why can't we stop the loss? All these problems are really the same problem—one whose solution would jump-start innovation, release trillions in productivity, and help revive our slumping economy.
The Gridlock Economy is a startling, accessible biography of an idea. Nothing is inevitable about gridlock. It results from choices we make about how to control the resources we value most. We can unlock the grid; this book shows us where to start.

Michael Heller is one of America's leading authorities on ownership. He is the Lawrence A. Wien Professor of Real Estate Law at Columbia Law School and has served as the school's Vice Dean for Intellectual Life. He lives in New York and Los Angeles.

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