Watch Live: The Washington Ideas Forum 2014

Schmidt: 'Revenue Solves All Problems' in Business and Government

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's grand theory of government is the same as his grand theory of corporations. "Revenue solves all problems."

"Business as a general rule wants predictability," Schmidt said in an interview at the Washington Ideas Forum, and the unpredictability of the U.S. economy is making business nervous.

Washington Ideas Forum - Full CoverageTax increases on the wealthy "don't matter that much" in the grand scheme of things, he added. "That number is a small number. It does not matter compared to the other things we're talking about that much. In my case, it wouldn't change my behavior. How do we get the productive parts of America? That's the only conversation that matters."

PBS's Gwen Ifill asked Schmidt if Google missed the social media wave. Schmidt admitted, "We were late to this. We were focused on other things." He did point out that with Google+, the company was going at social media with a greater emphasis on privacy controls. "It's very hard to beat a fast-moving company at its own game," he said of Facebook. "You have to find a new problem and do it better than they are. And that's what we're trying to do."

View the full session at FORA.tv

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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