Banned TED talk: Nick Hanauer on income inequality

TED is a really nice concept and there are quite a few talks that more people should see. Sadly, some of these have been banned by the TED organization and the actual fact that some talks are banned, already is quite the stain on TED’s reputation. Here, I would like to present one of them to you.

The following talk by American millionaire Nick Hanauer. He’s a venture capitalist, having invested in various very successful companies, such as the giant Amazon. He also has a degree in philosophy and is known for his criticism of the current US political paradigm that is completely business-dominated (he would know!). In fact, what he says is crystal clear. This is what Business Insider writes about it:

As the war over income inequality wages on, super-rich Seattle entrepreneur Nick Hanauer has been raising the hackles of his fellow 1-percenters, espousing the contrarian argument that rich people don’t actually create jobs. The position is controversial — so much so that TED is refusing to post a talk that Hanauer gave on the subject. National Journal reports today that TED officials decided not to put Hanauer’s March 1 speech up online after deeming his remarks “too politically controversial” for the site…

The entire talk can be seen on youtube, and you can find the transcription here. But the basic idea can be summarized as follows: The politicians keep stating that

If taxes on the rich go up, job creation will go down.

Hanauer states that this, obviously, is not true. And it’s logical: Why would a bigger company pay less taxes than smaller ones? If starbucks didn’t exist, its position would be taken by a huge number of small individual businesses. They would employ as many people (or even more!) and pay way more tax. This would be better for all, and not just for the shareholders of Starbucks. In the end, former White House financial reform adviser Elizabeth Warren states it quite eloquently:

I hear all this, you know, Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever. No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody.

You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.

Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

And damn right she is!!! You can find the talk on youtube.

This also applies to those that live in other parts of the world. It is important to separate the rights of companies and the rights of people. Never forget that companies exist to serve the needs of people, and not the needs of a few ultra-rich. Companies and their delegates should never gain political control, because if this happens, scary situations appear. We are seeing the effects of this right now, all over the world.

Stop the madness, choose for the well-being of people. Spread the word.

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One response to “Banned TED talk: Nick Hanauer on income inequality

  1. Pingback: "The War on Consciousness" - Banned TED Talk | NealAlanSpurlock.com·

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