TED Talks' slogan may be "ideas worth spreading" but it seems there are certain ideas that TED doesn't think are worth sharing. In particular when the ideas challenge the widely accepted notion that rich enterpreneurs are the number one job creators. This is surprising to me given that TED seems to pioneer controversial ideas and new ways of thinking and encourage people to think for themselves.
In March, millionaire tech investor and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer – one of the early backers of Amazon.com – gave a TED talk during which he proposed that middle-class consumers, not rich people, are the real job creators and because of this rich people should be paying more in taxes. The talk was well received at the time but TED Talk curator Chris Anderson later decided not to post it on TED's website. His reasoning? He claimed that the talk was “too political” to be posted during an election year, and “a lot of business managers and entrepreneurs would feel insulted” by some of Hanauer’s arguments. Sounds a bit fishy to me. You gotta wonder what the real reason behind the banning was? Was he instructed / bribed to ban it?
Of course given how fast news travels on the internet, websites all over the world were posting outraged reactions to this. And the banned talk didn't remain banned for too long. The Atlantic published the entire text of the short talk and Chris Anderson soon agreed to posting the video on YouTube but not on the TED website (which ironically means the video will probably get even more views) .
If you watch the talk, Hanauer's theories make quite a bit of sense and there doesn't seem to be anything overly controversial about what he says. Take a look below:
I guess the most controversial part of his speech is his conclusion which might have offended some rich people and Republicans:
[O]ur current policies are … upside down. When you have a tax system in which most of the exemptions and the lowest rates benefit the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer. Since 1980, the share of income for the richest Americans has more than tripled while effective tax rates have declined by close to 50%.
If it were true that lower tax rates and more wealth for the wealthy would lead to more job creation, then today we would be drowning in jobs. And yet unemployment and under-employment is at record highs.
Is his argument really that far fetched? What is the world coming to....
Sources of Information
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