TED Talk Video On Inequality From A Plutocrat

I think we should talk about inequality far more than we do. Even if I do not agree with the speaker, I would like to engage in the dialogue with anyone who speaks intelligently about the topic.

I’m embarrased to admit I haven’t yet read Pinketty’s Capital, but I will.

In the meantime, this is worth watching.

I don’t love his “We rich people should care about inequality because of the future pitchforks we face, so let’s be self-interested and work for more equality.”

I would prefer an argument that includes an ethical component, something along the lines of “equality helps increase human dignity.”

In his favor, however, he’s smart, provocative, and trying to be non-ideological, all of which I appreciate. Also, I like the examples he gives of the City of Seattle, and the Henry Ford theory of wages. Worth watching.

Please see related post:

Inequality in America – A must-see video presentation

Book Review of Plutocrats by Chrystia Freeland

Cash Transfers and Inequality

ted talks


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Government as Primary innovator?

I’ve written passionately about the stultifying, influence-peddling, and depressing results of local governments engaging in ‘Economic Development.’

But the thing I like best in the world** is a smart, contrarian argument that shows how I’ve not considered all sides of an issue. Like this TEDTalk for example.
We often easily dismiss the government’s role in innovation, myself included.

Watching this type of argument helps me think better.


The TEDTalk teaser for this video:

Why doesn’t the government just get out of the way and let the private sector — the “real revolutionaries” — innovate? It’s rhetoric you hear everywhere, and Mariana Mazzucato wants to dispel it. In an energetic talk, she shows how the state — which many see as a slow, hunkering behemoth — is really one of our most exciting risk-takers and market-shapers.

Which actor in the economy is most responsible for making radical innovation happen? Mariana Mazzucato comes up with a surprising answer: the state.


**Ok, there are a few things I like better in the world. Double Stuff Oreos come to mind. Red Sox World Series victories, as well.


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Follow the Money, then Act with Love

lawrence-lessig-at-ted2013Such an important and powerful Ted talk by Lawrence Lessig.

Lessig rightly points out the perfectly legal, sanctioned, and structural corruption at the heart of American Democracy.  Only 0.05% of us really fund elections, which really means its only 0.05% of us who select and vet candidates and have access to them once they’re in office.  If you’re wondering why YOUR particular big issue isn’t getting solved, he argues that the structural problem of political funding needs to be solved first, and the rest will follow.  I agree.

Lessig then challenges us to respond to this situation with love, which I didn’t expect to hear but I do endorse.

I highly recommend investing the 18 minutes to watch this.

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