Friday, May 18, 2012

TED and the Conventional Wisdom

Over the last few years TED has established itself as a forum for new thinking, a platform for ideas that question (in many cases) the current conventional wisdom. A couple of months ago Nick Hanauer, who has been an enthusiastic entrepreneur for a few decades, and canny enough to make a pile of money, made a brief presentation to a TED audience.

Nick spoke as a capitalist, a person who uses his resources to build new businesses. His point was that capitalists do not create jobs. In fact, as a capitalist he knows that hiring people is one way to scare investors off. He made the point that it is delusional to think of capitalists as job creators -- the transfer of wealth to the 1% (and rising un- and under-employment) over the last few decades of lower marginal tax rates should prove that assertion.

TED, for reasons of its own, decided that it would not post the talk on its website. Nick, who has also been writing about our political culture for several years, pushed for posting. Yesterday, after the issue got picked up by some media outlets TED posted the presentation -- on YouTube -- and got about a quarter million view in the last 17 hours.

Despite TED's characterization of Nick's speech as "partisan" it comes across as low-key and fact-based -- a rich man who recognizes wealth is its own blessing and deserves no other favors. So why TED's insecurity about his talk? Is it a little too at odds with their conventional wisdom? Is TED just another arm of the MSM? Or is this a clever plan to get Nick's message beyond the TED auditorium?

Beyond that, can you think of a reason why this viewpoint, and perhaps Nick himself, is not given greater coverage and discussion in the media?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

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