Thursday, May 10, 2018

Chris Hughes

Chris Hughes has spent his career working at the intersection of politics and technology. He was a co-founder of Facebook, a digital architect for President Obama’s campaign, and the publisher of the digital and print magazine The New Republic. His new book is Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn.

From the transcript of Hughes's interview with Fareed Zakaria:

ZAKARIA: So you start the book by talking about how you grew up, which is very different circumstances than you're in now. What was it like?

HUGHES: So I grew up in a little town called Hickory, North Carolina. It's in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. And my mom was a public schoolteacher. My dad was a traveling paper salesman. And we grew up pretty much as middle class as they come. We went to church almost every Sunday and weekends were spent doing housework. My parents worked hard to make ends meet.

I got a scholarship to go to a fancy boarding school and then later on to Harvard and, while there, roomed with Mark Zuckerberg. And the Facebook story took off. The rocket-ship rise has been well- documented. And my life dramatically changed. I went from being part of the middle class to very much being part of the 1 percent. Specifically, in the book, I talk about how I made nearly half a billion dollars for three years' worth of work. And the fact that there's nothing else to call that but what it is, a lucky break.

And in the years after that, I started to think, well, my story is extreme. It's -- you know, not everybody is the roommate of Mark Zuckerberg, et cetera. And I realized, over time, though, that, while my case might be extreme, it's not that uncommon. A small group of people in our economy is getting incredibly wealthy at the same time as everybody else is working just as hard as they have historically and can't make ends meet.

And I think a guaranteed income of $500 a month for working Americans making less than 50 grand is actually the most powerful thing that we can do to not just combat inequality but also restore the American dream.

ZAKARIA: So the argument against the kind of proposal you're putting forward is...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue