tv Alec Ross The Raging 2020s - Companies Countries People - and the... CSPAN December 25, 2021 5:45pm-6:51pm EST
from the chad so we can purchase a book "the raging 2020's." you can do in-store pickup. we have three stores and you can get it at any one of those tours if you live in the d.c. area and if you live anywhere in the united states you can get it shipped to you as well. also if you have a question for alec put it in the q&a. you're on your desktop there was a q&a. you can haul hover over the bottom screen and it was a q&a and we will get to as many of those as we can in a later part of today's abandoned just a quick note secretary clinton has to leave us after 30 or 40 minutes so ross will be
conducting a q&a at the end of the event but we are really excited and we have such a great discussion for you today. i'm going to handed over to my boss the co-owner of politics and prose and former director of speechwriting and senior adviser to secretary of state hillary clinton and she will start us off so thanks for being here. >> thank you so much written he and good afternoon everyone and thank you all for coming out today. i'm co-owner of allah took some pros along with my husband and on behalf of our fabulous staff we welcome you to this very special 1:00 p.m., tuesday afternoon edition of pnp life. i am so delighted to post today's event for many reasons but first our guest author alec ross was a former colleague at munich -- colleague of mine at the state department that would be wonderful in itself but we also have our boss at the time a
woman who is moderating today's event former first lady u.s. senator secretary of state in first woman presidential nominee of a major political party the one and only hillary rodham clinton. for the three of us it's like old home week. mostly i'm glad you are all enjoying this event because alec has written an essential book. as britney said it's called "the raging 2020's" companies, countries, people - and the fight for our future and i'm going to let him in secretary clinton tell you more about the book but suffice it to say that alec has identified when technology that can expand opportunity is weaponized and distorts the truth and are 150-year-old social contract between business government systems is almost
unrecognizable. for those of you who read his last book industries of the future which is a "new york times" bestseller you know even as he details serious problems facing us he's not a doomsayer. his new book proposes solutions and innovative ideas about how to rebalance power and create a more durable social contract. you may be wondering what maids alec write this but he began his professional life as a sixth-grade teacher in baltimore. anybody who's ever been a teacher know that's great training for pretty much anything but in all seriousness he went on to become a leading thinker on technology innovation and joined the state department undersecretary clinton. in that position he enlightened many of his colleagues myself included about the waste digital technology can be used to strengthen u.s. diplomacy. alec was a senior fellow at
johns hopkins senior fellow at columbia school of international and public affairs and today he shares his ideas with scholars and leaders around the world including visiting professor at the university business school. in short he is a bold thinker in perfect person to help us imagine what our future can look like a player willing to reimagine the social contract. we are always honored and delighted and thrilled to have secretary went in with us in any capacity as a guest author moderator friend of independent bookstores. i think beyond her incredible career she has an excellent podcast on iheartradio. onward together help seed and support grassroots political candidates and causes. she's a best-selling author of more than a half a dozen excellent oaks of nonfiction and maybe she will tell you what happened last week when she was made an honorary chancellor
oversees at a distinguished university and she will have a -- named after her at oxford also deserved but also she has a newer line novelist. she and her friend have a thriller that will be out two weeks today. it's fabulous and it's a page-turner with some messages along the way. i can't tell you how grateful we are at p&p to have both of you with us today. secretary clinton and alec now handed over to your. >> i'm happy to be her and her any circumstance but especially if it has to do with politics and politics and prose. a former friend has written an engaging compelling thought provoking book filled with astute analysis but also very
clear recommendations about what we need to be doing going forward and to escape some of the many problems and traps that he outlined so effectively and "the raging 2020's." it's a delight for me to want again be at least a virtually with alec ross worked with me in the state department and he was a staunch advocate for innovation and technology and understanding not only government and business in every aspect of society needed to do better in what we could look to alec for his creative out-of-the-box thinking so welcomes alec. i'm thrilled to have this time to talk with you and let me start by asking you, why did you write this book and what do you hope will come from it? >> thank you so much secretary
clinton and thank you all for attending and. the reason i wrote the book is everybody seems so angry. we were in a moment where it seems like everybody was waking up in the morning and the defaults which was being angry. i wanted to study what was that the roots of this anger. what was at the roots of this rage? what was it about this moment in human history that has gotten everybody so terribly upset? after five years of research and what i determined was it was a mix of things. there were things to reckon on i can things that were sociological and things that were cultural that were deeply entwined. there's no one thing so i tried to write a book that explained this moment in history and tried to give -- get a little sense of the road forward. people talk about different
moments in history that this might reflect. a lot of people go back to the 1920s on the heels of the spanish flu but i think this moment if it has any historical precedent it's the 1840s. as you secretary clinton as the economy changed from being an agricultural base to being an industrial base at the beginning of the 19th century we saw this massive change in a way that the economy and the labor went from farm to factory and technology drove a lot of these changes but this is also sort of the industrialization of the charles dickens novels. this was 11 out of losing their fingers in a factory and a six-day, 14 hour workweek. what did that lead to? at let the largest wave of revolutions in the history of the west. it led to ideological movement like communism.
"the communist manifesto" was written and 1848 so i felt like we were in another one of those transitions. our economy went from being in talmet lane industrial-based into technology rich and knowledge-based where we have that anger. in the 1840s all the ferment in the revolution from the far left to the far right. there were a series of things rewriting of the social -- contract and similarly ideas surfaced about how to rewrite the social contract going forward but that's what brought me to this book, trying to understand what was at the roots of the rage and what is the path forward for as? >> i thought that was such an incredibly rich insight when i read your book alec because we often lose track of our history and how history can guide us and
inform us and what you just described was an epic moment in human history going from a primarily agrarian society to primarily industrial society and there was a lot of loss. there was a lot of dislocation and a lot of anger and right now we are living through a comparable period and in many ways there are analogies and there are differences between them which we can get to in a minute but just as people were looking for new ways of not only making a living but living a life back in the 1840s and then there were thinkers coming forward to say well this is a good path to go for example with karl marx and dos kapital. you write a fairly deep -- about
capitalism. you want to dramatically reform capitalism or you are advocating that we abandon what is called shareholder capitalism in favor of stakeholder capitalism in terms that i hope our viewers are at least somewhat familiar with but if not explain what they mean and why you think businesses should stop doing what they are doing now economic lee and try a different path which is in the long run perhaps better for them productively but also better for society. >> shareholder capitalism is all about maximizing every last penny of profit over a short-term and stakeholder capital is also capitalism but it's rooted in the longer term and instead of just focusing on the last penny going to the shareholder it leads to greater
consideration of your employees, the climate of the environment, your customers, your community and if i can sort of be the history major geek that i am again industrialization was a powerful form of capitalism. then we'd got this wave of revolution and we got ideological movements like marxism. what made industrialization work was in the same way in which, the same way in which we animate technologically and scientifically we annotated in our public policy so was like all right you can work in our factories but there's now a child labor law. you can't be under the age of 16. you can work in our -- company for 30 years and if he does so to get this thing called attention so you'd don't grow poorer as you grow older. the idea of public education
took root at this time. all right we are going to share the spoils of capitalism and industrialization more broadly. if you are 18 you can go to school for free. as the economy transitioned again we needed to innovate within our public policies as well as we innovate technologically and scientifically. when i think about stakeholder capitalism i think for example about the concept, i write i have three kids 14, 16 and 18. my kids and your grandchildren are likely not going to have a single employer for 30 years and at the end of those 30 years you get it tension so what is the penchant for them? do we now live in a world where we go back to the concept of education on its own? by age 18 we can be done with free public education because of that point the elites are the super achievers can go to
university and the rest can go to work in factories and mills. we need to innovate thinking about our educational little bit differently. all of this is deeply inclined with our capitalism. all of this is inclined with how are companies relate to their employees and began for me the real distinction here is short-term versus long-term not are you optimizing for your shareholders or are you optimizing for a better set of stakeholders? are you compelled by statute to maximize every penny of interest for your shareholders or are you aloud to invest in the longer-term? i don't want to give up on capitalism but for capitalism to continue to work and to keep our
capitalism it has to be repaired. >> you've used the phrase social contract many times and if they bring that i resonate resonate with because we needed new when given the stage of development that we are going through and this is very much a global book that you have written in to examine models of social contracts from around the world. oftentimes i have found a lot of americans either have a misunderstanding or have no information about what's happening in other countries. it might have some impression or maybe even a caricature but are there lessons from abroad that you think we should be paying attention to and maybe even applying in the united states when it comes to the social contract? >> i think so. look there's no country i love more than the united states but i think we americans have a bad habit of sometimes forgetting when we were born god gave us
one mouth into ears and sometimes we reversed that ray. we do a lot of telling people around the world like how society should function but not a lot of time learning and i do think there are some good examples. going backs to the question of affluence and what we can learn from others. i will give an example from the nordic states, from northern europe for example. what's interesting about northern europe is nobody can accuse them of being socialist states. there's an enormous amount of flexibility. you can be highly entrepreneurial and in fact they are more of the leaners in sweden per-capita than there are in the united states. the nordic states are hot beds of -- startups. startups central and the number one place in the world in terms
of creating multi-billion-dollar startups in the world is silicon valley and number three is in estonia. they have created this incredibly vibrant capitalist society but they have a very strong safety net and they have a strong safety net and the safety net exists not just for people who are falling. in the united states we means test everything in terms of benefits. what they do is they have a series of much more universal benefits. you have spoken about this for years about maternity and paternity leave because everybody gets the benefit from that. it's not nearly as controversial and it's not viewed as competitive. it's not viewed as i'm paying for the benefits that are being given to someone else.
i think it's a strong safety net i see it playing out right now on capitol hill. when i look at the decision of whether we are or are not going to invest a couple trillion dollars to strengthen our safety net programs in the united states i can't help but think my goodness we would benefit a little bit from learning others where there is less rage but is still capitalistic and words actually to call it socialism because it's just not. what i try to do it this book is draw examples from other parts of the world that consists of our form of capitalism but also people that if it. >> i think that should be one of the objectives of all of our social policies and you
mentioned the tribalism that sometimes stands in the way. it's gotten a lot worse. we call it partisanship but truly people are in their separate corners not listening and in the book you quote the late richard trumka the former president of the afl-cio who said to you and i'm quoting here, for years we have been told the economy is like the weather. there's nothing we can do about it. the economy isn't like the weather. the economy is nothing but a set of rules. how does your book suggest we start changing the rules in the economy so it does benefit more people in does provide that social contract where people feel that they have a stake not just stakeholder capitalism but stakeholder society? >> i will share something and i will just be totally unguarded and undiplomatic.
if my moms listing she can cover your ears a little bit. one thing that happened after he left working for you, up until the time i worked for you i had been a schoolteacher. i i had been a nonprofit executive, i worked in government and i had worked for years so i was middle class. i grew up middle-class put myself in college working on a beer truck and is a mid-night janitor. it was after leaving working for you that i suddenly understood our economy is really divided into. there's a world of labor in a world of capital. after working for you i became educated about this world of capital. the real money you make is not what gets direct deposited into your checking account every two weeks if the appreciation of your assets. before i didn't have any assets. so then i get exposed to this
world of capital and the one thing i did recognize i'm now part of it. it's a heads win tails you lose economy. if there is a rule, big picture that i think we need to change or completely reorient right now we substantially advantaged people who make their money with the appreciation of their capital versus those who work hard. there have been years where a single fedex driver paid more in federal taxes than fedex did, a single starbucks barista pays more in federal taxes than starbucks. i going to detail in the book and it's really straightforward transaction pre- taxes can be incredibly boring and complex. try to tell the story of looking on at google ad and buying a
belt and then tracing the taxes to go through the purchase of that. what happens is the person who bought the belt page 35% of the taxes in the belt maker plate -- paid 20% and google ended up paying 0.37% taxes based on their profit. it's all legal. these people are not breaking the law. google is not breaking the law but what we do have is an inherently unjust set of laws in the united states right now that want to get north of half a million dollars in earnings every year you literally can't lose unless you do something destructive because the appreciating -- appreciation of your wealth is designed and all of those people in the 90% or below are paying for everybody in paying for everything.
there's a single world that i think we should focus on changing it's the one on taxes. people have been kicking joe biden around a little bit but the one thing that he's done that hasn't gotten a lot of attention because that's really -- but it's really important and you must have run into this issue repeatedly as united states senator and secretary of state. this concept of global tax and the global minimum tax. joe biden is behind the concept of a global minimum tax. people thought the united states would never supported and now we are behind it. if we can change the way capital moves around the globe i think we will take a lot of the word and off america's working and middle class. with your interlocutors when you were engaging with foreign leaders around the world he must
have talked about this issue of global tax. >> course because it became basically a race to the bottom in so many countries that tried to lower particularly they are corporate tax rate so they could attract businesses from other countries. it really was a destructive competition part of what president biden and secretary janet yellen are trying to do is to try to say there's going to be a global corporate tax rate and you can't escape it and we aren't going to reward countries that basically support the escaping of the obligations that they should be responsible for back in their home countries. i was really pleased that you focused on taxes because literally you call it and i quote again a skeleton key for unlocking the problems that emerged out of using a 20th century set of policies to solve 21st century problems.
by bad and is explained in the book if companies can threaten countries like don't cut my taxes or i'm leaving, that the pretty dire position for countries to find themselves in. labor, most workers other than the people we see who are literally taking their labor by their feet to try to get someplace where it would be paid more fairly but workers don't say that. the vast majority of american workers are kind of stuck as you know corporations do everything they can as you pointed out to limit their taxes and devise all kinds of schemes to prevent the irs from getting funded enough to be able to go after them if they have breached the laws and i really think trying to link between social contracts and stakeholder capitalism and
taxation and putting it on the global scale is something we very much need to focus on. i was remembering obviously when we were working together, you were a big advocate for getting our diplomacy more in line with our corporate partners so that we get present a united american front. as you i'm sure know it is i certainly saw a lot of corporations are really not putting america's interests first at all any longer and they never were. some used to be anyway and they are constantly looking for ways to take advantage. that is promoted as you also point out by the whole idea of shareholder capitalism. the way that you connect the pieces of this puzzle are very important.
i wanted to shift slightly to talk about caregivers because you talk about a social safety net and one of the big debates that president biden has prompted is how on earth we can be better to err caregivers not only the parents of children but the caregivers of parents that are elderly relatives but also professional caregivers. how can we justify paying people we entrust with their loved ones such miserable wages and very few benefits? what is your thinking about caregivers because that's a hot topic in washington is congress debating where we go. >> this is a case of where one of america's greatest strengths is also one of its greatest weaknesses. that lends itself to entrepreneurship and innovation
but it also creates conditions for our caregivers. the fact that there is too often so little collected and caregiving is inherently collective. this is a case where going back to the title of the book "the raging 2020's" i feel like a lot of the rage that people are feeling right now is the byproduct at least in part a real challenges at home that calm from not having the programs in the supports that will enable people to get care at home or if you do have to bring care from the outside and retain people with the minimum wage. there is no federal support and as you know better than anybody else that makes us fairly unique among most developed countries. there's this almost madd slight quality to our economy and the
united states right now where it's highly individualized. we have not taken the of the trillions of dollars of wealth creation that were created over the last few decades and figured out how to be more egalitarian with it. just to be hopeful since i am more hopeful and i do think this younger generation gets it, i really do. i think that i hope that young people in their 20s and 30s who are scrutinizing our capitalism and who are scrutinizing the american way of life in a way that i took for granted. they were the winners of the cold war and we were triumphant and i feel those who didn't live through the victory of the cold war and who are now living to the pandemic are scrutinizing us a little differently. i do think with today's
20-somethings and 30-somethings growing older and they are growing more powerful i do hope that they can help shift with the norms are the united states right now. i did have just a final question for you. i know you only have a few more minutes left but i was very happy to note that you are in no fast last week. i have a niece who is a computer science student at tech college belfast where you are the chancellor. i was wondering secretary clinton if you see things from a broad and are there lessons that we americans can draw from what you've seen in your travel and well over 100 countries around the world where you are like this is and struck it and this is something we should go with? >> absolutely alec i was delighted to be at queens university belfast for the
installation ceremony and i'm really proud and honored to be the first woman chancellor of queens university. maybe i will get to meet your knees at some future point. i think there are so many lessons for us to learn and there has been a resistance to us talking about what other countries do. i've noticed that for many years. for example we know we still haven't solved their health care conundrum. we pay more than anybody in the world. we are still not getting the results we need and we have a huge problem now with accurate information that will be accepted by the vast majority of americans. in the last three months have been to paris for a conference and i've obviously been to london oxford and belfast and people in europe in the uk are
just bewildered. what is happening in part of it i think is they are just more how can i say it clever to fork community oriented and humanitarian even in the idea that somebody would be deliberately trying to persuade people not to get vaccinated for their own health and the health of others is just so hard for them to comprehend. they have different levels and speeds of the rollout but the rollout bye-bye now the vast majority of their adults are vaccinated. it's not even a question. it's the first time i've eaten indoors for months. i've been religious about eating outside here at home and at oxford and belfast there were events. i questioned it. i say we don't eat inside and i
wouldn't eat if i were in new york or america and they looked at me oddly. they say we are all vaccinated and number two copley wear masks when necessary. number three we try to socially distance. those are the things you're supposed to be doing in the national health services in those countries like france and like the uk they are all part of conveying that message. they have more of a sense of health care being both the common good and an individual right and therefore when something like the pandemic happens they are more inclined to think okay how is this going to work and how do i fit in? that's just one small example. we can talk about many others as you know very well but that's why i liked your book and why it was so eager to participate in part of your event with politics
and prose. you have a great way of explaining complicated problems and you have a wonderful turn of phrase which i have seen on many occasions in the past and we need more voices like yours and more works out there. i think our democracy is under assault both from within and without and impart a cause of the convergence of all these social and economic factors that are at work that you explain in "the raging 2020's." i hope you get someone for questions about this. we need more people to step up and say they can't keep going the way we are going. doesn't work for anybody but the very few and we can't sustain a democracy and we can't sustain a proper is economy words inclusive prosperity without changing our social contract and
without changing our tax system and the way we govern ourselves in a capitalist economy. i'm going to turn it back over to politics and prose and to list the but i wish you well. i know you are going to italy because your look is coming out and italian. >> oh my gosh. i love seeing you virtually and i hope i get to to see again soon. makes me happy. thank you for being so generous with your time and getting out there day after day in pushing for their right things. >> you can't stop. it's my grandchildren's future and i can't stop. thanks alec and thanks lizzo. >> thank you and we will see you in two weeks. >> i will chat virtually with you. >> thank you again for doing
this. >> thank you all. goodbye. >> alec we have a whole bunch of questions. i'm going to try to take them in the order they came in. the first one is from sebastian from chile. any lessons learning is, warnings? >> a lot of the book is as hillary said about the social contract and there are sort of two models right now that are dominant globally right now the chinese model and the american model and what's interesting is they think chile and many other economies are trying to find their own space. they don't want the social contract this individualism as the american model and they don't want authoritarianism of the chinese model. the way that i think about it is, it's actually a great time
for countries to be able to chart their own unique way forward. here's the way i think about it in the way he wrote about it. the world was a much more simple place. you read either aligned with american sponsored democratic capitalism are lined with soviet sponsored socialism. you chose sides and sometimes like chile you go from one side to the other. the world isn't and shouldn't we that. i do think countries like chile can learn certain things from united states for example how to create a strong entrepreneurial system but what i would say is stop looking north united states and stop with in west to china for the answers. you don't have to be part of american capitalism which is now the social contract of billion there's a don't have to become a subsidiary to china.
there is a great opportunity for a more tailored social contract in individual countries. said i'm going to skip ahead to question that is out of order they came in a bit later but it's connected to what you are saying which is what's the difference between stakeholder capitalism and democratic socialism? is a debate -- gains versus income? >> stakeholder capitalism is not socialism and that it is not as driven by escape. in democratic socialism the government is saying to the private sector you must do the following things. you are compelled to do the following things whereas in stakeholder capitalism the decision to do those things they sometimes be compelled from the state or it may not but ultimately it comes from the board. i will give you an example of this. i sit on the board of the publicly.
swiss company and there's nothing democratically socialist about switzerland. it's a pretty pure form of capitalism. our company would argue is a model of stakeholder capitalism and one of the things we did was when the pandemic hit as you may recall in the united states unemployment shot up from ford over 10% almost overnight but what we had within our company is the a workers counsel like an internal unit and what we did is we put the numbers in front of them on what we thought could be the financial impacts of covid on the company and this model would say we need to fire x number of people we need a firefighter people. with the workers counsel came back to us with was instead of firing all those people what if everybody across-the-board including the seniormost executives take a little bit of
a haircut including oh by the way the shareholders and the shareholders get a haircut and they get less financial return and exchange for not firing all of these people. we did it. we came out on the other side and we still have all of those employees but it was a case where everybody took a little less including the shareholders and the impetus came from inside the company as as opposed to democratic socialism big government telling was what our hiring decisions had to be. >> so i just sing. it's a question from derek are great to see you alec could have in your book be used as a tool for democrats to take a stronger stance against the gop's obviously treasonous behavior particularly with their misuse of emerging technology? >> there are layers in the
question. what can democrats do and what do we do about technology? what i will say is from a purely political standpoint what i do think is this book calls for oldness and not incrementalism. as i was talking about earlier in our conversation the idea that we would go from a six-day workweek to a five-day workweek and the idea that we would create labor laws and i'd give it every kid 18 years old and younger would get free public education and the idea after working for someone for 25 or 30 years to get attention. these were ideas. they were ideas when they were first introduced that are now foundational to our economy. and what i similarly believe this we just nibble at the edges and if we just take an
incrementalist approach to repairing our capitalism and preparing our economy and did not state then this decade will rage in all the wrong ways until the end. if i'm a democrat i am fundamentally making it change argument and non-incrementalism change argument. you want to raise income taxes for the wealthiest americans from 37% to 39.7%? that's, you can't do that. that's what i would say perry for thinking about the technology platform there's a focus here on monopoly. there's a focus within the book on monopoly. one of the worst distortions that can take place in the
market economy is a monopoly. monopoly is incredibly destructive and in fact they give an example of how insulin monopolies have lead to desperate monopolies. a -- people grow up poor they die and our communities are less healthy. as it relates to technology i would simply say where there's a concentration of power and where something is vertically and horizontally integrated to a point where it doesn't allow competition that is not capitalism and that is where it get into this as it relates to the technology world with a specific focus on monopoly. >> i think you answered this next question a little bit but i may not be reading the question completely as intended or the question is are you finding examples of contemporary revolution in government as
von bismarck, one of the great authors of rewriting the social contract. none of those were his ideas. they came from the grass roots but they did depend on his state power to make these things the norm. >> this idea setting the safety net is more equitable as a flashpoint when demonstrating the actual return on investment that benefits all. in your historical look forward to, what do you think needs to be done to turn the corner in the u.s. especially if we are not able to get through the $3.5 trillion package in congress but maybe especially if we do. >> it is universal reality versus means testing. economists love the means testing. they say you're going to get this much of the subsidy into this income level and this income level is this and at thee problem, what that does is it
looks elegant economically but what it does is creates political division, so if we are going to get to the point of a broadly accepted set of safety net programs, then we need more universal reality and less means testing. then people at the bottom benefit from it so it's then much more likely to give support from middle and upper income voters. even right now at the debate in congress when i don't pay attention to the language, part of what i'm hearing not just from right-wing democrats but also moderate democrats is i don't want to have to pay for programs for somebody else. they like infrastructure. everybody is going to cross those bridges into everybody's stuff is going to be delivered
through the universal reality. i think even if we do a little less, we need universal reality in the policymaking if we are going to have a larger political coalition. >> may be some democrats. look at what is happening in my country with such an incredible anger in the street after the revolution described so she wants to know to what extent do you think an economy can fall and lose trust in investors when it sticks to the capitalist rules led by a rigid bureaucracy bureaucracy? >> most of the rebound of the countries that have been really hardheaded have been those that embraced the open rules based market economies, so for example the difference between belarus
and estonia when communism fell, both of them had bloodlines. there were bread lines in men scanned belarus and in holland and they chose to different political and economic models. the estonians chose the model of openness and the rule of law and of the belarusians chose a more oligarchical soviet model. the belarusians, today the economy is horrible. and they've got protests in the street being violently beaten down. the quality of life is like a village over there. it's an incredibly high quality of life and a booming economy so i do think that there are lessons that are instructive about the kind of political and economic model that you choose to rebound out of distress whether it's political distress, economic distress or both.
>> is it a coincidence that it's also one of the highest orders? >> it wasn't one of the highest illiteracy rates in the 1970s and 80s but what they did after his day and braced we are going to be a knowledge-based technology. we are going all in on education and all in on what we are projecting the economy to be as opposed to belarus which was we are going to preserve this economy. education is not as important as when you are focused on taking copper out of the earth. one made a progress of choice and one made a regressive choice. we see that in the middle east as well, the states that are progressive and lend themselves to economics.
of the questions on education, considering transition to a new type of social contract it would require people comfortable with the status quo. how would you rollout the community colleges would it be partly that or three media or the reinvigoration of civics. it's all these things but it's also leadership. one of the things that distresses me about the democratic and republican leadership right now is black, white, we hate the other and ultimately hard to achieve any form of consensus where it is to tribes, so the one thing yes, media would be important, yes
community infrastructure and community educational infrastructure like the community colleges will be important about going back to the 19th century it is the leaders like bismarck and others that say we are going to do the right thing. i'm going to even though i come from the world of capital, i recognize the benefit of helping the country and we are going to make this work together and i'm going to lead us through this. right now i feel unfortunately most of the political leaders are leaders of a tribe as opposed to trying to figure out how we can pull ourselves together more fundamentally. one last point on this. in west virginia i didn't know what political party my parents belonged to. you didn't talk about the partisan politics, but now it's all everybody talks about and defines us and our relationship
to one another and i think there's a lot of strategical things we can do to address but we also need a good old-fashioned leadership to shine through. >> i've been thinking about that and reading that when they get handed down by federal judges the reports never said who appointed them. you want to know who appointed them as some sort of measure. we have time for just a couple of more. here's a question from someone listening to you and looking forward to the book launch in italy on saturday says the book is amazing and wants to know if you could talk a little bit more about how you can regulate the tech sector what can government do to regulate? >> there are big differences between the companies. facebook, amazon, netflix, google they are all different
companies and offer a different set of challenges and i think that's why there has not been more regulation. amazon and facebook serve fundamentally different things. it's more like walmart and facebook is more like twitter than they are each other so part of it is we need to get away from just saying the tech sector because what is the tech sector? it's everything and it's nothing right now. we need to make them pay their taxes. so, again, one of the things i go into in depth in the book is the remarkable degree to which some of the companies do a brilliant job of not paying taxes. so just to pick on google for a minute, part of the reason the guy clicking on an ad and paying 7% in taxes is because in that
case, google was literally saying okay in order for us to have that technology, we are going to lease from google holdings ireland it's owned by google holdings and it's this web of corporate nonsense that allows the companies do not pay their taxes. second is to make them pay their taxes. and i'm going to be very blunt right now. the example where certain companies, the kind of behavior that we saw back in the 1970s and 80s and when there are revelations of wrongdoing, when there are revelations of executives lying to congress, at what point are they held to the rule of law. you don't get to just break the law because you are rich and powerful.
i do feel like there's a company or two out there. >> we have time for one more question but for that question i'm going to validate two questions that are kind of related. one person, thank you for your comment and points out that women are always affected when there's these kinds of an equities and a similar question came from another audience member saying again they fall disproportionately on women and it's almost impossible to build a sustainable economy. what do we do about all that? i will point to the example of me and my wife. for the longest time in our
careers, we had roughly equivalent positions and salaries and then all of a sudden she wanted to have kids and that put her in an entirely different place professionally and economically and i had a trajectory that she simply did not. going back to some of my conversations with hilary, the lack of support for caregivers in this country basically we know it disproportionately takes women out of the economy. the second thing we have to recognize i think is cultural. if you sort of close your eyes and do a word association and assay ceo, a certain kind of image is going to come into your head and i guarantee that image is not feminist. i am a big believer that capital
money is deterministic. how we allocate our capital is an explanation of our values and so what we consistently see far too often in the world of venture capital and private equity is this is where you see the first sort of boy billionaires. people are very comfortable writing checks to people that are like them culturally and they are very uncomfortable writing checks to female entrepreneurs. so, with that being the case, what that means is women then lack the resolve and correspondingly the power that men have and so culture is tied into our economics and at the end of the day the test is does your allocation of capital and
checkwriting meet the letter? >> this is such an incredible conversation. the first few minutes were amazing. the questions were phenomenal. i wish we could have gotten into all of them. everyone could sit here and listen to you talk about all this all day but certainly you need to get the book for yourself, your friends. he is gone to so many ideas it is refreshing to hear how you think about things we sometimes take for granted. by the way the link is in the chat if you want to click right there now. we can't thank you enough because we are so excited to have you. congratulations. hope the launch is as much fun as this one and i'm sure you will be eating a lot of wonderful food over there and enjoying getting the word out across the atlantic so thank
you, thank you and to all of you for tuning in as well. >> one last thing, if you are going to go online to buy the book, it is just as easy to buy two books as one book so buy a copy of my book but then by another book. i want to make one final point that didn't come up during the discussion. we need to support our small businesses. if we become a country of conglomerates, we will lose a lot of what makes the community special. at the core of this are the independent booksellers. i can't imagine a business that would have been more difficult in the pandemic than being an independent bookseller, so please do go to the politics and prose website to buy a copy of my book, but while you are there, by somebody else's book,
but by from politics and prose. >> thank you for that and by the way we are especially appreciative but if you happen to live in another community far away and have an independent bookstore, be sure to support that. we are here because the community has been so supportive and believe in the mission of what we are trying to do. it's a great event, incredible book andcarla gericke
discusses her point of view and the freestate project . >> carla gericke is the author of this book "the ecstatic pessimist: stories of hope (mostly)". i want to ask you a question i have never asked an author before . what was i reading west and mark what was ireading ? >> you were reading a collection of my essays and short stories over time. it was an amalgamation of the work i did when i did my mfa in city college in new york.