… to give $500-a-month free cash and fix income inequality.
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes thinks the government should give cash handouts to people with the lowest incomes in order to fight income inequality. And he thinks the money should come from higher taxes on wealthy individuals and even big tech companies, like Facebook.
Hughes, 34, was one of Facebook’s co-founders, along with Mark Zuckerberg and three of their Harvard classmates, in 2004. He was Facebook’s spokesperson for the company’s first three years, before leaving to finish his Harvard degree and then to work on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign as a media strategist.
“That is indicative of a fundamental unfairness in our economy. Income inequality in our country has not been this bad since the Great Depression. And even though we’re reading the headlines that unemployment is at 3.9 percent and the stock market is at record highs, what’s actually happening is that the median incomes in our country haven’t budged in nearly 40 years. At the same time stories like mine create an illusion of economic opportunity," he told Techcrunch contributors Adriana Stan and Tom Goodwin on their "Interesting People in Interesting Times" podcast.
Hughes, author of “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn," is not necessarily a believer in the idea of universal basic income (UBI) — championed by entrepreneur Andrew Yang and also supported by billionaires such as Richard Branson and even Facebook’s Zuckerberg — which would see a standard cash payment handed out to all citizens no matter their employment status. UBI “is infeasible in America today,” Hughes explained on the podcast, because making payments to everyone in the U.S. is an “unaffordable” proposition.
Pay close attention to this in particular, as it pertains to the current state of affairs with respect to privacy and security or personal data and Facebook:
Hughes also proposed further changes to the U.S. tax code that could generate enough money to guarantee an income floor for working Americans. “You could tax data and distribute a check to everybody,” he said, which would see the government tax companies on the data they collect from customers, which is often sold to third parties such as marketers and advertisers.
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E. Sue Bennett