OpEdNews Op Eds

Al Gore Tells Techpreneurs Some Truths They May Not Want to Hear About Inequality

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   News 1   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 6/13/14

Become a Fan
  (9 fans)
- Advertisement -

Cross-posted from AlterNet

Al Gore
(image by AlterNet)

Inequality and democracy are the kind of topics you may expect to hear about at a political convention, but not necessarily at a tech industry conference. And so former Vice President Al Gore's discussion at Nashville's tech-focused Southland Conference this week could be viewed in context as a jeremiad spotlighting taboo truths about tech culture and philanthropic traditions.

Discussing the economy, Gore lamented that "we have rising levels of inequality and chronic under-investment" in public programs. He reminded the crowd that when "95 percent of all the additional national income in the U.S., since the recovery began in '09, goes to the top one percent, that's not an Occupy Wall Street slogan, that's a fact."

Gore may have been alluding to the tech economy becoming a significant driver of that inequality.

As Princeton economist Alan Blinder noted in a January Wall Street Journal op-ed, technology is "clearly the major villain" in rising economic inequality, as "e-commerce eliminated many 'ordinary' jobs (while) enhanc(ing) the opportunities and rewards for some 'extraordinary' jobs."

One way to see this is in the app economy, which often rewards billions to companies with a relatively few employees, thus concentrating wealth in fewer hands.

Later in his discussion, Gore said that "democracy has been hacked" by moneyed interests. Then, in response to a question about tech billionaires spending big on allegedly philanthropic enterprises, he said: "That's a good thing, as long as the rest of us don't ever fall prey to the illusion that charity is going to do the job of what democracy needs to do."

- Advertisement -

Click Here to Read Whole Article


David Sirota is a full-time political journalist, best-selling author and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist living in Denver, Colorado. He blogs for Working Assets and the Denver Post's PoliticsWest website. He is a Senior Editor at In These Times magazine, which in 2006 received the Utne Independent Press Award for political coverage. His 2006 book, Hostile Takeover, was a New York Times bestseller, and is now out in paperback. He has been a guest on, among others, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and NPR. His writing, which draws on his (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -
Google Content Matches:

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Tax the Corporations and the Rich or Take Draconian Cuts -- the Decision Is Ours

Bush Used the IRS, FBI, CIA and Secret Service to Go After Opponents -- Where Was the Fox and GOP Outrage?

GOP: Recession's Foreclosure Victims "Want a Homeless Life"

How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Gives Corporations Special Legal Rights

Busting myths that FDR prolonged Great Depression


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
5 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
I imagine that folks like Zuckerberg figure their ... by Ken L. Klaser on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 9:16:09 AM
Taxes are coercive. They force people to contribu... by June Genis on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 3:40:30 PM
Government is a service organization that runs on ... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 7:17:21 PM
Donations by rich people to public institutions ... by Patrick Walker on Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 9:02:58 AM
EXCELLENT POINTS! They remind me of what's mention... by E. J. N. on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 5:00:04 PM
It's a common misconception of those who don't ite... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 8:54:52 PM
You're of course right on the taxation of donati... by Patrick Walker on Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 9:24:11 AM
The difference may be semantic, because it could b... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 7:56:05 PM