Taming the Tech Beasts in 2020

Taming the Tech Beasts in 2020

Show Notes

The Big 4 Face Congress

The United States Congress has labelled Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook as monopolies officially for the record. In a statement at the hearing it was said that “some need to be broken, and all need to be regulated”. As big tech gets even bigger, governments around the world seek to regulate them in some way. We just saw congress, in a widely publicized event, ask some really hard questions to the tech leaders in a bipartisan way, even during these increasingly polarized times!

Dr. Seth Benzell
Speaking with Dr. Seth Benzell, a digital economist from MIT, we learned about how we should look at the issues that have come up from Big Tech and the drastic imbalance of wealth that they have created. Seth has spent a lot of time thinking of ways to keep Facebook accountable and make sure that the gains being made out of our data are shared across users rather than just the Zuck at top. He takes us through some of the options of how to even start thinking about regulating these companies, like taxes and transfers.

Why Inequality Matters

Inequality should be important to everyone because of the following beliefs.

  1. Ultra wealthy individuals have a diminishing marginal utility from their wealth (remember money doesn’t buy you happiness, but instead freedom and access to things most will never experience)
  2. The utility for society goes up overall when someone gets access to food more than Bezos getting a 5th yacht (more for the common good)
  3. We should think of the economy as a pie and split it in a equitable way

These points bring up the question, Can we slice the pie in a more equitable way and how do we do that exactly?

Seth states that “The way we all win is by making the pie bigger… with more equal pay in a more equitable way.”

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