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Brian Adam

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Why is the Nick Hanauer talk not posted?

I haven't been a member for long, but I've been watching TED talks for years now consistently checking in for new videos. Frankly, the talks have gotten a little bland in the past few months. Then I hear through the grapevine of Nick Hanauer's lecture and how Mr. Anderson has decided to censor it. I'm extremely disappointed in the decision. This is an issue on the mind of many people in America and those interested in American politics and economics. It's an something that deserves to be heard by many more people than the elite TED audiences, and what better way to spread this worthy idea than posting the lecture online, sooner rather than later. The cited reason for omitting the lecture was that it was "too political." I have to say that is a terrible excuse. When has TED attempted to remain apolitical? Speakers have discussed societal ills like poverty and war; Jonathan Haidt has put forth an explanation of the psychological differences between the Republicans and Democrats; Sam Harris proposed science can substitute religion as a source of morality, and very early on in TED's history Richard Dawkins was allowed to promote militant atheism; other hot button political issues like contraception and climate change have been discussed here (often more than once); and all of these speakers had the video of their quite political talks posted. All of a sudden we can't view here a perspective on the issue of income inequality from Mr. Hanauer? I seem to remember Richard Wilkinson discussing a very similar topic posted back in October 2011. Mr. Anderson, I think a more substantial explanation is in order regarding your decision not to post Mr. Hanauer's talk online other than it being "too political." I can't speak for anyone else, but I see the decision as an act of cowardice reflecting on the organization as a whole. It suggests that we, the public, have lost TED as a forum for intellectual discussion and consideration regarding important issues, political or otherwise.

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    May 22 2012: Hanauer:' We became enthralled with the view that wealth trickled down from the top and that if you poured money into rich people, sort of like an ingredient, prosperity and jobs would squirt out of them like donuts.

    And if you understand economies in the 19th century way that view is plausible and I think a lot of people accepted it.

    And look, lots of rich people accepted it because it's a super convenient thing to accept, right? What a great story that the less taxes I pay, the better off everyone else will be. This is a marvelously self-justifying viewpoint, but at the end of the day it hasn't worked.

    It's kind of been a catastrophe for everybody in the country except people like me and I think it's time for us all to sort of look up and reexamine these assumptions and go another way.'
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      May 23 2012: Tax is one thing. It is usually circumvented by operating living expenses within the corporate shelter - and then using the corporate shelter to attract subsidy from public funding.
      No one has mentioned the elephant in the room - it is more responsible for income disparity than unballanced taxation - it is usury, and it gobbles up more than half of every dollar earned or spent.
      It has mandated the dangerous practice of fiat currency and thrives on fractional lending - it demands unsustainable artificial exponential growth.

      I say - shoot the damn elephant before you stomp on the rats.
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        May 23 2012: Now you're talking Mitch! Where have you been?
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          May 23 2012: I have my own understanding of economy - and politics.

          The irony is that no rule is sufficient beyond the frame of its casting. It is good for the moment, and then it is obsolete.

          Everyone (including me) think they have nailed it - and we all go out to promote our vision. But it's not vision.

          Life is dynamic. it is the rule of "Maya" that all things percieved are wrong.

          The best we can do is adapt - and to do it we must treat our insights as past artifacts .. the older they get .. the less true they become - reality marches on .. we can do more than follow.

          I get stuck .. we all get stuck.

          This is why the great prophets preach forgiveness. Let us all do the best we can - that is more than enough.

          (edit: Joanne, I really should not even be spending time here in the TED forums .. I have no idea why I am so attracted. I should be in my workshop persuing my temporal mandate - to provide for me and mine. ANd yet, I cannot turn away. Perhaps this is a social meme that requires sustinence - I'm OK with that, perhaps it is a new form of life that we should promote as fathers and mothers? But the science tells me that this is no more than an adiction. And .. to what purpose does this adiction work? Perhaps as a venue for me and you to deliver our secret value? maybe, maybe not. There is something - I cannot see clearly enough beyond my desire to give. DOes that make me human? Maybe .. maybe not ..maybe the human I desire to be? If so .. well, at least I am not alone)
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        May 28 2012: Yes I have been accused of being a TED addict too. I too sometimes even enjoy a conversation when I should be doing other things...what can I say? I am weak and human. On the other hand, I have learnt a great deal, enjoyed discussing things I never normally get to talk about among my regular circle of friends, and I have met some wonderful, really wonderful people.

        In these times, we need hope. TED brings a sense of hope.
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      May 25 2012: Joanne! We need you back in the discussion to give us some balance! :)
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        May 28 2012: Hi Barbara. The question; whether or not removing the talk from TED was an act of censorship or not, rests on when and why the talk was posted on Youtube. This may have been done as a conciliatory measure, i.e damage control. If so, I applaud this but the talk should still be aired on TED. This is what we expect from our forum. This would be democratic and it would restore faith. I ask for this again.

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