Please TED, We Want MORE Talk About Economic Inequality and Taxing the Rich

  • by: S Vaughan
  • target: TED Curator Chris Anderson
A controversy has arisen over whether or not TED censored Nick Hanauer’s TED talk on economic inequality.

Hanauer told GeekWire his message, which debunks the idea of trickle-down economy, was cut because it’s one that threatens “an economic orthodoxy and political structure that many powerful people have a huge stake in defending.” And its promotion of higher taxes for the top 1% might not be what TED’s partners, some of the largest corporations in America, want to hear.

Defending the decision, Curator Chris Anderson claims Hanauer “framed the issue in a way that was explicitly partisan,” a criticism a viewing of the video will show is unfair.

But whoever is right, one thing is certain. There’s a deep and widening gap between the rich and poor in America that's not doing anyone any good. And there oughta be more, not less, discussion about it. 

Tell TED we want MORE talk about economic inequality and taxing the rich.

We, the undersigned, would like to see more discussion about economic inequality in America.

If there’s anything TED can learn from this controversy, it would be that many Americans want this discussion on the table, and they believe that something must be done to reverse the unquestionable growing gap between the rich and the poor.

Even though TED presents a few other videos, probably more engaging and convincing on the topic, they do not point, specifically, to raising taxes on the wealthy as the solution. Though Hanauer’s presentation is not as well-researched and thorough as Richard Wilkinson’s (which made TED’s cut) on the topic, it does give an important and personal perspective on the issue and the solution, and in a more brief and less complicated form that may be preferable to many.

Hanauer’s view pushes for a strong middle class and a public with increased purchasing power to create job growth, to be accomplished by raising taxes on the wealthy. Wilkinson, whose research shows that developed countries and US States with the largest inequality gaps are those that have the worst health, education and crime outcomes that affect all citizens, says it doesn’t matter which solution is chosen to close the gap between rich and poor, as long as something is done.

Clearly the claim that Hanauer’s message was “explicitly partisan,” is unfair. There was nothing at all directly political about it.

It really doesn’t matter so much that the presentation is perfect, but that the message gets out.

We ask TED to please give us more, not less, on this topic.

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