Facebook founder calls for taxes on big business to reduce inequality Facebook founder calls for taxes on big business to reduce inequality

Facebook founder calls for taxes on big business to reduce inequality
23 Jul 2018

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has said that the US government should subject big corporations and the wealthy to more tax in order to fund cash handouts for people on the lowest incomes.

Hughes, 34, said he had made “half a billion dollars for three years of work” based on the value of his initial stock in Facebook, and that his “lucky break” was exactly what is wrong with America today, according to CNBC.

"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% 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," he pointed out.

At the same time stories like his own, “create an illusion of economic opportunity," Hughes told TechCrunch contributors Adriana Stan and Tom Goodwin on their Interesting People in Interesting Times podcast.

As a result, he called for a roll-back of code changes that lowered tax rates on corporations and the richest 1% of the country and instead suggested giving a US$500 monthly tax credit to every working American who currently earns less than US$50,000 per year to create an income floor.

Hughes also proposed that the government pay for the handouts by imposing a 50% tax rate on both income and capital gains for any American earning more than US$250,000 per year. Companies - including Facebook – should likewise be taxed on the data they collect from customers, which is often sold on to third parties such as marketers and advertisers.

The suggestion came as billionaire investor and founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates Raymond Dalio warned that wealth inequality in the US could increase even further as artificial intelligence software and increased levels of automation become more widespread, according to MoneyControl.

"My view is that algorithmic/automated decision-making is a two-edged sword that is improving total productivity but is also eliminating jobs, leading to big wealth and opportunity gaps and populism, and creating a national emergency," he wrote in a Facebook post.

"Largely as a result of it, capitalism is not working for the majority of Americans and is in jeopardy. Yet no one is seriously examining what to do about it," Dailo said.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has said that the US government should subject big corporations and the wealthy to more tax in order to fund cash handouts for people on the lowest incomes.

Hughes, 34, said he had made “half a billion dollars for three years of work” based on the value of his initial stock in Facebook, and that his “lucky break” was exactly what is wrong with America today, according to CNBC.

"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% 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," he pointed out.

At the same time stories like his own, “create an illusion of economic opportunity," Hughes told TechCrunch contributors Adriana Stan and Tom Goodwin on their Interesting People in Interesting Times podcast.

As a result, he called for a roll-back of code changes that lowered tax rates on corporations and the richest 1% of the country and instead suggested giving a US$500 monthly tax credit to every working American who currently earns less than US$50,000 per year to create an income floor.

Hughes also proposed that the government pay for the handouts by imposing a 50% tax rate on both income and capital gains for any American earning more than US$250,000 per year. Companies - including Facebook – should likewise be taxed on the data they collect from customers, which is often sold on to third parties such as marketers and advertisers.

The suggestion came as billionaire investor and founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates Raymond Dalio warned that wealth inequality in the US could increase even further as artificial intelligence software and increased levels of automation become more widespread, according to MoneyControl.

"My view is that algorithmic/automated decision-making is a two-edged sword that is improving total productivity but is also eliminating jobs, leading to big wealth and opportunity gaps and populism, and creating a national emergency," he wrote in a Facebook post.

"Largely as a result of it, capitalism is not working for the majority of Americans and is in jeopardy. Yet no one is seriously examining what to do about it," Dailo said.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

MORE ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Finland scraps universal basic income experiment

China to provide universal healthcare and pensions by 2020

More than one million Irish workers to be tax-exempt this year

 

 

 

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