There’s a bit of a back story behind today’s TED Talk, in which Nick Hanauer issues a powerful warning to his fellow zillionaire ‘plutocrats’ that it’s time to take the inequality issue seriously, and makes the case to dramatically raise the minimum wage. Some of you may remember that two years ago there was an online spat between Nick and TED over a prior talk of his, also about inequality. We liked the talk, and agreed with its sentiments, but saw a few key problems with it that kept us from posting it on our home page (though we did post it on YouTube.) We were accused of censoring him, and the row generated an extraordinary level of heat.
Roll the clock forward two years, and worries about growing economic inequality have only increased. Nick has become a leading voice on the topic. He wrote a widely circulated article for Politico and is credited as a key force behind Seattle’s decision to adopt a $15 minimum wage. He and I ran into each other last month and discovered that we’re both really bad at holding grudges. So I invited him to come and give a new, longer talk on inequality at our office theater, reflecting his latest thinking. That happened last week (right after we ceremonially buried the hatchet .. see the pic below!). The talk was terrific: honest, surprising and important. I’m proud to be posting it today.