Peter Thiel - American Democracy March 14, 2019 Lecture Transcript
“We’ve had a world of zero interest rates, government printing money for a decade. There’s way more capital than anybody knows what to do with. We have too much capital.” https://activationenergy.io/thiel/
“Most companies are actually bad ideas and aren’t even close to working. Most business isn’t equity financed. Most businesses are debt or credit financed. We should try to figure out ways to shift credit to small business and away from consumers.” —Thiel
Thiel: I’ll give you the thought experiment. If you were the president of Harvard or Stanford and you had some fantasy of getting lynched by a mob of angry alumni, students and angry faculty, then you should give a speech. Something like the following.
Thiel: The knowledge economy is very important. It’s something that we’re doing a great job educating people for. And obviously because it’s such a positive sum thing we’re going to triple our enrollment over the next 20 years will take us a while to build the buildings.
Thiel: But over the next 20 years, we’re going to triple the enrollment of Harvard. After all, in 1970, there were about 200 million people in the US. It’s mostly a US centric institution. Now there’s 7.5B people in the world. It’s a global institution.
Thiel: So we’re serving 37.5X as many people as we were serving 50 years ago. And we’re only gonna triple the enrollment. We’re not talking about increasing it by a factor of 37.
I don’t know how fast it would be until you got fired.
Thiel: It’s because the self understanding of this institution is...
The propaganda is that it’s a knowledge economy.
It’s a knowledge factory.
It’s an educational institution.
Thiel: The real self understanding is this is a Studio 54 nightclub and we have a massive velvet rope with a long line of people on the outside trying to get in.
Thiel on the SF Housing Crisis: "When it’s $2,000 for a 1BR apartment in 2011 in San Francisco, that’s what you have in a gold rush town. Comes with the territory. When it’s $4,000 for 1BR apartment, that starts to become a ridiculous tax that is going to push people elsewhere."
Thiel: The peak of over-financialization was 2007 when half the profits in the US were made by banks or other financial firms. What % of the profits in the capitalist system should be made by a financial entities? My intuition would be 10%-15% is healthy. 50% is way too much.
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