We rich people have been falsely persuaded by our schooling and the affirmation of society, and have convinced ourselves, that we are the main job creators. It's simply not true.
The only really expensive thing in our family budget, frankly, is private air travel.
Once America's CEOs get back to the business of growing their companies rather than growing their share prices, shareholder value will take care of itself, and all Americans will share in the higher wages and other benefits of a renewed era of economic growth.
Amazon didn't create any jobs. Amazon probably destroyed a million jobs in our economy.
The truth is that all civic and social change is friction. Politics is friction. The only way you can bend the arc of history is to create that kind of friction, which is something that makes most people incredibly uncomfortable but which, for whatever reason, because of my upbringing or because of my genetics, is something that doesn't bug me.
There is no earthly reason why Walmart and McDonald's and Walgreens and these other giant, profitable institutions should have one worker in need of public assistance. It's ridiculous.
Government does create prosperity and growth by creating the conditions that allow both entrepreneurs and their customers to thrive; balancing the power of capitalists like me and workers isn't bad for capitalism - it's essential to it.
The theory that if wages go up, employment goes down isn't a physical law like F=MA. It's a moral law, like 'Bedtime is 9:00 P.M.'
Like most plutocrats, I, too, am a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, cofounded or funded over 30 companies across a range of industries. I was the first non-family investor in Amazon.com. I cofounded a company called aQuantive that we sold to Microsoft for 6.4 billion dollars. My friends and I, we own a bank.
I think the people who end up being extraordinarily successful - it's been my observation - tend to care enormously about status, particularly business people, right? Because the only point of money, you know, the only reason to have a 300-foot-long boat is because they're bigger than 200-foot-long boats.
Business people do two things with their time fundamentally. The first is that they try to create sales, right? Revenue, key to business. But the other thing they devote their time to equally is cost containment. That is to say, how to not create jobs. Because the fewer jobs you can create for the revenue you create, the more profit you make.
The thing about us businesspeople is that we love our customers rich and our employees poor.
You see, we capitalists will never actually ask you to work overtime. I don't even track your hours. I just make it clear that I trust you to get your job done in the time allotted. And then I hand you twice as much work as you can reasonably do in a 40-hour week.
I have a 15-year-old boy, and we are about to give him car keys, which seems like an act of insanity when you know what you know about 15-year-old boy behavior. But in 2018, we'll have self-driving cars, and it will be so much better. My son may be the last generation of kids who learns to drive.
Prosperity in human society is misunderstood. The difference between a rich and poor society is the number of problems that society solves for its citizens. That means technological innovation is the source of all prosperity, but with every tech innovation, you also get disruption - ultimately, social and civic disruption.
One of the things that I think makes me successful is the way in which I collaborate with others. In my opinion, nothing great is ever the product of one mind. It's always a consequence of some sort of self-critical collaboration.
People want to think of economics as a natural science, like physics, with the comforting reliability of simple-to-understand theories like F=MA. Unfortunately, it isn't. Economics is a social science, and the so-called theories are really social and moral constructs.
If low taxes were the way that people like me created wealth, then we'd be starting our companies in the Congo or Somalia or Afghanistan, but we're not. We come to places where there are lots and lots of customers.
In a sufficiently prosperous society where people specialize sufficiently, and where enough of the crappy work is done by machines, all work becomes art.
Rising inequality is toxic to growth. High levels of inequality exclude people - both as innovators and customers - diminishing both innovation and demand.