Chris Hughes

chris hughesChris Hughes, Mark Zuckerberg’s one-time Harvard roommate, facebook co-founder, and multi-millionaire, suggests addressing income inequality with a $6,000 annual subsidy for workers making less than $50,000 annually. He would pay for this with income taxes on the wealthy. It is an interesting idea, but why should it be necessary, and would it solve the problem?  I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I would suggest some alternatives for debate:

  • Increasing the minimum wage.
  • Negative income tax for low income workers.
  • Increasing wages for government workers and the large number of workers paid indirectly by government.
  • Increasing worker benefits such as medical insurance and child care subsidies.

Perhaps Chris Hughes explains in his book why his idea is necessary and superior to alternative ways to address income inequality; I haven’t read the book. Government policy is greatly responsible for low wages and growing inequality–the recent tax law is an example. A subsidy would carry stigma of “welfare benefit.” Reversing government policy that keeps many workers poor is a better idea, I think.


About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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4 Responses to Chris Hughes

  1. Anonymous says:

    When a living wage is not paid and safety net programs for food and housing are needed, then the corporations paying a non-living wage are being subsidized by taxpayers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. whungerford says:

    Anonymous, I agree, but is Chris Hughes’ suggestion a good answer? Should benefits like SNAP be cut to encourage fair wages with hardship? What might better be done?


  3. josephurban says:

    A fair tax system would solve a lot of problems. Eliminate all deductions for individuals and corporations. Anything else is putting a band aid on a gushing bullet wound.


  4. whungerford says:

    Which is preferable:
    A low wage economy with low earning families subsidized by the government?
    A high wage economy with government benefits only for the disabled?
    A low wage economy with paltry benefits and widespread poverty? (NY-23)

    Here is another possible choice:
    A more or less progressive tax system with little spent on benefits like medicare and Social Security? (USA)
    A flat or regressive tax system with much spent on subsidizing low earners? (Europe)

    In any case, benefits shouldn’t cease at some arbitrary income level. I see this as a hitch in Chris Hughes’ plan–one shouldn’t lose $6000 when ones income noses over $50,000.


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