Political Revolution

Zillionaire To Other Zillionaires: “Pay Up” | 1A

Nick Hanauer
Written by JoAnn Chateau

1A host Joshua Johnson interviews one percenter Nick Hanauer who has a message for the super-wealthy: “Pay workers more to avoid an uprising,” and because it’s good business.

Well worth the listen!


“You probably don’t know Nick Hanauer, but he has more money than you. As a self-proclaimed “unapologetic capitalist,” Hanauer deals in millions the way many Americans deal in hundreds … or tens.

A few years ago, Hanauer called on his fellow one percenters to address America’s growing income inequality.

If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

Hanauer’s advice hasn’t exactly been heeded. And he’s now telling the super-wealthy to pay workers more to avoid an uprising.”

~ Joshua Johnson

LISTEN HERE: Zillionaire To Other Zillionaires: “Pay Up” | 1A

1A is distributed by NPR.


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About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.

4 Comments

  • “While there’s much wisdom freely available, propaganda tends to rule society.” So, spot on, JoAnn. And as the piece ended…Is there anybody really listening. Sadly, I would say no.

  • One Percenter Nick Hanauer knows the historical record of oppressed peoples driven beyond endurance. Good. Will his billionaire peers heed his warning and advice? We shall see.

    I recently watched a Smithsonian documentary on the history of The Great Wall of China. Our builder-in-chief of beautiful walls should take note. The Great Wall of China did not save the Ming Dynasty from the Manchu conquest in 1618. Building the Great Wall had come at a great price to the people tasked with its construction and the nation’s economy. Numerous internal peasant rebellions, floods, famines, and economic unrest weakened the dynasty. The rebel leader allied with the Manchus to end their oppressive rule.

    I couldn’t help noting the similarities with developments in our great empire with its immense wall of military outposts in over 170 countries worldwide. The grievances and rise of our white supremacists should not be dismissed as mere racist outbursts. Like our black and brown minority populations, they, too, are feeling the pain of our global capitalist system built upon exploitation of the masses.

    • Well put, Rosaliene, and a great little history lesson on the China Wall. While there’s much wisdom freely available, propaganda tends to rule society. It may well take an uprising to change things.

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