The Politics of Silicon Valley

- - Nelson Lewis

As one of the centers of the modern tech revolution, Silicon Valley and the tech industry have a growing economic power that could readily translate to political power.  While the tech world has typically been pretty aloof when it comes to politics, this most recent election, which seems to have gotten everybody from Lena Dunham to Jenna Jameson political, has changed that.  In recent months, the big names in tech have revealed themselves as the wall at facebooklimousine liberals we all knew they were as they railed on Trump’s actions and policies.  I recently read a very interesting article that talked about politics in Silicon Valley, and it had some interesting findings.  

With plenty of money, and a lot more years ahead of them than George Soros or the Koch brothers, these tech giants could be a major political force.  A new survey from political scientists at Stanford has suggested that they could push lawmakers, Dems in particular, further left on various social and economic issues, and are in favor of redistributing enough wealth (God knows Apple’s got more than enough to go around).  At the same time, they undermine the influence of some of the more traditional supporters of the Democratic Party, such as labor unions, and could strive to push them away from business regulations.  The study revealed that most tech entrepreneurs are pretty liberal, Bernie and Hillary supporters almost to a man.  Except about government efforts to regulate business, particularly with labor, in which their views are surprisingly Republican.  And that’s not surprising; much as these guys like to use nice words, they’re still business tycoons trying to make more money.

The survey exclusively looked at the “elites” of the tech world, the millionaire and billionaire executives who could actually influence politics.  Silicon Valley has had a weird evolution since it first became a tech hub in the 70s, from countercultural to libertarian to champagne socialist that favors both wealth redistribution and laxer regulations.  Over time, and with their money and media influence, these tech giants could change the Democratic Party.

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