Human Capital

By editor on February 20, 2018 — 1 min read

The biggest thing that I care about politically is this concept of the value of human capital. We as individuals can just get run over, now, with all kinds of small dollar influence, whether it’s via lobbying, via gerrymandering, whether it’s through populism that gets perverted into these weird, political manifestations.

And all of it slows down human capital potential. Like, if you take a sports analogy to America: if you’re running a sports team, you look forward to free agency. In free agency, it allows you to wipe page and say to yourself, okay, who are the people that I want on the field, on the court? Why, for what reason? And then you can choose: athletic capability, cultural capability, teamwork… all of these different characteristics. And then around them, you build the team that you want. And then you go out, and you compete, and you try to win.

Similarly, for the United States, while that doesn’t express itself in the year, it’s expressed itself, that way, for hundreds of years.

The long arc of America is the best run sports franchise you can imagine. Championship after championship, after championship. Whether or not you like the Patriots, it’s the Patriots of the 2000s, or it’s, maybe the current Warriors.

My point is America has done this exceptional job of being a beacon for human capital. For guys like me, for people like you, the deck is stacked against you, and that’s the one place where I can flip all the cards the other way. What an amazing thing.

And now you see it in a different light. People don’t want to come here. And that’s so tragic. There are these amazing people all around the world who would otherwise abandon everything that they have built up to come here and start with nothing to rebuild themselves on behalf of this team.

And the idea that we wouldn’t want the best of those people to help us, to advance the ball, and then to push everything to everybody else around the world, to me… it’s insane.

And that’s happened in a year. That literally changed in a year. And that really saddens me. (10:20)

Posted in: Society

Editor's Note

These are Chamath Palihapitiya's words. They are probably some of the best thoughts on VC, business, and life, but were scattered around the Internet. They live now in this archive.