Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes discusses his critical book, Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn.
The first half of Chris Hughes's life played like a movie reel right out of the "American Dream." He grew up in a small town in North Carolina. His parents were people of modest means, but he was accepted into an elite boarding school and then Harvard, both on scholarship. There, he met Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz and became one of the co-founders of Facebook.
In telling his story, Hughes demonstrates the powerful role fortune and luck play in today's economy. Through the rocket ship rise of Facebook, Hughes came to understand how a select few can become ultra-wealthy nearly overnight. He believes the same forces that made Facebook possible have made it harder for everyone else in America to make ends meet.
To help people who are struggling, Hughes proposes a simple, bold solution: a guaranteed income for working people, including unpaid caregivers and students, paid for by the one percent. The way Hughes sees it, a guaranteed income is the most powerful tool we have to combat poverty and stabilize America's middle class. Money--cold hard cash with no strings attached--gives people freedom, dignity, and the ability to climb the economic ladder. A guaranteed income for working people is the big idea that's missing in the national conversation.
This book, grounded in Hughes's personal experience, will start a frank conversation about how we earn in modern America, how we can combat income inequality, and ultimately, how we can give everyone a fair shot.
Chris Hughes is the co-founder of the Economic Security Project, a network of policymakers, academics, and technologists working to end poverty and rebuild the middle class through a guaranteed income. He co-founded Facebook as a student at Harvard and later led Barack Obama's digital organizing campaign for President. Hughes was the owner and publisher of The New Republic magazine from 2012 to 2016. He lives in New York's Greenwich Village with his family.