Photo: Esther Dyson
Peter Thiel, one of the top entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley, best known for co-founding PayPal and being the first angel investor in Facebook, just gave a big interview to Francis Fukuyama in The American Interest.There’s a lot to chew on there. Thiel is a wide-ranging and important thinker and he touches on lots of themes. One of Thiel’s overarching beliefs is that we as a society have stopped thinking about the future and that this is the reason for most of our problems, including the economic morass and the education bubble.
An obvious aspect of this is the fact that old people are overrepresented in the political process because they vote en masse unlike other demographics. And he says something titillating: “It’s a political problem […] because old people vote and young people do not or cannot.” (Emphasis ours.)
And he’s obviously right: people over 18 rarely vote but people under 18 aren’t allowed to vote. Does that mean Peter Thiel thinks people under 18 should get the right to vote?
Lest you think we’re highlighting this to mock or belittle that idea, we should note that we’re big fans of Peter Thiel and that we’ve been agitating for the right of kids to vote for many years, and there’s a small, but real, movement in favour of the idea. If Thiel is endorsing the idea, given that he has money and a bully pulpit, this could be the best thing to happen to the movement.
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