Tech Execs Lean Left, But Can’t Stand Regulations

September 8, 2017 - 2 minutes read

Over the past several months, we have written a lot about the tech industry’s disdain for right wing politics in the era of Trump. Whether its the Muslim ban, the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality protections, the exit from the Paris Accord, or the moral equivocating about the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, tech leaders have not been quiet about their outrage over what’s happening in America under Trump. So can we say that there is a common political bend to our nation”s innovators and disrupters? Of course, there is a variety of political views among mobile app developers and the broader tech world, but a recent study from Stanford University indicates that tech’s elite generally share a remarkably similar political worldview.

Stanford’s political scientists polled 600 tech founders and executives (San Francisco mobile app developers will not be surprised to learn that a third of the respondents hailed from the Bay Area) and compared their responses with Democratic and Republican voters and donors. What they found is that the image of the Silicon Valley libertarian — the Peter Thiel-type, if you will — was largely inaccurate. The tech elites aren’t just socially liberal — they by and large believe in policies that would redistribute the wealth. These millionaires and billionaires are actually in favor of higher taxes, something the Peter Thiels of the world are adamantly against.

Where these thought leaders of the tech industry break with left wing politics is in their dislike of unions and regulations on business. Generally, tech sees regulation as antithetical to innovation. While Silicon Valley could push Democrats further to the left on many issues, here they may push them right. If money equals power in American politics, and the tech industry remains an economic powerhouse, the tech execs could realign the Democratic Party to adopt a more ambivalent view on tech regulations. Many mobile app developers believe that this realignment is already happening.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,