During the SXSW conference, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt emphasized that Google is "very, very worried" about the class tensions that underlie recent Bay Area protests, where Google's high-salaried tech employees has become a symbol of inequality and are accused to drastically driven up rents.
In Schmidt's view, the society is now replacing human labour with technology without proportionately raising standards of living for most of the population. "Ninety-nine percent of people have seen no economic improvement over the last decade," he said, adding that it will become the "number one issue in democracies around the world."
In the case of the 50-employee WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook for a reported $19 billion, Schmidt said "Let us celebrate capitalism," while opening his arms. "$19 billion for 50 people? Good for them."
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