In an effort to understand the politics of tech’s wealthy elites, Stanford researchers surveyed 600 technology-company founders, asking them about different policies.
The caricature of Silicon Valley people, which we’ve pilloried before, are that they are simple libertarians. The new survey continues to deconstruct this silly portrait. Fewer tech founders (24 percent) than Republicans (63 percent) or Democrats (44 percent) generally agree with a simple statement of libertarian philosophy: “I would like to live in a society where government does nothing except provide national defense and police protection, so that people could be left alone to earn whatever they could.”
But tech founder politics are different from either political party in unusual ways. Tech founders are developing a new, strange kind of politics that’s opposed to regulation, but for redistribution through taxation.
The New York Times has a really excellent visualization of the core ideological findings:
Look at the big bubble in the yellow tech founder column: Don’t regulate and do redistribute. None of the other large groups they surveyed showed a comparable interest in this political philosophy.