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Stuff You Should Know: How Trickle-Down Economics Works

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Josh Clark: Hey everybody it’s me your old pal Josh for this week’s S.Y.S.K. Selects, I’ve chosen how trickle-down economics works. It sounds boring but it will actually knock your socks off. It’s so interesting. And maybe Ronald Reagan will make an appearance. Who knows. You have to listen and find out. Enjoy.

Intro: Welcome to Stuff You Should Know from HowStuffWorks.com.

Josh Clark: Hey welcome to the podcast I’m Josh Clark and Charles Bryant and Jerry. And there’s snickering and tittering. And that makes this thing Stuff You Should Know.

Charles Bryant: Yeah, we’ve got sidetracked before talking about things that trickle.

Josh Clark: Names.

Charles Bryant: Names that trickle.

Josh Clark: Yes.

Charles Bryant: Like the famous racecar driver Dick Trickle.

Josh Clark: Is he a real dude?

Charles Bryant: I swear to god. Look him up.

Josh Clark: I will.

Charles Bryant: Don’t image search. Just look him up.

Josh Clark: I should specify race car.

Charles Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: OK.

Charles Bryant: That’s a good idea. Your Google master With your google fu.

Josh Clark: Yes. And we the three of us are apparently all eight years old again.

Charles Bryant: Yep.

Josh Clark: Speaking of trickle Chuck.

Charles Bryant: Hey happy birthday.

Josh Clark: Oh be quiet. Jerry you have a big mouth. You’re always talking.

Charles Bryant: Well I usually remember but I didn’t today. So happy birthday.

Josh Clark: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Charles Bryant: And this will be out several weeks later.

Josh Clark: I’ll get to relive my birthday all over again.

Charles Bryant: Exactly.

Josh Clark: Thanks man. Have you Chuckers ever seen the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Charles Bryant: And we’d go there at some point.

Josh Clark: In this one?

Charles Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: Because Ben Stein?

Charles Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: Oh OK good. So you know the answer.

Charles Bryant: Something the O O right economics anyone?

Josh Clark: Voodoo economics.

Charles Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: When you are in econ class the guy who says Bueller Bueller. That’s Ben Stein remember he had that show when Ben Stein’s Money.

Charles Bryant: Which was really his money.

Josh Clark: Was it?

Charles Bryant: I think so. I think that was legit. Yeah.

Josh Clark: I think maybe like they gave it to him if it wasn’t one or came out of a salary. Who knows.

Charles Bryant: Probably.

Josh Clark: But before that show came on he was in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as an econ professor and I believe he does have a degree in economics. He’s also just a great actor and rising pitch man. What he was talking about. And there.

Charles Bryant: No he was clear eyes.

Josh Clark: Clear eyes. Thank you.

Charles Bryant: Clear eyes is awesome.

Josh Clark: Yeah that’s right.

Charles Bryant: That sounded like not Ben Stein.

Josh Clark: Well that’s as Steiny as I get.

Charles Bryant: Anyway he’s talking about voodoo economics and voodoo economics was another name for trickle down economics aka Reaganomics and the person who coined the term voodoo economics do you know.

Josh Clark: John Hughes.

Charles Bryant: No.

Josh Clark: Yeah it was George Bush Sr.

Charles Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: H.W.

Charles Bryant: I remember that.

Josh Clark: Yeah he was running in the primaries against Reagan in the 1980 election. Before he came on as his vice president and he was deriding Reagan’s economic policies specifically his belief in trickle down economics as voodoo economics because there’s some apparently some sort of magic to the whole thing that makes it work rather than sound economic principle.

Charles Bryant: Yeah. It occurred to me today when I was studying the stuff that John Hughes picked this very topic to represent the most boring thing you could talk about.

Josh Clark: I guess so yeah.

Charles Bryant: And it took me a few times to figure it out because you know I don’t my brain doesn’t skew toward understanding economics.

Josh Clark: It’s it’s tough to do.

Charles Bryant: But I finally did and I was like you know what is not the most boring thing ever it’s. It’s pretty interesting. If I came around that means anyone can.

Josh Clark: Now it’s just our our burden to make it interesting to everybody else.

Charles Bryant: That’s right.

Josh Clark: Which we’ve already failed spectacularly.

Charles Bryant: Right.

Josh Clark: So let’s talk about this idea. First of all trickle down economics we’ll explain the whole thing in detail starting in just a moment but we should probably say that the disclaimer if you want to drive a fiscal conservative or conservative economists or just a conservative in general crazy? Mention trickle down economics like call what they call supply side economics trickle down economics. It drives them bonkers. There’s like there’s no such thing as trickle down economics it’s a derisive term. It doesn’t capture the spirit or the thought behind supply side economics which is what they’ve come around to call it. Yeah but back in the day it was definitely called trickle down economics and the whole point.

Josh Clark: The reason why it was called trickle down economics is that the idea behind it is if you place wealth with the wealthiest people. This idea goes. They will take that money and invested into the economy which will get things running again. And as a result that economic engine revving up will create more wealth at the top that trickles down to the lower working and middle classes.

Charles Bryant: Yeah. Like who better to stimulate the economy than the super rich. And they will maybe open a business to put people to work and then those workers will benefit directly from that investment that that person made.

Josh Clark: Right. So this is the whole theory behind it. We should also disclaim even further that economics as a field is so far from science it’s preposterous. Most economic theory that you ever will run into from John Maynard Keynes or Adam Smith or Jean Baptist say These guys are talking about pure economies. The United States and I don’t think there’s any economy in the world that is a pure economy yet free market economy.

Josh Clark: The United States has things like tariffs and we have things like government intervention, tax policy, monetary policy. There’s intervention in the markets so you can’t ever say we can’t say really what causes recessions and what brings us out of them or whether trickle down economics is effective or if it’s not or if it is effective is it effective in the long run or the short run. And what about the opposite way is that effective in the long run or the short run. We don’t know.

Charles Bryant: People think they do though.

Josh Clark: That is the thing that’s why I like this kind of stuff can get people’s blood boiling. Like the point of this one is to just talk about trickle down economics and the theory behind it and why it may or may not work. And on the caveat that we don’t know and neither do economists.

Charles Bryant: Yeah I think we left this in a little frustrated after my research because I thought I would come away with an answer. But I mean if you look up Reaganomics which is another name for Reagan’s version of the supply side economics you will find 100 article more than that but 100 articles on how what a great success it was and then the abject failure of Reaganomics and no one is going to agree.

Charles Bryant: I looked at some of these theories and said well that makes sense in an ideal world. And a look at the opposite and think well that makes sense in an ideal world right. And I don’t I don’t know if you like you said don’t know if you can know if there is an answer even though everyone thinks that they’re right. Both people can’t be right. Both sides.

Josh Clark: No it’s true because these are very opposite, in most cases, ideas.

Charles Bryant: Yeah but what I did find was a bunch of articles after digging further that said the the failures and successes of Reaganomics. And I think to me that’s probably a little more accurate because it isn’t a black and white situation.

Josh Clark: Well the part of the problem is as you point to Reagan’s tax policies right. And Reagan is tied to trickle down economics and.

Charles Bryant: History like right will clear all this up.

But he’s not really the first one to implement this. But he’s he’s tied to it. But if you look at Reaganomics the problem is this Chuck if if you say well the 90s were very prosperous we had the dot com boom. And the surpluses NASDAQ hit like like a record 10000 points in the 90s. All of that was from Reagan’s policies.

Josh Clark: Well you can’t say that that was from Reagan’s policies. We don’t know. We just simply don’t know. Was it something short term that the Clinton administration was doing or was it the long term effects of Reagan’s tax cuts. We don’t know.

Charles Bryant: Yeah and we’re going to get scores of e-mail from people saying what we do know. But we don’t.

Josh Clark: No. So just send your e-mail that’s fine but you’re wrong.

Charles Bryant: Well I guess we should go ahead and say too that just the name trickle down was coined by Will Rogers famous humorist in the 1920s. It is not a 1980s thing. It had been around for a while right. And he said quote the money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy and that’s where it started to get its a derogatory feel around that name.

Josh Clark: For sure. Since the 20s and over time especially since the 80s the people who championed trickle down economics are this this particular version of trickle down tax policy have tried to distance themselves from the term trickle down because it does seem elitist and it seems like a big wealth transfer which in fact it is.

Josh Clark: Let’s let’s talk about this trickle down policy isn’t necessarily associated with Reagan’s tax cuts.

Charles Bryant: Right.

Josh Clark: The whole idea behind trickle down as I said already is you take wealth and you give it to the wealthiest people. That’s that’s what’s done. It’s a wealth transfer. It’s usually done at a time when you’re in an economic slump. So you’re hoping to revitalize things.

Charles Bryant: Yeah it’s the government trying to smooth out the rough spots in the national economy.

Josh Clark: But aka recession. So you’re transferring wealth you’re transferring wealth though. On the premise that that money is going to be reinvested reinvigorated.

Charles Bryant: Right.

Josh Clark: Used to reinvigorate the economy. So it is a wealth transfer but the one we’re talking about today specifically we’re talking about Reagan’s version. So it’s a wealth transfer through tax cuts.

Charles Bryant: Yes.

Josh Clark: Right.

Charles Bryant: Yes.

Josh Clark: So when Reagan came into office he took over a tax policy where the highest tax rate was like 70 percent the highest earners were paying 70 percent on their highest income.

Charles Bryant: And he got that down to about 50.

Josh Clark: Yeah which is still seems incredibly high today in an age where we’re paying like 35 percent the highest earners are.

Charles Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: So the point is is Reagan did it through tax cuts but that doesn’t mean like trickle down economics doesn’t equal tax cuts necessarily. It’s always that’s one way of putting more money into the hands of the wealthiest.

Charles Bryant: Right. Right. Exactly. It’s really a question of supply and demand. And I guess we can go back through time a little bit to Jean-Baptiste Say who you mention. A 19th Century French economist and his his philosophy has been misinterpreted a lot as supply creates its own demand. It’s not exactly right. What he was really saying is products are paid for with products and money just had like a temporary function.

Josh Clark: Like if you are somebody who produces something, when you produce something, that item when you go make that shoe. You’re going to sell your shoe. Which is the whole reason you made the shoe in the first place. And then with that money you can go use it to buy other goods and services. So the production of that shoe created a wage for you which in turn stimulated consumption demand from you for something else.

Charles Bryant: Product is paid for the product. The misinterpretation that supply creates its own demand is just a bastardized version and that basically means that there would never be a failed product like you can just produce and produce and produce which isn’t sound. No that’s insane. And I think Say would have said that that is not true as well.

Josh Clark: Well he did. He did it during his lifetime even say like well no I mean it’s possible that there is such a thing as overproduction. I mean like if you think about it like during the housing market crash starting a few years ago sure there was a glut of homes on the market.

Josh Clark: And it’s not like the people who were building homes just merrily went on building homes and building homes and building homes. Once the demand ceased they stopped producing still having a glut on the market. And the ones who were still just sinking money into built like building just stop basically.

Josh Clark: And it was because there was an oversupply because demand had ceased. So the idea that that if you if you produce it demand will come on a short term basis it is kind of a fallacy.

Charles Bryant: Yeah but in the earlier days of this country a lot of big thinkers agreed with him like Jefferson. But the tide turned later on in our country with the introduction of Mr. Keynes, Keynesian economics. Yes so we talked about in our audio book.

Josh Clark: Yeah we did stuff you should know super stuff guide to the economy.

Charles Bryant: Yeah. Which is probably super outdated.

Josh Clark: I wonder.

Charles Bryant: But there are some I think there’s some evergreen content in there.

Josh Clark: Yeah I mean it was like an Economics 101 course with us. So the basis of Say’s law is that if you stimulate production then you will get the economy going again. And it was implemented for a while like some of the some of the early 20th century presidents like Hoover among others like Harding and Coolidge.

Charles Bryant: JFK?

Josh Clark: Well JFK later but early on in the 20th century Harding and Coolidge both implemented this kind of what’s called supply side policy. Tax policy.

Charles Bryant: Say’s law.

Josh Clark: Right. If you stimulate production through lowering taxes at the top and we’ll tell you in a second how those two are correlated. Yeah you can get the economy going again. Well Hoover also followed the same policy and under Hoover’s watch the great depression happened.

Charles Bryant: Yeah which would cause any just regular thinking person even if they don’t understand economics to think hey we’re doing it wrong.

Josh Clark: Right. So Roosevelt came along.

Charles Bryant: That’s right.

Josh Clark: Roosevelt held the opposite view and he was very much a Keynesian and he was operating at the same time that Keynes was writing and working himself. And John Maynard Keynes said no no no. You guys have it backwards. You don’t stimulate the supply. You stimulate the demand then all of a sudden if you have a housing glut and you suddenly have people who have more money to spend they’ll take care of your housing glut and then things can get back to normal we reach equilibrium again.

Charles Bryant: Yeah he was about short term ideas short term fixes maybe lower interest rates maybe taxes fiscal policy taxes and spending. Basically what you hear a lot about these days. You know Keynesian economics kind of lasted a long time until probably Kennedy and then Reagan. It’s like there’s only been a handful of US presidents really endorse the trickle down theory like wholeheartedly.

Josh Clark: Since the 20th century. Yeah it’s the Keynesian policies ruled. It was very much about like cutting taxes for the lower and middle and working classes increasing taxes for the rich because if you if you’re a government you still need revenue right. So you can’t cut taxes for everybody if you cut taxes for one group. You kind of need to increase it for another because you still need your money coming in.

Josh Clark: Of course you could also take the radical step of figuring out how to eliminate waste and bloat in government that would help a lot. But we’re talking about that in this one.

Josh Clark: We’re talking about trickle down economics.

Charles Bryant: That’s right.

Josh Clark: So then along comes Kennedy who says hey my dad was are pretty rich so I’m kind of thinking that this trickle down thing might work. So he got into supply side economics and then when Reagan came along he really championed this whole idea and it was out of a result of some guys in the 70s saying there’s this whole other thing that we’ve been ignoring which is this trickle down tax policy that we should implement. And they got Reagan into it and he implemented it.

Charles Bryant: Yeah and after this message break coming up here in a sec we’re going to talk a little bit about if it doesn’t sound like it makes sense to you. There is a certain curve that will explain that might clear it up for you.

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Charles Bryant: All right. So we’re going to talk about the Laffer Curve which was also in Ferris Bueller.

Josh Clark: Oh was it?

Charles Bryant: Yeah he says Laffer curve. But in high school I had no idea what I was like What are those words together who I don’t understand. Laffer was a person L A F F E R.

Charles Bryant: The Laffer Curve helps explain a little bit why trickle down economics could possibly work. that a good neutral way to say that?

Josh Clark: I would say so.

Charles Bryant: The idea of the Laffer curve is that the relationship between taxes and revenues is a curve instead of a direct relationship. so at a certain point let’s say you own a company you make and choose and you gross 10 million dollars through like the first two financial quarters. And you’re taxed at let’s say 50 percent. And you know if you make any more money than you’re going to jump up into that 90 percent tax tax category you might slow down production you might halt production altogether and say you know what I’m going to take off the rest of the year right maybe even put these people out of work for four to six months.

Josh Clark: Furlough.

Charles Bryant: Furlough and because I don’t want to be taxed anymore. So if you look at that on a graph it’s going to be if you tax people 100 percent they’re not going to work. If you tax people 0 percent you’re not getting any money. So in the middle of there is the curve.

Josh Clark: Right. It basically Laffer Curve suggests that the correlation between tax rates and tax revenue is not totally positive. At some point it starts to go back down.

Charles Bryant: Yeah that’s called the prohibitive range at a certain point. People don’t want to be taxed in that range.

Josh Clark: And it’s not even necessarily that they are not working any longer because they resent being taxed. What Laffer was pointing out is that there is this prohibitive range and within the prohibitive range you remove the incentive to work theoretically.

Josh Clark: And Jane McGrath who wrote this gave a pretty good example where it’s like if you make that money and you are taxed 50 percent that’s tolerable you’re still going to make sure you still get to keep 50 percent for yourself. But when you tax them that ninetieth percentile you say you were going to make another million dollars. You have to give nine hundred thousand of it to the government and you just get to keep 100000.

Josh Clark: Well you might decide to just go and spend the rest of the year at your beach house. The money that you did make not because you resent being taxed because it’s just not worth it to exert that effort to make that next million dollars when you just get to keep 100000 of it.

Josh Clark: So at that point in that prohibitive range the tax policy is effectively keeping people from working inducing them to not work any longer which is bad for an economy.

Charles Bryant: And that’s if you’re if your work if your income is directly related to your work right now you could conceivably if you owned a factory or something and you didn’t have to really exert any problem. And you could still make payroll and all that stuff might be worth it to just leave it to these other people to make that extra hundred thousand dollars for you rather than go off to the beach house.

Josh Clark: But if you your effort directly is tax then yes it would become a disincentive toward work. Yes conceivably we should point out Chuck and Jean didn’t do a very good job of doing that. And this in this article. Laffer’s Curve is a thought experiment. It’s not based on data. It’s not hard and fast rule or law. It’s basically an intuitive idea of tax rates and their effect on tax revenue.

Charles Bryant: Yeah but if you don’t you have to be a business owner. Let’s say you’re just a regular employee that makes a salary you have a salary sweet spot as well. You know it’s great to get promotions and get raises but if you’re really climbing the ladder at a certain point.

Charles Bryant: You might think man I got a big raise and I’m making barely any more money than I made before this big promotion because I’ve been kicked into a higher tax bracket. So that’s the prohibitive range and it can apply to you. I mean you can’t you don’t stop working.

Josh Clark: No but you may say I don’t actually want that promotion going to be more responsibility and really not much more money so I’m going to hang out right here rather than keep going.

Charles Bryant: Yeah and my little 20 percent range or whatever it is.

Josh Clark: Right. So let’s Laffer curve.

Charles Bryant: Yes.

Josh Clark: And that’s a it’s a kind of the basis of trickle down tax policy. It’s the idea that OK there is a point where you can tax too much and now you’re actually slowing down the economy. So based on Laffer’s curve when you’re looking at it through through trickle down policy there is a point then that’s like you said there’s a sweet spot as far as tax revenue goes.

Josh Clark: And it creates this seeming paradox where if you cut tax rates at a certain point you’ll actually increase tax revenue because people will be incentivized to work more right throughout the year. And the other basis of trickle down theory is that you are going to put more money or keep more money with the people at the wealthiest people who under this idea are more likely to invest it.

Charles Bryant: Right back into the economy.

Josh Clark: Right. And when they do that supposedly allegedly the economy booms.

Charles Bryant: Yeah what you can’t account for is just the single person this is looked at in the broadest terms because somebody can make all their money and just sit on it in the bank which isn’t reinvesting it.

Josh Clark: That is a really really really big point. You’ll remember back at the beginning of this recession the Fed was doing everything it could to cheapen lending. And still has been. And it didn’t do anything.

Josh Clark: It still dried up. Like you have to take into account things like insecurity fear that just.

Charles Bryant: Being human.

Josh Clark: Yes human like we’re not necessarily rationally maximizing actors humans are like. There is such thing as fear and the idea that maybe hoarding money is best so what’s possible then if you follow this trickle down tax policy is you’re taking money from everybody else and giving it to the rich. Or if your head just spun because you’re a fiscal conservative right. What you’re doing is allowing the rich to keep more of their income but they’re not doing anything with it.

Josh Clark: At least as a short term fix that’s not a good idea because you can probably bet that eventually the rich are going to take that money and invest it back in the economy but it’s too early but when’s that going to happen. You can’t really say.

Josh Clark: Part of the other problem with it is that you are then also basically handing money out at a fire sale. You’re saying hey here’s a bunch money invested back in the economy. And have we mentioned the bargain basement rates you can get around all these businesses over here because the economy’s in a recession..

Charles Bryant: It’s like and Infomercial.

Josh Clark: Yeah very much so yeah. And it’s like it is literally a wealth transfer and under some circumstances like the recession that we’re still coming out of now, it is a wealth transfer and an asset transfer and that the people who have the most money. The wealthy also have the most buying power and they have the best bargains.

Charles Bryant: Yeah. Thomas Sowell is an economist and he he won’t call it trickle down economics because he thinks it literally benefits the workers immediately in first because in the idealized version they’re going to reinvest in the very first thing that’s going to happen is they’re going to put people to work and people are going to have jobs. So yeah he won’t he’s not going to call it trickle down theory because he thinks it works literally the opposite way.

Josh Clark: No I read a column in The National Review by him and he’s like you’ll never find a legitimate economist a history of economic theories and policies and analysis you’ll never find trickle down economics anywhere you like it drives him crazy that people call it that because it has such a negative association and elitist wealthy association.

Charles Bryant: Yeah and you know when you if you’re during election time or during if you see these big tax cuts for the wealthy if it makes your blood boil because you think these people are obviously in the hip pocket of the politician that may be true but you can still remove yourself from that and look at the theory itself. Does it work or does it not.

Josh Clark: And we will do that after this.

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Josh Clark: So Chuck let’s do just that passionless run down of how a trickle down supply side tax policy works.

Charles Bryant: Yeah I mean it’s got to be passionless with me because I have no idea. I can’t argue hard for any side because I read so many articles disputing one another completely that I have no idea.

Josh Clark: So OK so we’re in a recession.

Charles Bryant: Yeah.

Josh Clark: And there’s a discussion is it supply or demand that you want to stimulate. Well with supply side economics trickle down is what you call it in the vernacular. You want to stimulate the supply because under this belief if you stimulate the supply the the people who are producing stuff will have stuff for sale and people will buy it and more money will enter the economy and things will get back to normal.

Charles Bryant: Yes.

Josh Clark: Because the the basis of this is that people still work during recessions and since they are working they have money to buy things. Not everybody is working but you can handle the idea that not everybody’s working by getting production going again because that creates jobs. And that in turn generates even more income gains.

Charles Bryant: That is passionless.

Josh Clark: So how do you do that? According to trickle down supply side tax policy. You cut the tax rates of the wealthiest people. You incentivize them to keep working harder and harder because they get to keep more and more of it themselves. On the hope that rather than keeping it themselves hoarding they will inject it into the economy through things like investing expanding their businesses hiring more people opening new businesses and taking that investment and making more money themselves.

Josh Clark: But in the meantime spreading the wealth around through things like wages and tax revenues.

Charles Bryant: Through minimum wages.

Josh Clark: So that is supply side tax policy and whether it works or not. The jury’s still out. I did find something from the FairEconomy.org which I have to say I don’t know whether they’re nonpartisan or liberal. They definitely didn’t strike me as conservative but so take it however you want.

Josh Clark: But they took the tax rates the top tax rate and its changes from 1954 to 2002. And they took the changes to that top top tax rate the highest here which is the one you’re supposed to cut under this type of tax policy.

Josh Clark: And they juxtaposed it against four different economic indicators. Growth in the gross domestic product which is kind of like the indicator of the overall health of the economy. Income growth rate which is you know how the average American’s wealth grows. I think changes to unemployment and the growth of the hourly wage.

Josh Clark: And they found that the correlation was basically statistically nonexistent. When you lower tax rates or raise tax rates but specifically in this case when you lower the highest tax rate it does nothing to improve the GDP to improve hourly wages to improve median wealth.

Just statistically speaking over the course of 1954 in 2002. Lowering the tax rates did nothing for those things. So speaking from there and you can say well it doesn’t really do anything.

Charles Bryant: Yeah. Well with Reaganomics I think well again I say most people agree but no one agrees. It did help inflation. It was because of his policies but tax revenues didn’t see much change at all under those policies.

Charles Bryant: We’re not getting into you know the part of Reaganomics where he kind of shut down trade with a lot of countries. Keep it in-house. Right. And the effect that had and I’ve gotten varying answers on how long after a presidency can you even look back in with a good judgment.

Charles Bryant: Like the policies really take effect 10 years later is when you’re going to see are nowhere like 20 years or no. You can see it immediately with short term fixes. So it’s the whole thing is very frustrating because no one agrees. Everyone thinks they’re right.

Josh Clark: Yeah that’s the frustrating part is everybody thinks they’re right.

Charles Bryant: Obama’s policies are almost virtually the exact opposite of Reagan.

Josh Clark: Well that’s funny you say that because that’s not necessarily true.

Charles Bryant: In a lot of ways they are.

Josh Clark: Well he in there he kept the Bush era tax cuts going. He’s actually.

Charles Bryant: Well that’s true.

Josh Clark: Kept lower tax rates than Reagan did. And Reagan’s always pegged with the trickle down economic theory right. Obama’s got this other one going. It’s called quantitative easing. So with Reagan it was trickle down tax policy under Obama it’s trickle down monetary policy.

Josh Clark: And by pumping money into the markets through the Fed. It’s actually helping because of this income inequality. It’s helping the wealthiest Americans right by far without anything trickling down really to the lower working and middle class Americans.

Josh Clark: So trickle down policy doesn’t necessarily just mean tax policy. It can also mean monetary policy. And we’ve got a very specific trickle down policy being carried out under Obama’s entire two terms far through quantitative easing.

Josh Clark: Either way there’s a vast transfer of wealth going on right now just as there was in the 80s.

Charles Bryant: Yeah I’d suggest people read up on their own if they want to jump in this argument.

Josh Clark: This one kind of also once you really start looking into it especially if you go beyond like what helps. Yeah and really step back and look at what’s being done and the effects of it. Forget you know my ideas the best way to cure a recession theoretically.

Josh Clark: Like if you if you just get out of that mindset and you look at economic policies and you look at them through the lens of income inequality then suddenly conservative and liberal and democrat and republican all just kind of fade away.

Josh Clark: And basically everybody has reason to feel like they’re being talked out of something very valuable. I came up with the idea. I’m sure I’m not the first person to come up with it.

Charles Bryant: Joshenomics?

Josh Clark: I wonder if you did cut down on the tax rates for the wealthy to about where they are now. This is like bargain basement tax rates frankly 35 percent. It used to be at 90 percent in the 60s 90 was the highest. Now it’s 35 as much as 50 percent under Reagan.

Charles Bryant: Yeah much of the world pays a lot more taxes than we do.

Josh Clark: Oh yeah. So 35 percent I think is fair for everybody to say the least if not unfair because it’s so low. But let’s say that it’s fair you keep the tax rates low on the wealthiest earners and you let them build up as much money as they want in their lifetime. But when they die you tax their estate like there is no tomorrow. And I wonder first of all you increase revenue. Sure but you also prevent dynasties.

Charles Bryant: You want to prevent dynasties.

Josh Clark: Sure. I read an article about how the those who inherit wealth tend to invest it less. They tend to hoard it more because they didn’t have any means of accumulating wealth other than a windfall. I think if you just look at it statistically speaking and you look at rather than again on an individual basis if you look overall when wealth is inherited rather than earned the inherited wealth is less often invested in ways like that create new jobs than the wealth that’s earned.

Josh Clark: And it’s the same thing like if you won the lottery or something like that you should be terrified of losing that money because you didn’t do anything to earn it. So there’s no guarantee whatsoever that you will ever earn that money or have that money again once you spend it if you amass a fortune in industry and lose it you did it once there’s a likelihood that you could go do it again. So you’re more likely to take more risks with that wealth.

Charles Bryant: But people work to take care of their families for generations to come. Like that’s what their goal is.

Josh Clark: Right. So let’s say you have 100 million dollar estate. And you have one kid and your estate is taxed at 90 percent when you die. Your kid still gets 10 million dollars if your kid inherited 10 million dollars. Yeah you’re a wealthy person and your kid inherits 10 million dollars.

Josh Clark: I think you can get your eternal rest easy knowing that your kids are going to be OK with ten million bucks for the rest of his or her life. I think that’s fair. It’s enough to set him up in business for sure that’s enough of a leg up that most people don’t have.

Josh Clark: That’s fine you have to agree with me.

Charles Bryant: I think it’s I think it’s like when I hear about Bill Gates is only gonna leave his kids so much money or whoever Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or someone.

Josh Clark: They both are. They’ve pledged like a significant amount of their estates.

Charles Bryant: Right to not to get leave it just leave that to their children. I think that’s that’s great. But I think that’s like it should be a person’s choice and the government shouldn’t make that decision for them. Like government making decisions like that does that makes my blood boil.

Josh Clark: But that’s tax policy man. Like they can make that decision while you’re alive or you die. It’s still your income being taxed. Either way it’s like are they taxing your inheritance before your death or.

Charles Bryant: Well but it isn’t tax policy because Joshenomics isn’t.

Josh Clark: No but the very fact that there are taxes and progressive means that the wealthiest people pay more. The more you earn the more tax you pay. So why does it matter whether it’s now or when it’s when you die. And I does not entirely. It’s kind of a glib interpretation because I realize what I’m saying is normal taxes now and then a heavy tax when you die.

Charles Bryant: Right.

Josh Clark: To prevent dynasties and to increase revenue. I just don’t think it’ll disincentivize work because while you’re alive you still want to make money. People those people who are dedicated to amassing hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

Josh Clark: That’s not going to prevent them from making money while they’re alive. It’s not you know they’re still alive and their kids still get a slice of the pie right.

Charles Bryant: But what about their kids kids and their kids kids.

Josh Clark: Well then it’s up to their kid to go out and through his own effort or her own effort amass their own fortune just like everybody else is. Everybody gets to start at zero. All those rich kids still get that leg up of 10 percent of the estate. It’s just my idea.

Charles Bryant: I got you Joshenomics.

Josh Clark: Joshenomics. Man we’re going to get some letters for that one. Ah you get anything else?

Charles Bryant: And hey let me say that I think people should be able to live much more meagerly than they do. I’m not a proponent of people leading these lavish wasteful lifestyles. But I think if you know you’ve made your money in a legitimate way then that’s your right to do so I guess you know I wouldn’t want some government putting their hand in my pocket and saying hey you worked really hard for all that. Give me 90 percent of it.

Josh Clark: Well I mean who does. Nobody wants that. Yeah especially when you when you look at government wastefulness or if you don’t want to fund war or something like that like then it makes it even harder to bite.

Charles Bryant: Yet the whole thing makes me want to drop out and move to an island or some place in the woods very quiet to where I don’t have to even think about any of this stuff. I got my little garden got my chickens and my goats.

Josh Clark: You need to go make some money so you can do that.

Charles Bryant: Yeah. What I want just a little nine bedroom house on like 120 acres.

Josh Clark: With the staff. Yeah.

Charles Bryant: All right. Are we done with this.

Josh Clark: We’re done with trickle down economics. If you want to learn more about it you can read this article on HowStuffWorks.com. Just type. Trickle down economics in to the search bar and it says that search bar time for listener mail.

Charles Bryant: I’m going to call this one the waiting is the hardest part.

Charles Bryant: Hey guys just found your podcast a few months ago and I love it. The reason I’m thanking you. Is because I have a bit of a worrying problem. I just sent out my application to a dental school and now I’m playing the waiting game.

Charles Bryant: Through my waiting I always find myself worrying and wondering what could happen. Even though I know it’s not the best thing for me in my long days at work this summer listening to you guys really helps me not only take my mind off the process but helps take the bite off my worrying mind and even makes me laugh out loud while people look at me like I’m on crack. Which by the way I know all about your crackpot guest.

Josh Clark: That was a good one.

Charles Bryant: So thanks for what you do. You’re informative and your humorous podcast. Makes my day easier. Helps me through the waiting game teaches me so much about what I do not know. By the way I know it’s a longshot but if by any chance you read this on listener mail. Please give a shout out to my fiance Elizabeth. We have less than a year before our big day and that is from Caleb Davis in Decator, I N Is that Indiana.

Josh Clark: Yes.

Josh Clark: Just making sure there wasn’t some state I didn’t know about. Yes Caleb and Elizabeth from Indiho. Congratulations and Caleb I hope you get into dental school my friend. Follow up with us.

Josh Clark: Doesn’t Caleb write us frequently said the Caleb I’m thinking of.

Charles Bryant: No that is not.

Josh Clark: Okay.

You think indicated that when our contest and had lunch with us. Is that the same Caleb writing sometimes follow us on Twitter. Yeah I think so. Oh hey. What is it. Well I say as I say I don’t remember.

Well at any rate thanks to all the Calebs out there to listen we appreciate you. If your name Caleb or even if you’re not and you want to get in touch with us you can tweet to S.Y.S.K podcast you can join us on our Facebook page it’s Facebook.com/StuffYouShouldKnow you can send us an e-mail. [email protected] And join us at our home on the web. The beautiful StuffYouShouldKnow.com.

Announcer: For more on this and thousands of other topics visit HowStuffWorks dot com.

David Collins: Hello. My name is David Collins and I have a new podcast on the HowStuffWorks network called the soundtrack show. As someone who’s worked in entertainment in sound music and voice over for almost 20 years I’m thrilled to bring my knowledge to your favorite movies TV shows video games and live theater. Please join me on the soundtrack show that soundtrackpodcasts.com. And follow us on Twitter @soundtrackHSW or Facebook and Instagram at soundtrackshowHSW. Thank You.

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Full Transcript by Sonix: Taylor Swift interviewed by Barbara Walters


Next is a young woman who moved from Nashville to New York this year and seems bent on global domination. Her parents named her after James Taylor and her fans are called Swifties. If you haven't guessed her name by now you are clearly living under a very large rock. One magazine headline says it best. Taylor Swift is the music industry.

You could say there was one song this year that you just couldn't shake off: Shake it off. Taylor Swift's giant hit single off her a giant hit album 1989. 1989 sold over a million copies its first week. Unheard of these days and was the only album to go platinum in 2014. The one time teen country singer became a pop powerhouse this year. A one woman exception to the rule that in the digital artists cannot make money selling records.

Are you worried about losing fans?

This is your first album of all pop songs. Are you at all worried that you will lose some of the country fans?

I am not worried about that. I'm really in touch with my fans and I know what they like. What my fans in general were afraid of was that I would start making pop music and I would stop writing smart lyrics. Or I would stop writing emotional lyrics. And when they heard the new music they realized that that wasn't the case at all.

Taylor's success is based on her close relationship with her fans. They are called Swifties. They see themselves in her and she sees herself in them.

Your fans feel so personal about you. I mean you're the only one I know who invites people back into your house. Do you still do that?

Yeah, I decided that I wanted to play this entire album for the fans long before it came out. I wanted it to be like this whole secret society gatherings and living rooms. And so I decided to have them in my houses.

We have 89 fans waiting in the living room. The entire 1989 record.

I want to come up with as many ways that we can spend time together and bond because it keeps me normal. It keeps my life feeling manageable.

Is your life normal?

Is your life at all normal?



Not at all. And that's why when I go online and I go on Instagram and I see a post from Emma who lives in Philadelphia and she's talking about how her day was at school that day. That helps me.

You still do that?

It's the only thing that keeps me not feeling overwhelmed by the abnormality of my life.

What's the most abnormal?

The most abnormal thing about my life is having sort of crowds form everywhere you go. And just everywhere. So that starts happening and then you have to take security everywhere you go. All of a sudden you realize that you have not been alone truly for five years.

Taylor has been a star writing and singing her own songs from the time she was 16 when her first country music album debuted.

My senior year.


She's won just about every music award there is. Going on. before our eyes. Her autobiographical songs deal with the problems of growing up and having or not having relationships. But while her fans identify, critics have accused the two autobiographical.

If a guy shares his experience in writing, he's brave. If a woman shares her experience in writing, she's oversharing. And she's she's over emotional. Or she might be crazy or watch out shall write a song about you. Well that is joke is there is that joke is so old and it's it's coming from a place of such sexism.


As she has become more famous so have the boyfriends. Her hits chronicle of high profile relationships that blossom with her die and then get turned into song lyrics. But Just as her music has changed, so has her attitude toward romance.

Love & heartbreak fading to the background

It seems like when I move to New York love and heartbreak and all the things that used to be my main factors in my music kind of faded to the background. Of course love is still very interesting to me as a writer but.

As a writer not as a beautiful young woman?

Now right now.


I just like I just feel really happy and I'm really protective of that.

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Popular Transcripts Full Transcript: Taylor Swift interviewed by Barbara Walters

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Full Transcript by Sonix: Taylor Swift interviewed by Barbara Walters

Barbara Walters: Next is a young woman who moved from Nashville to New York this year and seems bent on global domination. Her parents named her after James Taylor and her fans are called Swifties. If you haven’t guessed her name by now you are clearly living under a very large rock. One magazine headline says it best. Taylor Swift is the music industry.

Barbara Walters: You could say there was one song this year that you just couldn’t shake off: Shake it off. Taylor Swift’s giant hit single off her a giant hit album 1989. 1989 sold over a million copies its first week. Unheard of these days and was the only album to go platinum in 2014. The one time teen country singer became a pop powerhouse this year. A one woman exception to the rule that in the digital artists cannot make money selling records.

Barbara Walters: This is your first album of all pop songs. Are you at all worried that you will lose some of the country fans?

Taylor Swift: I am not worried about that. I’m really in touch with my fans and I know what they like. What my fans in general were afraid of was that I would start making pop music and I would stop writing smart lyrics. Or I would stop writing emotional lyrics. And when they heard the new music they realized that that wasn’t the case at all.

Barbara Walters: Taylor’s success is based on her close relationship with her fans. They are called Swifties. They see themselves in her and she sees herself in them.

Barbara Walters: Your fans feel so personal about you. I mean you’re the only one I know who invites people back into your house. Do you still do that?

Taylor Swift: Yeah, I decided that I wanted to play this entire album for the fans long before it came out. I wanted it to be like this whole secret society gatherings and living rooms. And so I decided to have them in my houses.

Taylor Swift: We have 89 fans waiting in the living room. The entire 1989 record.

Taylor Swift: I want to come up with as many ways that we can spend time together and bond because it keeps me normal. It keeps my life feeling manageable.

Barbara Walters: Is your life at all normal?

Taylor Swift: No.

Barbara Walters: No.

Taylor Swift: Not at all. And that’s why when I go online and I go on Instagram and I see a post from Emma who lives in Philadelphia and she’s talking about how her day was at school that day. That helps me.

You still do that?

It’s the only thing that keeps me not feeling overwhelmed by the abnormality of my life.

What’s the most abnormal?

The most abnormal thing about my life is having sort of crowds form everywhere you go. And just everywhere. So that starts happening and then you have to take security everywhere you go. All of a sudden you realize that you have not been alone truly for five years.

Barbara Walters: Taylor has been a star writing and singing her own songs from the time she was 16 when her first country music album debuted.

Taylor Swift: My senior year.

Barbara Walters: She’s won just about every music award there is. Going on. before our eyes. Her autobiographical songs deal with the problems of growing up and having or not having relationships. But while her fans identify, critics have accused the two autobiographical.

Taylor Swift: If a guy shares his experience in writing, he’s brave. If a woman shares her experience in writing, she’s oversharing. And she’s she’s over emotional. Or she might be crazy or watch out shall write a song about you. Well that is joke is there is that joke is so old and it’s it’s coming from a place of such sexism.

Barbara Walters: As she has become more famous so have the boyfriends. Her hits chronicle of high profile relationships that blossom with her die and then get turned into song lyrics. But Just as her music has changed, so has her attitude toward romance.

Taylor Swift: It seems like when I move to New York love and heartbreak and all the things that used to be my main main factors in my music kind of faded to the background. Of course love is still very interesting to me as a writer but.

Barbara Walters: As a writer not as a beautiful young woman?

Taylor Swift: Now right now.

Barbara Walters: No?

Taylor Swift: I just like I just feel really happy and I’m really protective of that.

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Popular Transcripts Full transcript: Gwyneth Paltrow interviews Oprah Winfrey on first ever Goop Podcast

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Gwyneth Paltrow interviews Oprah Winfrey on first ever Goop Podcast

Gwyneth Paltrow: I'm Gwyneth Paltrow and you're listening to the Goop podcast made possible by our friends at Boll and Branch. Sleep hygiene and its impact on our health is a popular topic at Goop HQ. Luckily Boll and Branch is on the same page.

Gwyneth Paltrow: They're pure organic cotton sheets or fair-trade certified meaning everyone involved in the supply chain from their farmers to the factory workers has been treated fairly and because they are GOTS certified the highest certification in organic cotton farming and production, their sheets don't have any of the skin irritating chemicals found in conventional cotton products.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I love sleeping on them and actually just bought a set for my daughter Apple. The sheets are incredibly soft and only get softer the longer you have them. For 50 dollars off your first set, head over to BollandBranch.com and use promo code Goop.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I am beyond beyond excited to be launching the first episode of the Goop podcast with one of my heroes who not coincidentally happens to be a lot of people's hero. Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey: I believe that fundamentally we are all the same.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I had to pinch myself a few times during our conversation talking to Oprah about all the ways she has pushed and continues to push boundaries in her career and life.

Oprah Winfrey: Don't hold anything too tightly just wish for it. Want it. Let it come from the intention of real truth for you and then let it go. And if it's supposed to be yours it will show up and it won't show up until you stop holding it so tightly.

Gwyneth Paltrow: As a philanthropist, talk show host, producer, actor (go see her in a wrinkle in time), mentor, and modern thought leader. Oprah has been instrumental in breaking open old paradigms and paving the way for new voices ideas and movements. I'm so incredibly grateful for the chance to sit down with her and continue to learn from her. Here she is, Oprah.

Oprah Winfrey: I'll try not to run the show.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Now you can run the show.

Oprah Winfrey: Actually there's a very big misconception.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Really.

Oprah Winfrey: It is not true.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Who do you like to run everything?

Oprah Winfrey: I like to surround myself with people who can run things so that I can be free to be with my thoughts.

Gwyneth Paltrow: How have you gotten there because I really do think that to be able to continue to expand and to create you do need time.

Oprah Winfrey: You can't do it without time.

Gwyneth Paltrow: How did you get there. Was there a period of time where you felt that you needed to do everything yourself?

Oprah Winfrey: Yes including booking the guests and on the Oprah show when I first started. And then I realized I'm really terrible at this. But it was really important to me in the beginning to do every job so that I would understand what other people were doing. And obviously I couldn't do you know the videotape room.

Oprah Winfrey: I did no editing because when I first started out in television, the very first day I was sent out on assignment, I was asked if I could edit even though I couldn't I said I could and I went to people and said you got to show me how to edit this. This is back in the old days where they're using Bell and Howell film and you had to go in the room and actually cut the little pieces of film.

Oprah Winfrey: And so I would say that this the power of my being able to move forward has been based on me paying attention. And Maya Angelou used to say to me all the time, babe, you are where you are because you are obedient to the call. And she would understand she said. And even when I tell you things I like the way you listen and then decide for yourself whether it is for you. And I've been doing that a very long time.

Oprah Winfrey: But I actually learned I wasn't just a talk show. I was also a listening show. So I feel, Gwyneth, at this particular time in my life that all of that listening has come to fill a space of knowing for me that I would not had had I not actually listened.

Oprah Winfrey: So probably you've heard me say over the years there was a time where it made the shift from it being a show to it being a ministry and it being just an expression of my self to the world.

Oprah Winfrey: And that shift, that ability for me to offer every day, whether it was Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt or a woman who'd lost everything she owned because her husband kicked her out of the house, or victims of abuse domestic violence kids whatever the subject I was able to find the thread of hope in it. I was able to find what is the the thing that's going to connect to the audience.

Oprah Winfrey: I'm always looking for what is that thing. How is what you're saying going to resonate with the people who are listening. Because I believe that fundamentally we are all the same. And that that's why when you go to a movie and you cry and you experience joy or you have any kind of reaction.

Oprah Winfrey: What I started calling aha moments, the aha's are, it's a vibrational frequency that's touching what's already there. That's what makes you go. Ah ha ha I knew that I just wasn't able to express it in that way. Aha that feels familiar that that sounds right. That feels like the truth to me. That's what an aha is, it's a remembering.

Gwyneth Paltrow: It's a resonance.

Oprah Winfrey: It's a resonance and it's a remembering of what you always always knew.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And do you find especially when you're in your position in this show that's what people really I feel like so many people don't have the tools to connect to those aha moments. They don't they sort of are doing their thing they're busy they're head down and they're especially then I feel like now we're more in the culture more open to spirituality and more open to resonance and open to open mindedness.

Gwyneth Paltrow: But I feel especially during the 80s and 90s there was more doing than being and I feel like part of the thing that you did was sort of introduce in a way this spirituality.

Oprah Winfrey: I feel that we do too and I think it's exciting to me that it's catching up to what I knew and believed it could be but when I first started talking about spirituality. Remembering your spirit. We had a little segment on call remembering your spirit because I was just trying to get people little pieces of it.

Oprah Winfrey: And I remember doing a show with Carolyn Mace who wrote the anatomy of spirit and in the middle of that show I'm watching the audience and I use the audience to gauge the larger world audience and I can tell who's listening who's not listening and I could tell the people who just zoned out.

Oprah Winfrey: And so I stopped the show stop the taping and said hey hey hey hey hey are you still with us. And woman stood up and said no no we're not what are you talking about spirit. This was 92. Wow. And I said well you know mind body spirit right. Because I said you know you're mine right. You have a body and you have a spirit and she goes Well I know I have a mind of a body but what are you talking about spirit.

Oprah Winfrey: In 1992 while we were talking about the anatomy of spirit people don't know what spirit is and so. And then somebody else said are you talking about Jesus Christ you're talking about disciples are you talking about the Bible what are you talking about. No I said I'm talking about the part of you that is your essence.

Oprah Winfrey: That is like your soul. That is the part that never dies that is. And so therefore we have to start from ground zero to explain what the word spirit means. So now we're a long way from that but I will say that the show The Oprah Show was a part of opening up that aperture to talk about it in a way that's not so woo woo. And of course when you are pioneering anything are introducing new ideas to the culture you get criticized.

Gwyneth Paltrow: You do?

Oprah Winfrey: Yeah. Did you hear about that that people are resistant to anything that removes them from their current way of thinking. Because it means that I have to let go of who I think I am and make room for the possibility of something else.

Gwyneth Paltrow: So it's threatening?

Oprah Winfrey: Yeah it feels it feels threatening and also like I'm used to doing things the way I've been doing it. And then if I have to change my belief if I have to believe which is which is the thing that is fundamentally disruptive to people.

Oprah Winfrey: If I have to change what I believe then it means that I may not be who I think I am. Because I've based who I think I am on a belief system so if you're asking me to I remember like simple things that aren't so simple that have life changing impact on a family.

Oprah Winfrey: I used to always do these shows about not hitting your kids and is spanking ok. So in the 80s we were still having that discussion. Is it ok to spank your kids. And I remember major moment with a viewer in a grocery store saying to me you changed my life and I used to just say oh ok thank you. And then I started stopping to pay attention to what that really meant because when somebody says to you you change my life that's a major thing.

Oprah Winfrey: So tell me how she said well I used to be my kids. I used to beat my kids. And I used to hear you talk about every time you on TV you talking about don't beat your kids don't beat your kids and she said how you going have good kids you don't beat them?

Oprah Winfrey: And so she said I decided one day I'm going just see. I'm going to see. I will try this for one week. I'm not going to get my kids she said. So I did not hit my son for a week and then I tried it another week and I didn't hit my son and then she said you know it's been weeks now and I haven't hit my son and I have a different son and I am a different mother. And she said it's not because the first time you said it it's because you were consistent. You were consistent. Every time you said it. So a little change like that.

Oprah Winfrey: Look at the impact that has on that son on that mother on that family. And I recognized by paying attention to that that it's the little things that turn into big things and make major changes in people's lives.

Oprah Winfrey: I mean that's a powerful thing that happened because I was consistent. So I started that was a lesson to me and I pay attention to that and it's important to me to remain consistent in my ideas and consistent in whatever it is I'm trying to to offer. But it was a that was a that was a life changing moment for me. Hearing her getting that kind of feedback from someone.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And how do you hold being that person in the world?

Oprah Winfrey: Well I think we are all that person in the world. The difference is through the platform of that show and also now who I am and the world I have access to more people. But one of the things I said when I was ending the show everybody has their own platform. Everybody has their own platform and their level of influence.

Oprah Winfrey: I recognize that I am a big soul. And the way you know if you're a big soul your souls influence is in direct proportion to the amount of people you're able to affect.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Interesting.

Oprah Winfrey: Yeah. So that means I'm a big soul. There are smaller souls that are also equally as powerful in their field just because you can't reach a lot of people doesn't mean that you don't have the same impact on the people that you are reaching.

Oprah Winfrey: So I think I value knowing that that it's not just I don't think of myself as a personality as much as I think of myself as a being in personality form that has come to affect and to influence through my own expression. That's what that's what I think. But I think everybody has that.

Oprah Winfrey: One of the other things. If I were to do a book which I keep thinking I might and then I think it's too hard. Now I have to talk about my parents I don't want to do. So I keep doing pieces of books. You know what I know for sure and you know wisdom of Sundays and pieces of things.

Oprah Winfrey: But it would be about these great lessons I learned from listening. I just learned so much from listening. You know I never had a day of therapy but I had multiple days of therapy by listening listening listening listening and trying to not repeat mistakes that I had had conversations about. And in many ways embodied you know for a long time I was taking it in to the point where I was making myself ill. I had to find a way to shield myself from other people's energy protect myself from it and not take everything in. And also but also be able to listen.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And how did you do that?

Oprah Winfrey: I started a practice in the elevator. First of all started meditating. And then…

Gwyneth Paltrow: What kind?

Oprah Winfrey: Transcendental meditation.

Gwyneth Paltrow: What's your mantra?

And but I do all forms and you know the greatest meditation for me is actually living. Eckhart Tolle told me this. If you never meditate in your life that being able to live in the present moment is the greatest form of it. When you can just be fully present.

Oprah Winfrey: So I started in the elevator going down to do my show having like a moment of covering myself and light physically having that visualization of covering myself in light so that I was protected from you know any harm and also opening myself up to be a vessel that was bigger than my personality.

Oprah Winfrey: So that whatever I said would come from a place of respect and honor intention and love. And in a way that people could feel that. And so one of the biggest changes for me was around 89 90. I read Zuckoff's book and Gary Zuckoff and it was the principle of intention that actually changed my life. Forever.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I need to get this book.

Oprah Winfrey: Forever. So he has two chapters actually on intention. So if I were to say I was brought up Christian I believe in the Christian philosophy but my true religion is the golden rule which is born of the third law of motion in physics which says what you put out is coming back all the time.

Oprah Winfrey: For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction. So Zuckoff talked about this in Seat of the Soul. He also talked about this principle of intention that exists in always before there even is a cause or an effect.

Oprah Winfrey: There is an intention that creates the cause you have a reason for wanting to do things. What is the true reason. What is the pure truth of the reason why you're doing a thing. And if you look at what the intention is in every circumstance in your life the in the energy of the intention that comes before the cause which is automatically going to create an effect. The intention is what actually creates the effect. It is the motivation behind the reason you do the thing that creates the effect.

Gwyneth Paltrow: So if it's coming from a place of lack or fear.

Oprah Winfrey: That is going to show up in the effect. And so if you and I use this for everything in my life when I got it I stop saying yes when I meant no. I stopped going to places I didn't really want to be. I stop doing things for people I really didn't want to do.

Oprah Winfrey: Because what happens is I used to have the disease to please. What happens is if you continue to say yes because you want the people to think I want to think I'm nice I don't want them to think that I've got a big head. I don't want them to think I want to. That's exactly what they think they think you're nice. They think you meant what you said and that's why they come back. I couldn't understand why I would loan people money I would do things for them I would show up for the. And then they're asking again why are they asking me again. I just did it.

Oprah Winfrey: They're asking you again because your intention was to make them think it's okay to ask me so I'm sure I can be your doormat because I'm going to ask me at the last minute you can show up for you. I'm going to do it. And so when I started just doing things based upon what is my intention. So what actually changed me with it. The very first time I got the principle I used it in my own life to say no to someone really important would ask me to do something and I thought normally I would have said yes because I didn't want that person mad at me and then I just said no I'm not going to do that. It was a benefit to me show up Stevie Wonder. I'm not going to do that. Sorry I can't do that. And he just said okay.

Oprah Winfrey: I was stunned. I thought it was going to be this big long negotiation. He just said no and saying no as it's been a big thing in my life. It's a constant. I mean I just recently was in an instance where somebody was asking me to do a benefit for them that I didn't want to do. They wanted me to be honorary chair. You know you get the honorary chairs. I don't I don't put my name on anything that I am not actually involved with. So if you see my name there means I did something.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Right.

Oprah Winfrey: And I don't show up unless I feel like this is where I want to be. And so the person was saying well why wouldn't you do it. And in the end you must love the children. I get that you love the children and it's for the children.

Oprah Winfrey: So I guess yes I do love the children and I'm taking care of a lot of children but I don't want to do that. And I actually had to just say why can't you hear the no way. Why can't you hear the no which I wouldn't have been able to do years ago I would have been I would have just done it. So that person would not be mad at me.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Yeah I think so many of us especially women suffer from that. I mean we all have that disease to please. I certainly do. It's something that I'm really trying to focus on working on at this stage in my life because you know on the one hand I feel the freedom of saying no and drawing a boundary and on the other hand I still so worry about hurting people's feelings and not being what they thought I was etc.. So how do you what is the practice to get there.

Oprah Winfrey: Well what you want is you want to get this principle of intention so that everything that you bring to everything you do comes from a strong. I talk about frequencies and vibrations all the time because I think that's what we all are.

Oprah Winfrey: I think everything is you know the trees the grass. And that you are emanating a kind of energy from you that draws to you like energy. And so you want that energy your frequency to be the strongest. You know when I finally said yes. I didn't say yes to doing this interview until I could say a full 100 percent yes. I don't want part of me to be sitting in the chair.

Oprah Winfrey: Part of me to be here and another part to be I should have done that or I should be doing this or I wanted to say when I can fully say yes and do it from a space that makes me feel good and not just you feel good.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Right.

Oprah Winfrey: Even though you were really persistent.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Well there's no other first interview I could have besides you.

Oprah Winfrey: But you got me with your good Gwyneth your good.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I'm not even Catholic I knew how to guilt you.

Oprah Winfrey: Yes but I thought ok what would be a reason for me to do so.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And what was it?

Oprah Winfrey: First of all it's your first. And I remember when I was trying to do my very first show how hard it was to get a first. And we were like bribing and Don Johnson because he was doing Miami Vices time. We were like doing everything. It's so hard to get that first. I've been there with that first.

Oprah Winfrey: And also I was thinking ok what would I talk about that I haven't said before. And you know then I thought it well I'm really proud of what Ava DuVernay has done with Wrinkle. And you know this is a big moment for Storm and I can talk about them and we can talk about what's going on with women in the you know in the me too. But there are lots of things we can talk about that I thought would be interesting for Goop.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Thank you.

Oprah Winfrey: For Goop.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And also you know I ran into you at a party recently and I was coming off like a spate of people beating me up for talking about whatever you know alternative medicine. And you were so encouraging about staying the course and believing in myself.

Oprah Winfrey: Any time you speak alternative people are like what does that mean. That's true. I got so beat up I got so beat up with people saying oh now it's a church of Oprah and of.

Gwyneth Paltrow: It is by the way.

Oprah Winfrey: And it's the church of Oprah trying to start your own religion. What are you doing and what are you talking about spirit. And I just stayed the course. What I realized was and Marianne told me this you know I used to be such as a zealot for things like you've got to get this you know you've got it. Oh my gosh you got to know this.

Oprah Winfrey: And I realized the year we cause every year I decided that I had said to my team we are our greatest competition. There is no competition other than yourself. Don't worry about what the other guy is doing. You waste energy you take energy away from yourself even if you're in a race to turn around and see where the other guy is playing.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I agree.

Oprah Winfrey: So just focus on what you can do because you can't beat them at their race. You can only win your own. So during all of those years every time there'd be another show that would come out. My staff would go oh my god. Geraldo Rivera. Oh Ricki Lake Oh my god. You know I think there are a hundred and forty seven some talk shows that came up.

Oprah Winfrey: And after a while you just learned, they learned, focus focus focus focus focus on what it is you want you can do do that better. The to the very best of your ability and because you get because you can't be what somebody else is.

Oprah Winfrey: So to answer your other question about how do you how do you get there. Years ago, I have and I have a story for everything because I used to listen to stories for 25 years. One of the most impressive ones was a woman who had her son had died of either cancer or AIDS. I don't remember but she climbed into bed with him as he was taking his last breath. And she said his last words that she could barely hear only because she was lying against his chest. He said oh mom. It was all so simple it's so simple. Mom closed his eyes and died.

Oprah Winfrey: And I got chills when I heard it. Is one of those things that resonates as an aha I said we're making it all so complicated and it's really all so simple. So that was also big life changing moment for me. I go. How how am I making it more complicated than it needs to be. How can I you know slow down pay attention and see the simplicity in things and sort of follow these laws that I've come to know to be true.

Oprah Winfrey: The universal language that all human beings and all of nature is speaking how can I do that. And so when I started to practice actually what I know to be true. So I would say that to everyone who's listening to us right now you already know and you may have Goop as a guide or inspiration but the reason why you're drawn to that.

Oprah Winfrey: You're the reason why people are drawn to those inspirations is because there is something there that is yearning to remember. Is yearning to be reminded.

Gwyneth Paltrow: That's beautifully said.

Oprah Winfrey: Of the beauty that you hold of the experiences and adventures you want to share of the the love you want to offer. The expression you want to give. And so what Goop does this remind you in physical form in tangible ways and in non tangible ways are pieces of yourself that are beautiful and that want to aspire to the best and you know who wants to criticize that.

Oprah Winfrey: We're all just trying to reach for the highest truest expression of ourselves as human beings. That's the commonality that we share. And the thing that I know whether I meet you know someone on skid row or meets someone you know sitting in a billionaire's club that that person is they want the same thing I want and that is to be able to have what is the fullest truest expression of myself as a human being. And how do you do that.

Oprah Winfrey: You know you can't get there without practice being connected to the essence of yourself to the source of your creation is like developing a spiritual muscle. And it does not happen if you're just running around all the time. So just like you bathe to stay clean and just like you're going to wash your hair and you going to brush your teeth. And there are practices that keep yourself healthy and viable. There are also spiritual practices that do the same transcendental meditation is one of them.

Oprah Winfrey: And it is one of the practices but for me it's a conscious working model to stay fully present here and now. And I practice it if I'm at the sink and putting a cup in the sink. I'm walking down the stairs and walking up the stairs. I am in that moment conscious of my hand is on the railing.

Oprah Winfrey: Gee one foot is in front of the other. Wow my legs are moving every day. This has happened for all the years of my life. I can't believe my body is still functioning this way. Isn't this great. I'm in the as I said to you earlier. Thanks for all my Goop products for bath. Bathing is my hobby. I'm putting the bath salts in the water. I'm lighting the candle. I'm aware of that. I'm fully just there. I'm just there. I'm experiencing the water my tub happens to sit in a place where I get to see the ocean. So I was in the water looking at the white caps on the ocean I'm like wow.

Oprah Winfrey: Every part of it is beauty to me. Brings a little piece of joy and you know helps helps my frequency. So I'm doing that all the time I'm doing that even if something shows up that is uncomfortable. You know who taught me that is Maya Angelou. Because I lived as you have lived every other week in the tabloids.

Oprah Winfrey: I was always glad when you were on taking advantage of me. Thanks. I'm glad someone said glad when to go. It's not me this week. And every time I would get so upset about it I Maya would say but baby what you don't have anything to do with that. But they're saying and you know it's not true.

Oprah Winfrey: You don't know what it's like when people are saying things but she says but you're not in it. It has nothing to actually do with you. It has to do with whoever sat down at the computer at that moment. You know I've been it's been happening so long. She actually said whoever's sitting at the typewriter they're thinking what can we say this week that's going to sell some stories.

Oprah Winfrey: It's also why I stopped making as many public appearances with Stedman because I realized that every time there's a new photograph there's a new story.

Gwyneth Paltrow: It's an invitation.

Oprah Winfrey: And it's an invitation. Yeah you got that too right.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Yeah took me a minute.

Oprah Winfrey: Takes a minute. Oh you know what. You know I picture them they got the pictures on the wall what do we have this week. What expression do we have. What can we create out of that.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Who was Maya to you?

Oprah Winfrey: She was in many ways the embodiment in physical form of what this character which I will talk about later that I'm now portraying in a Wrinkle In Time. This celestial wise through millennia angel woman. So she was the mother figure for me.

Oprah Winfrey: You know my biological mother didn't have the opportunity to be educated. Being raised in the south being a domestic worker her whole life she didn't have the opportunities that Maya Angelou so fortunately had been exposed to. So my mother couldn't give me what Maya had. I needed a mother like my to mentor me through this whole fame process.

Oprah Winfrey: And so she was my grounding tool for it all. I learned my greatest lessons from her. She was my comfort she was my nurturer she was my inspiration. She was the person who was saying you can do it babe you can do it. And she'd say take it all the way. And then she would point to the stars take it all the way. Go all the way.

Oprah Winfrey: So and even now when something goes right very right and something goes very wrong her spirit abides with mine. And I verbally call on her.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Out loud.

Oprah Winfrey: Out loud. Like when I woke this morning I said Maya going to be doing this interview with Gwenyth and show up.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And here she is.

Oprah Winfrey: And here she is. Yes. I mean Maya I'm going to be because you know why because I feel that there is responsibility that comes when you are speaking to millions of people. There is a responsibility that comes with that.

Oprah Winfrey: You owe that some thought you owe not to just be. It's why I'm very very careful on social media. I don't think that it's the best forum for expressing the deepest parts of yourself and so I'm careful about what I say and what I don't say and how it can be interpreted because I think words matter and have such great power. Lasting power.

Oprah Winfrey: And so I think about it I think about just as before I would do every show I would empty myself and say let me be a vessel for something bigger than I be I am because I know I'm speaking to lots of crazy people who can interpret whatever we're doing or saying in whatever way they want.

Oprah Winfrey: So let the crazies hear this carefully and lots of people who are in need and lots of people who are just open to hear what you have to say and some people who are not. So let me be a vessel for something that's bigger than myself.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And when you say there's a responsibility in it. What does that mean to you.

Oprah Winfrey: I mean to me it means that I think every person who comes to earth has a responsibility as I was saying this to just seek the truest highest expression and the key word here is true responsibility is how do you remain. How do you not just speak the truth. How are you the truth.

Oprah Winfrey: Responsibility is to show up in that which is the most authentic truthful version of yourself. That's that's how I see it.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And I think that you know when you were talking about Maya Angelou what she was to you without sounding completely cheesy that's what you are to so many of us.

Oprah Winfrey: Well that would mean that would mean what would that mean if I could open to if I could see that. I don't know. That would mean I wouldn't be able to bear that. I couldn't. I don't know what that would mean. I don't.

Gwyneth Paltrow: It's true though.

Oprah Winfrey: ok. I don't know what that would mean.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And you somehow gave us all permission to seek that well that's good.

Oprah Winfrey: Well that's a good life.

Gwyneth Paltrow: That space wasn't there for us before you named it and you gave us all permission.

Oprah Winfrey: Really.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Yeah.

Oprah Winfrey: I'm going to think about that.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Ok.

Oprah Winfrey: After you leave it and take me a minute.

Gwyneth Paltrow: That's fine.

Oprah Winfrey: I would say though that this thing of "Oh mom it's so simple" that the reason why people's lives get so complicated is because you're trying to live it for somebody else other than yourself.

Oprah Winfrey: That is the key. Make it simple. When you just start doing it for yourself. And that is not a selfish thing. That is an honorable thing. It's an honorable thing and I remember in the 90s I had Cheryl Richardson on who is a life coach and she did she.

Oprah Winfrey: We were doing this test in the audience and asking women where are you on the list of 10 year 10 priorities the 10 top things that you prioritize most of the women in the audience also around 92 93 did not have themselves on the list or they were at the bottom of the list. And when Sheryl said out loud you should be first on the list they started booing in the Oprah Show audience and I had to say I remember it so vividly I'm saying hey we're not Jerry Springer here.

Oprah Winfrey: We know that our guys started booing.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Wow.

Oprah Winfrey: With the idea that you should put yourself first on the list. So in the mid 90s people were like are you kidding? And that women are shouting. You must not have children. She doesn't have children. So how does she know.

Oprah Winfrey: And so I said she didn't say abandon your children and leave them in the street she said put yourself on the list so you can better take care of your children. Well that principle of not being selfish but self-aware enough to honor the vessel the vehicle that is your body that is your way on earth.

Oprah Winfrey: Your presence here on Earth in this dense form there is nothing more important than that because what you give and feed to yourself that makes yourself whole creates an opportunity to have your cup overflow to give more to other people and you can only do that coming from. You can only do that at your best when you've come from. You're coming from a whole place your whole.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Right. Do you feel whole?

Oprah Winfrey: Yeah I really do.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Are you happy?

Oprah Winfrey: Oh happiness is not even a word I use for myself. Cause happiness seems temporal it builds temporary and they this thing happens. I'm so happy I'm so happy now. It is far far far deeper than happiness. I can I can get happy about things but I'm generally in such a state of quiet contentment.

Beneath the surface of whatever it is and in and a sense of peace about things that happiness is sort of like an afterthought. Of course I'm happy. Of course I'm happy because I'm just I'm basically at peace and content and I've I've talked to 37,000 over 37,000 people but I've also listened.

I see the commonality in my experiences with other people. I live a very luxurious highly elevated life. I have always loved beauty and being surrounded by beauty. So to now be in a place that I live in a place that's like a park to me.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I think it's kind of a shit hole.

Oprah Winfrey: To the fact that that has happened. ok. Well before I had oak trees surrounded by you know flower gardens I lived in a little apartment in Baltimore and I couldn't afford any art and I would go to the art museum and I would buy postcards of Monet and Manet and you know Picasso and Klimpt. And I would frame the postcards on the wall.

Gwyneth Paltrow: That's amazing.

Oprah Winfrey: And I would. To me that was that was my art. And then when I could start to like buy little pieces like Beurden sketches or you know move into the world where you can actually spend money on some art. I was like the very first important piece in the piece is now still is the most important though not most expensive in my home is a picture of a slave woman on the auction block with her daughter.

Oprah Winfrey: And when you come in my house is the first thing you see. And that is the grounding painting for me. And then there's the first major piece I bought like back in 1988.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Who painted it?

Oprah Winfrey: A guy named Harry Roselyn who is a 19th century genre painter who painted a lot of black folks but that woman who I've named Ana and her daughter Sarah I don't even know their story but I know their story.

Oprah Winfrey: And one of the other things that I treasure in my home I have documents from slave plantations that have the names and ages and prices of slaves and sometimes when I feel like there have been times when I've been in crisis or felt like things weren't going the way I wanted them to go. I will go into that room and I will speak their names out loud.

Oprah Winfrey: I will speak their names out loud. Douglass and Jenna and Carrie and Sarah and Anna and their ages and their prices and remind myself of how far I have come and no crisis seems that much of a crisis after you look at the names the ages the prices of people who were before you. Who made the. Who made this way possible. So that's actually how I live my life. It sounds like Whew but it really is. Really it really is. And it didn't.

Oprah Winfrey: You know I say this to my beautiful South African daughters. You know when we're around the table you should actually pay attention. The reason you should pay attention is because I was lucky enough to get you when you were 12 years old and I have no agenda other than your highest well-being.

Oprah Winfrey: I don't need you as a reflection of me. I don't have that parenting thing. You've got to do well because it makes me look good or I just I just have your highest well-being is my only agenda. That's only thing I'm looking out for. And so anything I ask or anything I tell so that I have really great relationships with them.

Gwyneth Paltrow: That's crazy you know it just occurred to me when you said that I mean when people talk about or strive to be a mother like that to me is the ideal characteristic of a mother.

Oprah Winfrey: I just want what's what's the highest for you.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And it's so difficult.

Oprah Winfrey: To not get attached to the other.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Exactly and not project and not see your own shortcomings in your kid and get triggered by it.

Oprah Winfrey: We want you to be something that's going to reflect back to me so it's good thing.

Gwyneth Paltrow: This is very very tough and we were all raised so much and that kind of enmeshed way with our parents and that is the most profound. It's so funny because you're technically not a mother. And that is the most profound and insightful sentence about mothering. I mean in terms of you just really crystallize something for me there.

Oprah Winfrey: I'm glad it's one of the reasons why I could do it from the age of 12. The way I've done it but I also was and was self-aware enough even when there was all this pressure to get married and you should have children and even from Gayle like you should get married and you should have children so that our children could grow up together. Well that's not a reason I got to tell you. It would be nice but not a reason.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Talking about the intention behind something.

Oprah Winfrey: I didn't think Maya had said this to me that her mother was not a good mother for small children. That she was raised by her grandmother was one of the reasons we connected so well because I was raised by my grandmother the first six years she was raised by her grandmother in the south and her mother was not a good mother for smart young children but her mother was a good great mother for her as a young adult woman.

Oprah Winfrey: Her mother could relate to her as an adult woman and so she later forgave her mother for not being there for her. As a child they became you know really strong I had a really strong bond till the end. But I don't think I would have been a good mother for baby children baby children. Cause I need you to talk to me and I need you to tell me what's wrong. I can't just figure it out.

Oprah Winfrey: And I was always I knew that about myself always better with kids once they turned two and a half three. I had a real resonance with them and was like Oh you love babies and babies are fine so I don't think that was for me. Even when people were saying but you could have your own nursery and you could build it in Harpo.

Oprah Winfrey: It didn't feel like it was for me so I was searching even for that. What is the higher ground for me. Where will I be able to find my instinct for nurturing and caring and support for other people. Where will that show up for me and how will that show up for me.

Gwyneth Paltrow: We'll have more with Oprah in a minute.

Gwyneth Paltrow: In the meantime let's talk about one of our partners. If you've ever come to Goop.com you know that sleep hygiene is essential. Sleep is when our bodies unpack and recover from the stresses of the day. And not getting enough of it can be detrimental to our health. An essential part of any clean sleep routine is perfectly crisp yet soft bedding. You all know exactly what I'm talking about. At Goop we focus on GOTS certified organic cotton sheeting which means that no harmful chemicals were used in their creation. A company that's setting the gold standard in the industry and my personal favorite is Boll and Branch. They use 100 percent pure organic cotton and everything is ethically made meaning that every farmer and factory worker is treated fairly every step of the way. If this all weren't enough the sheets are incredibly soft unlike too many things in life they only get better with age. The more you wash them the cozier they get so Boll and Branch has a little clean sleep challenge for you. Take 30 days to sleep on their incredibly soft organic cotton bedding or return it for a full refund no questions asked. Head over to BollandBranch.com and use promo code Goop for 50 dollars off your first set of sheets.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Okay let's get back to my chat with Oprah. I want to ask you so I don't take up your whole day but I do want to talk to you about two things. One is this seismic change in what's happening with regards to women in this country and the Me Too movement and why now. Why do you think now.

Oprah Winfrey: Well you can look at any given moment. One of my favorite books on earth. If you're going to be a human being you need to read a new earth by Eckhart Tolle.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Is someone writing this down?

Oprah Winfrey: Okay you have to read a new earth by Eckhart Tolle. And the first chapter is a little slow and you think oh what is this really. By the time you get to the second chapter about the ego and the third chapter about the roles that you play vs your ego and then the fifth chapter on the pain body that so many people carry, you begin to get it.

Oprah Winfrey: And what he says is how do you know you're supposed to be experiencing any given thing in any moment. The reason you know is because you're experiencing that thing. So if it's happening. It's supposed to be happening right.

Oprah Winfrey: And so how you manage that is understanding that there is nothing showing up that isn't supposed to teach you something about your own personal life and it's teaching you about your own personal life to the direct extent that you are involved in it and it's teaching us something about our entire consciousness.

Oprah Winfrey: So is it the thing that I I have come to know for sure is that there is no experience that you can have personally or that we can have as a body of consciousness this culture that isn't here to help strengthen or elevate us. That you can use everything to take you to higher ground. And so this moment has been coming for a very long time. That's what I was trying to say in my Golden Globes speech that I wasn't trying to run for any office.

Oprah Winfrey: I was just trying to say and I wanted to be able to say to the Me Too movement. Proud of where we are what we're doing but you need to know you didn't get here alone that there are those who endured suffered didn't speak because they couldn't speak because they if they knew that to speak would mean I won't be able to feed my children and who've come before you that made this path possible. So it's been coming for a very long time. So that's what the Recy Taylor story.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Why does it have traction. Because I think know I look back and I think throughout you know modern media women have come forward about this person or that person or X Y and Z.

Oprah Winfrey: It has traction for the same reason that the kids in Florida now have traction. Look at how many people had to die in order for that to get traction. I thought it was going to happen for sure Sandy Hook. That was my first that was actually my first thought when I heard there had been a shooting and five year olds had been killed. I thought this will be the thing this will be the one that breaks down. This will be the breakthrough this will get us to change. And it's only because it happened with Harvey I believe because of faces like your own.

Oprah Winfrey: They were known to people that people had some kind of connection to something. There was a resonance a feeling of vibration whatever you want to call it. That's number one. Number two it had been coming. It had been coming. It had been coming it had been coming with Cosby and nothing happened they had been coming with Bill O'Reilly had been coming had been coming even with the president the United States where people can hear the access Hollywood tape and yet nothing happens.

Oprah Winfrey: It had been coming it had been coming. And so that moment was the moment where it all crystallized. And it's just like everybody's so excited as as I about the phenomenon that is a black panther. Black Panther couldn't have happened 10 years ago. The way it happened recently the reason it's happened the way it has is because in order for phenomena to be a phenomena everything has to line up.

Oprah Winfrey: It means the culture the zeitgeist for this particular moment in time is ready and available and open to hear that message. And so it took woman after woman after woman unheard unspoken and now some faces come forward that we recognize and have some resonance with.

Oprah Winfrey: My God it could happen to them than this thing that I've been hiding within myself that I was so ashamed of that I felt guilty about because I'm just a waitress or a nurse or a clerk or a secretary or an assistant or whatever. Wow if it could happen to them. That really means something.

Oprah Winfrey: So the resonance happens because there's been enough puncturing of the of the of the veil in the culture that finally is large enough for people to hear it. Now I will use this philosophy from my show days. But even as a young reporter I started to figure this out that I hated being in the newsroom.

Oprah Winfrey: It just felt like I was in the wrong space in my life and I was always asking God where am I supposed to be really where I was to be really but now I realize oh I needed that. So as a young reporter in Baltimore I started to notice I was I was the street I was assigned to go out on the street whenever anything happened so I'm just literally in the car with the photographer.

Oprah Winfrey: So I'd get sent to the ambulance I was you know accidents and everything and there came a time where when I first started at 22 if there was a drunk driving accident that would be front of the news. After a while you'd have to kill more than one person. You have to kill more than two people.

Oprah Winfrey: A child had to be involved and then they had to be more children before it could make the front of the news we would go further and further and further back in the news because it was so just so common. And I remember one night I was working late and there was a school bus accident where seven children coming from choir practice doing Christmas carols were killed by a drunk driver that made the front of the news.

Oprah Winfrey: I thought oh that's where that's where we are now. You've got to be seven kids coming from choir practice singing Christmas carols to get people's attention. And I started to learn from that that the culture becomes numb. They can't hear it. They can't hear it. They can't hear it. And then finally there is a massive enough number critical mass that people can hear it that people can hear it. So I'm certainly willing to support and get behind these kids these kids in Florida feel like the new freedom writers to me.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And that's the difference between Sandy Hook.

Oprah Winfrey: And those were little kids.

Gwyneth Paltrow: These these young men and women have voices and they have power.

Oprah Winfrey: Their parents tried to have power but they tried to do it in such a diplomatic quiet way that they were shut down. Can you believe that the parents of little baby 5 year olds and 6 year olds go to Congress and cannot be heard. It makes no sense but that's why I'm where I'm willing to.

Oprah Winfrey: I want to get behind these kids who feel like the new day is on the horizon. The new day is on the horizon. So for this moment in time where women can be heard. And this moment in time where the young voices can be heard. The reason why it excites me so much about the young people in Florida is because they're going to take the energy and power of that pain and turn it into something miraculous.

Oprah Winfrey: And I know what that means when you when you use those deaths to actually turn it into something you know those those those 17 people who were killed as I believe all people come you know all death is here to show us more about how to live. I felt this after 9/11. And then when we had it for a moment and then we lost it. Those people were sacrificial angels allowing us to look at ourselves in a different way.

Oprah Winfrey: Our country and our culture and the way we operated in the world and the same thing is true for this moment in time I believe for the children in Florida who are rising up who've said enough enough.

Oprah Winfrey: And that's what it takes. Some critical mass it takes. And you know I thought it would have been the problem with Las Vegas is there were people from all different backgrounds. ok so it's 58.

Oprah Winfrey: So I was wondering is it the number. Is it the number. Do you get such a mass amount that ok people pay attention. But I think it is because these children have grown up in the age where shooter onsite and practicing for you know for such a thing to happen has been a part of their regular lives and they are sick of it. They've had enough.

Gwyneth Paltrow: The culture of enough.

Oprah Winfrey: Yes the culture of enough with the same thing for the women. Same thing for the women.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Do you have any practical advice. This is something that we're talking about a lot in the office right now because so many women when the Me Too movement started it's sort of everybody everybody. I don't know. I don't have one friend one colleague one school mother who wasn't either sexually harassed sexually abused molested. Not one.

Oprah Winfrey: It's touched everybody obviously there's a spectrum. And there's a lot now where women were all really talking about our experiences and obviously there's healing in that. But I think we're all a little bit stuck on how did you heal from sexual abuse.

Oprah Winfrey: Well that is a process. But I will tell you this knowing that you're not alone is a part of the big healing. I remember the first time I realized that I wasn't the only kid who had been sexually molested the first time I realized that I was doing a talk show where somebody was telling their story.

Oprah Winfrey: And I was like dumbfounded. I didn't know what to do. That is my story. This is a good cry right now. I mean I was like has happened to someone else. I thought I was the only and the first time I heard it I was in Baltimore and I didn't have the courage to speak out on television about it.

Oprah Winfrey: I had a cohost in the girls telling the story and I'm like that's just like me. That sounds like me. It was her uncle. Oh my gosh. She was the same age. Oh my gosh.

Oprah Winfrey: So afterwards I went into the greenroom and I said to her say and she said why didn't you say something. And I said I never heard that it ever happened to anybody before and I don't know. I don't know what the truth was I was scared.

Oprah Winfrey: I was 22 or 23 at the time and that's when I started to realize Oh this is this has happened to somebody before. So when it happened on television when I was the master of my own show I said I'm not going to let this moment pass.

Oprah Winfrey: And I said Me Too. On the air to that girl and she was like were you. Yes. And then it started this whole thing. But the power comes in being able to say first of all it did happen because a lot of women tell themselves it was something else. And then I just wrote what I know for sure for the magazine about this.

Oprah Winfrey: At the time I was being sexually harassed in my years in Baltimore and there were several years where I had a boss who just did it just was a part of the thing. And I didn't say anything. And I don't hold any guilt about it. And I also don't hold any guilt about not speaking up as a child.

Oprah Winfrey: So I would say you speak up when you feel that you are safe enough to speak up.

Oprah Winfrey: So you tell and tell and tell until there's someone who will believe you. Whether you were child or whether you're an adult and you can get support and feel safe. So the reason I didn't tell as a child when I was being sexually molested by one person then in other words is because I knew I would be blamed.

Oprah Winfrey: I knew that it would somehow turn on me and it would make my life worse I make that person then turn on me the whole family. I didn't know if I'd be harmed. So I didn't feel safe. And I would say to anyone even now if you're in an environment where you have a situation where you're being harassed you speak up where you can feel safe to speak up and that you're not going to be retaliated against in a way that is going to cause you more harm. I would speak to that person directly I think what the Me Too movement has done is given women the power to say back off.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Right. It was interesting to me to see all of the men when this all happened. Taking such forensic inventory of how they had behaved and could somebody have construed this the wrong way to say the wrong thing. You know men who won't be accused of anything, taking inventory.

Oprah Winfrey: Those are the people doing the real inventory. Like have I said anything or done anything or have I crossed the line I'm sure a lot of men have because we live and have lived in a culture that allowed you to cross the line.

Oprah Winfrey: So lots of lines have been crossed and now it's up to both women and men to redefine where those lines are. So I think we're in this moment of figuring it out. And that's really ok yeah. We're figuring it out.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And I don't think we like that as a culture. I think we like things binary they should be good or bad right or wrong.

Oprah Winfrey: That's right.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And we're living in a time now where we're having to really embrace the gray areas and explore them and kind of come together and figure out. Are we redrawing lines what does that mean. And it's ok that it feels confusing for a minute.

Oprah Winfrey: For a minute. But I think that clarity is on the way and I think that the fact that this movement has given every woman in every part of the globe a deepened and heightened sense of I can stand up for myself.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Right.

Oprah Winfrey: I can push back without feeling like I'm going to be harmed is an important part of this phase of the movement. Yeah but we're on our way. We're on our way to something bigger. But you know what. It's what's even more important. The sexual harassment sexual assault.

Oprah Winfrey: Just like I was accused of I'm sure I don't know if you were accused or not because I didn't follow it that closely but I had people online saying Oh you knew I knew about Harvey. I should have known. Well the first of all I wasn't in this world.

Oprah Winfrey: I was in Chicago and my own little world. But my point is this. So what I knew about Harvey was that Harvey was a bully and that if Harvey's on the phone you didn't want to take the call because you're going to get bullied in some way. For me it just meant pushing for some people to be on the show that I didn't want to and I've already done it and how many more times we need to do so. That's all I knew about Harvey and was friendly with Harvey.

Oprah Winfrey: Yes I was friendly with Harvey was I you know in association with him for you know the the butler movie that we had done. Yes I was but of course I didn't know any of this was going on.

Oprah Winfrey: But what I do know is that what this moment is here to show us what I do question for myself is I was willing to put up with the bullying thing.

Oprah Winfrey: I was willing to put up with. ok I'll take the call. ok I'll be another. ok I'll do that. And so it's caused me to question and I think this movement will eventually lead us to is not accepting any kind of behavior that disparages you as a human being period.

Oprah Winfrey: You know why am I willing to be. Why am I willing to put up with an asshole. The big question is who will accept you as an asshole but we won't tolerate other things but you can throw phones and you can call people you jerks and you can do all the nasty stuff but we're willing to put up with.

Oprah Winfrey: So I'm hoping it leads us to a better way of all human beings treating each other and that this moment this moment in the movement is leading us towards that saying not only am I not going to take your sexual harassment I'm not going to take any of your bullshit. Period. You know I think we're on our way there. I think we're but as I said we're figuring it out.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And when you were acting did you experience any of that or was it only in the newsroom. Like did you have an answer of any kind of you know onset onset.

Oprah Winfrey: No. Because you know why. I mean just as you became Gwyneth Paltrow when you have the power to speak up for yourself. He's not going to say anything to me.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I didn't when he did it to me. No I wasn't. Gwyneth Paltrow Yeah. Yeah. And that's what was so.

Oprah Winfrey: So let me ask you this were you triggered by all of the when this first started to come out. Was there a part of you that was like whoa?

Gwyneth Paltrow: Very and it's been months of me trying to process through it all. I think that I came out about Harvey in the trajectory of the whole story and I didn't feel safe to do it but I felt I had a responsibility to do it.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And it was clear to me what had happened to me and it only happened one time. I confronted him and he never tried anything like that again. But he was a bully. So about work things about he was shaming. He was really hard on me. And then he was incredibly generous and would send me a private plane somewhere and it was kind of typical abusive relationship.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And I don't think that I have even. I hadn't started to process through because so much of my acting career and so many of the incredible highs and lows as well were associated with him and Miramax and you know I've had to it's brought up a lot of stuff lately a lot of abuse from my own childhood that I haven't reconciled which is why I was asking you about that and then it's all kind of you know when you have these moments in your life where there's all these confluence of events and I started to think gosh I wonder if that's why I stepped away from acting really when I had my child because I had always told myself the story I lost the passion for it.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I'm not sure why my daughter and I wanted to be home. And now I'm sort of trying to put the pieces together and think did this predominant relationship in my professional life. Lead me to not want to do it anymore.

Oprah Winfrey: Well certainly had an influence. I mean certainly you know going back to this whole thing of energy and vibrations of you know you know how you feel when you have to be in a space with someone who is agitating force. And what that means to have to work with that.

Oprah Winfrey: And you reach a point in your life where you think I don't want to have to deal with that. I do know that that's how I felt every time I had to be like. You had to get on the phone with you got to be around you had to deal with that.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Yeah.

Oprah Winfrey: So I'm sure that that is a component an element of it. Because if it was a purely joyful experience where you just get to open up and be your full self all the time who doesn't want to embrace that. If there's no agitation and negative energy then there's some dark side stuff in there.

Oprah Winfrey: And so when I feel safe you know that's why when we talk about speaking up I'm talking about particularly for children because you can tell someone until someone then I mean I've done so many interviews with kids who told and then they were kicked out of the house and they were abandoned and they were. So you got to find the place where you feel safe.

Oprah Winfrey: That's why this moment in time where women who didn't know what was going to happen had the courage. That's what courage is courage is that moment when you you're scared but you leave anyway. You're scared but you're going to stand out there anyway. You're going to say it anyway because you've had enough. Now you've had enough.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And also I had enough for potentially my daughter this whole next generation of women. I just thought this is not this is not us anymore. We can't do this anymore.

Oprah Winfrey: What I do know for sure what I do believe really in the deepest part of my spirit is that our daughters your daughter my girls. Oh no no no. Now they are not going this way. Oh no child no. I see my girls now. It is just not going take it. They're like what you let somebody say that to you when you are 22.

Oprah Winfrey: Yeah I did. In order to keep my job and I would try to walk around the other way and hold my head down at the desk into that. That is not going to happen that's over that's over.

Oprah Winfrey: So in a Wrinkle In Time.

Oprah Winfrey: Yeah?

Gwyneth Paltrow: You play?

Gwyneth Paltrow: I play Mrs. which I didn't grow up with the book. You didn't grow up with the book.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I don't know anything about it.

Oprah Winfrey: So it's the story of this wonderful adventure of this young girl who father is a scientist and has been experiencing with how to touch hands with the universe and ends up being zapped out into outer space and she loses her father and he's been missing for four years. And these three angelic forces come to help her find her father who is out there.

Oprah Winfrey: And being taken over by the dark side. And it's her journey to find her father. But the journey is also about discovering herself and learning to look at herself as an empowered being, girl in school where kids are teasing you and all that.

Oprah Winfrey: So it's about that and I get to play the wise Mrs. W H I C H and Reese is Mrs. Whatsit and Mindy Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Callum is Mrs. who. So there are the three wise women who help her along the journey.

Oprah Winfrey: And mine is a millennial force who is a combination for me in my mind of my two favorite mentors Glenda the Good Witch and Maya Angelou. So it's the embodiment of the wisdom of Maya and the magic of Glenda. And you know it's opening in a couple of days.

Gwyneth Paltrow: So why did you say yes.

Oprah Winfrey: I said yes because Ava DuVernay is a visionary filmmaker who I had come to know after shooting The Butler with David Oyelowo who handed me a DVD of her movie Middle of Nowhere.

Oprah Winfrey: I watched the movie I liked the movie. She shot the movie made the movie with 200,000 hours and I googled her. I saw this lovely woman in dreads with her glasses pretty warm brown face smiling I thought I'm going to be your friend. I'm going to be her friend. And I ended up having a luncheon here just so I could meet her. I had a Mother's Day luncheon and said everybody bring your mother just so I could meet her. Because I wasn't going I wasn't going like call and going be your friend.

Oprah Winfrey: And we started talking I ended up going on as a producer for Salma and I just I feel about her the way I believe Maya felt about me. She's this this young visionary who has lots of things to say in the world.

Oprah Winfrey: And I can feel her essence in her spirit rising in her directorial abilities and her advocacy abilities. And I just want it I wanted this. I want to support her in every way.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And she needs you?

Oprah Winfrey: And she doesn't need me. But we've become really good friends so this is a thing that happened. She was talking about this movie she was doing and I said oh well you know you're going to be filming in New Zealand? I want to come. I am going to take two weeks off and I'm going to come to New Zealand because I've been there before and I didn't really get to explore. So I'm going to come to New Zealand I'm going to watch you film and just hang out.

Oprah Winfrey: And she said well if you're going to do that I wanted to ask you Would you read it for this role of Mrs Which would you would you. Why don't you just act?

Oprah Winfrey: And I said All right I'll take a look at it. And when I read it I thought well I am Mrs Which we're you're going to get to play Mrs Which which I think I am Mrs Which. And so that's that's that's how it came to be.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Do you like acting? You're really really good at it.

Oprah Winfrey: Well thank you.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I love you as an actress.

Oprah Winfrey: I don't feel that I'm great at it I don't feel that I.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Really?

Oprah Winfrey: No I really don't.

Gwyneth Paltrow: The Color Purple?

Oprah Winfrey: I thought I was great in The Color Purple, you know because I was carried by passion.

Gwyneth Paltrow: You are so good in that movie.

Oprah Winfrey: The Color Purple is the best story on earth. I mean I never want anything more than I wanted The Color Purple and is was the embodiment of allowing the allowing ness of something to come into your life. I never won anything more than I wanted The Color Purple and have not since allowed myself to want anything that badly because I know how not to want it that badly.

Oprah Winfrey: I know that when you want it so badly that you hurt for it that you're not going to get it that it's only through the disallowing of it. When I learned this lesson that not to hold anything too tightly don't hold anything too tightly. Just wish for want it let it come from the intention of real truth for you.

Gwyneth Paltrow: And then let it go.

Oprah Winfrey: And if it's supposed to be yours it will show up and it won't show up until you stop holding it so tightly. And that's the way you live your life. And that's my deep prayer for everyone who's listening to us that the forces that we call God, nature, universal energy, Divine Light by every name that is called God in the universe. My prayer is that that force field holds you in the palm of its hands and never squeezes you too tightly.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Amazing see thing again.

Oprah Winfrey: Hey hey hey hey. Hey hey. Podcast. Goopity Goop Goop. Podcast goopity Goop. We did it. Goop on Goop on Goop on. Hey hey.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Got this has been such like one of the biggest honors of my life to talk to you.

Oprah Winfrey: Thank you for saying that.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I just adore you.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Thank you for joining my conversation with Oprah. I trust you already have regular doses of Oprah in your life. Whether you are a diva Titta O magazine Oprah.com is your home page you're reading her latest book in your book club still watching her Golden Globe speech on repeat or planning to see A Wrinkle In Time seven times.

Gwyneth Paltrow: I hope hearing her today added to the magic it will long be a high for me. If you liked what you heard please subscribe and tell your friends. See you next week.

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Popular Transcripts Full Transcript: Mark Zuckerberg interviewed by Laurie Segall

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I’m going to start with just a basic question Mark. What happened? And what went wrong?

So this was a major breach of trust. And I’m really sorry that this happened. We have a basic responsibility to protect people’s data and if we can’t do that then we don’t deserve to have the opportunity to serve people.

So our responsibility now is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. And there were a few basic things that I think we need to do to ensure that.

One is making sure that developers like Alexander Kogan who got access to a lot of information and then improperly used it just don’t get access to as much information going forward. So we are doing a set of things to restrict the amount of access that that that developers can get going forward.

But the other is we need to make sure that there aren’t any other Cambridge Analyticas out there. Right. Or folks who have improperly accessed data. So we’re going to go now and investigate every app that has access to a large amount of information from before we walk down our platform. And if we detect any suspicious activity we’re going to do a full forensic audit.

Facebook has asked us to share our data to share our lives on this platform and as wanted us to be transparent. And people don’t feel like they’ve received that same amount of transparency. They’re wondering what’s happening to their data. Can they trust Facebook.

So one of the most important things that I think we need to do here is make sure that we tell everyone whose data was affected by one of these rogue apps. And we’re going to do that. We’re going to build a tool where anyone can go and see if their data was a part of this.

So the 50 million people that were impacted they will be able to tell if they were impacted.

Yeah. We’re going to be even conservative on that. So you know we may not have all the data in our system today so anyone who’s data might have been affected by this. We’re going to we’re going to make sure that we tell.

And going forward when we when we identify apps that they are similarly doing sketchy things we’re going to make sure that we tell people then too. Right. That’s definitely something that we’re looking back on this. You know I regret that we didn’t do at the time and I think we got that wrong and we’re committed to getting that right going forward.

I want to ask about that because when this came to light you guys knew this a long time ago that this data was out there. Why didn’t you tell users? Don’t you think users have the right to know that their data is being used for different purposes?

So yes and let me tell you what we what actions we took. So in 2015 some journalists from The Guardian told us that they had had seen or had some evidence that data that this app developer Alexander Kogan who build this personality quiz app and a bunch of people used it and share data with it had had sold that data to Cambridge Analytica and a few other firms.

And when we heard that and that’s against the policies you can share data in a way that that people don’t know or don’t consent to. We immediately banned Kogan zap. And further we made it so that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica and the other folks who with whom we shared the data.

We asked for a formal certification that they had none of the data from anyone in the Facebook community that they had deleted it. If they had it and that they weren’t using it. And they all provided that certification. So as far as we understood around the time of that episode there was no data out there.

So why in Facebook follow up you know you say certified and I think why wasn’t there more of a follow why wasn’t there an audit then? Why does it take a big media report to take it that proactive approach?

Well I mean I don’t know about you but I’m used too when people legally certify that they’re going to do something that they do it. But I think that this was clearly a mistake in retrospect.

Was putting too much trust in developers?

I mean I think it did. And that’s why you know we need to make sure that we don’t make that mistake ever again which is why one of the things that I announced today is that we’re going to do a full investigation into every app that had access to a large amount of data from around this time before we locked down the platform.

And we’re now not just going to take people’s word for it. And when they give us a legal certification but if we see anything suspicious which I think that there probably were signs in this case that we could have looked into. We’re going to do a full forensic audit.

How do you know there aren’t hundreds more companies like Cambridge Analytica that are also keeping data that violates Facebook’s policies?

Well I think the question here is do our app developers who people have given access to their data are they doing something that people don’t want or are they selling the data in a way that people don’t want. Are they giving it to someone that they don’t have authorization to do.

And this is something that I think we don’t need to go figure out. Right. So for all these apps.

@ 05:03
That’s gotta be a hard. I gotta to say that’s gonna be really challenging ordeal. How do you actually go do that because you talk about it being years ago and then you guys have made it a bit stricter for that kind of information to be shared. But backtracking on it’s got to be really difficult to find out where that data has gone and what other companies have shady access.

Yeah I mean so as you say I mean the good news here is that we already changed the platform policies in 2014. But before that we know what the apps were that had access to data.

We know how much. How many people were using those services and we can look at the patterns of their data requests and based on that we think we’ll have a pretty clear sense of whether anyone was doing anything abnormal and we’ll be able to do a full audit of anyone who is questionable.

Do you expect do you have any scale or any scope of what you expect to find? Anything in the scope of what happened with Cambridge Analytica where you had 50 million users?

Well it’s hard to know what we’ll find but we’re going to review thousands of apps. So. This is going to be an intensive process. This is important. I mean this is something that in retrospect we clearly should have done upfront with Cambridge Analytica we should not have trusted the certification that they gave us and we’re not going to make that mistake again.

This is our responsibility to our community just to make sure that we secure the data that they’re sharing.

If you told me in 2004 when I was getting started with Facebook that a big part of my responsibility today would be to help protect the integrity of elections against interference by other governments. You know I wouldn’t have really believed that that was going to be something that I would have to work on fourteen years later.

I’m going to challenge you but we’re here now.

I’m going to challenge you.

We’re going to make sure that we do a good job at it.

Have you done a good enough job yet?

Well I think we will see. But you know I think what’s clear is that in 2016 we were not as on top of a number of issues as we should have. Whether it was Russian interference or fake news. But what we have seen since then is you know a number of months later there was a major French election.

And there we deployed some AI tools that did a much better job of identifying Russian bots and basically Russian potential interference and weeding that out of the platform ahead of the election.

And we were we were much happier with how that went. In 2017 last year during a special election in the Senate seat in Alabama. We deployed some new AI tools that we built to detect fake accounts that were trying to spread false news and we found a lot of different accounts coming from Macedonia.

So you know I think the reality here is that this isn’t rocket science. I mean there’s a lot of hard work that we need to do to make it harder for nation states like Russia to do election interference, to make it so that trolls and other folks can’t spread fake news.

But we can get in front of this and we have a responsibility to do this not only for the 2018 midterms in the U.S. which are going to be a huge deal this year. And that’s just a huge focus of us. But there’s a big election in India this year. There’s a big election in Brazil. There are big elections around the world.

And you can bet that we are really committed to doing everything that we need to to make sure that the integrity of those elections on Facebook is secured.

I can hear that commitment. But since I gotcha here. Do you think that bad actors are using Facebook at this moment to meddle with the with the U.S. midterm elections?

I’m sure someone’s trying right. I’m sure that there’s no v2 version 2 of whatever the Russian effort was in 2016. I’m sure they’re working on that and they’re going to be some new tactics that we need to make sure that we observe and get in front of them.

Speaking of getting in front of him do you know what they are? Do you have any idea?

Yes and I think we have some sense of the different things that we need to get in front of.

Are you specifically saying bad actors trying to meddle with the U.S. election now?

I’m not 100 percent sure what that means because I mean it’s not. I think that the candidates are and.

Are you seeing anything new or interesting?

What we see what we see are a lot of folks trying to sow division. So that was a major tactic that we saw Russia try to use in the 2016 election. Actually most of what they did was not directly as far as we can tell from the data that we’ve seen was not directly about the election but was more about just dividing people.

They’d run a group on you know for pro immigration reform and then they’d run another group against immigration reform and just try to pit people against each other. And a lot of this was done with fake accounts that we can do a better job of tracing and using AI tools to to scan and observe a lot of what is going on. And I’m confident that we’re going to do a much better job.

Lawmakers in the United States and the UK are asking you to testify. Everybody wants you to show up. Will you testify before Congress?

So the short answer is I’m happy to if it’s the right thing to do. You know Facebook testifies in Congress regularly on a number of topics some high profile and some not. And our objective is always to provide Congress of this extremely important job. To have the most information that they can. We see a small slice of activity on Facebook.

But Congress gets to have access to the information across Facebook and all other companies in the intelligence community and everything. So what we try to do is send the person at Facebook who will have the most knowledge about what Congress is trying to learn.

So if that’s me then I’m happy to go on what I think we found so far is that typically there are people whose whole job is focused on an area. But I would imagine at some point that that there will be a topic where I am the sole authority on and it will make sense for me to do it and I don’t have to do that.

You are the brand of Facebook you are the name the Facebook people want to hear from you.

And that’s why I’m doing this interview. But you know I think that there is the question in a in a question of congressional testimony is what is the goal. Right. And that’s not a media opportunity right or at least it’s not supposed to be.

The goal there I think has to get Congress all of the information that they need to do their extremely important job. And we just want to make sure that we send whoever is best informed at doing that.

I agree separately that there’s an element of accountability where I should be out there doing more interviews. And you know as uncomfortable as it is for me to do you know a TV interview. It’s I think this is an important thing that is a discipline for what we’re doing. I I should be out there and being being asked hard questions by journalists.

Knowing what you know now do you believe Facebook impacted the results of the 2016 election?

Oh that’s that is hard. You know I think that it is it’s really hard for me to have a full assessment of that. You know it’s the reality is well there are so many different forces at play where the organic posting that people did. The get out the vote campaigns that we ran the pages that both candidates ran the advertising that they did.

I’m sure that all of that activity had some impact. It’s hard for me to assess how much that’s stacked up compared to all the campaign events and advertising that was done off of Facebook and all the other efforts. And I think it’s also a hard to fully assess the impact of that organic activity which we’re actually quite proud of right now.

Also the bad actors.

And the bad stuff. That’s right. So I think it is. It’s hard to fully assess.

Given the stakes here why in Facebook the regulated?

I actually I’m not sure we shouldn’t be regulated. You know I think in general technology is an increasing increasingly important trend in the world. And I actually think the question is more what is the right regulation rather than yes or no should it be regulated.

What’s the right regulation?

Well there are some some basic things that I think that there are some big intellectual debates on on the the basic side. You know there are things like ads transparency regulation that I would love to see.

If you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on TV and print it’s not clear why there should be less on the Internet where you should have the same level of transparency required.

And I don’t know if a bill is going to pass. I know a couple of senators are working really hard on this but we’re committed and we’ve actually already started rolling out ad transparency tools that accomplish most of the things that are in all the bills that the people are talking about today because we just think that this is an important thing.

People should know who is buying the ads that they see on Facebook then you should build to go to any page and see all the ads that people are running to different audiences.

How is being a father changed changed your commitment to users changed your commitment to their future and what kinder of Facebook looks like.?

I think having kids changes a lot.

Like what?

Well you know I used to think that the most important thing to me by far was my having the greatest positive impact across the world that I can. Now I really just care about building something that my my girls are going to grow up and be proud of me for.

And I mean that’s what what is kind of my guiding philosophy at this point is you know and I you know come and work on a lot of hard things during the day and I go home and just ask will my girls be proud of what I did today.

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