Insights & Analyses

Seen and heard at KNOW, day 1: Scott Galloway says we need to ‘oxygenate our economy’

March 26, 2018
In fixing the world’s economic struggles, New York University professor of marketing and L2 founder Scott Galloway believes America could have its cake and eat it too.
But that would require officials in Washington D.C. to make big, bold decisions, breaking up the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple into smaller, more competitive companies.
Needless to say, he isn’t optimistic that will happen.
“Washington doesn’t have the will or the collective IQ to take on big tech right now,” Galloway said in the keynote talk that kicked of OWI’s KNOW Identity Conference 2018 on Monday.
Rather than emanating from America, Galloway predicts that change will instead come from Europe, in what he has coined a “reverse D-Day” — saving America from its own creations. He believes regulators in the EU are likely to take action and break up the “big four” tech companies that he believes have overreaching influence on the lives of billions.
“They are saving us,” Galloway said of Europe, “not vice versa this time.”
The talk was timely, in the wake of revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a political firm hired by the presidential campaign for Donald Trump, accessed the private data of millions of Facebook users and used it to target ads on the social network. Galloway noted that Mark Zuckerberg, the 33-year-old chief executive of Facebook, is the same age as Fidel Castro when he ascended to power in Cuba.
In comparing the influence of Zuckerberg and Castro, however, there is one key difference: Castro was the brutal dictator of an island in the Caribbean with a few million citizens, while Zuckerberg’s platform and decisions affect 2 billion active users across the world.
Zuckerberg was a major target for Galloway in his talk, calling the Facebook founder “the most tone-deaf CEO.” In his view, companies like Facebook will continue to grow in power and hurt the middle class if regulators don’t step in.
“We need to oxygenate our economy,” he said.
Critics, including Fox Business Network, call Galloway a socialist for his desire to break up big tech. But in his view, such a major intervention would actually be a boon for the free market.
“We break these guys up,” he said, “because we are capitalists.”

See what people are saying at #KNOWIdentity