Chamath Palihapitiya: Why Bitcoin Will Be ‘the Category Winner’

Chamath Palihapitiya, the CEO of Social Capital and chairman of Virgin Galactic, talks about a wide range of issues, including Bitcoin, COVID, civil unrest, and broad economic trends and forecasts. We discuss:

  • Whether his economic forecasts have shifted throughout COVID
  • Why he believes a debt crisis will occur
  • How he views the success of BTC as a hedge against the ruling class
  • How the economic pendulum will swing back toward consumers
  • Why he doesn’t mind if big corporations and hedge funds get wiped out
  • Whether he subscribes to the thesis that Bitcoin is uncorrelated
  • Why the pandemic has not spurred institutional adoption of crypto
  • Why he sees no merit in Ethereum
  • How the economy will become more decentralized in the future and whether blockchain will be a part of it
  • Why he prefers SPACs over ICOs
  • Why he started capital as a service
  • Why he believes the government should bust up large corporations

Charles Murray on Coming Apart

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, longtime American Enterprise Institute fellow Charles Murray discusses his controversial new book, Coming Apart, about what American was, is, and will become. He also reveals his personal score on his now famous “bubble quiz.” Take the quiz here…

let’s talk about the functioning of a
free society because that’s what I go
back to the founders were unanimous in
saying this Constitution will not work
with just any kind of population the
population must possess certain virtues
and this virtue virtue chef this is not
just one or two founders who said this
they all did and they also focused on
four that were crucial all of them agree
there were others that they had in the
list but these four were central the

  1. integrity of marriage
  2. industriousness
  3. religiosity and up
  4. plain american

and they said you know without
those you cannot have a self-governing
population the trends that i described
in Fishtown
are in effect saying that the virtues
required to be a self-governing
community are slipping toward a tipping
point beyond return and at that point we
will have a permanent lower class that
is different in kind from a lower class
that the united states has had before
that it is both sizeable and it is no
longer participating in american
institutions so you will have you will
have an upper class that will still be
living a fine life and the middle class
will be doing fairly well but something
very fundamental to the common the
universality of being an American let
the embrace that it that it intended to
have of all people that’ll be gone and
that is going to be a huge loss it’s
also going to
induce the creation of an extensive
welfare state far beyond the one we have
now from coming apart a few statistics
Charles I’ll just run through a few of
those you present voted in the
presidential election down 22 percent
from 1960 to 1996 attended a public
meeting on town or school affairs down
35 percent from 1973 to 1994 served as
an officer of some club or organization
you talk about the Elks and rotary and
so forth local organization 42 percent
from 73 to 94 percentage of parents with
children under age 18 who were members
of the PTA down 61% from 1960 to 1997
and these statistics tell us what well
these come by the way from Bowling Alone
the excellent book written by Robert
Putnam about a decade ago they are
represent across the American population
those reductions the native question
that arises well were these evenly split
across right they were not so that these
reductions are concentrated in Fishtown
in the working-class community and it’s
and what difference does that make
well the social capital because that’s
the social scientists phrase for it is
another word for what has been the glue
of American community which has been the
spirit and the vitality of American
community and that goes away and it’s
all linked up with the other trends that
we’ve discussed in previous segments
religiosity who accounts for these
wonderful kinds of social capital Robert
Putnam says about half of all social
capital comes directly from the
religious population and even more comes
from it because religious people are
more likely to be engaged in secular
forms of social capital than
non-religious people so you’re looking
at a real mess focused on Fishtown not
in belmont coming apart quote the big
question is whether the remaining levels
of social trust in Fishtown are enough
to sustain anything approaching the
traditional expectations of a
American neighborliness and local
problem solving it is hard for me

Varieties of social capital…

There’s much debate over the various forms that social capital
takes, but one fairly straightforward approach divides it into three
main categories:

  • Bonds: Links to people based on a sense of common identity
    (“people like us”) – such as family, close friends and people who
    share our culture or ethnicity.
  • Bridges: Links that stretch beyond a shared sense of identity, for
    example to distant friends, colleagues and associates.
  • Linkages: Links to people or groups further up or lower down the
    social ladder

The Five Capitals

There are five types of sustainable capital from where we derive the goods and services we need to improve the quality of our lives.

Natural Capital is any stock or flow of energy and material that produces goods and services. It includes:

  • Resources – renewable and non-renewable materials
  • Sinks – that absorb, neutralise or recycle wastes
  • Processes – such as climate regulation

Natural capital is the basis not only of production but of life itself!

Human Capital consists of people’s health, knowledge, skills and motivation. All these things are needed for productive work.

Enhancing human capital through education and training is central to a flourishing economy.

Social Capital concerns the institutions that help us maintain and develop human capital in partnership with others; e.g. families, communities, businesses, trade unions, schools, and voluntary organisations.

Manufactured Capital comprises material goods or fixed assets which contribute to the production process rather than being the output itself – e.g. tools, machines and buildings.

Financial Capital plays an important role in our economy, enabling the other types of Capital to be owned and traded. But unlike the other types, it has no real value itself but is representative of natural, human, social or manufactured capital; e.g. shares, bonds or banknotes.