Billionaire investor Peter Thiel, who helped found PayPal (PYPL) and sits on Facebook’s (FB) board, proclaimed “our economy is broken” as he addressed the Republican National Convention urging Americans to vote for Donald Trump.
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While acknowledging the great wealth Silicon Valley has generated, he also called out his cohorts as being out-of-touch when it comes to the main street economy. “Silicon Valley is a small place. Drive out to Sacramento or even across the bridge to Oakland and you won’t see the same prosperity,” he bellowed. Thiel also said Americans are not getting paid enough to live. “Across the country wages are flat, Americans get paid less today than ten years ago, but healthcare and college tuition costs more every year.”
Like Trump, Thiel is not the establishment, and has broken away from the herd in supporting the real-estate mogul. Last week a group of 140 Silicon Valley executives signed an open letter declaring Donald Trump a “potential disaster for innovation”. Thiel dispelled those claims. “He [Trump] is a builder, and it is time to rebuild America” he said.
Weaved into his speech were personal notes including his sexuality. “I am proud to be gay,” he told the crowd.
He also praised his parents, German immigrants, who established early roots in Cleveland, Ohio.