President Obama held an open chat on Google Hangout's on Thursday. The POTUS took the time to answer citizens questions relating to Tuesday's State of the Union address and other various questions as they presented themselves.
The Hangout included a wide variety of topics that ranged from patent trolls and gun control to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the distribution of wealth.
When asked why he was so "chill," President Obama joked:
"Part of it is that the weather's nice, so that just chills you out."As expected from Google Hangout users, the President was also asked why he loves the internet to which he responded:
"I'm an ardent believer that what's powerful about the Internet is its openness and the capacity for people to get there and just introduce a new idea with low barriers to entry."After a few standard and lighthearted question, the discussion quickly turned to more pressing matters. When asked about the distribution of wealth and the proposed minimum wage hike, Obama answered:
"It does not have a big impact on employment, but it does have a big impact on a proportion of our workforce that works full time but right now is still in poverty."The President more specifically addressed the minimum age hike by adding that it "may have some modest impact on their profits. But the fact of the matter is if we're going to have a society in which we have broad-based prosperity, those same businesses also have to worry about, do customers have money in their pockets?"
When asked if computer language programming should become a standard part of the education system, President Obama responded:
"I think it makes sense, I really do. The concept of vocational education got a bad rap."Speaking directly about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his interest in games, he responded:
"He [Zuckerberg] taught himself, primarily because he was interested in games."The President also admits that vocational training is important "not only to prepare young people who may choose not to go to a 4-year college to be job ready, but it also engages kids, because they feel like, ‘I get this, this is not just me slouching in the back of the room while somebody's lecturing' … I want to make sure that they know how to actually produce stuff using computers and not simply consume stuff."
In the growing debate over patent trolls who sit on technology patents for years only to sue for a profit, the President responded:
"They don't actually produce anything themselves. They're just trying to essentially leverage and hijack someone else's idea to see if they can extort some money out of them."In speaking about the America Invents Act, President Obama admitted:
"Our efforts on patent reform only went about halfway to where we need to go."Speaking about his love of Abraham Lincoln's core philosophy, President Obama said:
"We are this nation that is built on freedom and individual initiative, and free enterprise, but that there are some things we do in common together, whether it's building railroads and setting up land-lease colleges or making sure [there are] investments in science. And that our nation only works when everyone has that same opportunity."You can watch the full President Obama Google Hangout chat here: