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People are scared of tech because we’re telling them to be scared, says Stripe CEO Patrick Collison

Collison said that despite media hype around automation’s potential to replace jobs, data shows that opportunities are on the rise for Americans.

Stripe CEO Patrick Collison speaking at the taping of Recode and MSNBC “Revolution” in San Francisco MSNBC

The only thing people have to fear about tech is fear itself, said Patrick Collison, who was a special guest at Recode and MSNBC’s first town hall event for the series “Revolution,” which aired on the cable network last night.

The CEO of the $9.2 billion dollar payments startup acknowledged that while it’s easy to “fall into the depths of despair,” the data proves otherwise.

“Unemployment is close to all-time lows, and even if we look at middle-aged males, sort of this demographic that’s been reportedly kind of hurt by technology, employment is rising there, as well,” said Collison, who added that over half of Stripe’s U.S. users are from the U.S. South and Midwest.

Collison’s comments about the potential impact of technology on employment were part of “Revolution,” which will examine tech’s impact on the future of work over the next year. The first episode, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, was taped recently in San Francisco.

We asked Collison and several other tech players to serve as special audience members at the show to provide even more depth and insight to the discussion. But not all of their comments made it into the final program aired on MSNBC last night — we got a lot of substance in, but it’s still TV and has time strictures — so we will post them all here on Recode for you to see.

Collison is an important voice to listen to, for a number of reasons related to the discussion. He’s an immigrant from Ireland, presides over a major unicorn startup and aims to help small businesses and entrepreneurs succeed.

The Stripe CEO said the real challenges Americans see are around opportunity — things like housing, health care and educational costs — that stop people from moving to places where opportunities most exist.

“When you talk to the people creating these jobs, creating the businesses in the U.S., the challenges that face them are challenges of opportunity,” he said. “The average Stripe user intends to more than triple their employment in the next few years. They are creating jobs. They see possibility for opportunity.”

Watch the full discussion below:

And watch the full conversation with the CEOs of YouTube and Google below:

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