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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Mark Zuckerberg's phony generosity

Ted Rall
The Smirking Chimp

CEO Mark Zuckerberg promises to give 99% of his Facebook shares to charity -- eventually.

Exact phrasing: the stock, currently worth $45 billion, will be donated "during [he and his wife's] lives." He's 31 and she's 30, so actuarial tables being what they are, by approximately the year 2065.

If Facebook or the Internet or the earth still exist.

Whoop de doo.

I would be far more impressed if Facebook would put some money into the American economy. How? By hiring more workers -- a lot more workers. Facebook's market cap is $300 billion -- almost 10 times more than GM. GM has 216,000 employees. I'm not sure Facebook could find work for 2 million workers -- but 12,000 is pathetic. They might start by hiring a few thousand 24-7 customer service reps so they could respond quickly when some antisocial pig posts your nude photo.

The part of the "ain't Zuck nice" philanthropist suck-uppery that really has me annoyed is the "charity" bit.

Disclosure: I'm on record as being not at all into charity. If something is important enough to require funding -- helping hurricane victims, sending doctors to war zones, poetry -- it ought to be paid for by society as a whole, out of our taxes. We shouldn't allow billionaires to aggregate enough wealth to billionaires in the first place. Partly, this is because it's unfair. No one can work hard enough to earn one billion dollars. Also because it gives too much control to individuals at the expense of the 99.99% of everyone else.

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