Facebook’s Zuckerberg Gives Shares Worth Nigh a $Billion
|February 10, 2014||Posted by Staff under Inequality / Concentration|
A 2014 excerpt of the BBC, Feb 10.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have been named joint top US philanthropists for 2013.
The couple gained the accolade after a donation of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a charity that manages and distributes charitable funds. The shares are priced at $970m (£590m). They helped make the foundation one of the largest in the US.
The (tax deductible) donation was the largest in the US in 2013. Over the past two years, Mr Zuckerberg and Ms Chan have donated about 36 million Facebook shares to the foundation.
Funds have broadly been distributed to education and health, with $5m being distributed to a health clinic in East Palo Alto, for example.
The gift outstripped philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates. Mr and Mrs Gates gave their foundation slightly more than $181.3m last year.
Ed. Notes: Since some of the nouveau riche give away a lot of what they got, does that make the concentration of wealth OK? First of all, how did they get the money? In cases of hi-tech, it’s usually due to patent protection supplied by the government. Tech companies get thousands of patents per year, for a mere filing fee, so that others can’t conduct competitive research in said fields. That slows progress and makes the patent holders richer than they should be.
Further, donating is not the same as giving away the money, no strings attached. The donors get tax write-offs (so the money’s not really let go of), get to set the agenda of the recipient non-profit, get to hire their inner circle to the jobs of running the non-profit, get to influence public debate powerfully yet discretely, etc. The donors get as good as they give.
Plus, not everyone in the 1% is so “generous”. But rather than hope for charity or try to tax the rich, it’d be better to run government like a business. From the get-go, charge full market value for patents, corporate charters, for spectrum licenses, for leases of public land, and — the granddaddy of them all — for land titles. At the same time, to be fair, get rid of taxes on true enterprise. Then every fortune would be earned and all earnings would be retained. It’s geonomics and it’s fair and effective.