Interesting sentences, Zuckerberg giveaway edition

Mr. Zuckerberg didn’t create these tax laws and cannot be criticized for minimizing his tax bills. If he had created a foundation, he would have accrued similar tax benefits. But what this means is that he amassed one of the greatest fortunes in the world — and is likely never to pay any taxes on it.

Anytime a superwealthy plutocrat makes a charitable donation, the public ought to be reminded that this is how our tax system works. The superwealthy buy great public relations and adulation for donations that minimize their taxes.


29 thoughts on “Interesting sentences, Zuckerberg giveaway edition

  1. Meh. Yes, Zuckerberg is super wealthy, but I don’t really think of him as a plutocrat in any traditional sense of the word.

    But yes, I suppose the statement is true in general, just maybe not with regard to him being a plutocrat.

  2. Four things bother me about the recent pile-on about how selfish it is for Zuckerberg to give away most of his money (there have been several other critical takes, but all suggest his way of doing it is somehow sneaky or evasive).
    1) If it were taxed (not knowing anything about taxes, I’ll just assume the highest capital gains bracket with 20% going to the government), a large chunk of that of that would go defense spending for example. Are we better off with the government spending a fraction of a fraction than Zuckerberg spending 100% of it on helping people.
    2) The example of the $100 million he “wasted” on trying to fix the Newark schools should also be read as an indictment of everything else spent by the government on Newark schools.
    3) In recent years tech money (Gates, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, etc) has developed a good record for using evidence to guide giving decisions, and investing in research for best practices, and alternative models such as early investing in private companies with socially promising models. Private funding also sidesteps politics around what can be funded. Do we know that government is better than private funding?
    4) It’s not like the traditional foundation model is without criticism (
    Do we have to pile on someone using his own money to experiment with a new model?