I saw a story today on Business Insider claiming that Mark Zuckerberg gave away $990 million to charity. Here’s a quote:
This morning, Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to give 18 million Facebook shares to charity by the end of the month. Facebook is currently trading at $55 per share, so Zuckerberg’s gift is worth just under $1 billion.
Every time I see such a story I wonder if these people really think everyone is so stupid not to see what’s really going on here. Do you really think Zuckerberg gave away $990 million? Ask yourself, did he really give away that money to charity, when much of the money goes to his own foundations? Both the Zuckerberg foundation and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Science foundations are his.
It seems to me that this is just a way for Zuckerberg to avoid paying taxes on the part of the money he supposedly “donates” away. Just like his company Facebook finds all kinds of ways to avoid paying taxes.
What Zuckerberg is doing here isn’t unique to him; all the people in his class use the same or similar tactics to avoid taxes, including people like Bill Gates, who also has his own Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. On top of that, this is often also used as a major publicity stunt to show the world how good they supposedly are. In reality the money doesn’t go to poor people, like you would think, but is instead invested in their own companies that rake in millions of dollars in profits on the backs of the poor. It’s like I wrote in a recent post about Bill Gates:
It seems to me that Gates and other philanthropists and so called humanitarian organizations are still in this very much for the profit. This would explain why Gates doesn’t say anything about the crimes that are being committed against the people in African countries, where their resources are essentially stolen from them by big corporations that make insane amounts of profits — corporations that people like Gates have financial stakes in (watch a documentary titled “Blood Coltan” for an example). It would also explain why Gates is fighting HIV in African countries when in fact it’s known among top scientists that the whole HIV/AIDS business is a huge money making scam that’s needlessly killing thousands of people around the world.
If Gates was really concerned about these people, then instead of playing mister philanthropic nice guy and pretending to the world how good he is by seemingly “giving away” money to help them, he would start publicly telling the governments and corporations to stop exploiting the African people, and to start paying them the money they deserve — the true value of their labor and resources. Give them their fair share of all the billions of dollars corporations make from their resources. That will allow them to start getting out of poverty, to take care of themselves and as a result they won’t have to rely on handouts from people like Gates anymore who eventually get back much more money from the enslavement of these people than they “give” to them. The evidence is out there.
The same things I wrote above about Gates also apply here to Zuckerberg. If you were still in doubt about the true motives, then let Gates himself remove all doubt for you:
By the late 1990s, I had dropped the idea of starting an institute for basic research. Instead I began seeking out other areas where business and government underinvest. Together Melinda and I found a few areas that cried out for philanthropy—in particular for what I have called catalytic philanthropy.
I have been sharing my idea of catalytic philanthropy for a while now. It works a lot like the private markets: You invest for big returns. But there’s a big difference. In philanthropy, the investor doesn’t need to get any of the benefit. We take a double-pronged approach: (1) Narrow the gap so that advances for the rich world reach the poor world faster, and (2) turn more of the world’s IQ toward devising solutions to problems that only people in the poor world face. Of course, this comes with its own challenges. You’re working in a global economy worth tens of trillions of dollars, so any philanthropic effort is relatively small. If you want to have a big impact, you need a leverage point—a way to put in a dollar of funding or an hour of effort and benefit society by a hundred or a thousand times as much.
We work to draw in not just governments but also businesses, because that’s where most innovation comes from. I’ve heard some people describe the economy of the future as “post-corporatist and post-capitalist”—one in which large corporations crumble and all innovation happens from the bottom up. What nonsense. People who say things like that never have a convincing explanation for who will make drugs or low-cost carbon-free energy. Catalytic philanthropy doesn’t replace businesses. It helps more of their innovations benefit the poor.
I like how Gates says that “people who say things like that never have a convincing explanation for who will make drugs or low-cost carbon-free energy.” Obviously Gates has never heard about the story of Nikola Tesla and J. P. Morgan. If it wasn’t for money blinded corporatists like Morgan, today Tesla would have provided the whole world with not only carbon-free energy, but completely free energy that wouldn’t cost you anything.
As you can see, “catalytic philanthropy” is really just big business for these people. It’s not really about helping people out; helping people is just a byproduct of their quest to “invest for big returns.” It’s not help; it’s an investment. You have to realize and understand the difference here. And any help that does end up going to the poor is but a drop of water on the hot plate that is the systematic exploitation and enslavement of these people. It really means nothing significant for them.
People like Gates and Zuckerberg don’t fool me, and neither should they be able to fool you. Giving is really just for their own benefit, while they continue to exploit and enslave the poor everywhere around the world, either directly but more often indirectly through their governments and corporations. I look forward to the day when they will really start to do something significant for humankind by being politically incorrect and publicly questioning and trying to put an end to all the atrocities that are committed by governments and corporations against humanity everywhere around the world, without any fear of the business and personal impact it will have on them.
I saw an article today on Business Insider about billionaire Marc Benioff not being impressed by Zuckerberg’s donation, saying that it’s basically a tax-writeoff, just like I mentioned in my post above:
Benioff implied in an interview with San Francisco Magazine’s Jon Steinberg that the donation was basically a tax write-off:
Marc Benioff: Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a bunch of DAFs: donor-advised funds. You give your money to SVCF and you get your tax write-off for the year, but [the foundation] has no obligation to administer that money.
Jon Steinberg: So you see Zuckerberg’s gift as more of a write-off than a donation?
Marc Benioff: Where’s it gone? What good is it doing now? I’m sure his intentions are positive, but we need to see that money get distributed. What are his targets? What are his philanthropic interests? We know that he has a political interest with his 501(c)(4) [Fwd.us, a lobbying group pushing for tech-friendly federal policies], but what are his philanthropic interests?
Although it’s fairly unusual for a billionaire philanthropist to criticize how another billionaire donates money, Benioff isn’t shy about speaking his mind, even on this subject.
He often speaks out against what he calls the “pay at the end” model advocated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and their Giving Pledge. Instead of becoming rich and then giving it all away right before you die, Benioff wants the rich to give their money away as they earn it. It’s the “pay as you go” model, he calls it.
Of course Benioff completely misses the point himself. I have a much better idea for all of these rich people: Instead of getting rich and hoarding resources, how about NOT fucking taking more than you need to make a decent living in the first place? Don’t take more than you need; leave what you don’t need for others, instead of taking it and giving it away later only to give others the false impression of you being a good and generous person, when in fact you’re hoarding a great deal of available resources and are the cause of lots of poor people who are struggling to stay alive. Someone who truly cared would never allow himself to become as rich as these fuckwads, because he would understand that taking that much of the resources for himself can only happen at the expense of other people around the world. Yes, becoming rich can only happen at the expense of others. It doesn’t matter if you give most of your wealth away when you die, or as you earn it, because the damage has already been done in that case; it’s better not to take or accept more than you need in the first place! This is why I never want to become rich, and will simply start refusing income when I already have enough to survive.