Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, is rich. In fact, he’s filthy rich. His nearly $70 billion net worth is good for fifth in the world, but based on his response to a Facebook employee’s question, you probably wouldn’t think he was that wealthy.
But when asked on Thursday about Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ assertion that billionaires shouldn’t exist, Zuckerberg seemed to agree with the socialist senator, according to CNN.
“I don’t know if I have an exact threshold on what amount of money someone should have, but on some level no one deserves to have that much money,” the tech mogul said at a town hall event at his company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters.
Think about what Zuckerberg is seemingly saying here: that nobody deserves to have $1 billion, a paltry sum compared to his own bank accounts.
According to Forbes, there are 2,153 billionaires in the world, and Zuckerberg is richer than 99 percent of them. He’s over 17 times wealthier than the average billionaire, who holds around $4 billion.
To be clear, the problem with Zuckerberg’s response has nothing to do with the fact that he is rich. There’s nothing wrong with being rich at all.
The problem is that he thinks there is some better use for his wealth yet keeps it anyway. It’s hypocritical, and his comment is nothing more than virtue signaling.
Instead of shaming other billionaires or flagellating himself, Zuckerberg would be better served putting his money where his mouth is.
We all have a responsibility to care for those less fortunate than we are, but that responsibility falls on us as individuals.
The left likes to lobby for higher taxation and government control of common services, often under the guise of altruism. The problem is that forcing people to take care of others is not the same as people voluntarily donating their money and time.
Rich people like Zuckerberg on the left seem to operate on an understanding that capitalism is good for them but that socialism should be forced on everyone else. That leaves them in control, free from market forces that would allow their competition to threaten their empires.
Zuckerberg is right that it is understandable for people to think that others have too much money, but he’s dead wrong when he says they don’t deserve it.
He and others like him should have no legal obligation to turn over their legally acquired assets, but they do have a moral obligation to put that money to good use.
And that obligation is only amplified when they talk as if they despise their wealth. Then they’re not practicing what they preach.
Instead of offering a hypocritical response, Zuckerberg should have said that anyone with billions of dollars has the chance to do so much good — and should get started doing it.
Maybe then we could take him a little more seriously.
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