Facebook founder and his wife have decided to give away 99% of their fortune. That is $ 45 billion.
Now, I know many will heap praise upon them for their generosity. Same deal when the Gates and Buffet did their give away announcement. But, I’m not so keen on this. I know, how heartless of me. How ungrateful.
Being grateful or not is my issue. Why, in an economy designed to make money from money, where labor has lost it’s power to assure proper distribution of the income earned from its productivity should I be heaping praise on those who are giving away massive amounts of money that was accumulated off the skewed economy put in place by those with the money to politically create this system?
Just how does them giving away money such that the masses have to in essence beg to get some of the benefit of such money provide equality in this economy?
I have a better idea. If what is wanted is for this money from money economy to work for all, if we are to achieve the Donald’s directive of everyone moving into the upper stratum, that wages are too high (as even Caterpillar has acted on multiple times), then we have change our idea about what a billionaire should be doing when they decide to give away their excess wealth from unearned income.
Put it in a trust fund for their employees. Think about it. Facebook has (most recent count I could find) 11,996 employees. They could just distribute it to all of them for a share of $3,751, 250.42 each. Ok, but not the most assured security for their employees. Instead, they could put it in a trust fund that then distributes it’s earnings. You know, kind of like that old fashioned pension system only for active employees If it earned 5%/year, the employees would receive $187,562.52 each per year. Heck, put it in tax free bonds and make it a real Xmas gift each year (less earnings but…)
Even if they only put 10% of the $45 billion in a fund to be distributed you’re talking about $18,756.25 per year (5% earnings). That would go a long way toward helping their employees make ends meet.
Consider also what all that money being spent by the 11,996 employees would do for their local economy and on whole the US economy. At 5% earnings distributed to the employees we’re talking $2, 250,000,000 a year additional economic activity. Ok, let’s say 5% is wishful thinking. Then cut it in half. It’s still one S@#$ load of money.
Come on Zuckerberg. You’re suppose to be some kind of hot shot forward thinker. Think about the contributions your employees made toward your amassing this pile of earnings/wealth compared to what you paid them. Think about what you would have been paying them if we still had a system in place that assured wages tracked equally with productivity as in the past. Think about how much more advertising and data you could sell if your employees could actually respond with purchases from all that advertising and data. You know, the Henry Ford model (though I heard it was his accountant that was the real idea man).
As I’ve said in the past. The answer to Buffet’s statement that he pays less in taxes than his secretary is not just to change his rates. The other answer (and as appropriate) is to raise the secretaries pay to the point of tax equality with him. Do that, and I’ll take these wealthy people who are asking for their taxes to be raised seriously.