Lion of the Blogosphere

Zuckerberg to give all his money to charity

Zuckerberg promised that during his lifetime he will give away all of his $45 billion worth of FaceBook stock to a charitable trust.

This means that

(1) No tax will be paid on the $45 billion.
(2) The massive amount of money will be used to fund left-wing causes.
(3) The libertarian assertion that low taxes on the rich are necessary to entice people like Mark Zuckerberg to create value is proved once again to be false. Zuckerberg doesn’t even want the money. He’s giving it all away.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 1, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Posted in Taxes, Wealth

35 Responses

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  1. The libertarian assertion that low taxes on the rich are necessary to entice people like Mark Zuckerberg to create value is proved once again to be false. Zuckerberg doesn’t even want the money. He’s giving it all away.

    Giving it away to charity isn’t really different from consuming it himself or leaving it to family.

    Lloyd Llewellyn

    December 1, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    • EXACTLY! Zuckerberg wants all the money. Lion’s position is absurd. Zuckerberg’s just decided to spend his money in a way LOTB readers wouldn’t like.

      Also the shares are being put into a trust 100% controlled by Zuckerberg. So how is this proof he doesn’t want the money?

      Let’s say the GOP agreed to a 50% inheritance tax on the condition that the money raised is initially used to build a big beautiful wall on our southern border. Yes or no, would Zuckerberg/Soros/Bush/Clinton/Salon like that?


      December 2, 2015 at 11:55 am

    • Zuckerberg wanted the money, otherwise he would’ve ended up like Steve Wozniack and not Steve Jobs.

      And Zuckerberg’s directing money towards causes that he believes in, with tax advantages. He’s not “giving it away”.

      Let’s hope some of the money will support the expansion of Planned Parenthood on every corner in the ‘hood.


      December 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    • Lion, your economic analysis may be wrong from the get-go, let alone dragging libertarians into it. Here’s what one libertarian fan has to say about Zuckerberg’s ‘donation’ as being really a same-old/same old LLC–

      The Libertarian position is that coercive taxes are immoral and Libertarians will help people dismantle them as they’ve dismantled slavery, most government monopolies, most totalitarian regimes, and many regulations. This is indeed what they’re doing worldwide. As a result, during they view lower tax rates as a good thing.

      They’re perfectly fine with voluntary taxes and folks doing what they please with they’re money.


      December 5, 2015 at 5:47 am

  2. Your 3 is wrong.

    3. Power and Influence, forever.
    4. Less risk of wealth confiscation, since it is in a “charity”


    December 1, 2015 at 10:44 pm

  3. If he keeps 1% that’s still $450 million.

    Jokah Macpherson

    December 1, 2015 at 10:54 pm

  4. Lion, get off your ass and stop watching little girl music and get out there and make some money so you can spend it on conservative causes and counteract some of Zuckerberg’s cash!


    December 1, 2015 at 10:58 pm

  5. Going by actuarial tables, Zuckerberg is a long way from Death’s door. In forty years, his stock could lose a lot of value (or gain). He could change his mind. The donations are decades away, but I’m pleased with how Gates has been spending his money.


    December 1, 2015 at 11:12 pm

  6. These trusts are bogus. Zuckerberg will still control all or most of the money one way or another. And have exert incredible influence politically with this “charitable” trust.


    December 1, 2015 at 11:41 pm

  7. No, it means Zuckerberg, like Bill Gates (and Bill Clinton), will set up an untaxed foundation to provide his children and grandchildren with very-high-paying sinecures, so they can self-actualize by meddling with the lives of other people’s children by funding educational fads or whatever. If they’re energetic they can “work” at being charity executives, and if they are lazier they can just fly to ribbon-cutting events and so-forth and hob-nob with tipsy celebrities in the back of the Gulfstream. The massive charity is this era’s spendthrift trust for rich kids, but it’s better because it guarantees the heirs respectable and pleasurable elite “vice-president of a non-profit foundation” jobs. The big problem for any self-made zillionaire is reversion toward the mean among his offspring. He can’t (yet) do anything about that genetically, but he can ensure his brood will never want, indeed, will enjoy high social status without any danger of failing in a competitive business, which will be good for their mating prospects.


    December 1, 2015 at 11:48 pm

  8. Correct on all three points, Lion. Not that long ago I would have disagreed on #3. In addition to my annoyance at $45 billion going to advance left wing agendas, I’m disgusted by the disingeuosness of it all. Zuckerberg and family will retain $450 million or so, and the children and potentially grandchildren are all but guaranteed lifetime sinecures. Zuckerberg giving away 99% of his money affects his lifestyle very little. As you tack more zeroes on the end of someone’s net worth, the magnitude of their 99% donation to charity decreases rapidly.

    Matt Watson

    December 2, 2015 at 12:08 am

  9. Since Rockefeller, Ford, and the robber barons, the super-rich have shifted their money into supposedly charitable foundations in order to shelter their fortunes from taxes. Zuckerberg is just doing the same. No news here.


    December 2, 2015 at 12:16 am

  10. A more interesting thing would be, would Zuckerberg’s half-Asian child be allowed in the ranks of toos, the only class which matters?

    It is toos or bust – if she can’t become a member of toos, then Zuckererg is making a correct decision by at least making his name immortal.

    The only mantra which matters is toos or bust.


    December 2, 2015 at 12:58 am

  11. Along with discharging student loans in bankruptcy, taxing charities is a very important policy change that needs to happen.


    December 2, 2015 at 2:14 am

    • Not student loans. The idiots should be enslaved. I agree with taxing charities. It’s important to close the racket. It will only benefit religion.


      December 2, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      • Yakov, the point with making student loans dischargeable is that lenders will be less reckless and simply not loan as much money to stupid people/for stupid degree programs.

        Viscount Douchenozzlé

        December 2, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      • My bad.


        December 2, 2015 at 10:32 pm

  12. Zuckerberg’s fortune will reportedly go into a new private investment entity called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which will NOT register as a charitable tax-exempt organization. It sounds more like a hedge fund than a Ford Foundation.

    Mark Caplan

    December 2, 2015 at 7:15 am

  13. There is an elusive middle ground somewhere,but not leaving anything for the kids is probably better in most cases then leaving them an unearned fortune.—give-them-millions-or-make-them-work-for-it

    My daughter is married into a rich family. The father-in-law sent all his kids off to work. Nobody gets help after marriage and I think the results are better had they been supported to take it easy or given money for a lifestyle that they can’t afford. Some actually have it rough for a while. It’s interesting that none want to bring their kids up this way. I hope they’ll change their mind.

    She and her husband were so mad that they had to live in two bedrooms and work for everything, that they slugged away, started businesses, failed, started again, twisted and turned until today six years later they have their own house, a few investment properties, each drives a Lexus, and flies business class. Why don’t they want to put their kids through the same experience is beyond me? Add to this Israeli army or French Foreign Legion and a couple of years of plumbing, roofing or electrical work and the kid should be able to hold his own in this world.


    December 2, 2015 at 7:24 am

    • Yakov,

      I can’t disagree more about this peculiar sentiment and I don’t trust any sort of business article that touts this sort of psychology.

      Your daughter and her husband are bitter and deservedly so because whatever they have is probably not equivalent to what their peer group achieved. This sort of hardship may be worth it if you beat out everybody else, but if you don’t, then it was wasteful and unnecessary. Everything that was achieved could’ve been achieved sooner and more easily had the father-in-law guided them financially. They missed opportunities and ended up worse off because of a lack of it.

      For every successful person that I know who “did it on their own,” there are ten people who had a lot of help. If you care anything about your kids and if you can afford it, then you always help them…no matter what, because, if they have to compete with trust-funders and connected families wholly on their own, then I guarantee you, they will lose. They won’t learn anything from the experience and they will be relatively handicapped for the rest of their lives.

      ALWAYS HELP YOUR KIDS. They are your legacy, after all. The better they do, the better the chance you will have grand kids, on and on on. That’s what matters. Let the other fools fall for plots like the article, believing that their kids are going to make it because the parents invest little in them. Bitterness and anger at being poor will drive them to commanding heights…yeah, right.

      I am fully convinced that a popular meme pushed upon society is there to damage people who follow it.


      December 2, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      • map is the smartest commentator on this blog. +1

        Viscount Douchenozzlé

        December 2, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      • Map, written with passion and, again, a touch of madness. I was looking for that elusive middle ground….

        Incidently, my daughter is not one bit bitter. The father in law set them up after the wedding, renovated the apartment, bought the furniture, paid for his sons education, but after that it’s not unfair that he’d cut the cord. It has worked out pretty good for them. I think Paris Hilton would have been better off this way. Also, they have two kids and the new house plan has two children’s bedrooms with two beds each and a nursery. I’m doing the AC there, so I know.

        Actually, he had donated an ambulance for $100,000 – much better way to spend his money then giving to young newly married kids, or at least that’s what I think.


        December 2, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      • I also agree with map. Popular media likes to emphasize rich kid failure, but I know of several people from wealthy backgrounds who have leveraged their family wealth successfully. I think the middle ground Yakov seeks could be filled by the kinds of challenges that old-money WASP families expected their children to face: boarding school, athletic competition and military service. Cutting the kids off from the family fortune is too risky, especially at a time when automation is about to eliminate many types of work.


        December 5, 2015 at 4:27 pm

  14. To all the programmers here: do you find functional programming (ala JavaScript) a very unintuitive way to code? My background has exclusively been in object oriented languages and I’m really struggling to program “functionally”. I don’t even really get the point, why do functional programming languages even exist? Why would you want to pass a function as an argument to another function? That’s stupid. Why not just use object oriented languages for everything?

    Otis the Sweaty

    December 2, 2015 at 8:06 am

    • One could ask the same question of object oriented languages. Why do you want to make everything object? It’s my opinion that inheritance leads to a mess of code that’s impossible to debug or figure out, and which runs a lot slower than simpler functional code.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      December 2, 2015 at 8:49 am

      • I thought you were a C# guy? Isn’t that object oriented?

        Otis the Sweaty

        December 2, 2015 at 9:30 am

      • Yes it is, but the best way to create a robust app that’s easy to maintain is not to use any fancy object oriented features, you should use it like a functional language.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 2, 2015 at 9:36 am

  15. I found it hilarious how the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has “equality” as one of its aims.

    Do they mean income equality? Do they mean equality in hiring?

    Whatever the case, Zuckerberg talking about equality is like Napoleon talking about pacifism.


    December 2, 2015 at 9:02 am

    • He’s writing boilerplate for what’s an obvious tax dodge. Probably doesn’t make sense to read much into it.

      Viscount Douchenozzlé

      December 2, 2015 at 9:42 pm

  16. Like everyone else, Zuckerberg has two choices – leave money to his heirs, and have the government take a big chunk in taxes, or leave it to charity and pay no taxes. You and I may disagree with the charities which he chooses, but is giving the money to the government really any better? The goofball lefty foundations he subsidizes will just waste the money on forlorn causes, but would it be any different if he were enriching charities with which we happened to agree? If the government gets the money, the politicians will just squander it on lost causes or use it to buy votes. Is that really better?

    Black Death

    December 2, 2015 at 10:59 am

    • If guys like Zuckerberg effectively own the government through their political donations, they might as well pay for it in taxes rather than shifting the burden to the middle class through crafted tax dodges the plebes lack the savvy to exploit.


      December 2, 2015 at 11:49 am

  17. He set it up as an LLC. It’s still his money.


    December 2, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    • Very interesting – do you have a source?

      Viscount Douchenozzlé

      December 2, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      • According to his SEC filings, Zuckerberg is transferring $45 billion of his Facebook shares to a new limited liability company called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The filing says, “Over the course of their lives, these shares, or the net after-tax proceeds from the sale of such shares, will be used to advance the mission of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Priscilla and Mark will decide together how best to allocate funds.”

        The filing says the LLC will “pursue its mission by funding nonprofit organizations, making private investments and participating in policy debates, in each case with the goal of generating positive impact in areas of great need.”


        December 2, 2015 at 10:23 pm

  18. Most charities are setup to shelter wealth from taxes/liability AND to make naive idiots think good about the founders. In this case, it is just the fancy way to say: “FY, people!”


    December 2, 2015 at 10:29 pm

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