Now The Social Network is a movie that is ENTIRELY about assholes. Saverin just renounced his U.S. Citizenship so that he could evade paying taxes in the country that has and continues to make him fabulously rich. He probably bought into some Ayn Rand libertarian bullshit about how tax breaks for the wealthy are the only thing that stimulates the economy. As Nick Hanauer pointed out on his now-famous TED talk (that has since been removed from TED because it was somehow too “partisan”), while he makes thousands of times more money than the average person, he doesn’t purchase thousands of times more things (cars, shirts, pants, etc.), but a healthy middle class that is large in number and strong in purchasing power with many more individuals with a smaller amount of disposable income lying around will actually be able to carry the consumer-driven economy to vastly more success than the “tax the wealthy so they can create the jobs” approach that has clearly failed over the past three decades and made the rich richer and the poor poorer.
For all you neoclassical free market fundamentalist libertarian Captain of Industry motherfuckers out there who know you’re assholes, this section won’t have much to do with you. But to all you non Captain of Industry free market fundamentalist libertarian motherfuckers out there, why are you drinking the Kool-Aid that clearly only benefits the rich (people who are definitely NOT you)? It’s like the poor lady on the TV all dressed up in her dowdy and rumpled secondhand clothes that heads up the local tax reform group and wants to end all pensions for public sector workers because…having social mobility while on a government paycheck is somehow a BAD thing? Fuck that, it’s the government. If you truly hate them like you’re always ranting about, get a job from them and…TAKE THEIR MONEY! That’s just simple Art of War shit.
But more important, what the fuck? Do you really think you’re the kind of person statistically lucky enough to be struck by lightning, eaten by the shark, or (even rarer) a winner of the lottery? If you want taxes on the rich to be virtually nonexistent because one day you think you’re actually going to BE rich, you can shit in one hand and wish in the other and see which fills up first. Social mobility is at an all-time low since the JP Morgans of the world owned the U.S. You have been made into a tool by those with powerful and moneyed interests who only benefit from your castle made of sand. Every time you lie to yourself about how lowering the capital gains tax rate or keeping it where it is will supposedly benefit all, every time you lie to others about how the rich somehow create the only things that keep society going, and every time one of your candidates takes the podium and lies to the nation about how FEWER regulations would have prevented the stock-market crash of 2008 (a direct result of TOO FEW REGULATIONS, especially surrounding credit default swaps), you are being made into a pawn by a 1% that benefits from controlling your political views and voting habits. They know you’re never going to be a member of their club, so why don’t you know this?
Class issues and your willingness to be co-opted by the 1% aside, how could you possibly defend neoclassicism and free market fundamentalism in light of the 2008 stock market crash that occurred because there weren’t enough regulations, rather than too few, as you often claim. Repealing Glass-Steagall (fuck you very much President Clinton and Senator Gramm) set us up brilliantly for this by removing laws enacted by FDR that prevented ethical conflicts of interest in the finance and banking industries. Granted, the overborrowing-driven financial crisis of the European Union might not speak too highly of Europe’s market regulation and current taxation policy, but the social democracies (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, none of which are actually socialist countries) with the most regulated markets and most robust taxation policies are doing just fine. If you want a completely free and unregulated market, go live in Haiti or Somalia, the only completely free markets on Earth (Do you really think there’s a tax rate on warlords?). And besides, lowering the tax rate on the wealthy in the States has only caused the gap between the rich and poor to drastically widen.
So, all you Ayn Rand lovers out there with no evidence to support your beliefs, you heard it here first: Atlas is dying and the Occupy Movement is slowly holding the pillow over his face. I’ll be glad when you’re dead you rascal you.
Sorry to be lead off on a tangent by the hypocrites who would have Saverin take the money and run, tax-free, and would spend their free time donating volunteer hours to political causes and staying poor so that they could fight for Saverin’s right to rape and pillage American markets without having to contribute the tiniest crumb to our roads and schools.
I was thinking the other day that Zuckerberg might be slightly less of an asshole than I originally thought, considering he decided to let people sign up for organ donations through Facebook. I suspect this was more likely a noble effort to increase the number of functioning organs available for sick people, rather than a ploy designed to enrich the companies involved in black-market human organ wholesale. So, I thought, there might be some hope for him in the long run.
Then I read the paper and watched the news and found out that Morgan Stanley and Zuck concealed the gloomy projections of Facebook’s first week stock prices after going public to shareholders and are now being sued because of it. I don’t find it surprising that someone who thought he was too good for Harvard might bend the rules or morality to ensure his own enrichment at the expense of his shareholders. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised at any lengths of depravity that someone who thought he was too good for Harvard would be ultimately willing to go to in order to achieve the kind of greatness he feels he deserves.
“If you don’t like it, just go to a different social networking website.” This sounds like the time I was at Home Despot and an employee told me if I didn’t like the Despot, I should just go to a different hardware store. “I used to go to other hardware stores back when there were any,” I told him.
Zuck thinks Facebook is so special and successful because it’s “bottom-up,” rather than “top-down.” This must be why he has 57% of its voting stock (more than Gates ever had in Microsoft), because he believes so much in giving the power to the people. While on paper Facebook purports to make the world more open and connected place, the seamless sharing updates that are hyperlinked now warn you before leaving Facebook’s protective cocoon and venturing out to the internet. Wait, you mean 1 billion people are using a social networking website that tries to keep them off the rest of the internet? Clearly there must be some other, less-desirable consequences coming down the pike.
How about a 28-year-old with no college degree who thinks he’s better than Harvard and is the 29th richest man on Earth having access to enough private information to shape consumerism, brand fidelity, and human behavior itself? Remember, Facebook hasn’t yet figured out how to make any real money. Once they do, things aren’t going to be so nice.