Moreover, billionaires’ extravagant wealth is by and large not spent, as Zuckerberg suggests, on cutting edge research and philanthropic efforts. After they’ve bought up enough yachts and private jets they mainly invest in making themselves richer through casino-style financial speculation and in luxury real estate in starkly unequal cities like San Francisco, Miami and New York, where mostly vacant homes act as safety deposit boxes to shield wealth from taxation. Their money might also end up in tax havens like the Cayman Islands, where it can sit undisturbed by the long arm of the state. Very little of that ever trickles down to the 99%, where inequality has skyrocketed and wages have stagnated.
Zuckerberg’s plea for the billionaire class is above all else deeply anti-democratic, casting doubt on the huddled masses’ ability to decide what’s best for themselves while repeating myths that the public sector is doomed to be wasteful and stagnant
Kate Aronoff on.
I always think it’s worth pointing out Zuckerberg and Facebook have contributed exactly zero in the form of “innovation”; social media existed prior to Facebook, and the closest new technology the site has contributed to the industry is React (which… yeech). I suppose you could argue Facebook “innovated” the data collection/resale and adtech industries but… honestly if that’s what you’re reaching for… ye-ee-ee-eah. Nah.