* * *
In 2017, the wealth gap is wider then ever before. Just eight billionaires have a net worth of more than half the world’s population combined. To illustrate the rate at which this growth continues to occur, last year there were 62 individuals who had collectively accumulated as much wealth as half the planet. The gap continues to grow, and Americans continue to fork over their money to companies like Microsoft and Amazon. In fact, six of the eight wealthiest men are Americans.
An analysis from Oxfam warns that the gap between the rich and the poor is greater than ever. In their report, An Economy for the 99%, Oxfam describes the gap as “obscene.” The analysis reveals that eight very wealthy men have a combined net worth of $426 billion. There are 3.6 billion people comprising the poorest half of the world’s population, and their combined net worth is only $409 billion.
Adding fuel to fire of speculation around a potential run for The White House, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg felt obliged to remark upon President Trump’s immigration policy and recent executive orders.
Increasingly, a number of influential people in Silicon Valley seem to think that Mark Zuckerberg will likely run for president of the United States one day. And some people, including myself, believe that he could indeed win.
“He wants to be emperor” is a phrase that has become common among people who have known him over the years.
As The Hill notes, such talk has intensified in recent weeks given the Facebook founder’s increasing role in political conversations.
Back in 2014 Mark Zuckerberg paid $100 million to purchase 700 acres of beachfront property on the North Shore of Kauai. The estate includes 1,000’s of feet of pristine shoreline providing the perfect “safe space” for the 30-year-old Silicon Valley Billionaire and his family.
Unfortunately, there was just one little problem with the purchase…technically the sellers didn’t own the title to all of that land due to the so-called Kuleana Act, a Hawaiian law established in 1850 that for the first time gave natives the right to own the land that they lived on.
So now, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the Facebook billionaire sued a few hundred Hawaiians who still have legal-ownership claims to parts of his vacation estate through their ancestors. Per Yahoo Finance:
Source: The Independent
Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly suing Hawaiian families who have ancestral rights to land within his $100 million (£81.2 million) property in a bid to force them to sell their plots.
The Facebook founder has launched the legal action in an attempt to make his 700-acre beachfront estate on the Island of Kauai more private.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has given assurances that his social media site’s offensive against fake news will be limited to stories that are patently false, according to Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell.…
* * *
Just in case you’re still wondering why the world’s so-called “elites” are losing credibility and respect faster than Mario Draghi can say “whatever it takes…”
New York Magazine reports:
In April, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told a crowd of developers that he heard “fearful voices calling for building walls.” At the time it was widely assumed he was talking about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. But perhaps he was just hearing the voices echoing across his enormous Hawaiian estate?
Back in 2014, the Facebook CEO purchased 700 acres of land on the island of Kauai for a cool $100 million. (House not included.) Now, he’s constructing a six-foot-high stone wall around the Hawaiian property. And his neighbors aren’t exactly thrilled with the giant pile of organized rocks that now stare back at them from where the ocean used to be.
This week not only did social media come a buzz, so too did the main stream when it was announced Mark Zuckerberg and his wife were marking the occasion of the birth of their child by starting a philanthropic organization named in their child’s honor. They also declared they pledged to give 99% of their Facebook™ shares (worth some $45 Billion) to help fund its mission. Yet, one little item or detail seemed not to go unnoticed by some (which I am of this crowd.) Rather, it stood out like a sore thumb. That detail was: rather than what is typically structured as a nonprofit (i.e., what one expects to see and is traditionally administered when charity is involved) this “Initiative” was structured as an LLC. i.e., Can be used for both profit and maybe more importantly – political influence.
Here is a quote from the Facebook post they wrote to help illustrate their intentions. It was this passage which both caught my eye, as well as made me think deeper as to just what didn’t sit squarely in my mind at first take. To wit:
Yesterday, all the media hoopla over Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement to “give away” 99% of his Facebook shares to philanthropic causes, came and went in the expected torrent of internet commentary. However, what you might have missed are the specifics around how he decided to safeguard those shares, and how unusual the for-profit LLC structure is for a charity.
The decision by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to gradually give away 99 percent of their Facebook fortune is big news not just for the huge sum involved—about $46 billion—but for how the couple chose to achieve their philanthropic goal. Rather than set up a private foundation or charitable trust as Bill and Melinda Gates did, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be structured as a limited liability corporation.
“We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.”
Moments ago, in a joint letter with his wife Priscilla, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that his wife had just given birth to a daughter, Max, but the real highlight of the letter is the part in the text in which he discloses that in order to “advance human potential” and “promote equality” for all children in the next generation, Zuckerberg begins the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and that in order to advance this mission, Zuckerberg will give 99% of his Facebook shares, currently worth $45 billion, to “advance this mission”
– Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Kicks in $25 Million for Ebola (NBC News, Oct 14, 2014):
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife announced Tuesday they are donating $25 million to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control foundation to fight the Ebola crisis that has killed more than 4,440 people in west Africa.
“We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn’t spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio,” Zuckerberg, who is worth $32 billion, said in a Facebook post. “We believe our grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field to prevent this outcome.”
– Mark Zuckerberg Just Spent More Than $30 Million Buying 4 Neighboring Houses For Privacy (Business Insider; Oct 11, 2013):
Mark Zuckerberg just made an unusual purchase.Well, four purchases.
Facebook’s billionaire founder bought four homes surrounding his current home near Palo Alto, Mercury News reports. The houses cost him more than $30 million, including one 2,600 square-foot home that cost $14 million. (His own home is twice as large at 5,000 square-feet and cost half as much.)
Larry Page made a similar move a few years ago so he could build a 6,000-square-foot mansion. But Zuckerberg’s reason is different. He doesn’t want to live in excess, he just wants a little privacy.
– Facebook Co-Founder Saverin Gives Up U.S. Citizenship Before IPO (Bloomberg, May 11, 2012):
Eduardo Saverin, the billionaire co- founder of Facebook Inc. (FB), renounced his U.S. citizenship before an initial public offering that values the social network at as much as $96 billion, a move that may reduce his tax bill.
Facebook plans to raise as much as $11.8 billion through the IPO, the biggest in history for an Internet company. Saverin’s stake is about 4 percent, according to the website whoownsfacebook.com. At the high end of the proposed IPO market capitalization, that would be worth about $3.84 billion. His holdings aren’t listed in Facebook’s regulatory filings.
– Facebook rolls out big changes to ‘lock in’ users (Bangkok Tiimes, Sep. 30,2011):
Facebook on Friday begins rolling out its biggest ever shake-up, in a move observers say will not only profoundly alter how its 800 million users interact with the site, but will keep them coming back for decades to come.
The new “Timeline,” revealed last week by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will also likely shock some users, notorious for backlashes in recent years over even small adjustments to the site, let alone a complete re-think of how their lives are presented to the world.
The changes amount to the “heart of your Facebook experience, completely rethought from the ground up,” Zuckerberg told an annual developers conference.
Rick Marini, CEO of the Facebook-focused “career network” BranchOut, which itself boasts millions of users, marveled this week in a conference call with marketers and reporters how the site had managed to build an enduring model.
“If your Timeline becomes an important part of your life — the diary of your life — Facebook may have just locked people in for the next 20 years,” Marini said Wednesday.
If Facebook is “where all of this happens, all your pictures, all your video, everything you’ve ever done,” he added: “you’re never going to leave.”
Loveable Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called his first few thousand users “dumb fucks” for trusting him with their data, published IM transcripts show. Facebook hasn’t disputed the authenticity of the transcript.
The exchange apparently ran like this:
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb fucks
The founder was then 19, and he may have been joking. But humour tells you a lot. Some might say that this exchange shows Zuckerberg was not particularly aware of the trust issue in all its depth and complexity.