Vermont senator and 2020 Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders recently revealed his wealth tax proposal, saying “billionaires shouldn’t exist,” and Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is worth almost $70 billion, conceded that Sanders is probably right.
“I think if you do something that’s good, you get rewarded, but I do think some of the wealth that can be accumulated is unreasonable.”
“No one deserves that much money,” Zuckerberg said after a Facebook employee asked for a response to Sanders statement during a Q&A session Thursday, according to Bloomberg. “I think if you do something that’s good, you get rewarded. But I do think some of the wealth that can be accumulated is unreasonable.”
The annual Forbes 400 list of America’s wealthiest was released this week, and Zuckerberg’s $69.4 billion worth was enough to secure the No. 4 spot.
In an effort to potentially save face, the Q&A session was livestreamed online after Zuckerberg faced some heat earlier this week for leaked audio from a different meeting saying he would “go to the mat and fight” against breaking up big tech companies. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another 2020 hopeful who seemingly has a plan for everything, has made big tech a target as she surges in the Democratic primary polls.
The unnamed employee explained he was asking Zuckerberg “as the only billionaire with whom I can consult on this matter,” and the Facebook chief went on to describe the efforts of his Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic investment arm that has lofty goals of eradicating all disease within the next 100 years.
He argues that public funding for an ambitious project like this may never happen, or would have to slowly, so he’s trying to use his billionaire status for a good cause.
“The suggestion that this should all be done publicly, I think, would deprive the market and world from a diversity of different attempts that can be taken,” Zuckerberg said.
A wealth tax could put a damper on that plan, though. Sanders’ aggressive plan that was announced last week would hit Zuckerberg’s coffers with an 8% annual levy since he falls into the highest tax bracket.