By Audrey Conklin
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he “understands” 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’s opinion that billionaires shouldn’t exist during a Thursday town hall.
The Facebook founder’s comments came after Sanders said, “I don’t think that billionaires should exist,” while explaining his wealth tax proposal in a Sept. 24 interview with The New York Times.
“I don’t know if I have an exact threshold on what amount of money someone should have, but on some level, no one deserves to have that much money,” Zuckerberg — the fifth richest person on the planet with a net worth of nearly $70 billion — said during the town hall after being asked about Sanders’s billionaire comments, according to CNN Business.
— Bloomberg (@business) October 4, 2019
He added that if people do good acts, they get rewarded, which is why he and his wife have pledged to give away 99% of his Facebook shares, now worth $45 billion, according to Business Insider. But “some of the wealth that can be accumulated is unreasonable,” he continued during the town hall.
“What we are trying to do is demand and implement a policy which significantly reduces income and wealth inequality in America by telling the wealthiest families in this country they cannot have so much wealth,” the Vermont senator told The NYT, adding that he hopes “the day comes” when billionaires don’t exist.
“I don’t think that billionaires should exist,” Sanders told The NYT. “This proposal does not eliminate billionaires, but it eliminates a lot of the wealth that billionaires have, and I think that’s exactly what we should be doing.”
His plan would implement an annual 1% tax on net worth over $32 million, and that percentage would increase by marginal rates until it reaches 8% on net worth over $10 billion.
Fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has posed another threat to Zuckerberg and his social media brainchild.
We have to fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy. #BreakUpBigTech https://t.co/c0qWuRb9NN
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 1, 2019
Warren, a big tech adversary, is campaigning largely on ideas to break up tech giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon to “promote more competition,” as the Massachusetts senator wrote in a March Medium post announcing her proposal to impose new rules on tech companies that make $25 billion or more in annual ad revenue.
“If [Warren] gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge,” Zuckerberg said in July in leaked audio The Verge originally published, adding, “Look, at the end of the day, if someone’s going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight.”
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