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Facebook Government The Almighty Buck United States

Facebook Co-Founder Saverin Gives Up U.S. Citizenship Before IPO 911

Posted by timothy
from the my-country-right-or-holy-moley-look-at-this-bill dept.
parallel_prankster writes "Bloomberg reports that Eduardo Saverin, the billionaire co- founder of Facebook, has 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. From the article: '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 Who Owns Facebook. At the high end of the IPO valuation, that would be worth about $3.84 billion. Saverin, 30, joins a growing number of people giving up U.S. citizenship, a move that can trim their tax liabilities in that country. Saverin won't escape all U.S. taxes. Americans who give up their citizenship owe what is effectively an exit tax on the capital gains from their stock holdings, even if they don't sell the shares, said Reuven S. Avi-Yonah, director of the international tax program at the University of Michigan's law school. For tax purposes, the IRS treats the stock as if it has been sold.'"
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Facebook Co-Founder Saverin Gives Up U.S. Citizenship Before IPO

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  • Re:Good for him (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:28PM (#39975359)

    Yeah... a guy who created a giant marketing scam based on US laws and protections, and is now dodging taxes. Wonderful. You Ayn Randians can have 'em.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:30PM (#39975369)

    Actually the tax is quite low - 50 years ago, the tax was a lot higher.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scottbomb (1290580) on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:33PM (#39975389) Journal

    And too many people don't understand that the government has no money of it's own. It must confiscate it from the citizenry.

    The fabled Robin Hood is often mis-characterized. He wasn't robbing the rich to give to the poor. He was robbing the government (Sheriff of Nottingham) to give the people back their own tax money the Sheriff mercilessly demanded by force.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['ish' in gap]> on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:35PM (#39975403)

    He wasn't much of an American. He had U.S. citizenship for a grand total of... 14 years. Apparently he wasn't very honest when he took the oath of citizenship in 1998. The U.S. doesn't need more people who lie under oath; we've got quite enough, so one less is an improvement.

    In any case, there are a lot of actually productive people who'd love to become American citizens, most of whom won't be so quick to turn their backs on it if it makes them successful. I'd be happy to loosen immigration restrictions and let more of them in. And people who don't like the United States, and want to renounce it? Let them, especially if they're non-productive investor leeches. You don't see real American rich people renouncing citizenship: Steve Jobs didn't go anywhere, Bill Gates isn't going anywhere, even libertarians like Larry Ellison and the Koch brothers aren't going anywhere, because they aren't mercenary traitors.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J'raxis (248192) on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:37PM (#39975419) Homepage

    I'd tackle the discretionary spending in the defense budget first. The government is spending $666.2 BILLION there, as opposed to $80.6 billion on "health and human services" of which welfare is a part. Source [wikipedia.org].

    If we reduced the U.S. Government (as a whole, not just defense) to the size it was in the 1990s you could do away with the income tax completely. Source [ronpaul.com]. And think of how big the government was in the 1990s. What taxes could we eliminate if we reduced the government to the size it was before LBJ's "Great Society" (1965), the "New Deal" (1933), or even the income tax itself (1913)?

  • Re:Good for him (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:42PM (#39975457)
    Let's just shut down schools, hospitals, and such. The market will provide. I can't wait to go to the Disney Exxon-Mobile ER and pay a fair market price of $5,000 for a visit that formerly cost $75. The security I will feel knowing that the fire department (which will only exist in communities with enough fires to provide demand) will automatically debit my bank account when they come service a fire in my building.

    Ayn Rand was a hypocritical fool who shunned the very value of society only to feed off it in her own time of need.

    "Going Galt" is a breaking of the social contract after having benefited from it, and deserves no more admiration than that afforded the bully who steals your lunch money to sneak out and stuff his face with McDonalds.
  • by RightwingNutjob (1302813) on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:45PM (#39975479)
    As an immigrant *to* the US, I feel insulted. My family worked quite hard to *get* US citizenship, and I know exactly why, and why it was worth it. People renouncing it to make a quick buck to me almost feels like selling their souls.
  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:47PM (#39975491) Journal

    You forgot to mention that in 1913 wages and salaries were not included in "income". It was more of a capital gains tax than an income tax. That was a major selling point -- that they were only going to tax the rich.

    See how well that worked out?

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J'raxis (248192) on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:47PM (#39975497) Homepage

    In reality, he robbed from the rich - who robs from the poor? They don't have any fucking money.

    No, but they have their labor. It's gone by different terms, and with varying levels of severity---slavery, serfdom, peonage, taxation---but it's what governments have done since the dawn of civilization: Steal from the poor.

  • by cmholm (69081) <cmholm@AAAmauiholm.org minus threevowels> on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:48PM (#39975501) Homepage Journal

    Fixed that for you. What would have been really cool is instead of his dad shipping Eduardo to Miami for safeties sake, the boy got his education old school, getting kidnapped for ransom and/or knifed outside a club in Sao Paulo. But no, he got a respite while raking in some unearned income in Brazil from the safety of FL. Next, he won the lottery when one of his few friends at Harvard needed some start up money for a social networking idea.

    Now, he flips the bird to the country that gave him the safety, and an environment to make a major move up the SE ladder, because it's all his HIS! Well, screw 'em, and put 'em on a no-fly list as an ingrate of the First Degree, Order of the Asshole.

    Frankly, we're not losing much when the likes of him take off: one of many sociopathic money grubbers constantly looking to game the financial system (privatize the profits, socialize the loses), and whose investments know no border no matter where they've bought a condo. If he participates in fucking the banks in Singapore like his kind did in the US, he'll end up in gaol faster than he can whine "class warfare".

  • Vaya con Dios (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guppy06 (410832) on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:52PM (#39975523)

    I hope he doesn't live to regret his decision, as it's a hell of a lot easier to drop US citizenship than it is to get it back.

  • True: Unfair Taxes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cmholm (69081) <cmholm@AAAmauiholm.org minus threevowels> on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:57PM (#39975555) Homepage Journal

    It all boils down to too much government spendings, especially on welfare, to raise the kids of those who just stay at home, making babies and taking drugs

    Idiot. The vast majority of Federal spending goes to the DoD, Medicare, and Social Security. Frankly, the major constituents for all of these are core Republican voters. The drugs are mostly for blood pressure, gas, and diabetes. So sure, screw 'em.

    If the government doesn't have to pay for all these, the tax rate wouldn't be so damn high, and people wouldn't have to renounce their citizenships

    They don't have to do anything, kid. 35% percent - before deductions and shelters - is high? Pffft! Anybody in Eduardo's position who's actually paying 35% is using form 1040EZ to do their taxes.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['ish' in gap]> on Friday May 11, 2012 @09:58PM (#39975559)

    So up from approximately 0% to approximately 0%? I don't see any of the Forbes 400 on that list, either, not even the ultra-libertarian ones.

    It's equivalent, proportionally, to approximately 34 Danes getting so angry at their country's high taxes that they renounce citizenship. I think Denmark would probably survive that devastating blow. Now if that were 178,000, we might have an actual phenomenon worth talking about.

    But maybe this is a trend worth encouraging anyway. Is there some sort of campaign we can start to convince the Koch brothers to live up to their ideals and "go Galt"?

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:00PM (#39975567)
    What a lot of anti-tax folks don't realize (or choose to ignore) is the fact that a tax regime that creates a civil society (educated, healthy populous, rule of law) in turn creates an environment that allows companies like Facebook to flourish. It's much harder to create wealth in an environment where your employees are illiterate, hungry and sick and corruption is rampant. Sure, you can drill oil wells or mine for gold, but you can't really create companies with IP in those environments. I guarantee you the next Apple or Google is not coming in Nigeria. Why do you think India is working so hard to create institutional change?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:02PM (#39975579)

    Of course you know why and why it was worth it. You likely benefited by attaining US citizenship. If you didn't, you (or your family) likely wouldn't have bothered with the hassle.

    Saverin is going to benefit from relinquishing it.

    Why you feel insulted, I can't quite fathom.

  • by bigtrike (904535) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:03PM (#39975585)

    Are you going to travel to the ER on privately owned dirt roads? Better hope the bridge owner isn't asleep for the night if you need to cross water.

  • Re:Good for him (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:03PM (#39975587)

    "I can't wait to go to the Disney Exxon-Mobile ER and pay a fair market price of $5,000 for a visit that formerly cost $75."

    Are you sure it would work out that way? You might plot the price of lasik and related eye surgeries over the last 20 years to see what less-regulated market might do.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['ish' in gap]> on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:05PM (#39975595)

    There's a difference between opposing the actions of your country, playing corporate tax games, trying to change things, and a whole range of other activity, and--- explicitly renouncing your nation. Bill Gates has never held up his right hand and under oath renounced America. Most Americans wouldn't either, not even very wealthy, very libertarian ones.

    I suspect Saverin had no such compunctions because he never really considered himself American in the first place. So to him being in the U.S. for a few years was just a bit of a game, a chance to make a quick buck; he had no loyalty to the country, despite the oath he took. So it was just as easy to recite an empty renunciation as to recite his empty oath of citizenship, all just an accounting game.

  • by csumpi (2258986) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:06PM (#39975603)

    Did you mean:

    How horrible is the Singapore military for the son of a billionaire?

  • In general, rich people don't leave. This is news because it's so unusual for a wealthy American to leave the country. It's more common for wealthy non-Americans to try to move to the US than the reverse.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by J'raxis (248192) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:17PM (#39975651) Homepage

    You are correct. Society has changed in that the U.S. Government, having duped people into paying an income tax, turned itself into a global empire with its bloated military spending funded through confiscatory taxation (income tax increased to 77% during WWI), and then created myriad other things that were best left to the free market, all in order to justify the perceived "necessity" of the existence of such a big and bloated government.

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:20PM (#39975667)

    You're just jealous. What is a "good" American anyway? Someone who is pro Police State, likes police brutality and an official policy of sexually assaulting all children who wish to travel by air? America certainly doesn't stand for liberty anymore. The last time the majority of Americans were Libertarian was back when horses and gas lanterns were high tech.

    Aside from violence, stupidity, ignorance, and cruelty, America doesn't stand for very much anymore. Those of us who have spent time living abroad often find ourselves ashamed to admit our nationality. I've often been told that I "seem nice for an American". That's the kind of country we are now. Our country used to stand for something. A philosophy. An ideal. Sort of like Soviet Russia or Cuba. Now we don't stand for anything except brutish ignorance and violence and maybe fascism. When people think of America they think of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Of senseless sadism and torture for its own sake. I think you'd be surprised at the number of people who would jump at the chance to change their nationality from American to something else regardless of their tax bracket. Singapore is a sort of semi-benevolent dictatorship, but in many ways it's a nicer place to live than the U.S.

  • Re:Trendsetting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:23PM (#39975691)

    A place where you can start your own business without getting sued into the ground by established interests who've bought politicians?

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['ish' in gap]> on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:23PM (#39975695)

    I live abroad too, in a lot more enlightened place than Singapore, and yet I haven't renounced my American citizenship for a quick buck.

    If he had changed his citizenship for some kind of moral reasons, that's legitimate. If it's just for money, that's beneath contempt.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:31PM (#39975741)

    Or maybe....the income tax started out as a tax on the wealthy, who didn't like it, but who needed large government services--like, say, a large global military presence to protect their overseas investments. (You don't think our military is spread all over the world because we feel like it, do you?)

    Maybe those same people who BUY AND PAY FOR LAWS managed, over the course of a few decades, to get the laws shifted so that the tax burden now falls on working people instead of the wealthy, who benefit the most from very expensive things like armed ships, planes, and troops protecting their assets, lavish and ever expanding international airports, transcontinental transportation systems, diplomatic missions that seem rather preoccupied with protecting the rights of wealthy corporations and individuals overseas, an educated workforce, police to keep the educated workforce in line and compliant, and of course a huge spying apparatus that most likely illegally snoops on US citizens looking for people with wrong thoughts and almost certainly is engaged in industrial espionage on a massive scale?

    Kinda depends on how you look at it, huh?

  • Re:Good for him (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:32PM (#39975747)

    Please show me where I consented to this contract.

    Your parents consented to it for you when they either gave birth to you in the US or brought you here. Presumably you are now of legal age. If you wish to no longer be bound by that contract, I suggest you leave the country, forfeit the priveleges of the civilized society that has already given you countless advantages and protections without which you would likely be destitute or dead, and find some place else in the world to hang out with other 'rugged individualists'. Good luck with that.

    PS I used to be a Randroid too, and once upon a time I would have agreed with you. Then I grew up, attained some sophistication, discovered empathy, and got a clue.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:32PM (#39975749)

    Of course, back then, you worked till the day you died, since there was no Social Security. And that would be quite soon if you got sick and didn't happen to be wealthy, since there was no Medicare or Medicaid. And let's not forget that there were no food stamps or WIC checks, so if you were poor, you were liable to starve. That is, if you didn't rob or kill to get your food.

    And there were no battered women shelters, or protections of any sort for abuse victims. And there were no regulations to stop companies from dumping all sorts of nasty shit into your air or water, or outright putting it into your food as filler. And of course your employer could force you to work 12 hours a day, with no weekends, and no overtime -- not that it mattered, since they could also pay you in scrip which was only good in the company store.

    I don't see why you glorify that time period. The workers of the time hated it so much that they fought like hell to get us unions and social safety nets. Why are you so eager to throw away everything they worked for?

    I'll tell you what. If you don't like paying to live in a civilized society, then you are welcome to get the fuck out. We'll be better off without you.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PyroMosh (287149) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:33PM (#39975757) Homepage

    So renounce your citizenship and go elsewhere.

    By remaining, you are implicitly saying that you can live with this system, or that it is at least better than any other alternatives.

    I don't agree with how every cent of my taxes are spent, but that's what comes with representative democracy.

    The benefits I net (security, social safety nets, police, fire, EMS, food inspectors, FAA, etc., etc.) far outweigh the things I don't like ("elective" war, eleven carrier groups, corn subsidies, etc.).

    Nobody is compelling you to stay.

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:41PM (#39975807)

    and put 'em on a no-fly list

    You sir are a true American. The New American. When the rest of the world thinks of Americans you are the kind of person they are thinking of.

  • by MachDelta (704883) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:43PM (#39975817)

    Considering America is the spiritual home of "money = moral", I'd say he's doing exactly what the country taught him...

  • by longk (2637033) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:45PM (#39975825)

    Seriously?

    1) Singapore citizenship is as useful as US/EU citizenship. Some countries actually overcharge or reject visa's for US regularly. US certainly isn't a best choice for travel.

    2) Getting US citizenship is just $500. Peanuts for these people.

    3) Like most US citizens you probably missed out on the new that the US is no longer the greatest nation on the planet.

  • by sl3xd (111641) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:48PM (#39975851) Journal

    Really? When was the last time you were in a housing project? Did you take ANY time to get to know the poor? Or are you making blanket assumptions based on lame and uninformed propaganda?

    Your statement positively oozes contempt for people you quite obviously have no clue about. In my mind, anyone who sneers at a human being because of their poverty is worse than a card-carrying KKK neo-nazi. It's every bit as prejudiced as the belief that a person's color has anything to do with their character.

    I spent years working with the poor; I spent more time in the projects than many of the residents. I took the time to get to know them as human beings.

    In my experience, their situation has absolutely nothing to do with not wanting to work. I get so sick of hearing ignorant pricks say some lame line like "work at McDonalds." There is no unlimited supply of jobs available anywhere. The poor want jobs - badly. They want to work, and do so when they can.

    But you know what? The kinds of hours they have to work isn't sustainable by the human body. The body inevitably breaks down from the strain, and they eventually cannot physically go to work. I've regularly seen people work to the point they pass out, after which they are fired. I know because I paid for college by working at such a job. Naturally, the corporation provides no health care coverage, so there is no treatment or physical therapy to get them back into the work force. Workman's comp? Are you joking? You haven't seen corporate america at work.

    I'm convinced those who are constantly whining about 'the lazy poor' understand a lot less about economics than the teenage dropouts they demonize.

  • by ChromeAeonium (1026952) on Friday May 11, 2012 @10:51PM (#39975871)

    That sounds more like an argument against having things set such that the very wealthy can just skip town when the taxman comes and toss aside their country when it becomes financially convenient.

  • by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Friday May 11, 2012 @11:04PM (#39975961)

    Well point us to an example where the private industry has built a system of roads even remotely matching the public highway system and you might have a case. Until then you have nothing but hypothetical claims.

  • by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Friday May 11, 2012 @11:10PM (#39975993)

    Except that the 1990 budget was based on a country that had 50 million less people and wasn't facing the fact that there will be 10s of millions of baby boomers hitting retirement that will leave huge revenue shortfalls.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J'raxis (248192) on Friday May 11, 2012 @11:13PM (#39976005) Homepage

    This is mostly correct, although there are plenty of wealthy people out there that don't become such parasites.

    Not understanding this is one of the reasons why no amount of government interventionism ever seems to help the poor or middle class in the long run. The wealthy parasites in and behind government (bankers, financiers, and similar assorted rent-seekers---all non-productive types) steal from the poor and middle class. When the people finally get sick of it, their anger and envy is directed toward "the rich"---which inevitably falls on the productive rich (entrepreneurs, businessmen, upper middle class), not the parasites who are truly responsible for the mess.

    New laws are passed, new regulations are created, taxes are increased---all of which impact the poor, the middle class, the small businessmen, and other productive people. The parasites already know how to work around such laws and taxes because they wrote them---and wrote in the loopholes! So the end result is more people are pushed down into poverty while the parasites get richer.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Friday May 11, 2012 @11:23PM (#39976049)

    I don't see why you glorify that time period. The workers of the time hated it so much that they fought like hell to get us unions and social safety nets. Why are you so eager to throw away everything they worked for?

    Because it's failing hard. I'll just say this. That period of time built up a superpower, while this period of time with the supposedly enlightened social safety net is destroying that same superpower. Sure, we don't need to attract the rich or the businesses to the US. They can go run to places where they'll be treated with respect. We don't need working sewers either.

    I'm sure we'll find some balance between the things we wish we could have and the things we actually have. The only question is how far will we fall before we get our priorities straight?

  • Re:Good for him (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0111 1110 (518466) on Friday May 11, 2012 @11:23PM (#39976053)

    If you wish to no longer be bound by that contract, I suggest you leave the country, forfeit the priveleges of the civilized society

    Are you sure it is the US that you are in? I can think of many adjectives to describe our sad republic, but "civilized" is not among them. Go do a "police brutality" search on youtube and then come back and boast about how civilized we are.

    More like a country of poorly educated, spoiled, rich people who think we are much, much smarter than we really are or ever will be. [wikipedia.org] We are a country with no shortage of self-esteem or confidence, but a huge shortage of real ability and intelligence. This discussion is a perfect example of that sort of empty arrogant nationalism with nothing at all behind it. We are a country that is great only in our own minds. Perhaps that is what really makes us unique. Nothing will ever convince us of our own ineptness and incompetence because we are so very certain of our inherent superiority and greatness. We are a country that renounces and hates the very thing we once stood for. The one thing that really did make us special. What could be more sad and pathetic than that?

    Instead of being the place where you were free to do pretty much anything you wanted we are now just known as the neighborhood bully. And like most bullies we are cowards at heart. Unwilling to start any fight that would be even remotely fair, and yet still boasting to ourselves about how tough we are. As tough as those cops were who were beating Rodney King. So tough that the unexpected demolition of a couple of tall buildings is enough to change our entire way of life. If anything has ever proven the inherent cowardice of America it was 9/11. It has demonstrated our true character and we don't even have the insight to realize how pathetic it all is. The rest of the world is laughing, and they are not laughing with us.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Friday May 11, 2012 @11:24PM (#39976057) Homepage Journal

    No, (immoral) rich people will hire accountants and lobbyists so they can pay the absolute minimum.

    They'll stick around and use society's benefits while not wanting to pay for them.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Friday May 11, 2012 @11:29PM (#39976079) Journal

    Ah yes, those evil Koch brothers. We need to get rid of those good for nothing bastards as soon as possible. Just look at the stuff they've done!

    Oh, well that changes everything.

    Wait, am I supposed to be impressed that they made some donations to personal charities? I'd be more impressed if they stopped being assholes.

    The idea that giving away money somehow redeems a persons other faults is ridiculous. Amassing a mountain of wealth through questionable means is not immediately redeemed just because you give some percentage of that wealth away. We don't forgive bank robbers for donating 50% of the stolen funds to charity, I don't see why robber barons deserve such a consideration.

    I'm sorry, are you saying that the Koch brother's are assholes or bank robbers? I can't be sure because you gave no examples or cited no sources to prove anything they've done wrong.

    Now granted, I don't know jack about the Koch brothers except that they are rich and conservative. To liberals, that's reason enough to hate them so those are the only real attacks I've seen leveled against them. They are rich and they've supported some conservative causes.

    Well, I've showed how they are charitable, pay the highest taxes in the country and even support one of our favorite shows, Nova. You've called them assholes and insinuated that they've attained their money illegally, but gave no support to your accusations.

    So tell me, what have they done that is worthy of the pure, unadulterated hatred that you and others have towards these guys?

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Friday May 11, 2012 @11:33PM (#39976101)

    We were still in building-a-superpower mode long after the institution of the income tax and the New Deal, and probably even after the Great Society. The downfall didn't start until the 80s, with its massive tax cuts, deregulation, explosion of Wall Street gambling, and culture of greed. Yes, all that stuff probably made us a bit richer in the short term, and it made some people a lot richer. But in the long run, it's destabilized the markets and encouraged businesses to focus on quarterly profits at the expense of long term planning.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @12:03AM (#39976303) Journal

    if you are GE, zero net, plus billions back

    Tax GE till it withered and crashed, it that's what you want

    But you guys better be prepared for the consequence - GE and all the other corporations will move out of USA once you guys do that, resulting more millions of Americans queuing in front of the unemployment offices

    USA is no longer the only heaven on this planet

  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @12:27AM (#39976455)

    If you live in another country, work there, and pay taxes there, you are fine. The US is a-ok with that, they don't want a cut.

    You are mistaken. US in one of the few countries, that taxes income earned in other countries. They dont care if you have paid tax in the country you had earned it, they need their cut. This is one of the reason US citizenship is not that popular.

  • by elfprince13 (1521333) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @12:32AM (#39976467) Homepage
    People who make blanket assumptions about poor wanting to work are almost as bad (but not quite) as people who make blanket assumptions about them being lazy.

    I spent years working with the poor; I spent more time in the projects than many of the residents. I took the time to get to know them as human beings.

    I can say the same, except that the living conditions, in rural New England, of my nonprofit's clients (and of many of my classmates growing up) were worse than anything in an urban "housing project".
    The impoverished of the world include both leeches and hard working people. To make any claim about any group of people as a whole shows a ferocious lack of understanding. History has shown time and again that providing charity is going to invite abuse, even as you strive to help people; just as history has shown that excessive wealth provides a mechanism for enormous abuse as equally as it provides a mechanism for enormous charity. The only way to deal with this is to recognize that charity is, of necessity, something that takes place on a human scale; and not between bureaucracies and faceless masses; and that charity will never break the cycle of poverty. A checklist and a fat bank account are never going to be a proper substitute for education and human relationship.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @12:36AM (#39976497)

    See, the Social Security measure was supposed to be like the Welfare program; it was a catchall for the people who got old, who were unlucky in life, and meant primarily as a feel good measure about society. ... it was supposed to be something only a handful would even consider using; the vast majority of future retirees were supposed to still use a Savings account.

    The first half of that is true, the second half is false. I suspect that's a talking point you heard somewhere, cleverly designed to mislead with a grain of truth.

    Yes, it is true that Social Security was designed as a sort of welfare program to protect the poor, and that it wasn't supposed to support those who could get by without it. But what you're missing is the fact that at the time of its passage, the vast majority of seniors were living in poverty. And remember... this is the 1930s definition of poverty! (Technically, it also was designed to exclude vast swaths of the population, primarily women and black people. Hopefully no one advocates a return to that.)

    Now, if you want to talk about going back to the idea of not giving Social Security to those who don't need it (roughly the top 20-30%), then that's something I might be able to get on board with. But "returning" to a past that never was, in which only a relative handful collect benefits, would leave huge numbers of elderly out in the streets.

  • by Myopic (18616) * on Saturday May 12, 2012 @01:04AM (#39976609)

    I'm sure that the $666.2 billion defense budget I mentioned earlier played such a huge role in the rise of Facebook.

    Wait a second, is that literal or tongue-in-cheek? You do realize, of course, that the defense budget did in fact play an essential role in the rise of Facebook, seeing as how defense dollars built the internet?

    Facebook built a tech empire, but DarpaNet (government) led the way.

    Railroads tamed the west, but they were following Lewis & Clark (government).

    The pilgrims were industrious folks, but they were using maps made by Columbus (government).

    SpaceShipOne might be the way regular folks visit space, but NASA (government) paid for all of our rocketry knowledge.

    Not just in American history, but industry has followed trails blazed with public dollars since literally the dawn of civilization.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @01:29AM (#39976723)

    Inflation's a bitch.

    Your 1990 budget is spending 1990 dollars. Your 2012 budget and income tax figures are in 2012 dollars. Adjust for inflation, and federal spending in 1990 was closer to $2 trillion.

    From that point on, your math all falls apart.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Saturday May 12, 2012 @01:51AM (#39976839) Journal

    the social welfare system has been abused by too many of those who do not want to work,

    That's true, but welfare isn't the majority of the problem today. It's taxed and inflated money being given to very rich and politically connected people.

    -jcr

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Myopic (18616) * on Saturday May 12, 2012 @01:54AM (#39976861)

    So, if taxes cause companies to move away, then why aren't all corporations based in Afghanistan? Why are't all billionaires citizens of Singapore?

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @02:01AM (#39976885) Homepage

    How about just goofy.

    In a competitive society, those that lose ie it is competitive and people lose. The failures end up out of work and with no means of support. That is the nature of capitalism. Singapore is a city and basically relies upon a controlled population and in affect exile to surrounding Malaysia and exploitation of Malaysian labour to create a stable wealthy 'city' society.

    Where full countries are involved, you must deal with the failures who can not effectively cope with a competitive society. These individuals left in those circumstance obviously resort to crimes and the rest of society becomes the victims of those crimes. Unemployment at 8% represents millions of people.

    So you believe in punishing the children of the poor for what, hmm, being born. The children are at fault for the action of their parents. You believe in trying to arrest them after they have resorted to crime to survive, tough luck for the victims, you believe in slum areas where the pathetic losers should contained and their betters can go for bargains, cheap sex and to mock them.

    You believe in turning first world nations into second world nations with rampant crime and, corruption because you don't want to pay tax. You also believe in lies http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_welfare_in_Japan [wikipedia.org]. Japan the jobs for life country hardly compares to US disposable labour and the social disruption it generates.

    Obviously pointing at China means, you just like your tiny minority of psychopaths believes everyone but you should be getting paid around fifty cents an hour and be grateful for that pittance as they kiss your feet, and grovel for crumbs. So Chinese autocracy is better because they get to execute the bothersome poor who clamour for democracy.

  • by evil_aaronm (671521) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @02:14AM (#39976939)
    I'm sorry. What gives you the idea that America is "civil"? Is it the invasion of Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11? Is it the invasion of Afghanistan, which also had nothing to do with 9/11? The "extraordinary renditions" to Gitmo, among other places? Shit, son, just look at Republicans, nowadays, and tell me they're "civilized." I've never seen such a "civilized" bunch of homophobes, war-mongerers, and anti-anything-but-Christian fucktards.

    We're not civilized; we're just the biggest fucking bullies on the block, so we get to call the shots.
  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Saturday May 12, 2012 @02:40AM (#39977027) Journal

    As we're progressive, a bullet in the back of the head will show these people who has the power.

    You've perfectly described what "progressivism" is all about: violence towards people who won't give you wealth that they earned and you didn't.

    -jcr

  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @04:55AM (#39977451) Homepage Journal
    But you guys better be prepared for the consequence - GE and all the other corporations will move out of USA once you guys do that, resulting more millions of Americans queuing in front of the unemployment offices

    Its really simple: You want to sell to Americans, You are an American Company who pays their fair share of taxes, or you pay a stiff import tariff. You want to take advantage of the developed infrastructure and stable developed economy, you have to contribute to it. Is it that unreasonable to expect companies to contribute to give back to the people who made their success possible?

    And as far as this Eduardo Saverin asshole is concerned, he ought to be lynched as a traitor. He takes advantage of the benefits of the US when it is convent to do so, but when he makes lavish amounts of money, hes ready to pick up an move in order to avoid paying it. And this isn't for a little money. This guy is going have billions with a B. Do you realize how much money a billion dollars is? If he had to pay 50% of his money in taxes, he still will have close to 2 BILLION dollars. He will be able to buy mansions, jets and boats without blinking, and he can't man up an pay his fucking share of the bill. I hope the stinking ratfuck is slowly raped to death by Somali pirates. Burn in hell, Saverin.
  • It seems to me that it is not only Saverin who is not mindful of and not caring about the health of the nation and the people around him. Judging from the articles linked below, it seems that the entire of Facebook is not healthy:

    Facebook's reputation in the mainstream media is rapidly getting worse. Facebook is getting a bad reputation partly because of articles like these:

    Worst company: Facebook was a semi-finalist in the April 2012 competition [consumerist.com] to be voted the worst company in the United States .

    Facebook follows its business rules? Not always. The April 7, 2012 Wall Street Journal story, Selling You on Facebook [wsj.com], says:

    "Facebook requires apps [mobile phone software applications] to ask permission before accessing a user's personal details. However, a user's friends aren't notified if information about them is used by a friend's app. An examination of the apps' activities also suggests that Facebook occasionally isn't enforcing its own rules on data privacy."

    There's more like that in the article.

    Facebook tracks every web page you visit that has a Facebook button (using Javascript). For example, if you visit the Oregonian Newspaper web site [oregonlive.com], Facebook tracks every story you visit, even if you don't click on the "Like" button. There are ways to prevent that (using Firefox [mozilla.org] with the NoScript [mozilla.org] add-on), but most people don't know about them.

    Companies pay people to click on Facebook "Like" buttons. The number of Facebook "Likes" doesn't give any indication of popularity.

    On December 9, 2011 it was necessary to click on a Facebook "Like" button to be allowed to see Fry's Electronics ads.

    Do 86,688 people (on April 9, 2012) really like Firestone Complete Auto Care [facebook.com], or did the company offer something to be "liked"?

    A few problems with Facebook: Richard Stallman wrote a short list of things wrong with Facebook. [stallman.org]

    How much information does Facebook keep? Read the December 13, 2011 article, Twenty Something Asks Facebook For His File And Gets It - All 1,200 Pages [threatpost.com].

    What do people in other countries think? The May 14, 2010 article, Facebook is not your friend [guardian.co.uk] gives one idea.

    The June 15, 2011 article, The End of Facebook [forbes.com], and the June 14, 2011 article, Is this the beginning of the end for Facebook? [telegraph.co.uk] give others.

    Most people don't understand the problems that may occur. For example, consider the March 28, 2012 article, Teacher's aide says 'no access' to her Facebook; now legal battle with school [southbendtribune.com].

    This April 4, 2012 article would be funny if it weren't so sad: Woman arrested for assault based on Facebook photo [thestar.com]. Quotes:

    "Aston ... was charged ... based solely on a Fac
  • by rtb61 (674572) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @06:17AM (#39977643) Homepage

    Humans are a social species, we do not compete individually unless we are sociopaths, we compete collectively. Go run screaming into the wild, naked, absent of language and with no tools and see if you really are a lion or some wimp short haired monkey with delusions of grandeur that completely, utterly and totally cease to exist outside of protection via the group, via 'society', via social cooperation. That a minority using the tools of mass media the psychopaths and their minions the narcissist have distorted the reality and requirement of human social cooperation, does not make it real.

    Mr. Lion eat, or be eaten, that's the law of the nature, you so funny (I can see you now butt naked screaming trying to chase down bison, all teeth and fingernails, no tools their design came from cooperative effort). PS don't be a dick with line spacing, it's really rude to try flood slashdot pages like that, grow up.

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrb (1083577) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @07:20AM (#39977771)

    Progressivism [wikipedia.org] is a recognized political concept that advocates deliberate social change in response to other social and non-social changes that occur in the world, whether that be industrialisation, urbanisation, technology etc. Past progressive issues include limiting (and ultimately, banning) child workers, [wikipedia.org] allowing women to participate in the workforce [wikipedia.org], and allowing women [wikipedia.org] and ethnic minorities to vote. [wikipedia.org] More modern movements include outlawing discrimination [wikipedia.org] on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, race, and age.

    At the time of all of these movements that advocated social change, there were opposing social conservative [wikipedia.org] movements, which advocated maintaining the existing social rules and structure. And still, in modern times, there are many people who believe that a return to the social norms of the past would be preferable to modern society, even if that means abandoning or limiting the use of technology. In particular, cell phones, smart phones, and the internet have all prompted social change, whether it be small social change like people talking on the train, changes in sexual behaviour as a result of widespread access to hardcore pornography, or people directly using these devices to communicate and organise larger social change like the Arab Spring. There are social conservatives that oppose all of these things.

    In reality, it is very difficult to stop non-social changes from prompting social change, but it is possible - as societies like North Korea and Afghanistan show - if a concerted effort is made to limit the spread of change, and the impact of technological developments.

  • Going Galt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @08:25AM (#39977987)
    Nothing is worse than listening to Ayn Rand nose-candy freaks celebrate their common, mundane, shared, evolutionary impulse to be as greedy as possible at everyone else's expense as though it were some kind of advance in human moral reasoning and the basis of civilization itself.

    Yeah, society and the taxes that run it are a form of looting. I don't think he minded the looting that paid for the infrastructure he depended on every fucking day, and the teachers who educated the people he relied on to get work done, and the military that made sure he wasn't too busy doing the ole Sig Heil to bother with anything else and courts that and system of laws and enforcement of those laws that provided him with the legal framework he needed to make his money or the EPA who made sure he wasn't dead from dioxin exposure or all the other myriad of governmental services ..."looters" ... who made civilization possible and carry it forward on civil servant wages and the promise of a government pension at the end of a lifetime of service.

    This guy is a poster boy for the problems when people become so much more wealthy than the average person. They become selfish, uncompassionate and basically sociopathic.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/rich-people-compassion-mean-money_n_1416091.html [huffingtonpost.com]

    Permitting these monsters to also hold influence proportionate to their wealth is where most of America's political and social problems come from. I don't give a fuck how tired you are of anything to do with anything "1%", what we have in America is an oligarchyy-kleptocracy being run into the ground economically, environmentally and morally by the scum who could give a shit about anyone or anything so long as he's got access to an all you can eat buffet of his favorite vices.

    The super-wealthy twist and distort the system so it works only for them and at everyone else's expense. That's a fact and anyone denying it is just living in a fantasy world in which they're in line to be the next billionaire.

    "I got mine, now watch me fuck you all. I don't need you,. and you can't touch me."

    That's about the most dangerous thinking process a member of society can develop.

    And yes, I do understand that programming and technology are areas that attract a higher than average number of such types. Let the mod down begin.

    Fuck you. Read history.

    Facebook may be a gigantic spy machine that induces the hapless and naive to surrender bit by bit most intimate details which are then assembled into a dossier to be used to suppress their own political, employment and economic opportunities so the rich can stay rich and keep the poor poor, but it's not going to save the rich from what comes when the system collapses in ecological and economic devastation . They'll share the same fate that all the past and present kings who thought of themselves as "untouchable"- and had better reason to consider themselves so- shared .

    How soon until we read about some vet-who-can't-get-treated-by-a-tax-starved-VA taking a six dollar .50 BMG from two klicks away and exploding this fucking narcissistic panty-boy-billionaire's head like a two dollar melon?

    Not soon enough. Ayn Rand's Galt character was just the (cardboard character, cartoonish) embodiment of the desire to have no obligations placed upon by society whatsoever, while of course being permitted

  • On average I would say the poor have a weaker work ethic and are harder to manage than middle- and upper-class folks. They are enthusiastic when they talk, and the first few days at work. But as the weeks wear on, their performance starts to drop.

    That's because they know what being fucked without lube leads to... no upward mobility in your social status. Maybe if the minimum wage would keep up with inflation you'd see people a little more motivated. Young black men aren't interested in the game because of the health benefits, motherfucker. They're into it because they don't see any other way out when someone can work two fucking jobs and still not be able to pay the rent and feed a couple of kids. And god forbid if they should have some kind of medical problem, which the establishment will use to summon satan all over their credit report.

    It's wrong to assume poor people are lazy, and it's wrong to assume rich people are undeserving fat cats who simply take advantage of others. You really do need to avoid these prejudices and get to know each person individually.

    ...before you learn that most poor people aren't really lazy, and that most rich people really are undeserving because they take advantage of others. Take a look at what's going on with the Clif company to see what it's like when someone rich is deserving.

  • by sydneyfong (410107) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @10:41AM (#39978705) Homepage Journal

    The government of Singapore builds flats for its people not because the government of Singapore likes to, but it had to

    Tell that to people like us who live in Hong Kong. Honestly we're dying to have that kind of government "subsidy" (even if the government there makes money from it).

    Geographically Hong Kong is pretty much like Singapore -- limited land mass, large population, and basically an "island state" by being administratively separated from mainland China.

    Here, the government basically colludes with property developers to push up the price of housing beyond the means of the average citizen. Government officials routinely retire to become a "consultant" of land developers. The economic policy of the current administration is to keep the economy afloat by producing and maintaining a massive housing bubble.

    The government terminated their subsidized housing program about a decade ago, basically because the property developers and speculators were "not earning enough" or that they'd been badly burnt by the housing bubble of 1997 (of course they'd never admit to this). Instead of allowing the average citizen to get a share of the pie when property prices are high, the government and the large property developers are reaping all the profits and all we get are unaffordable housing at inflated price that is basically shit. Heck, I come from a relatively wealthy family living in an apartment with a market price of USD$1million+, but honestly you probably wouldn't want to live in my home.

    And what does the government say in response to these hardships (that they artificially created by restricting the use of land)? "Just work harder, you'll be rich someday" or "the purpose in life is not to buy an apartment", that sort of crap (yes, that's what they really say, literally).

    In reality, people are forced to rent "beds" (not apartments, not rooms) for exorbitant prices. "How many poor Hong Kong people can you fit into a tiny apartment?" The answer could surprise you. I think a hundred miles north in some foxxconn factory the living conditions are probably better (I'm not kidding).

    I'm "lucky" to have a room of my own with a bed and a desk. That's what you call luxury around the area.

    *Still* think the Singaporean government had to build houses? The puppets in our government beg to differ. You'd be surprised how much of a shitty job they can get away with. Singapore, for all its anal restrictions about free speech and chewing bubble gum, are actually doing more than is "necessary" in welfare.

    (Sorry for the rant.)

  • Re:Unfair taxes ! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @10:50AM (#39978751) Journal

    You have to show first, that you aren't already getting paid that "fair share".

    Income disparity is the greatest it has been since right before the Great Depression.
    40 years of profits have mostly been squirreled into low tax or offshore investments.
    If that same money had gone to employees, it would have been subject to normal levels of taxation and kept our government solvent.

    Really, it's almost like I talked right past you.
    Did you bother to click the link and look at even one of those graphs?
    Here's one: http://i.imgur.com/wBgyq.png [imgur.com]

    I'd say these numbers more or less speak for themselves.
    That should more or less answer all your questions.

  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @01:45AM (#39983509) Homepage Journal
    It is money of the investors who are willing to pay for FB shares, and you are not paying for it..

    Your assumptions are incorrect, he is benefiting from all the advantages that being in the US confer that were paid for by you and I. You think that FB could have got of the ground in a country without a government or infrastructure, like Somalia? Who paid for that, in dollars and blood over the last several centuries? The people of the US. You want to be a patriot? Don't try to cheat the system by cutting and running in order to save yourself from paying taxes.

    I am not advocating that he pay more than anyone else, just because he has money. I think that he should play only exactly as much as the law says he owes, (without trying to exploit loopholes). He is saying that 2 billion dollars is worth more to him than contributing to the country that gave him a chance to succeed, and fuck the law, he will take is money and run when given the chance.

    You say that there shouldn't be taxes, while enjoying all the benefits that the provide you. You are spouting off against taxes ON THE INTERNET, WHICH WAS STARTED WITH GOVERNMENT FUNDS. Show the strength of your conviction. Stop paying taxes, turn off your Internet access, unplug your phones, turn off your water and sewage and tell the police and fire department that you don't ever want or need their help. You and all the small minded fools like you that rail against paying the very modest taxes that are asked of you are short sighted selfish twits. Walk the walk little man, renounce all the blessings that society pays for with taxes. I dare you.

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