The article discusses the recent and controversial move by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin to renounce his citizenship in order to avoid paying taxes on the billions he’s due to make when his company goes public.
Writer Farhad Manjoo does an excellent job at pandodaily identifying all the ways that young Eduardo’s years in the United States played a role in the financial bonanza he’s about to experience. Starting with the obvious protection from kidnapping that wealthy people generally enjoy here in the United States all the way through the reasonably functional US court system that awarded him the shares that are about to make him a billionarie, this country played a critical role in this young man’s life. In return, Saverin has decided to relocate to Singapore, where he’ll pay no capital gains taxes on any Facebook shares he sells in the future. In fact, he’ll only pay an “exit tax,” which will be determined by his own team’s estimated value of his net worth at the time he renounced his citizenship. This little move could cost the US Treasury as much as $600 million dollars. That’s a novel way to thank your adopted country.
Saverin exemplifies the spoiled 1 percenter who erodes the fabric of the country that afforded such opportunity by not paying back the investment America made in him. His decisions are a slap in the face of every person who recognizes that, to be a place that can facilitate the birth of new innovations like Facebook, the United States needs resources. Doubt that? Remember what government funded the research that created the Internet and the web? Harvard University, where the Facebook plot was hatched, took in almost $700 million in federal grant support for tuition and research last year alone. But Saverin’s decision is even more insulting to the millions of his less wealthy fellow immigrants who work hard to gain the privilege of giving back to the country that affords them opportunity to pursue their dreams in relative safety. Not to mention the DREAMers who offer to fight and possibly die for the country that they yearn to make their own.