Mark Zuckerberg is starting a charitable LLC to donate 99 percent of his Facebook stock to charity, and the usual suspects are all in a tizzy.
But in the process of analyzing this curious response, I was treated to a frightening glimpse into the mind of one particular progressive:
Krämer: I find the US initiative highly problematic. You can write donations off in your taxes to a large degree in the USA. So the rich make a choice: Would I rather donate or pay taxes? The donors are taking the place of the state. That’s unacceptable.
SPIEGEL: But doesn’t the money that is donated serve the common good?
Krämer: It is all just a bad transfer of power from the state to billionaires. So it’s not the state that determines what is good for the people, but rather the rich want to decide. That’s a development that I find really bad. What legitimacy do these people have to decide where massive sums of money will flow?
The interviewee, German shipping magnate Peter Krämer, is discussing the idea of tax-deductible giving in the United States. I hadn’t seen the exchange before, but it has been dredged up in an article critical of Zuckerberg’s decision to give.
Reading Krämer’s statement, one shudders. Or one ought to. To repeat: “So the rich make a choice: Would I rather donate or pay taxes? The donors are taking the place of the state. That’s unacceptable.”