At least one billionaire thinks Sen. Bernie Sanders may have a point when he says that billionaires shouldn’t exist.
That’s what Facebook Inc. Chief Executive – and billionaire many times over – Mark Zuckerberg said late Thursday during an employee Q&A session, when asked what he thought about Sanders’ recent comment. The session was livestreamed to the public, offering a rare glimpse into Facebook’s internal goings-on, after audio from a July meeting was recently leaked to The Verge in which Zuckerberg spoke candidly about critics, competitors and government regulation, saying he would “go to the mat” to fight Sen Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up Facebook.
“Our internal Q&As at Facebook are one of my favorite traditions, and after the transcript of one of them was published online earlier this week, I thought it would be good to show everyone what these Q&As are like,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post minutes before the meeting.
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Zuckerberg said Thursday that he believes an intern leaked the video, “because it was an intern Q&A.”
Last month, Democratic presidential candidate Sanders unveiled a plan to tax the most wealthy Americans, saying flat out: “There should be no billionaires.”
When asked about that comment Thursday by an employee, Zuckerberg said having billionaires may not be fair, but it’s reality.
“Is it fair that a group of wealthy people get to choose which science projects get worked on? I don’t know,” Zuckerberg said. “At some level it’s not fair, but it may be optimal or better than the alternative,” adding that it was better than the government picking the winners. Zuckerberg also noted that many billionaires, including himself, give large donations to charity and research.
Facebook shares rose Thursday and are up 37% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s 16% gain in 2019.