You have a fabulous idea; you act on it, and you become a billionaire. It doesn’t happen to many of us, but it certainly does happen in this country, and we all wonder why WE didn’t have the idea, right?
That is exactly how I feel about social network guru Facebook, which is set to go public in the very, very near future. I must admit that I salute those who were brilliant enough to have the idea and act on it. I even put the order in to buy on opening day, believing Facebook will be good jump in and jump out kind of stock. Then…I heard the news.
Co-founder Eduardo Saverin who has taken advantage of everything this country has to offer, including a Harvard education, had decided that being a U.S. citizen will cost him more taxes on his billions than he is willing to pay. So, poof! Saverin has decided that he just won’t be an American anymore; that’s the way to fix that!
“The openness of our economy,” says Edward Kleinbard, a professor at the USC Gould School of Law, “the willingness to encourage and incubate start-up businesses, made Facebook worth what it is today and made him the extraordinarily wealthy man he is today.”
“Saverin is being hailed in some quarters for drawing attention to high taxes. He plans to continue living the high life, in Singapore, where there are no capital gains taxes.”
So there you have it. Will I still buy the stock? Probably. Of course, I’ll also be silly enough to pay the taxes on my few thousand. Why? Because unlike Mr. Saverin, I happen to love the country that allows me to make a few thousand on his billions. I also don’t think I want to learn to speak Chinese, etc. today. And as I said…so there you have it. Enjoy your money, Mr. Saverin.