|Marky Mark here never promised to "Do No Evil" like Google did,|
and his below-board yet legal antics show just how rigged the
U.S. economic system have become.
Unlike many people, I don't begrudge the success enjoyed by Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg - though practically nothing he came up with was a new idea, he did it well enough and at the right time to capture much of the social networking market, and he hasn't screwed it up enough or faced a good enough competitor to cause Facebook to lose its throne atop the social networking heap - for now, anyway.
You may have heard that Facebook went public a few weeks ago - and it hasn't exactly been a smooth ride. Valued at $38/share when it debued on the NASDAQ (valuing the company at $104 billion), it's currently trading at $27.40/share (valuing the company at about $75 billion). Personally, I still think Facebook is way over-valued - unless you make wildly optimistic assumptions about Facebook's future growth, there's no way the company is worth that much. If I were an early Facebook investor, I'd be looking to cash out as soon as I legally could.
But, that's beside the point of today's post, which is that Facebook has and is engaged in economic practices that show just how rigged the U.S. economic system has become - a system rigged to shovel ever more money and power to the already rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else.
First, we have a story from ThinkProgress about how Zuckerberg and Facebook might try to dodge taxes on their billions of wealth / earnings for years to come, if not forever:
Second, the IPO was rigged from the get-go to advantage Facebook and insiders - which was either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you ask. Indeed, Wall Street firms complained because they didn't pocket their normal ridiculous IPO profits - instead, Facebook and other insiders managed to capture the lion's share. But that's not the point - the point is that there was no hope for "the little guy" in this arrangement, even if he wanted to buy Facebook stock - he was just going to get hosed, one way or another - it just so happened that this time, Facebook hosed him instead of Wall Street. But, when it comes to IPOs, you can guarantee that you're going to get hosed by someone, if you're not an insider.
I can't say that I blame Zuckerberg or Facebook much - hell, I'd probably be working the system with all I had too, if I were in their position. What I do blame is the system (and Congress, and the special-interest lobbyists who write the rigged laws that Congress passes) - and I am terribly disappointed that we, the American people, have collectively allowed the system to become so rigged and skewed in favor of the already rich and powerful. And I like to think that, even if I were as fabulously rich as Zuckerberg, I'd be willing to support un-rigging the system for me, if all the other rich and powerful people agreed to the same thing. So perhaps I do begrudge Marky Mark Z. a bit for that, since he hasn't shown much interest in un-rigging the system.