Is there anything more despicable than someone who’s a co-founder of a company that gets its start using a US university’s servers, on the worldwide network started with a massive infusion of US tax dollars, who renounces his citizenship to avoid paying taxes on his billions in profit? The cherry on top is that this useless fuck moved to Singapore.
Unlike, say, the foreign-born, same-sex spouse of a US citizen, he’ll have no problem jetting back and forth to his fortress on the top of Mt. Doom, so he’s free to carry the passport of whatever cultural backwater will have him. But I hope that someone other than a dirty blogger will point out that he is the very model of a moocher and a looter.
c u n d gulag
Eduardo Saverin is now an official Randian Conservative Superhero!
His name, however, is unfortunate, so look in the future for him to be known as Ed Savarin, or Ed Save, or Ed S.
I wonder how loudly Saverin will be extolling the FREEDOM! of his new and improved homeland when the authorities haul him in and cane his ass for jaywalking or spitting on the sidewalk or something equally fucked up?
c u n d gulag
And I do hope he doesn’t decide to spit on the streets there, or smoke a doobie:
Never mind taking taxes out of someone’s hide, like he feels America does (what an asshole!) – they take the whole hide – and and in some cases, end it, PRONTO!
Glad you said something about this. I’ve been incensed since hearing about it. The scene where he gets screwed out of his share is now my favorite part of the movie.
Isnt Harvard a private uni? He didnt use US tax dollars to start the company that I’m aware of, unless you count ubiquitous federal grant money that may have been used to buy the computers that were used to….etc. But he IS driving on US roads, under the safety of govt policemen all paid for with the scratch hes trying to avoid paying. So yeah, a mooch.
Regulators should force him to show up in person in the US to access his funds. Then deny him entry.
I am only kidding, but that would seem like poetic justice.
Hey, who wants to chip in to buy this asshole some spray paint?
(I’m assuming the readers here are old enough to remember what I’m talking about.)
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Punchy: mm didn’t say that he started the company using US tax dollars. But just about everything that went into creating FB was based on money and time partially contributed by the US government.
I’m fond of calling people “douches.” I think it’s a lovely word that sums up a particular level of assholery. But man, this guy is beyond douchey.
Next time I watch the movie I’m rooting for the double-mint twins, who as of now are the least douchey main characters in the film.
Villago Delenda Est
The poster boy for parasitism. Typical glibertarian who has no fucking clue about cause and effect. A gnat who stands on the shoulders of giants.
I know what you’re talking about. A tragedy.
However I ship stuff to Singapore occasionally and aerosols of all kinds can’t be sent by USPS. You’d have to FedEx him a case by surface transport (boat).
@c u n d gulag: Sad but true. Forbes calls him “An American Hero”, which I didn’t know you could be if you choose not to be American anymore.
Look. He’s moved to Singapore. I’m actually fine with him doing this. It has consequences and it should be final. I’m tired of this OMG Trend story where droves of people are reminding their citizenship “because taxes are too high.” then we look and it’s not really huge numbers. If people want to renounce, that’s fine. We aren’t supposed to be some kind of Ethno nation like Albania or Poland or Israel.
Why the hate on Singapore? It isn’t a cultural backwater.
Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason
And he made his fortune by conning us all out of personal information and selling it to the highest bidder. Hey, if it’s free on the internet, you ain’t a customer, you’re the product.
KILL YOUR FACEBOOK
Villago Delenda Est
Punchy, let me give you a little class on how the personal computers and the internet came to be.
In the 50’s and 60’s, there was this thing called the space program, that poured massive dollars into putting a man on the moon. One of the things they needed to do this with was very small computers to fit into space capsules to do a lot of highly technical things. This was all by necessity, mind you. Before this time, computers were huge bulkly things that took up entire floors of buildings at universities. Why, I personally had a magnetic core storage unit for an Army TACFIRE system in my COMSEC vault (it had classified information hard stored on it) that weighed 300 pounds, was the size of a dorm refrigerator, and had the storage capacity of a 5 inch floppy disk. This was 60’s technology before NASA said that’s way too big and heavy to be shot to the moon, make it smaller.
Thus the technology for the PC (and all small electronic computing devices, to include your iPod and iPhone) is the result of massive government R&D to put a man on the moon.
Then, of course, there is the Internet itself. Which Ma Bell said could not happen. There’s no way. It’s not possilble. So DARPA got with some pointy-headed drones like Vint Cerf and they came up with a way for computers to talk to each other over phone lines. Then Al Gore tossed more fed money at it to make it accessible beyond the academic and military communites, and thus cursed us all with USENET discussion groups filled with glibertarian douches who bitched and moaned constantly about how government does nothing but oppress their butts.
Are we clear now?
Villago Delenda Est
The hatred on Singapore is because it’s an authoritarian state, with scrupulously clean streets and if your hair is deemed “too long” at customs, you’ll get the third degree as you’re a suspected drug smuggler.
i’m also fairly certain that he can’t avoid initial US taxes from the IPO…
@Villago Delenda Est:
In grad school I had a prof that noted that almost all advances in the past 20-30 years were dividends from the Cold War.
@Walker: The important part was the government investment. The actual reason for it was pretty unimportant.
Harvard is supported by a *massive* infusion of tax dollars–both directly in the form of research grants and indirectly by tax breaks on givings to “nonprofits” such as it.
This guy built his fortune on American taxpayers, end of story.
@Villago Delenda Est: Not to mention the millions that Harvard got directly for building computers, including the “Mark” series of computers, which may have been where the term “bug” came into use, which helped fund the Computer Science program, Zuckerberg’s major.
@Villago Delenda Est: So it’s marginally more or less like Manhattan.
All internet entrepreneurs made their fortunes with the help of American taxpayers.
I hope he gets extra special screening from TSA every time he tries to fly around the states. The deep screen, if you will.
He still pays taxes on his ipo money. he’s trying to get away with not paying further cap gains taxes down the road. I just hope if/when he gets caught with drugs or whatever then he doesn’t come whining and pretending to be an American citizen. Fcuk him.
I have no problem with someone moving to Singapore (or anywhere else). My problem is with people making such a person a hero.
Christ. It’s like the cute one leaves the boy band and we are all testy. I think this is what is supposed to happen when someone immigrates to another country and doesnt want to come back.
I’m pretty much fine with this in a lot of ways– he is Brazilian-born. He became naturalized when his parents immigrated, and he’s not whining about how awful it is that America isn’t a great place for rich people– instead he’s putting his money where is mouth is and renouncing citizenship because he wants to live abroad permanently, and it’s easier that way. He’s not trying to become a “tax exile” or anything. Quite frankly, I kind of wish the Koch brothers and the Mars family would do the same.
Good for him. If there’s any justice though there will be some canings in his future.
I wonder who will be the first to call him a patriot.
Asian Defense Leauge
Yup, your racism.
Well, in the last line, he says he’s going to set up a charitable foundation, so all if forgiven.
In ten years we’ll find out the charitable foundation is 1% high-profile charity and 99% back-door lobbying to direct taxpayer money towards privatizing formerly public services, so the circle of giving will be complete.
Villago Delenda Est
I once was handed a nanosecond by Grace Lee Hopper, who worked on the Mark series (which were created to calculate firing data for artillery, both land and sea) who is widely credited for finding an insect somewhere in the vacuum tube works that was disrupting a relay, thus the term “bug” in computing.
I’m considering moving to Switzerland (no, I’m not Michelle Bachman) because no one will sell me health insurance in the United States. Does that make me a douche too? People emigrate for a variety of reasons that are possibly not dreamt of in your philosophy.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Meh…I liked Singapore, when I was passing through as a transit passanger on a lay-over of a Singapore Airlines flight.
People are very friendly. Subway system is clean and they have a clock that lets you know, when the next train is coming.
I might get a bit stir crazy living on an island, but otherwise I think Singapore decided on a bunch of trade-offs.
Strict rules about littering versus dirty streets, for example.
Speaking of vulture capitalists…
…the Obama campaign is going hard after Mittens’s “job creation” history.
@Blue Neponset: From what I’ve read about Singapore, it’s a beautiful, safe, clean, cosmopolitan area with great food, extensive public services, and a high standard of living. However, the orderliness of its society is strictly enforced, with harsh penalties for many transgressions that seem negligible to us Americans. Therefore, if Saverin is fleeing to Singapore in search of greater freedom (albeit specifically financial freedom), he makes himself look ridiculous, on top of being an opportunistic douche. (Furthermore, what’s to keep the government and people of Singapore from deciding at some point that greater financial sacrifice on the part of the citizens is called for in order to maintain, or increase, the country’s standard of living?)
Gin & Tonic
@gene108: Long time ago in Wired, Bruce Sterling called Singapore “Disneyland with the death penalty.”
mistermix @ Top:
Seriously. Saverin totally blew whatever goodwill he might have gotten from Andrew Garfield’s sympathetic portrayal of him.
Now it makes total sense why Zuckerberg wanted to kick Saverin out of Facebook and zero out his shares.
@Villago Delenda Est:
FWIW, the “scrupulously clean streets” thing is a myth. Singapore may have a bit less litter than some other cities, but it’s still there.
Steve in DC
I could say the same things about Dubai. Of course Dubai, just like Singapore, is absolute hell if you can’t afford to live the good life there. It’s also a massive tax haven.
Anyways, what this guy did isn’t all that uncommon and happens more and more lately. We’ve crossed the tipping point thanks to stupid policies from both parties. Right now the states are in a war over who can get working conditions below those in China because if you don’t business will move to a state which has done that. It’s starting to happen globally with everything as well.
The rich long ago figured out that globalization meant they didn’t have to pay if they don’t want to.
“It’s very unbecoming for a sitting President to campaign.”
@Roger Moore: I believe complaining about the litter also gets you a fine, so I’d keep it down if I were you.
Isn’t calling Singapore a cultural backwater y’know, a bit racist?
@Someguy: Well it isn’t Syracuse or Terra Haute, but it has it’s charms.
Villago Delenda Est
When I visited (late 80’s), the streets in Downtown, near the tourist areas, were pretty clean. Of course, you get off the beaten track, you’ll find less than pristine streets.
@maye: Personal health vs a billionaires ability to pay taxes, hmm, maybe a little different.
It’s rather difficult to become a Swiss citizen. It requires a vote of approval from your neighbors, basically. if anyone doesn’t like you, no citizenship.
It’s kinda weird, actually.
Villago Delenda Est
Alas, Singapore has a pretty authoritarian outlook. Creativity often requires messiness, and Singapore’s government hates messiness.
They’re into conformity. It’s a mixture of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Indonesian. Race isn’t the issue there…they work very hard on making it not so. However, it’s downright soshulist in a lot of ways…government subsidized housing, health care, etc. A great deal of effort is put into making it a wholesome place, which requires a lot of regulation and government inspection. It’s not exactly a libertarian paradise for most Singaporians, although I suppose if you have enough money, some things are overlooked.
Not recreational drug use, though. No way, no how.
Yeah. To the extent that he’s “jetting back and forth to his fortress on the top of Mt. Doom,” he’s been doing that his whole life. Born to a wealthy Brazilian family, which moved to Miami when he was 11 because his name showed up on some “kidnap–want!” list. Became a U.S. citizen in 1998 (around age 16).
So this doesn’t appear to be a story of some Horatio Alger hero turning his back on all the heartland virtues that made him successful. He hasn’t ever been outside the 1% bubble (transnational division).
Enhanced Voting Techniques
That has to be an epic glibtarian fail; flee the oppressive United States for Singapore. Hopefully more of these useless pricks will do it too.
His parents came to the US because he was a kidnapping target. He sued Zuckerberg in US courts. “Thanks US for the use of your civil services which allowed me to not be taken from my family and then to collect a lot of dough. Bye now! I trust you’ll keep these nice things running for me, in case I ever need them again.”
I’d be wrong to call for the creation of roving assassin squads, but at the moment, it feels good to do it.
Amanda in the South Bay
@Steve in DC:
Ah, glad to see you still believe both parties are at fault. Time to vote for Ron Paul like all your friends are, amirite?
Just like Dagney and her ilk profited off the Fedral Government giving away acres of land and rights of way to build railways.
But it’s good to know that Galt’s Gulch is located in Singpore……
@Villago Delenda Est: Yeah, well that whole man-on-the-moon thing shamelessly ripped off research done by the Germans, so we should really be thanking Hitler for Facebook.
FWIW, it is true that complying with FATCA is expensive and a pain in the ass, and many foreign financial institutions are shedding US customers as quickly as they can.
Amanda in the South Bay
href=”#comment-3255309″>Villago Delenda Est:
Yeah, when I think of 20 something Silicon Valley rich fuck, I do sorta assume that they are using the rec drugs pretty hard, because…based on my own experience living here and just observing things, yeah. Not exactly where I’d want to live with that little hobby. For all I know he’ll spend most of his time in the US and have his official address in Singapore.
Yes but…wasn’t this guy Brazilian to begin with?
The thing that will keep the people from saying that is that they have no real power. Yes, Singapore holds elections, but the PAP isn’t going to let elections get in the way of its permanent grip on power. They allow an opposition to exist, but have always managed to use their legal system to persecute it whenever there’s the slightest chance it might get anywhere electorally.
And the chances of the PAP trying to squeeze more money out of businesses and rich people is slightly less than zero. Singapore is basically a corporate state. The government gets cheap loans from the Central Provident Fund (their equivalent of Social Security) that it uses to run a massive sovereign wealth fund. They have done a good job of growing the pie- increasing prosperity helps to keep the proles fat and happy- but they’re still basically a bunch of plutocrats who want to make life as easy as possible on the ultra-wealthy.
Villago Delenda Est
Well, Joe, you know that Hitler came up with the autobahn, too, which inspired Eisenhower to build the Interstate system.
The original use of computers was calculating firing data for artillery, and crunching massive numbers to break German codes, before Godwin’s law was a gleam in Godwin’s father’s eye.
At first read, the tone of the post tends to paint him in an unflattering light, but I agree with others that he is certainly free to, and welcome to live wherever he chooses to.
The 1% can pretty much live wherever they choose, and travel just about anywhere at just about anytime they choose. Say, to one of their several abodes around the planet.
Nothing to see here, really. Just another chapter of Lifestyles of the R&F… played out over the claxon horns of interweb etc. Poutrage du’ jour?
Gah. Even Japan is easier (maybe). Live in Japan for 5 years and hope the bureaucrat who gets your application is in a good mood that day. Oh, and unlike any other country, you’re probably going to be choosing a new, Japanese, name (!). But with the notorious, uh…, let us say “efficiency” of the Japanese justice system, methinks it may be a risky proposition.
@jayboat: Context is everything. Of course he’s free to do it. But if he’s doing it for less-than-honorable purposes, we reserve the right to point and laugh.
He’s free to move, and we’re free to point out that he was happy to benefit from all of the taxes that everyone else paid on his behalf, but balked when it came his turn to pay the bill.
He’s the guy who goes out to dinner with a group of friends, but disappears into the bathroom when the bill arrives so everyone else is forced to cover for him.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Maybe my impression is colored by having stayed in Yishun rather than downtown. It’s not as if it was a hellhole, but I saw a similar amount of litter there to what I’d expect to see in a decent neighborhood in Pasadena. The thing that I remember the most clearly about the streets was that all the trucks had stickers listing their legal passenger capacity, and it was high enough to bring immediate comparisons to American stereotypes of cramming huge numbers of Mexicans into the back of a pickup truck.
@RossInDetroit: So you’re saying the neighbors were on crack recently, or all hit on the head, or what?
Have you checked out the HRIP (High-Risk Insurance Pool) in your state? All states are required to have one now thanks to PPACA.
You can use this tool to see what’s available:
Yes, that would be wrong. Assassin squads should never be allowed to aimlessly roam; they should be purposeful and targeted at rich conservatives.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
Also, too, don’t forget that the expected billions are about to come from an Initial “Public” Offering from which the great majority of us are excluded.
Got an extra $500 you’d like to get in on the ground floor? Nope, sorry peons… you’re not in the club. No taste for you. No de facto aristocracy here, no siree.
“Free market”, my arse.
@Roger Moore: Have you been to India where a motorcycle comfortably fits a family of five? Those capacity limits are probably an advance in safety over what was there before.
Well, approval for Swiss citizenship requires “integration into the Swiss way of life”. People from other cultures have found this to be an obstacle to citizenship at times. If you religion or cultural practices aren’t ‘Swiss’ enough you can be repeatedly denied despite following the laws, speaking the language(s) and so on. It’s a judgement call that in the past has been used to exclude, for instance, Muslims at times.
No, I haven’t; I did notice, though, that most of the people riding in the backs of trucks that way were Tamils, not Malays and certainly not Chinese or Europeans. My guess is that they were mostly immigrant laborers, of which there are a lot in Singapore, mostly from Southern India.
I’m sure they are, but they’re still a bit jarring. Singapore has a really first rate public transportation system that they’re justifiably proud of and that has lots of built in safety features to protect its riders, so it’s disconcerting to see people riding around in the backs of trucks without any safety protection. It’s one of a large number of little things I saw there that convince me that Singapore isn’t quite 100% in the First World yet.
I don’t know of any other country besides the US that demands tax filings based on citizenship (or legal resident status). My UK expat friends, my Canadian expat friends, my South African, German, French, New Zealander, Australian and Russian expat friends, not one of them have to file taxes with their governments because they don’t live there or earn their living there. It’s only the US expats that have to do this. I have not worked in the USA since the ’80s, and I still have to file my taxes with the IRS in addition to paying the taxes I owe to my country of residence.
So I’m not entirely unsympathetic to this guy.
Hope this doesn’t get buried down here at the bottom of this thread because it’s both topical and genius: How the Ayn Rand-Loving Right Is Like a Bunch of Teen Boys Gone Crazy.
Perhaps, a hidden upside to Saverin’s decision could be that he can now 1) not vote in American elections; and, what is more important, 2) he can’t spend his fortune buying US elections.
I have no idea what Saverin’s politics are, but every time a m/billionaire gives up the right to buy elections, it’s a good thing for this country. Imagine how great it would be if the Koch brothers were to take this route.
@rachel: Well, in the US, if we want to keep taxes low inside the country, money has to come from somewhere, so we might as well get it from expats making lots of money.
To be fair, the article I read about Savarin said his reasons for moving were because of whatever business he’s in now, and maybe there’s an Asian spouse now too? But it was athe article that tossed out the “also, he’ll save gazillions in capital gains tax!” The ultimate in shoddy journalism, I thought.
I just saw the one article, I think it was Yahoo News or the AP or another hack outfit. If Savarin did say he was moving because of his taxes, well, fuck ’em.
Where the fuck do you get your information from mistermix? FDL? Exaggerating a wee bit aren’t we? Got their start on university servers? Your point being? Pretty lame and desperate attempt to make that “the taxpayers supported him” bullshit stick.
You gonna piss and moan every time some musician or lottery winner moves to Switzerland?
@JustMe:I don’t make “lot’s of money.” In fact, I’ve never made enough to pay a dime to Uncle Sam, but I still have to waste my time and money filing my tax returns, and they have to waste their time and money processing them.
It’s so stupid.
(Oh, by the way, what do you call it when too many of your citizens decide they don’t have a chance for a decent life in your country and choose to seek opportunity somewhere else?
Some people call it a “brain drain”; others call it “rats leaving a sinking ship”. Either way, it’s not a good sign.)
@Mickey: You gonna “piss and moan every time” a front pager posts something?
Hey mickey! you’re an ass
Trolling BJ being crass
Hey Mickey! Hey Mickey!
Hey mickey get a life
Or just end it with a knife
Hey mickey! hey mickey!
And let us not forget the freedom of speech, minimal regulation, lack of government corruption, highly educated populace, wide government-supported adoption of the Internet, low corporate taxes, and robust US securities market. Without which we would have no Facebook.
Smedley the uncertain
@Villago Delenda Est: A wonderful woman and a great speaker. Met her several times during my years with DOD.
Being handed a nanosecond and other visual methods helped us all understand.
Here’s another article on the same subject, which says Saverin will save about $600 million. The most outrageous thing the author notes is that it was the almost corruption-free US legal system that made Saverin rich. In many other countries, Saverin most likely would have not made anything because Zuckerberg would have bribed the courts to rule against Saverin.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
Computer time used to be expensive. And using an institution’s computer time for unauthorized purposes used to be considered a serious crime. In a simpler era, using that time to build a fortune for oneself used to be considered “unethical”. (I put the word in quotes so as not to offend anyone’s tender little ears with such quaint, old-fashioned language).
Nothing new: A few lucky young men essentially stole Harvard computer time back in 1975 to make a little Basic compiler for the Altair. They later parlayed that into a multi-billion dollar company.
To their credit, at least some of them did end up paying Harvard back some years later.
I heard he’s a terrorist, probably should be on the no-fly list…
@Walker: More and better ways to store porn are all dividends from the cold war?
Everyone knows they are dividends from Reagan’s Star Wars
I think at some point you just have to credit Dirac for everything. Can you imagine how much solid state physics would be unpossible without the Dirac delta function?
@gaz: Thanks for obsessing over me so much my creepy little groupie.
@rachel: That’s the thing– Uncle Sam has no way to confirm that you didn’t make so much money that you need to owe him for the money you made abroad unless you file.
Without those policies in place, those of us who stay here would have to pay much higher taxes.
@Amanda in the South Bay: Heh, I was skimming through this thread quickly without paying too much attention to names, and caught this line: “We’ve crossed the tipping point thanks to stupid policies from both parties.” And I swear the first thought that ran through my head before glancing at the byline on the comment was, “wow, that sounds like Steve in DC’s moronic both-sides-do-it schtick. Oh, look.”
Methinks someone has lived in DC too long.
@Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor: So now they are “stealing” computer time? Gotcha…lol.
Correct me if I’m wrong but this guy wasn’t even the brains of the outfit. He paid for the servers once they went online with the idea. It was Zuckerberg that ‘stole’ the computer time yes?!
So why aren’t you guys pissing and moaning about how Zuckerberg never build a building or spent a gazillion dollars donating computers to Harvard. Maybe he did?!
Just a really really lame attempt by mistermix. Fucking amateur. Out of all the shit posters around here he is by far the shittiest IMHO. Don’t read his stuff half the time. Sounds to me like he’s just some kid still in school.
The Other Chuck
It’s not. Grace Hopper’s little epigram about a bug getting stuck in the relays was memorable precisely because “bug” was already a long-established word. Edison used the word quite a bit, and even Shakespeare used it in a similar sense.
Saverin is Brazillian, isn’t he? So why should anyone expect him to have any flag-waving love for Merka anyway?
As others have noted, Harvard is not a public institution. And as you note here, it was “the worldwide network,” not the parochial US only network. The guy was born in Brazil.
Funny how he is doing on a personal basis what corporations have already long done.
There was some recent controversy over members of U2 basing some of their business actitivies in Holland, supposedly to avoid taxes (the group did well to emphasize how much they pay all over the world, including in the US).
During the 70s, the Rolling Stones became tax exiles, one of the inspirations of the title Exile on Main St. In fact it’s kinda interesting to note the number of UK artists who moved to the US when Britain instituted an 83 percent top marginal rate.
Working up a lot of outrage over what this guy has done is understandable, but as another tax exile, Tom Jones, once sang, “It’s Not Unusual.”
I think there is a swindle going on here. Check this link
Featuring a Facebook billionaire as the typical person who renounces U.S. citizenship to avoid taxes is a bit of sneaky misdirection.
There is a real problem with our government going after ordinary people, retired schoolteachers and such. Check out the posts at that website to get a sense of what is really happening.
Think about it – if our government ignores and exploits all of us who can vote, how do you think they treat expats who are too far-flung to organize?
Don’t encourage our government to keep doing this to regular people overseas. Make a distinction between those Facebook billionaires and the rest of us.
Looks like he’s not the only one:
“The number of citizenship renunciations began rising in 2009, when one of the world’s biggest banks, UBS AG of Switzerland, agreed to give the United States the names of thousands of American clients with secret bank accounts.
The landmark agreement came in the wake of charges in Fort Lauderdale federal court against Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS AG employee who later assisted the IRS in identifying thousands of tax evaders.
Before the IRS intensified its pressure, 200 to 400 Americans relinquished citizenship annually.
The number is expected to increase even more next year when foreign banks will be required to supply information about U.S. clients’ bank accounts. Some banks abroad are already prohibiting Americans from opening accounts. ”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/13/2798237/more-are-renouncing-us-citizenship.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy
Don’t particularly care much either way about this guy but the US has been the beneficiary of brain drain from many countries many of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are not American born but are naturalized citizens. I remember a 60 minute piece on the IITs in India, many of whose alumni have found a home in the Silicon Valley. This is just the reverse of that phenomena. You win some and you lose some. Overall I think US comes out far ahead, when attracting bright people from other countries. So this Saverin guy is not a big loss in the larger scheme of the things. Enjoy Singapore, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
@Southern Beale: I think he is a naturalized citizen.
The main purpose in life for 100% of the 1% is to protect and grow their wealth as quickly as possible with zero regard for any unpleasant consequences that may arise from their endeavors.
Not trying to defend the guy in any way whatsoever, but I would like to see how much he actually stands to gain.
I’m sure the global total tax $$$ lost to gaming the system is quite a hefty sum.
**cough** swiss bank accounts **cough** corporate loopholes **cough**
I’m of the same opinion.
The way the US has handled its expats is so different than most other first world countries (I would say all but I don’t have the data) that it is not surprising that this is becoming a trend with expats. Now with the further burden of The Patriot Act’s banking requirements that is causing foreign banks to drop US citizens it s just icing on the cake.
While this certainly sounds ‘douchey’ on the part of this guy, it is actually the US government that is playing the douchey part in this scenario.
It’s guys like you, Mickey!
Who wants to start the countdown until Mittens tells the unemployed they could just move to Singapore like his friend Eduardo?
Except that, unlike you, this guy IS making his money in the US — he’s making it from selling an IPO for a US-based company on the US stock exchange.
If he was upset because he had to pay the US for doing an IPO on the Singapore stock exchange, that might make sense, but he’s bitching and moaning because the US government expects him to pay taxes on money he made in the US.
ETA: Tax avoiders like this guy are exactly why you have to file tax forms every year even though you don’t make money in the US, and yet you’re sympathetic to him?
@Punchy: His wealth is totally dependent on a system (the internet) completely funded by US tax dollars and built by the US government. An internet billionaire complaining about the government may as well be riding a hoveround and screaming about keeping the government out of medicare.
The article is in direct contradiction to that statement, do you have a different source?
The problem is that he wants to invest in overseas startups and the US government is making that rather difficult.
Yes, he is also going to make an assload of money with the Facebook IPO (and will STILL have to pay taxes on it even now being a ‘foreigner’). But that does not change the fact his future investments will be affected by US law.
But as a non-us citizen making a profit in US territory, he actually has to pay MORE taxes, not less. And the IRS is a bit more strict about it, if memory serves me correctly.
No, I think the reason US expats have to file tax forms every year is that the US is the only country in the western world that taxes based on citizenship rather than residency.
@Mnemosyne: he’s bitching and moaning because the US government expects him to pay taxes on money he made in the US.
He’s not bitching and moaning. He’s renouncing his citizenship.
Honestly, I think that’s fine. The flipside ofour jus soli system of citizenship is that we don’t consider anyone of American “descent” anywhere in the world to be a citizen. If the rules of citizenship aren’t working out for him, it’s fine for him to leave. This is the flipside of ultra-low taxes for those who work and live in the US.
If he had never accepted American citizenship in the first place, he probably still would have gone to Harvard and his life would have turned out pretty much the same. Personally, I think there are moral reasons not to make Singapore your primary residence, but that’s his problem.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
Here’s a little experiment I’d like you to try:
(1) Get a software engineering job at any major company X.
(2) On company time, using company servers, develop some app.
(3) Quit job (1), start own company, sell app from (2). Make sure Company X knows your IP was created on their time (and dime), on their servers.
I look forward to your published results.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Query: If every one of the self-important, overly entitled, whiny, hypocritical boils on the rump of society were to actually LEAVE because they cannot abide ANY federal tax rate hike, how much worse off could we possibly be? According to them, they aren’t creating jobs now because their taxes are too high. Leaving aside the fact that jobs are largely created by either demand for a product or need for a service, if the Gordon Geckos all renounced their citizenship and left, they still wouldn’t be creating jobs, but they wouldn’t be HERE, either.
I could live with that.
Bad post. Guy is Brazilian. Guy is not trying to have his cake and eat it too.
If anything, he WAS the initial money guy at Harvard.
Also, Harvard is not a private university.
All in all, mistermix, you need to post a ‘oops, my mistake, bad post, I’ll do better next time.”
And then, let’s simply move on.
Also, @jc ‘Also, Harvard is not a private university.’
When you are a billionaire you don’t need to renounce your citizenship to live anywhere. If you have a spouse from that country you don’t even need the billions.
There are only a couple of reasons someone would renounce their citizenship which are all versions of either the person hating the US to an extreme degree or not wanting to pay taxes. I hope it is determined that he is doing it for tax reasons and they don’t let him as that is not a valid reason to give up your citizenship.
If he is allowed to give up his citizenship I then hope he is put on the terrorist watch list and isn’t allowed to get a visa to come back.
Typed wrong – Harvard IS a private university, not a public one…
He came here, when he was 11. If you come here young enough and 11 is about at the age, when you are still young enough, you basically end up grokking America more than you grok your native country.
You spend time figuring out your identity, but you end up Americanizing by the time you are in college to the point people just figure you for another punk-ass-teenage college American college kid.
He was brought here by his family. I have no idea whether he groks America more than any other country.
So, he’s a tax exile (even though he will still end up paying some taxes). Just not a big deal. He’s joined a long and illustrious list.
And yeah, I don’t mind at all if the rules regarding expats are tightened up.
Exactly. A lot of commenters above seem not to understand this.
Right. Guys like this should either be taxed out the a$$ when they renounce their citizenship, and/or be noticed that if they set foot again in the country their a$$ will rot in jail.
pseudonymous in nc
I agree here: the US is one of very few countries that taxes citizens on all foreign earnings. For most expats, it’s just a giant fucking hassle to file the necessary paperwork (even if there’s a treaty to prevent and keep in the IRS’s good books.
This isn’t even about Saverin paying tax on whatever he continues to hold in Facebook stock, because that’s going to be subject to US tax law. The issue that led him to renounce, I think, is whether the investments made abroad, in foreign companies, with the money extracted from his Facebook stock, should be subject to US taxation. That’s more marginal.
I understand and agree with the sentiment that the US has made him a very rich man, and that he should pay back a fair share. I also think it’s a bit Galtard to set up shop in Singapore. But most Americans are really not clued up on the way expat citizens are expected to comply with all sorts of crappy extraterritorial requirements — right down to trivial dumb shit like it being illegal to buy and smoke Cuban cigars abroad — that don’t apply to expat citizens of other countries.
I said it poorly, but if someone immigrates here and stays for a good chunk of their life, at some point they “become American”.
Just because you were born overseas doesn’t mean you aren’t American.
David Fincher picked the wrong horse in “The Social Network”
@burnspbesq: Fatca regs are still in flux, and are not so bad for most persons. A pain in the neck for most banks, but there you go. The major European countries are walking a half-step behind the US on this, in any case.
FBAR is a bigger problem for expats. This is partly because there is very little guidance or caselaw to help someone know how to comply and thereby avoid really draconian penalties. This, too, will get sorted out over the next few years and does not need to be a major problem. In the mean-time, practitioners get to demand high fees for dubious advice, so what is not to like?
It’s probably true that most people who come here and stay for a time “become American.” But individuals and their motivations are funny things. Here’s the singer Tom Jones, who came here in part to avoid the high taxes in Britain in the 1970s.
Doesn’t sound like someone who hates this country (or the UK), or even someone whose primary motivation is to avoid paying taxes. Sounds like someone who still in his heart is a Welsh lad who loved to sing, and who appreciates his US popularity but still feels the pull of where he was born.
@Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor: lol…wtf are you babbling on about now?
How about pull another totally unrelated hypthetical out of your ass and then explain to me what it has to do with the guy renouncing his fucking citizenship.
Jesus titty fucking christ on a stick you are off on some hilarous wild eyed hair on fire tanget here.
It’ll be fun watching rightwing freedom-loving “patriots” turn Saverin into a folk hero for renouncing his US citizenship in favor of a country that once banned chewing gum.
@pseudonymous in nc:
I’ve lived abroad for years and know all about this stuff. You don’t pay taxes on the first 90,000 dollars when you actually live abroad. Which makes perfect sense by the way. US embassies and simply being a US citizen are incredibly helpful to someone working abroad so if you make a shit load of money there the US government is helping you out a lot.
Other countries do tax foreign earnings by the way, they just do it differently. The UK does a lot with residency which means you often still have to be an asshole and leave the country unless you actually work in the foreign country.
You shouldn’t get a tax break because you invested in a foreign country because it is still your income.
pseudonymous in nc
Well, yeah, because you live abroad, so my point still applies, because most Americans don’t live abroad. The point about embassies and “being American” is a stretch, too: it’s not an “embassy tax”. Is a Canadian in Unspecified Foreign getting shittier embassy service when renewing his passport because he doesn’t send Canada a chunk of the money he’s earned abroad?
@Mnemosyne: PCIP requires you to be without insurance for 6 months. At this time, I’m not willing to risk losing everything I own.
@pseudonymous in nc:
Or an Australian, UK subject, New Zealander, German, Frenchman or any other person from a first world country?
(Actually, the US embassy doesn’t do all that much for me. Sure, they’ll recommend a local lawyer if any of us ever have a legal problem, but that’s as far as they’ll go because they don’t want us here in the first place. They’d rather we stayed in America and not make work for them. And speaking of passports, the embassy used to make new passports for US expats when we needed them, but since the Bush Admin changed the rules, they send all the way to the States to get it done instead. It takes weeks. I never have anything to do with them if I can help it.)