When I first heard about Eduardo Saverin giving up his US citizenship I was deeply disappointed. I understand human nature. Nobody really wants to pay taxes. And it’s only natural to resent putting money in the pockets and pensions of legislators when so many common men and women are losing their homes. But if you don’t like what’s going on then do something about it. Be engaged. If you are blessed with wealth then use some of it to effect positive change. We are all connected. You want to drive on I-95? Then you can pay some taxes to help maintain it.
The miser who squirrels all his money away and runs to the other side of the world to protect his (US) pennies from paying (US) taxes is like Ebenezer Scrooge: isolated, disconnected and cold. There are countless, hard-working and honorable people clamoring for the opportunity to have US citizenship. There are countless, good, tax-paying citizens who are going to wind up putting money in Saverin’s pocket when the managers of their retirement funds invest in Facebook’s stock. These are the men and women to whom Saverin is being cruel and unfair. “I came, I made my billions and I left... so long suckers!” And what will happen to these good Americans when that stock goes belly-up and they, once again, lose half their retirement savings? I’m sure as hell not a communist but sometimes capitalism allows people to get away with behavior that, quite frankly, really sucks.
Yes, I said, “belly-up.” I’ve noticed the significant drop in Facebook activity. As an artist I use the site extensively to promote my music, my radio show and to stay engaged with friends and acquaintances. Ever since the unveiling of ‘Timeline’ it seems like there aren’t so many friends online to chat with as before. The newsfeed doesn’t update with new content quite so rapidly. There was more activity when I had half as many ‘friends’ as I do now. It’s ironic that this is happening on the verge of Facebook’s IPO.
I still use Facebook and I’m sure I will continue to do so for quite some time but I’ve also been spending a lot more time going for walks, spending time in the real world with friends and family and playing with my pets. I certainly won’t be buying any of their stock. I may not be proud of the politicians who control my country and I certainly resent the continuing rise of corporate feudalism at the expense of true democracy but I am very proud to be an American and the only way we can help our nation live up to its potential is by staying connected with one another and working towards the greater good. I pray that should I ever realize financial success that I will have the gratitude and the conscience to give back to the community and to the people and, yes, to the nation that made success possible. Because, Mr. Saverin, without this nation you would NOT have what you have today.
Mr. Saverin, I bless you and I forgive you. Now stay the hell out of my country.