Facebook's Saverin: Hero or traitor?
The website's co-founder has moved to Singapore, a country with no capital gains tax.
By Kim Peterson 24 hours ago
Ditching the U.S. to save a boatload on taxes. Is it the new American ideal?
I am referring, of course, to the case of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. We recently learned that the 30-year-old has renounced his U.S. citizenship and now lives in tax-friendly Singapore. While Saverin undoubtedly likes Singapore -- he certainly seems to enjoy the country's nightclubs and supermodels -- there's little doubt that tax considerations also spurred the move.
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Firmly in the hero camp is Forbes, which cheers Saverin's relocation and shakes its finger at the American tax system. Saverin shouldn't support our bloated, wasteful government, writes John Tamny.
"Saverin's decision will starve the feds of revenue they would almost certainly waste, it will force a rethink of a tax code that penalizes income and investment success, and the unconsumed dollars kept from the hands of government will reach today's and tomorrow's businesses," Tamny writes.
I don't know, the odds that Saverin's actions will change the federal tax code seems pretty slim. And more Saverin's dollars seem to be going to bottles of Cristal than to businesses -- at least at this point.
On the other side of the debate is Farhad Manjoo at Pando Daily, who writes that Saverin owes America for nearly all of his success. Saverin reportedly moved to Miami at age 13 to escape Brazilian gangs who planned to kidnap him. If he hadn't come here, Manjoo argues, he wouldn't have lived a safe life, he wouldn't have met Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and he wouldn't have been able to use our legal system to sue Facebook when the company tried to shut him out.
After all that America has given him, it's not really right for Saverin to take the money and run, Manjoo writes.
"Is this fair? No," Manjoo writes. "It's worse than that, though. It's ungrateful and it's indecent. Saverin's decision to decamp the U.S. suggests he's got no idea how much America has helped him out."
So what do you think, readers? Is Saverin a hero or a zero for renouncing his citizenship and moving to Singapore?