If there was ever any doubt that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — the world's fourth-richest man, with a staggering fortune worth $68.7 billion — was a capitalist, he made sure to clear the matter up on Wednesday.
Continue Reading Below
During Zuckerberg's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, asked the 35-year-old billionaire whether he's a capitalist or a socialist.
"Congressman," Zuckerberg said, suppressing a laugh, "I would definitely consider myself a capitalist."
Zuckerberg's testimony came several weeks after he livestreamed a Q&A session at Facebook, during which he was asked to respond to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' declaration that billionaires should not exist.
“I understand where he’s coming from,” he said. “I don’t know if I have an exact threshold on what amount of money someone should have but on some level, no one deserves to have that much money.”
Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced plans almost four years ago to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a company that uses technology to solve challenges like eradicating disease and reforming the criminal justice system, according to its website.
The full amount is pledged over the course of Zuckerberg's life, and he will not give more than $1 billion each year in the immediate future. (In a regulatory filing, Zuckerberg said he plans to maintain control of the company "for the foreseeable future.")
“I think if you do something that’s good, you get rewarded,” he added. “But I do think some of the wealth that can be accumulated is unreasonable.”
In September, leaked audio, first obtained by the Verge, revealed him candidly discussing some of the sweeping proposals introduced by Democratic presidential candidates, including a plan from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to break up big technology companies.
He vowed to “go to the mat” to fight her plan to break up companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google if she’s elected.
“If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge,” Zuckerberg said at the time. “And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don't want to have a major lawsuit against our own government.”