In his commencement speech at Harvard, Zuckerberg said that growing up in a financially stable household (his father was a dentist) meant that he had the freedom to try launch Facebook, which currently has a market capitalization of $488 billion. Zuckerberg himself, at 33 years old, is worth $70 billion, according to Forbes.
Altman does not begrudge Zuckerberg his billions, nor does he find his comments on cash handouts tone deaf.
"I don't like to blame the wealthy for all the problems. I would be more willing to blame the politicians than Zuckerberg, but I don't think Zuckerberg has done anything wrong. In fact, I think he's created a product that he deserved to get really rich for," Altman says to CNBC Make It.
"He was born, as he has said, into a lucky circumstance, which allowed him to take a risk and that's not fair. Everybody should be allowed to take a risk, whether they were born to rich or poor parents. That's part of what something like a basic income might do. So again if people are saying, 'Hey, I really benefited from not growing up in poverty, and I was able to take a risk and it paid off but I wouldn't have been able to take that risk if I was in poverty. So I think we should eliminate it for everybody else,' that feels really consistent to me. It's something that I respect."
Altman also has a 10-point agenda for improving his home state, California, in addition to his UBI efforts.
Says Altman: "I think if we can eliminate poverty for all Americans, that's a really good thing to do."
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