Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg got political on his Q2 2013 earnings call yesterday, criticizing America for not producing enough talented engineers for him to recruit.
Zuckerberg's views on this issue are no secret. He's given $100 million to the Newark, N.J., school system to improve education there. And he's backed a controversial lobbying group, FWD.us, which wants to reform immigration law so that companies can recruit foreign engineers and tech workers more easily.
But yesterday, Zuckerberg again hinted that he thinks America is broken when it comes to educating people to take the science, technical, engineering and math (STEM) jobs that he's creating.
In other news today, from Bloomberg.com:
It's worth noting that, all else being equal, Zuckerberg's net worth increasing by almost $4 billion today makes Americans more likely to give him the immigration bill he wants. It's not just practical considerations like, wow, he now has even more money to spend on lobbying so we should be nice to him so that maybe he'll be nice to us. No, the psychology is even more primitive than that: it's just the sheer strong juju of any man who makes $3.8 billion in one day that makes us want more good things to happen to him.
Heck, I feel that way most of the time. (Indeed, much of what I write is the opposite of my natural emotional predilections -- that's why I write it: because it took me a long time to figure things out.)
In contrast, if Zuckerberg's net worth had declined $3.8 billion today because Facebook profits were down because he was paying his employees so much higher salaries, there would be much scoffing at Zuckerberg's lobbying for more H-1B visas: What a loser!
And that's the way of the world.