Mark Zuckerberg: Can’t Make Friends or Influence People

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

September 11, 2014

Multibillionaire Mark Zuckerberg, net worth $34 billion at last count, doesn’t know much about making friends or influencing people.

First, his immigration reform lobbying organization, FWD.us, failed colossally. When Zuckerberg launched his group and its aggressive agenda of adding millions more foreign-born workers to the depressed United States’ labor market and giving work permits to 12 million illegal immigrants, congressional liberals and corporate America hailed him as a worthy ally. But one year later, comprehensive immigration reform is off the table, and FWD.us has all but vanished from the political scene.

Despite having spent millions lobbying on behalf of pro-amnesty Republicans and Democrats, FWD.us failed. Consequently, Zuckerberg, unable to influence Congress, fired his old college roommate and FWD.us president Joe Green who once said that foreign-born workers are “truly great” while Americans are “just sort of okay.”

Second, as for making friends, Zuckerberg is off to a bad start in his new neighborhood, San Francisco’s exclusive Dolores Heights. Area residents told the San Francisco Chronicle that they’re besieged by constant noise from jackhammers and backhoes as Zuckerberg spends millions on renovating his 1920s-era mansion. Distractions from round-the-clock security annoy people who live near Zuckerberg, and can’t access their garages. About 40 to 50 workers have been on the job since April 2013.

While Zuckerberg doesn’t mind inviting millions from overseas to help him amass a greater personal fortune, he’s zealous about protecting his own privacy. Last year, Zuckerberg bought four houses that surround his primary residence. The aggregate cost was more than $30 million, a sum Zuckerberg no doubt considers a value to keep gawkers at bay.

But a “Master of the Universe,” as Senator Jeff Sessions labeled Zuckerberg, cares little about disrupting his neighbors’ lives or, for that matter, doing anything other than exactly what he wants to do.

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