As a serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley I benefitted greatly from working hard and working smart, but also from being in the right place at the right time. Many of my fellow entrepreneurs like to believe they are the only ones responsible for their success, but that’s simply not the case.
This “place” – this country, this state, and this Bay Area – have provided an ecosystem allowing us and our ventures to thrive. The ecosystem was created by private and public economic forces as well as the infrastructure provided by the cities, the states, and the federal government. I didn’t and I couldn’t have done it without that ecosystem, and it deserves payback for what it contributed to my success.
I make a lot more money each year than I need to live on, but this city, state, and especially this country need a lot more money to build our infrastructure and help our fellow citizens. Our infrastructure is crumbling from a lack of investment, and we can’t continue to ignore it. Without that money, the infrastructure and ecosystem that helped me so much throughout my life won’t be available to help people coming up now, people who may create the next big company or discover the next miracle cure.
And why do I need a tax break on my income tax? I don’t! Our infrastructure needs a tax break. The physical, legal, and social infrastructure that helped me succeed needs a tax break –– the country needs a bigger cut of my taxes. Everyone deserves the same opportunity I had, and improving the infrastructure will enable more and more people to succeed – that’s urgent. Giving me a tax break might only let me buy a new yacht.