The iconic MIT linguist and left-wing activist frequently has lashed out against the “massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich,” and criticized the concentration of wealth in “trusts” by the wealthiest 1%. He says the U.S. tax code is rigged with “complicated devices for ensuring that the poor—like 80% of the population—pay off the rich.”
But trusts can’t be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of US$2-million, decided to create one for himself. A few years back he went to Boston’s venerable white-shoe law firm, Palmer and Dodge, and, with the help of a tax attorney specializing in “income-tax planning,” set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam. [...]
Over the years, Chomsky has been particularly critical of private property rights, which he considers simply a tool of the rich, of no benefit to ordinary people. "When property rights are granted to power and privilege, it can be expected to be harmful to most," Chomsky wrote on a discussion board for the Washington Post. Intellectual property rights are equally despicable, apparently. According to Chomsky, for example, drug companies who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing drugs shouldn't have ownership rights to patents. Intellectual property rights, he argues, "have to do with protectionism."
Protectionism is a bad thing -- especially when it relates to other people.
But when it comes to Chomsky's own published work, this advocate of open intellectual property suddenly becomes very selfish. It would not be advisable to download the audio from one of his speeches without paying the fee, warns his record company, Alternative Tentacles. (Did Andrei Sakharov have a licensing agreement with a record company?) And when it comes to his articles, you'd better keep your hands off. [...]
Chomsky has even gone the extra mile to protect the copyright to some of his material by transferring ownership to his children. Profits from those works will thus be taxed at his children's lower rate. He also thereby extends the length of time that the family is able to hold onto the copyright and protect his intellectual assets.[...]
Read the entire revealing article here.