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Tech Moguls: Modern-Day Robber Barons

By Mark Russell, Newser Staff

Ten of the world's richest 100 people have ruthlessly siphoned their billions from IT, making today's tech moguls the equivalent of the infamous capitalist robber-barons of last century, like John Rockefeller or Andrew Carnegie, writes John Naughton in the Guardian.

From Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to Sergey Brin and Jeff Bezos, they are all technocrats who "share a mindset that renders them blind to the untidiness and contradictions of life," he writes. "The trouble is that technocrats don't do values."

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Much like the last wave of robber barons, today's tech tycoons are characterized by "rampant greed," Naughton notes. It took the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act and Theodore Roosevelt to break up the last wave of corrupt cartels and monopolies.

But at least they also created large and enduring charitable foundations. Will the Zuckerbergs and Brins of the world make an equally lasting impact? "The answer may well depend not on how much money they make, but how much they give away."

--Written by Mark Russell of Newser

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