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Why Republicans Won't Retake Silicon Valley

ScuttleMonkey posted about 5 years ago | from the prepare-for-pudge-rage dept.

Businesses 445

An anonymous reader writes "Republican consultant Patrick Ruffini, who counts Google as one of his clients, sketches out a way that the GOP could 'win back' Silicon Valley — but he gets smacked down by tech businessman Francis Cianfrocca. 'Patrick's basic thesis is that the VC firms that fund the Valley will rebel at being regulated by [Treasury Secretary] Tim Geithner, who is talking about increasing reporting requirements for both private equity and venture capital. Assuming I understand them both correctly, something tells me that neither Geithner nor Ruffini understand deeply what venture capital is all about.'"

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445 comments

no surprise (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618517)

because hippies don't vote republican.

Damn, now this is news for nerds (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618597)

Jeez Louize!!!

Re:no surprise (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618605)

Fags also don't vote republican.

A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618551)

The GOP just needs to embrace that aspect of the party more.

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 years ago | (#27618601)

No, a lot of undergraduate white kids who have had mommy and daddy pay for everything and have never had any real life experience are libertarian leaning.

This is because it became fashionable to be "libertarian leaning" for the kids 5-10 years before them it was fashionable to be "socialist leaning".

 

Troll? Really? (5, Insightful)

ericrost (1049312) | about 5 years ago | (#27618685)

How is this a troll? Its kind of a tough position for someone living on either a) Mommy and Daddy's money, b) Subsidized student loans, or c) Scholarships to be truly libertarian. Yet middle class white kids do take that hypocritical position while undergrads fairly often. Seems like a fair thing to point out.

Re:Troll? Really? (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 years ago | (#27618993)

How is this a troll?

It's modded troll because the moderator in question is likely severely mentally retarded, probably with some sort of weird spasms or seizures, and is sat down in front of the computer to gyrate endlessly whilst simultaneously crapping his pants.

That's right retard-moderator, I'm talking to you. I've got karma to burn so blow your points you brain-stem freak.

Re:Troll? Really? (0, Flamebait)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | about 5 years ago | (#27619121)

It's modded troll because the moderator in question is likely severely mentally retarded, probably with some sort of weird spasms or seizures, and is sat down in front of the computer to gyrate endlessly whilst simultaneously crapping his pants.

Maybe he forgot to put the do-rag on his greased-up Yoda doll before he inserted it into his ass.

p.s. Fuck the moderators,
Fuck Apple,
Fuck Microsoft,
Fuck the Swedish court system,
Fuck corporate America.

Re:Troll? Really? (5, Informative)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 5 years ago | (#27619017)

1) The vast majority of ungrad white kids are liberals. Vast, vast majority, PARTICULARLY in colleges where the rich kids go like Harvard.

2) Libertarianism isn't a statement of not receiving any kind of "hand out", gift, or such from another person, it's based on a system of mutual consent between all parties involved. It's not about people "deserving" or "not deserving" a break, it's about voluntary association first and foremost, at least among the "true believer" libertarian. The "South Park libertarian" variety, maybe.

Maybe that's why it was modded troll.

Re:Troll? Really? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619099)

How isn't it a troll against every single white person that lived with their parents? Does the fact that you grew up black with two moms negate my life's experience; just because I grew up white with a dad and mom? What about the just the fact that you aren't white? Does that mean your statement is as racist as it sounds?

In other words: What the fuck gives your life's experience any more credibility than anyone else's; regardless of the ones who's parents were obviously more financially successful than yours?

What's fashionable is parent's narcissism, vanity, and greed being greater than their will to parent. What's also fashionable is being a lazy black person that believes and furthers the belief that white people are evil, and somehow owe you generations of handouts.

I know I will most certainly be modded troll, but I am pretty sure I still need to say that it is black people like you that make black people like my friends call you niggers.

Re:Troll? Really? (1)

ericrost (1049312) | about 5 years ago | (#27619209)

Hey bud, I'm a middle class white kid who went to school on academic scholarships. Im just not a dickhead about it like you :)

Re:Troll? Really? (0, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 years ago | (#27619223)

I am whiter than I bet you are.
I am 1st generation American, born in Germany.

Re:Troll? Really? (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 5 years ago | (#27619255)

You can wash away all your white privilege sins with liberal guilt, I suppose.

Re:Troll? Really? (0, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 years ago | (#27619309)

You trolls sure have an answer for everything. I have no guilt over being white, I love being able to rent apartments with ease, getting better loan rates, all that jazz.

All I know is what I said must be true because it sure struck a nerve with you kids.

Re:Troll? Really? (2, Insightful)

Arthur B. (806360) | about 5 years ago | (#27619289)

Libertarianism in a nutshell is opposing the government putting a gun to people's head.

I don't see what this has to do with living on one's parent money.

The student loan subsidy are much less than has been paid in taxes anyway. Accepting a student loan subsidy is merely a way to get that a fraction of that money back.

( N.B I don't have a student loan and I don't live on my parent income )

Re:Troll? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619291)

You don't see a troll in someone claiming that all geeks who are libertarian are naive undergrads?

The first person I met who was a staunch libertarian was a guy in his mid-40s who, yes, once was an undergrad (graduated with a BSE in nuclear physics) but had long since gotten his PhD at CalTech. He co-founded a company and was the main driving force behind another company and, although the stock has done poorly in recent years, I'm sure he's still a millionaire. It seems like he's a geek who isn't an undergrad, has some life experience, and yet is libertarian. But I guess the GP's right that we should dismiss him out of hand.

It's purely anecdotal, but I've yet to know someone who was libertarian as an undergrad and didn't maintain that position through present day. Actually, I tend to see more people who take up libertarianism later in life.

Finally, there's nothing hypocritical about being libertarian and taking scholarships or Mom and Dad's money; there is in taking subsidized loans. One aspect I don't like about libertarianism is the unfairness of inheritance; not only is there an issue of fairness, but it reduces the incentive for the children of the rich to work as hard as everyone else.

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 5 years ago | (#27618961)

Yeah, I'm sure all those liberal kids at Berkeley and Harvard and so on are paying THEIR way through college!

It's fashionable to be "libertarian" nowadays in the Bill Maher sense--that is, you think pot should be legal. However, the "true" libertarian types are much fewer and far-between. I've found most of the "true" libertarians to usually be in the poor-to-middle-class range. If libertarianism was popular among the rich we'd see a lot less support for corporate hand outs and subsidies...!

Anyway, libertarian or socialist, it doesn't really say anything about how "greedy" you are. A libertarian may simply believe that society doesn't have a right to dictate what others do no matter how noble it is; a socialist may be a socialist because they want easy work and "free" stuff.

I myself know an anarcho-capitalist that doesn't go to college because he can't fund it himself, and because he adamantly refuses to take federal aid as he would be taking far more than he has paid into the system with.

The fact is, colleges are almost entirely democrat-to-social-democrat-leaning. I suspect your statement was an attempt to deflect the obvious point that most in academia, undergrads on up, are staunchly liberal; whom match your bias.

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 years ago | (#27619051)

I would say when I went to college that was true. These days they are full of these "libertarians" that have never felt hunger or been too broke to go to the hospital.

Staunchly liberal children would not match my bias either, but attacking the messenger sure is fun, isn't it?

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 5 years ago | (#27619225)

Yet, you don't go to college now, so how would you know that? Simply watch what the major protests at big universities. It's extremely left-wing. The university I go to is extremely left-wing--in a extremely Republican state, no less. Libertarians are represented far less than Republicans even are are most universities. Libertarians are more hated at universities than anywhere else because most universities receive federal funding, and a lot of professors' research grants comes from federal funding. You do not want to admit to being a libertarian on a college campus.

If anything tends to be more true of the extreme libertarians I know, they are more "redneck" and less "yuppie"; few of them play "blame the poor", are extremely supportive of immigration and frequently disdain the nativist populism (they took our jobs!!!) of the Democrat (and Republican) parties. One of them I know IS jobless, and have met some that have one time or another actually been homeless.

Neither libertarianism or (state) socialism necessarily has much to do with whether you think people should or should not care for the poor, as they, again, are beliefs on how association should be carried out.

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | about 5 years ago | (#27619119)

I myself know an anarcho-capitalist that doesn't go to college because he can't fund it himself, and because he adamantly refuses to take federal aid as he would be taking far more than he has paid into the system with.

Federal aid is usually in the form of a loan so it's not really about taking out more than you've put in. Now, if he doesn't feel like taking on tens of thousands of dollars in debt, that's fine, but it's not exactly like taking a handout.

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (3, Insightful)

ericrost (1049312) | about 5 years ago | (#27619277)

Yes, but the banks are subsidized and guaranteed to make those loans in the first place. That money is "unfairly taxed" from the citizens on this country. You think the bank makes any money on the $22k they loaned me at 2.6% fixed interest for 20 years? I can't very well call myself a Libertarian and accept that kind of aid at the same time, now can I?

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 5 years ago | (#27619293)

Even with loans the principle behind it is the same; the money the loan is coming him was, in his eyes, "forcibly taken" so there's not much difference.

Ironic (3, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about 5 years ago | (#27618963)

No, a lot of undergraduate white kids who have had mommy and daddy pay for everything and have never had any real life experience are libertarian leaning.

Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about liberal kids who've never had to work a day in their lives at a serious job and seen entire double digit percentages of the money they need to live on getting taken away to pay for the government programs they support. It's easy to be a socialist when you aren't one of the productive members of society paying for the socialist state.

Re:Ironic (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 years ago | (#27619011)

Those are the same dumb kids friends.
You will find the young and stupid at both ends of the political spectrum.

Re:Ironic (0, Flamebait)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 5 years ago | (#27619087)

You do realize that the tax rates on those in top 5% were higher in 1940s-1980s than today, right?

Trust me, no one in the top 5% has ever worked a hard day in their life.

Re:Ironic (1, Insightful)

james_shoemaker (12459) | about 5 years ago | (#27619287)

> Trust me, no one in the top 5% has ever worked a hard day in their life.

    How many of the top %5 do you personally know? All the members of that group I personally know work much harder than I do. Way more hours away from family, way fewer leisure hours.

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619341)

alright Che...

You were sort of making some sense until you pulled out this over the top blanket statement. Hey I've got another couple you can throw out there, "Rich people don't earn their money, they steal it from us hardworking saps!", and "no one needs more than $150,000 a year to live. We should take the extra away from anyone that makes more than that and give it to poor people so we can have a fairer society!"

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (2, Interesting)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 5 years ago | (#27618753)

Political leaning is a stupid way of identifying yourself, thus I doubt VCs will care about the slant.

I think the silicon valley probably doesn't like seeing its jobs shipped overseas. VCs don't benefit much from offshoring, but the rest of Si Valley only gets murdered by it. VCs won't like being regulated, but they aren't profiting by so much of the tech industry being in jobs they're petrified of leaving either. They can't get people to take risks in small start ups in the present market.

I don't think either side of politicians in general understand the impacts of what they're doing. What's new.

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 5 years ago | (#27619145)

At the base of it, I'm trying to figure out what the fuck the federal government knows about, and has business messing with Venture Capital?!?!?

You know...I worried about the fascist leanings the last Bush admin put us on a path towards...but, they way the Obama admin is trying to creep in and own and control all aspects of business in the country, scares the hell out of me, and they've only been in power for like 3.5 months!!!

I expected the spending, but, this part of taking over banks and businesses and now something as far away from the economic problems as venture capitalists is really surprising me.

I haven't found that (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#27618977)

In my experience, geeks are generally in favor of civil liberties, but also in favor of significant government provision of public services, such as high-speed rail, NASA, and funding for the National Science Foundation. Many also support significant regulation of markets, such as more vigorous enforcement of antitrust law, and institution of net-neutrality rules.

Re:I haven't found that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619155)

Is it funny or sad that I can't figure out what party would represent what you just said?

Re:I haven't found that (5, Interesting)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 5 years ago | (#27619169)

In my experience, geeks are generally in favor of civil liberties, but also in favor of significant government provision of public services, such as high-speed rail, NASA, and funding for the National Science Foundation. Many also support significant regulation of markets, such as more vigorous enforcement of antitrust law, and institution of net-neutrality rules.

I'm intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Seriously, that's me exactly. It doesn't fit the usual labels, so I call it "game theory politics." Namely, preserve people's rights to the utmost practical limit, and have government only involve itself in programs that would otherwise fail due to game theory considerations. Example: building roads is really bad if left to the individual to do ad-hoc. Building a space program requires such massive collaboration that it will never happen if left to individuals. People generally want clear air - but aren't willing to unilaterally buy a cleaner car if others won't. We all know that taxes are necessary to some extent, but try like hell to minimize our own burdens.

To me, all those examples are where the majority of the individuals want a given outcome, but nobody wants to take the first step. Government is good at fixing that. Problems that a person can, could, or should solve on their own, no thanks. In particular, I really hate "the government is your daddy" taxes, and would opt out of Social Security in a second if I could.

Re:I haven't found that (3, Interesting)

Rakishi (759894) | about 5 years ago | (#27619235)

Many also support significant regulation of markets, such as more vigorous enforcement of antitrust law, and institution of net-neutrality rules.

That's a very specific type of regulation that is designed to encourage capitalism and competition rather than to limit it.

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (1)

bdomenech (1535035) | about 5 years ago | (#27619085)

I think that varies a ton. There are a lot of libertarians there, yes, and opposition to "nanny-state" approaches to life and the marketplace. But Republicans and Democrats alike support censorship - it's just usually censorship of different varieties (GOP tends to want to shield children from sex, nudity and language - Democrats tend to want to shield them from violence or support political correctness) and it's not like there's a solid "geek position" on health care, taxes, national defense, budgets, or abortion.

Re:A lot of geeks are libertarian leaning (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 5 years ago | (#27619219)

The GOP just needs to embrace that aspect of the party more.

Or boot out the people who want to include religion in government.

What bothers me is that those groups within the GOP think that including religion in the state must be the best way to go without realizing that the founding fathers of the United States fought so viciously against it because they knew damn well what happens [wikipedia.org] when you mix the two [wikipedia.org] .

Basically... The reason many of the early settlers of the North America were moving from Europe was the fact the most countries in Europe included the Church and faith within the state and often forced people to change their own beliefs to conform (You know... Puritan, Quakers, Waldensian etc).

Even though they were all Christian, mixing stat policy and religious dogma usually meant forcing people to change their views on how they interpreted Christianity which usually led to war.

The idea that that state can tell you what to believe and behave based on religion is just as dangerous to religious people as it is to atheists.

And how would you feel if the state told you that you had to pay taxes to them in order to go to heaven? Sounds ridiculous but back in the day when the King of England was the head of the Church... Failure to support the king was also failure to support the church.

I wont RTFA (4, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 5 years ago | (#27618557)

but let's summarize the summary. A political guy says people will come to his side because they wont like what a politician from the other side will do. A business guy says both political guys are clueless. What makes this a Republican issue? Sounds like a politicians are stupid issue. (And I already knew that.)

Re:I wont RTFA (1, Troll)

bonch (38532) | about 5 years ago | (#27618643)

You're forgetting that Slashdot is populated with a majority of people who are left-of-center, many of them stereotypical college students. Posting anything vaguely critical of Republicans generates page views and thus ad revenue.

However, I have seen a general shift toward the center lately as the disappointment with the Obama administration grows each day.

Re:I wont RTFA (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 5 years ago | (#27618713)

I've always found slashdot commenters to represent a pretty wide range of opinion. I certainly haven't ever felt like there was a definite majority when it comes to political leanings. Though - this may be the first time I've seen what looks like one editor baiting another with a green-lit submission. That's a bit odd and with no other context it is tough to tell if it is a good natured jab or something more.

Re:I wont RTFA (2)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 5 years ago | (#27618739)

But this isn't really all that critical of republicans but more so of fake liberal democrats.

The last few paragraphs of the article talk about how many of the new "green-tech" venture moneys depend on the government regulation and forcing people to use them. So these businessmen are calling themselves liberal democrats and supporting there ideals in order to cash in on it. Not much diffrent than changing a research project's name from "studding ____" to "studding ____s effect on global climate change" in order to get more funding.

Re:I wont RTFA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618665)

Very astute, stoolpigeon, and, yes, I agree, this is interesting but a lot of the analysis is questionable. Firstly, there's a consistent odd trend -- to at once blame Democrats for stifling private enterprise at all turns, and then try to reward Republicans for private enterprise. Imprudent deregulation of industries has caused problems just as imprudent regulation of industries has cause issues. Given that incentives for individuals, the managing boards, and their company's actual shareholders are not always aligned it's important to ensure the proper balance is reached.

So, it's fairly interestin' to use Silicon Valley as a topic, and give credit only to Reagan, when the industry in general is due to strong investment in basic science research that is funded by U.S. tax payers trhough DoD, NIH, and NSF grants -- and due to legislation allowing the commercialization of research from public funds -- allows better smoother transfer from public ally funded research into private for-profit enterprise. This public research occurs largely at large institutions that are constently derided by the Right as "liberal Ivy tower," "elitist" etc.

Beyond the fact institutions that are constantly derided by the Right, there is the is the So-con// / "crunchy con" denigration of both science, science education and science funding -- the same funding blah blah blah that generates not only the basic research, but the research grants that allow scientists to gain the skills necessary to invent the core technology in next Google, Cisco, Tesla a well as increase the suppority of our military.

As a result, Venture Capital is an important part of the picture, but that is FAR FAR FAR down the list of important items, by that time, in this day and age, the core blah blah blah technology has likely spent a decent amount of time in the lab (4-5 years, and is likely patented or patent pending). It is only in the software / Internet community that Venture actually arrives sooner (is this Internet opportunity "solely" due to Gore's perseverance to commercialize the Internet?).

So, back to the Venture portion, the problem is that there is a need to look forward at different investing strategies -- Hedge Fund, Private Equity Funds, Rob Malda sucks cock, Venture Funds have been blurring the lines on investment strategies for years. So, the problem is less that historically well performing venture funds will look to lever-up, it is more that Private Equity funds and even Hedge Funds will try to re-classify themselves and move downward in the investment cycle; however, use the same leverage / financial engineering techniques.

As a result, it makes a lot of sense to standardize that all private capital pools register, and do the reporting. However, that argument is far different from the culture of science, scientists and engineers.

Until the GOP expands its view on science and funding science research its doubtful the actual venture technologists -- the one's creating the technology will move over to the GOP side. As far as the finance side, well with all the pools of capital -- financing is becoming easier and easier.

-Dan East

It's not even something someone will do (3, Insightful)

dpryan (123256) | about 5 years ago | (#27618679)

It's what he thinks someone might possibly someday do (this all seems to be premised on something Geithner said as a brief aside). Must be a slow news day.

Re:I wont RTFA (1)

tenchiken (22661) | about 5 years ago | (#27618695)

It is. It's a opportunity for someone to try and make cheap points on both sides.

Given that the government is now in the position that they won't allow banks to repay TARP money to maintain more control of them, the role of government versus economy is very much apropos, but this is just he said/she said crap.

Politics. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 5 years ago | (#27618559)

You know I have politics blocked from my slashdot front page for a reason.
Any thing with GOP in the title is without a doubt politics.

You think like a ReThuglican Jew (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618699)

You think like a ReThuglican Jew

We won Nigger-hater live with it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618873)

We won Nigger-hater live with it!
Why don't you go back to your Red State and anally rape your sister/wife?
Or better yet, teabagr her.
Inbread retard.

Re:We won Nigger-hater live with it (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 5 years ago | (#27619109)

If people like you really did win then it is the end of hope.
What can I say to such a towering intellect and example of open mindedness?
Too bad I actually think that the president is doing an okay job. Not great but okay and that I tell a lot of people on the right that they are being unfair to judge him yet since he really is just getting started.
I just hate all politics on slashdot. Right and left... In fact posts like yours are why I hate any political post on Slashdot.

Re:We won Nigger-hater live with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619231)

samefag

Re:We won Nigger-hater live with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619299)

you sound like a fag

If you believe Republicans are on your side (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618563)

I have a Republican party membership to sell you.

Not surprising. (0)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 5 years ago | (#27618579)

Looks like fascism.
Smells like fascism.
Acts like fascism.

Nawww... Its Republicans and Democrats usual interference. Its "FREEE MARKET!!!"*

*with collusion from govt.

What's the problem? (5, Insightful)

nuclearpenguins (907128) | about 5 years ago | (#27618607)

The "business as usual" thing is what got us all into this economic mess in the first place. I don't see what the problem is with a little more regulation of all things financial. Sure, it may suck for a little while, but it's the price we have to pay for 30+ years of financial shenanigans.

Re:What's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618999)

The "business as usual" thing is what got us all into this economic mess in the first place.

[Citation Needed]

Venture Capital (2, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 5 years ago | (#27618611)

...something tells me that neither Geithner nor Ruffini understand deeply what venture capital is all about.

Ponzi schemes... Duh!

I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 5 years ago | (#27618613)

Actual venture capitalists are relatively few, and their business reporting practices obscured from the average citizen's eye. High-five/six-figure-salaried software engineers who'll have to pay their "fair share" of Obama's triple-the-national-debt package sooner or later (since, like all rich people, they obviously lied/cheated/murdered the lower classes to get where they are) are probably more common. Even in These Perilous Economic Times (tm).

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (5, Insightful)

Fortunato_NC (736786) | about 5 years ago | (#27618853)

Assuming the "rich" software engineers you're referring to made less than $250K last year, they actually got a tax cut from Obama. Stop drinking the GOP Kool-Aid for a minute and think about where your interests really lie. A 3% tax hike (actually, expiration of a previous tax cut) on the top 5% of taxpayers is not a march towards socialism, it's a sound fiscal move.

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619031)

You'll never pay down the debt that way, so stop chanting delusional party sound bites.

Oh, and no one has actually gotten an anything from Obama yet, the budget is barely forming now. Oh, wait, I guess super rich paper holders got a big, fat bailout from him. So, I guess someone has made out. Certainly they don't make more than $250k, right?

Hold on there fella! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619125)

Whoa whoa whoa, this "sound fiscal move" of yours to actually try and turn around the deficit sure sounds like "socialism" to me. Why should we spread the wealth to our creditors?! It's our money now!


Giving our money away...who do you think we are, China?

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (2, Insightful)

crabboy.com (771982) | about 5 years ago | (#27619181)

think about where your interests really lie

Translation: join our side and help us use government to stick it to the people that have more than us.

How can anyone believe it's moral to take a larger percentage away from someone just because they have more? If everyone paid income tax at the same rate, people with more income would pay more money by virtue of the fact that they earn more. Provided they didn't break any laws to get the income, why do we have to use government to take a higher percentage just because they earned more than we did?

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619275)

He's saying they'll keep raising taxes for everyone, because we'll all have to pay back the stimulus packages eventually. What seems like the most likely way to do that, based on recent events, is to lower the income threshold that has a tax increase. I don't quite see how this is insightful. We'll all have to pay in the long run.

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (1)

gangien (151940) | about 5 years ago | (#27619303)

Maybe not a march, but it's certainly a step in the right direction to increase taxes on the top income earners. Which is basically saying this:

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

Besides, it never seems tow ork out that we just increase taxes on the rich. The income tax was originally created for that reason.

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618869)

haha, you don't understand the difference between trademark and copyright. neener-neener.

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 5 years ago | (#27618927)

I don't see any basis to expect low-six figure worker to bear more tax burden. Obama has been insistent that those making less than 250K will pay less taxes.

The idea that the national debt must hit the middle-class "sooner-or-later" isn't based on anything, either. With the top 2% of the population posessing 50% of all the wealth, it would be entirely practical to require them to fully bear the debt... Not to mention morally appropriate, since we are talking about all the same people who caused this mess in the first place, and are getting trillions of those dollars in government aid. So why shouldn't they (eventually) have to pay it back, plus interest, and then some to zero things out, and put us in a better position the next time government intervention is needed due to corporate greed?

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 years ago | (#27619201)

Obama has been insistent that those making less than 250K will pay less taxes.

Already lied about that one with the raise in the tobacco tax.

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (3, Insightful)

Beatles_Rock_Number9 (1357567) | about 5 years ago | (#27619261)

Not to mention morally appropriate, since we are talking about all the same people who caused this mess in the first place, and are getting trillions of those dollars in government aid.

So everyone who makes over $250k is responsible for this mess? Or every husband and wife team who makes over $250k is responsible? Really? Some people would argue that the government itself is responsible for this mess. Not one President and not one party. The government.

Prove it. There are a lot of people who busted their ass to climb the corporate ladder and are now making $250k+. There are also a lot of people who got it handed to them on a silver platter. If one could accurately separate the two, I would at least be willing to listen to the 'morally appropriate' argument. But that's not possible, is it? Not without the government knowing every single thing about your life--where you were born, who your parents were, who you screwed (fig. & lit.) to get to the top, etc.--but that would violate a person's privacy.

Taxing those people making $250k+ is neither morally appropriate nor fair. What is fair in the minds of those making $20k/year (as an example: taxing the wealthy and not taxing themselves at all) is different that what is fair to those making $250k/year (as an example: taxing everybody at the exact same rate of 20%).

I personally fall into neither the very rich nor very poor category, and I'm more inclined to follow the flat percentage tax approach. In such a situation the rich pay far more than the poor, as they should. But not unfairly so.

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (1)

lazyforker (957705) | about 5 years ago | (#27619023)

There's a reason that VCs reporting practices are "obscured from the average citizen's eye". The average citizen almost never has any interaction with VCs. In the vast majority of cases average citizens will only have money invested in VC funds via a mutual fund, 401k etc. Even then the proportion of the mutual fund/401k fund that is invested in a VC is very low - usually around 5%.

VCs build pools of money from funds, and make large numbers of small investments in highly risky new ventures. A huge proportion of those investments are lost. Every aspect of the process is private and regulated by the contracts each party signs. The investments are not open to the general public.

Re:I'd think taxes would be a better avenue. (2, Insightful)

yodleboy (982200) | about 5 years ago | (#27619057)

"since, like all rich people, they obviously lied/cheated/murdered the lower classes"

no, not all 'rich' people get that way by blatant exploitation. however, the republican sacred cow of trickle down economics is a bullshit theory that only helps the rich in the long run. it works great as long as that top 5% or so are making money. unfortunately, when things go bad, the OTHER 95% are left holding the bag and at that point the rich are doing well at the expense of the rest.

seriously, is it not better to promote policies that make sure the rest of the population does well? By well i don't mean they are getting rich, just not taking the shaft and living hand to mouth. Look at it this way, if I make $1MM a year and lose 50% I'm still well off, if I make $30K a year and lose 50% I'm in a lot of trouble. It seems more reasonable to let the rich take the hit since they are better able to absorb losses.

And another thing. You need to make $250K/year to 'qualify' for the Obama tax. Now, maybe you make that much and with your cars and your overvalued home and all the rest you think 'i'm not rich'. Well, by the standards of most people in this country you are. It's not everyone else's fault you went into debt up to your eyeballs.

The ironic thing about all this is a lot of people I know that are most up in arms over this tax issue make $20-$50K a year and will likely NEVER make enough to get hurt by this tax. Yet still they protest as if Obama was taking their only child.

Whew (2, Funny)

bonch (38532) | about 5 years ago | (#27618617)

Whew, it's been a while since I saw a story on Slashdot that made me feel good about being a Democrat and patted me on the back for my beliefs. For a while, I almost started thinking for myself. I'm glad this got posted today (especially after the big blow to PirateBay that depressed me all morning...viva la piracy!).

I think it's a geography issue (5, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | about 5 years ago | (#27618633)

I'm not convinced that the overall political leaning of Silicon Valley has anything to do with the respective benefits of the parties on the industry. Rather, it just so happens that the industry is made up, largely, of people who live in a pretty liberal area. Silicon Valley leaned Republican back when California, itself, leaned Republican, and hasn't leaned that way since. I live in an southeast red state, and by straw poll, the people involved in the tech industry here have politics that pretty heavily reflect the general population.

Silicon Valley isn't up for grabs because San Francisco isn't up for grabs.

Re:I think it's a geography issue (1)

jonnat (1168035) | about 5 years ago | (#27619041)

You are assuming that different groups in a given area tend to be politically homogeneous. Or, at least, that people in the tech industry tend to follow the average political view around them. The cause-effect relationship is inverted. Most likely, the tech industry, especially the young and innovative part, have an influence in the political leaning of the Silicon Valley and San Francisco. But your initial point is right: political leaning is not simply a result of pragmatism towards which party will likely benefit their employer and themselves in the short term. Here is how Merriam-Webster defines "Conservatism":

1capitalized a: the principles and policies of a Conservative party b: the Conservative party 2 a: disposition in politics to preserve what is established b: a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change ; specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage) 3: the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change

And "Liberalism":

1: the quality or state of being liberal. 2a often capitalized : a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity. b: a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard. c: a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties. d capitalized : the principles and policies of a Liberal party

Which one sounds more like the mindset to be expected from Silicon Valley?

Re:I think it's a geography issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619173)

Having lived in Palo Alto in the last year, and in San Francisco for over 10 years before, all I can say is that it is not wise to lump San Francisco with Silicon Valley -- or anywhere else, for that matter, except for the retards in Berkeley. San Francisco politics have been completely out of the mainstream for a very long time -- even when California was Republican-leaning.

I'm a Republican, but guess what, my friends who are Democrats and I are not really that far apart in our beliefs. I do enjoy watching the real honest-to-god Obamabots agonize over the fact that he isn't anything they expected, and that he flubs more lines that good old W. But anyway, back to my original point - San Francisco is an island, and Silicon Valley isn't really that partisan.

When will you all realize.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618659)

that the "us vs them" bullshit is ruining america in every measurable sense?

There's full blown media war between fox (right) and msnbc (left), and the victims are anybody with the ability to absorb two opinions, then form their own.

If you are registered voter for either party, you are a follower, a simpleton, and are part of the problem.

Vote for the MAN, not the PARTY.

Re:When will you all realize.. (3, Insightful)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 5 years ago | (#27619149)

"Vote for the MAN, not the PARTY."

I don't get this. Don't you vote for an ideal? For things you want to happen? To inject your philosophy into the legislating bodies?

Or do you want to vote for an baby-kissing slimeball?

If you voted for a MAN, you are part of the problem. Vote for the PARTY that represents you.

Re:When will you all realize.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619331)

Vote for the MAN, not the PARTY.

Every single House Republican voted against the stimulus package. Every single one. And they all backed up their position with arguments.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of House Democrats voted in favor.

Party affiliation matters in Washington. You get a lot of maverick talk on the campaign stump, but once folks get elected they realize who controls the committee assignments, disbursements of campaign funds from the national party, photo ops back home with party stars, and the like.

Republicans ARE better for silicon valley (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618671)

Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated that they, and only they, understand things like economics, the military, and science. Republicans successfully deregulated the banking industry. Republicans gave unquestioning support for the military. Republicans were the lone voice speaking out against immoral, dangerous and unproven stem cell and evolution based "science". Republicans, and only Republicans, will be able to meet the challenges of the next decade. Vote Republican, because we rule.

Re:Republicans ARE better for silicon valley (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619117)

Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated that they, and only they, understand things like economics, the military, and science. Republicans successfully deregulated the banking industry. Republicans gave unquestioning support for the military. Republicans were the lone voice speaking out against immoral, dangerous and unproven stem cell and evolution based "science". Republicans, and only Republicans, will be able to meet the challenges of the next decade. Vote Republican, because we rule.

Mod this guy up +5 funny.

mod article flamebait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618701)

mod parent up; children, grandchildren down.

without the bold leadership (2, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 years ago | (#27618711)

of ted stevens, unfortunately the complexity of the tubes seem unnavigable at this time.

Re:without the bold leadership (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619179)

That's because, with his departure, we've been dumping stuff on it.

Pocketbooks and Polls (1)

Analogy Man (601298) | about 5 years ago | (#27618721)

Sure venture capital may drive the financing of the hi-tech sector of Silicon Valley and indeed corporate clout goes a long way to influence elections.

Still, come that first Tuesday in November individuals step up to a little private booth and selects their electoral choices. My bet is that a minority of them understand or hold a strong opinion on federal policy as it pertains to venture capital. If past California elections are any indication turnout and passion will be driven by some gut emotional issue and the election will be a "Southpark" style fiasco with both sides of hot button issues behaving like spoiled toddlers.

No mention of Sarbanes-Oxley? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618787)

It's hard to take seriously an article that makes no mention of Sarbanes-Oxley, which effectively closed the IPO market for venture funded start-ups.

Whichever party cracks that door back open has a shot at winning big supporters from Silicon Valley.

Apolitical? Research donations online, it's easy enough to do. Venture capitalist contributions are large, and in the last election cycle went about 2 to 1 in favor of Democrats.

Could that go to 1 to 1, or even 1 to 2, in favor of Republicans? Certainly, it's up for grabs. Every day employment falls in Silicon Valley, even more so.

Re:No mention of Sarbanes-Oxley? (5, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | about 5 years ago | (#27618997)

I don't see the GOP making gains in the Valley or moving in the right direction to do so. On the contrary, the GOP is actively moving further and further away from being the party of the well-educated, tech-savvy individual living in an urban area (aka, the Valley).

If we were to see an actual return towards fiscal conservatism and keeping government out of peoples' private business, we might have something to discuss. So long as the GOP chooses to base itself on gay bashing, anti-scientific rhetoric and hating on immigrants (legal and otherwise), they'll never see gains here.

Oh, and having Carly Fiorina on their side doesn't exactly improve their image, either.

All the government wants to know (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | about 5 years ago | (#27618799)

All the government really wants to figure out is what the ???'s mean in "Step 3: ???;Step 4: Profit!"

VCs don't pose any systemic risk (4, Interesting)

weston (16146) | about 5 years ago | (#27618809)

There's no plausible reason I've heard or can think of to regulate VCs more closely. They don't pose any systemic risk in the way that lending, derivatives, or insurance can. They're one manifestation of the big virtue in a sea of mixed issues with capitalism: entrepreneurship. If you lose, you lose your money, the business ceases to exist. If you win, you make money (potentially lots of money) creating and selling a viable business. That's it. No bailouts. Investors lose, people may lose jobs, but there's nothing else for anybody to do. All the arguments for regulation that make a certain amount of sense in other sectors tend don't seem to apply well here.

Heck, even if VCs for some reason COULD pose systemic risk, it's a small enough part of the economy (yearly less than what we're probably going to end up loaning to the auto industry) that it probably still wouldn't.

Re:VCs don't pose any systemic risk (1)

try_anything (880404) | about 5 years ago | (#27619101)

I think the idea is to regulate places where the fraudsters, bluffers, and snake-oil salesman might resurface when their old haunting grounds are regulated. The current size of a sector doesn't rule it out. Venture capital seems pretty simple (invest in a company, make money if it succeeds) but mortgage lending is pretty simple, too (lend to a homebuyer, make money if he pays you back). If mortgage lending can be complexified until blatant frauds and wishful thinking can hide behind the sophistication, then perhaps venture capital could be turned into the next hot source of unlimited, guaranteed, completely illusory returns. And it would have plenty of political protection: it could cloak itself in the American dream of entrepreneurship like mortgage-backed abominations cloaked themselves in the American dream of home ownership.

That's not to say I think VCs should be regulated like hedge funds; in fact, I don't. I just wanted to explain why someone in DC, looking back at the mortgage mess and trying to imagine where the fatal combination of complexity, wishful thinking and fraud will come from, might think it's a good idea to regulate venture capitalists.

i just got off the toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618817)

i shit out an obama.

plop!

FUCK KDAWSON!

Why won't the GOP retake silicon valley? (-1, Troll)

Tiber (613512) | about 5 years ago | (#27618845)

Because they aren't running the country! lol!

GO BACK TO DKOS, SUCKERMONKEY.

The demographics just say no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618851)

The Republicans won't take Silly Valley just because of simple demographics.

In Santa Clara County, 36.8% of the population is foreign-born. 49.8% of the population 5 years or older speaks a language other than English at home. 39.1% of the population is non-Hispanic white, 29.6% is Asian, 25.4% is Hispanic. 43.9% of the population 25 or over are college graduates.

Typical politics (5, Insightful)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | about 5 years ago | (#27618859)

The Bush era GOP embraced the religious lunatics so much that the rest of America were eventually turned off by them and kicked them out of office. Like any ousted party, their ONLY role in life is to get back into power, which means fooling enough people who they'd turned off before to vote for them again. For this, they will try what the polls tell them they need to try, regardless of their real plans when they get back into power. Those plans will no doubt fall back to mirror the religious lunatics who can be relied on to "vote God". The same applies with the party in power, their ONLY goal is to stay in power. Beyond that, everything is false promises and rhetoric.

I used to think the GOP were all about the rich, conservative middle / upper classes who seek to be allowed to profit from everything without any limitations, and let the poor carry the tax burden. I used to believe the Democrats were a slightly more socialist version of the GOP. I used to think Obamma would be willing to change a few things in the balance of corporation / government / people, but the more I see his decisions, the more I was right to think that the system IS broken and needs to be changed in favor of the tax paying US people.

Politicians deal in speeches. Speeches talk AT the people, not WITH them. Speeches are pre-planned rhetoric carefully worded to mean many things to many audiences as well as written FOR a specific audience. Speeches are rehearsed and performed; not unlike actors on stage in a play. Actors play roles which are not them, doing stuff they wouldn't do, saying stuff they wouldn't say. It's performance lying....and politicians wonder why they are never believed.

GOP is captainless, rudderless, clueless (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27618905)

The eastern wing of the Republican party used to be a vibrant home of mavericks, statesmen, and swing voters. Now how many Congressmen and Senators from the entire northeast US are Republicans? And those pitiful numbers may decline even further in 2010.

The first priority of the RNC should be restoring the vitality of the moderate wings of the party, especially on the two coasts. To make this happen, they need to take the party back from the talk show crowd, the party litmus tests and RINO gybes, and fundamentalist "God, Guns, and (anti) Gays" posturing of the last 15 years or so. Not that those folks don't belong in the party, but they should be a constituency (think of anti-war protesters and civil rights activists on the Democratic side) and not as the prime movers.

Why pick sides (4, Insightful)

osgeek (239988) | about 5 years ago | (#27618939)

If you strongly identify with the Democrats decrying Republicans or the Republicans decrying the Democrats, could you please just re-examine why you're allowing either of the two dominant political parties control you like a mindless sheep. These guys are pretty much all liars and using you. Until Americans think for themselves and hold office holders of all parties responsible for their actions, all the rest of this is cheering at a football game and useless for solving real problems.

If it was only about economy... (1)

iamacat (583406) | about 5 years ago | (#27619027)

Maybe they would have a chance. After all, silicon valley has lots of well off people who probably don't like getting taxed. I personally would prefer some compromise between democratic, republican and liberetarian philosophies on economy. I think all of them have a point and any extreme fails in real world.

However, to join the republican party, you have to subscribe to the whole package - particular brand of Christianity, social values, pot prohibition, use of torture, prosperity for starting wars, support for outsourcing, global warming denial. 90% of silicon valley residents would find at least one part of the thing more objectionable than paying a little more taxes in exchange for government leaving your private life alone and reining in your employer to some degree. Most immigrants are Hindu, Buddist or agnostic rather than Christian. For that reason alone, they would be inclined to support party whose nominee includes them in the inauguration speech rather than one who is pushing another religion.

Cianfrocca is right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27619063)

I think Cianfrocca is right. The next tech bubble is going to be this so-called "greentech", which is highly dependent on government regulation and subsidies. The last bubble (internet and software) had very little to do with manufacturing physical product and, hence, real science and engineering. It attracted many "fluff" people (who tend to vote liberal-left). The greentech bubble will attract many more of these fluff people.

Also, the finance people have changed as well. The original VC's (of the 70's and 80's) were successful entrepreneurs. The big seachange was in the 90's when the investment banks and financial MBA types got into the game. Often being of East coast "blue blood" pedigree, these people tend to have a more East coast liberal outlook.

Venture Capital isn't doing its job (3, Interesting)

Dripdry (1062282) | about 5 years ago | (#27619157)

I'd like to bring the idea of venture capital firms into focus for a minute, and I think it may be important to Slashdot.

http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/haque/2009/04/asleep_at_the_wheel_of_creativ_2.html [harvardbusiness.org]

It *is* harvard business school, so perhaps a grain of salt is required.

Although others may not agree with me, there is an important point in both the Democrat article linked by the summary and in the link above: Venture Capital is not a systemic risk to the financial system. Why? The articles disagree on that point, but I tend to think they are not doing what they are supposed to, and the reason why they aren't might be worthy of a moment of cogitation (or whatever).

Haque makes the argument that one major reason the downturn has been so bad is that VCs have not done what they are supposed to for the last 15-odd years: Invest in risky technology and bring in the new companies/ideas as the old ones crumble, not try to be completely safe and make a a gazillion dollars! The new technologies, processes, and ideas that are supposed to sweep in and replace the old broken ones (is there anyone to replace GM, Ford, and Chrysler, for instance?) are not here, they're 5-10 years out, such as Tesla Motors. Venture capital is supposed to be the creative force behind our economy (please argue with me here), while the market determines the worth of the product created and ultimately leads to the destruction of companies that do not pass muster.

The reason we had this bubble is because there was no real blockbusters worth investing in. Something had to be mocked up to look like a good investment, not only Real Estate, but things like social networking sites. There was even a recent Slashdot article, I believe, on Facebook's issues. Why are we pouring money into things like this (I'll cover my opinion on that in a moment)?

Haque's argument also states that America was the only really booming economy in the world for the last 100 years because it was the only real venture capital country. I'm not sure I completely agree (it's obviously more complicated than that) but I wonder if the point isn't partly true. By deciding to not take big risks in technology and science, by not funding the education necessary for people to actually take those risks, and by creating a culture where style matters over substance, perhaps the state of Venture Capital firms (and even silicon valley) is a reflection of the mindset that has led to the current economy.

In that regard, I'm not sure any political party should really want to control them. How innovative are they really going to be without visionaries willing to take big risks for their visions?

Yes, I know there are visionary benefactors out there, but if there's a discussion to be had surrounding VCs should we tie it back into innovation since this is Slashdot?

Are there any people here involved marginally with VC (I know I have been recently and have a story for another post) that can give us some perspective?

Separate VC fro Private Equity (1)

PPH (736903) | about 5 years ago | (#27619259)

These are two very different entities. 'Venture Capital' supplies risk capital to start up firms and should be left alone. The private equity groups that need regulating are the ones who scraped the low risk mortgage-backed paper out of the banking system, leaving them with the garbage. We need to know who these people are, what they are up to, and whether there is any collusion between them and the banking industry.

Unfortunately, we don't have a good way of separating the VC investors from the bad guys in a legal or regulatory sense. From the law's point of view, they are all private equity. So the VC people are going to have to open their books to the point that regulators can see that they are not in fact fiddling around with screwball securities schemes. Or benefiting from bank bailouts. More regulation and/or reporting requirements are never welcomed by any group without reservations. But the VC investors should welcome the opportunity to distance itself from these other 'investors'.

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