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Google Chairman on WhatsApp: $19 Bn For 50 People? Good For Them!

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the voluntary-exchange-an-ideal-worth-praising dept.

Google 303

theodp writes "Speaking at an SXSW panel, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt emphasized that Google is 'very, very worried' about the class tensions that underlie recent Bay Area protests, where high-salaried techies have driven up rents. 'Ninety-nine percent of people have seen no economic improvement over the last decade,' he said, adding that 'the data suggest that the problem gets worse' and will become the 'number one issue in democracies around the world.' Schmidt's solution to this displacement? Foster conditions — e.g., better education, looser immigration laws, and deregulation in strictly-controlled areas like energy and telecommunications — that encourage the creation of fast-growing startups ('gazelles') that generate lots of jobs. When interviewer Steven Levy noted 'gazelles' like the 50-employee WhatsApp which was acquired by Facebook for a reported $19 billion seem to lead to more inequality, Schmidt brushed aside the apparent contradiction. 'Let us celebrate capitalism,' the tax-us-if-you-can Schmidt said, opening his arms. '$19 billion for 50 people? Good for them.' Eric, meet Tom."

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303 comments

First Post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444273)

Sent from my iPhone.

Read between the lines (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444277)

Their solutions are not focused on getting higher paying jobs for the "99%." They are focused on lowering the amount they have to pay for their own talent.

Any time a company starts talking about deregulation and loosening immigration laws, it's french for "make our labor cheaper."

Re:Read between the lines (5, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 4 months ago | (#46444323)

Any time a company starts talking about deregulation and loosening immigration laws, it's french for "make our labor cheaper."

Or Hindi.

French programmers only work three hour days.

Re:Read between the lines (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444345)

Schmidt is a big friend of the "do as I say, not as I do crowd." They want higher taxes for everyone except themselves. Hypocrites.

Re:Read between the lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445277)

He needs to keep Google stock investors poor so they can't afford guns when the bubble bursts.

It's just ridiculous. Like bitcoin, I wish I had bought Google stock a few years ago and like bitcoin, I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole right now.

Of course, at least Google won't be going out of business like FB.

Re:Read between the lines (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#46444701)

On the bright side they actually write decent useful code during those three hours. France has higher hourly per capita productivity than the US. Their lower GDP per capita is because they work fewer hours. You can debate how many hours people should work (I actually lean towards US style) but there is no doubt that there is plenty of good work done in France.

Full disclosure: I also like some of their moldy cheeses, but am adverse to a language that lacks consonants.

Re:Read between the lines (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445319)

France has higher hourly per capita productivity than the US.

Not true. Citation. [wikipedia.org]

1. Norway (75)
2. Luxembourg (73)
3. United States (67)
4. Belgium (61)
6. France (59)
7. Germany (57)
and so on...

Those top three have not changed place in some time. France is up there, but the United States is over a dozen percent more productive. Norway is higher than the US by a similar margin.

Re:Read between the lines (4, Insightful)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 4 months ago | (#46445341)

I moved to Europe from America and was shocked when *GASP* people didn't work 60 hour weeks, took 25 vacation days a year (yes 5 weeks!), in many cases worked on an 80% schedule, and *SHOCKING* enjoy a beer at lunch from time to time.

Even more shocking, as far as I could tell, my colleagues in my new European office were as productive (or more so) than my American counterparts (doing the same job).

Then I went to Asia and was AMAZED at the hours people work especially when I realized the amount of work actually getting done.

The truth is, people can't work straight like robots. The more they work, the more small breaks they take during the day (my favorite time waster in america was the i'm-lonely-let's-have-a-meeting meeting). And if you are actually rested, you are much more productive.

Re:Read between the lines (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#46444415)

Any time a company starts talking about deregulation and loosening immigration laws, it's french for "make our labor cheaper."

Just curious, when they start talking about better education, what is that french for?

Re:Read between the lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444455)

A common opinion on Slashdot is that funding for STEM education is just a scam to get more STEM workers to cause downward pressure on their salaries. That seems a bit overly cynical to me, but it fits with the GP's point of view.

Re:Read between the lines (5, Insightful)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#46444463)

Any time a company starts talking about deregulation and loosening immigration laws, it's french for "make our labor cheaper."

Just curious, when they start talking about better education, what is that french for?

It's one of those classic tricks where you make multiple suggestions and some of them are reasonable and a couple of them are offensive in the hope that the reasonableness of the reasonable suggestions cloaks the chutzpah the offensive suggestions.

Re:Read between the lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444675)

"Just curious, when they start talking about better education, what is that french for?"

The same thing, making labor cheaper. If more people are intelligent enough to be engineers, then Google can pay their current engineers less and not have to use H1-B's to keep salaries down.

Re:Read between the lines (4, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 4 months ago | (#46445411)

It's called the "anchoring effect"

"education" - train our employees for free (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444473)

He's not looking for generalized education. He's looking for "high school/college graduates with job skills". More and more coding jobs are essentially clerical: here's a spec, generate code that executes this spec using the algorithms you've been given. This is recognized by the non-exempt nature of entry level programming jobs. I'm not talking here about "architect" or enterprise data store design, I'm talking about "here's a screen layout for each of the 50 states, we need them all coded up by a month from now, so we can roll out the new application" or "here's a document describing the workflow and business rules, implement SQL stored procedures for this"

Right now, a lot of that kind of work gets offshored, but that's getting expensive. They'd MUCH rather have $15/hr high school grads cranking out the code, particularly if they can collect various subsidies for hiring young people or prisoners or whoever.

Re:Read between the lines (5, Interesting)

mvdwege (243851) | about 4 months ago | (#46444509)

"Turn your schools into training camps for us"

Re:Read between the lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444531)

When they say "better education" what they mean is "more educated people in the workforce."

More educated workers means more competition for jobs, means cheaper workers.

Though coming from google who is known for over compensating it's workers (though not necessarily through direct financial means) it does seem odd, but then again, they get to be very selective about who works for them already.
My read on the entire statement above is that Google wants "innovation machines" i.e. small companies that come up with big ideas that either succeed or fail, google will buy those that succeed, and those that fail will do so without Google having to spend a dime to try out the same idea.

Re:Read between the lines (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444563)

It's French for "we need more workers that come pre-equipped with a huge debt so they're more obedient". Clear enough? School = scam. Education is free, we have libraries and the web now.

Re:Read between the lines (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#46444671)

when they start talking about better education, what is that french for?

"Better education" is French for "red herring".

Of course everybody wants better education, but that doesn't mean education is what's causing increased income disparity. It also doesn't mean poor education is the source of any supposed shortage of STEM workers. STEM people mostly come from the better educated range of our populace. There is no shortage of such people, and we have some of the best universities in the world to educate them. The actual education problem is with those who are not in the upper range. While praising Finnish education, and their results in international tests, they overlook that serving the less well performing students is the great emphasis of Finnish education.

It's also a regional issue in the US. For example, Massachusetts if judged by itself ranks right up there with the vaunted Asian countries, and yes that includes poor kids in Boston and whatnot.

Lastly, the nice thing about blaming education is that you can say that if we fix the education in this country, it will still take at least 10 years to bear fruit. Therefore we need interim measures, like increased H-1B quotas. Did you think it's a coincidence that pro-H-1B outfits like fwd.us are linked to silly things like "hour of code"?

Re:Read between the lines (3, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 4 months ago | (#46444759)

Just curious, when they start talking about better education, what is that french for?

It's about blaming income inequality on teachers and schools rather than the 1%. And also about washing one's hands of any social responsibility for the well-being of the roughly 70% of Americans who don't have a college degree. (Not that a college degree guarantees middle-class success these days.)

Re:Read between the lines (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445265)

I have a college degree and I it won't even get me an interview at Wal-Mart.

You could blame it on my resume, but Wal-Mart's application specifically says to turn it in by itself. The application itself has no open ended questions, so there is little to no room for personal discrepancy. I have friends who dropped out of high-school that use "you know" and curse words in every other sentence. I can only conclude that being an educated, articulate, observant, educated person makes you less employable in much of today's job market.

In the modern USA, the dumber more ignorant you are the "cooler" and more employable you are. "I mean who wants to work with someone who talks like a fag and reads and shit you know?"

Re: Read between the lines (1)

drfred79 (2936643) | about 4 months ago | (#46444499)

Let's follow the logical conclusion then. Lower wages, less barriers to entry in employment, higher qualified prospects. :Gasp: Sooner or later this could lead to the dreaded thought that people will stop being overworked and doing the job of two.

Re: Read between the lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444669)

How did you come to that conclusion?

Lower wages - always good for business

less barriers to entry in employment - more labor supply meaning they can overwork you even more and you better like it because your lucky to have a job.

higher qualified prospects - See above except now it applies to even "skilled" positions, management excepted of course.

Re: Read between the lines (1)

rdelsambuco (552369) | about 4 months ago | (#46444695)

They'll be doing the job of one at half the pay.

Re: Read between the lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445121)

If you're doing enough work to cover two people, it's probably not because the company can't find a second person, but because they're getting two employee's worth of work for the price of one.

Re:Read between the lines (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 4 months ago | (#46444913)

Their solutions are not focused on getting higher paying jobs for the "99%." They are focused on lowering the amount they have to pay for their own talent.

Any time a company starts talking about deregulation and loosening immigration laws, it's french for "make our labor cheaper."

This, yes, this. Better education, yes, but Schmidt is just envious of Gates' success in turning a corporate drone curriculum into a national standard via Common Core. And deregulation, yes, but for energy and telecommunication? Those are the last industries that need deregulation, being natural monopolies. Deregulation of power companies (a natural monopoly) has been tried and was a massive failure. Frankly, I'm all in favor of looser immigration laws, but I suspect what Schmidt wants is more H1-B's, not more people that can compete for wages (and start their own companies) on a level playing field.

Looser immigration (1, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about 4 months ago | (#46444303)

It's well-established by now that one of the most significant factors in destroying the lives of the unskilled and semi-skilled workers across the country has been the influx of similar immigrants from around the world. Legal versus illegal, its immaterial. The invisible hand doesn't give a damn whether they hold a green card or not and giving legal status to the illegals won't suddenly drive wages up because their mere presence in the economy provides at least implicit price competition.

Here's how you enact a sensible immigration policy. You crack down on the employers of illegals such that no one will hire them. You then offer a contingent amnesty to the illegals that allows them to come forward and face no charges if they leave the country of their own volition, and you even let them keep all of the money and property they've earned if they self-deport. Then, you only allow immigrants with provable skills to immigrate as singles or with their immediate family if they're married with children. None of this "let's bring the whole extended family" over. Grandma, the aunts and uncles and cousins have no business piggybacking on that green card. That's just a recipe for waking up one day and finding a large ethnic enclave in an American city (oh wait, that's precisely what's happened in many areas because of this, silly me).

Re:Looser immigration (3, Interesting)

dasunt (249686) | about 4 months ago | (#46444379)

That's just a recipe for waking up one day and finding a large ethnic enclave in an American city (oh wait, that's precisely what's happened in many areas because of this, silly me).

You say this like it's a problem.

When my grandmother's grandfather first came to this country, they lived in a section of the city that was so heavily associated with immigrants from their part of the world that the main boulevard was nicknamed after one of their more disgusting habits. The immigrants had their own churches, frequently with non-English records. They had their own newspapers, frequently in their native language. They kept their own food, their own culture. They even had their own colleges.

Now that section of the city is home to another large immigrant community, complete with their own newspapers, religious institutions, restaurants, etc. There's a different derogatory nickname for that same section of town, but the name is still a dig at the immigrants.

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

I see no cause for concern that the latest round of immigration will turn out any differently.

Re:Looser immigration (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444429)

...

I see no cause for concern that the latest round of immigration will turn out any differently.

I do.

Now we don't expect immigrants to respect US culture or learn English, to the point of forcing students to remove shirts with US flags on them [uscourts.gov] simply because such shirts would cause immigrant children or children of immigrants to resort to violence.

Re:Looser immigration (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444987)

Now we don't expect immigrants to respect US culture or learn English

It's funny how the 19th-century nativists made exactly the same accusations.

Re:Looser immigration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445171)

Now we don't expect immigrants to respect US culture or learn English

It's funny how the 19th-century nativists made exactly the same accusations.

Got any court opinions from that time that support the suppression of free speech via threats of violence from immigrant populations?

Yeah, right. You don't.

Re:Looser immigration (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 4 months ago | (#46444435)

It's well-established by now that one of the most significant factors in destroying the lives of the unskilled and semi-skilled workers across the country has been the influx of similar immigrants from around the world. Legal versus illegal, its immaterial. The invisible hand doesn't give a damn whether they hold a green card or not and giving legal status to the illegals won't suddenly drive wages up because their mere presence in the economy provides at least implicit price competition.

Here's how you enact a sensible immigration policy. You crack down on the employers of illegals such that no one will hire them. You then offer a contingent amnesty to the illegals that allows them to come forward and face no charges if they leave the country of their own volition, and you even let them keep all of the money and property they've earned if they self-deport. Then, you only allow immigrants with provable skills to immigrate as singles or with their immediate family if they're married with children. None of this "let's bring the whole extended family" over. Grandma, the aunts and uncles and cousins have no business piggybacking on that green card. That's just a recipe for waking up one day and finding a large ethnic enclave in an American city (oh wait, that's precisely what's happened in many areas because of this, silly me).

Obligatory: http://content.time.com/time/c... [time.com]
Not that your suggestions are terribly unreasonable but you are kind of taking an axe (or chainsaw) to the USA's "Nation of immigrants" founding epic.

Re:Looser immigration (4, Interesting)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 4 months ago | (#46444975)

Not that your suggestions are terribly unreasonable but you are kind of taking an axe (or chainsaw) to the USA's "Nation of immigrants" founding epic.

I don't see it that way at all. What he's complaining about is not immigrants coming to the US, it's the new phenomenon where they come here and isolate themselves instead of becoming part of the great Melting Pot. Immigrants are a wonderful boon to the US in general, but when they isolate themselves and refuse to assimilate with the US culture, they end up nothing more than a slice of their origin country on a carved-out section of US soil. And that creates conflicts. There have even been stories of "honor killings" by father's whose children simply tried to live like mainstream Americans.

Re:Looser immigration (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#46444539)

you only allow immigrants with provable skills to immigrate

Which provable skills? In terms of guest workers or even real immigrants, the problem is that which skills are "critically needed" are determined by politics, money (oops, redundant) and myth, rather than anything silly like objective facts. TPTB have been pushing the idea of a STEM shortage for decades, despite a complete lack of objective evidence. The obviously unbiased claims of tech CEO's and academicians are the only "evidence". The objective statistics say otherwise (that was even the conclusion of a study commissioned by congress during the tech boom - which of course did nothing to stop raising H-1B quotas).

Labor rates have to be competitive to get work (5, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#46444637)

It's well-established by now that one of the most significant factors in destroying the lives of the unskilled and semi-skilled workers across the country has been the influx of similar immigrants from around the world.

Bullshit it's "well-established". What you are talking about is essentially a subsidy to labor by limiting the size of the labor pool. Limit supply and prices for the labor and every product that labor produces has to rise. Make labor cost more and you will pay more for the results of that labor. What you are forgetting is that we are in a GLOBAL economy. There are very few unskilled jobs that cannot be done elsewhere. Limit the supply of labor in the domestic market and much of that production will migrate elsewhere. If labor costs are too high relative to those available elsewhere then labor-intensive work will migrate to areas with lower labor costs like osmosis. Try to stop it and you will only drive prices higher and hurt the economy in the long run.

Here's how you enact a sensible immigration policy. You crack down on the employers of illegals such that no one will hire them.

You think that is the basis for a "sensible" immigration policy? You think a police state is somehow a good thing? It's unenforceable at any reasonable economic or humanitarian cost. It drives up costs making it harder to compete globally. Furthermore it doesn't address why they are coming into the country in the first place. They come because there is work available. What you should worry about is not whether people are coming into the US illegally. What you should worry about is if they STOP coming to the US because that means there are some serious economic problems.

hen, you only allow immigrants with provable skills to immigrate as singles or with their immediate family if they're married with children.

How does this work with unskilled workers? You think those crops are going to pick themselves? There is lots of vital work that does not depend on skilled labor. Furthermore if a family wants to migrate to the US then that is not a bad thing. Who the hell are you to tell them they cannot come?

That's just a recipe for waking up one day and finding a large ethnic enclave in an American city

Oh so it's really about race. I get it. You don't want those brown people who don't speak English immigrating to the US. Never mind that your ancestors were immigrants too and probably came here illegally as well and probably lived in "a large ethnic enclave in an American city". It's not as if we asked the Native American population if it was ok if we moved in.

Re:Labor rates have to be competitive to get work (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#46444833)

What you are talking about is essentially a subsidy to labor

Just as the limited liability aspect of incorporation is a subsidy to capital. Stop pretending that we live in, or ever will live in, a global libertopia. All government policy creates "distortions", and the big question is who those distortions benefit. The only alternative to having any such policies is anarchy.

What you are forgetting is that we are in a GLOBAL economy.

Where is that line from, the Thomas Friedman school of sycophancy? The global aspect of the economy is very selective. For example, offshoring is considered wonderful, but little mention is made of region pricing. Our so-called "free trade" agreements include lots of things that are very much anti-free trade, like requirements for the greater enforcement of government monopolies called "intellectual property". I'm not opposed to IP, for the reasons stated in the Constitution, but they're anathema to free trade, and the original free trade proponents said so. Odd how that aspect of "free trade" seems to have been forgotten. It's interesting how some government distortions are considered desirable.

Re:Labor rates have to be competitive to get work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445091)

Oh dear I was expecting an interesting retort, but you haven't addressed any of the substantive points made by OP about the matter at hand, instead choosing to handwave generalities, and then you go on an irrelevant anti-IP rant with appeals to authority and all sorts of other nonsense. Epic fail. Are you able to address any of OP's specific points about the specific example of the labor market?

Re:Labor rates have to be competitive to get work (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#46445325)

you haven't addressed any of the substantive points made by OP about the matter at hand, instead choosing to handwave generalities

As opposed to your using "handwave [sic] generalities" to criticize my post? You haven't offered any specific criticisms, or addressed any of my substantive points, of which there are several (e.g. capital vs. labor subsidies, several specific points about how so-called free trade is not true free trade as espoused by economists, etc.). Your exclusive use of cliche generalities (e.g. "handwave [sic]") in an attempt to be condescending is a pathetic critique. If there is a post you disagree with, try an actual rebuttal.

Re:Looser immigration (1, Troll)

u38cg (607297) | about 4 months ago | (#46444659)

It's well-established by now

Except it isn't, except in the minds of racists like yourself (and no, claiming to not be a racist is not sufficient to actually not be a racist). There is plenty evidence to the contrary and the economic effects of migration are a second order effect to the tsunami of change unleashed by technological change. Good day to you.

Re:Looser immigration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444863)

It's well-established by now

Except it isn't, except in the minds of racists like yourself (and no, claiming to not be a racist is not sufficient to actually not be a racist). There is plenty evidence to the contrary and the economic effects of migration are a second order effect to the tsunami of change unleashed by technological change. Good day to you.

Says the guy from the UK.

Re:Looser immigration (4, Informative)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about 4 months ago | (#46444873)

Here's how you enact a sensible immigration policy. You crack down on the employers of illegals such that no one will hire them. You then offer a contingent amnesty to the illegals that allows them to come forward and face no charges if they leave the country of their own volition, and you even let them keep all of the money and property they've earned if they self-deport. Then, you only allow immigrants with provable skills to immigrate as singles or with their immediate family if they're married with children. None of this "let's bring the whole extended family" over. Grandma, the aunts and uncles and cousins have no business piggybacking on that green card. That's just a recipe for waking up one day and finding a large ethnic enclave in an American city (oh wait, that's precisely what's happened in many areas because of this, silly me).

How's that Tea Party Kool Aid taste? Self-deporting will never work. I'll explain why. Some years ago I had a girlfriend who lived in a country that is not part of the Visa Waiver group of countries that don't need visas to come to the USA. I applied for a fiancee visa for her. I have some insight into how immigration really works in this country, although I do have to say that we ended up breaking up after my application was approved and she did not ever come to the USA. I've read stories about how legal immigrants can't get visas for family members to visit them because the truth is that at the consulates where US employees make the decisions, many applications get denied. The system is set up so that if visitors overstay a visa, the person who approved it gets held accountable and they may not be able to get promoted if it happens enough. There is no appeal process if your application is denied, so it's just easier in many cases to deny a request than to gamble that the person who gets the visa won't overstay. I've even heard of parents of legal immigrants where one got a visa to visit their legal immigrant child and one did not simply because they applied on different days and each parent talked to a different worker at the same US consulate. Also, the whole process of legally immigrating is ridiculously long. If anyone self-deports, they know that they may not ever be allowed back in. If the person who works on their case just doesn't like them, they can deny or delay the application and the applicant can do nothing (they have no rights as they are not US citizens).

Re:Looser immigration (1)

Alomex (148003) | about 4 months ago | (#46445163)

It's well-established by now that one of the most significant factors in destroying the lives of the unskilled and semi-skilled workers across the country has been the influx of similar immigrants from around the world.

[citation needed]

Seriously, last time I checked the literature (and I did check the literature rather than blow air out of my ass) immigration had a rather small role in that. It was the opening of borders and trade agreements to goods that caused the collapsed of unskilled labor wages.

Re:Looser immigration (1)

invid (163714) | about 4 months ago | (#46445177)

Just wait until the foreigners start building robots to immigrate into America for them. Then we'll be in trouble.

Re:Looser immigration (1)

loonycyborg (1262242) | about 4 months ago | (#46445419)

Don't worry. It's only matter of time before average salary and working conditions will become even worse than in most other countries and immigration stops. It's a self-regulating process, you see :P

Besides, cost of living in US is higher so it's only matter of time before those immigrants figure out that they're being ripped off and will become as demanding as the rest of americans.

BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444309)

Eric Schmidt is full of it.

Re:BS (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 4 months ago | (#46444355)

Eric Schmidt: there's no reason to have any secrets.

Just the kind of friend you would trust with your secrets.

Re:BS (1)

gnupun (752725) | about 4 months ago | (#46444377)

Didn't Google pay over a billion to buy YouTube?

Google talking out of their asses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444319)

How very uncommon. What is needed is people starting to educate others that it is unwise to put all of your private data in the hands of others. Especially don't place your data in the hands of fucking Google.

Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (5, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | about 4 months ago | (#46444337)

Tech startups don't create the kinds of jobs that the 99% actually need. Oh, sure, many of them will eventually hire one secretary, and will pay into their building's contract for one part-time janitor.

As pointed out in the WhatsApp example, most tech startups employ a dozen or so high-skill kids at low wages. In most cases they then work for 5 years and lose their jobs, not having really made much of anything. The ones that make the papers are the ones where the kids become millionaires. They then grow into 20-50 person firms that never really hire anybody who isn't technically skilled. As modern companies they don't have the kinds of legacy processes that involve heavy manpower. If they sell widgets then they do the design with a few local employees, send the manufacture to Asia, and then warehouse the goods in some 3PL company that puts part-timers lacking benefits through a meat grinder to get packages shipped (those companies create jobs for sure, but as few as they can possibly manage at low pay and they're anything but desirable jobs).

I think startups are important for the economy, but not because they create jobs.

I think we need to get past the model where the typical person is employed by a private company. Private companies just don't need the sorts of skills that the typical person has. Nobody wants to hire an average programmer (at least, not at US wages), or an average marketer, etc. Today we have hyper-specialization and if you're in the top 1% of whatever you do you'll have a job for life, and if not you'll be lucky to ever have a job. We're still in transition, but all the trends are there.

We life in a country which has a huge economy, and yet tons of people who are unemployed. And yet, our roads and bridges are falling apart. Just tax a small bit of the wealth flowing through the country and give people part-time jobs fixing potholes or whatever. When we run out of those they can fix bridges, dig trenches for municipal broadband, and so on.

You'll never hear businesses lobbying for that, however, because then they might actually have to pay their janitors a living wage to keep them. I'm not suggesting private enterprise is evil/bad/etc, but ultimately these companies are not stewards of the public interest. Let's run the economy in a way that actually allows people who are unemployable to survive, and which helps the private economy as well. After all, wouldn't better transportation in the Bay Area help companies like Google?

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444369)

nice post

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (2, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#46444373)

And yet, our roads and bridges are falling apart. Just tax a small bit of the wealth flowing through the country and give people part-time jobs fixing potholes or whatever.

We already tax a small bit of the wealth flowing through the country to fix roads and bridges. They're called "gasoline taxes" and "road use taxes".

And we already pay people (full time! none of this part time crap) to fix potholes and other issues with the roads.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444831)

So why are the roads and bridges broken?

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 4 months ago | (#46445059)

The government purchasing process is so corrupt and wasteful that projects can only involve minimal work and massive profits. To actually get something of value done would require a stupendous level of funding, would make more sense to start fresh building a transportation network on Mars

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#46445017)

We already tax a small bit of the wealth flowing through the country to fix roads and bridges. They're called "gasoline taxes" and "road use taxes".

And neither gasoline taxes nor road use taxes are sufficient to pay for the roads. You can have a balkanized network of toll roads that would cripple commerce and personal travel alike, you can raise fuel taxes to european levels which is probably the fairest approach, or you can have what we have here where money from the general fund is spent on interstate highway maintenance. Of course, that could be done at the state level rather than the federal level, which would prevent states like California with the most miles of road, the most vehicles, and the most vehicle-miles traveled (due to having the largest population and lots of livable land area) having shitty roads while also having to subsidize the roads in other states. Mostly red states, they talk big about personal responsibility but they don't actually believe in that shit.

Reality Check (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444395)

Someone just spent $850 Billion on shovel ready jobs. We were told it was to fix bridges, fix unemployment, and give jobs to people filling pot holes. In addition we just bumped up the top tax rate, removed the 2% tax cut on SS wages, and tossed on about 17 tax increases on healthcare. (Bonus, that $850 billion became part of the base budget so has been spent for 5 years now making this year's budge $3.9 Trillion)

The result of all that is you saying unemployment is too high, the roads and bridges are falling apart, and we need to raise taxes again.

How much complete failure of the Federal Government doing EXACTLY what you are wanting them to do must you witness before you realize they are corrupt to the point they are completely unable to help anyone and they just destroy lives instead?

Re:Reality Check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445417)

The wealthy only pay 15% because they set things up to only pay capital gains taxes; which are exempt from SS.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (3, Informative)

Third Position (1725934) | about 4 months ago | (#46444423)

Private companies just don't need the sorts of skills that the typical person has. Nobody wants to hire an average programmer (at least, not at US wages), or an average marketer, etc. Today we have hyper-specialization and if you're in the top 1% of whatever you do you'll have a job for life, and if not you'll be lucky to ever have a job. We're still in transition, but all the trends are there.

We life in a country which has a huge economy, and yet tons of people who are unemployed.

Oddly enough, a libertarian economist, Tyler Cowan, wrote a book that agrees with you. Average is Over. [aei-ideas.org]

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (4, Interesting)

njnnja (2833511) | about 4 months ago | (#46444487)

Today we have hyper-specialization and if you're in the top 1% of whatever you do you'll have a job for life, and if not you'll be lucky to ever have a job. We're still in transition, but all the trends are there.

We life in a country which has a huge economy, and yet tons of people who are unemployed. And yet, our roads and bridges are falling apart. Just tax a small bit of the wealth flowing through the country and give people part-time jobs fixing potholes or whatever. When we run out of those they can fix bridges, dig trenches for municipal broadband, and so on.

I agree that this appears to be occurring but it is because the top 1% (in all sorts of professions - entertainment and media, mobile startups, finance, etc) are able to use technology to leverage their talents in ways not possible before, in order to reach more and more people. By reaching more people, they are able to make more money.

However, note that the infrastructure that they use is still not free (and probably never will be). The cost of building and maintaining the network needs to be borne by somebody. And a lot of that network building and maintenance is done by guys with hardhats climbing cell phone towers. A lot of the $19 billion valuation of Whats App is due to the hard work of those guys making a basic middle class wage. If Verizon or AT&T wasn't paying them, Whats App would have to, and then Whats App is not a 50 person company, but rather a 50,050 person company.

So the trick is to get the money from the 1% who use the leverage to the 99% who build the tools that the 1% use. Maybe Whats App (Facebook) should be responsible for paying a big bonus to the people who work on the towers. It would surely encourage more young people to become skilled tradesmen who could improve our cellular network. Heaven knows we need more/better cell towers more than we need another app writing software firm.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444541)

Tech startups don't create the kinds of jobs that the 99% actually need. ...

I think startups are important for the economy, but not because they create jobs.

...

You're ignoring non-tech startups, for example bakeries or restaurants. Those do create jobs for all kinds of people, skilled and unskilled.

We life in a country which has a huge economy, and yet tons of people who are unemployed. And yet, our roads and bridges are falling apart. Just tax a small bit of the wealth flowing through the country and give people part-time jobs fixing potholes or whatever. When we run out of those they can fix bridges, dig trenches for municipal broadband, and so on.

WHAT?!?!?!

Fully 41% of the US GDP [slashdot.org] is government spending. "Tax a small bit of the wealth flowing through the country"?!?!? The government is already 41% of the entire economy and you think they don't already "tax a small bit of the wealth"?

What country do you live in?

It ain't the US.

You might think the government needs to raise taxes, you might thing the government needs to lower taxes.

But do you really live in a fantasy world where you think they don't already "tax a small bit"?!?!?

And just TRY to allowing the government to force unemployed people to show up to government work camps to collect their dole. OMG the "progressives" would shit their pants.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (1)

Gryle (933382) | about 4 months ago | (#46445097)

And just TRY to allowing the government to force unemployed people to show up to government work camps to collect their dole. OMG the "progressives" would shit their pants.

Which is unfortunate because I've long thought the Civilian Conservation Corps is an excellent model for unemployment benefits for the able-bodied. Interestingly there are a handful of similar state-run programs in California and Washington but these are generally limited to the 18-25 age-group. I think with a certain amount of "leave days" for job fairs and the like it would be an excellent program for Congress to resurrect. However I can see someone screaming about exploitation of minorities as they have a disproportionately high unemployment rate nationwide (12.6% unemployment as opposed to the 5.7% national average).

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 months ago | (#46445109)

Given the amount of borrowing the government does in order to fund its spending you really can't make the argument that since they spend so much they must tax so much.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445273)

Nor can one make the argument that just because the government borrows they must not tax.

The tax burden in the US is about 25% of the GDP. Significantly more than "tax a small bit of the wealth", no?

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 months ago | (#46445363)

Sure, maybe that's why I didn't make that argument.

I also didn't argue that they weren't already taxing more than a small bit of the wealth. Just that the logic used to argue that point was flawed.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (2)

conquistadorst (2759585) | about 4 months ago | (#46444599)

Tech startups don't create the kinds of jobs that the 99% actually need. Oh, sure, many of them will eventually hire one secretary, and will pay into their building's contract for one part-time janitor.

I have to admit that saying they're jobs we don't need sounds a bit misguided. Who says? Why wouldn't they be? Are you suggesting we shouldn't have a technical work force? That's what it sounds like... but if I were to guess how you'd respond if asked that, you'd say that's not what you're trying to say at all.

That being said, technology already permeates every industry. Even service, manufacturing, construction, and it continues to increase more and more every year. There's a growing need (and gap) in tuning our workforce to be more technical. Hence the growing calls for pushing math, science, and technology in schools. While there will always be a need for blue collar jobs like manufacturing/construction/service for the foreseeable future, those won't last in the same state as they do today either. So it's kind of inevitable. And in reference to exporting those jobs exported oversees, you probably already know the same jobs would only be a 100th in size over here because of the automation we'd employ.

As for taxes in my opinion, we already have a sliding scale that almost works OK. If we could eliminate some "loopholes" - first being special treatment on specific types of income like dividends and capital gains and instead treat them as ordinary income - second eliminate all interest deductions including mortgage interest. I believe those changes alone (allowing for no exceptions) we'd fix 80% of our tax problems and also simplify taxes for everyone across the board.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (3, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#46444893)

As for taxes in my opinion, we already have a sliding scale that almost works OK.

That's true, if you only look at federal income tax. Look at all federal, state and local taxes, and you have a different picture. Estimates vary a bit, but at best total taxes are only very slightly progressive. Other estimates say they're regressive.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (4, Insightful)

StandardCell (589682) | about 4 months ago | (#46444653)

Aggregating $19B in wealth in the hands of 50 people plus a handful of investors is indeed not the way to create jobs. It slows down the flow of money within the broader economy. I'm sure those $20M homes in Woodside and Los Altos Hills and Seacliff are worth every penny.

These megadeals also have the effect of creating a startup lottery environment where anyone can put together a ten page business plan and the "trend du jour" and try to make out like bandits. This is what led to the first dotcom crash and will also eventually lead to the second crash at some point. Anyone who makes an alternative to this content with having the user watch ads in the background every ten app starts will murder Whatsapp because $0 is cheaper than $1.

I think it's also important to note that Eric Schmidt wholeheartedly approves of this deal because I suspect he thinks it's to the ultimate detriment of Facebook, and a blessing \for Google in some ways. Much like unbridled immigration is to existing workers in this country for his business.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 4 months ago | (#46444927)

Providing jobs for the unskilled is not the problem with our economy. There are plenty of people who have the skills, the education, and/or past experience. Many have to settle for jobs that don't have anything to do with those skills.

As for the unskilled, I would say they have it better in this economy than someone who has skills but is looking for a job that doesn't need them. An MBA provides little or no value compared to an unskilled worker when applying for a job as a waiter, janitor, etc. And most MBAs don't want to work for the same wages as unskilled labor and they won't be as excited about the job opportunity.

And besides, once an unskilled person is hired, they become skilled quickly (else they won't be on the job long). Now that person has a better chance at getting another waiter/janitor job than anyone else, including the MBA.

This is why there is talk of the education bubble bursting soon. Too many skilled laborers and not enough skilled jobs.

Re:Startups Aren't Really Job-Creators In Practice (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 months ago | (#46445005)

Good luck with all of that hyper-socialist nonsense that you are preaching, I was born in a country that had it, USSR, I am glad it fell apart and I would never live in another one like that and you are turning USA into one. No amount of pot-hole and bridge repairs will reduce your trade imbalance, which is, by the way, the real indicator of health of your economy in the age of fake GPD and inflation numbers.

Your trade deficit is around 500 Billion / year and has been there for decades now, you are not paying for things you are getting in the US of A, your suggestion will only worsen the trade imbalance, pot-hole repairs cannot be exported in exchange for all those manufactured goods you are importing for FREE (free, because it's all vendor financed, thus the giant debt).

Anyway, as I said, good luck with your ideas. They have been proven completely false and harmful time and again, but I guess they don't actually teach real history any longer (if they ever did).

Schmidt just signed his death warrant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444349)

The ruling class needs to be made aware: The attempt to flood our nation with immigrants will fail. The dream of turning America into a deracinated hellhole such as Brazil will not work.

We are taking careful note of these traitors such as Schmidt who use their vast power (and yes, money is indeed power) to destroy this nation. They, along with their immediate family including their children and grandchildren, will be punished. Traitors themselves will be executed, and their family will be reported to a civilization more akin to their sensibilities,such as Somalia.

Re:Schmidt just signed his death warrant (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#46444419)

deracinated

I have a pretty good vocabulary but I had to look up that word.

deracinated: adjective, uprooted or displaced from one's geographical or social environment. noun, a person who has been or feels displaced.

The problem is that, like the word niggardly, it can easily be misunderstood.

Having looked it up though, I completely agree with your post.

Economics of envy (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 4 months ago | (#46444391)

When interviewer Steven Levy noted 'gazelles' like the 50-employee WhatsApp which was acquired by Facebook for a reported $19 billion seem to lead to more inequality, Schmidt brushed aside the apparent contradiction.

50 people getting a split of $19b is seen as a bad thing because it "increases inequality". Why? Would the rest of the area be better off if those 50 people were still poor? It was a transfer of wealth from Facebook's war chest to 50 individuals - the money wasn't taken from the rest of the population. Surely the measure of increasing prosperity should be how much your buying power has grown, rather than the fact that someone down the street's buying power increased more than yours.

Re:Economics of envy (2, Insightful)

MrL0G1C (867445) | about 4 months ago | (#46444489)

50 people getting a split of $19b is seen as a bad thing because it "increases inequality". Why?

That statement is beyond dim, do you not understand what the definition of inequality is?

How many decades of there being no "trickle-down effect" do you need?

Let me put it simply, rich people redistribute wealth from poor people to rich people by getting them to create goods and services for the lowest wage that they can get away with and the profits get paid to rich shareholders and directors.

Inequality is some people being substantially more wealthy than others.

Re:Economics of envy (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about 4 months ago | (#46444551)

That statement is beyond dim, do you not understand what the definition of inequality is?

I'm the dim one, when apparently you cannot perform basic comprehension. I was questioning why 50 poor people getting rich was considered a bad thing, not why it was considered inequality.

How many decades of there being no "trickle-down effect"....profits get paid to rich shareholders and directors.

Blah, blah, blah, off-topic ranting on "trickle-down" economics that has nothing to do with what I posted. I guess a keyword in my post must have tripped a spinal reflex, or something.

Re:Economics of envy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445195)

Unfortunately, putting "increasing inequality" in sarcastoquotes and then just saying "why?" made it appear that you were questioning whether or not this in fact increases inequality. You can only measure "basic comprehension" against writing that's actually somewhat clearly worded. Try dropping the quotes when you're not actually quoting someone.

Re:Economics of envy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444663)

> How many decades of there being no "trickle-down effect" do you need?

How about just one? What do you think rich people do with their money? Swim in it?

Re:Economics of envy (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 4 months ago | (#46445191)

And suppose they do.

The answer then seems simple: if you're going to regulate the rich, do so in a way that encourages them to spend. Don't just take their money because you assume they don't spend.

Re:Economics of envy (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 months ago | (#46445151)

You're going to have to explain for us stupid people.

How does transferring $19 billion from Facebook to 50 people with less money that Facebook possibly increase inequality?

The richer party now has less. The poorer parties now have more. Isn't that a decrease in inequality?

Re:Economics of envy (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 4 months ago | (#46445349)

Because math is too hard.

And the same people who cry about such "inequality" tend to be the most vocal about gambling. Somehow, the poor giving up anywhere from $1 to $100 (or more), so that one person can be added to the 1%, is their definition of true equality.

I take it back. It's not about math, it's mostly about polarizing politics that cause people to believe a lot of stupid things because they want to be identified with a few ideals. (The same applies on the other side of the aisle too... don't think I'm just picking on one group.)

Re:Economics of envy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444899)

Buying power is a meassure of the ability of everyone in the locality to purchase goods and services.

If somone in my locality is suddenly able to out bid me on everything, my buying power has gone down.

It's also called gentrification...

Re:Economics of envy (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 4 months ago | (#46445279)

That was the argument for the past 40 years. And all boats have not lifted.

The entire problem is not represented with overpaying for a little software company and a few individuals getting the benefit. The problem is constantly rewarding the rewarded. People with opportunity and education do creative things because it is rewarding and make choices based on rewards available.

We just need to transfer wealth from those with a lot to everyone else -- like we did when America was the greatest economic power and had the best education.

Re:Economics of envy (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 4 months ago | (#46445397)

This "Economics of Envy" title really pisses me off. What a smug point of view. The people who are doing great with the current system, will be really surprised one day when a rich person has to hire mercenaries with machine guns to protect their home. Escort their kids to private schools in bullet proof cars.

Other countries that have a huge wealth inequality do experience "trickle down" but it's usually as a ransom payment to return a loved one unharmed. There is buying and selling of guns and bullet proof cars as well to stimulate the economy.

Use all your economic matrixes or reasoned arguments. Blame problems on lax whatever or "the kids these days." The mob almost went extinct for a time but now we've got large street gangs and I suppose organized crime will be coming back because the justice system doesn't work for the "average" citizen. You remove those "overpaid union jobs" and -- surprise, surprise you get street gangs. "People shouldn't have kids if they can't afford it." Yeah, that's easy talk and not reality -- less money usually means more kids all over the planet.

The fact is, for most people, the standard of living and opportunity is going down. The Gazelles are fine to get a windfall -- the problem isn't in the horse trading. Of course the problem isn't just ONE issue of people making a lot of money in a company purchase. It's a lot of big money chasing big money and none of it helping the vast majority who will never be part of the Gazelle lottery.

There's an easy solution to this, or we can continue listening the Libertarian principles as if we all haven't heard these tropes since Adam Smith rolled over in his grave for hackneyed economics tailored to the rich. Someone will make a profit selling guns and one day someone will get one stuck in their face and all their intellectual arguments on how "this should be working great for you, young school kid with a record and no future -- maybe you haven't heard about being motivated, staying in school and getting your company bought by Facebook?" That of course, will get you shot as well as mugged, but good luck with that.

Reference please (1, Interesting)

jamesl (106902) | about 4 months ago | (#46444399)

'Ninety-nine percent of people have seen no economic improvement over the last decade,' he said ...

I'd like to see an authoritative reference for this statement.

looser immigration laws (4, Insightful)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 4 months ago | (#46444405)

"looser immigration laws"

No you clown, that's most of the reason wages in the US have stagnated in the first place. Supply and demand. If you supply more labor the equilibrium price will fall.

Re: looser immigration laws (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about 4 months ago | (#46444751)

I don't know why this myth persists, it's such a pathetic populist simplification.

Consider this scenario. Your company has an idea for a new product, but it requires an AI expert. There are other AI experts with the required skillset in the country getting paid on average $200k a year. You can poach one by paying $250k a year and in doing so increase the average salary for that skillset but that then deprives another company of one which means they have to shut their project down, and people lose their jobs as the project cannot continue. The loss of jobs means instead average salaries decline because whilst one guy is getting paid $50k more, a bunch of others are going from $80k to $0k.

So instead you bring in someone from overseas for $200k, this lets the other company keep going, and sure it doesn't increase the average salary for that profession, but then you need to hire some additional devs to help your expert, you hire three more great programmers at $100k each - that's $30k above the average and so guess what? you just increased average salaries by hiring someone that enabled this.

Of course your next argument, the next argument used by populist immigrant haters will of course be "well train someone up in the country" - great, train them up how? if we're talking cutting edge or highly advanced stuff who is going to train them? Even if you can and do train them then this puts your project back years and when that happens what if another country develops your idea? They get the wealth and jobs from it instead.

So no, if you supply more labour that doesn't inherently mean that salaries will decrease. The problem is entirely about what types of labour you let in. Done right, it can increase average salaries.

I've pointed it out before, the list of H1-B hires by the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple and so forth shows salaries far above the national average salaries and so you simply cannot accuse big tech companies of having an agenda to drag salaries down with immigrants - the very fact their immigrant hires are paid more on average by definition means that these companies are increasing average salaries by bringing in these people and paying them what they do.

The immigration issue isn't as simplistic as people like you seem to think, it can be a massively important tool in driving growth and increasing salaries, and certainly the major tech companies are using it in a way that they're increasing average salaries.

As an aside, FWIW, the reason salaries have stagnated in the first place is actually mostly because of the work of indigenous American bankers and has absolutely nothing to do with immigration - immigration was still happening even pre-recession and wages were still going up. It actually declined slightly when the recession hit and wages also declined, they certainly didn't go up when there were less immigrants arriving.

Re: looser immigration laws (3, Informative)

Casca (4032) | about 4 months ago | (#46445081)

You have some interesting points. From my perspective though, which is coming from a very large American company, sitting in a large IT department, surrounded by H1B workers getting paid around $40k to do the work that used to pay $80-100k, I find your points to be lacking.

Re: looser immigration laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444871)

Yes, it is simple supply and demand. A companies biggest cost is wages. Flood the market with more labor, and presto, the cost of labor comes down. There is an ample supply of home-grown engineers in the States.

Looser immigration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444411)

How does that help the economy? Please tell Schmidt-y.

Re:Looser immigration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444727)

Most economic studies show immigration as a net economic benefit to the US. For example:

Professor of Law Francine Lipman [56] writes that the belief that illegal migrants are exploiting the US economy and that they cost more in services than they contribute to the economy is "undeniably false". Lipman asserts that "illegal immigrants actually contribute more to public coffers in taxes than they cost in social services" and "contribute to the U.S. economy through their investments and consumption of goods and services; filling of millions of essential worker positions resulting in subsidiary job creation, increased productivity and lower costs of goods and services; and unrequited contributions to Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance programs."[57]

Aviva Chomsky, a professor at Salem State College, states that "Early studies in California and in the Southwest and in the Southeast...have come to the same conclusions. Immigrants, legal and illegal, are more likely to pay taxes than they are to use public services. illegal immigrants aren't eligible for most public services and live in fear of revealing themselves to government authorities. Households headed by illegal immigrants use less than half the amount of federal services that households headed by documented immigrants or citizens make use of.

That's "bless their heart" in tech speak. (4, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 4 months ago | (#46444443)

Here's how I read that:

>> "$19 billion for 50 people? Good for them."

Which really means: "If Facebook wants to eliminate themselves as a threat to Google (and Google+) by peeing away mound of cash on stupid deals, I'm all for it. Meh heh heh heh ha!'

Re:That's "bless their heart" in tech speak. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444753)

Agreed, and are you really telling me that Facebook couldn't have built the own system for oh say less then a billion, spent 10 billion or so on advertising and gotten better results for cheaper.

Absurd waste of $$ on an app that'll be obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444449)

In less than 2 years. I trust Zuckerberg will express his "regret" on this decision at a later date. Or the board of Facebook will. I suspect they didn't back it when it was decided, but there was little they could do.

Schmidt is a Shmuck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444503)

"looser immigration". blah blah blah.

Schmidt the Captialist Commie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46444617)

On the one hand, he's saying "we'll keep all the money, and you'll get none of it" (capitalist). On the other, he's saying "we'll give you all sorts of handy services for free" (the commie).

The fact is, if Google and all the others paid more tax, then there'd be more money in the public purse to pay for local services that people want. The thing is, Americans don't seem to think like this - they think that government "interference" is bad, and that taxes should be lower. Unlike the way Schmidt wants it, you can't have it both ways.

Raise the top marginal tax rate (1, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | about 4 months ago | (#46444773)

That is what I think every time I hear this idiot speak. 95% should do nicely.

Facebook bought the userbase (3, Insightful)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 4 months ago | (#46444829)

Just like Google bought Youtube for its userbase. They could have made Google Videos a lot better than Youtube, but the userbase would have taken years to migrate (if at all). The point is, being the first person in the party is a very good thing if you are a startup.

Raising their own rents? (4, Interesting)

dane23 (135106) | about 4 months ago | (#46444981)

"...where high-salaried techies have driven up rents" The "techies" didn't drive up the rent, the landlords drove up the rent because they could. Who the hell says, "Hmm, this is a nice place for $XX but I'd really rather pay $XXX for it"?

Re:Raising their own rents? (4, Informative)

whoda (569082) | about 4 months ago | (#46445143)

The guy who is trying to get the current residents evicted. That's whom.

skilled (1)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 4 months ago | (#46445001)

who says the folk at whatsapp are skilled. the only skill they appear to have is for conning conmen into vastly over paying for a firm thats not worth a tenth of what fb paid. stupid yanks will not be happy until you have screwed the entire worlds economy by exporting your stupid get rich quick ideas of trade. can anyone actualy explain exactly how fb aim to make the extra cash to pay for all their stupid buys? apart from their criminaly over inflated stock price what else do fb actauly have? they make nothing from adverts,basicly they have no income. apart from a falling user base,

After double checking the US Constitution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445083)

and consulting his paid politicians around the globe, Eric Schmidt welcomes any attempts to increase the international tax collected. This way he appears to be on everyone's side yet knows full well it will never happen.

looser immigration laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46445089)

HIRE AMERICANS to do the job, and you won't need looser immigration laws.

It's not the cheap option, but it's the RIGHT option.

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