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274 comments

Why would he? (5, Funny)

macmastery (600662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279162)

Isn't it a pay cut?

Re:Why would he? (5, Insightful)

Syro2000 (948558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279234)

According to wikipedia, the President's salary traditionally serves as the cap for all government employees, and is currently near half a million dollars. That said, most everyone who runs for President is already independently wealthy, so I don't think pay is a major concern.

A more appropriate question -- given who we are talking about -- would perhaps be, "isn't it a power cut?"

Re:Why would he? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279486)

Seriously. When the President of China came to Washington state, he met with Gates at his own home. The Governor was an 'invited guest'. Gates has more power as a businessman than he ever would as a politician.

Re:Why would he? (3, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279744)

When the President of China came to Washington state, he met with Gates at his own home. The Governor was an 'invited guest'.
Maybe that was because he wanted to see Gates' place? You know, it sure is a really nice house. [itmweb.com]

Re:Why would he? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279586)

Gates is far too rich and powerful to be president.

Not a Microsoft fan, but better than neo-cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279168)

Bill Gates would probably run the economy *much* better than George. And probably would not get involved in the idiotic "Great American Century" neo-cons.

Re:Not a Microsoft fan, but better than neo-cons (0, Flamebait)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279212)

Can you imagine the H1Bs that would in this country though?

The last time we doubled the H1B quota ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279334)

Weekly unemployment claims doubled in two years.

Way to go Clinton/Bush !!!

Re:Not a Microsoft fan, but better than neo-cons (1, Funny)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279262)

While the economy would prosper from non-tariffed overseas sales of Microsoft and Dell goods, the resulting civil war from the Apple and Linux sympathizing states would most certainly bring it right back down.

Different from Neo-Cons? How? (1)

Livius (318358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279314)

Crushing competition by any means? Stifling new technologies to support a harmful product? Collecting taxes illegally? Transferring wealth from consumers and productive businesses to a wealthy few who contribute nothing worthwhile to civilization? Embrace, extend, extinguish?

Gates is the neo-con artist par excellence.

Re:Different from Neo-Cons? How? (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279492)

Embrace, extend, extinguish?

That's what Dubya is doing in the Middle East, and we brought him back for a second term.

Re:Not a Microsoft fan, but better than neo-cons (4, Insightful)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279316)

Spot on. The country would be in much better shape if we had more business people in politics and less politicians who are, by and large, mostly lawyers and career politicians. I'm not saying Gates is the right man for the job, but I do think we need more people with real business acumen in politics (not Neo-Cons with Ivy-league MBA's) before anything is really going to change.

Re:Not a Microsoft fan, but better than neo-cons (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279594)

Face it, you're getting Hillary in 08, whether you like it or not. Just don't care about it and you'll feel better.

Re:Not a Microsoft fan, but better than neo-cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279710)

Your post is 24 days early.

Who would Gates attack? (2, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279888)

The whole Iraqi war has nothing to do with terrorism. If is far easier to find a link between Bush's interests in the oil industry and destabilizing oil production to boost the income from Bush's oil buddies. In other words, like wars of long ago, this war is more about the leader's [ersonal interests than anything else.

Would Gates declare war on Linux-loving nations?

Re:Who would Gates attack? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279930)

Would Gates declare war on Linux-loving nations?

No. He would just buy the important parts of it and make sure these are using Windows. Like their governments.

Gates is not a warmonger.

Re:Not a Microsoft fan, but better than neo-cons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279966)

Hello? Bush is a businessman. He's said as much. Look at his businesses, he gets floated money from friends and family, including his good Arabian friend, tanks the company and gets bailed out only to repeat the process. Yes, more businessmen are needed to run the country....

Exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279976)

What we need is more power for corporations.

He was a criminal? (3, Funny)

smaerd (954708) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279172)

"..but after three months of trying the group's leader..."
What was he charged with?

Re:He was a criminal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279620)

What was he charged with?
Keeping schlubs in his underwear.

Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (2, Interesting)

Cracked Pottery (947450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279180)

He opposes the inheritance tax, like his dad, and he gives his money to decent charities. He ain't a politician in more that the corporate sense. He isn't competent to rule a country, although M$ earns more money than most countries.

OF COURSE he does! (2, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279236)

He is a massively multi-billionaire. What billionaire would not oppose the inheritance tax?

Some form of inheritance tax is required because not having just encourages hoarding of capital, which is bad for the national economy in the long term.

Re:OF COURSE he does! (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279322)

Well, if we had a national sales tax, or some form of consumption tax... the money would get spent eventually. It doesn't do you any good to have the money if it doesn't get spent eventually.

Yes! That's a horrible idea! (5, Insightful)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279384)

Seriously, a consumption task is a pretty horrible idea.

This was brought up a couple days ago, so I'll copy and paste from my previous post on this subject:

Forgoing the income tax for a sales tax is a pretty bad idea.

First, the income tax is progressive. This would be impossible to achieve with sales tax. The only people that would benefit from a "flat" tax (sales or income) are those at the highest tax brackets. In order to replace the income lost from dropping taxes on the top 5%, taxes would have to be raised on the bottom 50%.

Second, a sales tax puts a disproportionate burden on the lowest income families. Those with low incomes--even up to $50k/yr for a single man--spend a very large proportion of their income. The lower your income, the higher percentage of it is spent. People making minimum wage are spending 100% of their pay checks.

Those making $1MM a year, on the other hand, may spend only a small fraction of their income.

And you can say that you would simply not charge sales tax on the things that poor people are spending their money on -- food, shelter and utilities -- but doing so would drastically reduce tax receipts. It would be impossible to exempt those things and the suggestion that it is possible is just used by proponents to try to sell their plan.

Furthermore, this is about Google. Corporations pay a pitifully small percentage of taxes in America. The percentage of taxes paid by corporations has dropped dramatically since the 1950's. Your notion that double taxation is a serious problem is just plain wrong. The tax code currently incentivizes businesses to invest in capital expenditures, R&D, etc.

In summary, the only people that want a sales tax are those that don't understand it's implications and those that could pay less taxes by shifting the tax burden more on the lower & middle classes.

The notion that there is tax injustice because the top minority of Americans pays the majority of taxes is absurd. The people at the top of the food chain reap the highest rewards of our society. Without our national infrastructure, they wouldn't be able to make and horde millions or billions of dollars. They SHOULD pay a tax burden that more closely resembles their share of the US pie, not necessarily their share of the US Population.

Re:Yes! That's a horrible idea! (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279592)

Combining a national dividend with a flat sales tax has the same effect as a progressive tax but is much easier to implement, and therefore has much less overhead.

Re:Yes! That's a horrible idea! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279832)

A rebate/prebate/dividend can certainly make a sales tax mirror a progressive income tax, but I'm not sure it is really ipso facto 'simpler'. The current income tax system is obscene, but it really doesn't need to be.

Also, there is a huge incentive to avoid consumption taxes on luxury goods(like yachts).

Re:Yes! That's a horrible idea! (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279764)

Also the top % of america doesn't often pay much tax. There are enough loopholes that the seriously rich make a pitiful overall contribution. The majority fo the tax burden is carried by the middle and upper middle class. The upper and lower class either pay little or are such a minority that they do nto contribute significantly.

Re:Yes! That's a horrible idea! (1)

z4ce (67861) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279802)

And you think that the Income tax is effective at taxing wealth on billionaires? Really? Most billionares can completely avoid paying taxes under the current system. It's not even very hard.. most of their wealth is in stocks typically.. sell the stock.. give same amount of stock to some charity.. total tax burden=0. Even without avoiding income tax, they would pay the %25 capital gains rate.

A consumption tax is MUCH more repsentative of wealth. If they just horde (i.e. invest their wealth back into the economy), why should it be taxed anyway? And consumption taxes can be easily make progressive through a rebate system (e.g. FairTax).

Corporate income taxes borderline on absurd. Corporate income tax is just a tax on all of the people who buy products thru embedded costs. Equity and debt markets would just be much more effective without them.

Re:Yes! That's a horrible idea! (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279994)

A sales tax is regressive, since the less you make the higher % of it you must spend to live. Rebates and what not will complicate things and will not change one wit the group that pays the majority fo the Tax now. The middle class. A consumption tax does nothing because the rich don't often spend like idiots like th elowe rmiddle class does. A major market for things like sean jean, SUVs, "luxury goods" is the lower class trying to buy economic respect. Undoubtly their principal cash cow is the upper middle class but a sales tax does almost nothing except making escaping taxation easier for the rich, harder for the poor and the same for the middle class.

Re:Yes! That's a horrible idea! (4, Informative)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279856)

You really should read more about the actual proposals for fair (and flat) taxes. Most of your arguments are addressed there. Such as the national dividend that your child (and my brother/sister) poster mentioned. Your other arguments seem to be attacking supporters which is generally bad form. As always, wikipedia [wikipedia.org] is a good place to start.

Obligatory FairTax plug (5, Informative)

Staale Nordlie (943189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279948)

The FairTax proposal addresses most of your objections.

Everyone gets a monthly prebate covering the tax on spending up to the poverty level. This eliminates taxes altogether for the truly poor, and makes the tax effectively progressive.

True, there's a limit to how hard you can punish success and productivity with such a tax, but the overall effect on the economy and, dare I say it, fairness, more than makes up for that.

Website: http://www.fairtax.org/ [fairtax.org]
Summary: : http://www.fairtax.org/fairtax/thumbnail.htm [fairtax.org]

Re:Yes! That's a horrible idea! (3, Insightful)

hawg2k (628081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280014)

I believe there are a few states that generate there spending capital via sales tax, and not income tax.

It seems to work for those states, so at the very least it's worth consideration, no?

You don't have to be a billionaire (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279348)

...to oppose the inheritance/estate tax. Anyone who has a halfway decent job and saved money rather than spent money will most likely have to file. Remember, it isn't just cash holdings that go towards your estate, but property as well.

(There are a lot of financial advisors that will help to help you manage your estate so that you are below the legal limit before Uncle Sam comes in, by donating money to worthy causes you supported in life, etc.)

Estate tax deduction too high in the USA (2, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279550)

You don't have to pay ANY estate tax unless you have over $2,000,000. That is far too high. Every other form of income is taxed without a two million dollar deduction. Why is the estate tax so limited? Think of how few people have over two million saved. Yet so many people who this tax will never effect want it eliminated entirely. I say reduce the deduction to $200,000 or less.

Re:Estate tax deduction too high in the USA (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279720)

Most estates are comprised of wealth that somebody has already paid income tax on. I don't really have a problem leveling the luck of the draw situation around birth, but it seems sort of nasty to call it income.

A reasonable limit allows children to keep running small businesses instead of liquidating them to pay taxes.

Re:Estate tax deduction too high in the USA (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279934)

Every dollar in circulation has been taxed umpteen times before. Every dollar of income you make was also income for your employer. It was taxed when your employer earned it, and taxed again when you earned it. Every time money changes hands, it is taxed. That is a very fair way of doing it.

Lottery winnings are income. Gifts are income. Money falling from the sky is income. So is inheritance.

Even a $200,000 deduction will allow anyone to keep running a small business unless it was on the verge of failing anyway.

Re:Estate tax deduction too high in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279788)

You don't have to pay ANY estate tax unless you have over $2,000,000. That is far too high. Every other form of income is taxed without a two million dollar deduction. Why is the estate tax so limited? Think of how few people have over two million saved. Yet so many people who this tax will never effect want it eliminated entirely. I say reduce the deduction to $200,000 or less.

What fraction of family homes cost $200,000? So, family members (for instance, someone who has perhaps given up their job to look after an elderly parent) would have to pay tax just to stay living in the family home?

The thing that strikes me as really unfair is that this might be the third time that tax has been paid on some of this money: once as income tax, a second time as tax on an investment and a third as estate tax. So there's yet another disincentive to be prudent and save for the future.

Re:Estate tax deduction too high in the USA (4, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279826)

$2,000,000 is easily surpassed if you run a small family business. You die, and to pay the taxes your wife/kids have to sell the business you spent all your life building. The death tax isn't just on the cash on hand. It's on everything, property value, inventory, stocks, bonds, etc. It's an evil tax that hasn't been completely repealed because people like you are naive enough to believe only the very rich benefit from it.

Re:You don't have to be a billionaire (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279564)

And don't forget that life insurance, while not taxable itself, also contributes to the size of your estate, and therefore indirectly influences how much your heirs have to fork over to Uncle Sugar upon your (un)timely demise.

The best way to avoid the estate tax is to place a chunk of your belongings in a trust and leave the trust to your heirs. That's how the truly rich do it, and it's why people like John Kerry are so in favor of a death tax (he knows his heirs won't be affected by one). See an estate attorney or financial advisor for more details.

Re:OF COURSE he does! (4, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279496)

He is a massively multi-billionaire. What billionaire would not oppose the inheritance tax?

Gates and his father oppose the repeal of the tax, not the tax. (Presumably the OP meant to say that).

Re:OF COURSE he does! (1)

siliconwafer (446697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279538)

Bill may oppose the inheritance tax but he is a proponent of the estate tax, one that surely costs him dearly. The estate tax is paid by only the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

Watch the interview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279732)

Charlie Rose has a series of interviews with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, sometimes together. They discuss this topic specifically. You may be surprised about what these billionaires think about inheritance.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (1)

teh_chrizzle (963897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279268)

He isn't competent to rule a country

he may not be able to run a decent country, but his considerable holdings are proof that he has done a decent job of running the united states thus far :-)

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279394)

The US gdp is ~12 trillion dollars. That's $1,370,000,000 per hour. Gate's 50 billion represents capturing about 37 hours of that activity, over a period of 20 years. Impressive, but far enough away from 'running' to ruin your joke.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279926)

kill-9@hobbiton.org

Re: Snowball ain't the worst guy in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279956)

...his considerable holdings...

That's the controlling interest.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279416)

I support the inheritance tax because I'm against having an aristocracy in this country (even if we do anyway). Just raise the limit so most people don't get caught by it.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279552)

Why not a you-pick-em tax where you personally could arbitrarily take away peoples holdings based upon your opinion of how they came by them?

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (5, Informative)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279482)

Uhm... No.

In fact, he defends the tax so much he wrote a book about it. The argument of the book is basically saying the law that is in place is too lenient and it should be repealed for something like the old one that didn't have loopholes. He wants the rich to pay more taxes when they die.

From Wikipedia:

Gates is co-author, with Chuck Collins, of the book Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, a defense of the estate tax.[2]

The book on Amazon.com Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes [amazon.com]

I haven't finished it yet because I use it to fall asleep... however your statement is not true in fact and spirit.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279752)

I haven't finished it yet because I use it to fall asleep...

What a shining endorsement of the book! I'm gonna run out and get it.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (2, Informative)

kjshark (312401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279988)

You've been watching too much fox "news". Dead people do not pay taxes. The "Death Tax" is a misnomer created by people against the estate tax. The inheritors pay tax when money changes hands to them from an estate.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (3, Informative)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279498)

"He opposes the inheritance tax, like his dad..."

I don't know about Bill Gates, but William H. Gates Sr., the father of Bill Gates, supports the inheritance tax.

From Now with Bill Moyers: [pbs.org] "There's a campaign to restore the inheritance tax. And it's being led, believe it or not, by some of the country's richest people including Bill Gates, Sr. ..."

From Alternet.org: [alternet.org] "Case Against Inheritance Tax Is Bogus", By Chuck Collins and Bill Gates, Sr., AlterNet. Posted September 15, 2005.

The reason is obvious -- without the inheritance tax, the US would develop a wealthy aristocratic class. This is one of the main reasons the founding fathers broke away from Britain and developed a constitutional Republic.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279858)

Oh dear, that would be funny if you didn't believe it.

The founding fathers broke away from Britain not because they opposed the idea of an aristocratic class, but because they opposed the idea of someone else being richer than them.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279674)

I don't know anything about Bill Gates' dad, but Gates himself supports the inheritance tax. Which is kind of unusual for somebody mega-rich.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279978)

If his children and grandchildren each had to pay 90% estate taxes, the grandchildren would still end up splitting hundreds of millions of dollars.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279698)

He isn't competent to rule a country

Every class is unfit to govern.
-- Lord Acton

There's a reason why some people don't believe in organized coercion (government), and it's not because we're raging lunatics. It's because we see the truth.

Re:Bill Gates ain't the worst guy in the world (1)

NSIM (953498) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279854)

He isn't competent to rule a country.

Since when did incompetence prevent people from running for President :-) Heck, anybody looking at the US for the last 8-years would think it was a job requirement!

Wouldn't work because of three words... (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279252)

Conflict of Interest....

There is no way he could be seen as anything other than conflicted over what software government branches use. It just wouldn't work.

Re:Wouldn't work because of three words... (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279454)

We elect lawyers and don't complain about the conflict of interest when the feds deal with legal matters.

Anyway, I think there are many much bigger issues facing a president than what software the government uses.

Re:Wouldn't work because of three words... (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18280036)

They elected a former oil exec and his CEO. Who then proceeded to fill the coffers of the company they once ran and started a war that looked like it was base don oil. You can't tell me they will not eventually get some benifit from this. I can imagine numerous and expensive speakign engagements in Bush and Cheneys future paid for by haliburton.

The current admin has as much conflict of interest as gates would. I don't hear washington screaming for impeechment yet.

Secret list of committee to elect Gates (2, Funny)

zymano (581466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279260)

-Microsoft shareholders.

-Antivirus companies

-Computer techs/Best Buy and pimped warranties.

-Indian outsourcers.

-Foreign charities.

False Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279274)

The website quotes reason why Bill is a good candidate:

1. Bill is rich Let's get this one out of the way. Yes, we believe being absurdly rich is a good thing for any presidential candidate. Why? This candidate could make a great statement by paying for his or her campaign from his or her own pocket. We honestly believe this to be extremely important. Large corporations don't sponsor candidates expecting nothing in return. Even when elected, Bill won't need to scoop up tax-payer's money: he has more than enough.

This is not entirely correct. Bill will be sponsored by himself, and he will expect something in return: anything that makes MS more profitable. He is the big corporation backing up his own campaign. I always found this argument of the guy seeking power being rich as a bogus reason. It is obviously a myth encouraged by rich people to explain why we shouldn't vote from a some upstart that doesn't have money. But once in Power, like the Roman Consuls, they will try to recup their expenses.

If you really want to limit influence of corporate dontations, you need to have a system where a fixed sum (from taxes) is set aside for all candidates. They all get an equal share of the cake. They don't owe anybody but the voters their victory that way.

Not the track record... (4, Insightful)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279424)

The man who single handedly built the middle class in this country in 100 days was one of the wealthiest presidents we've ever had.

Suggesting that anyone independently wealthy that reached the white house would use it to feather his own nest is just a gross oversimplification.

Aww that would have been fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279278)

I could just picture Ballmer running the campaign.
Something like "I'll fucking bury that guy" as he throws his chair before giving his campaign contributers contributers contributers speech.

This was never about Gates anyway (3, Informative)

ghoti (60903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279286)

This was a pure publicity stunt for Adams. He just picked a well-known person and made a big fuss to get his name into the headlines again. Gates is the perfect person for watercooler talk, since everybody knows him and has something (good or bad) to say about Microsoft. There was no chance this would ever lead anywhere, and now that they see that they won't get more publicity out of it, they're doing one last stunt (We give up! Too bad! We tried so hard!) and let it die with a bang.

I dont think hell get elected. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279336)

He Just doesn't have the right charisma to do it. In in the end Chrisma is what makes you predident or not.

Re:I dont think hell get elected. (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279408)

In in the end Chrisma is what makes you predident or not.
No, in the US it seems whoever spends most money on the campaign usually wins. Why do you think GWB spent so much time on the fundraising circut rather than actually doing his job during his first term.

better (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279378)

better him as president than ceo of Microsoft. America used to have a economic monopoly. We were a manufacturing powerhouse, now what do we do? Things are going to get ba around here if something isnt done. Bill Gates could help, maybe.

Is Bill Gates Good for the USA? (1)

Kamel Jockey (409856) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279420)

Bill Gates is currently testifying before Congress and asking them to remove all limits on H1-B visas. Microsoft is also one of the leading offshorers of US jobs. The net effects of both of these measures is fewer good paying jobs for US citizens and a reduction in our standard of living. Do we want someone who seems to have no care for the very country that allowed him to become so rich to become our President?

Re:Is Bill Gates Good for the USA? (2, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279862)

While it's true that Gates is lobbying for these changes, the statement that the net effect would be "a reduction in our standard of living" and "fewer good paying jobs for US citizens" is probably still debatable.

In the short-term, I absolutely agree. But it's the long-term view where I'm less certain. Sometimes, a change for the better involves some short-term pain. Are we *really* offshoring jobs that better our collective "standard of living", or are we just dumping a slew of jobs that are ultimately "dead ends" for our citizens anyway?

When it comes to such jobs as computer "help desk" positions, it doesn't really seem like they've done many of us any favors. Just because you could read off of scripts and speak the "company policy" to incoming callers doesn't mean you've really learned any new and useful skills that apply to an upward career move in the industry.

The main reason to keep help-desk jobs here in the U.S. is so your *customers* feel better talking to someone who has no language barrier. A thick accent, making a call-center worker tough to understand, is the last thing you want to struggle with when you're already irate because your software just crashed and lost all your data, etc. It's up to businesses to decide if that's really "added value" enough to justify paying more to use local talent for it or not.

Software development, like it or not, is a similar situation. If you're really working on something *original* or *creative*, you should still be able to get someone to back your project financially, or at least go freelance with it and reap the rewards after it's completed. The type of programming jobs they're offshoring tend to be related to code maintenance and development of in-house applications that won't ever amount to much in the "grand scheme" of things. (If the app is only used by ONE company, nobody else really cares much about how nice it is, right?)

Wow, deja vu (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279422)

Interesting link on that page, about exploiting dead celebrities: Yet a new company by the name of KeepYouSafe.com has thrown caution to wind with its issuance of a press release headlined: "ANNA NICOLE SMITH WOULD BE SIX FEET UNDER IF SHE HAD KEEPYOUSAFE.COM."

Back in the day, the National Lampoon got sued over a spoof VW ad showing a Beetle floating in water (which they will do, for a while). Caption: "If Teddy Kennedy had driven a VW, he'd be President today."

rj

He didn't stand a chance. (3, Insightful)

BubbaFett (47115) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279434)

Gates: I'm not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I'm a huge believer in. There's a lot of merit in the moral aspects of religion. I think it can have a very very positive impact.

Scott Adams is a dolt (2, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279462)

Hey may author a funny comic strip, and more power to him. But his recent forays into defending Intelligent Design on his blog, as well as other poorly thought out posts, has left me wondering just who is he to throw around the epithet "dolt"? Dude should look in the mirror.

Bill Gates would make a terrible President of the United States. Do we really need another Warren Harding or Calvin Coolidge?

Re:Scott Adams is a dolt (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279604)

He's more a troll than he is a dolt. He gets jollies out of fucking with people that he thinks are stupid. It's not a real impressive display overall.

Re:Scott Adams is a dolt (2, Interesting)

plantman-the-womb-st (776722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279824)

Do we really need another Warren Harding or Calvin Coolidge?
Yes, specifically another Coolidge. From one of his biographys:

The political genius of President Coolidge, Walter Lippmann pointed out in 1926, was his talent for effectively doing nothing: "This active inactivity suits the mood and certain of the needs of the country admirably. It suits all the business interests which want to be let alone.... And it suits all those who have become convinced that government in this country has become dangerously complicated and top-heavy...."
At least, that's my opinion.

Re:Scott Adams is a dolt (2, Interesting)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279980)

And where did those 'no nothing' policies lead? What was the outcome?

They're Right (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279490)

Dogbert is a much better and, in the long run, safer choice. The sooner we elect him the less severe our penalties for waiting will be.

attention slashdot idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279562)

do you really take this crap seriously? get over yourselves.

Jobs for President (2, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279622)

Adams could just switch his support to Steve Jobs. Jobs could run on a platform to:

1) Change the name of the US to 'iCountry'.
2) Ban Thanksgiving
3) Replace ballistic missile defense with a national reality distortion field.

Yankee Go Home AND Stay Home: George W. Bush (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279694)

Do you smell the sulphur emitted by the Evil Incarnate?

It is with extreme disgust that I write this letter and say what will really be considered ribald by some of my peers. Nonetheless, it must be stated that to deny this is to deny science, let alone the evidence of one's own powers of observation. To get right down to it, experience shows that I went puce with rage when I first heard George W Bush say that his decisions are based on reason. That shouldn't surprise you when you consider that he cannot tolerate the world as it is. He needs to live in a world of fantasies. To be more specific, Bush teaches workshops on irrationalism. Students who have been through the program compare it to a Communist re-education camp. That doesn't necessarily mean that some of Bush's ethics raise important questions about future social interactions and their relationship to civil liberties, although it might. Rather, it means that Bush's assistants are encouraged -- or more aptly, dragooned -- into helping Bush abandon the idea of universal principles and focus illegitimately on the particular. So don't feed me any phony baloney about how going through the motions of working is the same as working. That's just not true. Maybe you, too, want to sweep his peccadillos under the rug, so let me warn you: His shills get a thrill out of protesting. They have no idea what causes they're fighting for or against. For them, going down to the local protest, carrying a sign, hanging out with Bush, and meeting some other subversive purveyors of malice and hatred is merely a social event. They're not even aware that no matter what else we do, our first move must be to educate everyone about how everything Bush writes is unreadably desultory. That's the first step: education. Education alone is not enough, of course. We must also free people from the fetters of revisionism's poisonous embrace.

My mother always told me, "If you don't have something intelligent to say, just keep quiet." Apparently, Bush's mother never told him that. We must hold not only Bush, but also Bush's chums, accountable for their cacodemonic philosophies, and deep down in our bones, we all know why.

Bush says that "the norm" shouldn't have to worry about how the exceptions feel. Wow! Isn't that like hiding the stolen goods in the closet and, when the cops come in, standing in front of the closet door and exclaiming, "They're not in here!"? My general thesis is that his peons have been staggering around like punch-drunk fighters hit too many times -- stunned, confused, betrayed, and trying desperately to rationalize his humorless, unprincipled scare tactics. It is honestly not a pretty sight. I'll talk a lot more about that later, but first let me finish my general thesis: When I'm through with him, he'll think twice before attempting to encourage quasi-pernicious mendicants to see themselves as victims and, therefore, live by alibis rather than by honest effort. To deny that Bush has studiously avoided being contaminated by the facts is unsympathetic nonsense and political irresponsibility. It is nonsense because the absurdity of Bush's anecdotes requires no further comment. And it is irresponsible because some people think it's a bit extreme of me to provide information and inspiration to as many people as possible -- a bit over the top, perhaps. Well, what I ought to remind such people is that Bush is nuttier than squirrel dung. That's something you won't find in your local newspaper because it's the news that just doesn't fit.

If you wonder why I take the stance that I do, it's because sesquipedalianism has served as the justification for the butchering, torture, and enslavement of more people than any other "ism". That's why it's Bush's favorite; it makes it easy for him to cause (or at least contribute to) a variety of social ills. Everybody is probably familiar with the cliche that Bush simply regurgitates the empty arguments that have been fed to him over the years. Well, there's a lot of truth in that cliche. Unfortunately, militant cadgers who take rights away from individuals whom only Bush perceives as dangerous make no effort to contend with the inevitable consequences of that action. Let me move now from the abstract to the concrete. That is, let me give you a (mercifully) few examples of his outrageous ineptitude. For starters, only through education can individuals gain the independent tools they need to work together towards a shared vision. But the first step is to acknowledge that his fixation with malignant finks is passive-aggressive. If you don't believe me, see for yourself.

Admittedly, one could argue that you shouldn't take threats made by pestilential, pestiferous freaks too seriously. But that's because I recommend paying close attention to the praxeological method developed by the economist Ludwig von Mises and using it as a technique to bring the communion of knowledge to all of us. The praxeological method is useful in this context because it employs praxeology, the general science of human action, to explain why racialism is not merely an attack on our moral fiber. It is also a politically motivated attack on knowledge. True, Bush reminds me of the thief who cries "Stop, thief!" to distract attention from his thievery, but on several occasions I have heard Bush state that his activities are on the up-and-up. I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a comment. What I consider far more important, though, is that Bush once tried convincing me that his cop-outs enhance performance standards, productivity, and competitiveness. Does he think I was born yesterday? I mean, it seems pretty obvious that if you don't think that Bush flagrantly abuses rules and regulations and then complains vehemently when caught, then you've missed the whole point of this letter.

Bush has been trying to convince us that there should be publicly financed centers of nonrepresentationalism. This pathetic attempt to instill distrust and thereby create a need for his unforgiving views deserves no comment other than to say that if Bush thinks that cameralism brings one closer to nirvana, then he's sadly mistaken. He refuses to come to terms with reality. Bush prefers instead to live in a fantasy world of rationalization and hallucination. If you'll allow me a minor dysphemism, it should scarcely seem questionable to anyone that he wants his cowardice and irresponsibility to be regarded as prudence. Or, to phrase that a little more politely, Bush's attempts to provide support to backwards banana republics and their rancorous dictators are much worse than mere ethnocentrism. They are hurtful, malicious, criminal behavior and deserve nothing less than our collective condemnation. If you will pardon me for mentioning it, Bush has delivered exactly the opposite of what he had previously promised us. Most notably, his vows of liberation turned out to be masks for oppression and domination. And, almost as troubling, Bush's vows of equality did little more than convince people that Bush might dress up his profit motive in the cloak of selfless altruism in the coming days. What are we to do then? Place blinders over our eyes and hope we don't see the horrible outcome?

Now, I'm going to be honest here. When a friend wants to drive inebriated, you try to stop him. Well, Bush is drunk with power, which is why we must make a cause célèbre out of exposing his effusions for what they really are. Is there, or is there not, a perverted plot to turn the social order upside-down so that the dregs on the bottom become the scum on the top, organized through the years by the most petty flag burners you'll ever see? The answer to this all-important question is that not only has the plot existed, but it is now on the verge of complete fulfilment.

Sadly, in once sense, Bush is correct. If we let him cause pain and injury to those who don't deserve it, then I will doubtlessly be forced to go crazy. He is talking out of his posterior. Bush will almost certainly tiptoe around that glaringly evident fact, because if he didn't, you might come to realize that he fervently believes that taxpayers are a magic purse that never runs out of gold. This shows that he is not merely mistaken about one little fact among millions of facts but that I believe in "live and let live". Bush, in contrast, demands not only tolerance and acceptance of his credos but endorsement of them. It's because of such inconsiderate demands that I believe that he is not just birdbrained. He is unbelievably, astronomically birdbrained. The facts as I see them simply do not support the false, but widely accepted, notion that revolting turncoats are inherently good, sensitive, creative, and inoffensive. Bush is off his rocker. Which brings me to my next criticism of Bush. The problem with him is not that he's sadistic. It's that he wants to strip people of their rights to free expression and individuality.

Bush turns his back on our most heartfelt pleas for mercy. I trust that I have not shocked any of you by writing that. However, I do realize that some of my readers may feel that much of what I have penned about Bush in this letter is heartless and in violation of our Christian duty to love everyone. If so, I can say only that Bush managed to convince a bunch of malicious moral weaklings to help him create a system of Jacobinism characterized by confidential files, closed courts, gag orders, and statutory immunity. What was the quid pro quo there? That's the question that perplexes me the most, because forbearance and kindly deportment are lost upon him. Regular readers of my letters probably take that for granted, but if I am to recognize and respect the opinions, practices, and behavior of others, I must explain to the population at large that there are two related questions in this matter. The first is to what extent he has tried to shatter other people's lives and dreams. The other is whether or not Bush hates people who have huge supplies of the things he lacks. What he lacks the most is common sense, which underlies my point that if we don't lead the way to the future, not to the past, right now, then Bush's Ponzi schemes will soon start to metastasize until they alter laws, language, and customs in the service of regulating social relations. If you ask Bush if it's true that this is clear to every knowledgeable observer, you'll just get a lot of foot-shuffling and downcast eyes in response. The sole point of agreement between myself and pudibund, distasteful manipulators of the public mind is that everyone ought to read my award-winning essay, "The Naked Aggression of George W Bush". In it, I chronicle all of Bush's sophistries, from the hypocritical to the ruthless, and conclude that Bush's patsies suspect that free speech is wonderful as long as you're not bashing Bush and the flighty sideshow barkers in his priggism movement. I say to them, "Prove it" -- not that they'll be able to, of course, but because if Bush gets his way, I might very well self-censor my critique of him. My intention here is not just to bear witness to the plain, unvarnished truth, but also to lift our nation from the quicksand of injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

I invite you to talk to Bush yourself if you feel that I'm misrepresenting his position. I wish I could put it more delicately, but that would miss the point. I fear that, over time, his tricks will be seen as uncontested fact, because many people are afraid to guide the world into an age of peace, justice, and solidarity. From what I understand, I wish that one of the innumerable busybodies who are forever making "statistical studies" about nonsense would instead make a statistical study that means something. For example, I'd like to see a statistical study of Bush's capacity to learn the obvious. Also worthwhile would be a statistical study of how many licentious ratbags realize that Bush's provocateurs are in league with mindless Neanderthals who scupper my initiative to condemn Bush's criminal ineptitude. Let me recap that for you, because it really is extraordinarily important: If Bush gets his way, none of us will be able to step back and consider the problem of his ballyhoos in the larger picture of popular culture imagery. Therefore, we must not let Bush discredit legitimate voices in the plagiarism debate. Nevertheless, Bush had previously claimed that he had no intention to kill the messenger and control the message. Of course, shortly thereafter, that's exactly what he did. Next, he denied that he would promote the pea-brained politics of disaffected swindlers (especially the ridiculous type). We all know what happened then. Now, Bush would have us believe he'd never ever attack the critical realism and impassive objectivity that are the central epistemological foundations of the scientific worldview. Will he? Go figure. My view is that the first lies that Bush told us were relatively benign. Still, they have been progressing. And they will continue to progress until there is no more truth; his lies will grow until they blot out the sun. Okay, I've vented enough frustration. So let me end by saying that the popularity of George W Bush's rodomontades among sanctimonious, snooty radicals is a harbinger of amoral things to come.

Why do you have a complaint about me on your Web page?

Seemed Appropriate... (1)

beyowulf (1014741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279754)

"Do you have any idea how much power I'd have to give up to be president?" - Lex Luthor to The Question

oh come on (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279760)

Scott Adams should have done a tearful press conference in which he explains that the enormous cost of running a successful presidential campaign is just too much for the world's richest man to afford. There's a certain tradition to these things.

Don't you want innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18279850)

"'Gates for President' Group Gives Up"

I'm not a US citizen, but what's wrong with you all? Gates would be perfect: he could copy the ideas of all his political opponents (only rather badly), put a little spin on top, and announce he was the greatest innovator American politics had ever seen.

And Ballmer would make the perfect campaign manager for him. I can just hear him:

"Wow! Come on, people! Who said, 'Sit down.'?"

[Begins clapping]

"Give us your vote! Give us your vote! Give us your vote! Give us your vote!" [repeated _ad_nauseam]

How can you pass up on that?

Pity... but Scott Adams is nuts (0, Troll)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18279898)

Actually Gates would probably make a better president than some. He would not be able to favour MS, and would probably bend over backwards to ensure he did not.

Of course the problem is that he is already powerful enough not to care for a political position (no more real power when you take into account all the constraints on political leaders, more scrutiny, more stress).

The other things is that this stunt is typical of Scott Adams recent idiocy.

One of the Dilbert booKs contains his own theory of gravitation (yes really, and yes it look like he was serious). He said there were no obvious flaws, it took me about ten seconds to spot one.

He followed it up by attempting to write a philosophy/theology book. He came up with what appears to be rather naive pantheism, at best a poor rehash of ideas like the Hindu one of the dance of Shiva. The sad bit is that he seems to think it is an original idea, and he cannot understand the objections to the flaws in his thinking (fairly obvious if you read his blog). The book is called God's Debris - its a free ebook download because he could not find a publisher (he whines about that on his blog as well).

Now he wants to influence politics.

Obviously he is dissatisfied being funny and wants to achieve something serious. Personally I wish he would just stick to being funny - he is actually good at that.

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