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Why Republicans Won't Retake Silicon Valley 445

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the prepare-for-pudge-rage dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Republican consultant Patrick Ruffini, who counts Google as one of his clients, sketches out a way that the GOP could 'win back' Silicon Valley — but he gets smacked down by tech businessman Francis Cianfrocca. 'Patrick's basic thesis is that the VC firms that fund the Valley will rebel at being regulated by [Treasury Secretary] Tim Geithner, who is talking about increasing reporting requirements for both private equity and venture capital. Assuming I understand them both correctly, something tells me that neither Geithner nor Ruffini understand deeply what venture capital is all about.'"
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Why Republicans Won't Retake Silicon Valley

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:22PM (#27618551)

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

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:25PM (#27618601)

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

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

       

      • Troll? Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ericrost (1049312) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:31PM (#27618685) Homepage Journal

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by MightyMartian (840721)

          How is this a troll?

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

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

          • Re:Troll? Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Seakip18 (1106315) on Friday April 17, 2009 @04:36PM (#27619583) Journal

            Really? This is what gets modded funny nowadays? Some stupid response to someone bitching about middle class white 18-24 yr olds because they likely were never accepted by peers at the age?

            I think I might actually agree with your views on Moderators.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by bar-agent (698856)

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

            Your momma's a moderator.

        • Re:Troll? Really? (Score:5, Informative)

          by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:59PM (#27619017)

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

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

          Maybe that's why it was modded troll.

          • Re:Troll? Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Friday April 17, 2009 @04:24PM (#27619423) Homepage

            Libertarians are almost always people who are well off and don't like the idea of helping those who weren't dealt as good a hand as they were.

            You can sum up libertarianism as: Fuck everyone else, if you're poor, it's their your fault.

            Which is great until you realize that life isn't actually fair and we're not all born equal.

            • Re:Troll? Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Dragonslicer (991472) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:09PM (#27620033)

              You can sum up libertarianism as: Fuck everyone else, if you're poor, it's their your fault.

              No, those people are called assholes. The basic principle of libertarianism is that the government should do as little as necessary to keep the society functioning. Of course, there's plenty of disagreement about what should be considered necessary. Personally, being on the socialist side of libertarian, I'm fine with the government collecting taxes to provide infrastructure that benefits society as a whole, as well as helping people in need (which doesn't mean spending money stupidly; training and educating people would be a lot more effective than just sending them a check every month). I'd even be okay with the government helping with health care for people that need it, since a healthy population is far more productive, which benefits everybody. For issues other than economics, I'm pretty far down the libertarian side; the government shouldn't be involved in what people do in private, including who they sleep with and how much marijuana they smoke.

              • Re:Troll? Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

                by m50d (797211) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:24PM (#27620243) Homepage Journal
                I'm fine with the government collecting taxes to provide infrastructure that benefits society as a whole, as well as helping people in need (which doesn't mean spending money stupidly; training and educating people would be a lot more effective than just sending them a check every month). I'd even be okay with the government helping with health care for people that need it, since a healthy population is far more productive, which benefits everybody. For issues other than economics, I'm pretty far down the libertarian side; the government shouldn't be involved in what people do in private, including who they sleep with and how much marijuana they smoke.

                That's not libertarian, that's good old-fashioned left-liberal.

          • Re:Troll? Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by 2short (466733) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:07PM (#27620011)

            Plenty of research shows that high education level and liberal political positions are well correlated. As far as what causative relationships might be responsible for this correlation, we can only speculate.

            Out of curiosity, how much time have you actually spent with Harvard undergrads? The ones I knew, particularly the rich-prick types, tended toward libertarianism - they expected to be at the top of the economic pile and liked philosophies that said they deserved it. The scolarship types, who got there by being smart and hard working, understood that they also got there thanks to the help of the society of which they were a part, and tended toward liberalism.
        • Re:Troll? Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @04:03PM (#27619099)

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

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

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

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

          • by ericrost (1049312)

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

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Arthur B. (806360)

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

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

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

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

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tsm_sf (545316)
            Libertarianism in a nutshell is opposing the government putting a gun to people's head.

            The problem people have with libertarians is that they act like you...

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

            ... rather than like Thoreau...

            I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to
        • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Friday April 17, 2009 @04:19PM (#27619353)

          Psycho-Sociologists refer to it as "The Ayn Rand Phase."

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by davolfman (1245316)
          It's a troll because it's insulting. It needs no other reason.
      • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:56PM (#27618961)

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

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

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

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

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by h4rr4r (612664)

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

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

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

          • by ArcherB (796902) on Friday April 17, 2009 @04:40PM (#27619627) Journal

            No one is EVER too broke to go to the hospital. They have no choice but to treat you, regardless of you income status.

            Sure, they may hound you for cash for a few years and ruin your credit, but you will get the treatment you need.

            • by glazener (943321) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:55PM (#27620663)

              This is a dangerous myth that way to many people believe. The fact is, it's just not true. All hospitals that accept federal funds of any kind, including medicare and medicaid payments must provide an evaluation and appropriate emergency treatment. If a woman presents in active labor, they either have to treat her, or if they can't safely treat they must arrange for appropriate transportation to another facility. If a patient presents in the emergency room with a condition that will, in the short term, become life threatening, the hospital must treat. Other than those 2 cases, the hospital has no obligation to provide treatment.

              Have strep throat. The hospital must evaluate, but are under no obligation to run a strep test or provide antibiotics to treat the problem unless it has progressed to sepsis.

              Present with a blood glucose level of 250. Might not even be diagnosed, depending on the acute symptoms. No obligation to treat, no required follow-up for diabetes education, no requirement to provide a blood glucose monitor or test strips, no requirement to provide medications that control the condition.

              Present with asthma. Most of the time, this gets you to the front of the line right up there with the cardiac patient. They have to get you stable, might even have to admit you for a day or two to get the symptoms under control, but the hospital has no obligation to treat after the crisis has passed.

              Show up with an obvious 1 cm melanomia on the back of your hand. Don't expect a dermatologist to come down, remove the cancer and do a biopsy and provide on going treatment. At best you'll get a refereal from the ER doc and an admonition to see a specialist as soon as possible.

              Bottom line, unless the patient is in active labor, or the condition is such that there is a significant possibility that the patient might die in the short term, there is no legal obligation for the hospital to provide any treatment whatsoever.

              I am sure that there are clinics and hospitals out there that provide on-going treatment for chronic conditions and will work out a payment plan for you. But no one should believe that there is a legal requirement for any health care organization to provide routine care if you have no means to pay for it.

        • by WCguru42 (1268530)

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

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

          • by ericrost (1049312) on Friday April 17, 2009 @04:15PM (#27619277) Homepage Journal

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

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

        • The University of California, Berkeley is one of the cheapest public universities you can attend. For that reason, claiming that only rich kids go to Berkeley, or simply comparing them to the peers that go to Harvard is not only a stretch, but a lie. Many students I know at Berkeley (yes, I am a research associate there) are paying their way through college, since it's actually quite affordable.
      • Ironic (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MikeRT (947531)

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

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by h4rr4r (612664)

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by OpenGLFan (56206)

        No, a lot of first-job recent graduates are "libertarian leaning", because they get their first paychecks and ask "Who is FICA and why do they get all my money?"

        They get told "you have to pay taxes to pay for all the roads and bridges", but they realize that all the money is spent playing GI Joe and saving banks that were run into the ground by gambling-addicted bankers who broke the world. War in Afghanistan got little support because it was difficult to spell, so we had to invade Iraq, as that fit more n

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

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

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

      I don't think eit

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cayenne8 (626475)
        At the base of it, I'm trying to figure out what the fuck the federal government knows about, and has business messing with Venture Capital?!?!?

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

        I expected the spending, but, this part of taking over banks and businesses and

    • by Trepidity (597) <.gro.hsikcah. .ta. .todhsals-muiriled.> on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:56PM (#27618977)

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

      • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday April 17, 2009 @04:07PM (#27619169)

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

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

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

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

        • I [...] would opt out of Social Security in a second if I could.

          You will want to opt out of Social Security in a second until you've paid into it for forty+ years and want some of it back out, it's ten years before your retirement, and the market has cratered. Of course, if you would also sign a document stating that we could let you starve in the street (with no complaint from you), should you run out of private funds after your retirement, we'd be OK with that, too.

      • by Rakishi (759894) on Friday April 17, 2009 @04:12PM (#27619235)

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

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

        • by Trepidity (597)

          Libertarians still oppose it, though. Of course, some libertarians do have an alternate solution, proposing we abolish corporations, who are the biggest reasons we would need anti-trust regulations in the first place.

    • by vertinox (846076)

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

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

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

      Basically... The reason many of the early settlers of the North America were moving from Europe was the fa

  • I wont RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:22PM (#27618557) Homepage Journal

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by bonch (38532)

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

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

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

      • by ArsonSmith (13997)

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

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Idiomatick (976696)
        No. Slashdot is on the internet. Therefore people from outside the US are members. And that brings you closer to center (Far left US).
    • It's what he thinks someone might possibly someday do (this all seems to be premised on something Geithner said as a brief aside). Must be a slow news day.

    • by tenchiken (22661)

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

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

  • Politics. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:22PM (#27618559) Homepage Journal

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

  • by nuclearpenguins (907128) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:25PM (#27618607)
    The "business as usual" thing is what got us all into this economic mess in the first place. I don't see what the problem is with a little more regulation of all things financial. Sure, it may suck for a little while, but it's the price we have to pay for 30+ years of financial shenanigans.
  • by Thelasko (1196535) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:25PM (#27618611) Journal

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

    Ponzi schemes... Duh!

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:26PM (#27618613) Homepage
    Actual venture capitalists are relatively few, and their business reporting practices obscured from the average citizen's eye. High-five/six-figure-salaried software engineers who'll have to pay their "fair share" of Obama's triple-the-national-debt package sooner or later (since, like all rich people, they obviously lied/cheated/murdered the lower classes to get where they are) are probably more common. Even in These Perilous Economic Times (tm).
    • Assuming the "rich" software engineers you're referring to made less than $250K last year, they actually got a tax cut from Obama. Stop drinking the GOP Kool-Aid for a minute and think about where your interests really lie. A 3% tax hike (actually, expiration of a previous tax cut) on the top 5% of taxpayers is not a march towards socialism, it's a sound fiscal move.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by crabboy.com (771982)

        think about where your interests really lie

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

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

      • by gangien (151940)

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

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

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >>A 3% tax hike (actually, expiration of a previous tax cut) on the top 5% of taxpayers is not a march towards socialism, it's a sound fiscal move.

        Math check.

        The AGI of the top 5% of income earners was $2.9T in 2006. (The last year I could find data for.)

        The Obama Nation is increasing our budget deficit from about $450B under Bush 2.0 in 2008 (already up sharply from ~$150B in 2007) to $1.85T (CBO estimate) or $1.75T (White House estimate). This is estimated to go down to $1.25T in 2010 and $900B in 2

    • by evilviper (135110) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:53PM (#27618927) Journal

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

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

      • by Talderas (1212466)

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

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

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

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

        Prove it. There are a lot of people who busted their ass to climb the corporate ladder and are now making $250k+. There are also a lot of people who got it handed to them on a silver platter. If one could accurately separate the two

      • by Mspangler (770054) on Friday April 17, 2009 @09:51PM (#27622865)

        "top 2% of the population posessing 50% of all the wealth"

        Wealth is not equal to income. Ask any farmer or fisherman, who can easily have a million dollars tied up in land or a boat, and not enough money to buy the fuel to get the next increment of income.

        Yes I am the son of a farmer. And yes, I do something else that pays better.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        The top wealth holders have very little "income". Do you really think that most of Warren Buffett's wealth comes from "income"? Don't you realize that most of the wealth of the Duponts, the Rockefellers, the Kennedys is tied up in trust funds that pays an "allowance" to the members of the family. That same trust fund owns the properties that the members of the family live in, pays for many of the trips they go on, etc. The trust itself is tax exempt through one means or another.
    • There's a reason that VCs reporting practices are "obscured from the average citizen's eye". The average citizen almost never has any interaction with VCs. In the vast majority of cases average citizens will only have money invested in VC funds via a mutual fund, 401k etc. Even then the proportion of the mutual fund/401k fund that is invested in a VC is very low - usually around 5%.

      VCs build pools of money from funds, and make large numbers of small investments in highly risky new ventures. A huge pro
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by yodleboy (982200)
      "since, like all rich people, they obviously lied/cheated/murdered the lower classes"

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

      seriously, is it not bette
  • Whew (Score:2, Funny)

    by bonch (38532)

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

  • by halivar (535827) <bfelger@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:27PM (#27618633) Homepage

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

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:29PM (#27618659)

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

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

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

    Vote for the MAN, not the PARTY.

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:33PM (#27618711) Homepage

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

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

    Still, come that first Tuesday in November individuals step up to a little private booth and selects their electoral choices. My bet is that a minority of them understand or hold a strong opinion on federal policy as it pertains to venture capital. If past California elections are any indication turnout and passion will be driven by some gut emotional issu

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:39PM (#27618787)

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

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

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

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

    • by Skyshadow (508) * on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:58PM (#27618997) Homepage
      I don't see the GOP making gains in the Valley or moving in the right direction to do so. On the contrary, the GOP is actively moving further and further away from being the party of the well-educated, tech-savvy individual living in an urban area (aka, the Valley).

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

      Oh, and having Carly Fiorina on their side doesn't exactly improve their image, either.
  • All the government really wants to figure out is what the ???'s mean in "Step 3: ???;Step 4: Profit!"

  • by weston (16146) <westonsd@can n c e n t r a l.org> on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:42PM (#27618809) Homepage

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

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

    • by wdavies (163941)

      Someone mod this up please. Most sensible comment on this I've seen.

    • I think the idea is to regulate places where the fraudsters, bluffers, and snake-oil salesman might resurface when their old haunting grounds are regulated. The current size of a sector doesn't rule it out. Venture capital seems pretty simple (invest in a company, make money if it succeeds) but mortgage lending is pretty simple, too (lend to a homebuyer, make money if he pays you back). If mortgage lending can be complexified until blatant frauds and wishful thinking can hide behind the sophistication, t

  • Typical politics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnalPerfume (1356177) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:47PM (#27618859)
    The Bush era GOP embraced the religious lunatics so much that the rest of America were eventually turned off by them and kicked them out of office. Like any ousted party, their ONLY role in life is to get back into power, which means fooling enough people who they'd turned off before to vote for them again. For this, they will try what the polls tell them they need to try, regardless of their real plans when they get back into power. Those plans will no doubt fall back to mirror the religious lunatics who can be relied on to "vote God". The same applies with the party in power, their ONLY goal is to stay in power. Beyond that, everything is false promises and rhetoric.

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

    Politicians deal in speeches. Speeches talk AT the people, not WITH them. Speeches are pre-planned rhetoric carefully worded to mean many things to many audiences as well as written FOR a specific audience. Speeches are rehearsed and performed; not unlike actors on stage in a play. Actors play roles which are not them, doing stuff they wouldn't do, saying stuff they wouldn't say. It's performance lying....and politicians wonder why they are never believed.
  • Why pick sides (Score:5, Insightful)

    by osgeek (239988) on Friday April 17, 2009 @03:54PM (#27618939) Homepage Journal

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

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

    However, to join the republican party, you have to subscribe to the whole package - particular brand of Christianity, social values, pot prohibition, use of torture, prosperity for starting wars, support

    • by dave562 (969951)
      social values, pot prohibition, use of torture, prosperity for starting wars,

      The word you are looking for is propensity.

  • by Dripdry (1062282) on Friday April 17, 2009 @04:07PM (#27619157) Journal
    I'd like to bring the idea of venture capital firms into focus for a minute, and I think it may be important to Slashdot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Are there any people here involved marginally with VC (I know I have been recently and have a story for another post) that can give us some perspective?
  • These are two very different entities. 'Venture Capital' supplies risk capital to start up firms and should be left alone. The private equity groups that need regulating are the ones who scraped the low risk mortgage-backed paper out of the banking system, leaving them with the garbage. We need to know who these people are, what they are up to, and whether there is any collusion between them and the banking industry.

    Unfortunately, we don't have a good way of separating the VC investors from the bad guys in

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