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In the Age of Trump, Tech CEOs Cast Themselves As the New Statesmen (buzzfeed.com) 180

An anonymous reader shares an insightful story on Buzzfeed News: Mark Zuckerberg isn't running for president of the United States, but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. On Tuesday morning, the Facebook CEO kicked off the company's annual developers conference in San Francisco with a glancing shot at Donald Trump, followed by a reiteration of the company's oft-repeated pledge to bring the world together. Zuck's not alone. Last month Apple CEO Tim Cook led his keynote with a similar stump-speech vibe. He dove right into the company's national security and privacy fight against the FBI. Two weeks ago Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told attendees of the company's annual Build developers conference of plans to "move our society forward," asking "profound questions" of his developers:"Is technology empowering people or is it displacing us? Is technology helping us preserve our enduring values such as privacy, or is it compromising it?" Google CEO Sundar Pichai hasn't delivered his big keynote yet (it's coming up May 18), but late last year he issued an open letter in support of Muslims after Donald Trump suggested he'd blanket-ban the religious group from entering the United States. Welcome to 2016: where tech's biggest leaders are no longer selling themselves as innovators, creative geniuses, or domineering tycoons, but as world leaders -- statesmen shaping the course of human history.According to a report from last month, several tech executives -- including Tim Cook, Elon Musk, Larry Page, and Sean Parker -- met recently to discuss how to "stop Donald Trump." Musk, however, later refuted such reports.
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In the Age of Trump, Tech CEOs Cast Themselves As the New Statesmen

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  • Nothing New (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ranton ( 36917 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @12:04PM (#51900411)

    Companies banding together to exert control on governments is nothing new. This only seems new because it at least appears they aren't doing it for financial reasons, but instead are doing it for a real public good. This appears to be a good shift to me, but the cynical side of me still smells a rat.

    • Re:Nothing New (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @12:12PM (#51900507)

      Actually they ARE doing it for financial reasons -

      Zuckerberg heads up a PAC which is trying to open up more immigration and H1Bs - because, y'know, he *cares* about the people and it has nothing at all to do with getting cheaper tech labor into the states. That goes for all the tech CEOs listed here.

      Trump is adamantly against that so he must be taken down.

      • Re:Nothing New (Score:4, Informative)

        by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @01:12PM (#51901043)

        Actually they ARE doing it for financial reasons -

        Zuckerberg heads up a PAC which is trying to open up more immigration and H1Bs - because, y'know, he *cares* about the people and it has nothing at all to do with getting cheaper tech labor into the states. That goes for all the tech CEOs listed here.

        Trump is adamantly against that so he must be taken down.

        More likely they're just terrified by the prospect of a Trump presidency for the same reason everyone else is, but instead of posting on a message board they're able to reach a far wider audience.

        Much for the same reason rich people dabbling in politics is hardly new, if anything tech CEOs have been a bit unusual as they previously tried to stay out of mainstream party politics.

        • Re:Nothing New (Score:4, Insightful)

          by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @02:02PM (#51901473)

          Actually they ARE doing it for financial reasons -

          Zuckerberg heads up a PAC which is trying to open up more immigration and H1Bs - because, y'know, he *cares* about the people and it has nothing at all to do with getting cheaper tech labor into the states. That goes for all the tech CEOs listed here.

          Trump is adamantly against that so he must be taken down.

          More likely they're just terrified by the prospect of a Trump presidency for the same reason everyone else is

          You mean except for all the millions who are voting for him, right?

      • To be fair, if we're going to have any immigration at all in the United States, and let's be honest the country wouldn't be where it is if we didn't do this historically, bringing in the kinds of people that can get an H1B is what we should be doing. This of course does drive down demand for highly skilled workers born in the U.S., but someone can always work a job below their skill ceiling while the reverse is not true.

        I'd rather bring in more H1B workers and stop immigrants who are taking many of the u
        • Why have H1b workers? If we need more people like this then we should make it easier for them to immigrate and become citizens. Of course then the companies that hire them won't have the leverage to depress their wages....
          • I would gladly immigrate in USA if that was a little bit easier. I already have family in USA and I am a skilled worker. I do not want an H1B visa at all. I will never consider a H1B visa.
      • Trump is adamantly against that so he must be taken down.

        In fairness, his isolationist viewpoints are probably bad for all American companies that do significant business overseas. Which is an awful lot of large American companies, and why they seem to be throwing in with Hillary. His strengths play significantly into independently wealthy individuals, private american businesses, or those public ones that are necessarily self-contained in the US.

        The H-1B thing is just one facet of his world-view, certain

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Zuckerberg heads up a PAC which is trying to open up more immigration and H1Bs - because, y'know, he *cares* about the people and it has nothing at all to do with getting cheaper tech labor into the states.

        Zuckerberg's desire for H1Bs has nothing to do with the cost of tech labor. Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc., are constantly struggling to find tech labor, not because they aren't willing to shell out the big bucks for qualified talent, but because they struggle to find qualified talent at any price. That labor pool is completely depleted; there are more positions available than there are people to work them. They're already paying $250K+ (including salary, bonus and stock) for people not much past

        • by vovin ( 12759 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @03:35PM (#51902345)

          Zuckerberg heads up a PAC which is trying to open up more immigration and H1Bs - because, y'know, he *cares* about the people and it has nothing at all to do with getting cheaper tech labor into the states.

          Zuckerberg's desire for H1Bs has nothing to do with the cost of tech labor. Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc., are constantly struggling to find tech labor, not because they aren't willing to shell out the big bucks for qualified talent, but because they struggle to find qualified talent at any price IN MENLO PARK. That labor pool is completely depleted IN MENLO PARK ; there are more positions available than there are people to work them. They're already paying $250K+ (including salary, bonus and stock) for people not much past the new grad stage, and about the same for senior engineers and making it $300K, or $400K, or $1M, won't get them many more new hires once the other companies in the area bump their pay scales to match. cause FB isn't that much better than any other company in SV (Actually, paying *too* much can increase attrition as employees gain sufficient financial independence that they decide to strike out on their own, or simply stop working, so increasing the pay scales could well make their hiring problems even worse.).

          The reason the likes of Facebook want H1Bs is because the market for US labor is tapped out, and they want to be able to draw on the rest of the world. It's not about keeping wages down, it's about finding an additional 200 hireable people per week, on top of the 200 they're hiring every week right now. The supply of available American talent IN MENLO PARK isn't keeping up with the demand, and paying more money doesn't appreciably increase the supply.

          Just trying to help you clarify your position.
          And adding H1B won't help FB/Google et. al. But capping the H1B's given to WiPro/Tata/Infosys/IBM *will*. Or even pushing the H1B minimum wage to FB's 250k (as you say it's their basic wage) the FB/Google et. al will have all the H1B's they want 'cause WiPro/Tata/Infosys/IBM's H1B model will be utterly destroyed and those companies will just pack up and go home.

          • Re:Nothing New (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Shawn Willden ( 2914343 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @04:23PM (#51902857)

            And adding H1B won't help FB/Google et. al.

            Sure it will. Or reallocating visas from WiPro/Tata/et al. Either one will work.

            Or even pushing the H1B minimum wage to FB's 250k (as you say it's their basic wage) the FB/Google et. al will have all the H1B's they want 'cause WiPro/Tata/Infosys/IBM's H1B model will be utterly destroyed and those companies will just pack up and go home.

            No need to destroy them to fix the H1B problems, IMO. Heck, I don't think you even need to bump the minimum pay scales up. Just loosen the regulations so that H1B visa holders can easily change employers with very low overhead rather than being locked in. Given the cost and effort involved in sponsoring an H1B, plus language and culture issues, etc., that will give American citizens all the competitive edge they need, while still allowing companies to suck the smart people from the rest of the world (which is good for the US in the long run).

            Of course, to the extent that WiPro et al have built a business on being able to exploit H1B lock-in, they'll take a hit, maybe a very large one. It needn't destroy them, though, because there *is* a place for organizations who know how to hire and manage technical people, because most companies don't know how to do it. They should be able to offer a cost-effective service even without slave labor. Though it'll clearly cost more than it does.

        • Re:Nothing New (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sjames ( 1099 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @04:22PM (#51902851) Homepage Journal

          If there was an actual shortage, they would be open to hiring older workers and they would be open to hiring entry level and sending them to school.

          They certainly wouldn't be participating in 'no poaching' agreements of questionable legality.

          • If there was an actual shortage, they would be open to hiring older workers and they would be open to hiring entry level and sending them to school.

            I don't know about Facebook, but if it's similar to Google, they *are* open to hiring older workers (I'm knocking on 50 and they hired me, and I work with engineers in their 60s and one guy in his 70s -- a dude from Bell Labs who is independently wealthy but likes to keep his brain active). As for hiring entry level, it's not clear how you can evaluate a person's ability to be a good SWE until after they've learned the language. Google does do a lot of internships for college students, and even for sophomor

            • by sjames ( 1099 )

              So how do you explain the prominent cases (not at Facebook or Google, I know) of people training the H1-Bs that replaced them?

              As for the no-poaching, sure, it's a zero sum game but if you might be able to win the game, why agree not to play? If there is a real shortage, pay should be going up. It's basic supply and demand.

              On the age thing, you may not be seeing the norm [google.com] there.

              • So how do you explain the prominent cases (not at Facebook or Google, I know) of people training the H1-Bs that replaced them?

                I don't need to, because that's unrelated to my point. I never said that no one used H1Bs to get cheap labor, just that Zuckerberg and other CEOs of top tech companies aren't pushing for H1Bs to get cheap labor.

                As for the no-poaching, sure, it's a zero sum game but if you might be able to win the game, why agree not to play? If there is a real shortage, pay should be going up. It's basic supply and demand.

                I'm not defending the no-poaching agreement, and I have no objection whatsoever to companies getting into bidding wars over exactly the skills I sell -- the more insane the better! I was just explaining that the extremely tight labor market created the environment in which big tech companies realized

                • by sjames ( 1099 )

                  It is all relevant. It is all evidence that there is no shortage of hirable citizens. That being the case, it makes Zuckerberg's claim highly questionable. Especially Zuckerberg (Facebook is famous for ageism, complete with bald statements from Zuckerberg that people over 30 aren't smart enough to work there).

                  Real shortages kill prejudice quickly. That's why "Women can't X" gave way to Rosie the riveter during WWII where there was a genuine worker shortage.

                  As for the poaching, if you had money flying out yo

                  • It is all relevant. It is all evidence that there is no shortage of hirable citizens.

                    Umm, I don't see that at all. The fact that WiPro et al can hire people has no bearing on what Google et al can hire, because they hire very different kinds of people.

                    Facebook is famous for ageism, complete with bald statements from Zuckerberg that people over 30 aren't smart enough to work there

                    And yet I know several people in their 40s who work there and dispute that that happens in practice. Those statements from Zuckerberg were years ago. He has gotten wiser, I think.

                    As for the poaching, if you had money flying out your backside but no food, would you really agree not to bid on that nice can of peaches over there? If you CAN afford to not bid, there is no actual shortage.

                    I've already explained this in detail. If you choose not to understand the explanation, that's on you.

                    So if there isn't a shortage, why might they be pushing for more H1-Bs?

                    There is a shortage of the sort of people Google wants to hire.

                    Many claim that cheap labor isn't the reason, but it's the only reason I see that lines up with the facts.

                    I

      • by tombak ( 4436895 )
        Why do you assume hiring H1B workers means he doesnt *care*? I am an H1B worker from Canada working in Silicon Valley and I work for one of the big companies and have many H1B friends who work for fb/linkedin and I can assure you if facebook could find the talent they are looking for in the pool of American candidates they wouldn't hire us. All the respectable companies pay the H1B guys the same rate as the local hires but then they have to go through the hassle of worrying about their immigration status, s
    • "Those with the gold make the rules."

      On a related note, it looks like the /. editors are caving in to the temptation to post political clickbait articles. It's going to be a long summer.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        On a related note, it looks like the /. editors are caving in to the temptation to post political clickbait articles. It's going to be a long summer.

        Things were looking really good for a few weeks after Dice sold the site. We were getting some great submissions on the front page, having to do with relevant subjects like science, math, computing and technology.

        But things have started to slide recently. We are seeing more and more submissions about politics, with only very tenuous ties to technology, science,

      • Oh Christ, can we bury this bullshit once and for all? Slashdot has had political articles since forever, bitching that it's something new reveals your ignorance, not some sort of mission creep.
    • Re:Nothing New (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bangular ( 736791 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @12:17PM (#51900561)
      I think the reason so many CEO's attack Trump specifically is because he's not bought and paid for. They don't have him in their pocket, so there's no telling what he'd do as president. He's a wild card. Many people assume he'd "make America great again" but most likely he'd just do whatever got him a lot of news and made him popular.

      He already has money. At his age he probably started to think about death and if people will remember him. Win or lose, people are going to remember Trump.
      • but most likely he'd just do whatever got him a lot of news and made him popular.

        He's going to build the "Trump wall", which in times to come may be remembered as being as effective as "Hadrian's wall"

      • What are you talking about. The man has his own PAC?? He has ties to big banks and this will make his company worth quite a lot due to his influence.

        People need to put the hype away and see the big issue? His trade polices will hurt IT and white collar workers and retirees whose 401ks will turn to 201ks. His website is scant on details on issues other than macho speeches compared to the other candidates.

      • Re:Nothing New (Score:5, Insightful)

        by flopsquad ( 3518045 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @01:21PM (#51901115)

        I think the reason so many CEO's attack Trump specifically is because he's not bought and paid for. They don't have him in their pocket, so there's no telling what he'd do as president. He's a wild card. Many people assume he'd "make America great again" but most likely he'd just do whatever got him a lot of news and made him popular.

        No need to attribute to plutocratic machinations that which can be adequately explained by logic.

        You're spot on about Trump being an unpredictable loose cannon. Large, established businesses and financial markets abhor precisely the kind of chaos Donald Trump promises to bring to the White House.

        Say you run a business or manage investments. You'd like to have at least some vague idea of how things are going to go over the next week, month, quarter, year, and so on, so you can make somewhat-informed decisions about market conditions, raw materials, domestic and global trade conditions, capital outlays, etc.

        So Donald Trump is POTUS. You wake up in the morning, and legitimately wonder if today President Trump is going to:

        - Begin a campaign of mass deportations;
        - Decide we shake down Mexico for billions of dollars and divert significant steel and cement production to build a big ass wall;
        - Decide to cut an entire federal agency;
        - Decide to end a major work visa program;
        - Be totally cool with, or maybe start a war over, Putin's latest incursion into Eastern Europe;
        - Simultaneously shit on the tourism industry and the Constitution by announcing an entire religion is forbidden from entering the country;
        - Say some offhanded ridiculous thing that stirs up outrage/protest here or abroad;
        - Say some offhanded ridiculous thing that makes it harder for people in $your_industry to do business here or abroad;
        - Say something cute about [minorities/women/Muslims/poor people/some other group he thinks are 'total losers"] that paints America and American businesses in a bad light;
        - Embarrass the country; act like running the country is a reality TV show;
        - Try to shout over, or interfere with, or shut down a media outlet that's giving him problems;
        - Refuse to raise the debt ceiling and/or let us default on some obligations;
        - Cause worldwide condemnation and mutiny by ordering our armed forces to kill terrorists' family members;
        - Pull troops out of Japan and South Korea and try to hand them nukes to make up for it;
        - Start a WWIII-sized trade war;
        - Start actual WWIII.

        Regardless of what kind of job he's done running his own private sector interests, his unpredictability and volatility (a source of personal pride for him) would cause perpetual fear and chaos in the global economy. So it makes sense than just about any large corporation would look at that and say, "No thanks."

        • No need to attribute to plutocratic machinations that which can be adequately explained by logic. [...]

          So Donald Trump is POTUS. You wake up in the morning, and legitimately wonder if today President Trump is going to:

          Okay, wait.

          Each of these would benefit the people of this nation. Directly, immediately, and clearly.

          - Begin a campaign of mass deportations:
          Translate: more jobs for citizens
          - Decide we shake down Mexico for billions of dollars and divert significant steel and cement production to build a big ass wall;
          Translate: prevent illegal immigration, lessen some conflicts in border states, make construction jobs available
          - Decide to cut an entire federal agency;
          Translate: reduce the deficit
          - Decide to end a major wor

          • Breaking that down:

            The parts where you say "Translate" are, at least, positions. Some of your rebuttals evidence a fundamental misapprehension of economics, business, and geopolitics, but they are nonetheless positions on which we can differ.

            The parts you call "Counter" are... not even? For example, Trump talking shit about $minorityGroup is not countered nor even distracted from by alluding to Guantanamo Bay, torture, or CIA meddling in foreign governments.

            Even ignoring that what you're arguing
        • Pretty much silly prediction. You seem to think USA is a dictatorship. Don't you know there is a Congress? The POTUS cannot do anything.
      • Win or lose, people are going to remember Trump.

        That's a pretty low bar. You know who else people remember?

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/ima... [abc.net.au]

        http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multi... [telegraph.co.uk]

        They weren't "bought and paid for" either.

      • Trump (...) [i]s not bought and paid for. They don't have him in their pocket(...) He already has money. (...)

        I don't know if that was your intention, but you just gave people a reason to vote Trump.


        Disclosure: I don't vote in the US.

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      real public good

      Cheap labor. Full stop.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PetiePooo ( 606423 )

      This only seems new because it at least appears they aren't doing it for financial reasons, but instead are doing it for a real public good.

      It used to be that companies feared the government over all; that they would do whatever the government asked them to do, never mind how their customers felt about their actions. The old companies, like AT&T and Verizon (formed from other baby Bells) to name a few, still do, as is evident by their complicity in citizen surveillance.

      Now, it seems, the customers are finally able to exert some control on a company's actions. They're still doing it for financial reasons, but they finally are recognizin

    • "World Economic Forum" - where rich people meet with politicians.
    • Companies banding together to exert control on governments is nothing new. This only seems new because it at least appears they aren't doing it for financial reasons, but instead are doing it for a real public good. This appears to be a good shift to me, but the cynical side of me still smells a rat.

      No, unless you are a laid off factory worker in the south the policies of Trump are scary and harmful for 90% of us.

      A trade war will cause the stock prices to fall. This means cost cutting to boast the price again. Now which department does not get respect and is viewed as a cost center? IT! A cut on h1b1 means outsourcing to India the whole IT department and not just bringing in a few because of a shortage.

      A trade war will hurt everything from Cisco routers, to HP servers, to providing consultant services

    • Sometimes public good and financial gain align themselves, but absolutely, titans of industry have always been involved in politics.. If anything, the tech industry has been an exception, not the rule. This might be because engineers try to apply technical solutions to social problems, but at the end of the day, social problems will require social solutions.

    • "Companies banding together to exert control on governments is nothing new. "

      In fact, it's business as usual. Hence the popularity this year of 'outsider' candidates.

  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @12:05PM (#51900433)

    Trump is not the first nor are 'tech' CEOs the only CEOs to play this game.

  • Nothing New (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KermodeBear ( 738243 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @12:06PM (#51900443) Homepage

    This is nothing new. Highly successful, rich business people have a long history of trying to affect society and government policy.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @12:06PM (#51900449)
    They both like to trample over our privacy for their own gain.
  • by Stray1 ( 862245 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @12:08PM (#51900461)

    You lost me....

  • As CEOs, it is part of their job responsibilities to affect government policy for the benefit of their corporations. CEOs have been doing exactly that for decades and decades.

    .
    Nothing to see here, move on.

  • >> Age of Trump

    What office does he hold? What are the chances he will ever hold office?
  • In the Age of Trump, Tech CEOs Cast Themselves As the New Statesmen

    ... and the supposed champions of the people are now happy with the corporate influence.

    Because some CEOs are more equal than others [salon.com]... Oh, wait, Koch brothers hate Trump [motherjones.com] too, so let's suspend this campaign [stopthekochbrothers.com].

    The noble aim of #NeverTrump justifies all means, does not it? Principles are for wussies anyway...

    • I believe that Trump is just highlighting a lot of the issues that some people have been complaining about for a long time (decades). Money has always influenced politics to some degree, and people with money always claim to be or want to be "thought leaders". Things like Citizens United just made the problem worse, but really not "different".

      People in power hate both Trump and Sanders because they are vocalizing the problems without regard for their "political career". The Democrats do not seem to care

      • by mi ( 197448 )
        So, are you for or against CEOs entering politics? Or does it depend — as it evidently does for most "progressives" — on which CEOs?
        • by s.petry ( 762400 )

          I don't believe CEO is a qualification to be a Philosopher or Philanthropist, and quite often would believe the opposite. The Socratic definition of Philosopher includes the qualifier that the person puts truth above all things. CEOs thrive on Sophistry more often than Philosophy. Not all CEOs, and not all the time, but enough where the generalization is valid.

          A Philanthropist should be the Philosopher that Socrates defined first. Being short of that, the person is not interested in society as a whole b

          • by mi ( 197448 )

            I don't believe CEO is a qualification to be a Philosopher or Philanthropist [...] A Philanthropist should be

            Strangely enough, you chose to ignore the question completely. Especially weird for somebody with the qualifications you claim in your signature.

            Given that your first response here was rather off-topic as well, I'm not continuing...

            • by s.petry ( 762400 )
              Sorry for using the big words. CEO != Politician, and Politician != CEO. Apples and Oranges and stuff.
              Better for you?
  • Like most people, Zuckerberg sounds stiff and fake when he reads a script. He either needs to speak extemporaneously from bullet points, or should learn to read a script more convincingly. Whoever's writing his scripts needs to bring in a dramatist to make the dialog more realistic.
  • Note that I didn't necessarily say a "tech CEO" because a lot of tech CEOs are just politicians in disguise. However, I would definitely like to see our country run by intelligent, thoughtful people at some point before I'm gone. Politics is too corrupt now, and relies too much on cronyism, connections and money to be effective. There are just too many people giving politicians money to get their way that nothing gets done in favor of less-wealthy individuals. Having someone who's incredibly rich already mi

  • too late. already there.
  • is just fascism on steroids
  • the oligarchy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @12:27PM (#51900673)

    Don't worry, kids, the supposed oligarchy is only bad when it's the Koch brothers or other conservatives and libertarians; when it's "the good guys" that promote stuff progressives like, it's A-OK.

  • Nadella asked, " Is technology helping us preserve our enduring values such as privacy, or is it compromising it?"

    Coming from the man who heads a company whose product EXPLICITLY invades ones privacy, whose company has direct and omniscient control over someone's equipment, who can decide whether or not you're allowed to use the software you purchased (assuming you didn't get a free upgrade), the man's hypocrisy is stunning.

    Then again, as we've read time and again, CEOs and the like have a sociopathic strea

  • by Shadow IT Ninja ( 3891909 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @12:30PM (#51900701)
    So maybe we are headed towards having the first American Zaibbatsu [wikipedia.org]. Although, actually, I think the real power of some of these new companies lies in the fact that they are highly multi-national. They can pick and choose different legal systems for different operations. They can choose where different assets and operations are taxed (or not taxed.) Through lobbying and financial muscle they can influence politics. Apple, Google and Microsoft are certainly very powerful in terms of the technologies they have control over and those are technologies which run a large part of the world. Amazon is probably the closest to being structured as a vertical monopoly so, maybe, they will be the first to resemble the classic Zaibatsu except at an international scale.
    • So maybe we are headed towards having the first American Zaibbatsu [wikipedia.org]. Although, actually, I think the real power of some of these new companies lies in the fact that they are highly multi-national. They can pick and choose different legal systems for different operations. They can choose where different assets and operations are taxed (or not taxed.) Through lobbying and financial muscle they can influence politics. Apple, Google and Microsoft are certainly very powerful in terms of the technologies they have control over and those are technologies which run a large part of the world. Amazon is probably the closest to being structured as a vertical monopoly so, maybe, they will be the first to resemble the classic Zaibatsu except at an international scale.

      Its an interesting comparison. If I recall correctly, the merchant class in feudal Japan were technically below farmers and just above the eta untouchables (handlers of the dead and human waste). Yet they actually had so much power; the aristocracy, being forced to maintain two households (one in the capital and the other in their province), were massively in debt to the merchant classes. So when the aristocracy was dissolved they discovered that they were actually bankrupt and had no wealth at all.

  • "America, after all, was and is a country of immigrants,” Pichai wrote Yes, so the native Americans had nothing to worry about.
    • Yes, so the native Americans had nothing to worry about.

      Never mind that Native Americans came over the Bering Straits back who knows when to settle this side of the world.

    • "America, after all, was and is a country of immigrants,”

      I really hate this "argument." America was not founded as a nation of immigrants. It was a nation of settlers and conquerors. All of this shit was not just here when they arrived. They built it, for their future generations, not as a gift to the random descendents of everyone else.

      And just because immigration was allowed at some points does not mean immigration is always good for all times. Right now, with so many people not participating in the labor force, and so many of the immigrants we bring in going o

  • Well they're international players .For some, the majority of their product is outside the USA. They're literally operating at a level ABOVE the USA. The politics involved can affect their business both good and bad. NOT stepping into the political arena could doom their business.

    This is the political process. Everyone gets to have their say about "oh god no, anything but that". It's a bit unfair that they seem to have a louder voice than us little folk, but that's kind of the nature of power.

    It's less of a

  • Zuckerberg...company's oft-repeated pledge to bring the world together

    Translation: more cheap, family-free, exploitable H1B's for Facebook Inc.

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      Translation: more cheap, family-free, exploitable H1B's for Facebook Inc.

      ... and the Cooks of the world want their TPP and even less friction for Asian imports.

      Trump Derangement Syndrome has liberals singing the praises of corporates.

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        I've seen H1B horror stories with my own beady little eyes. I don't have to depend on politicians to know the program is FUBAR.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Italy tried the successful CEO route. They elected TV mogul Silvio Berlosconi to prime minister 4 times!

    Suffice it to say, it didn't turn out so well. Italy has massive unemployment and massive debt.

    Running a country is completely different from running a company. You can't just fire people when you don't agree with them, or make sweeping changes because you think it's the right course of action. Countries aren't just big corporations. The sooner people get this through their head, the better.

    • Well, we've been trying the "career politicians" route for decades now and it hasn't turned out so well. We have massive unemployment and underemployment and massive debt. We haven't even had a budget in a decade!

      Maybe just for one time, try something different?

  • by Virtucon ( 127420 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @01:21PM (#51901119)

    "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

  • by postmortem ( 906676 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @01:26PM (#51901167) Journal

    By paying their fair share of taxes, and not using tax havens.

  • by tom229 ( 1640685 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @01:38PM (#51901295)

    Two weeks ago Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told attendees of the company's annual Build developers conference of plans to "move our society forward," asking "profound questions" of his developers:"Is technology empowering people or is it displacing us? Is technology helping us preserve our enduring values such as privacy, or is it compromising it?"

    What in the flying fuck? Microsoft knows exactly the negative impacts technology is, and has been, having on user freedom and privacy. They've been on the wrong side of this debate for at least 2 decades now. This man is either incredibly stupid or incredibly evil.

  • Can't wait for facebook to go to that special 'Myspace' so we don't have to hear from this idiot any more.
  • Because when I hear the word "statesman", the first thing I think of is Donald Trump... no wait, that's the word "asshole"... sorry!
  • This is not an era of celebrity political power. It's one election where the GOP yet against failed to put up any viable candidates and spent the last 8 years programming their supporters with propaganda about how bad the country is and how horrible Obama and basically all liberal are. They have spent billions of dollars over the last 30+ years to push this narrative every year and propaganda does work. This is nothing more than a leadership and talent vacuum in the GOP that allowed someone like Trump to o
  • by gabrieltss ( 64078 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2016 @08:03PM (#51904295)

    Hillary was chosen for the next president back in 2008. Remember that "secret" meeting between Hillary and Obama? The one they met in Chantilly Virginia.... The same place Bilderburg was meeting at that exact same day.. Hillary was promised to get the next presidential nod if she let Obama get the nomination and she step down.

    Think about this. Obama has said she won't be prosecuted for her email CRIMES. Then we find out that Trumps daughter is friends with Chelsey. Hell the Clinton and the Bush families are good friends too - go lookup the news stories... Trump is friends with the Clinton's we have all see the pictures.... The whole "fued" stuff is utter crap! I don't know how anyone CAN'T see through it.

    The whole Trump/Cruz thing is a ruse to make people think they have a choice. Please..... It doesn't matter WHO the republicans appoint (regardless of peoples votes).

    These Tech guys are just throwing money away. Trump has no chance in hell of even getting the nomination. The RNC has said so. The RNC won't let Cruz be the ma either... This just shows they "tech giants" are plain stupid as hell.Go ahead waste your time, effort and money.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?

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