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Google Businesses Education The Almighty Buck

Google Chairman on WhatsApp: $19 Bn For 50 People? Good For Them! 303

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

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  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @08:41AM (#46444373)

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

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

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

  • by Third Position ( 1725934 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @08:49AM (#46444423)

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

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

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

  • Re:Reference please (Score:5, Informative)

    by wombatmobile ( 623057 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @09:29AM (#46444733)
  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @09:48AM (#46444873)

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

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

  • by Casca ( 4032 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @10:16AM (#46445081) Journal

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

  • by whoda ( 569082 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @10:24AM (#46445143) Homepage

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

  • by cyberhooligan77 ( 2612877 ) on Monday March 10, 2014 @11:18AM (#46445655)

    You are right.

    He wants highly skilled cheap people, as many I.T. companies business people.

    But, there is a problem, I.T. jobs, specially programming, ARE NOT FACTORY jobs, altought many CEO's want to treat it, lik that.

    The "here's a spec, generate code that executes this spec using the algorithms you've been given" talk given from architects, or project managers to coders, doesn't work well. I known it, because I did tried, and went back to the good old Analyst-Programmer way of solving problems.

    The funny thing, is that I have worked with I.T. students or undergraduates, and there are situations where they worked well, but, usually, this scenario works well when playing "fair":

    Been directed by unleast one patient senior developer
    Not expecting to do the whole project by themselves, without supervision
    Teaching stuff the students don't know, and not expecting them to learn by themselves
    Don't expect they
    Provide some payment, tuition, food, school, ...

    There are situations when taking undergraduates, or students instead of senior developers work well, and viceversa, taking senior developers instead of junior developers.

    But, not because ageism, or looking an excuse for paying less.

    Something similar happens with offshoring, I have met companies that has offshore offices or factories, and sometimes, a branch has problems because they have to wait the main company to deliver some software or hardware, instead of having their own I.T. people doing the job.

    Just my 2 spartan silver coins (2 cents)

The end of labor is to gain leisure.