Google wants a management structure more like Berkshire Hathaway’s. Berkshire Hathaway wants growth more like Google’s. Monsanto and Terex want to be more like Apple and other companies that minimize their tax burdens. And China wants to be more like the U.S., or at least its central bank wants to follow the Yellen brick road of devaluation to prosperity. All are seeking the 2 percent solution.Read more
They are men, mostly. They are young, mostly. They are visionaries on a mission -- to systematize and make all the world’s knowledge accessible (Google); to connect all the world’s people with each other (Facebook); to change the way books are read and the sound of music is heard (Apple, Amazon); to reorganize urban transportation in 55 countries (Uber); to make brevity mandatory (Twitter); to create a more literate world and, not to be ignored, elevate free delivery to a right (Amazon).Read more
The European Parliament has called for the dismemberment of Google, the French want “les Gafa,” as they call Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, reined in, EU regulators are under pressure to get tough with the Americans. And the leaders of Silicon Valley’s non-tax-paying, privacy-invading, dominant tech firms, to use EU descriptives, are surprised. They shouldn’t be.Read more
It's an article of faith among bien pensant liberals that all institutions in society must achieve perfect gender parity. Consider, for example, the left’s outrage at the dearth of women employed at Google and other tech firms (despite the fact that far fewer women study computer science than men) or its efforts to lower physical standards so that more women become firefighters (despite the fact that most people in burning buildings would rather their lives be saved than politically correct mandates be met).Read more
A graphic that is ricocheting around the liberal blogosphere this week is purported to demonstrate–what else?–how stupid and ignorant Americans are. (Well, non-Democrat Americans presumably.)Read more
For those of us who believe in the market system, there is something unsettling about the thought of the billionaire bosses of Google, Apple, Adobe, Intel, two Disney subsidiaries, and Intuit sitting around a table and agreeing not to compete for staff. Facebook declined an invitation to join the conspiracy. These are the self-styled “disrupters”, believers in the virtues of a market system that allows them to compete for customers even if, especially if, that competition destroys existing enterprises.Read more
Some three hundred years ago Sir Walter Scott asked, “Breathes there a man with soul so dead who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land.” Well, in America corporations are legally deemed “persons,” so the answer to Scott’s question is “Yes,” at least when it comes to tax payments. In this globalized world corporations are “multi-national,” run by executives who may never have set foot in the lands they declare to be “home” for tax purposes. Nothing illegal about it all: These firms play by the rules written for them by the governments in which they do most of their business. And their executives do have a fiduciary obligation to the owners of the business, their shareholders, to minimize their tax payments to the greatest extent possible within the law. Moreover, to some extent their continued search for benign tax regimes puts something of a limit on the ambitions of national tax collectors, witness the unhappiness of France with the low taxes on offer in Ireland, which is coming out of the recession in which over-taxed France remains mired.Read more
President Obama will partner with Google for the "first-ever Presidential Hangout Road Trip," Google announced today.
"Next Tuesday, at 9pm EST, President Obama will deliver his annual State of the Union address to Congress. Later that week, you'll have the chance to connect with the President and speak about his administration’s plan in the first-ever Presidential Hangout Road Trip," claims Google in a blog post.Read more
President Obama announced today that his administration would follow the models pioneered by Google and his presidential campaign to make government smarter:Read more
I was not long ago introduced before giving a talk by a woman who, to authenticate my importance, said that she had Googled my name and found more than 12 million results. She didn’t, thank goodness, go on to say what some of these results were. If she had, she might have mentioned that a few years ago I was, in the blog of a minor academic, “Blowhard of the Month.” More recently I have been a “wuss,” an “old pouf,” and a “homophobe.” (An old pouf and a homophobe? On the Internet, the law of contradictions, like many other laws, has long ago been abrogated.) Had she checked more closely under Amazon.Read more
In an NBC interview, Google's Eric Schmidt reminded America that "It's important to remember these 5 billion people are just like us. They're just trapped in bad poverty and bad governance and so forth." The CEO of Google was referring to those in the world who don't have smartphones:Read more
Google celebrated "Data Privacy Day," which is today, according to Google, by explaining its practice of turning over data to the government. Last week, Google revealed that it complies with government requests for data 88 percent of the time.Read more
Internet company Google complies with requests for user data 88 percent of the time government asks, according to data released today by Google.Read more
Google chief Eric Schmidt, along with former Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson, visited a rare North Korean computer lab:Read more
Google yesterday reportedly launched a worldwide gay rights campaign, officially beginning in Poland and Singapore.Read more
Wall Street Journal: "Google Speaks Truth to Power"Read more
If you type “Obamacare” into Google and then click on the first link that usually comes up, you’ll learn all about Obamacare from the most unbiased source imaginable—the Obama administration.Read more
Back in 2007 I wrote a long-ish piece on the Google Books project. The stripped-down conclusion was that Google's attempt to scan and digitize every book ever written would be determined in the courts because, fawning tech writing to the contrary, Google's scheme represented two structural challenges to the nature of American copyright law.Read more
Obama Administration Still Promoting Obamacare by Paying Taxpayer Money to Google, Bing, Ask, and Yahoo!
If you type “Obamacare” into a search engine — whether Google, Bing, or Ask — you’ll find that the first site that appears at the top of the page is healthcare.gov. That site will tell you everything you want to know — or, rather, everything the Obama administration wants you to know (and nothing that it doesn’t want you to know) — about Obamacare. And it comes up first, before anything else, because your tax dollars are paying for it to come up first. The same is true on Yahoo!, except that Yahoo! lists a few unpaid links above the first paid link.Read more
Type in your email
address to get started:
Thank you for signing up for the Jonathan V. last newsletter! You should receive your first newsletter very soon.
We're sorry, there was an error processing your newsletter signup.