Monday, February 6, 2017

Glad To See The Tech Companies Take On Trump

I remember sitting in the 4th row at the January 11th, 2006  Sun Microsystems Founder Panel.  One of the many cool stories told was between Scott McNealy and Andy Bechtolsheim.  Scott was driving home the importance of immigrants to our society.  Here is how the conversation went that night:

Scott:   "Andy, you many jobs do you think you have personally created?"
Andy:   "Over 100 thousand jobs."
Scott:    "How much have you paid in taxes in your entire career?"
Andy:   "Probably over a billion dollars."
Scott:    "Well, you have been one HELL of a drain on our society!"

We HEAR politicians state that we should staple a green card to every advanced diploma a US university and college - which of course would be BRILLIANT, but the politicians are not that insightful to actually do it.

FINALLY, the tech companies are taking ACTION on Trump's idiotic travel ban!  I have always felt the tech companies did not have the amount of lobbying resources necessary to properly influence government.  I remember working with our lobbyists when I was at Sun Microsystems and you could count the number of our lobbyists on a few hands.  The tech companies working together is CRITICAL to keeping Donald Trump from doing even more damage than he has already done. 

Below are snippets from an article by Elizabeth Dwoskin titled, "Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and 94 other tech companies call travel ban ‘unlawful’ in rare coordinated legal action" that appears in the  The Washington Post:

"On Sunday night, technology giants Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, Uber and many others filed a legal brief opposing the administration’s contentious entry ban, according to people familiar with the matter. The move represents a rare coordinated action across a broad swath of the industry — 97 companies in total— and demonstrates the depth of animosity toward the Trump ban."

I thought it was strange that Amazon did not join the other tech companies as stated in the article below:

"Companies backing the filing also include Lyft, Pinterest, Yelp, Square, Reddit, Kickstarter, Github, Glassdoor, Box, Mozilla, Dropbox, Twilio, Zynga, Medium, Pinterest, and Salesforce, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the filing was still being finalized Sunday.

Notably, it doesn't appear that Amazon is party to the brief. Amazon's founder, Jeffrey P. Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, recently said that he supported the lawsuit filed by the Washington state's attorney general against the executive order on immigration and refugees."

Below is an amazing statistic:

"Immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list, including Apple, Kraft, Ford, General Electric, AT&T, Google, McDonald’s, Boeing, and Disney," it said. The briefing also notes prominent immigrant and refugee writers, scholars and Nobel Laureates."

The obvious point that Trump does not get is the importance of immigrants to our economy and in particular, the tech economy.

Below is another snippet from the article:

"Long-term, this instability [caused by the executive order] will make it far more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to hire the world’s best talent—and impede them from competing in the global marketplace," it says.

"The problems that render the Executive Order harmful to businesses and their employees also make it unlawful," the brief said.

An estimated 37 percent of the workforce in Silicon Valley is foreign-born, according to the think tank Joint Venture."

Lord help us if Trump does not wise up on basic economics and how the country works.