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Comment: Re:that's not "astroturfing" (Score 1) 142

by Dr. Donuts (#47181907) Attached to: Cable Companies Use Astroturfing To Fight Net Neutrality

Is given greater weight by the politicians or regulators that the corporations are lobbying or donating to. It means that the corporation view is considered first or given more importance than competing views.

I am not advocating, "wanting", or expressing a desire for any particular form of government. I was pointing out the current situation with regards to lobbying and campaign financing leads to corporations having an outsized voice with politicians and regulators compared to competing interests such as the public at large.

Comment: Re:that's not "astroturfing" (Score 2) 142

by Dr. Donuts (#47179747) Attached to: Cable Companies Use Astroturfing To Fight Net Neutrality

I don't think that people get upset about companies presenting their view. What they get upset about is the outsized voice the corporations can afford to buy. The corporate view is given far greater weight than the views of the public at large in political discourse. Since corporations have far more money than the public to spend on lobbying and advertising, and throw on for added measure campaign contributions in an effort to sway politicians to the corporate view, the result is quite predictable in that laws get passed and regulations written that favor corporations over the public interest.

Since our political process is representative, corporations can largely ignore the public and apply direct pressure to the political representatives themselves.

Of course, this is why there are many calls to reform lobbying and campaign laws to prevent those with greater financial resources from being able to essentially buy that outsized voice.

Comment: Re:What do you expect (Score 1) 450

by Dr. Donuts (#33503718) Attached to: Tech Sector Slow To Hire

While it makes a nice sound bite to say that companies making more money will feel comfortable hiring more people and may even seem to make sense at first glance, that's not how things work. If a company can make more money without having to hire additional labor, then it will use that additional money to purchase better equipment (which will hopefully improve their labor efficiency, thus requiring less labor), pay down debt, increase stockholder dividends, buy other companies, increase advertising, etc.

You hire labor to meet demand, or expected demand such as when debuting a new product. If demand or prospect for demand isn't there, then labor needs don't increase. You don't hire simply because you have more money.

Now, as far as labor within the tech industry, what I've seen over the years is that many companies want someone else to pay the costs of training their employees. Either you were trained at another company, were taught at a university, etc. This makes sense from an economic perspective, since training is expensive. However, if everyone follows that logic, no one gets trained and the labor force as a whole becomes less capable.

It's a self fulfilling prophecy. Don't provide training or opportunity to gain experience, then complain the labor force doesn't have the skills you need.

H1-B and it's ilk can provide a useful function but from what I've seen of it's use in the tech industry, it's becoming another tool to externalize risk and cost.

Comment: Re:Since when were ISPs the bad guys? (Score 4, Insightful) 457

by Dr. Donuts (#32178160) Attached to: The Telcos' Secret Anti-Net Neutrality Strategy

Perhaps if the infrastructure were not owned by monopolies, your points would have more validity. However, when companies lobby for and are granted monopolies over infrastructure *and* services, they then become subject to greater regulation and scrutiny, because normal market forces such as customers switching to another provider often are no longer possible.

From an ordinary user standpoint, once upon a time you actually could choose between many different ISP's because *you* dialed *them*. Can I dial any ISP I want over Cable, or DSL, or fiber, or whatever?

That's the problem in the US today. Infrastructure has been tied to service, leaving most folks with very little choice and the market forces hogtied by government granted monopolies.

There are plenty of examples throughout the world where there is good competition at the ISP level, with consumers benefiting from better infrastructure, services, and prices. And the great majority of it is from introducing competition, not allowing monopolies to get larger and larger.

Net Neutrality probably wouldn't even be on the radar if infrastructure and services were not tied together in government granted monopolies.

Comment: Re:Unlawful governance (Score 1) 394

by Dr. Donuts (#28361667) Attached to: Anonymous Newspaper Commenters Subpoenaed In Tax Case

"The US constitution specifically states that gold an silver are legal tender."

No, that's not what it says, although that is a commonly held misconception.

Article I, section 10: No state shall...coin money, emit bills of credit, make any thing but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts...

This is a restriction on the States powers, not the Federal government. State governments can't issue their own currency, and if States did choose to enforce a tender for payment of debts, the only tender they can enforce is gold and silver.

For example, a State could require you to pay your taxes in gold and silver. It can't issue it's own notes and force you to pay your taxes with them. Nor could it force you to pay debts with anything else. For example, they couldn't force you to pay your taxes with, say, $1 coins.

Basically, States have to accept any legal tender if they don't explicitly require payment in gold and silver. There are no Constitutional restrictions on what the Federal government can define and issue as legal tender.

In short, whatever the Federal government defines and issues as legal tender, must be accepted for payment of debt, with the exception that States have the option of requiring payment in gold and silver.

Comment: Re:Good Business (Score 1) 883

by Dr. Donuts (#27258799) Attached to: Shell Ditches Wind, Solar, and Hydro

I agree in this instance that Shell is probably doing the smart thing. I did want to comment though about fiduciary responsibility, since this often comes up in subject matter like this.

Fiduciary responsibility is one of the responsibilities of a corporation, but not the *only* responsibility. Other responsibilities may be externally imposed (e.g., not break the law), or may be internally imposed (e.g., codes of conduct). These have intertwining impacts on one another, and may be at odds. For example, a Code of Conduct may negatively impact profitability, thus putting it at odds with a fiduciary responsibility to increase profit.

The combinations of these responsibilities provides the framework in which corporations can pursue their goals. One of the goals of corporations is to profit, but there can be other goals in addition.

Often times I see folks say that the fiduciary responsibility of a corporation is solely to maximize profit, but thats an oversimplification. Profit is a goal of for-profit corporations, but often not the sole goal. As such, those goals must be balanced against one another. Depending on circumstance, some goals will be scaled back so resources can be channeled to other goals.

The fiduciary responsibility of the corporation is to manage fiscal operations to further the goals of the corporation.

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