>1) How much does Microsoft BENEFIT from the government? Enforcement on Microsoft software requires a complete legal system, educated judges and lawyers, an educated public to sit on juries. It requires roads for these people to move around, social services to keep these people alive. It's not a simple calculation, like you try to make it sound. Microsoft couldn't exist in a vacuum.
What is Microsoft's MARGINAL cost to government? If Microsoft vanished overnight, we'd still have judges, a public education system, and so forth.
>The word marginal is a weasel word here - it implies that society would pay everything that was necessary without Microsoft, and that MS should just add the difference.
The word marginal is key. It's all these nonsense Elizabeth Warren arguments that pretend that if Microsoft doesn't pay for bloody everything, they're not paying enough.
>they rely on the protection of the military, who as I pointed out benefit THEM far more than anyone else.
The military protects everyone in America equally. Until we invade China over pirated copies of MS Office, I think your argument isn't going to fly.
>PS: Nice goalpost move from BillyG -> Microsoft
The arguments apply equally well. Bill Gates pays far more into government than he receives back. Does his kid even go to public school? How many poor kids can go to school because of Gates' property taxes?
Actually, we can calculate that. His house is worth $150M. Property tax in WA is 1%. He pays therefore $1.5M per year in property tax. It costs roughly $10k/student to go to public school. Therefore Gates is supporting 150 homeless kids (i.e. who are paying no property tax at all) on his nickel. While his kid doesn't benefit from public schooling at all, AFAIK.
Tell me again how he's a leech.