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Comment Re:Old news (Score 1) 69

You're assuming I'm not aware of this, and yet you've explained yourself why you'll always struggle to get rid of them in practice - it's politically untenable to tell people you're drastically raising their taxes, even if you do explain to them that stuff they buy will become cheaper.

I fully agree that in an ideal world we'd follow the path you suggest, and similarly I've always argued that true costs should be pursued in other ways. For example, I've long been an advocate of the fact that health service costs for health issues that stem from pollution (i.e. asthma) should be levied against carbon emitting companies, such that the price of coal would reflect it's true cost, rather than have it's true costs hidden by subsidy to the tax payer. This would force energy bills up to reflect the true cost of coal and would bring down the healthcare bill drastically reducing the need for high taxes whilst also encouraging companies to move to clean energy because when the real cost of coal is realised it's astoundingly expensive compared to nuclear etc.

But as nice as doing this would be, and forcing people to understand the real cost and value of things allowing the market to work in places it doesn't currently because true costs are hidden, it's just never going to happen. The idealist in me comes second to the realist - I don't believe there's much value in arguing that we're stupid for not basing our lives around that which is simply not practical and never going to happen in the near term. It's a great philosophical discussion to have, and great as a very long term goal (decades away), but it really doesn't help us right now in the reality we live in.

Comment Re:Old news (Score 5, Informative) 69

The thing that's new about the story was the grilling Google's EMEA boss got in front of a parliamentary select committee yesterday and what came out of that.

Whatever you think about large corps and taxes, that guy got absolutely slaughtered and it's incredible Google sent anyone that inept to represent themselves as it's done Google more harm than good on the tax front.

The MPs basically asked him why Google has only paid 3% tax for the period when the rate is 20%, to which he replied that they do pay the 20% owed by law. They ask him on what figure the 20% was paid given that the tax paid only amounts to 3% of declared profit and he simply couldn't answer. This means he's either incredibly inept in that he was wholly unprepared to answer an obvious question on the topic at hand, or Google is afraid to admit how it comes to it's profit figure because it's still hiding something that may get it in bother - if it was legal and in good standing, why hide your profit figure that you're paying tax on?

He was also asked if he felt the £130 million was fair, to which the Google guy replied yes, and then the MP followed up with the question "If it's fair, why didn't you pay it in the first place?", for which he had no answer. He was later asked a similar question as to whether he agreed the £130 million was legally owed, to which he answered yes.

He claimed there's no legal mechanism to pay more tax in the UK and therefore he can't, to which it was pointed out that that's simply false.

The problem is, even if you're of the belief that it's okay for companies like Google to only pay what is legally required, rather than what is intended, Google's exec here twice said the £130 million bill was both acceptable and legally owed, which inherently means that he has now admitted that Google didn't simply carry out tax avoidance, but carried out outright tax evasion.

Which is why in my opinion the whole large corporation tax debacle isn't as clear as many have argued - the often parroted large corporation line of "We pay what we legally have to" is slowly unraveling, and it's becoming increasingly clear that large corps haven't even been paying what they legally have to, let alone what the law intended (even if badly). The fact is that in many jurisdictions where this is an issue it's simply not clear that these companies are merely only engaging in legal avoidance rather than illegal evasion whatever the companies themselves may now claim. At least one corporation, Google, has now admitted that it carried out tax evasion by accepting that it did in fact legally owe these £130 million in taxes but previously chose not to pay them.

The question now really is what happens with all the other big players. In many ways Google may have gotten off easy by going first, because there's more pressure than ever for government to more tightly scrutinise these deals and to charge penalty costs (which Google was let off from). Google got off lightly for committing tax evasion in the UK, but it's not clear due to the backlash from that whether all the others will get off so lightly. We already know there will at least be some others given that Amazon and Starbucks' tax deal with Luxembourg has already previously been found to have been illegal.

Comment Re:Let's get real (Score 1) 256

"The DPRK is once again being used for fear mongering. Fear mongering is the main reason why nobody has gone to war to end the regime. The US, UK, and everyone else in NATO loves the DPRK because "scare the populace to get what you want without revolt". "

This is nonsense, it's a completely US centric view. No one outside the US inside NATO really gives the slightest fuck about North Korea because North Korea is both completely out of range as a threat and because we're just not in North Korea's gunsights anyway. When it comes to talks about North Korea in contrast to talks about, say, Iran's nuclear programme, Europe is rarely even around the table other than perhaps to just stay in the loop and find out what's going on.

Given that I'm not sure how NK can be used for fear mongering in the UK or NATO (except the US) because there's nothing scary to us about it. I understand why some people in the US might be concerned, because the US is regularly the target of North Korea's rhetoric, but I really can't remember the last time NK threatened the UK and even if it did the threat would be entirely hollow because there's literally nothing it could do to touch us right now even if it wanted to. The same is true for the rest of Europe - NK just isn't on our threat radar over here, so it can't possibly be used for fear mongering, whatever you wish to theorise about that possibility.

NK only has limited military assets, even if it can weaponise a nuke (rather than just blow one up underground after months of preparation) it's just not going to waste one on any European nation no matter what happens so the whole "Western World Fear Mongering (tm)" conspiracy theory that lazily gets pulled out every time someone even loosely related to the Western world complains about a foreign state just makes absolutely no sense outside the US in this particular case.

I assure you, if Europe is worried about anything right now it's Russia, because Russia actually has invaded, annexed, and de-facto annexed the sovereign territory of a number of European nations in recent years (e.g. Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova). If anyone's going to fear monger the UK and other NATO states they're at least going to do it with the one country that's proven itself to be a genuine threat where there is actually something to potentially fear.

North Korea is pretty much entirely a South Korean/American/Japanese/Chinese problem. The rest of us just don't care enough for it to be possible to use it for fear mongering.

Comment Re:Management structure and meritocracy (Score 1) 273

"Well, you seem to be using a different definition of meritocracy from everyone else. But OK, let's use your definition."

I'm using the dictionary definition, if you have a problem with that then don't take it up with me, take it up with the whole of the rest of the world who you seem intent on rallying against.

"Well, by your definition then the Linux dev community is not a meritocracy because the asshole element is causing some of the best people to leave, lowering the overall quality of the contributors."

That's probably quite true. I can think of some examples where you're absolutely right, but I'm really not interested in flying off on a tangent and arguing about drama in the open source world. That doesn't mean that merit doesn't count for anything, of course it does, but it's certainly not the whole picture there.

"Your definition seems to be a rather holostic thing where people are promoted on merit as defined by something that optimizes the performance criteria you're interested in. That's OK, an by that definition, then yeah sure you can have a meritocracy. It's just a different definition from the one everyone else seems to use."

I don't know who this everyone else you talk of is, everyone else is typically content with the dictionary definition which defines a meritocracy as the holding of power by those with the most merit to complete the task at hand, and in business that means those most able to fulfil the business needs, such as figuring out how to can the most tuna.

Comment Re:Management structure and meritocracy (Score 2) 273

You're on one hand asserting that a meritocracy can only determine merit on one single thing - in your example, technical capability - and yet, you're then judging that meritocracy on things that are outside it's definition of merit. This is entirely nonsensical.

If you feel that niceness to team members is an important merit in your meritocracy then you must also include that in your judgement of merit. Thus someone with high technical skill but beats other members of the team up would end up with low merit.

The problem is not that a meritocracy cannot exist, the problem is that you do not understand what a meritocracy is - you're arguing that a meritocracy can only judge merit on one single trait, and this is patently untrue. You have effectively taken the GP's mistake of suggesting only technical merit is necessary and then expanded it to imply that this is true for all meritocracies and therefore meritocracies cannot exist.

A simple example is imagine I run a tuna canning factory, and all the workers sit such that they can't interfere with each other, but one worker consistently cans double the amount of tuna in a day than any of the others with no reduction in quality or other detriment to the company. I promote him because he's figured out a way to be more efficient than everyone else. That is a meritocracy.

Feel free to argue why you don't like meritocracies, or why you think they're bad (i.e. you may want to argue that they're not fair on people who only have one arm so can never can as much tuna even if those people try way harder and put more hours in), but pretending they cannot exist based on a nonsensical argument following on from an argument you're complaining about yourself doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Comment Re:playful workdays?! lots of nonsense criticisms. (Score 1) 428

"But playful workdays implies lowering expectations and less time working, which is the antithesis of productivity."

This is the number one thing bad managers fail to understand. Time spent working != productivity. It's quite possible to become more productive if you spend less time working and are more refreshed, happier, and more focused.

There is a balance, but the idea that more time at work inherently means more productivity is complete nonsense, there's a point where your returns not only diminish, but go into reverse. Someone working 7 hours a day who loves their job with a passion will typically still get more done than someone who works 10 hours a day and fucking hates it.

If you're in management, please step out, or learn a few things about how to make sure staff are effective and productive, because based on your comment you're part of the productivity problem.

Comment Re: Melinda Gates? What did she accomplish? (Score 1) 106

"The ones who marked it troll are probably jealous of his wealth, which is stupid because there're plenty of other reasons to dislike the man."

Actually to be honest, I think it was completely unrelated and it's the same reason a number of my posts have been downmodded in the last 24 hours. A bunch of real actual fascists got angry because I confronted them with facts:

As is usual for fascists, they get a bit upset when confronted with reality and go on their little censorship sprees - I don't think my downmodding in this thread was anything to do with what I said in this thread for what it's worth but the more general down-modding I received for explaining why UKIP fascists are wrong with facts and figures.

The amusing thing is that they think that censoring random people on the internet will actually change the fact they're wrong, they'll keep telling us about how right they are, how important they are, and yet their grand dictator Farage will still keep failing to get elected regardless, though he'll still keep coming back of course because he's the world's sorest loser in the politics game and not a man of his word. Luckily as any UKIP conference will show you these people are nearly all dead, so we wont have to put up with them much longer and no one will give a shit about them and their views when they're 6 foot under. They're also mostly poor underachievers, so maybe they are also jealous of people like Bill Gates too mind you:

Only 23% earn more than combined £40k a year in their household (this threshold is below the national average for a household), 71% are over 50, over half have no qualifications past GCSE level (you finish GCSEs at 16), not even A-Level and a mere 13% have a degree.

Yeah, actually, I think your jealousy theory probably does have some relevance to them after all :)

Comment Re: Yeah, sure (Score 1) 412

Of course there is, but we're not even remotely close to it. The countries that are are places like Jordan, where they've had more than 20% of their population enter their country as refugees in the space of a year.

Constant drivel about how the UK is "full" makes no sense when Japan has less usable land mass than us and double our population (they're also wealthier too per head of population).

The problem is folks like you insist on cutting your nose off to spite your face. You hate people who are different to you and you'd rather focus on that even if it means you will be less wealthy, and there will be less healthcare and school places available as a result. You can't accept that if something is wrong in this country that maybe, just maybe, you're the cause, not people who haven't been here long enough to be a problem and who actually for the most part benefit the country.

Immigration isn't remotely at a level where it's unmanageable in the UK and it is a net benefit to our country, those are unavoidable facts. That's why frankly anyone making it out to be a big deal is either ignorant of the facts (in the GPs case, wilfully ignorant because even with the facts he wants to deny it) or has other motives for complaining about immigration - the obvious ones being nationalism, racism, and xenophobia or some combination of.

Again I don't deny we have problems related to immigration, I think we go way too easy on immigrants who commit crimes, and I'd be happy to support instant no-questions deportation for someone convicted of a serious crime like rape or murder, but the general influx of people? It's really not a problem, on the contrary, it's a good thing, but just like the Germans in 1939 people like you are willing to be useful idiots in the hate game spread by populist hate and fear mongers like Farage.

Comment Re: Yeah, sure (Score 0) 412

"No, my argument against your unnamed "study" (undoubtedly made by someone who got the result they were looking for and who published their study in a journal refereed by their fellow travelers) is that they had thumbs on the scale the whole way."

So on one hand you're complaining about not being given the study, but on the other you're professing to be able to discredit it anyway? I know UKIPers like you are anti-intellectual, but must you really persist in arguments that don't make sense? There isn't just one study, there are many:

Oxford University's Migration Analysis Centre:

University College London's Migration Research Centre:

I know it's inconvenient to your foreigner hating viewpoint, but these aren't fly by night vested interests. These are real actual top of the league table universities doing real actual analysis into the causes, impacts, and effects of immigration across the globe. The whole point in their existence is to analyse the facts of migration, whether it's positive or negative.

Once again, your entire argument boils down to "I hate foreigners so everyone that has studied this properly is wrong because I say so.".

Even outside of academia, there are corporations doing similar studies and that want the facts so that they can guide their business:

For them it's not about some political leaning, it's about profit.

Like it or not, you're wrong and you're a typical UKIPer- you simply cannot accept the fact that the real problem is that you are a xenophobic hatemonger so instead you just tell yourself people who have actually put effort into it, rather than people like you that have just decided, are wrong, because that makes you feel uncomfortable and ruins your attempt at blame gaming.

Comment Re:Chapter 11 != Bankruptcy (Score 1) 113

Chapter 11 is basically a default on your debt. Whether you go bankrupt depends on whether you can convince your creditors that they should give you more time, accept reduced payments, or somehow otherwise let you restructure your debt.

If you can't convince them, that's when bankruptcy hits and that's when the legal battles start over the remains - this is where it starts to get nasty and becomes a gamble for creditors as everyone starts to try and fight to get as much of their investment back as they can, but given the company has reached that point it's unlikely there are assets available for everyone to get their investment back, and so someone loses out.

As you say, this means a judge that goes against you, as a creditor, can really fuck you over. The worst part is typically for employees who may be owed pay, or pensions and so forth - all too often they end up bottom of the pile so the billionaire institutional investors manage to use the courts to recoup their investment, but the workers who put in the effort and didn't get their last few paychecks get screwed.

Comment Re:Can't be too much competition... (Score 1, Flamebait) 60

The reason companies like Facebook will pick Ireland is because it's a tax haven, and because it's where they amass many billions of otherwise unproductive dollars.

If they try and take it somewhere more useful then they'll have to inevitably pay the tax that, if they weren't avoiding (possibly even evading in some cases) it, they'd have had to have paid in the first place.

So they have the following choices

1) They have it sat in an Irish bank not really doing anything, and possibly depreciating in value due to lack of worthwhile investments in country

2) They bring it back to a more useful jurisdiction. By useful I mean one that has a high concentration of skilled tech professionals that can grow their business with new products and so on, or where they can use it to acquire other companies in that jurisdiction. The fact is, there is only so much you can spend in a country with a population of 4.6million before you've hired all the worthwhile tech professionals, and bought and invested in all the worthwhile companies. The combined fortunes of money stockpiled by big tech in Ireland is way more than is available to sensibly spend on so Ireland isn't that "useful" as a place to invest in people or businesses because there's just nowhere near enough to go around. The downside of moving it to a different jurisdiction is they'll lose a sizable proportion of it to tax, so they don't.

3) They spend it on something in Ireland that doesn't need much man power and doesn't involve trying to find a company to invest in or buy up.

This is an obvious case of option 3 - it's something they can build to use some of that stockpiled cash but that doesn't really cause too much of a problem in trying to fight with all the other hundreds of billions of stockpiled money in Ireland to get the resources for it - there's no point building a large high skilled software/product development office there for example because the population of Ireland will never ever be able to sustain the required levels of staff to make it work.

You could push the Irish government to allow for a new immigration scheme to allow them to bring in the necessary talent but then you'd get all the unskilled natives moaning about how they took their jobs even though they were never talented enough or qualified to do those jobs in question in the first place, which is a shame, because that ruins it for everyone because it means such a centre can't be built and the handful of people in the country who are talented and qualified enough don't have that opportunity made available to them.

So you're stuck with things like data centres that require few staff, and call centres that require unskilled staff, but even they're becoming less common in Ireland because places like India can provide unskilled staff far more cheaply.

They may as well use the money somehow, and this is about the best option available to them. It's probably near a village for the simple fact that that local council offered them the best local rates or subsidy to bring the handful of jobs and wealth it creates to their area.

Comment Re: Yeah, sure (Score 1) 412

So your argument against a sound scientific study boils down to "I'm right" and a sound scientific study is wrong because I'm going to claim it's below par without any evidence?

Like all UKIPers you're basically just not willing to accept evidence that conflicts with your hate of those from a different background to you. Your hate overrules everything you do.

I'm not claiming immigrants don't cluster together, I'm merely claiming that they're not net leeches on society because that's demonstrably not true, regardless of what you say about such studies. The argument that the people studying have beliefs that align with their results is entirely nonsensical, of course they do, any rational mind when faced with a set of compelling well evidenced results is going to weigh their belief in the direction of that result - you're effectively arguing that unless these people deny their own science then the results aren't credible. That makes no sense.

It doesn't really matter if one Rupert Murdoch balances out a bunch of leeches, the point is that you don't want immigrants, and that means throwing out the beneficial with the non-beneficial. Could we improve the amount that immigrants contribute by weeding out the non-beneficial better? Sure, but it'll become increasingly expensive to carry out that monitoring, measuring and deportation- more so than dealing with our actual native benefits leech problem. You're talking about making a big issue and spending money on something that'll have vastly diminishing returns compared to actual prominent more obvious, but more politically sensitive issues. I'm not denying there aren't some who are problematic, but merely making the point that making that a big deal is nonsensical when there are far larger more expensive problems that we should be prioritising first, like the complete lack of effort put into making sure the wealthiest segment of society - pensioners - have also born the brunt of austerity that everyone else has had to suffer by ditching nonsense such as free TV licenses and free bus passes - they're already the wealthiest demographic, so why do they need this when no one else gets it. They're the real leeches, but they're politically untouchable.

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