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04.30.08

Number One Lobbyist Gets Tax Breaks, Government Deals, Innocent Children

Posted in Europe, Finance, Fraud, Microsoft at 9:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The content of this post typically fits better under the daily lump of links because it escapes our main points of focus. However, since there are some bits here which are worth citing in the future, here are some news items worth commenting on, in turn.

The other day we wrote about tax evasion and the following article from Red Herring not only reveals that Microsoft leads the pack in terms of lobbying, an unethical multi-billion-dollar industry, but it also uses it for tax breaks.

Microsoft is leading the tech industry’s charge up Capitol Hill, according to statistics released Monday.

The world’s largest software company spent $9 million on lobbyists to make its case in issues including taxes and trade, according to statistics compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Keeping Microsoft's considerable influence on the United States government in mind, also watch this news:

Tax benefit helped Microsoft’s 3Q earnings

Turns out Microsoft and Uncle Sam have been going back through the company’s books from 2000 to 2003. Not knowing how that would end up, Microsoft had “over accrued” its tax provision in past quarters, said Colleen Healy, general manager of investor relations. With the review settled, the company was able to reduce that provision.

For those curious enough, the following was posted in a Web forum last night in order to give just a few more examples:

Accounting Fraud and Misrepresentation of Profits:

Tax Evasion:

What we have here is probably systematic and we wrote about this in details not so long ago.

On we move to another item which is a comment that showed up in some Linux feeds. It speaks about the Newham fiasco that we wrote about several times in recent weeks [1, 2, 3, 4].

This is the same man who originated the term “doing a Newham” – ie the process of feigning interest in Linux to get, ahem, ‘preferential arrangements’ with Microsoft.

This is the same man who, in line with Newhams MoU with Microsoft, starred in Microsoft’s “Get the Facts” roadshow.

As Dr John Pugh MP has stated, “Microsoft is *very* close to the UK Government, and they intend to stay there”.

Richard Steel’s appointment as President of Socitm is a very canny play from the multiply-convicted monopolist.

Of course the contractual obligation to promote Microsoft in the UK Public Sector will not affect either his credibility, or his bias-free ability to perform this new role, nobody could possibly think that, could they?

A day or so later came this announcement which seemingly suggests British children will be ‘adopted’ by Microsoft, at least in the digital sense.

As part of a long-term strategic partnership, Microsoft, learndirect, UK online centres and OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) have launched the Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum.

It’s probably not needed to merely repeat the dangers of children turned into a Microsoft workforce, becoming dependent using freebies. All of these things continue to fascinate those who fear commercialisation of education, whereby corporations are permitted to control the minds of future generations and shape their perceptions accordingly, to fit an agenda. Microsoft even speaks about it in its latest SEC filing and now offers pro-intelletucal monopolies lessons for young children.

Corporations are, by nature, unethical, due to the nature in which they are run. Some European politicians fail to see this and merely follow the money.

Last but not least, consider old articles about ways in which Microsoft uses influence in government to control education and expand the monopoly.

Of course, some of the states giving these monopolies to Microsoft are different from those suing Microsoft and it is different parts of government — namely education officials — who have granted the software monopolies versus those parts of government — namely Attorneys General — who are investigating the company.

Who could ever forget academic kickbacks? There is some more information about such plots in this old article which goes well beyond that.

We’d already learned that Microsoft hands out cash rewards to professors willing to tout Microsoft products in their academic programs, and offers a $10,000 stipend to “Microsoft Scholars” who “advise” Microsoft on how to win academic accounts. But these efforts directed towards replacing educational integrity with corporate opportunism are almost benign in comparison to those being undertaken in Idaho, Texas and Indiana.

A web site at Idaho State University’s Business School offers free course materials to instructors wishing to teach Internet site development. Ironically, the home page displays “junk” characters at the bottom of the left-hand frame — not a good example for a site that purports to offer materials on proper design.

What’s disturbing about the site, however, is the statement on the main page that the course material has a “focus on Microsoft technology” and is “sponsored” by Microsoft. The main page also contains Microsoft’s advertising “buttons” for Internet Explorer and BackOffice. Since when do academic sites at public institutions carry advertising?

To summarise, what we have seen here is that control of governments permits one to receive financial benefits, escape financial fraud with minimal scrutiny and expand the monopoly through contracts that rarely (if ever) involve a tender.

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2 Comments

  1. blabla said,

    April 30, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Gravatar

    “Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum”

    One doesn’t learn computer science. One is illiterate unless one learns Microsoft. Learns to speak and write Microsoft. It’s interesting that with the rise in marketshare of both Linux and MacOS they should choose exactly Microsoft. Poor students when go the marketplace find their recently learned Microsoft lingo doesn’t do them any good at all, because no one is using it for nothing important.

    Who they are trying to fool. Politicians should be elected every year. So that they couldn’t use their job of working for the people, to work for big corps.

    Accountability and transparency. Those are other things that you get with opensource.

    People at high places in public services use their positions to stuff their pockets.

    KICK THEM OUT!

  2. Diogenes said,

    October 5, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Gravatar

    “Corporations are, by nature, unethical, due to the nature in which they are run”

    this is untrue. Corporations aren’t unethical when they provide a service/product to willing customers and get paid to do so, that’s perfectly fine. It’s when government gets in the way by allowing some bad apples in corporations to become monopolistic. That’s why Free market capitalism says; usually monopolies are made THROUGH the state, which is what we’re seeing with Microsoft. It’s hard for companies to get a natural monopoly with only their services, usually they try to do it with the STATE, because the State is actually the biggest coercive monopoly, and it will co-operate with corporations who want to do the same.

    if the State didn’t have a coercive monopolistic education system, this wouldn’t be happening

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