EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.24.10

Microsoft Bribes and Tax Avoidance

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer at 1:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Enron Microsoft

Summary: Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are bribing for laws that exempt themselves from tax, bribing to promote their products (while labelling that “charity”), and bribing publications to cover important matters in a way that suits them (portraying investments as “philanthropy”)

MICROSOFT, the company which quietly raises debt, has certainly produced some rich people. But it’s clear based on history that it’s not unusual for a company to be left bankrupt whilst its founders become filthy rich. The two sides — people and business — are most certainly correlated, but they need not move in harmony. There are stories of companies that collapse while paying the management obscenely high wages (SCO is one example).

As Microsoft said a couple of years ago, “Human Greed Has No Bounds” (it was also the title of an article). Steve Ballmer’s lobbying regarding tax (lobbying is just corruption under a nicer name) has just gotten some attention from PubliCola, which calls Ballmer “biggest hypocrite” of the day:

After yesterday’s news that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has given $100,000 to the Defeat I-1098 campaign, Seattle news site PubliCola declared him “biggest hypocrite” of the day. Why? Because Ballmer has spoken time and time again about the need for more education funding in Washington state.

Initiative 1098 would establish an income tax on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year (and couples who make $400,000 a year) and use most of the money to fund … wait for it … education. Washington is one of just seven states without a tax on income.

In this post from Microsoft Nick he adds the following:

One of the richest men in the world, Gates Jr. has so far been silent on the income-tax issue. But odds are he’d side with his father, don’t you think?

What Nick and the rest of the Seattle bloggers neglect to point out is that he is exempted from tax [1, 2, 3, 4] because of the Gates Foundation. So of course he wants everyone but himself to pay a lot more tax to make up for his absence from duty. The biggest mistake people in Washington make is assume that Gates Jr. and Gates Sr. are pushing for themselves to be taxed more heavily.

“The biggest mistake people in Washington make is assume that Gates Jr. and Gates Sr. are pushing for themselves to be taxed more heavily.”All that “lobbying” is essentially a form of bribery. These people spend millions which percolate through the system and find their way in one form or another into the pockets of decision makers (or those whose full-time job is to brainwash/charm and thus effectively replace them, sometimes by offering future favours). Let’s face it, it’s corruption and to pretend otherwise it to be a victim of euphemisms. Bluntly enough, Chips B. Malroy told us last night that “[i]t would see[m] that the only way MS can increase marginally the share of Bing in the USA, is to bribe users or pay OEM’s to make it the default search.” Microsoft already does that with Verizon for example [1, 2, 3, 4].

There is a new and familiar scheme right now. Yes, “Microsoft has another go at Bing bribes,” says the new headline from The Inquirer (“bribe” is the correct, straight term, which was used by some other publications like CNET [1, 2, 3, 4]).

SOFTWARE GIANT Microsoft is having another crack at bribing people to use its Bing search engine.

As we pointed out before (back in July), they are trying to PR-wash it as “charity” so that people won’t slam it for being a bribe. They dress it up as a charity perk.

It’s a credit card or airline-style loyalty program that offers users credits that can be redeemed for products, gift cards or charitable donations.

This is another case of sentimental blackmail, which Microsoft used some months ago in order to convince people to ditch its rivals' Web browsers. It’s utterly shameful what goes on here, namely painting Bing/Internet Explorer as a good cause, just like Gates’ business as an investor, global monopolist, and patents pusher (labelled “philanthropy” owing to intense PR effort).

“The Gates Foundation has funded many news organizations to cover its work…”
      –Richard Stallman
RMS (Richard Stallman) has just caught up with the news that one of his favourite newspapers, The Guardian, sold out to Bill Gates. Yes, the Gates Foundation/Fund is already controlling coverage of itself by paying this publication (and there was evidence to show it just days after the announcement). “The Gates Foundation has funded many news organizations to cover its work,” Richard Stallman wrote in his blog earlier today (after I had mailed him many pointers about it).

Techrights will continue to cautiously cite The Guardian. Whenever it advertises for the Gates Foundation in the designated new site, we will certainly point this out and pressure the The Guardian to report straight news and abolish a PR function (which it carries out in exchange for undisclosed payments from Gates).

Incidentally, speaking of companies misbehaving and then covering their tracks, check out this new article from Michael Arrington.

Collusion and price fixing, that’s what. It is absolutely unlawful for competitors to act together to keep other competitors out of the market, or to discuss ways to keep prices under control. And that appears to be exactly what this group is doing.

This isn’t minor league stuff. We’re talking about federal crimes and civil prosecutions if in fact that’s what they’re doing. I had a quick call with an attorney this morning, and he confirmed that these types of meetings are exactly what these laws were designed to prevent.

I’m not going to say who was at the meeting since at least a couple of the attendees are saying they were extremely uncomfortable with the direction the conversation was going. But like I said, it included just about every major angel investor in Silicon Valley.

On a side note, this is a difficult post to write, because I call nearly every person in that room a friend. But these actions are so completely inappropriate it has to be called out.

Oracle and Apple too are a noteworthy pair. We’ll write about them later.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  2. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  3. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  4. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  5. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  6. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  7. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  8. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  9. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  10. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  11. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  13. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  14. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  15. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  16. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  17. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  18. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  19. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  20. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  22. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  23. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  24. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  25. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  26. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  27. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  28. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  29. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  30. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts