The Irish hi-tech miracle (Was: RE: [LINK] Re: OFF TOPIC Re: the rich and corporate parasites)

Chirgwin, Richard
Thu, 27 Feb 2003 07:26:52 +1000

>companies compete for every dollar they earn. (excluding monopolies 
>like telstra)
>so why should government not have to compete for tax dollars?

I don't mind the topic being off topic. But when someone criticizes an
argument by misconstruing it, I find it either frustrating or confusing. 

I did't comment on governments competing for tax dollars. I noted that
Ireland had fostered a particular fiscal dependency which is breaking down
now; Silicon Valley is packing up and going home. The decision-makers, you
see, are still somewhere else, not in Ireland.

The tax holiday is a stupid approach to the complex
investment/education/employment issue. Eventually, the beneficiaries do what
all beneficiaries of corporate welfare do: they come to government with
their hands out, saying "give us more or we leave". The same game is played
inter-state in the US (and here).

Now, regarding your remark in another post about high tech and the
environment: the "environmental friendliness" of computer industries is a
myth that the industry has fostered. Making silicon circuits is very dirty,
in environmental terms; so is the extremely high obsolescence rate of
consumer electronics, which puts nasties like lead into the landfills. 

Yet people cheerfully sell solutions to put an RFID tag on every consumer
item (during Christmas shopping, I only found one store that recycles its
RFID tags. Well done, HMV). And the PC industry fiercly resists any attempt
to make it assume responsibility for reclaiming heavy metals from its

Fourteen and fifteen years ago, the electronics industry was at the vanguard
of worldwide special-pleading that 'our whole industry depends on CFCs'.
They gave in with very bad grace, even while technologies that rendered CFCs
unnecessary to the manufacturing process existed (for eg, surface mount
components need a lot less in-process solvents). They lost that one, thank
heavens; but didn't learn any better behaviour from it.

Richard Chirgwin

-----Original Message-----
From: Deus Ex Machina
Sent: 26/02/03 16:40
Subject: Re: [LINK] Re: OFF TOPIC Re: the rich and corporate parasites

Chirgwin, Richard [] wrote:
> The tax argument makes people feel nice and warm; but using low tax to
> foster external dependency is no better an idea than using high
tariffs to
> foster internal dependency. 

companies compete for every dollar they earn. (excluding monopolies like
so why should government not have to compete for tax dollars?
globalisation is doing just
that, ineficient and overtaxing governments that dont provide the
to individuals and corporations will loose out to governments that do.


Link mailing list