Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What caused Silicon Valley companies to outsource jobs?

Article from the center-right Manhattan Institute.  (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

Silicon Valley faces a serious threat, however: the fiscal and regulatory earthquakes rocking California, which verges on becoming a failed state. Measured by per-household state and local government spending, California ranks third-highest in the nation, behind Alaska and New York. The state government is trying desperately to squeeze money out of any profitable activity to meet the crippling costs. Further, California continues to impose onerous regulations on the private sector. High taxes and stifling regulations give companies a strong incentive to move elsewhere. In this increasingly business-hostile environment, will Silicon Valley’s unique entrepreneurial spirit survive?

[...]California has piled every imaginable burden on businesses. Minimum-wage laws are among the highest in the country, and health and safety regulations are among the strictest; cities like San Francisco and San Jose require businesses to offer employees health insurance; labor laws are extremely union-friendly; environmental policies drive up energy costs—and on and on. Small firms have the toughest time in this business-toxic climate. A recent study by Sanjay Varshney, dean of the College of Business Administration at California State University in Sacramento, estimates that the cost of state regulations in 2007 reached an average of $134,122 per small business—the equivalent of one job lost per company. And it’s not just the small guys: Google, which uses colossal amounts of electricity, is building its data centers in other states or abroad, where energy is much cheaper.

Hank Nothhaft is the CEO of Tessera, a firm in the field of semiconductor miniaturization. He shows me the vacant office parks and empty lots around his company’s San Jose factory. Silicon Valley, he observes, lost more than a quarter of its computer, microchip, and communications-equipment manufacturing jobs from 2001 to 2008, and Tessera proved no exception. The company has kept some of its assembly lines and industrial operations going here, but it now produces two-thirds of its nanotechnology chips in less expensive North Carolina and in various countries overseas, with China becoming the latest contender for a production facility. Just back from a trip there, Nothhaft says that he has been offered terms he “cannot decently refuse.” Using the Internet and videoconferencing, he can manage Tessera factories around the globe without leaving his San Jose office. “The business environment is becoming awful in California,” Nothhaft complains—just by moving his headquarters to Nevada, he’d save $5 million a year in taxes.

I quoted the interesting part of the article above, the rest is just more details about the past, present and future of Silicon Valley.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Climate-profiteer Al Gore could become the world’s first carbon billionaire

Story from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Last year Mr Gore’s venture capital firm loaned a small California firm $75m to develop energy-saving technology.

The company, Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient.

The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants, the New York Times reports. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contracts.

The move means that venture capital company Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years.

Few people have been as vocal about the urgency of global warming and the need to reinvent the way the world produces and consumes energy as Mr Gore. And few have put as much money behind their advocacy and are as well positioned to profit from this green transformation, if and when it comes.

This is taxpayer money, folks. Your money and my money.

I note that Watts Up With That links to a UK Telegraph story up on how climate change beliefs are now given the same status and protections as religious beliefs. Well, that’s what global warming is, only it’s less supported by science than some religions I know.

Al Gore knows less about science than my keyboard

Here’s a Washington Times article about Al Gore’s academic performance.

Excerpt:

Despite Mr. Gore’s image as star pupil, the kid most likely to be the first to raise his hand in class, it seems that Mr. Gore barely applied himself during his years as an undergraduate and graduate student. Indeed, his sophomore year at Harvard, The Post notes, was “the year Gore’s classmates remember him spending a notable amount of time in the Dunster House basement lounge shooting pool, watching television, eating hamburgers and occasionally smoking marijuana.” Please, take a moment to appreciate the scene painted in that one sentence.

In introductory economics, the only economics course Mr. Gore ever took, he received a C-, which goes a long way toward explaining his December remark that he would consider raising taxes should the economy fall into recession.

If the rudiments of fiscal policy proved to be too taxing for young Al, it should hardly be surprising that the self-appointed protector of the world’s ecosystems had almost as much trouble understanding the basic concept of biology. After all, Mr. Gore’s high school performance on the college board achievement tests in physics (488 out of 800 “terrible,” St. Albans retired teacher and assistant headmaster John Davis told The Post) and chemistry (519 out of 800 “He didn’t do too well in chemistry,” Mr. Davis observed) suggests that Mr. Gore would have trouble with science for the rest of his life. At Harvard and Vanderbilt, Mr. Gore continued bumbling along.

As a Harvard sophomore, scholar Al “earned” a D in Natural Sciences 6 in a course presciently named “Man’s Place in Nature.” That was the year he evidently spent more time smoking cannabis than studying its place among other plants within the ecosystem. His senior year, Mr. Gore received a C+ in Natural Sciences 118.

At Vanderbilt divinity school, Mr. Gore took a course in theology and natural science. The assigned readings included the apocalyptic, and widely discredited “Limits to Growth,” which formed much of the foundation for “Earth in the Balance.” It is said that Mr. Gore failed to hand in his book report on time. Thus, his incomplete grade turned into an F, one of five Fs Mr. Gore received at divinity school, which may well be a worldwide record.

He also dropped out of law school at Vanderbilt, not just divinity school. But his father was a liberal U.S. Senator, so things worked out OK for the pot-smoking silver-spoon leftist. As long as he avoids debates on global warming with actual scientists, he can keep laughing all the way to the bank. Recall the recent post about the Finnish car company backed by Al Gore getting a 529M US government loan. He needs your money to pay for the massive electricity bills he runs up while living in his huge mansion.

Global warming alarmism has nothing to do with science

Global warming is a myth sold to us by greedy, power-hungry socialists like Al Gore.

Global warming is about enriching leftist elites while controlling the lives of productive private citizens.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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