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Google Now Giving More Political Contributions Than Goldman Sachs

File:Eric E Schmidt, 2005 (looking left).jpg

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has given over $500,000 in political contributions.

So much for Don’t Be Evil. Google has now overtaken Goldman Sachs in campaign contributions this year. Google’s PAC, NetPAC, has given $1.43 million to candidates this year compared to Goldman Sachs’ $1.4 million. While the difference may be small, the symbolism could not clearer – Silicon Valley has become a major force in legally bribing US politicians.

Google has more than enough reason to get into the game of influence peddling in Washington as concerns over privacy and its search monopoly dominate the news. Already suffering a black eye for its collaboration with the NSA, Google has also been targeted in Europe with laws about the right to delete personal information. Laws Google desperately wants not to have to contend with in the US.

There is also the undeniable monopoly Google has in search which could raise antitrust concerns in a more vigilant Justice Department.

But Google is not the only Silicon Valley company throwing its weight around in Washington. Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Amazon and other major tech firms are all doling out cash to policymakers to advance their interests.

Technology companies are spending big money this year to build political support as Washington debates issues critical to the sector from tax, to increasing the number of visas for skilled migrants to greater oversight of US intelligence agencies. While people working in the technology sector typically lean left, tech companies in the latest political cycle are increasingly donating more to Republicans or splitting their giving equally between the two parties…

Tech and internet donors have given almost $22.5m so far in the 2014 election cycle, according to the CRP. That still pales in comparison to the $121m donated by the securities and investment industry, where the close ties between Wall Street and Washington earned Goldman the nickname of “Government Sachs”. However, it is part of a broader build-up of the tech industry’s presence in Washington.

Tech companies are increasingly less interested in creative destruction for innovation and more interested in creatively destroying their tax obligations with loopholes while exploiting immigrant labor forces rather than hiring qualified Americans who might ask for decent wages.

At the very least it is time for Americans to stop idealizing Silicon Valley as made up of dreamers and rebels and understand that the technology sector is pursuing its economic interests – which are considerable – in much the same way other major industries are. Given that reality, the same kind of skepticism should be applied to their motives and regulations applied to their activities as other parts of the corporate sector.

CommunityThe Bullpen

Google Now Giving More Political Contributions Than Goldman Sachs

File:Eric E Schmidt, 2005 (looking left).jpg

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has given over $500,000 in political contributions.

So much for Don’t Be Evil. Google has now overtaken Goldman Sachs in campaign contributions this year. Google’s PAC, NetPAC, has given $1.43 million to candidates this year compared to Goldman Sachs’ $1.4 million. While the difference may be small, the symbolism could not clearer – Silicon Valley has become a major force in legally bribing US politicians.

Google has more than enough reason to get into the game of influence peddling in Washington as concerns over privacy and its search monopoly dominate the news. Already suffering a black eye for its collaboration with the NSA, Google has also been targeted in Europe with laws about the right to delete personal information. Laws Google desperately wants not to have to contend with in the US.

There is also the undeniable monopoly Google has in search which could raise antitrust concerns in a more vigilant Justice Department.

But Google is not the only Silicon Valley company throwing its weight around in Washington. Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Amazon and other major tech firms are all doling out cash to policymakers to advance their interests.

Technology companies are spending big money this year to build political support as Washington debates issues critical to the sector from tax, to increasing the number of visas for skilled migrants to greater oversight of US intelligence agencies. While people working in the technology sector typically lean left, tech companies in the latest political cycle are increasingly donating more to Republicans or splitting their giving equally between the two parties…

Tech and internet donors have given almost $22.5m so far in the 2014 election cycle, according to the CRP. That still pales in comparison to the $121m donated by the securities and investment industry, where the close ties between Wall Street and Washington earned Goldman the nickname of “Government Sachs”. However, it is part of a broader build-up of the tech industry’s presence in Washington.

Tech companies are increasingly less interested in creative destruction for innovation and more interested in creatively destroying their tax obligations with loopholes while exploiting immigrant labor forces rather than hiring qualified Americans who might ask for decent wages.

At the very least it is time for Americans to stop idealizing Silicon Valley as made up of dreamers and rebels and understand that the technology sector is pursuing its economic interests – which are considerable – in much the same way other major industries are. Given that reality, the same kind of skepticism should be applied to their motives and regulations applied to their activities as other parts of the corporate sector.

Photo from Charles Haynes under Creative Commons license.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.