The French Pigeons Are Revolting -- And That's Good

from the more,-please dept

One of the reasons the copyright lobby has been able to get so far with Net-hostile legislation like SOPA/PIPA and treaties like ACTA and TPP is that the companies affected adversely -- both big Internet players and smaller startups -- have failed to make their voice heard effectively. That's finally starting to change, as Google ramps up its lobbying efforts, and Net entrepreneurs start to get organised.

But in Europe, things still have a long way to go in terms of providing a digital perspective on legislation and treaties that can counterbalance the powerful lobbying machine of the old media industry there. That's what makes the following story about a revolt by French startups against a proposed tax rise, reported here by David Meyer on GigaOM, rather remarkable:

Arguing that there would be little point in being an entrepreneur in France anymore -- particularly with the UK offering a much better deal just across the Channel -- the startups organized themselves into a largely online movement called 'Les Pigeons', or 'the suckers'.

They were set for a street protest this weekend, but yesterday they met with finance minister Pierre Moscovici…and won.
Now, admittedly this was a fight over money, rather than policy or anything more noble, but the point remains that for the first time, French entrepreneurs came together to make the government change its mind, and succeeded. If nothing else, that creates a precedent for them to do the same in the future when they might wish to persuade ministers not to bring in particularly harmful legislation, or support damaging treaties. As Meyer comments:
It's quite refreshing to see European startups flexing their political muscle. Now if those in Germany can just do the same in their own fights against counterproductive freelancer taxes and crazy ancillary copyright proposals, we can call this a trend.
Here's hoping.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and on Google+



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 12:44am

    Glyn-

    You know the internet is more an agent of commerce than anything else at this point, right? I would imagine you look at the traffic figures once in a while.

    Once the internet became a tool of commerce it was only a matter of time before it became regulated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 1:58am

      Re:

      Ah, attacking the strawman again?

      Nobody's saying that the internet shouldn't be regulated in any way. What's said is that the regulations proposed by the likes of SOPA are harmful to both commerce and free speech, have disastrous unintended consequences, push the agendas of a handful of corporations at the expense of smaller innovative players, will do little to stop the problem they're supposedly designed to stop and that the problem itself is better first addressed with business rather than legal or regulatory measures.

      Sadly, that's too complicated for some people to grasp.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Ninja (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 3:09am

        Re: Re:

        That. His strawmen must be getting worn out from all the attacks..

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

        Re: Re:

        There's no strawman there, angry man. The fact is you oppose any legislation that addresses piracy.

        And that is why it is actually you that uses strawmen on a daily basis.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, much like most of the people here, he opposes any legislation that DOES NOT address piracy in a meaningful way. And most definitely that VIOLATES the rights of others in it's misguided attempt to address piracy.

          The one who uses strawmen on a daily basis is you and those like you who attack Paul on a daily basis.

          There's a difference between opposing legislation that addresses piracy and opposing bad legislation that does nothing meaningful to address piracy. Although I doubt the difference is one you're feeble mind would notice. Your the "with us or against us" type. Which is sad.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          JMT (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The fact is you oppose any legislation that addresses piracy."

          Legislation will never "address piracy". Why wouldn't you oppose legislation that won't do what it's supposed to do?

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 1:30am

    The French have a basic problem that is troubling most of Europe:

    They want all the social benefits, they want all the government handouts, support, backing, retirement money, social medicine, and all the rest that comes with it...

    but they don't want to pay for it.

    In extreme cases, you end up with Greece, where the government has provided some of the best social programs around and the most generous support for it's people, and has the highest levels of tax avoidance you can imagine.

    France has hyper high unemployment, a huge problem with non-integrated immigrant populations, and no way to back away from social programs that are strangling the economy. These guys don't want to pay, but you can be sure they will visit their government provided doctor when the get teargas in their eyes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 2:06am

      Re:

      You're a moron, and know nothing about Europe or the mindset of Europeans. Enjoy your insurance premiums, which are at least as high as what most of us pay for our universal healthcare and the possibility of being turned down for what you've paid for, along with the numerous incredibly inefficient healthcare programs you pay for with your taxes that don't even cover you.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Richard (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 2:26am

        Re: Re:

        The reason that the US is different from europe in this respect is simple. The US was not properly involved in WW1 or WW2. True a lot of troops were sent and many fought bravely and paid with their lives - BUT the US homeland has never felt the effects of modern warfare at first hand.
        Even Britain - which was less affected than mainland europe - suffered the equivalent of the 9/11 attacks every day for two months. When you consider how the US reacted to just one such event (in a much larger country) you might begin to appreciate the effect it has.

        The lesson that europe learnt then was that a nation has to pool resources to look after those who are in trouble - because tomorrow it might be you.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          PaulT (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 3:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I've noticed that this tends to be the trend among people in political discussions. Those who have empathy for others and understand that most people (including themselves) could end up in a bad situation are happy to allow some of their taxes to provide such safety nets. Those who outwardly oppose such systems tend to only think about themselves (well *I'm* not sick/disabled/poor/homeless so why should I care?) and presume that those who are in need deserve it somehow.

          Some Americans are happy to spend several times more than every other country on the military but refuse to ensure that their own citizens have basic access to healthcare. It boggles my mind, but thankfully my own health isn't beholden to their interests.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 7:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            2 things wrong with your assumptions.
            Charity ceases to be charity when you have a gun pointed at you.
            Scale...
            Would you say that the Amish in the US have a fairly stable system of community? I think they do. The entire community helps when there is a need. If you need a barn raised, everyone pitches in. If someone is sick, they are cared for.
            It is a sound and successful society. Now try doing that on a national or global scale. Can't be done. The numbers don't work.
            This is the same when trying to compare any EU country to the US. The population and even the geography make any comparison like apples to oranges.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I've noticed that this tends to be the trend among people in political discussions. Those who have empathy for others and understand that most people (including themselves) could end up in a bad situation are happy to allow some of their taxes to provide such safety nets."

            I have this mental image of Hitler or some other dictator type saying "YOU... WILL... HAVE... EMPATHY!".

            Empathy by force is not empathy at all. Having your level of empathy set by your income levels and by government law doesn't seem like empathy at all. It's almost more of a slavery to support those who cannot (or worse will not) do for themselves.

            "Some Americans are happy to spend several times more than every other country on the military but refuse to ensure that their own citizens have basic access to healthcare."

            Some americans dress up in women's clothes and appear on Ru Paul's drag race. I don't use them as a general measurement of people's sentiments, however large your broad brushing may be.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 5:02am

        Re: Re:

        You're a moron, and know nothing about Europe or the mindset of Europeans"

        Except that I am one (god save the Queen!).

        Another failure, angry man? ;)

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          abc gum, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 5:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Although it may be correct that you are indeed not a moron, you display a grotesqueness lack of knowledge about that which you espouse.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Your full and knowledgable post really helps to open my eyes. It's amazing how much useful information you pack into so few words. You make WWE wrestlers look verbose and intelligent.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 2:07am

      Re:

      Ze French are such arrogant whiners. See, just because they had Napoleon, they feel entitled to everyone else's woman/man in the world. They are such immature fools that want it all...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 2:15am

      Re:

      They want all the social benefits, they want all the government handouts, support, backing, retirement money, social medicine, and all the rest that comes with it...

      but they don't want to pay for it.


      Wanting the advantages without the downsides is common to humanity - not just a peculiarity of "socialism". The problem afflicts rightwing regimes just as much - although in different ways.

      Actually "social" medicine - as you put it - is rather more efficient than the alternatives - UK healthcare consumes only half the proportion of national income that US healthcare does - and provides better outcomes for the bulk of the population.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 3:39am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, but that has more to do (again) with the costs of insurance, litigation, and risk that goes with providing such a service. The US costs for malpractice insurance alone is enough to bankrupt many.

        Social medicine also doesn't work when too few people are paying the bills. Just like the old "RtB" stuff that Mike spouts here, get a very few people to may for the majority of people to get something for free causes problems. Those who are paying get upset because they are paying, and start to come up with ways to avoid paying.

        What happened in Greece (and to a lesser extend in many Countries) is that that enough people figured out how to avoid paying tax, so the tax rates were increased to make up for the shortfall, which in turn encourages more people to avoid paying tax, and so on.

        In the UK, example, you can see corporate tax rates around 25% and personal rates upwards to 60%. That's insane. Avoidance is pretty much a given.

        The great results are nice, but if you cannot afford them, it is meaningless.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          PaulT (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 4:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your country pays out more tax money per capita than any other country on healthcare, yet fails to ensure that its citizens have access to even basic coverage. As a percentage of GDP, it's almost double what the UK spends, yet a person can be bankrupted by medical costs even if they have insurance.

          If you want to talk about insane, that's a good starting point.

          "Just like the old "RtB" stuff that Mike spouts here, get a very few people to may for the majority of people to get something for free causes problems."

          It's lucky that every employed person pays up in most countries then, isn't it? Your information on healthcare in other countries seems just as accurate as your assumptions in other debates - half-truths, assumptions and corporate boot licking to the last.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 5:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So angry!

            "It's lucky that every employed person pays up in most countries then, isn't it? "

            Remarkably false. In most countries with exemption levels often set above the minimum wage, in most countries many don't pay at all - or even are net collectors of government money.

            As an example, they are in process of raising the minimum "no tax" amount in the UK to almost 10,000 pounds a year. It's not a ton of money, but a significant part of the population avoids paying tax as a result.

            Remember too that you have citizens under 18 not paying tax, a large percentage of the retired not paying tax and collecting government mandated pensions, and the like. Look at the US, where Romney made the 47% famous. It's a real issue.

            So when more of the citizens are net collectors of government services, and a few are net payers, the net payers work hard NOT to be net payers. In the US, it's offshore accounts, in many European countries it's outright tax avoidance and a cash only black economy.

            "Your country pays out more tax money per capita than any other country on healthcare, yet fails to ensure that its citizens have access to even basic coverage."

            You don't know what "my country" is. Sad. I am not in the US. That said, you clearly didn't read my previous post. The issue for the US is legal / liability / insurance, which drives up the prices. It doesn't hurt either that the US is the rich market, often paying the freight for poorer countries to get medication at lower prices.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 5:48am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              This is as true as it gets.. Also don't forget scale. Remedies for a smaller community cannot work on a larger scale. When you have over 40% of a community of over 300 million not paying taxes or living off of 'temporary support' system like welfare for GENERATIONS, it's difficult to compare that to any place in the EU. How's that Euro working out for you? seems it's not as simple or as wonderous as you thought. Just ask the country who is most upset with the current state. Germany has a right to be upset, they are footing the bill so others don't have to. And they are doing it because they HAVE to, not because they WNAT to. Charity ceases to be charity when you have a gun pointed at you.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 2:24pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The 47% figure was those not paying /federal/ taxed. The people who pay no tax whatsoever is a tiny, tiny portion of that, and the figure ignores that the rest still pay payroll, local, and state taxes. There is no 47% living off welfare for generations, Mitt just 'misspoke.' More accurately, he was an idiot who got caught up in his own words.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Don't forget we have a not insignificant number for people earning 6 and 7 figure sums to pay a paltry 3% tax through tax avoidance schemes while people on PAYE earning more modest sums pay 10 times that.

              Why do idiots point out that people on min wage do not pay tax when they cannot afford to do so but conveniently forget that those who can afford to pay their fair share do not?

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 7:01am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Why do idiots point out that people on min wage do not pay tax when they cannot afford to do so..."

                What happened to everyone doing their 'fair share'? Why should I have to give up half of my salary and others who are working pay nothing? It seems that just because I have more than you of a particular thing, it shouldn't mean you won't have to tow your share of the load. A flat tax would solve all issues. everyone pays the same percentage. No loopholes or exceptions. now THAT sounds fair.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 7:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You try living on min wage and then tell me that low paid people can afford to pay 30% tax, or even 20%.

                  And don't give me that out of touch Tory bollocks response of "people should look for better jobs" because there will never be enough 'better' jobs for everyone on min wage which means that most people will always get left behind.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 7:45am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Obvoiusly you don't get the implied reference in my name. I have lived most of my life on minimum wage. Hell, 6 months ago I was homeless. I am just a firm believer in pulling myself up by my own bootstraps. Personal responsibility and accepting the real fact that life isn't 'fair' or unjust, it's just life. It's hard and you have to work to get anywhere. Nothing is free and no one but me is responsible for my life or my situation. Shit happens, get over it and move on.
                    I was raised so poor I had to work as a teenager just to put food on the table for my family because my mother and father's wages paid for the apartment and utilities. Don't cry to me about trying to live on minimum wage. Been there and done that.

                    What ever happened to step up and do your part?

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    •  
                      icon
                      Richard (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 8:13am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I am just a firm believer in pulling myself up by my own bootstraps.

                      Which is of course impossible - that is why the expression exists.

                      Seems to me that you are in denial of the fact that the progress you have made is not entirely down to you - you depend on others.

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      •  
                        identicon
                        Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 8:35am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Where did I say that I don't receive help? I said I am responsible for my life.Noone else is living it so why should the be respnosible for it. That doesn't imply I don't ask for or provide help, just that I should't DEPEND on it like some do who seem perfectly happy to have others control their income and lifestyle.

                         

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        •  
                          icon
                          Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 8:42am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          Anyone working a PAYE job is dependent on someone else (their employer) for their income and that makes them dependent on someone else for their lifestyle.

                           

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          •  
                            identicon
                            Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 9:00am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            That's not 100% accurate. I have the option to look around for a different one if I am not happy. Where does someone who is a 3rd generation welfare recipient go if they are not happy with the hours in lines and mountains of red tape go?
                            I have options because I refuse to let others decide my fate, either economically or socially.

                             

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            •  
                              identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Congratulations. Now, can you point me towards these supposed 3rd generation welfare families? Never met one in all the years I've been receiving disability. It's easy to berate others for needing help when you're healthy and capable, but when you're stuck with a medical file half a foot thick it gets somewhat more difficult to actually find work that conforms to your capabilities.

                               

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    •  
                      icon
                      Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 8:16am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Whatever happened to giving a damn about those less fortunate than yourself? Given your situation you should be more sympathetic to those going through the same things you did but you don't come across that way. I, too, had to work for everything I have and I am fully sympathetic to those who work hard but never 'get anywhere'. I would never ever wish to see the end of the UK welfare system or the NHS because I am intelligent enough to realise that those cheating the system are a minority.

                      Most people claiming welfare are low earners who need a bit of help putting food on the table and paying extortionate rent, or those with genuine disabilities who are unable to work. The Daily Mail and other right wing publications would have you believe that anyone claiming benefits is a sponger.

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      •  
                        identicon
                        Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 8:51am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Again, words are being put into my mouth by others.
                        In truth I give to charity because I CHOOSE to, not because i am required to.
                        If you gave me support because I said I was in a bad way, would you want to know that your charity is going to a deserving person or cause? Or do you give every beggar on the street money? When I pay my taxes, where does it go? Is it really being put to good use? I have no idea because there is no accountability. Let me choose who and how to help those in need.

                        I also have a mentally handicapped brother that I care for. So that argument is out the window as well.

                        Before you go assuming anything else, please consider how much you know about who you are talking to. I am not opposed to charity. I provide it on a daily basis.

                         

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  icon
                  Richard (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 8:18am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  A flat tax would solve all issues. everyone pays the same percentage. No loopholes or exceptions. now THAT sounds fair.
                  It sounds fair to the wealthy - but it isn't. "From each according to their ability - to each according to their need" is fair. Plus of course everyone forgets that in most countries a substantial proportion of tax revenue comes from indirect taxes (sales taxes, VAT, fuel duties etc) - that are effectively flat. In fact the poor often pay more of these because they are more likely to smoke or to drink cheap alcohol - where the proportion of duty is higher.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  •  
                    identicon
                    Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 9:34am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    10% is 10%. How is that not fair? 10% of $1MM is $100K
                    10% of $10k is $1K. Live life within your means. If you make minimum wage, live like it.
                    There are people currently on welfare who have more cash and benefits than those making $10/hr. They have free food, paid daycare, health benefits, transportation, internet access, cell phones, scholarships and grants for college, the list goes on. And all of this without contributing $.01 to the pool. They can't get off of welfare because they would have to give up all of those benefits.
                    It's no different than a drug dealer giving out free samples on the corner. The trick is to get them hooked and then you have 'em.
                    If you say we should have those benefits for all, then how do you propose to pay for it? Ask Greece how that's working out for them.

                    Rail against the rich all you like, but understand it's just jealousy disguised as outrage. If you had the money, you would hold onto it like it was your offspring. Money isn't the root of all evil, envy is. They have something you want so you make laws to steal it.
                    To paraphrase a famous messiah... There will always be poor, you can help them whenever you choose, you will not always have me. Consider what you have and give thanks.

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    •  
                      icon
                      Richard (profile), Oct 13th, 2012 @ 10:40am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      There are people currently on welfare who have more cash and benefits than those making $10/hr. They have free food, paid daycare, health benefits, transportation, internet access, cell phones, scholarships and grants for college, the list goes on. And all of this without contributing $.01 to the pool. They can't get off of welfare because they would have to give up all of those benefits.

                      If this is true it just demonstrates the evils of means testing - something I have always opposed. Everyone should get the benefits - then the money should be recovered from those that don't need them (such as myself) through taxation.

                      Of course in might also not be true - in which case I would say that - envy is bad - but envying those who actually have LESS than you do - well that is the worst form.

                      If you say we should have those benefits for all, then how do you propose to pay for it? Ask Greece how that's working out for them.

                      Greece's problems are caused by rich people dodging taxes and by the government choosing to break its promises to ordinary folk ahead of breaking their promises to international financiers - who caused the problem in the first place.


                      To paraphrase a famous messiah... There will always be poor, you can help them whenever you choose, you will not always have me. Consider what you have and give thanks.


                      That did not justify selfishness - it just says that giving to glorify God is also worthwhile.

                      He also said some other stuff like "sell all that you have and give to the poor".

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              abc gum, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Look at the US, where Romney made the 47% famous. It's a real issue."

              I think the issue is that the comment was misleading at best.
              In case you were unaware, this 47 number includes:
              - people who paid payroll taxes making use of write-offs and credits afforded them via congressional approval which resulted in reimbursement of their Federal income tax, not FICA or Medicaid. (Something that Romney said you would be stupid to not take advantage of)
              - active military personnel
              - retired people

              The 47 number does not consist 100% of net collectors of government subsidy. That number is much less, I think I saw it estimated at 18. But why bother with details when one can simply toss around bogus numbers attempting to drum up votes.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                icon
                Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:13am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Now, you've done it. You have let facts get in the way of an AC nonsensical rant ;)

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  identicon
                  Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:37am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Let's talk facts.... The whole 47% thing should be put in proper context. Romney was talking about getting votes... not running the country or caring for those with low or no income. He was responding to a direct question on how he was going to get the votes needed to win the election. His answer was concerning the votes he could sway into his camp.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  •  
                    identicon
                    abc gum, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:57am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Intent does not justify misrepresentation. We all know politicians play rather free and loose with the facts, but there is a limit and I think he found it.

                    He might stand a better chance of convincing almost half the population if he were to provide details about his plan. So far, what has been alluded to does not survive scrutiny by either "side of the aisle".

                     

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    •  
                      identicon
                      Joe Dirt, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 7:10am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I am one of the independant voters that both sides are trying to sway and I think BOTH sides are pretty long on promise and short on details. The plain truth is, in politics you cannot provide details and survive. Vagueness is what gets you elected... and re-elected.

                       

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      •  
                        icon
                        Zakida Paul (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 7:22am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        And this is what is wrong with politics. People get elected on soundbites and meaningful debates on the issues never happens. POLITICS IS ROTTEN TO THE CORE.

                         

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 8:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "The 47 number does not consist 100% of net collectors of government subsidy."

                Nobody suggests that the 47% are getting government handouts, only that they are NOT contributing to pay for any of it either. They are at very best net break even, and more the most part, net negatives.

                The effects are the same, 53% of the people paying for 100% of the tab.

                Imagine the screaming if you went out to dinner with friends, and every other person was charged double, and the rest went home for free?

                Imagine if you were in a bar, and they charged you double for your drinks because you are well dressed, and gave the bummy looking people free drinks?

                The point is there: When too many people are either getting a free lunch or just not paying for lunch, the declining numbers that are paying get upset. They get overtaxed, and that is an issue.

                Just today, Coca Cola Hellenic of Greece announced they are effectively leaving Greece as a company, to list their shares outside. They join many other major companies moving their head offices out of Greece to avoid insane tax burdens that would be placed on them to try to save that sinking ship.

                Reality is there, you just have to look for it.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                •  
                  identicon
                  abc gum, Oct 12th, 2012 @ 5:17pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Nobody suggests that the 47% are getting government handouts"

                  Interesting, because everyone gets government handouts.



                  "The effects are the same, 53% of the people paying for 100% of the tab."

                  This is simply not true. To reiterate ... the 47 number includes those who have paid their payroll taxes (Fed, FICA, Medicare) and diligently completed their 1040 in accordance with IRS regulations authorized by Congress - resulting in complete reimbursement of the Fed portion of those payroll taxes. Note, the FICA and Medicare portions of the payroll taxes were not reimbursed. The fact that Romney has stated a person should take full advantage of these writeoffs and credits further discredits your claim.

                  Fact is, the majority of those within this 47% number have indeed contributed to society to claim otherwise is rather brazen and to claim they are "takers" makes the accusation even worse. Maybe you would like to tell our overseas military personnel that they are not contributing enough. Possibly you would like to tell corporations which receive subsidies while paying no tax about their civic duty. I understand there are many millionaires who are within the 47%, you concerned about their contributions?

                  If you have an issue with the way Congress writes the tax law then you should take that up with them, but to wag your finger at those who fill out their forms in accordance with the law is simply stupid.

                   

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              silverscarcat (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Piece of information for you...

              The US spends roughly 10 times as much as Mexico on Health Care...

              And on average, people in the US only live about 3 years more than people in Mexico.

              The US pays more than double what European countries pay for Health Insurance, and they ALL beat the US out in terms of life expectancy.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Richard (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 6:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Social medicine also doesn't work when too few people are paying the bills. Just like the old "RtB" stuff that Mike spouts here, get a very few people to may for the majority of people to get something for free causes problems.

          If you have a very few people who are wealthy enough to pay the bills for the majority then you need to ask where they got their money from in the first place - odd are they didn't get it directly from the sweat of their own brows!

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 2:30am

    Why don't the tech industries complain more?

    Well there is a reason and it is simple.

    They see the old, bloated, media industries sitting around being paid for doing almost nothing and they think " I'd like a bit of that, better not to rock the boat too much because in a few years time I could be in their shoes - and they look rather comfortable."

    It's the same reason why mistreatment of younger boys by their elders continued for so long in British public schools. The younger boys didn't complain because they knew that in time it would be their turn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 9:37am

      Re: Why don't the tech industries complain more?

      Or they are mostly comprised of growing companies with lower profit margins where the money seems to be better spend on solidifying their company rather than helping their sector! It is seldom you see a company really solidifying to a point of wanting to do lobbying in 10 years!

      In EU it is almost entirely damage control at the moment. The cookie-directive is making 80+% of the danish ministries sites illegal 8 months after the law came into force and the number is likely to be higher for most others with less intimate knowledge of it...

      Apart from that, IPRED and its ilk is still pushing laws in a bad direction and some of the cybersecurity-laws are complete insanity and far worse than what the USA faces!

      I thank France for HADOPI since it has become a standard for how things are not supposed to work. Its price, its level of intrusion on people and its lack of complete compliance with EU law and international treaties are very hard to justify even if it removed 100 % of the illegal traffic in France!
      It has basically made 3 strikes laws far more toxic than it was before and it has made politicians aware of how the level of intrusion given to law enforcement is

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 4:09am

    I expect some serious power whining from the legacy players ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Alatar, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 5:13am

    Mike, there's more to this story

    Actually, many inaccurate accounts have been made.

    First, they are protesting against some tax increases. In France, there are two closes-but-different statuses. You have the micro-entrepreneur (some kind of start-up), and the self-entrepreneur. Micro-entrepreneurs are getting ridiculously low tax rates, and that causes many problems, especially with micro-entrepreneurs who can't compete. Also, companies even tend to, instead of directly hiring someone, ask him to set up an self-entrepreneur scheme, and abuses are frequent. Plus some other problems. So the goal was to bring tax rates for self-entrepreneurs closer to the rates for micro-entrepreneurs.

    The second part of the project was to raise taxes for ultra short-term hit&runners who just want to make loads of money by setting up a company and selling it asap for money. The rate was raised, but with many exemptions, especially if :
    - You earn no benefits.
    - You don't sell your company right after founding it, the tax rate on the sale decreases quickly for each year you keep it and manage it, to reach some very low point quite fast.
    - You reinvest the benefits into other small companies.

    So basically, the only one hurt would have been the ultra-short-term oriented hit&run speculators.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      abc gum, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 5:52am

      Re: Mike, there's more to this story

      Obviously there are problems that arise due to tax code manipulation in an attempt to modify human behavior, write-offs, credits, whatever you call them. For example, investments usually are made with certain budgetary assumptions and it can be catastrophic to said business when the rug is pulled out from beneath them. And yet those who raise their voice in opposition are to blame?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    redrum, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 7:54am

    Obligitory

    The French Pigeons Are Revolting - You said it, they stink on ice. (rimshot)

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    PT (profile), Oct 11th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    Off Topic

    Strange, I couldn't find a word in the linked article about the Internet or copyright. Come to that, I could hardly find a word in the comments related to Glyn's article either.

    How about the USA's own "counterproductive freelancer taxes"? The marginal rate I pay on every nickel I make on the side is close to 50%.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    redrum, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 9:34am

    "Whatever happened to giving a damn about those less fortunate than yourself?" ... Umm, that's called charity and it's why we put money in the collection plate on Sundays, because it goes directly to those who need it. Gov't taking money right from my paycheck, and then blowing it on extravagant vacations/trips/cars/higher salaries than private sector employees/insanely generous benefits and pensions that the private sector can't have/ANYTHING not essential - has nothing to do with giving a damn about those less fortunate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      abc gum, Oct 11th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

      Re:

      "we put money in the collection plate on Sundays, because it goes directly to those who need it"

      It would be nice if this were the case for all those calling themselves places of worship. I'm sure many do provide for the less fortunate but there are those who line their pockets and build monuments to themselves - and that is abhorrent. Churches alone can not be relied upon to provide for all the less fortunate, there are many charities and yet their combined efforts still fall short.

      Government workers making more than private sector? Obviously you are not talking about the wall street banksters or the CEOs sitting on each others boards giving each other raises and bonuses.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This