After Nabbing Billions In Tax Breaks, AT&T's Promised Job Growth Magically Evaporates

from the Charlie-Brown-playing-football dept

Telecom monopolies have a pretty good racket going. They'll consistently demand all manner of tax cuts, subsidies, and other government perks in exchange for broadband networks they only half or partially deploy--or jobs that never materialize. The nation's telcos in particular have received countless billions in taxpayer subsidies to expand their broadband networks, yet time and time again we've shown how they've wiggled out of these obligations, leaving huge swaths of America left outside of the reach of fast, inexpensive, competitive broadband (that's particularly true if you're poor).

It doesn't matter how many times we go through this little stage play, it's a cycle that just never ends. AT&T's lobbying and policy folks are exceptionally good at routinely promising state and federal governments that a cornocopia of new jobs and amazing broadband investment is just around the corner, but only if AT&T gets what it wants: be that the death of net neutrality, a lower tax rate, more subsidies, or any number of protectionist or otherwise terrible laws designed largely to protect AT&T's non-competitive geographical fiefdoms. It's a cycle, and a level of institutional gullibility, that's pretty staggering in scope and repetition.

Yet somehow we never wise up. We never audit investment promises. And we certainly never hold giant telecom monopolies accountable. For example, AT&T spent most of last year promising all manner of incredible broadband investment, new jobs, and new innovations if the Trump administration was willing to give it a massive new tax cut. These cuts would, we were repeatedly told, result in a huge boon for broadband investment and "really good jobs":

"Lower taxes drives more investment, drives more hiring, drives greater wages," Stephenson said on CNBC's "Squawk Box." "All of this fits together."...For example, he said AT&T would have to add 7,000 jobs to execute on every $1 billion of capital investment. "There are jobs wearing hard hats … to put that capital into the ground or on cell towers," he said. "There are high-paying, really good jobs with great benefits. The correlation is tight — very, very tight."

The AT&T CEO said that reducing business regulations is another way to get companies to invest. Regulation is "effectively a tax on investment," he argued. "Take regulation down, you get investment up."

The Trump administration was happy to oblige, doling out cuts worth upwards of $20 billion for AT&T. But this theater ignored the fact that AT&T (and countless other companies like it) have long engaged in all manner of financial bookkeeping magic to ensure they already pay a relative pittance in taxes (especially true in telecom where complex mergers and gamesmanship like Reverse Morris Trusts can be used to endlessly dodge tax obligations). And it also ignored how many times AT&T has made these empty promises then failed to follow through.

And it's happening again. Despite its $20 billion in tax savings and record profits, AT&T continues to lay off thousands of employees in the wake of the Trump tax cuts:

"Though AT&T is earning record profits, spending billions on stock buybacks and is expecting an estimated windfall of $20bn in savings from Donald Trump’s tax reforms, it has continued to lay off workers and outsource jobs...In the last seven years, AT&T has closed 44 call centers, according to the Communications Workers of America labor union. Four closures, including the facility in Harrisburg took place this year. While some workers are able to relocate to other call centers in the US, many are left jobless. For some, their jobs are sent offshore, where workers can be paid less than $2 an hour."

Some of these job cuts reflect AT&T's waning interest in being an actual broadband company as it pivots (like Verizon) to more lucrative online advertising. Others reflect the company's efforts to manage the massive debt incurred from its endless quest to grow bigger for growth's sake via an endless wave of megamergers. Unsurprisingly (if you spend five full minutes reading a telecom history book), any real savings from tax cuts, mergers, consolidation and mindless deregulation of natural monopolies (like net neutrality) goes to executive compensation and investors, not to employees or back into the network.

Of course enriching investors and executives is the whole point. Yet we seem intent on adding a layer of bullshit onto these proceedings that try and suggest that such mindless fealty to AT&T is good for everybody, when that's simply not true. To sell the public and press on this manufactured idea, AT&T and other telecom companies (like Charter) promised employees bonuses (not to be confused with actual raises) as a direct result of the tax cuts. But there too AT&T was misleading, failing to mention those bonuses had already been secured as part of routine union negotiations:

"In a December 2017 news release advocating in favor of Trump’s tax cuts, AT&T promised bonuses of $1,000 to 200,000 employees over the next year. The news release omitted that unions had already previously negotiated those bonuses with AT&T before the tax cut bill was passed."

AT&T's broadband investment promises are also routinely hollow. One thing AT&T likes to do is take the CAPEX and network investment numbers it would have had anyway, and claim these are "new" goals only made possible if AT&T gets what it wants. Few in the press ever really bother to fact-check AT&T's math. Neither do lawmakers, who have come to rely on AT&T's generous windfalls to help fund their next election. The end result usually winds up being some scattered upgrades in more competitive areas, but huge swaths of America with decidedly last-generation DSL despite a parade of subsidies and tax breaks for AT&T (again, a trend especially notable in low-income AT&T markets).

Our immense gullibility to these bogus promises is a bit more stark to me than it is to most, having watched this play out countless times with nary a single penalty for AT&T over the last few decades. The drama played out again recently with the assault on net neutrality, a move that will result in countless anti-competitive headaches and rate hikes for captive customers, but was similarly framed as an incredible gift to consumers, innovation, American jobs and network investment. Someday we may learn our lesson and stop throwing billions at blatant grifters like AT&T, but it's abundantly clear it's not happening anytime soon.


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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 6:26am

    In Truth

    The only ones surprised by this outcome are those regulators who believed AT&T's promises (whether they believed them or not isn't the point, they accepted them as part of the deal to approve) in the first place.

    Is there any tracking of regulators and their employment down the road, either in the past or for the future?

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

    • identicon
      mcinsand, 7 Sep 2018 @ 7:09am

      regulators or legislators?

      The legislators will audit, but only to be sure that AT&T filled their campaign coffers. As for the taxpayers, well, we're left with higher bills and lower service.

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 7:42am

        Re: regulators or legislators?

        shocker there!

        been seeing this for what? nearly a century now?

        I am wondering when people are going to catch on how much of a ride they are being taken for?

        And yet they still fill the streets as beggars seeking salvation from the politicians, yet they deserve it not!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:39am

          Re: Re: regulators or legislators?

          You are one of those people that you disparage and you deserve it.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:42am

            Re: Re: Re: regulators or legislators?

            Yes, it is true, I make mistakes like everyone else and recognize that I cause many of my own problems.

            The problem is that most of you refuse to accept that you created YOUR problems. You always seek to assign blame to someone else.

            There is no greater enemy than the bastard you see in the mirror.

            I am successful because I understand this, and get the fuck out of my own way!

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 9:02am

              I am successful because I understand this, and get the fuck out of my own way!

              [citation needed]

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 9:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: regulators or legislators?

              And those born into a poor existence are supposed to provide for themselves and pull themselves up by their bootstraps because it is their fault for being born in the first place. They should have thought about that and voted correctly before having been born, like this poster above, because that is what successful people do - now get busy all you frustrated millionaires.

              LOL - the smell of bullshit in the morning.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 9:18am

      Re: In Truth

      The only ones surprised by this outcome are those regulators who believed AT&T's promises

      So: nobody. AT&T's stories are like a porno plot. They're expected to be there, so people can say "hey, it looked legitimate!" afterward, but nobody's really buying it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 7:13am

    and, as usual, government in the way of 'campaign contributions' to congressmen are the real problem. if they weren't so self interested, maybe something good would actually be achieved but while their own coffers get filled why should they worry about what could have been done with $20billion instead of giving it to telecoms companies or what should have been done with the money as it was given to telecoms companies! while the public are so gullible and content to do nothing, nothing will change in quality of service or anything else. it is after all, money taken in taxes so the people should have a say it what it's used for!

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

  • icon
    rebrad (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 7:17am

    Do It Again

    It's time for AT&T to be broken up and sold off again. Today's AT&T is worse than it has ever been. In addition, all the other big corporate conglomerates need a serious review with corrective actions.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Thad from Antietam Creek, 7 Sep 2018 @ 7:34am

    Today's ATT-ack! Barely hinting other corporations do same.

    The Trump administration was happy to oblige, doling out cuts worth upwards of $20 billion for AT&T.

    After intentionally mixing up tax cuts and subsidies, you end implying with "throwing billions at blatant grifters" that ATT is getting actual money from (the corporation that masquerades as) the gov't, but that is FALSE. Tax cuts CANNOT be "nabbed" and are not "subsidies".

    Now, you trot out some phrases...

    goes to executive compensation and investors, not to employees or back into the network

    engaged in all manner of financial bookkeeping magic to ensure they already pay a relative pittance in taxes

    used to endlessly dodge tax obligations

    Hmm! Just as I say!

    But you ONLY SAY. You are not a socialist, it's just empty rhetoric.

    Those would be good EXCEPT that you're entirely focused on ATT, Verizon, Comcast as EVIL, ignoring that Google / Facebook / Twitter / Apple and ALL other corporations DO EXACTLY SAME. Technically, that makes you a corporate shill of the fascist / gov't picking winners type.

    YOU take your views from The Establishment New York Times! You're an elitist only pretending to be socialist! I'm even a better socialist too!

    You never more than obliquely mention benefitting workers, because they're just "the masses" to you. You don't use your massive "platform" here to call for the known CURE to most problems: raising taxes on corporations and The Rich, to around 90% like the 1960s when the US was becoming MORE fair, not less.

    Nope, instead Techdirt targets content producers saying they're evil so go ahead and steal their work, and promotes MASSIVE GRIFTERS like Google which produce nothing, and in music, Techdirt attacks OLD gatekeepers but supports the NEW ones like Apple and Spotify to TAKE OVER THE GRIFTING off artists.

    Stop stealing my "blatant grifters" phrase, you little corporatist fiend! You don't have the GUTS and GRIT to defend it against ALL corporations! Have you NO shame?


    By the way: there's a Gillum nominated to run for governor of Florida who wants 40% tax rate on corporations. Talk him up! Then there's Ocasio-Cortez in New York good on anti-corporation too but drawback of rabidly for unlimited immigration. And I'm disappointed that "Harris, a 38-year-old Air Force veteran who is African-American and LGBTQ" lost to an "incumbent", because I'm for shaking up The Establishment any way can.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:02am

      LOL

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:07am

      Re:

      because I'm for shaking up The Establishment any way can

      You fucking liar, blue boy.

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

    • icon
      lucidrenegade (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 10:35am

      Re: Today's ATT-ack! Barely hinting other corporations do same.

      Hey Karl! I hope you didn't think moving from DSLReports to Techdirt would mean not having to deal with dipshits anymore. :0)

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

    • icon
      lucidrenegade (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 10:37am

      Re: Today's ATT-ack! Barely hinting other corporations do same.

      >because I'm for shaking up The Establishment any way can

      Michael J. Fox does a better job shaking things up than you do.

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

    • icon
      John Roddy (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:29pm

      Re: Today's ATT-ack! Barely hinting other corporations do same.

      We get it, already. You have a massive hate boner for Google. Everything is Google's fault. Google is ruining the lives of everyone. Google Googled Google's Googles, bleh. I'll bet you're secretly a shill for another engine. Are you from Ask.com? Are you the butler?

      Also, for future reference, the act of failing to mention completely irrelevant information is not equivalent to "IGNORING."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 7:37am

    State actors with regulatory capture

    Companies as large as this are working hand in hand with the federal government to spy on you while preventing these companies from ever being held accountable. They expect tax break like this or they might disrupt the apple cart and expose the illegal nature of their relationship.

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

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    icon
    Sayonara Felicia-San (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:24am

    You are free to start your own cell phone company.

    "AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson's Pay Inched Up 1% In 2017 To $28.7 Million."

    ...and he's worth every penny. Through his leadership, AT&T has become a net innovator bringing us endless technological miracles.

    Quit being so ungrateful and jealous.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:32am

      Re:

      "You are free to start your own cell phone company."

      Yeah, that barrier to entry is famously low, especially in the current US market.

      "AT&T has become a net innovator bringing us endless technological miracles"

      Such as?

      "Quit being so ungrateful and jealous."

      I'm sure that people would, if the promised benefits were going somewhere other than his bank account. Even if it were just in the form of the employment they said they'd be providing?

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:40am

        Re: Re:

        "I'm sure that people would, if the promised benefits were going somewhere other than his bank account."

        Spoken like the true undeserving. I need to get paid too!!! what did I do you ask? nothing... but I DESERVE BENEFITS TOO!

        This is the problem with you PaulT. You think you deserve without earning. You want it too? Go and get it, no one is stopping you, you are only stopping yourself. And if you were in Randall's place.... you would be doing the "exact" same thing he is doing.

        I have YET to see a single one of your type give anything up except to buy public opinion. How much is in YOUR bank account? There are still starving people in Japan you know!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ignorance is bliss

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 9:00am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I need to get paid too!!! what did I do you ask? nothing"

          I'm pretty sure the laid off employees of AT&T would disagree with you there.

          "How much is in YOUR bank account? There are still starving people in Japan you know!"

          I'd happily pay some bills for them if it were my decisions that had recently made them unemployed.

          But, thanks again for confirming that you care more about the bank accounts of the 1% than you do for the livelihoods of the people whose labour got them there.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 9:01am

          Did AT&T give you kneepads, or did you supply your own before you started kissing its metaphorical ass?

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

        • icon
          Sayonara Felicia-San (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 10:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just ignore that do-nothing Ellsworth Toohey! Takers always blame everyone else and are jealous of other people's hard earned wealth.

          These people will never accomplish even a tiny fraction of the miraculous achievements Stephenson has. Here are just a few accomplishments:

          1. He mentored Mexico's Billionaire Carlos Slim, while working at SBC telecom

          2. He was appointed by President Bush (A hero, patriot, and fellow business success story) as National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

          3. Stephenson was named the 2016 CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine.

          By all objective measures, Stephenson is one of the greatest unsung heroes of our time.

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

          • identicon
            Mitt Romney, 8 Sep 2018 @ 7:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "My job is not to worry about those people,” Mitt Romney said of the 47 percent of Americans who are likely to vote for Barack Obama. “I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

            Is this the sort of thing to which you refer when saying "Takers always..."?

            Mitt implied that 47% of the population "takes" from those who "make". Interestingly this includes veterans, some of who gave up their lives for the "makers" and yet they still bemoan having to give them the tax write offs that they so much enjoy. The nerve!

            "jealous of other people's hard earned wealth."
            - more lies - possibly because you are ignorant, idk.

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

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              icon
              Sayonara Felicia-San (profile), 8 Sep 2018 @ 11:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              >>"My job is not to worry about those people,” Mitt Romney

              This breakthrough, go-getter attitude, is exactly why Romney is a successful wealthy role model, and you are just some dude posting nasty messages on the Internet.

              ...and let's not forget that the ACA is just 'RomneyCare' with 'Obamacare' branding on top.

              Even when he 'lost' it seems that Romney still came out a winner!

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2018 @ 1:55pm

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

                You like leaders that blatantly lie right in your face, promise to serve the rich at the expense of the poor?

                Interesting, are you are of the 1% cabal?

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

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Sep 2018 @ 9:47pm

                This breakthrough, go-getter attitude, is exactly why Romney

                …lost his bid to become POTUS.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 8:42am

      Re: You are free to start your own cell phone company.

      Hahahahaha - that is pathetic.

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

      • icon
        Sayonara Felicia-San (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 2:48pm

        Re: Re: You are free to start your own cell phone company.

        Libertarian hokum can often seem counter-intuitive, but that doesn't mean that you can't read a CATO institute study, or an article at Reason.com and convince yourself otherwise.

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

        • icon
          cattress (profile), 8 Sep 2018 @ 1:37am

          Re: Re: Re: You are free to start your own cell phone company.

          That idiot isn't spouting libertarian beliefs about capitalism or Austrian Economics. While mainstream Libertarians don't understand Net Neutrality and default to regulation is always bad, libertarians are against cronyism and allowing the government to have the power to piss away our tax dollars and childrens' futures in the form of debt to benefit private enterprise.

          No, that guy is out of touch curmudgeon, who is willfully ignorant of the facts. I'm surprised he didn't reference to anyone as a snowflake quite honestly. This guy came of age during a time that only demanded hard work to guarantee success. He doesn't understand why the kids today don't put their phones down and get up off their lazy asses and get a job and stop demanding handouts from hardworking men like him. He will never acknowledge how his generation is responsible for a number of the economic woes that our generation faces- after all he bought and paid for his house, it was only 10% of his income, whereas it runs around 1/3rd of todays income. Or that his generation absolutely demanded that we get a college or we would never have the credentials to be trusted to take over businesses as they retired, so now we all of 10s of thousands of dollars in student loan debt- and dammit why don't we just go learn a trade if we can't do anything with our fancy degree (which we can, it just doesn't pay enough to pay our loans and a very modest lifestyle outside of our parents basement....)

          This guy doesn't even realize that these old school government enabled monopolies from many generations ago have rigged the system of purchasing the spectrum so to price out any meaningful competition. He's too busy railing against the edge providers whose monopoly powers rest solely on providing a product that the users like enough and use enough that it will attract advertisers, ya know, since they censor people like him.

          Anyway, don't trash libertarians and lump us in with the crazies just because they say something resembling a belief in capitalism.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2018 @ 7:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You are free to start your own cell phone company.

            You got all that from the following?
            "Hahahahaha - that is pathetic."

            To whom are you directing your assumptions?

            Oh - you are Mr. Anarchy, that explains it.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 10:28am

    Wrong word

    You keep using the word 'gullible' to describe this sort of behavior, when I'm guessing that for most the more appropriate word would be 'corrupt'.

    I'm sure some politicians buy the lies the likes of AT&T put out about how if they'll just get [insert massive benefit here] things will be amazing for everyone, with the company almost coincidentally being one of the beneficiaries, but I suspect most of them know full well they're being lied to and turn a blind eye because of the sweet, sweet 'donations' it nets them.

    As I and others have noted in the past, sometimes malice, not stupidity, is the correct assumption.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Sep 2018 @ 10:48am

    I think Karl forgot about the layoffs as well

    Here's the article from the Guardian:
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/aug/28/att-earns-record-profits-layoffs-outsourcin g-continue

    So any jobs created on wireline ops were simply replacing all the call center staff fired. Ironically, like the South Park cartoon suggests, there is no need for a monopoly to have good customer satisfaction ratings anyways. It's also why Telco's are always at the top of the list on downdetector.com.

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

  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 11:50am

    afaik, no other industry gets paid to not deliver goods or services. As a matter of fact, EVERY other company would be out of business at least, or investigated by the FTC for fraudulent advertising/business practices.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 1:34pm

    what facts

    ""Lower taxes drives more investment, drives more hiring, drives greater wages," "

    HOW??
    Lower Corp tax?? does What?? give the corp more money? for what? DID YOU SIGN A CONTRACT?? its the only way you can HOLD a corp to anything you want done.

    Investment?? HOW?? Generally, investment means that the corp is doing something that Looks good.. NOT that it has EXTRA MONEY.. That money Might goto the investors, BUT NOT LIKELY..

    Hiring? Unless they want to DO SOMETHING, they wont hire more then they have...and Will probably FIRE more then hire..

    HIGHER WAGES?? FOR WHOM? give everyone in the company a 1 time $2 Bonus?? it just goes into the TOP pockets..

    Major corps that control 3-4 Major parts of our country and its infrastructure.. THAT the Gov(probably ) Paid for, at least the Interconnections between all the major cities.. THEn subsidized the building for the Farms and Rural areas..
    JUST cause there wasnt 1000+ people on 1 line, strung 5 miles long..
    All these corps do with this service is MAINTAIN/repair IT. And collect the bills.
    The Gov. Pays to keep up the main lines as a fall back system..IF SHTF..

    To bad our gov. dosent think it can FORCE them to do anything.. The Gov could do the work, and Charge the corps for it..or return the money given to them..

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

    • icon
      Sayonara Felicia-San (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 4:37pm

      Re: what facts

      Through magical libertarian thinking. Anarcho-Capitalism is just like any religion, complete with it's own dogma and belief system.

      NOTHING you say can ever convince these people that their system of government/economics only exists as a fantasy.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 8 Sep 2018 @ 11:40am

      Re: what facts

      With SOME of the Current laws about releasing INFORMATION..
      And then ask a GOOD reporter to get INFORMATION..

      What would happen to anyone that GETS/RECEIVES/RELEASES..
      Any data associated with TRUTH about a subject or Corp??

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

  • icon
    Sayonara Felicia-San (profile), 7 Sep 2018 @ 3:02pm

    "Few in the press ever really bother to fact-check AT&T's math."

    Press? What Press? They are too busy 'RESIST'-ing Trump, pattering on about Russia, talking to porn stars, and making serious looking faces of concern.

    Maybe the jobs they promised happened in India?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2018 @ 7:46am

      Re: "Few in the press ever really bother to fact-check AT&T's math."

      Maybe because that is what you are searching for?

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

      • icon
        Sayonara Felicia-San (profile), 8 Sep 2018 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re: "Few in the press ever really bother to fact-check AT&T's math."

        posted @ 7:46am Saturday Morning?

        Are you posting this from Bangalore or Mumbai?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2018 @ 6:02am

          Re: Re: Re: "Few in the press ever really bother to fact-check AT&T's math."

          Are you a bum that sleeps all day?

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

  • identicon
    David, 8 Sep 2018 @ 3:37am

    AT&T is obliged not to create jobs

    The laws demand that AT&T acts in the financial interest of its shareholders. If this means creating jobs in return for tax breaks, this makes sense as long as the jobs do not lose more money than the tax breaks.

    It stops making sense if you can just pocket the tax breaks and pay a few dozen lobbyists and bribe a few politicians rather than pay thousands of salaries.

    If bullshitting provides a better longterm return of investment than working, corporate bylaws will demand the former to be put in place.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2018 @ 7:52am

    "The laws demand that AT&T acts in the financial interest of its shareholders. If this means creating jobs in return for tax breaks, this makes sense as long as the jobs do not lose more money than the tax breaks."

    Not sure to what law you refer, but yes - the corp should think of the shareholders interest. That does not mean they can not act in a humane manner.

    Providing tax breaks in return for jobs is fools errand. So many times these "arrangements" fall apart, the jobs never materialize, the corp keeps the credits (they are credits not write offs!) and the general population suffers while the wealthy laugh it up at cocktail parties. In addition, the jobs that your tax dollar was supposed to bring to town do not pay what it takes to live in that town.

    Many are getting really tired of the corporate socialism that has been going on for decades. Privatized profits and socialized losses.

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


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