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Elon Musk Quits Mark Zuckerberg's Lobbying Club 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-makin'-my-own-club-for-cool-kids dept.
theodp writes "Valleywag's Adrian Chen wasn't the only one troubled by the tactics of Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us political lobbying group. Composed of a Who's Who of tech millionaires and billionaires, the group boasted its control of massive distribution channels, broad popularity with Americans, and money would make it a political force to be reckoned with. But the group came under fire for embracing decidedly old-school political tactics, forming both left-leaning and right-leaning subsidiaries, thus broadening its appeal to those who might help advance its agenda. Reports that FWD.us had funded ads praising Arctic oil drilling drew fire from critics, including Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who FWD.us listed as a 'Major Supporter.' Not anymore. Valleywag reports that Musk has quit Zuckerberg's lobbying cabal, apparently feeling that the group's ends did not justify their hit-both-sides-of-the-aisle-to-get-what-you-want means. 'I have spent a lot of time fighting far larger lobbying organizations in DC and believe that the right way to win on a cause is to argue the merits of that cause,' Musk said. 'This statement may surprise some people, but my experience is that most (not all) politicians and their staffs want to do the right thing and eventually do.' By the way, didn't members of the Zuck PACk create, fund, and appear on Code.org, which lamented the sad state of U.S. CS education and featured a slick documentary showing technically clueless little kids, just weeks before launching their pro-techie immigration push? Hey, all's fair in love and lobbying!"
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Elon Musk Quits Mark Zuckerberg's Lobbying Club

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  • Well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hsmith (818216) on Saturday May 11, 2013 @02:59PM (#43696591)
    If you are in the lobbying game, you have to grease the skids on both sides of the isle. It is a bit idealistic to think that isn't the way DC works. You pay to play and you get what you want. Buying legislation successfully takes both parties.
    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Sad but true.

      I think the problem is more one of advocating for both sides of an issue, or advocating for a side that your supporters disagree with. You can't be for arctic drilling and against it at the same time, but you can be for spending lavishly and offering cushy 'jobs' to politicians from both sides of the political isle.

      • Bad Name (Score:2, Flamebait)

        "Sad but true."

        They should have just named it "FUD" in the first place. It would have been more honest. But then... this is Zuckerberg, after all. Honesty and ethics was probably not much of a concern.

        • by dmbasso (1052166)

          Honesty and ethics was probably not much of a concern.

          As it isn't for the majority of politicians. Money is all that matters. I'm not American, but if I were, I would surely join these guys: http://www.wolf-pac.com/ [wolf-pac.com]
          Getting money out of politics should be your (you, citizens) top priority.

          • "Getting money out of politics should be your (you, citizens) top priority."

            I agree wholeheartedly. And as an American myself, I have trouble understanding why more Americans have not appeared to have the same concern.

          • You must use FB or Twitter to sign the petition. Screw that noise.

        • "Flamebait"?

          Wow. Somebody must have been really pissed off at me today. I don't see how that could possibly be construed as "flamebait".
      • Sad but true.

        Sad too that I refuse to support any tech millionaires who are willing to fund H1B's rather than invest in American children for tech education. Never have, never will. What little control I have over my taxes; I send directly to scholorships for American children that send them to technical schools and write off those funds on my taxes on the next tax schedule. Best way to write down my taxes, giving to tech scholorships. I have a list of such funds if anyone is interested. Its activist, its American, and

        • Thanks for describing a genuinely constructive action many of us could emulate. I would much rather contribute propellant to an American student's life launch than pour more fiscal gasoline on the political bonfire by contributing to lobbying groups, even those whose values I endorse.

    • Looks like he felt Zuck was supporting things he didn't like. He thought Zuck wasn't paying attention to other issues that are important. Here is what he said,

      "I agreed to support FWD, because there is a genuine need to reform immigration. However, this should not be done at the expense of other important causes."

      I should add, I think immigration reform is important too, but I have different ideas about how it should be reformed. I added that because doubtless everyone is dying to know what phantomFive feels about immigration reform. :)

    • by Mitreya (579078)

      If you are in the lobbying game, you have to grease the skids on both sides of the isle.

      That may be true, but you would still do the greasing towards a unified goal.

      Bringing in people from different sides of the isle into the same lobbying group causes tensions (as to what that goal is), which is presumably what caused Elon Musk to quit.

    • From a previous discussion on this group:

      Facebook's Wealth Demands Unlimited Slaves

    • by pitchpipe (708843)

      You pay to play and you get what you want. Buying legislation successfully takes both parties.

      Right?! Isn't there a typo in the summary? It's not supposed to be FWD.us but PWNED.us, as in "the U.S.? We fucking OWN it."

  • CS is not IT and the old school system is not really set up to give trading needed for a job.

    Also the old collgle model is a poor fit for the fast moving IT field.

    as for HB1-s the thing is that they are abused and can be worked in ways that is pushing the limits on labor laws.

  • as long as the money only goes to our side.

  • Stupid summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Saturday May 11, 2013 @03:11PM (#43696701) Homepage

    By the way, didn't members of the Zuck PACk create, fund, and appear on Code.org, which lamented the sad state of U.S. CS education and featured a slick documentary showing technically clueless little kids, just weeks before launching their pro-techie immigration push? Hey, all's fair in love and lobbying!

    I don't know what point you think you're making, but bringing smart people into the country and educating Americans are not mutually exclusive goals.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      As a wise person, I know what point you're trying to make, but
      1. Educated is not smart but orthogonal to intelligent.
      2. Smart alone is not intelligent.
      3. Educated alone is not experienced.
      4. Intelligent alone is not wise. Neither is experienced. But they both together are.
      5. Americans are neither, and their opinion-makers and their induced "culture" make damn sure of that.
      6. No, that does not mean you're hated. Hatred is a primitive emotion and it's no surprise you picked that one (see point 5). But we actu

      • As a wise person....

        This is overly generous. Anyone who stereotypes an entire country the same way is not wise.

    • Re:Stupid summary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ebusinessmedia1 (561777) on Saturday May 11, 2013 @03:57PM (#43696997)

      True, but bringing 100's of thousands of unqualified tech workers into this country to replace those who are already here is a bit much, don't you think? In fact, it's a direct attack on the American tech worker, no matter his/her ethnic origin. There is NO shortage of qualified tech workers in America; there is also no shortage of greed as professed by those in Zuckerberg's cabal of moneyed lobbyists.

      Don't believe me? Here's some unbiased research and FACTS for you to peruse.

      What's little known is that American corporations are using large-scale outright deception and manipulation in an attempt to displace American Workers.

      Some of the information presented in the following links will shock most Americans, because American corporate leaders don't want us to know the truth, and they are paying off policy makers with contributions to keep the truth from us. The H-1B fiasco has cost Americans $10TRILLION dollars, since 1975. For anyone who wants to know the truth, read on.

      One of the most respected technology pundits in Silicon Valley: http://www.cringely.com/2012/10/23/what-americans-dont-know-about-h-1b-visas-could-hurt-us-all/ [cringely.com]

      Watch this attorney and his consultants teach corporations how to manipulate the law to replace qualified American workers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbFEgFajGU [youtube.com]

      Here's more abuse of the L-1 Visa (H1-B's are only the tip of the iceberg http://economyincrisis.org/content/l-visa-programs-brimming-abuses [economyincrisis.org]

      Professor Norman Matloff's extremely well documented studies: http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/h1b.html [ucdavis.edu]

      • Re:Stupid summary (Score:4, Informative)

        by stenvar (2789879) on Saturday May 11, 2013 @05:01PM (#43697311)

        Professor Norman Matloff's extremely well documented studies: http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/h1b.html [ucdavis.edu]

        Those aren't "studies", they are a screwball's collected and biased web links. Matloff hasn't done "studies".

        Have a look at his earlier web pages, where he was talking about the supposed evils of immigration in general:

        http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/pub/Immigration/Imm.html [ucdavis.edu]

        He switched over to flaming just against H-1B because that's presumably more politically correct.

        True, but bringing 100's of thousands of unqualified tech workers into this country to replace those who are already here is a bit much, don't you think?

        First of all, they are qualified to do the low-level tech jobs they get hired for, otherwise employers wouldn't hire them. And I don't think it's "a bit much". You can see a good economic analysis here:

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/modeledbehavior/2013/04/24/an-alternative-theory-of-the-skills-shortage/ [forbes.com]

        In effect, US companies are willing to pay up to a certain amount for tech workers, but no more. If the price of labor rose more, companies would just move the jobs themselves overseas.

        So, Matloff is right to the degree that H-1B visas are about keeping wages down. He's wrong in believing that that's a bad thing, since the alternative to hiring the H-1Bs is not higher-paid IT jobs for Americans, it is losing IT jobs from the US altogether.

        • @stenvar, who says: "So, Matloff is right to the degree that H-1B visas are about keeping wages down. He's wrong in believing that that's a bad thing, since the alternative to hiring the H-1Bs is not higher-paid IT jobs for Americans, it is losing IT jobs from the US altogether." _____________________________________

          Is that all you can bring? Really? Maybe you should walk into some of the software development situations that I've been in, where HR *on purpose* will overstate the qualifications for a job

          • by stenvar (2789879)

            Is that all you can bring? Really? Maybe you should walk into some of the software development situations that I've been in, where HR *on purpose* will overstate the qualifications for a job,

            Yes, companies consider the H-1B restrictions to be stupid and they try to circumvent them, because they want to--and arguably need to--keep labor costs down. We agree on that. The point I was making is that the alternative to that is that the jobs simply move off-shore. You have failed to counter that argument.

            Trying t

      • by SpzToid (869795)

        Also last week NPR did a fair piece on the FWD.us agenda to viscerate the current immigration/H1B discussion; in order to except themselves (as a classic lobbyist move). If I didn't hate Zuckerburg enough before, I certainly do now. He's a freaking zillionaire, while having no concept of actually *working* in the tech field, as a career, and *trying* to grow old in this country while supporting self/family. Yet he's all in favor of rolling over older I.T. workers while importing fresh blood from abroad to s

        • Add John Chambers (Cisco) and Bill Gates to that list if traitors to the American worker, and Americans in general.
        • Uh, Musk dropped because the paid ad included something else he doesn't support (building a certain pipeline), not because he's against what the group defends.

      • There are a lot of jobs unfilled. There are a lot of people looking for jobs. There are a lot of jobs that remained unfilled because the people offering the jobs dont't want to pay anything close to a living wage, much less benefits.

        I hate to sound like an old man (get off my cyberlawn) but there used to be days where you'd sacrifice your life for a company and they'd reward you with stability. Now you sacrifice your life for two companies (because you need two jobs to make ends meet) and they reward you wi

  • by argoff (142580) * on Saturday May 11, 2013 @03:22PM (#43696759)

    "I have spent a lot of time fighting far larger lobbying organizations in DC and believe that the right way to win on a cause is to argue the merits of that cause"

    HAHHHA HAHHA HH AHA HA HAH AH HAH A HA HAH A HH A HAHA

    Yeah, uh huh.

  • by buddyglass (925859) on Saturday May 11, 2013 @03:40PM (#43696885)

    By the way, didn't members of the Zuck PACk create, fund, and appear on Code.org, which lamented the sad state of U.S. CS education and featured a slick documentary showing technically clueless little kids, just weeks before launching their pro-techie immigration push?

    These two things are not contradictory.

    • by Si (9816)

      Who said they had to be?

      • There original article certainly seems to imply that the latter thing ("launching their pro-techie immigration push") runs counter to their formerly stated goal of boosting C.S. education in the U.S.
  • Oops (Score:4, Interesting)

    by goodmanj (234846) on Saturday May 11, 2013 @03:50PM (#43696947)

    Oops, we got so wrapped up in the whole "money buys power" thing that we forgot to make sure we wanted to buy the same stuff.

  • Its always "you're with us or against us"... Which means its impossible to agree on some things but not on others because if you fail to agree on anything you're suddenly the enemy.

    Its sad.

    • This isn't just "agreeing" but paying wads of cash, and it's not just "anything", but something that's incompatible with Musk's own business (more oil pipelines don't exactly help an electric car company).

      • the interest group doesn't exclusively push for more oil. It pushes for a lot of things at once.

        Take the bits you might not totally agree with the bits you don't agree with...

        Furthermore, electric cars cannot replace gas cars in the near future. So pushing for that is not reasonable.

        All he will do by pushing against gas at this point in time is make cost of living costs go up for Americans. NOTHING else will come from it. So if that's what he wants f' him.

        I'm a fan of spaceX... and I generally like the guy

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As a recent PROMINENT PERSON it takest some guts to do this. I hope it works out for him, and eventually everyone! You know, being anti-fossil fuels.

  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Saturday May 11, 2013 @07:01PM (#43698059)

    Zuckerberg is a narcissist and likely also a sociopath:

    Note the amusing pro forma disclaimer in this video before the slicing and dicing begins:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuB_ng5uVaI [youtube.com]

    He doesn't have a "value system" as normal people mean that concept. How many times does he need to prove that to everyone? Why do people sign up for FB? Does anyone really trust that when his ship starts sinking, he won't post a 3.am. *privacy policy update* and sell absolutely everything about you to the highest bidder who in turn just wants to mine your data to create a "character profile" and sell it to, say, your potential future employers? Or that Zuck will just do that himself ?

    FB is one gigantic blackmailing data collection machine without the blackmail part. The profit will be derived from "concluding" things about your character and proclivities which will follow you, haunt you, limit you until the day you die .

  • I have noticed that the same American Liberals at Slashdot who want amnesty for illegals also don't want H1-Bs.

    Is this a case of 'I love immigration & diversity as long as it's not in my backyard'. Or is it that they prefer illegal immigration to legal immigration?

    • It's just a recognition that immigration can be used as a tool in class warfare. It's a very old story- consider the Chinese brought here to work on the railroads by the robber barons.

      *Your* cognitive dissonance comes from the fact that *you* think liberals are all for unlimited immigration . The facts are just the opposite. It's the right wing / libertarian CATO Institute and their mouthpiece Dan Griswold who are constantly pushing for- in their own words "unlimited free flow of people, services and go

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