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February 16, 2006

You'd think they'd understand basic economics

I'm not certain if our elected representatives in congress are simply completely ignorant about the capitalism, or if they're simply pandering to the masses.

Google, Yahoo, Cisco, and MIcrosoft are getting raked over the coals for doing whatever China demands to gain access to the Chinese market.

One lawmaker minced no words in addressing the companies. "Your abhorrent activities in China are a disgrace. I simply do not understand how your corporate leadership sleeps at night," Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., whose district includes the Silicon Valley, admonished executives from the four major technology companies.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002808323_chinahearing16.html

I guess Rep Tom Lantos is a blithering idiot.

Executives of publicly traded companies have a legal responsibility to "carry out the responsibilities with the utmost degree of good faith, honesty, integrity, loyalty and undivided service of the beneficiaries interest."

The beneficiaries are not the people of China. They're not American citizens. They're certainly not the blowhards in congress. They are the shareholders of Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo, and Google. If those companies do anything other than attempt to maximize return on investment, without breaking the law, then the CEOs deserve to be thrown out on their ear, and can even be liable. Google filtering content to get into China is good for Google's bottom line. "Do no evil" went out the freak'n window the instant they went public.

The solution is for Congress to get off it's collective tushy and pass laws. Or better yet, go to the WTO and claim that China is restraining trade by blocking American Internet companies from its markets by erecting unfair barriers to entry. But don't blame the execs. They are far more accountable to their shareholders than to Chinese dissidents. It's the job of the legislative body to restrict (dare I say, regulate) what the investors can demand.

Posted on February 16, 2006 at 04:51 PM | Permalink

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