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Silicon Washington
The Tech Lobby Gets Serious

In eight short years, Google has gone from being America’s 213th-biggest corporate spender on lobbying to being the runner-up. That might not sit well with those who were enamored with the company’s “do no evil” motto or Silicon Valley’s penchant for non-corporate corporations, but it reflects an increasingly important relationship between Uncle Sam and Big Tech. The Washington Post reports:

The company gives money to nearly 140 business trade groups, advocacy organizations and think tanks, according to a Post analysis of voluntary disclosures by the company, which, like many corporations, does not reveal the size of its donations. That’s double the number of groups Google funded four years ago.

This summer, Google will move to a new Capitol Hill office, doubling its Washington space to 55,000 square feet—roughly the size of the White House.

Take the time to read the whole thing. This is an issue we’ve been following for quite some time now, and it’s one that will figure more prominently in the coming years. Silicon Valley needs states to stand up for its interests in a world where intellectual property can be stolen with a keystroke. Similarly, Washington needs Silicon Valley to stoke innovation; Big Tech will be the engine of the information economy, just as manufacturing firms drove the industrial economy.

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  • rheddles

    Sounds good but in the end all non wartime government corporate associations lead to decreased competition and decreased innovation. Washington may want SV to innovate, but they can’t make it happen.

  • lukelea

    Off topic, but why is WRM not covering the crisis in Ukraine? Also, it is a mistake not to show a comments button under each article; forcing a click through is a waste of the reader’s time. Hate to say it, but Walter’s blog is deteriorating in quality. Maybe he’s gotten bored with it or is running out of fresh things to say? I will miss him.

    • Andrew Allison

      I don’t know how much of the user interface is under the control of TAI, but I agree that the link to replies should be more accessible.
      I also regretfully agree that the content ain’t what it used to be. Based on the magisterial essay on the Ukrainian situation posted by WRM this morning, my guess is that more and more of the regular content is being produced by the kids, er interns.

  • AllanDale

    Silicon Valley is a creation and continuing client of the postwar national security state, otherwise known as the permanent-war economy. The proof is in the pudding, and the consumer pudding has come from private corporations like Sony and Asustek located in Asia for decades while the lazy schmoozers in Palo Alto and environs continue to bill Uncle Sucker for work on orbiting death-stars and such. Google is merely another overhyped application of trivial technology (see Facebook) that quickly converted the Internet into an extension of Madison Avenue and promises to bring the WWW to the intellectual equivalent of network television.

    • Andrew Allison

      The microcomputer was also a TI invention.

  • Andrew Allison

    All it reflects is recognition that we have the best government money can buy.

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