In the Washington Post, yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg announced the formation of a new lobbying group spearheaded by a number of the tech worlds all stars. Initially this group, FWD.us, will have three main focuses, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Higher Education Standards and Accountability, and Scientific Research.
Why these three areas? In theory, because Zuckerberg and his friends see them as the cornerstones of an expanding “knowledge based” economy. There is probably some truth in this but I think they also see it as a way to extend the liberal agenda. The accepted wisdom is that immigrants vote Democrat, Education is a Democrat stronghold and I strongly suspect that “Scientific research” will mainly be aimed at “green energy” “green jobs".
Maybe I am being overly cynical but when you start out talking about the need for H1B visas and then segue into a path to citizenship for illegals (a group that votes 70% Democrat) I wonder where the priority really is. The same for Education reform, where “support for good teachers” is highlighted. Every time that phrase is mentioned it is in support of union backed measures to prevent things like measuring teacher effectiveness, and rewarding the best teachers with merit pay.
I am also not reassured by the members of the tech community that will be “focusing on these issues”:
These leaders, who reflect the breadth and depth of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial culture, include Reid Hoffman, Eric Schmidt, Marissa Mayer, Drew Houston, Ron Conway, Chamath Palihapitiya, Joe Green, Jim Breyer, Matt Cohler, John Doerr, Paul Graham, Mary Meeker, Max Levchin, Aditya Agarwal and Ruchi Sanghvi.
15 names, only 5 have donated to any Republican cndidates according to opensecrets.org, 3 of those 5 overwhelming donate to Democrats (ex. Marissa Mayer made one donation to Olympia Snowe). Mary Meeker and Chamath Palihapitiya are the only two with strictly GOP donations. So it’s easy to see why this “bipartisan” group’s platform so closely mirrors that of the Democratic party. Even better the group intends to utilize their social media clout to get their message out (read they control the distribution so they control the information we see):
Under a section called “our tactical assets,” the prospectus lists three reasons why “people in tech” can be organized into “one of the most powerful political forces.”
“1: We control massive distribution channels, both as companies and individuals. We saw the tip of the iceberg with SOPA/PIPA.
“2: “Our voice carries a lot of weight because we are broadly popular with Americans.
“3. We have individuals with a lot of money. If deployed properly this can have huge influence in the current campaign finance environment.”
So yeah, maybe there is a little reason to be concerned.
Om Malik also has problems with this group but from a different direction.
Sorry I guess there actually is no other stuff today.