Big government giveth, Big Government taketh away

Some Silicon Valley executives are learning what should have already known — getting in politics can be dangerous. Adam Thierer points to a Politico article about the DC-Silicon Valley nexus, which ends with this passage:

Silicon Valley types typically don’t mind hosting lawmakers, as the trips give businesses out West the chance to put issues and needs on the minds of their regulators. But tech bellwethers sometimes don’t take kindly to lawmakers who treat the valley as an endless ATM. “All too often, people see Silicon Valley as the wallet and set aside the words or wisdom that [it] can provide,” said Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Thierer has an apt response:

Well, boo-hoo.  If Mr. Guardino and his fellow Silicon Valley travelers don’t like being treated like an ATM, then they should stop behaving like one!  No one makes them give a dime to any politician.  And once you start playing this game, you shouldn’t be surprised by how quickly you’ll become entrenched in the cesspool that is Beltway politics and become less and less focused on actually innovating and serving consumers.

There’s even more interesting stuff in Thierer’s blog post, including quotes from a decade back by TJ Rodgers, like this:

Government can do only two things here: take our money, limiting our economic resources; or pass laws, limiting our other freedoms.

Beltway ConfidentiallobbyingtechnologyUS

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