Advice To Europe: Don't Strangle Tech Investment - InformationWeek
Advice To Europe: Don't Strangle Tech Investment
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User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 2:33:15 PM
Re: Advice To Europe
There are some very thought-provoking points in this article,  Robert, and certainly the cultural differences that cause these policies to exist in the first place warrant a discussion as to what affect they will have on ICT and technology sectors in the long term. That being said, I'll second moarsauce123's point that I don't think  it's necessarily fair to label those differences as objectively worse based on criteria of our own choosing.  Maybe it would be a bit cliche to say each approach has it's drawbacks and benefits - maybe it's would be better to say that, like all governments, EU regulatory bodies are prone to contradicting themselves, making mistakes, and not fully understanding what they're regulating.

It is fair to say that stricter regulations make it a little harder for large companies to move around freely - indeed, that is their purpose. The reason those regulations exist is because the consumers (ie constituents) demanded them - what higher authority could there be for deciding what 'should' happen? The example of broadband and ISP markets that moarsauce brings up is exactly what came to my mind - where I live in the US, I have one option for a broadband ISP. period. And they're notorious for all kinds of malpractice and shady dealings. You could say that's good for their growth, sure - but is that really how the free market is supposed to work? I think we'd be remiss to not admit some things that Europe is doing better.

User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 12:07:28 PM
Europe has at least some interest in protecting consumers
The right to be forgotten helps those who after sometimes minor infractions have that event in their digital record when the legal record is already wiped clean. Taxing companies is nothing new and done in the US as well, so why should it be different for companies that exist only online? The Europe-only cloud is a forced decision by the US administrations in form of the NSA spying. Stop spyng on our allies and US business is more likely to do business in Europe rather than lose lucrative contracts as Verizon just did in Germany. And how does Europe need to catch up to the US???? Europe has a much larger deployment of broadband access at higher speeds and lower prices than the US. These are incredibly opportunities for digital businesses that cannot be found in the US outside of metro areas. Not sure where you got the productivity gap from, last time I checked Europe generates more revenue per Dollar/Euro spent than the US does. Worker productivity is much higher across Europe than the US, despite European workers having more time off...or especially because of that. Workoholism is bad for the economy. Yes, ICT spending is lower in Europe...because the infrastructure is already in place and Europe has more competition among telco service providers which drives costs down and thus does not require the excessive expenses that US corporations need to pay for Internet and phone. Just because the US spends more does not mean they get more service or value from it. And yes, the portion of tech industry of the entire economy in Europe is smaller than in the US, but R&D and manufacturing is higher as well as other areas. That is called diversifying and generally a good thing.

The only thing that is better in the US is the corporate climate. Barely any regulation, freedome to incorprate in tax havens and make plenty of revenue in the US, barely any restrictions, a merger friendly administration, almost no oversight, large barriers of entry for foreign providers, and overall little competition in the national telco market. So if you are a US telco/tech company the US is better for your short term goals and bottom line. If you are a consumer or business in need of telco / tech services you are better off in Europe.

So, what's your point??
Li Tan
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2014 | 9:41:45 AM
Healthy environment
To boost economy and technology evolution, for sure we need to a healthy environment without too many regulations. It's the same thing for a developer. If the developer is assigned a PC with very strict development environment with over-covering security measures, etc.  how can we expect the productivity?

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