back to article Big Tech begs Congress to pass $52bn chip subsidies bill

Big Tech in America has had enough of Congress' inability to pass pending legislation that includes tens of billions of dollars in subsidies to boost semiconductor manufacturing and R&D in the country. In a letter [PDF] sent to Senate and House leaders Wednesday, the CEOs of Alphabet, Amazon, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, …

  1. Scott Pedigo
    Meh

    Why Always Subsidies?

    If the taxpayers are going to pay for a fabrication facility, I think they ought to own part of it.

    How about the chip manufacturers issue $50 billion worth of new shares of stock which the U.S. government purchases on the condition that the new capital is used to invest in new fabrication facilities in the U.S.?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why Always Subsidies?

      Pretty sure the major tech companies ain't broke... they can afford to build the facilities. Finding employees to staff them could be a problem.

    2. vekkq

      Re: Why Always Subsidies?

      in china, you can produce cheaper. owning parts of the company doesn't solve the issue, that you won't be able to make and sell chips, that you can push down to market prices. only with subsidies can you do that and they will have to be renewed frequently too. a high price to pay for independence.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Why Always Subsidies?

        >in china, you can produce cheaper.

        Actually in this case in Taiwan and Korea you can produce cheaper.

        Perhaps somebody could read "On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation" ?

    3. EricB123 Bronze badge

      Re: Why Always Subsidies?

      "The candy man can, the candy man can..."

      What Uncle Sam sings to multi-billion dollar corporations.

  2. Lis

    Please, they are NOT

    subsidies. That's for the world outside the United States Often in the same sentence as the word "sanctions" and "Unfair".

    In the United States they are known as "economic incentives".

    Cheers... Ishy

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Please, they are NOT

      Subsidies - because only socialism works !

    2. msobkow Silver badge

      Re: Please, they are NOT

      No, they're corporate welfare for corporations that generate tens of billions of revenue as a group crying the blues about not being able to use share buy-backs to pump up their managements stock option values.

  3. VoiceOfTruth

    We is only billionaires

    Please give us more money.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they need $50 billion to invest in chip fabs, then sell $50 billion in stock to the government. Why the fuck should they just be given that money for free?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      It wasn't for free - each $Bn costs them $100K in campaign contributions.

      You are however making the rookie mistake of assuming that the $50Bn subsidy for chip fabs will be spent on chip fabs and not share buy backs or executive compensation

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
        Pirate

        Those fucking golden parachutes ain't cheap.

        1. msobkow Silver badge

          Look at the big brave man swearing like a sailor in a civilized forum. :(

          1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
            Pirate

            Sorry, didn't mean to shit all over your pretty little forum.

            If I needed your fucking permission or approval to swear, I'd have fucking asked for it. I don't recall doing so.

  5. Ace2 Bronze badge

    Some of the richest companies that have ever existed

  6. ecofeco Silver badge

    Subsidy?

    They want a subsidy? Cry me a billions of dollars a year profit, effing river and kiss my ass.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Subsidy?

      Indeed.

      Apple has that much money sitting in the bank. So does Google. If they want something done, they have the means to get it done.

      The State should keep its money for things that its citizens don't have the means to pay for, and not give that money away to insanely rich companies that have more money than a small country.

  7. Funongable

    Quid pro quo...

    Why not a windfall profits tax on Big Oil to subsidize this instead?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Quid pro quo...

      And a tax on tech to give oil companies a subsidy for domestic oil exploration for energy security.

      You know if a government became the shareholders of all these companies and used the money to invest in strategic enterprises. You could have some sort of centrally planned economy.

      1. msobkow Silver badge

        Re: Quid pro quo...

        Shh. You're not supposed to notice that the only real difference between "superpower" governments is the facade of politics they claim to believe in. When it comes to their traits on "defense" (usually offense as far as the rest of the world is concerned), business dealings with the world at large, refusals to abide by ITC rulings, and how they prop up their favored industries using whatever buzzword terms the populace will accept, there really isn't all that much difference.

        Just the feel-good buzzwords and methods used to make the populace think they have any semblance of control differ. You notice that they all claim to have "elections", for example, with varying degrees of complaint by the population that "they're rigged."

        Why is it this way? Because behind every government mouthpiece is a self-interested and self-serving bureaucracy that is in control of what government actually does about the buzzwords their politicians are babbling... and they're cut from the same cloth at every level of government world wide.

  8. thejoelr

    How do Taiwan and Korea handle it?

    I see the article saying other countries do it, but it doesn't give an overview of what they actually do. Maybe they do it in ways that aren't just handing over billions in cash with no oversight or even minimal expectations of returns. Chips are a national security issue, shouldn't the government be very interested in their supply? Get in there and regulate and see how these companies feel about it.. I think China forcing government tech to use domestically produced parts is a very smart plan.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: How do Taiwan and Korea handle it?

      In Taiwan by realising that you are a tiny island with no resources and need to move up the value chain from making plastic crap. So you have your government hire some very smart guy who didn't get promoted at TI because of his eyelids - and have him build you a chip company

      In Korea you have a bunch of giant corporations that run the country like a mafia family and divide up the economy and government between themselves.

      However both these solutions require you to have an educated skilled workforce and a government that looks beyond the next press conference

  9. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    Lithograph

    Maybe Intel could use their newest experimental tech to lithograph up a silicon copy of the world's smallest violin... That oughtta be worth at least $10billion, right?

    Man, if Congress falls for this scam, they're the world's biggest suckers.

  10. Jan K.

    Ah, come on!

    Seing how these companies struggles to make ends meet, of course the US taxpayers should chip in!

    Good grief.

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