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back to article Google promises 0.001 of revenue to free the slaves

Google is on course to smash the £30bn annual revenue barrier by the end of this year, so - in time-honoured fashion with it be Christmas 'n' all - the company has plonked just over 0.1 per cent of this cash on the philanthropic pile. The world's largest ad broker isn't just fretting about educating girls, empowering people …

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Anonymous Coward

Does that group include EA programmers?

Does that group include EA programmers?

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Anonymous Coward

Wooo

While I applaud companies giving to responsible charity - 0.1 per cent, not exactly tithing, is it?

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Anonymous Coward

That depends on what the 0.1% is of, if it's £1 then no, 0.1% is nothing.

But since it's 0.1% of $30bn - you just said that $40m dollars "not exactly tithing, is it?", I think the charities might disagree with you there.

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FAIL

Lets keep in mind they took $30 billion in *revenue*, not profit. Although I suspect their profit is fairly healthy too, revenue has presumably been used in the article to make their donation look worse than it is from a percentage point of view.

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This is a single donation - not their entire giving.

Of course they probably don't tithe, but dealing with US tax it wouldn't be entirely surprising...

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FAIL

Since when did Google "deal with US tax"?

Just google "google US tax evasion".

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Meh

$40m may sound a lot but remember google also want to give $33m to NASA to give Hangar One a makeover so that they have somewhere nice to stash their fleet of eight private jets!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/12/google_nasa_hangar_one/

No doubt the donation to the charitable fund will be made in whatever country has the highest tax, any chance it will be made from one of the international tax havens that google operate from.

Just because I'm a cynical old git doesn’t mean that there isn’t some financial advantage to google in doing this.

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Er...

Tithing = 'tenthing'

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Coat

Free more than 12,000 people from serfdom.

Surely Apple has more customers than that !!

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Anonymous Coward

Bam!

A stonking quip to see the year out.

I salute you!

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True, but given they are identical drones it's an easy mistake to make.

I may be a cynical old bugger but I wonder if this donation is a hit at apple and the way their suppliers treat their workers? Punt 11m towards driving up Apples cost to make their products? Just a thought :-)

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Anonymous Coward

I thought

The apple manufacturers (Hon Hai /= Foxconn )were spending over $3 Billion on a robot making factory, factory. Having dropped the idea of buying them in. 1 million by 2013, up from tens of thousands right now.

With the autonomy working it's way into all professions, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0Lj_5MBu8w , I can't see many people escpaing it.

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Thumb Up

Hey, el Reg!

No need to be snide about what a small percentage it is. That's a huge amount of cash going to a good cause so well done Google

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Agreed

They did not have to do that, but they did. Well done.

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sorry, was that 0.1 or 0.001 % ?

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Anonymous Coward

0.1% of the revenue is going to charity, 0.001% is going to free slaves - whether that 0.001% is of the original revenue or the 0.1% going to charity I don't know.

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0.1% for charitable causes. 0.001% specifically for dealing with slavery. It's all in the article if you care to read :)

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FAIL

Neither

It would be 0.1% or 0.001 when expressed as a decimal fraction. Did you miss the lack of a percent sign in the title?

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Yag
Trollface

Google is 0.001% not evil :)

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Where did they get their stats?

Let's choose the year, say, AD 1720. We have slavery rife in the New World, in Europe (esp eastern Europe), Russia, China, the Muslim world, and Africa. Every serf and peasant bound to the land and without rights to dispose of his or her property, wealth or children, forbidden to travel, and under the authority of some master, was a slave. Serfs in Russia could be bought and sold as easily as an African deportee to the Americas.

There are many more people in the world today, but the percentage in bondage is probably smaller. Not that this justifies a single person suffering the realities of slavery right now. But the rich locals in Dubai want their house servants and we want cheap designer clothes and many people are in poverty and powerless, so as night follows day...

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Boffin

'Slavery' in this context is quite rigidly defined, and it specifically excludes 'serfs' (whose labour is forced by economic necessity, not by whips and chains).

In terms of absolute numbers (not proportions): the upper-bound limit for estimates of the number of true slaves today is around 27 million. Historically, the peak population was probably reached in the early 19th century, when there were an estimated 8-9 million in India, 3.5 million in the USA, a million or so in the Arab world, plus substantial numbers in China, Korea and the Ottoman Empire. I haven't seen any serious attempts to estimate worldwide total numbers at that time, but it's entirely possible the number would have been lower than 27 million.

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Ru
Headmaster

Ahh, percentages

"the percentage in bondage is probably smaller"

0.1% isn't a very big percentage either, but y'know, the absolute value turns out to be quite a few pennies when you're talking about the size of Google's cashpile.

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After a certain Formula 1 guy got caught by the newspapers theres a few less people in bondage these days.

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JDX
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It's very British that when a big company or rich person gives something away, journalists find a way to portray it in a negative way.

However I thought the Reg was a bit above such negativism as we see in the tabloids.

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Anonymous Coward

Except when Bill Gates is involved. Then His Majesty has been so very generous indeed. The shavings from His richly deserved billions are so much more than we ungrateful peasants should ever expect. (Exit, doffing cap repeatedly, apologising.)

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Don't forget that the British are bought up on a diet of everything should be handled by the state (NHS, benefits, overseas aid...).

So when a wealthy company (who, not being the state, are evil) gives money, it is greeted with cynical responses. It's OK for a footballer to earn millions, but god help a director or owner of a business.

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Anonymous Coward

OMG British Communist Monarchists etc

The British are brought up on a diet of government fiscal policy being better than relying on charity, yes. Its super you feel that relying on the generosity of the private sector is fine, and governments should be squandering their money on... what, their militaries? But that's rather irrelevant here... I'm not quite sure where y'all are getting the impression that this is a negative article. It clearly states that the tiny percentage of Google's wealth adds up to a big sum of money, and its being used for a perfectly reasonable cause. Seems like a positive article to me, but then, not being a yank maybe there are overtones I've missed.

Speaking of slavery and forced labour, how's the US domestic manufacturing industry doing? Good on you all for keeping penal servitude alive and well, and keeping those prisons well stocked with ethnic types, like all those folk who used to work your plantations.

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Well put.

Looking at the PISA results for 2000-2009 it isnt entirely clearcut. Towards the start of the 'naughties' British students decimated American ones. More recently the American students are ahead. Whats more interesting is how far from the top both countries are. Korea, Finland and more recently some parts of China are well ahead.

Pure capitalism (like pretty much any other ideology) is flawed. We try and make the best and get along. There isn't a perfect solution because we aren't perfect. Theres always going to be the greedy, the feckless and the workshy to spoil it one way or another. A socialist, quasi capitalist democracy isn't perfect but well implemented it isn't bad. Pure capitalism well implemented works, but again not perfectly as we are seeing right now. Poor education, wealthy inequality and protests, high unemployment.

It's a sad day when our kids can't be better educated than kids in countries with a per capita gdp 1/10th of ours.

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The Yank overtone you are missing is that

anything less than 0.1% isn't worth mentioning.

And yes, private giving is vastly morally superior to government giving. Government giving is some taking your money with the threat of physical violence if you don't pay, to give it to someone who didn't earn it. Oh, yes, there are layers and layers of obfuscation about it, but when all is said and done, you either comply with the orders of the state or you get shot.

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Speaking as a Brit,

I'd be happy if everyone (be they a corporation, a footballer, or the man in the street) paid their tax, as this would allow the state to better handle it's responsibilities.

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FAIL

Curse those commie Brits. USA USA USA

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45195014/ns/business-eye_on_the_economy/t/number-americans-poverty-record-high/#.Tun4bFaqHNU

http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/04/editorials/hungry_us_children.htm

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/17/harvard-medical-study-links-lack-of-insurance-to-45000-us-deaths-a-year/

USA USA USA.....

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Anonymous Coward

@Tom 13

The idea that the wealthy must have earned their wealth or they wouldn't have it is naive (to say the least!) One of the greatest recent examples of charitable giving has been the bail out of banks whose high 'earners' have, for example, reduced the value of Lloyds Bank from 505p a share to 34p a share. People who are not just worthless but a positive liability. Are they in the gutter? I think not.

The same rule of law that enforces taxation is the one that protects the lives and property of the wealthy. In fact property is a purely legal concept; without the law nobody would OWN anything. And, without the threat of force, there is no law.

All research on the subject shows that the poor give proportionately more to charity than the wealthy. Perhaps they are morally superior?

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why exactly...

...isn't the headline here 'Google donates only just more than 1/1000th of its revenue to charity'?

I always thought the olde-time convention of 10% still more or less held. Maybe that's just for normal suckers, not large corporations.

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Anonymous Coward

Generous?

OK, its not trivial money in personal terms, but based on % of annual income I reckon I'm about 100 times more generous than Google.

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Childcatcher

You are a well known sole-proprietorship, AC.

But Google has to answer to millions of shareholders. 99.99% of shareholders do not want the corporations they own throwing their money around in a way that doesn't increase their revenues, their profits, or the price of their shares.

It's as simple as that.

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Anonymous Coward

100x0.1 = 10% - assuming your earning a minimum of £10k a year - you're giving at least £1,000 to charity a year?

Try again. I don't understand why everyone is whining about Google giving $40m to charity, they are not obliged to.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 10:28

My actual figures are around double your assumptions, so yes, I can do arithmetic and it is 10% of my income because it is money I am lucky I don't *need* for my normal lifestyle and so prefer to help certain charities instead.

It is good that Google do something, and as I said in absolute personal terms it is a lot, but I feel that generosity is a measure of how much you sacrifice for a 'good cause'.

Applying Google's contribution (same theory applied for for BillyG) it would be my handing out £20 a year. Yes, it is better than kicking a beggar...

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Nice but ...

Wouldn't it be better to rent mercs to wipe out the slavers? I mean, to end the fur trade, you don't go out and buy all the fur coats.

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Hang 'em high

The way this money is used has the potential to make the problem worse, rather than better.

Spend it on prosecuting slavers in the first world, and on educating people about the reality of these cheap migration plans.

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Anonymous Coward

The Romans,,,

used to put 2.5% away "for Mercury", the Roman god of Commerce (and Thieves).

The Arabs and Jews put aside 5% for "Zahkat" (Charity).

Obviously Google are 25-50 times outside the aboves' leagues.

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Anonymous Coward

Apples, oranges

The pertinent question is how much did Apple, Microsoft, or any other major corporation donate to anything?

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WTF?

Charity begins at home

It would be a good start if Google used this money to sort out the slavery conditions under which undocumented migrants labour in the southern US before sticking their noses into other countries.

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Anonymous Coward

home

If Google didnt "stick their noses into other countries" it wouldn't exist. It's as big as it is precisely because it's international, cross territory, localized globally, and indexes data from everywhere. Dont be a bell-end.

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Meh

About Time

It is about time that people stopped fretting about slavery in the 18th century (a subject constantly being rammed down our throats - I'm looking eg at Bristol City Council) and started looking around themselves today.

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God forbid

that we learn anything from history.

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Better than nothing.

I suppose.

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Actually, I would prefer they gave nothing.

Money from private persons for their own reasons are fine, but I have a huge problem with megacorps donating money to some charity I might not even support and then expecting a pat on the back from the media. I give my donations where I feel appropriate and as I see fit. That's between me and God, not me and everybody else in the world. Same thing should apply to corporate types.

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Anonymous Coward

For a publicity stunt this is not as cheap and tasteless as handing out 5 crappy devices to 'Android malware victims'.

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Anonymous Coward

Google can do it, if anyone can

They know where they are, what they're doing, how much was paid for them and which ones are the most productive.

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Anonymous Coward

I dont get it?

This article is written almost with disdain. But what on earth is wrong with giving money to charity?

0.1 of £30bn is more than most people give.

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