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[dupe] AT&T lays off thousands after getting billions in tax breaks, regulatory favors (techdirt.com)
71 points by microwavecamera 26 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

Same story reported a month ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19910973

People who think tax breaks will mean increased hiring just don't understand how business works.

A company doesn't hire people because they have extra money. They hire people because they believe those people will generate them more money than they cost (and enough more money to be worth the opportunity cost). Sure, tax breaks might change the math a little bit if the math is close, but this is pretty rare.

You make it sound like some generic class of people have dopey business expectations. But in this specific situation AT&T promised to hire people as an inducement for the massive tax gift. Criticisms are rightly directed at CED Randall Stepto who promised to turn our (we taxpayers) gift to AT&T into 7K hard hat jobs for every $1B of tax giveaways.

More specifically, hiring occurs if a business is growing, i.e. due to increased consumer demand.

Even then, not always... only if they think hiring more people will help them grow faster. If they don't have productive work that helps the business to give to someone, they aren't going to hire someone no matter what.

While I wouldn't go so far as to think AT&T is well run, laying employees off after tax breaks isn't necessarily indicative of wrongdoing. If there's redundancies in the company, that's going to eventually be remedied. I want to see a more in-depth study of where the company's extra money is going before coming to a conclusion.

I guess the article is, in part, refuting the argument that the tax breaks cause hiring and reduce layoffs. In all honestly, they are likely unrelated events-- but it would be in the public interest to know that before deciding tax law changes.

I read the entire article and got the impression that instead of objective journalism, it sounded more of a partisan attack and anger in the author’s tone. A journalist is supposed to take out their emotions and state the facts and let the people decide the emotions based on the facts.

Anyway, I am curious (and the author fails to cover) is how many new employees at&t hired/hiring in 2019? I used to work for a Fortune 500 company which did a similar thing but they would also hire the same amount. They would lay-off 70,000 and hire 80,000 new employees. Is that the case here too?

EDIT: This has been posted before and the article is misleading as I suspected. Check out these top comments:



Just stating that they are doing layoffs is totally meaningless. AT&T has probably laid people off every quarter it's been in business since Alexander Graham Bell. The number that matters is whether total employment is up or down which this article doesn't say anything about. It's thesis may be correct, but this is just a data point and not evidence.

Isn't this a recurring theme for the last few decades? A telco takes federal money with the promise of laying fiber, providing broadband, and creating jobs. Next, they don't do any of that and ask for more money a year later.

Isn't this mostly because of the mergers they did with Time Warner etc and they have some "synergies"?

They are also laying off fiber installers while pushing back install dates on pending fiber projects in some areas of the United States and yes some of the areas with delayed projects are subject to layoffs.

They are laying off people but keep pushing out install dates for multiple fiber projects and other such work I have knowledge of.

I can't understand why they are acting this way.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Everybody can see that these are blatant lies. Just like the MILLIONS and MILLIONS of federal dollars 'spent' on AT&T to get high-speed broadband to rural regions of the country.

I can't accept that every damn politician is that fucking corrupt to just bend us over like this and keep a straight face.

Please don't post indignant rants to HN. No matter how justified they are, they lower the signal/noise ratio and invite worse from others. You may not owe better to AT&T or corporatist politicians but you owe better to the community when posting here.


What a disappointment...

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