An open letter to Paul Graham
Rick Webb

Good article. I would ask Mr. Graham or any other tax traumatized individual to point out a successful internet start-up that actually increases our GDP. Let‘s start with these media darlings:

UBER: a few guys get rich with their idea; drivers wear out their own cars, pay their own gas and insurance to make $13 an hour; and, full time taxi cab drivers are making less money.

AIRBnB: a few guys get rich with their idea; renters and homeowners make some extra money (good) while taking on risks (fire, theft, accidents, lawsuits); the hotel industry loses profits and in turn cut back on staff.

EBAY: a few guys get rich with their idea; flea marketer have a better way to sell the stuff they find in garage sales; the money comes from shoppers looking for bargains, which means less revenue for traditional stores.

AMAZON: basically the same as EBAY, except flea marketers are replaced by businesses who are forced to sell at greater discounts.

GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, etc: a few guys get rich with their idea; advertising revenue flows to these social media sites instead of traditional media companies (print, radio and TV); less interest in creating great creative in ads (data driven marketing is the new thing), so less revenue for creatives, ad agencies, production companies, etc.

Anyone care to explain how these companies produce a net gain to GDP and are not just zero sum games?

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