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    Highlights—March 13, 2004
  • Wall Street Journal: New IBM Jobs Can Mean Fewer Jobs Elsewhere. Excerpt: Last month, International Business Machines Corp. said it would add 5,000 workers in the U.S. this year, an announcement partly aimed at blunting criticism of its plans to move thousands of jobs abroad in 2004. But a closer look at IBM's hiring and layoff practices shows it may actually wind up extinguishing more U.S. jobs in the economy at large than it creates this year -- even while adding a little to its own payroll. ...

    If IBM adds 2,000 net U.S. jobs this year, how could its activities result in fewer domestic jobs in the economy at large? For an explanation, take a look at just a few of the outsourcing contracts IBM announced in 2003. As part of these agreements it said it hired 4,000 computer professionals from J.P. Morgan Chase , 250 from construction giant Fluor Corp., 300 from ING Groep NV's U.S. Financial Services unit, and 600 U.S. workers from Qwest Communications International Inc. Separately, IBM added 2,300 U.S. workers through its acquisition of Rational Software Inc.

    If IBM adds 2,000 net U.S. jobs this year, how could its activities result in fewer domestic jobs in the economy at large? For an explanation, take a look at just a few of the outsourcing contracts IBM announced in 2003. As part of these agreements it said it hired 4,000 computer professionals from J.P. Morgan Chase, 250 from construction giant Fluor Corp., 300 from ING Groep NV's U.S. Financial Services unit, and 600 U.S. workers from Qwest Communications International Inc. Separately, IBM added 2,300 U.S. workers through its acquisition of Rational Software Inc. That totals 7,450 jobs. But by the end of last year, IBM's U.S. employment was up just 2,000, about what it expects to add this year. Where did the rest of the jobs go? Ex-IBM workers and analysts cite job cuts from previous outsourcing deals, including moving some of these jobs offshore.

    "I laugh every time IBM says it's going to add 15,000 jobs," says David A. Anthony, an Alpharetta, Ga., Web programmer laid off by the company last June. "I scream at the TV: 'How many are you going to fire?' "Mr. Anthony had worked for AT&T Corp. before he was outsourced to IBM in 2000, after IBM took over many of the phone giant's computer operations. He says his bonus was cut to $5,000 from $9,000 after the first year, and he had to start paying for health-care coverage. "I went from $63,000 to the low 50s" before being fired, he says. Mr. Anthony hasn't found a new job. If link is broken, view Adobe Acrobat version [PDF--66 KB].

  • infoWorld: IBM's Palmisano given $5.4 million bonus for 2003. CEO rewarded for steering Big Blue through 'several challenges' and increasing server share. Excerpt: Samuel Palmisano was paid a $5.4 million bonus for leading IBM Corp. in 2003, making his total compensation for the year $6.95 million, the company said in a regulatory filing this week. ... Palmisano's 2003 pay was over a million dollars more than he earned in 2002 when he was awarded a salary of $1.43 million and a bonus of $4.5 million.

  • New York Times: Buffett Says Bush Tax Cuts Favor Wealthy. Excerpt: Billionaire investor Warren Buffett accused the Bush administration Saturday of pursuing tax cuts that favor large corporations and wealthy individuals. "If class warfare is being waged in America, my class is clearly winning,'' Buffett said in Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s annual report. Except for 1983, the percentage of federal tax receipts from corporate income taxes last year was the lowest since data was first published in 1934, Buffett said. "Tax breaks for corporations (and their investors, particularly large ones) were a major part of the administration's 2002 and 2003 initiatives,'' Buffett said. ...

  • Christian Science Monitor: A brighter outlook for Social Security. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned last week that the nation "will eventually have no choice but to make significant structural adjustments in the major retirement programs." Translation: Cuts in Social Security benefits are inevitable. A brighter outlook for Social Security. Excerpt: But is the situation that gloomy? A number of economists argue it isn't. A hard look at the numbers suggests that Social Security isn't broken, only in need of minor adjustments. The Social Security system is in better financial shape than it's been for most of its 67-year history, says Mark Weisbrot, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), a Washington think tank. Some see a conspiracy on the part of those who don't like the government retirement system. "When you want to reform a popular system, you have to make the case it's broken," says Lawrence Thompson, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, another Washington think tank. Predictably, Mr. Greenspan's comments caused a political firestorm, especially since President Bush talks of tackling the Social Security issue if he wins a second term.

  • San Francisco Chronicle: Can Social Security Be Saved? Greenspan's got his eye on your retirement -- for all the wrong reasons. Excerpt: The media display was especially impressive because Greenspan bears much of the blame for the huge deficits that he now proposes to close by cutting Social Security. In January 2001, Greenspan testified to Congress that President Bush's tax cuts were a good idea, because the budget surpluses were too large. They were so large, Greenspan told Congress, that he was worried we would pay off the national debt too quickly. Then the government wouldn't know what to do with all the extra money coming in. So he urged Congress to pass the tax cuts in order to reduce the projected surplus. Because this was Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan talking, Congress took his advice very seriously.

    Needless to say, things haven't quite worked out as Greenspan predicted. We are now looking at near record deficits as far as the eye can see, with the federal government's borrowing projected to top $600 billion in the current fiscal year, according to the federal Office of Management and Budget. Three years after warning that the surpluses were too large, Greenspan is now warning of the dangers of large deficits. Instead of reversing the 2001 tax cuts, the bulk of which went to wealthy taxpayers, Greenspan suggests that we take the money from retirees' Social Security checks. In most jobs, you get fired when you get something really important wrong in a big way. But when Greenspan messes up, he gets members of Congress writing measures to take money from retirees and widows.

  • Pasadena Star-News: Don't be duped; Social Security 'crisis' is manufactured. Excerpt: GEORGE W. BUSH won't need Social Security for retirement. He's a millionaire many times over. Taxpayers will pad Bush's retirement with a large presidential pension. Former presidents receive $175,700 this year plus office, travel, medical and other benefits. Social Security isn't broke, but millions of retirees who depend on it are, and many more would be broke without it. The average retired worker's Social Security benefit is just $922 a month about $11,000 a year. Disabled workers average just $862. One out of three seniors depends on Social Security for 90 percent to 100 percent of their income. Two out of three seniors depend on it for more than half their income. Even with Social Security, many seniors find themselves choosing between eating and heating, paying the mortgage or paying for medicine. With Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's help, the Bush administration would rob retirees to pay for tax cuts for the rich.

    Most Americans pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes. The Social Security payroll tax takes a bigger share out of low- and middle-income paychecks than high-income ones because earnings above $87,900 are exempt. Removing this cap would erase most of Social Security's projected future revenue shortfall. The cost of the tax cuts enacted in 2001-2003 is nearly three times greater than Social Security's projected deficit for the next 75 years. That's according to unpublished new estimates from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which also show that the cost of the tax cuts is larger than the combined projected deficits in Social Security and Medicare. It's obscene to consider cutting Social Security benefits while giving tax breaks to the rich. The average 2004 tax cut for the richest 1 percent $59,292 is more than five times greater than the average retired worker's Social Security benefit. Imagine that your town's wealthiest family throws a lavish party costing many times more than your annual income. You're not invited, but you get the bill. Worse, they plan to throw increasingly lavish parties every year and want you to shortchange your family, cash in your savings and postpone retirement to pay for them. You'd be outraged.

  • CounterPunch, Opinion by Ralph Nader: A Trail of Broken Promises. Pension Rights. Excerpt: Over thirty years ago, I started the Pension Rights Center which concerned itself with such issues as shortening the time of corporate pensions vesting or improving their portability for job-changing employees. No one nightmared that companies would dramatically cut their contributions to these defined benefit plans during years of economic growth and record company profits. That is not the least of a trail of broken promises by these vastly overpaid corporate executives (with their gigantic special pensions) to their loyal workers. Recently, employees from some major corporations highlighted some of the tricky ways these bosses are betraying the people who made their companies perform and profit. Under the name of the "Ad Hoc Coalition to Restore Retirement Security," five broken promises were described.

  • PBS Frontline: Tax Me if you Can. Inside the bogus tax shelter business--the companies involved, the schemes concocted, and how the ultimate victim is the American taxpayer. Excerpts: It was one of corporate America's biggest hidden profit centers in the past decade -- the tax shelter -- and it became so lucrative that last year it helped major U.S. companies cut their tax rate to just half of what they had historically paid, leaving individual taxpayers to make up the difference. The General Accounting Office estimates that illegitimate tax shelters cost the government more than $85 billion in recent years. ... "Amazingly, in 2002 -- even though it reported $4 billion in profits -- [Wachovia] reported that it didn't pay any taxes," McIntyre tells FRONTLINE. "They worked it by sheltering all of their income. They said they saved $3 billion in taxes over the last three years from leasing -- huge write-offs."

  • Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Some sample posts follow:
    • "New AMEX 800 Number Costs" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: Well my colleagues, it will now cost $30 to make a new reservation via the 800 number. If you call the AMEX travel agency after 8PM or on weekends, it's $20 per call, exclusive of the $30 per new reservation. According to the AMEX agents, the money is being pocketed (about 80%) to the internal travel department. In other words, another way to covertly charge the client. Haven't we learned from the PwC court case that we can't keep travel as a revenue source anymore? The web site continues to get even more complicated to use, since ergonomics was never an IBM strength. What do the young road warriors and their clients have to say about this?

    • "I Care Since it is Nickle and Dime" by "Joe Dirt". Full excerpt: This is another attempt to reduce costs! It was a decision made by some moron in corporate that have never spent a day out on the road (when your only free time is either driving in the rental car or waiting in the airport - both great times to use the on-line tool that never listens to your constraints). I am sure that all of the high level personnel use the tool (or have their admins log in and do it for them). I guess we can get a bonus next year due to the huge savings as BCS travels the most! If this tool were deployed as part of an engagement for a client, we would never get another job again. Would love to see the user feedback in a presentation! Have been told that you still have to call Amex to make changes/cancel a reservation booked on-line but that is a different number (one in India?).

    • "What a load of ****" by "Joe Dirt". Excerpt: I too used to be like you but clue in buddy! I far exceeded my targets and did my part for the team (110% utilization when my target was only 87%). I spoke with some of the partners and they said that we were never going to meet our numbers (even if EVERYONE billed 100%). Don't give me an impossible goal and then tell me that BCS did not perform.

    • "Doubtful" by "ancientblueconsultant". Full excerpt: If you've been around the blue pig as long as I have, you realize there's intent versus message. So far, it's been only a message, primarily for the consumption of those outside the company. There has been a lot of talk, but very little action. The performance plan change was a quick reaction to the problem of loss of medium-high talent. They hope 2+ will confuse folks for a few years and avoid flight. IMHO, there is a serious problem there right now, especially at the Band 9-10 level. As the economy turns around, the raiding of these key skills will get worse.

      The emphasis on values is currently just BS and propaganda. While they talk about values, they further strangle the employee personal wiggle room with the BCG and there are more and more ethics issues appearing every day at the Blue Pig. They'll be more revelations on creative financing, retire abuse and the pension fiasco. The BOD should have taken a real pro-active approach and fired everyone involved in that illegal 1999 decision. Sam may have some nice intentions, but he needs to wipe out the layer of Band D's brought in the last 3-7 years and tell them they are not invaluable to the business. Watch a few leave and he'll realize most of them are just good politicos. It's not as bad in BCS as in ITS. Wait until April and you'll really see some skilled employees treated like cattle. Then the fun really begins with retention.

      The big problem now is staffing with experienced, solid skills. The professional hires aren't working out for the most part in many areas of the business, including BCS. Seems the PwC and BIS genetic code had something that they can't seem to replicate. If there had been values, Ginny would have given all the low level folks some of their bonuses and fired some of the high level directors who forecasted this disaster. No one has been held accountable for the very poor 2003 business plans. The new emerging problem is that partners and VP's don't have the technical and business acumen to figure out what proposals should get funding or not. Any good con man can propose funding and fail 3 or 4 times before they figure it out. In summary, they know there's a problem, they don't want to fix it the right way. Typical blue pig management.

  • WCNC TV (North Carolina): RJR executives' bonuses rise in wake of big job cuts. Excerpt: Top executives of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. saw their compensation bounce back in 2003 at the same time the company announced major job cuts. Andrew Schindler, the chairman and chief executive of parent company Reynolds Holdings, saw his 2003 compensation — including salary, stock grants, long-term compensation payments and other compensation — rise to $10.3 million from $5.7 million in 2002. His bonus increased from $250,000 in 2002 to $1.3 million in 2003. His bonus had been cut dramatically from $1.2 million in 2001 as the company fought fierce competition. Reynolds Holdings last year announced 2,600 job cuts as part of a restructuring at its main subsidiary, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and a deal to buy Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.

  • Washington Post: A Heftier Dose To Swallow. Rising Cost of Health Care in U.S. Gives Other Developed Countries an Edge in Keeping Jobs. Excerpt: For each mid-size car DaimlerChrysler AG builds at one of its U.S. plants, the company pays about $1,300 to cover employee health care costs -- more than twice the cost of the sheet metal in the vehicle. When it builds an identical car across the border in Canada, the health care cost is negligible. ... Jim Stanford, an economist with the Canadian Auto Workers union, said employers who could operate in either country save $4 per hour per worker by choosing Canada. "That's a reasonably significant differential. . . . It's one of the reasons Canada's auto industry has done a lot better," he said. In a joint letter circulated in Canada in November 2002, officials from Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler said "the public health system significantly reduces total labour costs...compared to the cost of equivalent private health insurance services purchased by U.S.-based automakers." High health care costs have "created a competitive gap that's driving investment decisions away from the U.S.," Ford Vice Chairman Allan Gilmour said in a speech at a recent auto industry conference. "If we cannot get our arms around this issue as a nation, our manufacturing base and many of our other businesses are in danger," he said, according to a transcript of the speech.

  • Knight Ridder Washington Bureau: Bush administration ordered Medicare plan cost estimates withheld. Excerpt: The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush administration cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan. When the House of Representatives passed the controversial benefit by five votes last November, the White House was embracing an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that it would cost $395 billion in the first 10 years. But for months the administration's own analysts in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had concluded repeatedly that the drug benefit could cost upward of $100 billion more than that. Withholding the higher cost projections was important because the White House was facing a revolt from 13 conservative House Republicans who'd vowed to vote against the Medicare drug bill if it cost more than $400 billion. Rep. Sue Myrick of North Carolina, one of the 13 Republicans, said she was "very upset" when she learned of the higher estimate.

  • New York Times commentary by Paul Krugman: No More Excuses on Jobs. Excerpt: In short, things aren't as bad as they seem; they're worse. But should we blame the Bush administration? Yes — because it refuses to learn from experience. Franklin Roosevelt, in his efforts to combat economic woes, was famously willing to try anything until he found something that worked. George Bush, by contrast, seems determined to try the same thing, over and over again. In 2001 the administration rammed through long-term tax cuts, heavily tilted toward the affluent. But employment didn't turn around, and by late 2002 many economists — including supporters of the original tax cut — were urging it to try something different. My own piece, "My Economic Plan," was fairly typical: I called for extended unemployment benefits, temporary aid to state and local governments, and rebates for low- and middle-income workers. Maybe this more or less textbook response to a depressed economy wouldn't have worked. But we'll never know, because the administration rejected all such proposals. Instead, it went for a clone of the 2001 tax cut — another big break mainly for those at the top. And once again this failed to deliver the promised jobs. Meanwhile, Mr. Bush has mortgaged the nation's future. If all of his tax cuts are made permanent, they'll reduce revenue by at least three times the amount that would be needed to secure Social Security benefits at current levels for the next 75 years.
Coverage on H1-B and L1 Visa and Outsourcing Issues
  • Wall Street Journal: IBM Is Hiring In Calcutta, The City Says. Excerpt: Government officials here said International Business Machines Corp. has told them it plans to more than double its work force in this eastern Indian city to 4,000 people by the end of the year. The plans are an important indicator of IBM's outsourcing moves and show that Calcutta, part of a state with a communist government, is joining other locations in India as a promising destination for work currently done in the U.S. or other countries. ... The new hirings in India are part of IBM's aggressive expansion strategy, which seeks to take advantage of the country's plentiful and low-cost technical talent. Other global information-technology companies such as Bermuda-based Accenture Ltd. are charting a similar course in India. That company has said that by year end, it will increase its number of employees in India to 10,000 from 4,800. IBM's current staff of 1,800 in Calcutta mostly work for the company's huge global-services division, providing software-design-and-development work both for IBM and its clients around the world. The 4,700 jobs earlier slated to move overseas are part of IBM's application-management-services group, an arm of global services. ... Mr. Gautama said IBM soon will be the largest IT company in Calcutta -- now officially known as Kolkata -- in terms of staff, followed by India's Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

  • Wall Street Journal: U.S. Tax Code Provisions Encourage Offshore Jobs. Excerpt: As if U.S. workers didn't have enough going against them. Turns out there really are provisions in the tax code that seem to encourage sending jobs offshore. I have to admit not believing the claim when I first heard Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry shout about it. So I thought either Mr. Kerry has trumped this thing up -- in which case there's a good story -- or there's one very wacky part to the tax code -- in which case, there's a better story. Turns out Mr. Kerry is right. Even more compellingly, a couple of conservative economists I called agree with him. "The U.S. tax code definitely provides a strong incentive for sending jobs overseas," says Kevin Hassett, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
    • Computerworld: IBM denies report it will hire 2,200 in Calcutta. It called the report 'grossly exaggerated,' but does have expansion plans in India. Excerpt: Sensitive to allegations that it's moving U.S. jobs overseas to cut costs, IBM described as "grossly exaggerated" a report that it plans to recruit thousands of staffers in Calcutta, India. The company does plan to expand its operations in India, but recruitment there will be "modest," according to Fred McNeese, IBM's director of media relations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. While the practice of moving manufacturing jobs to low-cost countries is commonplace, "offshoring" has only recently begun to affect the technology industry. IBM, and its Global Services outsourcing arm in particular, has been the focus of concern in the U.S. that many skilled technology jobs are being moved overseas.

  • San Francisco Chronicle: Hot-button issue makes for lively debate along the campaign trail Federal, state lawmakers seek to regulate sending jobs overseas. Excerpt: "A lot of people who thought they were in jobs that were immune to outsourcing" have been affected, he said. "Now it's transcended the old constituencies of blue-collar labor (being the only group affected) and it's a big issue." The likely Democratic presidential nominee, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, derides "Benedict Arnold CEOs" who send job overseas, while North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who gave Kerry a good run and may be a vice presidential candidate, tells poignant stories of a father whose factory job was moved overseas. Kerry wants to close tax loopholes that ease the path to exporting jobs and create incentives for companies to hire at home. Both Democratic candidates favor re-examining the North American Free Trade Agreement, even though Kerry voted for it in the Senate. Even pro-free-trade Republicans are trying to distance themselves from offshoring.

  • BusinessWeek guest commentary by Paul Craig Roberts:(Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Treasury Secretary in the Reagan Administration and a former BusinessWeek columnist.) Where Are the Jobs? The Harsh Truth About Outsourcing. It's not a mutually beneficial trade practice -- it's outright labor arbitrage. Excerpt: This is what is wrong with today's debate about outsourcing and offshore production. It's not really about trade but about labor arbitrage. Companies producing for U.S. markets are substituting cheap labor for expensive U.S. labor. The U.S. loses jobs and also the capital and technology that move offshore to employ the cheaper foreign labor. Economists argue that this loss of capital does not result in unemployment but rather a reduction in wages. The remaining capital is spread more thinly among workers, while the foreign workers whose country gains the money become more productive and are better paid. Economists call this wrenching adjustment "short-run friction." But when the loss of jobs leaves people with less income but the same mortgages and debts, upward mobility collapses. Income distribution becomes more polarized, the tax base is lost, and the ability to maintain infrastructure, entitlements, and public commitments is reduced. Nor is this adjustment just short-run. The huge excess supplies of labor in India and China mean that American wages will fall a lot faster than Asian wages will rise for a long time.

  • Chart showing job growth forecastsNew York Times opinion by Paul Krugman: Promises, Promises. Excerpt: Despite a string of dismal employment reports, the administration insists that its economic program, which has relied entirely on tax cuts focused on the affluent, will produce big job gains any day now. Should we believe these promises? Each February, the Economic Report of the President forecasts nonfarm payroll employment — generally considered the best measure of job growth — for the next several years. The black line in the chart above (inspired by a joint report from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) shows the actual performance of employment, both before and after its peak in March 2001. The gray lines show the forecasts in the 2002, 2003 and 2004 reports.

  • Washington Post: Maybe We Could All Deliver Pizza... Excerpts: In the long run, though, the thing even execs should fear is this: What would happen if America's once-prosperous middle class, the sine qua non of a vibrant democracy, grew too strapped to purchase the goods and services that businesses produce? True, as workers in China, India and elsewhere move up the value-added chain, they should prop up global demand. But here at home, increasing income inequality could lead, as Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) warns, to a two-tier economy, with a small but ever wealthier coterie of capital holders and a sprawling proletariat. It's not inevitable, but worth worrying about. Even if the future plays out according to the economists' models, it might not be the type of society we want to live in. ... Moreover, forecasters such as Goldman Sachs project that several million more U.S. jobs may be offshored in the next several years, many of them the same higher-skilled infotech jobs that, just a few years ago, were hyped as appealing replacements for those grimy lost factory jobs. As Georgetown University economist Harry Holzer observed at an Urban Institute seminar last week, the U.S. economy hasn't suffered such a prolonged decline in payroll jobs since the 1930s Depression. More than 4 million workers, Holzer notes, have run through their unemployment benefits without finding jobs and, in the last 12 months, inflation-adjusted hourly wages have barely risen. There is a "fundamental change in the political calculus," noted Doug Usher, vice president of the Mellman Group, which polls for the Kerry campaign. "Economic growth has become decoupled from job growth."

  • Computerworld: Indian outsourcers tackle high-end IT. The pace of hiring for software development operations in India is frenetic. Excerpt: Outsourcing to India is being driven by CEOs and CIOs and now includes strategic development work -- unlike a year ago, when new clients typically came to India for staff augmentation or software maintenance work, said Sangita Singh, vice president of strategic marketing for the technologies division at Wipro Ltd., a Bangalore software services company. Wipro will have added approximately 12,000 employees for its outsourcing business by the time its fiscal year ends March 31, he said. Still, there are signs the country may be falling victim to its own success. Large multinational technology services companies such as Accenture Ltd., Electronic Data Systems Corp. and IBM Global Services are hiring people by the thousands in India and are being blamed for pushing up salaries. "By tapping the low-cost manpower in India, these companies will be better able to compete for business at the low end that has traditionally been the stronghold of the Indian outsourcing companies," said Ravindra Datar, an IT and BPO services analyst at Gartner India Research and Advisory Services Pvt. in Mumbai.

  • Wall Street Journal: Bush Seeks to Use Backlash on Jobs As Lever on India. Excerpt: The Bush administration hopes to use the American backlash against job outsourcing to press India into concessions in other trade disputes, but New Delhi is resisting. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick challenged Indian officials to lower trade barriers as a strategy to help defuse the U.S. jobs-protection debate raging in Congress and American state capitals. To keep U.S. markets open to India, New Delhi "has to open" its markets, he said.

  • CNN/Money:Exporting America: false choices. In none of the attacks on my position on outsourcing has a news organization addressed the facts. By Lou Dobbs. Excerpt: You may have noticed recently that I'm being attacked for my views on the exporting of American jobs and my calls for a balanced U.S. trade policy. Gerard Baker of the Financial Times called me the "high priest of demotic sensationalism." An editorial in the Economist magazine accused me of embarking "on a rabidly anti-trade editorial agenda" and "greeting every announcement of lost jobs as akin to a terrorist assault." ... Those quotes are from some of the most respected news organizations, and there have been dozens of other articles critical of my view that outsourcing American jobs is neither sound, smart, humane nor in the national interest. I will tell you it does make a fellow think when attacked so energetically and so personally. But in none of the attacks on my position on outsourcing has a single columnist or news organization seen fit to deal with the facts.
    • Number one: We're not creating jobs in the private sector, and that's never happened before in our history. Our economists and politicians need to be coming up with answers, not dogma.
    • Number two: We haven't had a trade surplus in this country in more than two decades, and our trade deficit continues to soar.
    • Number three: We've lost three million jobs in this country over the last three years, and millions more American jobs are at risk of being outsourced to cheap overseas labor markets.

  • MSNBC: Where the jobs will come from. Health care, education, food service likely to see strong growth They may not be among the highest paying professions, but cooks, waiters and waitresses will be in high demand during the next decade, according to a new government report.

  • "ibmmike2006" comments on Alan Greenspan's warning to avoid protectionist measures against outsourcing. Excerpt: Realizing that CEO's pay is 400 times greater than an entry level employee up from 40 times a decade ago. Wages from work has remained flat for three decades and actually gone down in purchasing power. There is an illusion that people are making more money, but in reality, they are working enough hours that two decades ago would be considered having two jobs. Can you understand why the masses have sat passively and watched the slow decay of their American Dream for the sake of the 13,000 rich families in the US that have more wealth than 40% of all US families? When you watch a basketball game, look at the crowd and realize that if each seat in the average NBA arena was filled with a member from those 13,000 families, there are 119,200,000 Americans outside the arena that have equivalent wealth. If there are 3.5 members in each family, That means there are 34,057,142 families in the US that have less wealth than those 13,000 families. 1 to 2,620 ratio. Now if you take the 400 Richest, like Gerstner, the numbers are off the chart. He is in the top 400 out of the 13,000 Richest family, a flagship example of how someone can become one of the richest in the US, a self made multi-millionaire not inventing anything, not creating anything except thru "creative accounting" with laws written to make "creative accounting" legal.....maybe.
Now on the Alliance@IBM Site:
  • Alliance@IBM Voting Members are eligible to apply for a scholarship from CWA, for themselves or a family member. Applications are now being accepted through March 31 for the Joe Beirne Foundation's annual scholarship offerings for the 2004-2005 school years. The Foundation's Board of Directors has approved the awarding of thirty (30) partial college scholarships of up to $3,000 each, and the winners also will receive second-year scholarships for the same amount, contingent upon satisfactory academic achievement.

    Eligible for the scholarships are CWA members and their spouses, children and grandchildren, including the dependents of retired, laid off or deceased members. Applicants must be high school graduates or high school students who will graduate during the year in which they apply. Undergraduate and graduate students returning to schooling may also apply. Applications will be accepted solely online by filling out and submitting an application form at the Foundation's website: http://cwa-union.org/members/beirne/index.asp

  • From the IBM Retirees' Page: Denver Post: AARP rival enters retiree-rights arena. Group says more active role in policy needed. Excerpt: A national organization made up of retirees, including many from Qwest Communications, wants to challenge AARP for supremacy in representing the elderly. The group, called the National Retiree Legislative Network, is 2 million strong and growing, and has a paid staff of five. But it has a long way to go to catch up to AARP, which has 35 million members. ... For years, he said, AARP has stood by and watched as companies cut back on medical benefits they promised to employees before they retired. "We would never have had to organize had the AARP been on the ball and doing their job," Norby said.

  • Think Twice for March/April 2004 [PDF]. Articles in this edition include:
    • Tech Worker Job Crisis Starts Hitting Home
    • 2004 IBM Stockholder Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island
    • Stockholder resolutions challenge IBM on Executive Compensation, Offshoring and Pensions.
    • Offshoring Legislation In The Different States
    • IBM ordered to repay workers put on cash-balance pension
    • Outsourced to IBM: Broken Promises Plague New Hires
    • Cuts in incentive plans called “underhanded” by employees
    • Cut by IBM:“Dead Man Walking”

  • Call to Action! Join the Rally to protest Offshoring at the IBM Shareholders' Meeting - April 27 in Providence, RI.
WashTech logoNow on the WashTech site:
  • Opinion: Educating the Outsourced -- Is it the Answer? Excerpt: The outsourcing rhetoric from corporate America has changed. It wasn’t so long ago that United States corporations did their best to hide outsourcing plans, or suggested that only the low-end jobs were being sent overseas. Now corporations are shipping all levels of high-tech jobs overseas, and they’re justifying it by saying there aren’t enough educated American workers. The corporate logic behind this argument is to shift the spotlight away from outsourcing as a cheap overseas labor force and put the burden on the U.S. work force to get educated: American high-tech workers weren’t cheap enough, and now they aren’t smart enough to compete. It’s a familiar argument, the same one used for increasing H1-B and L1 visas.
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have too much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
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