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Highlights—March 12 , 2005
- ThinkAndAsk.com: IBM Layoffs, Executive Reviews...
Everyday Life @ Big Blue. Excerpts: In the following four articles, you will read a insider's
view of working at IBM. The author, Jeffrey Allen Miller, dedicated nine years of his career in
a number of IBM roles -- webmaster, editor, executive communications manager, and e-commerce strategist
-- before the company's layoffs in 2004. Miller was not laid off for lack of or poor performance,
as his employee review records will show in pages ahead, in fact he was an exemplary employee and
received the maximum raises allowed during each of his nine years at IBM.
People, Salary, Benefits:
It is no easy task managing 323,000 employees. It could be said that IBM handles 97 percent
of employee issues well. That still could spell disaster for some 9,690 employees at any
given time. "It would have been helpful, going into IBM, had I known about the salary scale," Miller
writes. In this first (of four) essays, Miller suggest ways in which new hires should approach
accepting a position at IBM.
- ThinkAndAsk.com: IBM People,
Salary, Benefits. Excerpts: Discussing salaries as an IBM employee is grounds for dismissal,
(so is providing a resume reference.) It doesn't mean employees don't compare salaries over a
beer or by accident. In the summer of 1998, I was earning $53,000. While helping a college intern
with his time card online, I nearly fell over when he showed me his record quite innocently,
which showed the salary... $68,000, and he had not yet graduated from college. I held a master's
degree. Two years later, after I helped a friend secure a job at IBM, the mentioned starting
salary was in the high 60s, with a bachelor's degree, plus commission on successful team accounts.
At that time, my salary had finally met $60,000. When our offices where moving, I found an old
pay stub scattered with trash on the floor. I recognized the name of a former colleague.. I'd
worked with the employee two years earlier. This employee did not hold a master's degree, was
not a manager, and was earning $138,000 in 1997 while I pulled $71,000 in 2001. Doubtful the
employee's salary decreased... [...]
Copy Western Europe's quality of life (nice idea...) and unionize. IBM
US employees owe it to themselves to negotiate company direction through representation. I
should have joined Alliance@IBM if for no other reason than show of support for IBM employees.
Depending upon the job you hold at IBM, the hours required to pull your weight vary as widely
as political practices of individual employees. As my own responsibilities grew and branched
into a worldwide role, the number of hours required increased. I do not recall any single week
that I worked more than 80 hours. The average number of hours per week, I estimate, were between
55-70 on a regular basis. In 2003, I consistently worked 70-hour weeks or more and Saturday
became a normal work day. Overtime is not a part of IBM salaries. [...]
I worked at 590 Madison Ave, as well as three locations in Westchester County (NY.) In Europe, I
visited IBM offices in Berlin, Paris, and London; with the most frequent trips to a mobility
center east of Paris in St. Maur Cretiel. I can describe the comparisons in two simple sentences,
although these are not unlike comparing the culture at large between the USA and Europe.
590 Madison Ave, the building is packed on any given workday, as people keep to themselves,
heads down, never noticing anyone outside of his or her own world.
- In Paris, not only do
IBMers exchange eye contact, but they notice you and will introduce themselves to you.
- InfoWorld: Whatever happened
to yesterday's hot technologies? Ten new economy darlings that never quite lived up to their
hype. By Neil McAllister. Excerpt: Remember push technology?
Or virtual reality for the Web? Or Microsoft (Profile, Products, Articles) Bob? Some ideas
are probably better left consigned to history. And yet the roadside of the information
superhighway is littered with ideas that sounded promising but never quite made it to revolution
status before dropping off IT’s radar. Want examples? Look no further. InfoWorld proudly
presents a top 10 list of hits that might have been but never really were. But you never know;
if the right people are listening, some of these dreams might yet become reality.
- New York Times: The
By Paul Krugman. Excerpts: Today the Senate is expected to vote to limit debate on a bill that
toughens the existing bankruptcy law, probably ensuring the bill's passage. A solid bloc of Republican
senators, assisted by some Democrats, has already voted down a series of amendments that would
either have closed loopholes for the rich or provided protection for some poor and middle-class
families. The bankruptcy bill was written by and for credit card companies, and the industry's
political muscle is the reason it seems unstoppable.
A vast majority of personal bankruptcies in the United States are the
result of severe misfortune. One recent study found that more than half of bankruptcies are
the result of medical emergencies. The rest are overwhelmingly the result either of job loss
or of divorce. To the extent that there is significant abuse of the system, it's concentrated
among the wealthy - including corporate executives found guilty of misleading investors - who
can exploit loopholes in the law to protect their wealth, no matter how ill-gotten.
popular loophole is the creation of an "asset protection trust," which
is worth doing only for the wealthy. Senator Charles Schumer introduced an amendment that
would have limited the exemption on such trusts, but apparently it's O.K. to game the system
if you're rich: 54 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted against the Schumer amendment.
Other amendments were aimed at protecting families and individuals who have clearly been forced
into bankruptcy by events, or who would face extreme hardship in repaying debts. Ted Kennedy
introduced an exemption for cases of medical bankruptcy. Russ Feingold introduced an amendment
protecting the homes of the elderly. Dick Durbin asked for protection for armed services
members and veterans. All were rejected.
As Mr. Hacker and others have documented, over the past three decades the lives of ordinary Americans
have become steadily less secure, and their chances of plunging from the middle class into acute
poverty ever larger. Job stability has declined; spells of unemployment, when they happen, last
longer; fewer workers receive health insurance from their employers; fewer workers have guaranteed
pensions. Some of these changes are the result of a changing economy. But the underlying economic
trends have been reinforced by an ideologically driven effort to strip away the protections
the government used to provide. For example, long-term unemployment has become much more common,
but unemployment benefits expire sooner. Health insurance coverage is declining, but new initiatives
like health savings accounts (introduced in the 2003 Medicare bill), rather than discouraging
that trend, further undermine the incentives of employers to provide coverage. Above all, of
course, at a time when ever-fewer workers can count on pensions from their employers, the current
administration wants to phase out Social Security.
- Morningstar: IBM
CEO Gets $6.8 Million In Salary, Bonus For 2004. Excerpts:
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) said Monday that Chairman and Chief Executive Samuel
J. Palmisano received total pay of $8.8 million for 2004, up about 12% from the prior year. [...]
Palmisano's compensation included a $1.66 million salary and $5.2 million bonus, down slightly
from 2003's combined salary and bonus of $6.95 million. But the chief executive's 2004 total
pay figure - which excludes the value of option grants - was boosted by a $1.7 million incentive
payout based on IBM's financial results from 2002 to 2004. His long-term incentive payout for
2003 was $769,095, according to the proxy.
- Washington Post: Tax,
Spending Cuts Packaged. Congressional Panels Offer Budget Blueprints Today. By Shailagh
Murray and Jonathan Weisman. Excerpts: The House and Senate Budget committees will unveil fiscal
blueprints today that pave the way for additional tax reductions while seeking billions in
spending cuts that target Medicaid, farm assistance, major weapons systems and just about every
other domestic program. Offsetting tax breaks mostly for the affluent with spending cuts that
could hurt the poor could be politically risky, particularly in the Senate, where moderate
Republicans have already warned that the juxtaposition may be untenable.
- Washington Post: "For
Older Workers, Bonuses Cut Both Ways". By Abigail Trafford.
Excerpts: Randy Chambers, 61, of Worthington, Ohio, remembers the day he told his supervisor
at Home Depot that he was taking a trip with his wife in a few weeks and would not be at work.
"I don't know if I can let you go or not," replied his supervisor, a man in his
twenties. "No, you don't understand," said Chambers, "I'm not going to be here." The
kid gave him an odd look, but very quickly his leave was approved. A year later, the same thing
happened with the next supervisor, a young woman. Chambers told her that he and his wife were
going to St. Louis.
"I'll have to get that cleared," she said.
So he said it again: "I'm just telling you I'm not going to be here."
- Computerworld: EDS
pushing massive IT retraining effort.
Company plans to retrain 20,000 IT workers this year. Excerpts: Electronic Data Systems Corp.
has embarked on a mammoth retraining program aimed at providing 20,000 of its 87,000 technical
workers with updated business and technology skills by the end of this year.
- Los Angeles Times: Greenspan's
Warning on Deficit Ignores His Role in Its Growth.
Excerpt: Is he kidding?
That's the only possible reaction to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan's conclusion
last week that the massive federal budget deficit accumulated under President Bush was "unsustainable." Declared
Greenspan: "The principle that I think is involved here … [is] that you cannot
continuously introduce legislation which tends to expand the budget deficit."
That would be an entirely reasonable — even urgent — warning from someone who
didn't bear so much responsibility for the problem he's describing. Greenspan lamenting higher
deficits is like New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner complaining about inflated baseball
Let's recap. When Bush was elected, the nation had enjoyed three consecutive
years of federal budget surpluses under President Clinton. The Congressional Budget Office
projected that the government was on track to amass surpluses large enough to pay off the publicly
held national debt by 2008. That would make the nation debt free for the first time since the
presidency of Andrew Jackson.
Greenspan had reliably supported this fiscal discipline under Clinton. But after Bush's election,
Greenspan bent to the prevailing wind. Within days of Bush's inauguration, he gave his seigniorial
blessing to tax cuts in testimony before the Senate Budget Committee. [...]
As Bruce Bartlett, a leading conservative economist, wrote at the time: "With
Greenspan's support … the last substantive barrier to tax reduction has evaporated." And
Congress, with Greenspan's critical reassurance, passed the largest of Bush's massive tax cuts
Greenspan built his argument for tax cuts in 2001 largely on his concern that the projected
surpluses would be too large, allowing the government not only to extinguish the debt but
also to accumulate financial assets, such as stocks and bonds.
- MarketWatch: Use
it or lose it. Unclaimed flex-account money goes back to employer. Excerpt: If you miss the
deadline, consider it a bonus for your boss. After March 31 any wages you stashed away tax-free
last year in a medical- or dependent-care expense account go back to your employer. While the
deadline varies by firm, many large companies allow 90 days after the end of the year to file
And, as long as the firm doesn't give the money directly back to the worker who deducted it,
it can spend it, including divvying it up equally among all employees.
But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.
"The majority are not doing any prorated bonuses to employees," said Royce Charney,
president of Trust Administrators, an Oakland, Calif.-based benefits administrator.
- 401(k) Help Center: Making
the Transition: A Pre-Retirement Checklist. Excerpt:
Although many recent retirees report that they are living the lifestyle that they had hoped in
retirement, over half look back on the years before leaving the workplace and wish they had done
more to prepare, according to a study by Fidelity Investments. Here is a checklist prepared
by Fidelity Investments that should help those approaching retirement.
- ZD-Net: Feds approve IBM
PC Co. move to Beijing as an era in computer and business history draws to a close. Excerpt:
Not to be outdone by Apple who, in 1980, had installed a lab of Apple IIs on the second floor
of the University of Miami's business school where I was an undergrad at the time, IBM ended
up with "equal play" with a lab of 20 first-generation
PCs next door. It was only available to grad students but I snuck in one day and walked around
the the lab touching the machines as though I was appreciating the works of art one might find
in a Porsche showroom. These were nothing like the Apples next door -- the ones I had been working
with for the last six months. I remember begging -- no, pleading -- with the powers to be to
let me have access to the lab. "Give me a job as a lab attendant, whatever, I'll do anything," I
remember saying. It worked. They paid me $5.00 per hour to watch over 20 systems that rarely
got used by anyone.
Each system had a 4.77 Mhz 8088 processor, 16 KB of memory, one single-sided
5 1/4-inch floppy diskette drive, a green screen, and a keyboard that produced a very noticeable
click with each key depression. To do anything with one of these beasts (for example, run Wordstar,
Visicalc, or dBase II), meant engaging in a never-ending swapfest with the diskettes. Can you imagine
begging to get access to that?! But, compared to what I was used to -- handing an operator a stack
of a few hundred punch cards and waiting an hour to get a ten-pound printout only to learn that
I left a parenthesis out of a picture statement in the working storage section of my COBOL program
-- being able to get instant feedback from the system after coding up some dBase routine was a
dream come true. I was able write and debug far more useful programs in far less time. Visicalc
was liberating. It was the experience in that lab -- with the first IBM PC -- that set me on the
course to where I am today.
- New York Times: Microsoft
Acquires PC Pioneer's Company.
By John Markoff. Excerpt: Ray Ozzie, whose popular Lotus Notes software helped demonstrate the
power of office PC networks in the early 1990's, has gone to work for the PC software king, Bill
Gates of Microsoft.
Mr. Ozzie's company, Groove Networks, develops software intended to permit simple collaboration
by workers using desktop or portable computers, whether they are in the same office or connected
via the Internet. [...] Mr. Ozzie, 49, and Mr. Gates, also 49, define a generation of software
developers who exploited the power of the I.B.M. personal computer and saw immense business growth based
on the industry that the machine fostered.
Mr. Ozzie said he remembered the first time he and Mr. Gates met, when he visited Microsoft in 1981
while Microsoft was preparing its MS-DOS operating system for the soon-to-be-announced I.B.M. PC.
The two men discussed how to take advantage of the specific features in the I.B.M. computer, Mr. Ozzie
|Vault Message Board Posts
|Coverage on H1-B and L1 Visa and Off-Shoring Issues
- Computerworld: The
H-1B Equation. Salary data shows split with wages of U.S. workers. By Patrick Thibodeau. Excerpt: Next
week, the U.S. government will begin accepting H-1B applications from companies that
want to take advantage of an increase in the fiscal 2005 visa cap to hire foreign workers
who have advanced degrees from U.S. universities. Up to 20,000 new H-1B visa slots are
becoming available. Opponents of the cap increase say the graduates being hired will
take jobs from U.S. workers, including IT staffers. Supporters argue that foreign workers
are important to the country's economic health. At the core of the debate lies a question
that's likely to re-emerge as the application process begins again: Do H-1B visa holders
help or hurt the U.S. workforce? A Computerworld analysis of wage data from approximately
290,000 H-1B applications filed with the U.S. Department of Labor shows that H-1B salaries
declined across the board between the 2001 and 2003 federal fiscal years in a number
of IT job categories. They include programming, systems analysis, networking, end-user
support and quality assurance (see interactive database tool). The wage decline mirrored
what was happening to the pay of U.S. IT workers—at least until 2003, when the salary
trends diverged, according to research firm Foote Partners LLC.
- Q&A: Author
of Dude, Did I Steal Your Job? sounds off.
N. Sivakumar says the H-1B visa program is sometimes abused. Excerpt: Sivakumar's book,
Dude, Did I Steal Your Job? Debugging Indian Computer Programmers, is an engaging and
challenging account of the author's experience as an H-1B worker in the U.S. The book
takes on the controversial employment of foreign workers through the visa program and lays
out a case for its use. In an interview with Computerworld, Sivakumar addressed some of
- ThinkAndAsk.com: IBM
Outsourcing -- Destination India. Excerpts: On
24 June 2004, presidential challenger John Kerry said that the United States "is
losing its technological edge under President [George W] Bush's leadership, with the
disappearance of 800,000 high-tech jobs," and that the US has fallen to 10th place
in use of broadband technology. When one thinks of technology leadership, the first company
that comes to mind is International Business Machines (IBM). However, IBM CEO Samuel
Palmisano, and former CEO Louis V Gerstner have both given cash donations to Bush's 2004
re-election campaign. IBM continues to outsource professional jobs, now a common practice
with technology firms despite growing criticism at home. IBM has not disclosed how many
professional jobs the company has shipped to India. At IBM's annual shareholders meeting
in Providence, RI, in April 2004, a handful of shareholders expressed discontent with
IBM's labor practices. [...]
In practice, IBM plans to increase headcount outside the USA in the
year ahead. In India companies pay $20 per hour for a job that costs them $100 per hour
in the States. The practice of reducing labor costs, on corporate balance sheets, looks
super to investors. In June 2004, IBM purchased Daksh eServices for $170 million, and
plans to absorb 6,000 Daksh employees to expand IBM's India-based workforce -- already
9,000 strong. Daksh is the third largest outsourcing firm in India. What happens to "well
or girl in the USA who loses his/her job to an Indian in Bangalore? How will your voice
sound over the loud speaker announcing Wal-Mart's daily specials? Your $35 per hour
IT job is now an $8.42 per hour job with the USA's largest employer, always the lowest
price, always. [...]
How serious is IBM about retaining talent? Palmisano claims IBM set
aside $25 million in retraining investment dollars, however the funding was not yet approved
at the time of April's shareholder's meeting. Is IBM serious about its internal retraining
program? It depends upon whom you ask. Randy (Randall) MacDonald, senior vice president
of human relations for IBM, says IBM acts on behalf of its employees to not only retain
talent but to retrain those employees who may face layoff due to the poor economy. If
you currently work at IBM and face layoff, be sure to visit MacDonald in Armonk and ask
him for assistance. On 15 March 2004, MacDonald, 56, blasted the Wall Street Journal in an opinion
Retrains Employees To Find Work World-Wide," expressing his surprise that the Wall Street
Journal did not discuss IBM's industry-leading retraining initiatives.
Think & Ask sent
MacDonald a formal letter (not an e-mail) inquiring what he meant, and asked MacDonald
how an exemplary employee could be laid off when IBM claims they "retrain" as
opposed to "layoff." MacDonald did not respond.
"We are determined to give IBM employees every opportunity to be retrained in skills
that will be valuable inside and outside IBM. It's inefficient and undesirable to part
with members of the IBM community when we can train them, in many cases, for the new jobs of the
future," MacDonald wrote in the Journal.
MacDonald claims that IBM is hiring worldwide and in the US (unlike many other companies,
he said) and IBM is working hard to retrain existing workers to keep them in the industry...
even while IBM hires for emerging jobs of the new century.
If there was an award for the best corporate "snowjob," MacDonald would need one
- Forbes: IT
Competitiveness. Singapore Surpasses U.S. As Top Tech Nation. Excerpt: Singapore has displaced the United
States as the top economy in information technology competitiveness, according to the
World Economic Forum's latest annual Global Information Technology Report released today.
The U.S. drops from first to fifth in the rankings, which measures the propensity
for countries to exploit the opportunities offered by information and communications
Iceland, Finland and Denmark occupy positions two, three and four out of 104 countries
surveyed, with Iceland achieving the most improvement among the top countries, moving
up from tenth last year.
India and China significantly improved their positions climbing to numbers 39 and
45, compared to 45 and 51 in 2003, respectively.
|Coverage on Social Security Privatization
- New York Times: Who
Wins in a New Social Security? By Eduardo Porter. Excerpts: Social Security may have done more to help the poor than any
other government program in American history. Established in 1935 with the explicit objective
of protecting the elderly from poverty, it has relied on a heavily skewed benefit formula
that pays lower-income workers a higher share of their wages than those at the top of
the earnings ladder. The results? According to government figures, old-age poverty has
dropped from about 50 percent in the 1930's to around 10 percent today. Most of the credit goes
to Social Security.
- AARP: Problems
Encountered with Private Accounts in the United Kingdom. Excerpt:
Since 1987, the United Kingdom (UK) has allowed employees to voluntarily withdraw from
part of social security by reducing their contributions and receiving reduced benefits. Instead,
employees contribute to an individual account. This Fact Sheet outlines problems the
UK has experienced with this system of voluntary carve-out accounts (VCOs).
- Yahoo! News: Senator
to Propose Raising Retirement Age. By Nedra Pickler. Excerpts: A leading
Republican senator is proposing to raise the Social Security retirement
age from 67 to 68, while Democrats maintain their opposition to the president's plan
to overhaul the retirement program with private investment accounts.
- Whitehouse.org: Strengthening
Social Security (satire). Excerpt: No
matter what lies those soldier-hating, homo-worshipping wrinkle-Nazis at the AARP may
spout, Social Security is in trouble – careening wildly down an ice-slicked toboggan
chute towards certain violent annihilation against a jagged concrete wall of convincingly
simulated reality. Fortunately, decades of study by Americas's most brilliant conservative
economists/banking executives have devised four ultra-viable CURES to the impending retirement
apocalypse. Please review these options below, and VOTE FOR YOUR PREFERENCE!
- New York Times: At
Heart of Social Security Debate, a Misunderstanding.
By David E. Rosenbaum. Excerpts: Social Security is not an insurance policy in which workers
pay premiums to cover their own benefits. Instead, each generation of workers pays taxes
to finance the retirement checks of the previous generation, and there is nothing to
prevent Congress from changing the size of benefits, as it has many times over the years.
All tax receipts go into the same pot in the Treasury and are spent at the discretion
of Congress; for years, excess Social Security taxes have been used to pay for other
programs. The government has made promises to retirees it cannot keep without raising
taxes, imposing deep cuts in other programs or borrowing loads of money; but raising
taxes, cutting spending or borrowing to meet Social Security promises is no different
from doing so to pay for troops or prescription drugs under Medicare or any other government
- Los Angeles Times: GOP
Senator to Pitch Plan for Social Security. Excerpt:
We're still in the early phase of educating the public about why there needs to be change," White
House counselor Dan Bartlett said on "Fox News Sunday." "Once that is
cemented, then members of Congress will feel the pressure that they need to do something."
Appearing on CNN's "Late Edition," Bartlett said some Democrats were "spending
more of their time ruling things out as opposed to coming forward with their own solutions."
- Washington Post: The
Right Questions on Social Security. A Democrat's Practical, Compassionate Plan. By Ruth Marcus. Excerpts: Every once in a
while, in a debate as dominated by partisanship and dogma as the current slugfest over
Social Security, you run into someone whose views seem informed instead by facts and fundamental
principles. One such person came to The Post the other day in the slightly rumpled form
of Bob Pozen, who arrived without the usual ideological baggage or the entourage that trails
your average corporate titan.
- Los Angeles Times: Bush
Tries to Ease Seniors Fears. The president
makes two stops in the South to push his Social Security overhaul. One critic calls the
well-screened events a 'political carnival.' Excerpts: President Bush sought to assure
seniors Thursday that their Social Security benefits were safe, part of an effort to
stem growing opposition among older Americans to his plans to overhaul the retirement
"I don't care what the TV ads say. I don't care what the pamphlets say," Bush
said during a visit to Auburn University's Montgomery campus. "If you are retired
or near retirement, the government will pay you what we said we'd pay you."
As Bush travels the nation using campaign-style tactics to try to build
support for private accounts, dissent is rare at his appearances. Last week, the administration
announced that the president and top officials would visit at least 60 cities in 60 days
in an effort to overcome public and congressional apprehension.
Access to the president's events is controlled to ensure that the audiences will be friendly
to his cause. Attendance is by invitation only, and tickets are dispensed by Republican
lawmakers, state party organizations, business associations and conservative advocacy groups.
The White House insists that presidential security, not stagecraft, is the motive for restricting
access. "That's one of the main reasons these are ticketed events," said White House
spokesman Trent Duffy.
Bush's critics think politics may be a bigger factor."The president is engaging in political carnival," said Tom Matzzie, Washington
director of MoveOn.org, an advocacy group that opposes Bush's initiative. "He's not holding
town hall meetings to talk with America. He's holding staged campaign events to create
the media perception he wants to create."
- New York Times: Putting
Last Things First. Excerpts: This week, there was more evidence that the world
has begun edging away from the dollar. International data showed that several more
nations who have been big customers for American debt - including China and India -
have diversified their portfolios away from the American greenback. To us, that sounds
like a serious threat to the long-term soundness of the national currency. But the
Bush administration hasn't come close to addressing any of the economic fundamentals
that have helped spawn the dollar's decline (the budget deficit comes to mind). Instead,
the White House has been busy lobbying for new tax cuts that will make the situation
We had hoped, when Mr. Bush was re-elected, that he'd rethink his goals
once the next campaign was no longer an issue. There are so many critical problems facing the
nation. But the president seems determined to ignore the biggest challenges and to home in
on politically charged side issues. Medicare faces a perilous future, given growing health
costs and the aging of the baby boomer population, and anything approaching a resolution would
require hard bipartisan work. But the White House instead decided to make privatizing Social
Security its chief priority. Social Security's long-term problems are relatively minor compared
with Medicare's, and the fixes are pretty obvious.
- The Century Foundation: False
Promise: How Social Security Privatization Would Sting Young Adults [PDF]. Excerpt: Advocates of
Social Security privatization often argue that young adults would be better off when
they retire if they could divert a portion of their Social Security payroll tax to private
investment accounts. Indeed, polls show that the majority of Americans under age thirty
do not think Social Security will be available to them when they retire, and many of
them are receptive to the idea of private accounts. But analysis of the privatization
proposals put forward by the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security
shows that today’s
young people would receive much lower guaranteed benefits with private accounts than
they would under the current system. In addition, they would bear the burden of the trillions
of dollars in additional federal debt that would be required to finance the new accounts
while paying benefits to current Social Security recipients.
Today’s young adults have been barraged by statements from many
politicians, advocates, and journalists proclaiming that Social Security is unsustainable, even
though that simply is not true. A December 2004 Washington Post/ABC News poll underscored this
lack of faith: 88 percent of respondents age eighteen to thirty and 77 percent of those aged
thirty-one to forty-four did not think that there would be enough money in the Social Security
system to pay benefits when they retired (see Figure 2).
on the Alliance@IBM Site:
- Poughkeepsie Journal: IBM
retirees to discuss benefits. By Craig Wolf. Excerpt: A
meeting on issues facing IBM retirees, including rising medical costs, is planned Saturday
in Poughkeepsie, Sandy Anderson, president of Benefits Restoration, said.
The session will be in ''town meeting'' format, with presentations to start and then
questions and discussion until no later than 2 p.m.
Art Richter, New York regional director for the group, and Anderson will speak. Benefits
Restoration seeks to restore retiree medical benefits back to levels the group asserts
were promised by IBM.
For decades, IBM offered full medical insurance coverage to retirees who qualified,
but downsized those benefits in recent years.
- ZDNet Australia: Lenovo
offers to hit IBM employees mid-March.
By Renai LeMay. Excerpt: Around 10,000 workers in IBM's PC division can expect to get letters
of offer from Lenovo in the next two weeks, with remuneration and benefits comparable
to what they're currently on. [...] Jones also said that the company had conducted internal
surveys regarding the big move, and "something like 98 percent of employees are
excited about their future at Lenovo". A spokesperson for IBM told ZDNet Australia
back in December that there were around 180 employees in Australia and 10 in New Zealand
that were expected to make the transition to the Chinese company.
- Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC): IBM
Employees Sending Mixed Signals in New Vault Employee Surveys. Excerpts: IBM (NYSE:
IBM) employees are sending mixed signals about the company's future, New York research
firm Vault has found in new employee surveys on the hardware giant. The survey results,
published today, can be accessed on Vault.com. Says a sales manager, "Stodgy, slow
moving, lacking innovation in sales and marketing Not entrepreneurial. Very metrics-focused.
Good at client management, some products are innovative (but) too much management, too
much measuring and not enough doing."
For survey results, visit: http://www.vault.com/go/to.jsp?place=33077.
A former consultant adds: "Highly bureaucratic. Pockets of brilliance
and pockets of dead wood. Slow moving, decisions take forever to be made. Limits the growth
of resources, however executives are acquired through acquisitions. (IBM) will remain stable
as being so diversified; slowness in one part of business is covered by growth in another. As
a consulting organization, IBM will always be low-end in spite of the PWC merger. PWC was in
a mess when IBM acquired it, partners apparently short-changed the consultants. Expect lot of
consulting resources that are sharp will leave or have already left."
A Colorado-based manager writes, "IBM enjoys a strong, long-term
growth potential. Even though distributed service growth has declined in recent years,
it continues to sign new, long-term contracts. Many competitors cannot compete because
they do not offer a diverse, end-to-end technical solution. They are either too small,
narrow in scope or inclined to be marketing-driven."
- Yahoo! News: Why
Women Leave I.T. Excerpt: Women represent nearly half
the workers in the U.S. -- 46.6 percent. However, they always have been underrepresented
in I.T. Even more discouraging is the fact that the percentage of women working in I.T.
jobs is not growing but dropping. That is bad news indeed for employers seeking hard-to-find
technical candidates and the women who might otherwise fill those well-paying jobs.