Here's what is new: Big Blue is expected to cut a total of 16,000 jobs this year, many of which are in the United States, according to the union. This comes at a time when IBM is thriving despite the downturn. A spokesman for IBM dismissed those claims by that group. He confirmed that IBM has taken various ''resource actions,'' but he said the company cannot comment on the size or specifics.
Defending Big Blue, the spokesman also made the following data points: 1) IBM is the largest hi-tech employer in the U.S.; 2) IBM has added jobs this year, including in the U.S.; 3) 60 percent of its workforce got raises; 4) IBM is not misleading the public and is transparent about its "resource actions"
IBM also discredits the union, saying that its information is false. "When the Alliance says 10,000, that can't be accurate. People have opportunities to look at jobs elsewhere" inside the company, the spokesman said.
IBM declined to elaborate on how many jobs are offered to axed workers. And to a degree, Big Blue still won't fess up to the size of the job cuts. This is when I believe that IBM has credibility issues. I'm not the only one. For some time, the union has charged that IBM is cutting and outsourcing U.S. jobs, while quietly hiring in India. As expected, IBM did not comment on the cuts in the most recent report. That article can be read here. ...
But as a result of the ongoing trends, I'll take our editorial a step further. In my opinion, IBM should not only fess up to the layoffs but it must stop misleading the public. Big Blue must address the charges about outsourcing U.S. jobs. It must also become more transparent about its activities in India.
Another issue: Over the years, IBM has received public funding to expand its fab and chip-packaging activities in New York state. However, in recent times, the company has reportedly cut jobs at the fab site in East Fishkill, N. Y. and been somewhat slow to expand the plant. Some believe that the signs point to a stunning event: IBM could go fabless one day.
Looking at what you've been told: 60% received raises, and that there are jobs available internally. Sixty percent receiving raises does not clearly state whether that's 60% of the US workforce of 60% of the worldwide US workforce. It certainly isn't 60% of the pre-2009 workforce, since raises are awarded in June. Of the folks I've talked with, virtually everyone who received raises received symbolic raises (roughly 1%). Apparently those raises only went to 2+ and 1 performers, and that should have been about 25% of the workforce.
There is no internal job movement. When folks are told they have 30 days, they find that the internal job bank is either empty or contains positions that are flagged "not for internal transfers." One manager said that she can tell when a layoff is coming because the internal job bank is closed up so that no one can move to a new job.
One of IBM's principles is supposed to be "Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships." I have a hard time reconciling symbolic raises and stealth layoffs (many small layoffs that are seemingly deliberately done in a way that prevents public scrutiny) with that principle. The statements IBM representatives have made have been technically true, but misleading. Raises, job availability, hiring. Every one of them true, but not true.
EPS is a bogus metric, but IBM is obsessed with it, presumably because a lot of bonuses within the company are tied to it. Real earnings growth is what matters, especially when you are talking about a company like IBM, whose share buyback programs are akin to a crack habit. Investors like to see revenue growth when they see profits because then they believe, rightly or wrongly, that the profits are not just a one-time belt-tightening that will come back and bite a company later on.
Anyway, with its filing to the SEC today, IBM is reiterating its guidance for $9.70 EPS for 2009, which is the newsy bit. The company is even doing the math for Wall Street, showing that in the first half of 2009, the company has posted $45bn in sales, down 12 per cent, but has raised gross profits by 2.1 points to 44.5 per cent. It has also ratcheted up net income by 6 per cent to $5.4bn, and has achieved $4.02 in EPS, up 11 percent. That leaves $5.68 in EPS to go for the second half.
Wall Street basically yawned, with IBM's shares wiggling around $118 a pop on the news. It is hard to get excited by revenue declines and financial engineering on Wall Street these days, I guess.
It’s the latest indication of internal strife at IBM, which employs about 6,000 people in Hampshire at its UK research base at Hursley and its UK headquarters in Portsmouth , over plans to close the final salary pension scheme and alter the terms of its early retirement plan.
As previously reported by the Daily Echo, the Unite union claims hundreds of angry IBM workers have been joining-up in readiness to fight the proposals which they say will have “a devastating effect” on future pensions. It calculates that people in their mid-50s could typically lose up to £200,000 as a result of the changes. ...
“IBM UK is in danger of using pension changes as a short term lever to improve the company’s profits, while undermining the future financial security of many employees in the process and turning many of their life plans upside down.” ...
“All trust has been lost with the company because they promised three years ago that the final salary scheme would be kept open until 2014. There are record revenues and earnings and the company is awash with cash. They’ve got billions but they want more billions. It is driven by greed.” Another worker said the row had seen even senior staff turn on each other.
“There is widespread anger and resentment even among low level managers towards senior managers. I have never known IBM’s management break ranks before.”
No doubt that this proposed change in the pension scheme is being driven by IBM top executives so that they be will be able to award themselves more $millions in bonus payments.
IBM top executives appear to have little interest in keeping IBM a long-term truly profitable and progressive company. Some of the current IBM top executives are here today and will be gone tomorrow. (Remember Lou Gerstner IBM CEO from 1993 to 2002. He was somewhat of a longer termer. He was appointed when IBM was an ailing company.
However, “upon his departure from IBM, Gerstner received a 10-year consultancy contract worth up to $2 million annually, plus expenses and full use of IBM facilities and services, such as office, cars, aircraft and financial planning. He is only required to work one month out of the year.” See http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Louis_V._Ge rstner,_Jr.).
It is likely that the current IBM UK top executives are in charge just for the short term and are being used as hatchet men. A shocking part of the pension scheme changes proposed is the alleged plan to increase the percentage per year that pension scheme members leaving IBM have deducted from their pension from 3% to 7%.
So for example: Today if a 55 year old leaves IBM UK they will lose 24% of their final salary pension. The proposals will mean that they will lose 56% of their final salary pension. IBM UK is being forced to downgrade the pension provision with a linked forced scheme to lay people off and ship their jobs to less costly job markets such as China and India.
The lay off of people will not be done by making people redundant as that will cost IBM UK in redundancy payments. It is being done by the means of artificial quotas being forced on managers to downgrade their assessments of their employees’ job performance. IBM UK will then be able to claim that those employees do not perform satisfactorily and will sack them.
How would you like the Govt to close all forms of Redundancy payments for losing your job, or that companies can change your Pension terms as they like (which they can do now anyway) so that the situation is so bad you have no choice but to leave. Like being fired for doing a great job but as you're over 45 yrs old and you have carefully scrimped and saved for a pension you have to loose your job, or loose more of your pension if you retire early.
How would you like to be forced to leave your job when the company you work for is not only Very cash rich, but revenues are increasing year on year. So there is no excuse other than profit at cost of employee trust, loyalty, and total loss of faith while the company tries to sell the world as being a good corporate citizen and a socially responsible company.
Maybe this is why so many IBM employees are joining Unions. If this method of pension changes becomes the norm to increase profits (Financial crisis is a good reason to do this now) as HR executives watch what other companies do, then Redundancy payments are a thing of the past, replaced by making major punitive pension changes so you force your older and loyalty workforce out at no cost, other than eventual impact to the UK tax payer.
Remember the Consultation process also means nothing, any company can make changes, they are required by law to listen to employees, explain the changes yet still implement as they wish, their legal responsibility is to listen and explain, hear the employees views,wishes and desires. Then do what they want. This is the reality.
Four years ago, there was a pensions shake up in IBM. At the time the IBM UK director, made a promise to employees that the 'C plan' (final salary plan) was fully funded and safe until at least 2012. A few weeks ago, the company entered a legally required consultation phase, with a mind to closing the final salary plan. The consultation phase is legally required. However IBM are not required to pay any attention to the consultation, it's just a rubber stamping process.
The employee representatives taking part in the consultation are being denied access to independent legal advice and are not being told under what criteria IBM would decide to halt their plans to close the final salary pension scheme.
Personally, I would benefit from the closure of the final salary scheme. I am not in the scheme, my pension would see an uplift as a result of the closure. However, I am wholly opposed to the proposal. I regard this proposal as a total betrayal of IBM's staff by senior management. It goes completely against the ethics upon which IBM was built. My views are echoed by every single member of staff I speak to.
IBM may plead poverty, but that is not the case. I cannot disclose figures, but the company is healthy financially. Let's just say that we were rumoured to be in talks to purchase the computer company "Sun" recently (Suns yearly revenue is about $13billion). Had we gone ahead with the purchase, it is said that we would still have $6 billion of cash in the bank. That's enough to buy a cheeseburger for every person on the planet (but not fries too!). Morale in IBM UK is at an all time low. I predict that as soon as the job market improves, there will be a mass exodus of talent from IBM.
I was once proud to be an IBMer, now all I feel is shame. Thomas Watson, IBM's founder must be spinning in his grave."
Hitting that sweet spot - keeping people employed in good jobs - is a goal of the vanguard companies I describe in my new book, SuperCorp. Companies such as Procter & Gamble, IBM, and others are trying to create innovation and profits through values and principles that enable them to have a positive social impact. They are thinking their way out of twentieth-century assumptions (e.g., that a job must be performed in a facility at specific times and assigned by a boss who observes performance) to create twenty-first century dynamic workplaces.
The Super-corporations want to be employers of choice. Their leaders prefer not to talk about insecurity but instead invoke flexibility. That semantic distinction might be scorned by the uneasily employed, but it conveys a new reality that can have positive as well as negative consequences.
As a result of IBM's settlement of the 2006 overtime lawsuit, I was saddled with a 15% pay cut in early 2008 because my duties were deemed as being consistent with those of a nonexempt factory worker (no offense intended). I now have 26 years with the company.... in order to "make up" the difference in salary I work overtime. Sure, I worked overtime before, but now I have to work even more to compensate for any vacation that I take, plus the fact that I have to accumulate as much extra savings as I can in order to compensate for everything that is based on "BASE" salary... such as retirement, or if I ever want to qualify for a loan....... Plus, at the end of the year when the 4Q results are coming up, overtime gets frozen so I have to work extra NOW to compensate for that...
And don't even TALK to me about IBM's supposed education plans. In my experience, I can spend my own money and my own time on furthering my skills but IBM has *ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST* in me having those skills.... If I don't already have the EXPERIENCE in these skills they will not even TALK to me if I want to be considered for a position that would actually USE these skills.
I am just fed up with all these journalists that see the magical IBM acronym and interpret it as being the GOD of the corporate sector. Why don't they come and spend some time talking to the *REAL* IBM. Come and talk with the employees that do the real work... and talk to us about what it means to be constantly in fear of your manager contacting you via instant message "Can we talk?" Chances are, the topic of that conversation is going to be the next resource action... ummmm, FIRING...
Some of you may ask me why I stay with this god forsaken company.... well, I'd like to last long enough collect some of that retirement that I've earned.... Oh, wait.... they took that away too.....
She has received 23 honorary doctoral degrees, as well as numerous leadership awards and prizes for her books and articles; for example, her book The Change Masters was named one of the most influential business books of the 20th century (Financial Times). Through Goodmeasure Inc., the consulting group she co-founded, she has partnered with IBM on applying her leadership tools from business to other sectors; she is a Senior Advisor for IBM's Global Citizenship portfolio.
She advises CEOs of large and small companies, has served on numerous business and non-profit boards and national or regional commissions including the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors, and speaks widely, often sharing the platform with Presidents, Prime Ministers, and CEOs at national and international events, such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Before joining the Harvard Business School faculty, she held tenured professorships at Yale University and Brandeis University and was a Fellow at Harvard Law School, simultaneously holding a Guggenheim Fellowship.
All of which makes it particularly disappointing that so little attention was paid this week to a report by a panel convened by the Aspen Institute on the "short-termism" that has now become hard-wired into the culture of Wall Street and corporate America. ...
Their complaint is that the focus on short-term financial performance by investors, money managers and corporate executives has systematically robbed the economy of the patient capital it needs to produce sustained and vigorous economic growth. And while their recommendations may not be as sexy as a cap on Wall Street bonuses or a ban on high-frequency trading, they get to the root cause of the financial crisis in ways that other reform proposals have not...
The roots of this short-termism go back to the 1980s, with the advent of hostile takeovers mounted by activist investors. This newly competitive "market for corporate control" promised to reinvigorate corporate America by replacing entrenched, mediocre managers with those who could boost profits and share prices. In theory, the focus was on increasing shareholder value; in practice, it turned out to mean delivering quarterly results that predictably rose by double digits to satisfy increasingly demanding institutional investors. Executives who delivered on those expectations were rewarded with increasingly generous pay-for-performance schemes. ...
It is all well and good to vow that compensation schemes will be changed so that executives and money managers sink or swim with their investors, but there is a limit to how far those incentives can be aligned. While these new and improved financial markets promise greater efficiency and liquidity -- except, of course, when they don't -- it's now clear that the benefits of all that efficiency and liquidity are captured largely by the Wall Street middlemen rather than their customers, or the economy as a whole.
The more fundamental problem, as the Aspen panel reminds us, is that the components of modern finance -- the securities, the trading and investment strategies, the financing techniques, the technology, the fee structures and the culture in which they operate -- are all designed to work together to maximize short-term results. And, in such a self-reinforcing system, it is very difficult to change any one feature without changing all the rest.
If you are using the Retirement Income Planner, available via NetBenefits for IBM, be aware that this tool has a default setting that sees your pension as income that will grow year to year. It assumes a cost of living adjustment for your pension unless you reset the value of the field to NO. As we know, the IBM pension does not have a cost of living adjustment.
For people using this tool independently, this is an important field to change. But even those who use the tool with a MoneySmart Coach need to check to make ensure that the field has been updated from the default value. An employee who was working with a MoneySmart Coach had the coach set up the tool. The employee challenged the very positive numbers that the tool was generating 2 or 3 times but the Coach did not catch his error and neither did the employee. Fortunately that coach went to another job and the employee started working with a new coach who found the error.
Check screen 3. Income, for the question: Adjust Income to future dollars? The default is yes and the current value being used is 2.3%. You can also check the "Income and Expense details" table in the tools report. The pension value should remain constant through the years.
Note: While the heading is Fidelity NetBenefits for IBM, the tool is not customized for IBM. It is used by Fidelity for other companies as well.
Another tip: If the tool gives you an Action Plan to purchase International Stock, be aware that it does not recognize these funds from our 401k plan as international investments: "Intl Stock Mkt Idx", "Pacific Stock Idx", "European Stock Idx". You may already have appropriate international stock in your portfolio.
And, we also harbored the same disappointments as those not in management as we saw a deterioration of what IBM had stood for in prior years.
As layoffs began and my organization (I was back in a staff role at the time) was hit not once, but twice, and then a third time, I related to relatives/friends outside of IBM and colleagues inside that I felt like one of the little yellow plastic ducks circling around in a water trough at a town's annual carnival as those who paid their dollar lined up BB guns to shoot me. I never did get hit ... came close but survived. Did my dedication to IBM falter then? Sure did. It was plum scary to be in my 50s and think that I could wind up on the street.
"Hewlett-Packard, when it took over Electronic Data Systems, announced it was going to lay off about 24,000 workers as part of the restructuring plan. That work is not going to disappear. At least half of those jobs will end up in low-cost countries somewhere. They'll be basically offshored."
IBM has gone from a 6,000 headcount in 2003 in India to, they won't say exactly how many, but estimates are more than 90,000. That's a 16-fold increase in six years.
People say these are kind of the lower-wage, lower-level jobs within IBM, within EDS. But that's not true, either. There are a number of R&D centers that are being opened up in India and China. Boeing just recently announced an R&D center opening in Bangalore (India). Google has a facility in Bangalore. Microsoft has cutting-edge basic research being done in China. The offshoring of R&D and innovation is clearly happening. Clearly, high-skill, high-wage jobs are moving offshore.
This wasn’t always the case. Once upon a time, defined benefit pensions were the norm and helped employers gracefully ease more employees into retirement during downturns (potentially by sweetening the pension deal a little). It was not until 1978 that Congress first set up 401(k)’s — private, tax-favored savings vehicles intended to supplement traditional pensions. Over time, as companies decided to shake off some of the risk associated with supporting their retirees, the defined contribution pension system grew to largely replace the defined benefit system. ...
Unfortunately for workers, having control over their own pensions doesn’t always end up so well. A recent study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that at the end of 2007, about a quarter of Americans ages 56 to 64 had 90 percent of their 401(k) account balances in stocks, instead of more conservative investments. (It seems English-speaking countries in general like to invest their private retirement savings in the stock market more than their non-English-speaking industrialized peers.) High administrative and investment fees can also erode privately managed retirement benefits.
8/24/2009 7:00 PM CIO Colleague,
The organization has recently undertaken a Talent Study; a clean-sheet approach to look at the talents, skills and competencies needed and to identify the best options to move the organization forward with an enhanced talent model for the future. Our goal is to continue building a world-class BT/IT organization. The Talent Study links directly to the learning plan for the organization so that we know where we must provide development activities to close gaps and build employees' competencies and skills.
Career growth and development are IBM priorities and IBM has made significant investments in tools and resources that provide you personalized career guidance and learning recommendations. When you understand your skill and development needs, it provides an environment where you and your manager can work together to identify development activities to help you grow in your career. This includes updating your skills profile in the Expertise Assessment (EA) tool. You can begin your EA update starting August 31 and should plan to complete it by September 25 .
Complete your skills assessment in order to: Take an active role in your career development; Get a clear view of the skills our organization believes you need to perform well in your current job; Have an in-depth discussion with your manager about your assessment; Identify your skill gaps and the learning offerings IBM has to help you close those gaps; and Use your assessment results to create or update your 2009 Individual Development Plan (IDP).
Even if there has been no change in your skill level, every employee is required to update the expertise assessment yearly. The tool will display the skills associated with the profession, job roles and skill sets you select allowing you to assess those skills. There are three steps to the assessment process: Review and edit your current profile to ensure that all the information is complete and accurate. This includes verifying your line of business, profession and job role(s) and selecting appropriate skill sets related to the job roles you selected. Assess all skills for the profession, job roles and skill sets you selected. Identify your current skill level for each skill. Assess the target levels for all your skills. Identify the desired skill level. The difference between the “current” and “desired” skill levels for any skills in your record might indicate gaps or areas for potential growth to be included in your IDP. Log on to Expertise Assessment using either Firefox or Internet Explorer as your browser. [Note: Firefox does not support hover text, so some help text might not be available. To ensure access to certain materials (i.e., User Guides) via links provided in EA, you will need a recent version of the Adobe Viewer.] Upon login: If you are prompted to Register as an employee,see steps 1 and 2 in the EA Quick Reference Card. You will be making these selections initially rather than reviewing and updating as noted in the Guide. If you are at the Expertise Assessment Home, follow the steps provided in the EA Quick Reference Card.
The Quick Reference Guide provides tips and suggestions to help ensure you complete the assessment correctly. Frequently Asked Questions, as well as additional information and links to reference materials, can be found on the Learning Community of the CIO wiki. Contact your manager if you have questions about the Expertise Assessment.By taking time to complete this process, you can open up new IBM career opportunities by enhancing your skill level based on your assessment. Thank you for making your career development an ongoing priority. Regards, Pat Toole Vice President and Chief Information Officer.
I rest my case. -InsideOut-
Even then, if we determine that we can easily shift your work to someone half as skilled who lives in a 'low labor cost' country such as India, China, Brazil, or Pakistan, then we will give you at least 30 days notice so you can begin making plans to work elsewhere -- and, rest assured, will offer you the same option (via Project Match) that we offered the IBMers 'resourced' during the past year to relocate to one of these other countries where you could, at local wages, once again become 'competitive' with others in the global market. Thank you for your loyalty at a time when you know you are not valued, and you know we are aggressively looking for ways to eliminate your U.S. based position."
I drafted the statement above as a suggested, no-holds-barred, brutally honest introduction to the 2010 Base Pay Planning Cycle for U.S based employees. I wrote this after having spent nearly 25 years with IBM, with over 10 years in management, and having been dumped in February 2009 just three months shy of my 25th anniversary -- as I found myself wondering how IBM managers would handle the "messaging" being delivered to employees during the upcoming base pay planning cycle.
In years past, IBM HR prepared "team" presentations for IBM managers' use in which workers were advised that IBM was focused on ensuring employees were paid competitively when compared with employees in similar jobs at other "like" companies. On the whole, prior to 2009, the "we focus on paying our employees competitively" statement rang true. Over the past two years, however, the focus has turned to ensuring IBM can compete in a "global marketplace", with the quick fix being a nearly insane focus on drastically and rapidly reducing the cost of labor (with quality taking a back seat, or having no seat, in the process).
As a benefit, IBM's profits (2008 was a record/banner year), IBM's stock price, and IBM senior executive compensation are all on the rise while "employee satisfaction" and "employee morale" are rapidly declining, are no longer valued, and are no longer even measured.
So I began to wonder what kind of "spin" IBM HR (and in turn, IBM managers) would be putting on the "competitive pay" story during the upcoming (early 2010) base pay planning cycle. If they were to be brutally honest, IBM HR would encourage U.S.-based managers to advise their teams that for some time now IBM has been (as stated specifically by Sam Palmisano) laser-focused on "moving work to where it can be done best," with "best" in this context meaning "at the lowest cost, regardless of quality." As such, the focus is no longer on ensuring U.S. based employees are being competitively paid, but on whether or not each employee is themselves "competitive" in a global marketplace. If they aren't, they will be quickly advised that their work has been "offshored," to the benefit of IBM, its stockholders, and the senior executive team. -Former IBM Manager-
Alliance Reply: Thank you for the brutally honest assessment from your perspective as a former manager. The lie that US IBMers skills are not competitive in the Global Market, is obviously, still alive and well. It is very sad that the current employees continue to be fired under those circumstances, without fighting back harder and at the very least, are not repeating the truth publicly, as much as IBM repeats the lie. We've always believed and still believe that there are a number of current IBMers that truly want speak up and organize. We will continue to be here as long as possible, to prove to IBMers with that spirit, that organizing and fighting back is the ONLY answer.
Someone must be telling these new, non-U.S. IBMers to "link up" with IBMers in the U.S. so they can enhance their LinkedIn profiles -- and to simply scan LinkedIn for any and all U.S. based IBMers and fire off an invitation. When I check I find that most of them have only one or two "connections", so I know they're just starting out and are apparently following someone's instructions to "build their network".
I am considering going back now to all of the invitations and using the "Report as Spam" link (I'm been holding off to be nice up to now) to see if I can get these people to stop trying to "connect" with IBMers they don't know just because they're U.S. based -- and especially stop sending invitations to someone like me who lost their job to workers in a "low cost-of-labor" country and really isn't interested in "connecting" with them. Are any of you also being bombarded with LinkedIn connection requests from IBMers you don't know who work in India, Brazil, and Pakistan? If so, what are your thoughts? -Former IBM Manager-
The drug industry, for example, struck a deal with the Obama administration and is now waging a major advertising campaign to help push the health care overhaul. But the drug makers also abhor one of its cost-cutting components: a government initiative to study the effectiveness of treatments that the companies fear could mean lower payments for certain drugs. So drug lobbyists have enlisted the help of Tony Coelho, a former Democratic congressman who cites his battle with epilepsy to make their case. ...
The American Medical Association, a pivotal player because of its credibility with patients and voters, has made the most sweeping endorsements of the administration’s efforts, restating its support in a letter released Wednesday before President Obama urged Congress to pass a bill this year. But the A.M.A.’s lobbyists are also working to extinguish the idea of a government-run insurer, which doctors fear could eventually push down their fees. The lobbyists are also using the organization’s support as leverage to persuade Democrats to roll back steep cuts in future Medicare payments to doctors (the House bills eliminate the cuts, and the A.M.A. is still at work on the Senate).
The industries have made some concessions to help slow the nation's health-care spending. But analysts say they may come out on top eventually -- gaining new, paying customers from a government-funded effort to expand coverage to the country's 46 million uninsured. "They all cut the deals that they wanted to cut, and they minimized their losses," says Robert Laszewski, a health-policy expert and former insurance-industry official.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin quoted Ronald Reagan from the 1961 album during the 2008 Vice-Presidential debate, "It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free."
“The Problem,” as described by Operation Coffeecup on the album's inside cover, was:
The legislative chips are down. In the next few months Americans will decide whether or not this nation wants socialized medicine . . . first for its older citizens, soon for all its citizens. The pivotal point in the campaign is a bill currently before Congress. The King bill (HR 4222), another Forand-type bill, is a proposal to finance medical care for all persons on Social Security over 65, regardless of financial need, through the social security tax mechanism. Proponents admit the bill is a “foot in the door” for socialized medicine. Its eventual effect—across-the-board, government medicine for everyone!
Many Americans still say major reforms to the system are needed, but the number has shrunk – from a majority down to 45 percent of the public – as details have been debated this summer. Still, many economists say doing nothing is a poor option. The trend line of the status quo is this: millions of Americans lacking coverage they would like to have, and a soaring healthcare tab in tax dollars and private spending. That rising cost burden will be borne chiefly by those now young, which may also explain part of the generational divide. It’s not clear that any legislation this year will do much to rein in the price of care, but it is clear that the current system has allowed runaway costs.
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
The Obama administration has proposed regulatory changes, but even their backers say they face a difficult road in Congress. For now, banks still sell and trade unregulated derivatives, despite their role in last fall’s chaos. Radical changes like pay caps or restrictions on bank size face overwhelming resistance. Even minor changes, like requiring banks to disclose more about the derivatives they own, are far from certain. ...
But even some senior Wall Street executives acknowledge the lack of change surprises them, given how poorly the industry performed last fall and the degree of government support necessary to keep it from collapsing. “There was a general feeling that an enormous amount of additional regulation should be put in place to prevent what happened that weekend from happening again,” said Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Services and the former chief investment strategist for Morgan Stanley and Pequot Capital. “So far, we haven’t seen a lot of action.”
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Sample posts follow:
We all have to play nice-nice with our GR (global resource) peers. and when your GR team lead sends notes to IBM US mgmt that they need MORE WORK from their US counterparts, IBM mgmt. rolls over and gives them more work. Reminds me of an old CCR song: Fortunate Son.
And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more. What a sad, pathetic, f'ng company.
What's more pathetic is how India is not held accountable since they are Sam's chosen ones and how anyone who reports problems with India are considered anti-team, racist and uncooperative.
The sacred cows over in India aren't cattle, they're the "office boys" pretending to be IT professionals working for IBM. What a sad, pathetic f'ng company indeed.
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