Tech leaders have long championed the idea of using H-1B visas as way to bring the best and brightest to work permanently in the United States. Former Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has repeatedly told Congress, "It's doesn't make sense to keep the smart people out." Carly Fiorina, an adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, current Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, recently said, "It is in our economic interest to have really smart people wanting to come here. And so what’s wrong with the H-1B visa system today, among other things, is that we curtail that program so tightly that the limits that Congress allows for H-1B visa entrance are usually filled within one week. So we have to find a more practical system for allowing smart, hardworking people to come into this country, and it should be our goal to get them to stay here forever."
Hira, though, comes to a different conclusion after his study of H-1B and L-1 visa holders. "[Some companies are] using the H-1B and L-1 visa programs for purely temporary purposes, and their share of the H-1B and L-1 visa numbers is large and increasing" Hira writes in his analysis. "This paper [shows] that growing shares of employers never plan to sponsor H-1B and L-1 visas for permanent residence." He adds, "In fact, as this paper [shows], most of the top users of both the H-1B and L-1 visa programs sponsor very few, if any, of their workers for permanent residence."
The amount over 6.5% of your Taxable Income is deductible. Your retirement pay will be about 1/4 of your current pay, so your premiums will definitely exceed that. By that time hopefully some insurance reform will have taken place and any amount over 8-10% of the taxable amount, used for insurance needs, will become a CREDIT and not just a DEDUCTION.
Under current FHA, the costs are ridiculous and getting worse each year. The lowest cost plan is only about $150/month less than the more expensive plans. If you go to the doctors a lot, the cheaper premium plans end up costing you a lot more. ($3500 deductible and lower drug coverage on the cheaper plan = more out of pocket, if you use the plan a lot).
I have been lucky the last several years to have IBM managers that were from the good ole days. I have been able to be very open with them and they have been open with me. On our last department meeting, he was as straight with us as a manager could be with a department facing some big changes. After the call, he and I talked one on one about what was coming. He did not have all of the details on when at that time. But what was probably going to happen he was pretty sure of. He has about 30 PMs under him. Monday, if things happen as it looks like they could, most of them including me will be RA'ed.
Also, the manager he reports to has also set him up to be RA'ed with us. He was talking with the other managers in his group and by the ratings, only one of them will probably be left and that manager will probably be assigned the PMs that are left from the other managers that were also RA'ed. When he found out the date for sure he said he would send me a cryptic Sametime as it may be monitored. He sent it yesterday that said Monday was the day.
So, as soon as I hear more on Monday, I will post to this site. For everyone that is ready to get out of this place, like me, I say good luck. But if you got a 2 or 3 PBC (or if you got a 2+ but had a 2 as your prior PBC rating), do should not need any luck this time. For those that want to stay, good luck, you can have it. For those that have to stay, sorry I hope you can find something else to enable you to get out. Life and family is not worth this place. -sTILL dUCKING-
Now, as I understand it, the Tea Party movement is angry about waste, bail-outs for the rich and spiraling debt. They detest big government. But if waste and debt are really what’s bothering them, how about the waste in the more than 1,800 daily health-care related personal bankruptcies, the 25 to 30 percent of some corporate insurers’ costs going on administration (versus 6 percent for Medicare), the sky-rocketing health premiums that are undermining U.S. corporations (and so taking jobs), the endless paperwork of private reimbursement procedures, and the needless deaths?
Americans don’t want a European nanny state — fine! But, as a lawyer friend, Manuel Wally, put it to me, “When it comes to health it makes sense to involve government, which is accountable to the people, rather than corporations, which are accountable to shareholders.”
All the fear-mongering talk of “nationalizing” 17 percent of the economy is nonsense. Government, through Medicare and Medicaid, is already administering almost half of American health care and doing so with less waste than the private sector. Per capita Medicare costs for common benefits grew 4.9 percent between 1998 and 2008, against 7.1 percent for private insurers. Why not offer Medicare as a choice — a choice — to everyone? Aren’t Republicans about choice?
The public option, not dead, would amount to recognition of shared interest in each other’s health and of the need to use America’s . energies and resources better. It would involve 300 million people linking arms. Or we can turn away from each other and, like Narcissus, perish in the contemplation of our own reflections.
Real terror is seen in the thousands of letters sent to the White House and Congress by people whose lives have been shattered or threatened by the behavior of the health insurance corporations. Wellpoint, which made $2.7 billion in fourth quarter profits in 2009, tried to raise its Anthem/Blue Cross premiums 39% in California. Wellpoint made its profits by NOT giving health care. It treated 2.2million fewer people. It found a way NOT to treat people who needed treatment, either by refusing to insure them, or dropping them as clients, or denying authorizations. If you are sick or injured and that happens to you, you face terror -- very real terror. That's when "health maintenance organizations" (HMOs) become health terror organizations. ...
It is time to return to the moral fundamentals. Health security is deeply patriotic -- perhaps our most important form of security. Health means life. Health means freedom. Everyone can understand that.
Astonishingly, the health insurance industry is exempt from federal antitrust laws, which is why a handful of insurers have become so dominant in their markets that their customers simply have nowhere else to go. But that protection could soon end: President Obama on Tuesday announced his support of a House bill that would repeal health insurers’ antitrust exemption, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled that she would put it toward an immediate vote. ...
Health insurers like Anthem claim they have to raise rates (as well as co-payments and deductibles) because of the economic downturn. Employers are reducing coverage and cutting payrolls. As a result, more people are buying individual policies, but they tend to be older and sicker. Younger and healthier Americans are simply going without insurance, and thus not subsidizing their costlier fellow policy-holders. This can’t be the whole story, because big health insurers are making boatloads of money. America’s five largest health insurers made a total profit of $12.2 billion last year; that was 56 percent higher than in 2008, according to a report from Health Care for America Now. ...
More than 90 percent of insurance markets in more than 300 metropolitan areas are “highly concentrated,” as defined by the Federal Trade Commission, according to the American Medical Association. A 2008 survey by the Government Accountability Office found the five largest providers of small group insurance controlled 75 percent or more of the market in 34 states, and 90 percent or more in 23 of those states, a significant increase in concentration since the G.A.O.’s 2002 survey.
Wait, that’s not all, The Insurance Giants also booted 2.7 million Americans out of their health plans last year, leaving these older and sicker customers in the corporate dust. Then, in a slick, hidden-ball play, three of the five Giants shifted more of their customers’ premiums out of providing medical care, instead siphoning more of that money into corporate profits, executive salaries, and administrative overhead. I’m telling you, these guys can play!
Check out the spectacular “Hail Mary” pass heaved by Anthem Blue Cross, a California subsidiary of Wellpoint. Even though Wellpoint is rolling in a 91 percent increase in profits, its Anthem unit suddenly streaked toward the goal line, shocking its unsuspecting customers with a demand for a 39 percent increase in their premiums this year. This rate hike is 10 times more than the rise in the actual cost of health care. What a move!
Still, it won’t be easy for the upstart Insurance Giants to out-ugly the more sophisticated Wall Street Barons. But the great thing about the corporate league is that competition to be the number one national greedhead is always fierce – and insurance is definitely in the running.
In recent weeks, we’ve mentioned the press corps’ failure to examine a ubiquitous GOP claim — a claim asserting the merits of letting consumers buy health insurance “across state lines.” On the various cable “news” channels, voters hear this proposal advanced again and again and again.
...The voters deserve to hear this explained. We have never seen this explained on cable, although we’ve endlessly heard the proposal. And we still haven’t seen this matter explained in a simple, “explainer” news report. For the most part, our big news orgs simply don’t explain things. In all candor, they rarely seem to know what sorts of claims are being made in the wider discourse
We’ll offer one further suggestion for any newspaper which might want to do an explainer piece — a piece which might be called, “Buying across state lines for [us] dummies.” On cable, Republicans and conservatives often draw a comparison between health insurance, which can’t be sold “across state liners,” and car insurance, which apparently can. Since voters constantly hear that refrain, an “explainer” piece ought to address it. ...
The basic problem with this proposal, of course, is pretty simple. If you allow health insurance policies to be sold across state lines, states would start competing for insurance industry business by writing ever friendlier regulations. Eventually some small state will win this contest with an absurdly lax regulatory regime, and every insurance company in America will set up shop there. Essentially, the entire country would be forced to accept whatever pro-industry rules that, say, Wyoming decides to write for the rest of us. Do the citizens of all the other states really want to cede that power to Wyoming?
As for car insurance, if you want to sell auto policies in California, you have to abide by California laws. Ditto for the other 49 states, regardless of where your company is actually located. So the comparison is bogus. Every state does have its own auto insurance regulations, just as they do in the health insurance arena.
One of the great virtues of the Democratic plan is that it would finally put an end to this unacceptable case of American exceptionalism. But what’s the Republican answer? Mr. Alexander was strangely inarticulate on the matter, saying only that “House Republicans have some ideas about how my friend in Tullahoma can continue to afford insurance for his wife who has had breast cancer.” He offered no clue about what those ideas might be.
In reality, House Republicans don’t have anything to offer to Americans with troubled medical histories. On the contrary, their big idea — allowing unrestricted competition across state lines — would lead to a race to the bottom. The states with the weakest regulations — for example, those that allow insurance companies to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence — would set the standards for the nation as a whole. The result would be to afflict the afflicted, to make the lives of Americans with pre-existing conditions even harder.
Don’t take my word for it. Look at the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the House G.O.P. plan. That analysis is discreetly worded, with the budget office declaring somewhat obscurely that while the number of uninsured Americans wouldn’t change much, “the pool of people without health insurance would end up being less healthy, on average, than under current law.” But here’s the translation: While some people would gain insurance, the people losing insurance would be those who need it most. Under the Republican plan, the American health care system would become even more brutal than it is now.
"We just can't afford this," said Eric Cantor, the fresh-faced House minority whip from Virginia, while John Boehner, the House Republican leader, called it "a new entitlement program that will bankrupt our country." What they were referring to, of course, was the $125 billion a year that Obama and his Democratic allies propose to spend in subsidies so tens of millions of low-income households can afford to buy health insurance and handle the co-payments. But if paying for those subsidies means raising taxes on high-income households with lots of investment profits, or capping a tax break for people with extravagant health insurance, or charging a modest fee on medical device makers that refuse to moderate future price increases, then Republicans are agin' it. ...
Judging from Thursday's discussion, Republicans have much more sympathy for those who can afford to buy health insurance but are denied because of a preexisting medical condition. They oppose Democratic efforts to end this industry practice directly through regulation, preferring instead to refer those customers to special high-risk insurance pools where they would be guaranteed to find coverage. In some versions of the high-risk pool, the cost of a policy would be so high that households with average incomes would have to set aside a third or even half of their income to pay for it. It takes a Republican to view this as a solution -- the equivalent of giving a starving man a coupon for $2 off his next dinner at Le Bernardin.
Or perhaps Republicans imagine high-risk pools that are subsidized sufficiently enough that the insurance policies are actually affordable. Unfortunately, the only way to finance such subsidies is through some sort of tax or fee, mostly one imposed on every insurance policy sold outside the high-risk pool. It's a fine idea but one that turns out to be the actuarial equivalent of what Democrats proposed in requiring that insurers charge pretty much the same premiums for everyone, with only modest variations based on age and health condition. ...
Then there's the issue of what minimal level of benefits a basic health insurance package should offer. Republicans, of course, used Thursday's forum to denounce the idea that such decisions should be made by Washington bureaucrats and politicians. But as my Washington Post colleague Ezra Klein points out, Republicans apparently would have no problem if those standards were to be set by bureaucrats and politicians in Nebraska, or North Dakota or whatever Republican state decided to offer itself up as the regulatory haven from which insurers could sell their policies nationwide.
"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.
But there has always been a political problem with this agenda. Voters may say that they oppose big government, but the programs that actually dominate federal spending — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — are very popular. So how can the public be persuaded to accept large spending cuts? The conservative answer, which evolved in the late 1970s, would be dubbed “starving the beast” during the Reagan years. The idea — propounded by many members of the conservative intelligentsia, from Alan Greenspan to Irving Kristol — was basically that sympathetic politicians should engage in a game of bait and switch. Rather than proposing unpopular spending cuts, Republicans would push through popular tax cuts, with the deliberate intention of worsening the government’s fiscal position. Spending cuts could then be sold as a necessity rather than a choice, the only way to eliminate an unsustainable budget deficit.
The average taxable bonus in 2009 increased to $124,850, compared to $112,000 in 2008, Mr. DiNapoli said. Total average compensation at the largest investment banks, like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., was up by 31%, while overall average compensation increased 27% to more than $340,000.
Republicans, meanwhile, are soliciting Wall Street for donations with the argument that Democratic proposals would hurt the bottom lines of major financial institutions. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters this month that he was urging Wall Street executives to "help our team" oppose the "bizarre policies" coming out of the Obama administration. One senior Republican staff member on Capitol Hill, who discussed contributions on the condition of anonymity, said: "Democrats in Washington are clearly trying to move legislation that would be very damaging to that industry. It was almost like there was a free ride time. But now they're starting to see the real negative impact of Democratic proposals."
We need to fundamentally change the way Wall Street does business so that it invests in the job-creating productive economy, instead of the casino-style gambling that led to the largest taxpayer bailout in history. Financial institutions that are "too-big-to-fail" need to be broken up. Big banks that received a taxpayer bailout need to increase lending to small businesses. And we need to establish a national usury law to stop lenders from ripping off the middle class by charging outrageously high interest rates. ...
Making these difficult challenges even harder is the reality that we now face record-breaking deficits as a result of the Bush administration's refusal to pay for two wars, tax breaks for millionaires, an expensive prescription drug program and the Wall Street bailout. As we begin changing our national priorities and investing in the needs of the middle class and our kids, it is imperative that we move toward a more progressive form of taxation and take a very hard look at the waste that exists in every agency of government.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney promised top brokers like Mr. Curtis 75% of certain fees and commissions generated in 2008 as part of the pay plan agreed to by both companies as a way of enticing top brokers to stick around after the merger. A team of brokers led by Mr. Curtis has brought in more than $15 million in annual fees and commissions in recent years, these people say. ...
The retention awards and similar signing bonuses for brokers exceed $10 million in some cases across Wall Street, people familiar with the matter say. At most firms, the highest producers with retention deals also get smaller payments later on that are based on future or past asset growth or revenue. The retention payments are in addition to $3 million to $5 million that top-dog brokers earn yearly through fees and commissions.
Wait – here comes a bank hugger! He's John Boehner, the Republican leader of the U.S. House. And there's Texas senator John Cornyn, the Republican's chief senatorial fundraiser, offering his soft shoulder for the Wall Street crowd to cry on. Yes, the entire Republican leadership of Congress is clucking and cooing at the Wall Streeters who crashed America's economy, offering unconditional love to them.
Well, there is one little condition: money. The party has been wining and dining the beleaguered bankers for months, pointing out that Republicans are the ones who've been trying to prevent Democrats from cracking down on Wall Street's greed. We are your true friends and your best hope to fend off the populist demands to curb those multimillion-dollar banker bonuses, say GOP leaders. In return for being the bankers' buddies, the Republicans are merely asking for a little love in return – in the form of bigger campaign contributions from Wall Street's giants.
Sen. Cornyn says that he's been visiting lower Manhattan about twice a month to collect love offerings from the reviled bankers, and Boehner recently had drinks at a Capitol Hill watering hole with the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, offering banker love in exchange for more banker cash.
Aren't these same Republicans also trying to take over the tea bag movement? I wonder if those anti-establishment mad-as-hellers have heard that Boehner, Cornyn, & Company are making their bed with Wall Street greedheads, not with the good folks on Main Street.
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.
This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.