The state is offering IBM more than $28 million in tax incentives to come to Missouri. The technology services delivery center will be the company's third new U.S. site in the past 18 months. The others are in Lansing, Mich., and Dubuque, Iowa.
Economic incentives for the IBM deal offered by state, city and county governments total more than $30 million. Officials with Regional Economic Development Inc. and Mayor Bob McDavid responded to residents’ concerns by saying that the state’s offer of tax credits is directly related to the number of jobs IBM creates. “We’re getting a good agreement that protects the citizens of Columbia very well,” McDavid said. “We’re getting a company that’s not going to go away. It’s got a worldwide presence.” ...
In last night’s public hearing, First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz and a handful of residents quizzed local economic development officials about the reliability of financial impact estimates, how IBM’s job creation process will be monitored and verified and whether there are strings attached to the economic incentives. Sturtz also pointed out that IBM has been cutting jobs in the United States and shifting them to other countries. “It doesn’t seem to me like job creation,” he said. “It seems like job shifting.”
IBM reduced its effective tax rate by 9 percentage points in 2009 because it was able to defer U.S. taxes on money earned in lower-tax countries, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The value of its research tax credits wasn’t specified. IBM, in a June 2008 policy document, said it has been “unable to derive meaningful benefit” from the research credit for “many years.” ...
IBM and the business groups are protesting eight provisions in the bill projected to raise about $14.5 billion by making it harder for U.S.-based companies to claim credits for taxes they pay to other governments. The tax credits are intended to prevent double taxation and can only be claimed when those foreign profits are repatriated to the U.S. U.S. lawmakers, including House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin, a Michigan Democrat, say companies are using a variety of techniques to reduce their U.S. tax bills without ever bringing their profits to the country. Some “have used techniques to maximize the amount of money they leave overseas at the same time they’re claiming” the foreign tax credit “to avoid U.S. taxes on other income sources,” Levin told reporters on a conference call today. He called the technique a “manipulation of the tax code” that is “tilting the playing field in favor of investment overseas.”
Then in April, a story appeared in Personnel Today that quoted Tim Ringo, head of IBM Human Capital Management, as saying that IBM could - notice the word could - reduce its workforce to 100,000 by 2017 by firing 300,000 of its workers and then rehiring them as independent contractors using a crowdsourcing strategy. Under this approach, IBM would hire only to staff specific projects as necessary.
"There would be no buildings costs, no pensions and no healthcare costs, making huge savings," Mr. Ringo was quoted as saying. In the article, Mr. Ringo "stressed the firm was only considering the move, and was not about to cut 299,000 jobs, as staff would be re-hired as contractors." ...
Update and Correction at IBM's request: In my original blog post, I stated that one could reasonably assume that IBM had likely considered crowdsourcing internally, and that IBM was actively suggesting the idea to its clients as part of its consulting practice. Mr. Doug Shelton, Director, IBM Corporate Media Relations, sent an email today - Monday, the 10th of May - taking issues with these statements, stating that they were "misleading and inaccurate." Mr. Shelton said that, "Categorically IBM is not considering a 'crowd sourcing' plan." With that clarification unequivocally on the record, I apologize to IBM for reaching these inaccurate conclusions.
Still, I wonder how soon it will be before the US Congress holds a hearing on IT employee "crowdsourcing" and calls high technology companies - including IBM - as witnesses to see how seriously they are considering implementing the idea. IBM says it isn't - but have or are others considering it for more than start-up ventures? The idea is no doubt attractive to some high tech (and other) companies and its time may be at hand. Who would have thought five years ago that the airlines would start charging for carry-on luggage either? And as for other witnesses, I would suggest it be the US Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Congress might ask Secretary Duncan to explain exactly how such a move by high-tech companies to fire and then rehire their employees as contractors would encourage more US students to take up computer science and engineering as a profession.
The company I've worked for the last 17 years, once part of a fortune 100 high-tech company and touted as one of the 50 best companies to work for in the US for a number of years, was spun off as an IPO (so a handful of rich folks could get richer), then after a few years was sold to group of investment bankers (so a different handful of rich folks could get richer) and has been a privately held company ever since. These investment bankers have no future vision for the company other bleeding us dry
Ours benefits have been steadily and methodically curtailed employee benefits - elimination of our pension plan, suspension of matching 401K contributions, and shifting a higher proportion of health/dental care costs to the employees. They've cut-back office cleaning and janitorial services (employees are collecting and hauling the office trash). Other than printer paper and printer consumables, no office supplies of any kind have been provided for several years (how pathetic is that?).
The company only just "upgraded" to MS Office 2007 on our 4-6 year old computers and if we need our computer repaired, we have to personally drive it across town to another facility to have it repaired.
Our internal R&D organization, once one of the best in the world, was gutted. Our new owners have instead chosen instead to sell our hard earned technology and manufacturing IP to the highest bidder and to pay competitors and off-shore companies to do our future R&D for us (how does that make our company competitive?). All this has been done in the name of cost-saving measures to increase profit margins.
Our company hasn't been hiring new employees when needed for the past several years so work loads, and as a result work hours, have become oppressive while salaries have remained flat or been reduced. I suppose we could quit our jobs, but where do we go to find jobs for which we are trained and experienced that pay as well and don't abuse their employees like this? The middle-class and American Dream are both well on their way to extinction. Indentured servitude and work houses appear to be our grandchildren's future.
Mr Lang commented “It is reported that other well-known employers in the oil, manufacturing, IT and service industries are also considering downsizing their permanent employee base, but this could be to the detriment of staff retention and morale and could have serious implications for quality of work. This is part of an increasing trend for employers to look towards taking on atypical workers rather than employees in order to avoid the high costs associated with employment. Employers need to be aware of the potential pitfalls. For example a contract with a “self employed” contractor will be scrutinised by an Employment Tribunal to determine if it is a sham that obscures the true nature of the relationship. If the contractor is required to carry out the work personally and is subject to a degree of control exercised by the organisation and there is an obligation on the organisation to provide work and on the individual to accept that work then it is likely that the contractor will be regarded as an employee by an Employment Tribunal and will therefore have employment rights notwithstanding what any contract says.”
Kurland, who was sentenced today to 27 months in prison, and Moffat are among 21 people charged since October in two waves of insider-trading arrests. Among them are Galleon co- founder Raj Rajaratnam, who is charged with using confidential tips to earn millions of dollars on illegal stock trades, and Chiesi, whom Kurland supervised at New York-based New Castle. Both Chiesi and Rajaratnam deny wrongdoing. Moffat, who also isn’t cooperating with prosecutors, will seek a sentence of probation, said his lawyer, Kerry Lawrence. ...
At IBM, the world’s largest computer-services company, Moffat oversaw the personal-computer business and helped sell that unit. Before his arrest, he was among the candidates to succeed Sam Palmisano as chief executive officer, according to people familiar with IBM’s thinking.
Many social aspects of online communication – from emoticons and slang acronyms such as LOL to flame wars – originated or were popularized on Usenet.
How long would it take to equal S. J. Palmisano's total compensation for 2009? A Nobel prize winner would have to work until 2024 A.D. An average university president would have to work until 2070 A.D. The President of the United States would have to work until 2070 A.D. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney would have to work until 2099 A.D. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would have to work until 2139 A.D. An average worker would have to work until 2768 A.D. A minimum-wage earner would have to work until 3622 A.D. Now you know your worth... -IchBinMuede-
I had a couple of senior VPs as well as some other very well placed people try for me and then tell me they could not help me, but no one said to give up (wish they had). I did have a few interviews, and a very supportive 1st line who really did try to crash down doors trying to keep me in IBM, and the hiring mgrs even said they wanted me, but as soon as they tried, I got back from them a polite "there is another candidate that..." but I could tell by their words that it was because I had the scarlet letter(s) on me. (not to mention they told me I was by far their top candidate.)
In two cases, the job req I was applying for mysteriously disappeared as soon as they tried to bring me on board. In hindsight, it was a waste of time and emotional turmoil, but if it happened to me today, I don't know if I'd do anything different, as that is the kind of person I am - go down fighting. But the reality is (and I've seen a number of colleagues "get it" after me - all with the same results) that out of every 1000 people in a RA, I'd estimate 3 get other jobs in IBM. Cruddy odds. To those of you still in IBM, I have only one piece of advice. Organize or get your resumes and LinkedIn profiles squared away. And if you do get that wonderful RA, just accept it and move on that day if you can. -RAed Jan 09-
"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.
“Poor people and middle-income people are paying too much to support the state and rich people aren't paying enough,” Gates Sr. said in an interview yesterday in Seattle. “That's the starting point for me.”
The proposed tax on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and couples earning more than $400,000 would raise $1 billion a year to fund education and health care. While targeting the highest earners, the measure would ease the burden on homeowners with a 20 percent reduction in state property taxes and eliminate the business-and-occupation tax for 80 percent of enterprises in the state, backers say. ...
People in the bottom fifth of the state's tax brackets pay 16 percent of their income toward state and local taxes, while those in the top 1 percent pay only 2.5 percent, he said. “It's just not fair,” he said.
This involves the low, low, low, extremely-low interest rates set by bankers who control America's monetary policy through the Federal Reserve System. In a point-blank giveaway, big banks have been allowed to keep borrowing billions of dollars from the Fed, paying interest rates of a mere one-half of one percent. But that's not the half of this flim flam. Having gotten these public funds practically for free, the banks can instantly, with a click of their computers, lend the money right back to the government at an interest rate of three percent or more.
Yes, this means they are handed a 2.5-percent profit for doing nothing! They take public money from the Fed, immediately zip it over to the treasury department, collect their windfall profit, and brag about how "they" have restored profitability to America's banking system.
Anyone with the brainpower of a turnip and the gumption of a bank robber could make money doing this, but top executives at Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and others who are flipping federal funds for their own fun and profit are now hailing themselves as financial geniuses. Also, they're treating themselves like royalty – the $140 billion that Wall Street executives paid themselves last year is the highest on record.
These "geniuses" are mooches – their profits and their paychecks come from you. You might want to send a note to them, saying: "You're welcome."
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