WNYC reports that IBM has offered $250,000 for New York City to create the computer science-focused school, which is set to open next fall. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is throwing in $3 million. It will be the first high school in the U.S. to go through grade 14. No word on how students will be selected to attend, but we do know that they won't be academically pre-screened. ...
But IBM's school, unlike Microsoft and Facebook's, will effectively be a corporate training program. Students won't be forced to work at IBM after graduation, of course, but the company will have the opportunity to mold them in its image. Is being beholden to a giant corporation the price that inner city students now have to pay for a quality education?
"But IBM's school, unlike Microsoft and Facebook's, will effectively be a corporate training program. Students won't be forced to work at IBM after graduation, of course, but the company will have the opportunity to mold them in its image. Is being beholden to a giant corporation the price that inner city students now have to pay for a quality education?"
I bet this school will be the only way to get an entry level job in IBM in the USA in the not to distant future. Does IBM think it now takes SIX years of high school to educate a city dwelling American? Will grades 13 and 14 be junior college (associate level college) geared?
Thinking twice IBM is doing this to reinforce what it thinks and spews to the public that the USA education system is not as good as, say, China's and India's schools. If the USA education system is so bad according to IBM then most, if not all, the IBM USA corporate executives, as products of the USA education system, must be deficient as well. So why does IBM still have American educated executives in the inner circle of the IBM board of directors? All IBM CEO's have been American born and bred.
So now Sam can add another title for himself: high school superintendent and (maybe)associate college President. Randy now becomes dean of students. Which other corporate senior VP will be in charge of curriculum...?
Once the outsourcing begins, so do the firings, the cost overruns, and loss of expertise. So when Ron Bolin, the new West Virginia State Director of Information Services, a former IBM employee and lawyer specializing in IT outsourcing contracts, assembled 35 programmers to inquire, "What does everybody think about outsourcing?" they thought they were dead-men walking.
"You couldn't draw this picture any better if you used Crayolas," said Jennifer Ayers, an applications developer programmer who walked out of the meeting determined to fight. While other programmers were willing to "play-nice," she and a handful of programmers at the state of West Virginia, all non-union workers who once considered unions irrelevant, formed a team that day that would draw a line in the sand against a national trend. Twenty years in the making, this trend is played out over and over: Permanent top dollar, white-collar jobs convert to dead-end perma-temp jobs which eventually sail abroad.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) defended the bill as a "simple, common-sense" effort to "keep American jobs here in America" and to "stop forcing taxpayers in Nevada and across the nation to pay for giveaways that reward companies for sending American jobs overseas." ...
The bill under consideration Tuesday would have ended tax deductions for expenses incurred when companies shutter U.S. operations and shift the work abroad; imposed a new tax on products once made in the United States but now manufactured by foreign workers; and offered employers a two-year payroll tax holiday on jobs repatriated from overseas.
No fluke, this is a GOP pattern. The red party has consistently sided with giant corporations to the detriment of the American economy and American workers. In voting against health care reform, Republicans chose giant health insurance corporations over uninsured Americans. In opposing financial reform, Republicans embraced Wall Street over the taxpayers who bailed out the big banks and don’t want to do it again. Republicans vainly attempted to rationalize those votes as opposing government regulation. There’s no regulation issue in the Creating American Jobs and Ending Off-Shoring Act.
That Act would have removed tax incentives the U.S. government gives corporations to close domestic factories, fire American workers and move production overseas. And, conversely, the Act would have instituted tax cuts for corporations that return foreign employment to U.S. soil. ...
That can-do-it attitude is realistic. Already some manufacturers are on-shoring. General Electric is moving production of its energy-efficient water heaters from China to the United States. Caterpillar and NCR, a technology company, are doing the same. A survey in June found 21 percent of North American manufacturers brought production into or closer to the United States in the previous three months and another 38 percent planned to research such a move.
Manufacturers gave USA Today numerous reasons for this repatriation. Chinese wages and shipping costs have risen. They cited poor quality foreign manufactured goods; theft of intellectual property; long product delivery times interfering with response to consumer demand, and benefits from providing engineers easy access to assembly lines. ...
Democrats sought to nurture and expand the repatriation trend. But like numerous Make it in America bills passed by the U.S. House, the Creating American Jobs and Ending Off-Shoring Act died at the hands of Senate Republicans. Democrats had the majority with 53 votes for the measure, but Republicans, as they have all year, blocked passage by using a filibuster to require a super-majority of 60.
Today the Republicans stand with outsourcing jobs to other countries. The Republican Party has voted against every jobs Bill since President Obama took office, and Tea Party Folk blame the Democrats for the lack of jobs. Last week the Republicans took a stand on the Bush tax cuts saying that unless the tax cuts for the rich are extended, the tax cuts for the middle class and the poor will end. Republicans last year said that they planned on slowing the economic recovery for our country in order to campaign against a bad economy, well they have succeeded. The Republican “Party of No”, no jobs, no recovery, no health care, just say no.
Indian firms demonstrate a marked commitment to employee retention and development and that commitment forms part of “The India Way.” From studying how these firms operate, it is evident that Indian managers see that their companies are made up of their employees, so if the company is to develop and improve, employees need to develop, hence their focus on human resources and employee satisfaction.
American businesses tend to perceive employees as costs to be minimized. Indian businesses, on the other hand, perceive their employees as assets that can increase or decrease in value. The implication of that perspective: To increase the value of those assets as much as possible, Indian managers place a large emphasis on human relations. They also spend a lot of money on training and development. In some cases the company’s HR executives will also be managing directors of the firm. This is something one would be hard-pressed to find in American businesses—employee needs and satisfaction being placed front and center in the minds of the managers. ...
It may seem counterintuitive to see employee satisfaction as a priority in the management of a business. However, companies such as HCL and Infosys are successful because they do not just see their employees as workers and expenses. Instead, they provide solutions to problems the firm will face in the future. They are also the company’s representatives to customers and the rest of the community. Investing in them is just as important as investing in any asset essential to the company’s operation. Managers of all firms would do well to follow the examples of HCL and Infosys and place employee performance and satisfaction first, making senior management accountable to the employees and making sure they have all the tools they need to succeed.
"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.
For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.
The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power. The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights. This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing. ...
For those of you who are stuck in the old Left/Right debate, you are missing the bigger picture. Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit. What difference did the Left/Right dynamic make? Almost none whatsoever.
Look how much ground the richest of the rich have gained from the Bush tax cuts, which the Republicans are so intent on keeping for this cohort. The top 0.1 percent of Americans gained more than $2,326,607 a piece, whereas people making between thirty and forty thousand gained only $7,040, according to a great chart in Sunday’s New York Times Week in Review. ...
“After remaining relatively constant for much of the post-war era, the share of total income accrued by the wealthiest 10 percent of households jumped from 34.6 percent in 1980 to 48.2 percent in 2008.1 Much of the spike was driven by the share of total income accrued by the richest 1 percent of households. Between 1980 and 2008, their share rose from 10.0 percent to 21.0 percent, making the United States as one of the most unequal countries in the world.”
Over the last decade, most Americans have been losing ground, with real wages stagnating and household incomes falling. “Real median income for working-age households is now $4,925 below its peak in the year 2000,” according to the Economic Policy Institute
I spoke to a retired Wall Street executive who got out a few years back and set up a small business where he had to make payroll (sobering), but was freed from the debilitating short-termism of financial institutions that, over his career, had become dominated by traders “who look at economic opportunity rather than economic conditions.”
He said the final straw came in 2002. Top executives at the bank where he worked gathered to discuss their bonuses. The issue before them was whether to maintain those bonuses in a time of economic contraction, which would require firing 5 percent of the workforce, or take a 25 percent bonus cut, which would allow those jobs to be kept. “The guy running the meeting asked for a show of hands on who would accept a reduced bonus,” he said. “There were 30 of us in the room. Three raised their hands. I was one of them.”
The job losses went through, this executive left, and the bank today is still trying to claw out from its uncontrolled excess. ...
The share of national income held by the top 1 percent of American families has doubled in recent decades to 20 percent. That’s a huge shift. I spoke to Doug Severance, a Vietnam vet who’s a hotel employee in Aspen, Colorado. “When I moved here in 1984 we were all family,” he said. “Now either you arrive in a Lear Jet or you’re a servant.”
The tan is odd, both because it has an eerie orange hue to it, and because it never goes away. Even in the dead of winter, this GOP leader from sun-starved Ohio has such a perpetual glow that he's been nicknamed "Suntan Johnnie." How does he get the glow? By routinely flying on corporate jets to play golf with corporate lobbyists on various corporate tabs at such sun-drenched resorts as the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida.
Which brings us to his ties – by which I don't mean the flashy silk neckwear he favors. Rather, I mean Boehner's flagrant ties to a clique of powerful influence peddlers. These ties go way back – in 1996, he was caught passing checks from tobacco lobbyists to fellow Republicans on the House floor!
His inner circle of special interests is so cozy that it's even been given its own nickname: BoehnerLand. Outsiders need not apply, for BoehnerLand is an exclusive place inhabited by about 20 lobbyists for such outfits as Citigroup, R.J. Reynolds, Coors, Goldman Sachs, Google, and UPS. They put millions of campaign dollars into his pockets, fly him around, wine & dine him at the finest restaurants, and sustain his political ambitions.
In turn, Boehner is their boy. One member of Suntan Johnnie's corrupt club candidly told the New York Times that he regularly gets Boehner's help for his clients, ranging from fighting limits on debit card fees to protecting tax breaks for hedge fund operators. They want Boehner to become Speaker for one reason: he's fluent in corporate-speak.
Last week, predictable news emerged that Jeffrey Stephan, a GMAC Mortgage team leader for affidavit execution, signed off on nearly 10,000 foreclosures each month without even bothering to read them, although he is legally tasked with doing so. That's a rate of one a minute, if he works an eight-hour day, according to the Washington Post. Afraid it would look like it was blithely executing foreclosures on a callous conveyor belt -- which is precisely the case -- GMAC quickly put the brakes on any further evictions in 23 states until it could find a way to massage the problem.
The Democrats blame Bush for all the poverty and advocate expanding programs for the poor. Not that there is anything wrong with a safety net. But the "safety net" was never meant to hold 50 million people on Medicaid and 40 million people on food stamps. The number of Americans on food stamps has more than doubled since 2007. So do we just double it again as things get even worse? The truth is that welfare programs are only short-term solutions. Unfortunately, the Democrats do not understand this. What Americans really need are good jobs.
How much of an impact on our troubled nation could these staggeringly massive accumulations of wealth have if modestly shared -- or taxed? One quick answer: A 15 percent “wealth tax” on all personal assets over $1 billion would this year raise $145.5 billion, more than enough to cover the entire $140 billion budget shortfall America’s 50 states are facing in the current fiscal year.
The 400 billionaires on the new Forbes list, after paying that tax, would still average $2.4 billion in personal net worth, over 37,000 times the $65,400 net worth that NYU economist Edward Wolff earlier this year calculated for the typical American family.
For example, Charles and David Koch, the energy magnates who are pouring vast sums of money into Republican coffers and sponsoring tea partiers all over America, each gained $5.5 billion of wealth over the past year. Each is now worth $21.5 billion. ...
From another survey we learn that the 25 top hedge-fund managers got an average of $1 billion each, but paid an average of 17 percent in taxes (because so much of their income is considered capital gains, taxed at 15 percent thanks to the Bush tax cuts). ...
Only twice before in American history has so much been held by so few, and the gap between them and the great majority been a chasm — the late 1920s, and the era of the robber barons in the 1880s. And yet the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, which conferred almost all their benefits on the rich, continue.
Senator Robert F. Bennett of Utah was “Bailout Bob” to Republicans who refused to re-nominate him for a fourth term. “For those who were screaming at me — and screaming was the operative word — ‘You’ve just saddled our children and grandchildren with $700 billion,’ I said, ‘No, I haven’t,” Mr. Bennett said in an interview. “My career is over,” he added. “But I do hope that we can get the word out that TARP, number one, did save the world from a financial meltdown and, number two, did so in a manner that, I believe, won’t cost the taxpayer anything. And even if it did not all get paid back, it was still the thing to do.”
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