Along with the incentive-plan increase, Palmisano also saw a boost in the value of his pension and retention plans, with the pension more than doubling and the retention plan up 93%. Palmisano's salary has been flat at $1.8 million for the past three years.
"We completed an outstanding year, with record profit and free cash flow, and exceeded the high end of our 2010 earnings per share roadmap objective," said Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.
So...if we missed the objectives, what were the objectives? Maybe total global takeover and control?
We have also lost half of our resource in the last ten years due to layoffs.
Our overhead has doubled in the last ten years due to an ever increasing number of corporate mandates, heavy-handed processes and procedures, with tools that either doesn't work or are horribly unusable or overly bureaucratic, none of which help us do our jobs better or improve service to our customers. It is more important to mindlessly follow the procedures and leave the customer dissatisfied, then it is meet the customer's needs efficiently, effectively and on time. Process is more important than results.
People are leaving us for better jobs and more reasonable employers that actually value and invest in their employees. More power to them. We have been so viciously downsized that we no longer have enough resource keep critical business processes running.
In later years instead of a mix of young and old, the young were replaced by Indians (often contractors) on H1-B visas. Project managers, delivery managers and senior technical staff were still U.S. based.
Now, the projects that I'm on have a token number of U.S.-based employees. The project managers, delivery managers, and most technical staff are from IBM India, here on L1 visas. (Unlike H1-B visas, there are no limitations on the number of L1 visas a company can bring in.) There are no fresh U.S.-based faces to be seen. Before joining a project, you will almost always be interviewed from someone from IBM India. While on the project, you will be managed by a person from IBM India, and he (and rarely she) will complete your PA.
I hang on because I still enjoy the work I do. But, it's clear that the bright youngsters coming out of college today are going to Google, Microsoft, or small companies...not to Big Blue.
When I hired on (in the late 70's) IBM hired the best and the brightest. Now we import our workers from India.
But the Indians were happy to do it. When we were all RA'ed last year and replaced by Indians the Indians were mostly all kids. We had to train our own replacements or we would not have gotten our 6-months-pay severance packages. But as my work partner told me, "I have to train him? Sure. I'll answer faithfully any question he asks me. But I'm not going to volunteer one single thing!"
And the Indians all had very little time with the company. One of the two guys my partner and I were training had *three months* with IBM at the time he was sent over for training. The other had about 18 months. That was typical for most of the Indians.
I suspect people in the middle ranks don't stay as they find the environment poisonous, and know their odds of hanging in long enough for pension and full benefits are slim. And yes, older employees want to hang on to try for their 30 years, or 15 and 55. Younger post-2005 employees know there is no pension for them anyway so can't imagine staying for the long haul. So yeah, stay for a few years and have it look nice on your resume. I guess if I were starting out I'd want to try to stay at least long enough for the IBM match to my 401k account to vest, but would have no incentive to stay a day longer than that.
I attended a management session on the VTPP to get training on presenting the plan to potential retirees. We were told that if we took this plan, we would be "grandfathered" into our present medical plan at the time and that we would receive COLA's on our retirement annuity.
The medical plan remained without a monthly contribution for a number of years, but now the employee costs are escalating significantly each year. And there has been no COLA's for the 1991 retirees.
I am not only angry that I was lied to, but I presented these falsehoods to other employees.
I have written several letters to both IBM CEO's and Randy MacDonald, HR V.P. regarding the most recent medical plan increases. All I got back is the usual tap dancing, telling me how fortunate I am for even having both retirement and medical plans.
Does anyone here know of any legal action being taken against IBM for this? I would be interested in finding this out.
So I took my retirement certificate and cut it up in small pieces and mailed it to Gerstner with another letter and really gave him a piece of my mind. I sent this one Registered mail requesting a receipt. He didn't sign it of course. <Grin> Larry
Now, here's what you might not know: Nine years after Gerstner stepped down as CEO, IBM is financially and strategically stronger and, yes, sexier than ever -- all thanks to Sam Palmisano, Gerstner's successor. Under Palmisano, earnings have quadrupled and the stock is up 57%. He's not merely cutting costs (though he's done plenty of that, including shifting work from the U.S. to India). He's remaking the company by pushing into new countries and expanding hot businesses such as supercomputing and analytics that require heavy-duty lab innovations. Last year's R&D spending? Some $6 billion, or 6% of IBM's nearly $100 billion in annual sales. Its 5,896 patents in 2010 -- more than any company in the world -- help explain why it lands at No. 12 on Fortune's annual list of the World's Most Admired Companies. That Jeopardy-playing computer isn't just a gimmick; it is at the heart of IBM's long-term growth strategy.
He cuts US + EU employees in two main ways. Each year 25% forced low performance grades - once you have one of these your days are numbered. He also uses legal loopholes as per UK where 850+ 50-55 year olds were given Hobson's choice regarding their pension. Both methods are dishonourable to time-served employees.
What is lacking in IBM strategy is any technical developments, OK so the new Power 7 chip continues the strong market hold of mainframe and big UNIX boxes where competition is weak. However in the Wintel space and datacentre the network companies like Cisco and Juniper will dominate. Software group is a strong business model to be fair.
IBM has become a Services sweatshop based on low cost delivery. They are losing many skilled and talented customer facing people in US+EU. It is hard to sell and project manage from India. It can only result in poor service and customer defections.
The Earnings per share strategy has driven share price increase. Where is the Revenue increase strategy? The share price is over inflated. Palmisano's legacy will be judged by corporate history.
To say IBM doesn't have to disclose this information because their competitors sometime don't shows IBM doesn't truly lead anymore, but does follow the crowd.
If IBM had integrity and was forthcoming with the information in the past it shared, like employment numbers, then maybe it would be the great company it used to be.
IBM has chosen profit over patriotism which is treasonous and therefore should *NOT* be eligible for tax breaks since they are eroding the Federal, State, and Local tax bases and are contributing to the devastation of the U.S. economy by eliminating U.S. Jobs. It is rather disgraceful that IBM laid off Employees after disclosing a 4Q2008 profit of $4.4 billion in arguably one of the worst Economies since the Great Depression. IBM simply took advantage of the prevailing economic conditions to fly under the radar and justify these layoffs to fatten up their bottom line and Corporate Fat Cat wallets.
A smarter approach for a profitable company in a down economy would be to show some loyalty and retain their valuable employees rather than risk a mass exodus by their top talent when other employment opportunities become available. No Talent - No Company! From a personal standpoint, I am a retired IBM'er who was Resource Actioned in 2007 at which time my job was offshored to Brazil, so I have first hand experience with IBM layoffs.
IBM will also extort money from the various States to keep the jobs in place and will pit each state against the other to up the ante. The sole residence factor for a Corporation should be that there is a skillful local labor pool available and not how much money the State will fork over to IBM to appease them and supplement the labor cost. http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090123/BIZ/901230359
(Source - IBM.com)
Hardly spectacular. Over the same period, IBM has propped up EPS by spending $Billions on share buy-backs: instead of investing hard-earned profits in long term growth, it has frittered away billions on short term gain for investors. IBM has even borrowed additional $Billions to buy-back its own shares! Utter short-term folly.
Palmisano has also destroyed IBM morale in the US and Europe. Evidence for this? IBMer overall employee satisfaction levels in internal surveys is at record lows (about 50% of IBMers say they don't like working for IBM). Further evidence can be gleaned from the fact that IBM has not featured at all in the Fortune 100 best places to work in almost a decade.
Despite the hype about Watson and Jeopardy, the bulk of IBM's business is not in supercomputers, it's in provision of IT services. The bulk of this business is now in low-cost countries. IBM regularly lays off highly experienced Western IBMers and ships work to inexperienced staff in India/China. The service subsequently delivered to customers is appalling. Witness numerous high-level complaints from the like of Air New Zealand. It's not the fault of the Indian/Chinese/off-shore IBMers, they have been dropped in the deep end. It's the fault of Palmisano and his cohorts, chasing a cheap buck in the lowest cost labor pool.
Under Palmisano's tenure, IBM has implemented a brutal staff appraisal system. In short, the system attempts to "manage out" about 1 in 5 IBMers every year (the "relatively low performers"). An IBMer can perform their job in an exemplary fashion, and still be forced to leave. The system is hated by a large proportion of IBM staff and managers. If we look at IBM's results since 2003, Palmisano himself should have been "managed out" when revenue dived in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Sadly, Palmisano doesn't seem to apply the same exacting appraisal standards to his own stuttering performance!
Overall, Palmisano has been a disaster for IBM. He has wrecked the morale and ethic (respect for the individual) of a once great company. Palmisano is cited as saying "It's not you're father's IBM". He's right. Our IBM forefathers would be shocked and dismayed at what this greedy, immoral man has done to the company of Thomas J Watson. Watson once said "A manager is an assistant to his men". Palmisano does not care about his troops, and he is certainly no Thomas J Watson.
As a counter to "Retired Too", I'm still employed by IBM and deemed an above average performer. This once great company is now utterly without any sort of moral compass.
As a retired 30-year IBM veteran, I have worked with some wonderful people during my career and can honestly say that IBM has some awesomely talented people in their technical ranks and that they have arguably the best workforce in the world right here in the U.S.A. On the other hand, IBM Management 'led' by Sam Palmisellout is totally clandestine and self-serving and are completely out of touch with the general IBM Employee Population. Employee morale at IBM is at 'rock-bottom' since they are generally overworked, underpaid, are totally disrespected by Management, are no longer provided with any sense of job security, and have seen many of their talented fellow IBM employees fired and their jobs moved to offshore locations (Brazil, India, China, etc.) simply for cheaper labor and definitely not for technical advantage. Their Raises and Promotions are rare and realistic career paths are non-existent for non-executive personnel. Many IBM'ers I know totally despise those pompous and greedy ARMONK-EY Executives and would hardly call them 'leaders' since they don't have a clue how to grow revenue and rely on perpetual cost cutting (offshoring, layoffs, salary rebanding, benefit reductions, etc.) as the primary means of profitability. The Technical folks are the major reason why IBM is a successful Corporation and they deserve the utmost respect from those IBM Corporate Executives.
A final thought: Don't believe everything you read. IBM is probably a major advertiser for many of these Trade and Financial magazines and they would be hard pressed to print any negative stories about IBM and risk losing that 'Big Blue' revenue steam. Money talks and they will take all possible steps to protect that income by only printing 'glowing' stories about IBM.
As a result, the company hasn't been truly innovative for many years, everyone's looking over their shoulders and most have little respect for the CEO who has stripped their pensions, benefits and salary increases while enriching his own. The Watson family members are rolling over in their graves.
I had sat in on a manager meeting. Our manager told us that the SAS70 auditors were killing them. He stated that IBM were working deals on accounts that showed poorly in a SAS70 audit. Trying to keep them out of the final report and make the SAS70 audit look better.
Also, when working with my replacements in India. I was amazed on how little they knew about the service they were taking over. I was fielding calls all hours of the day and night to keep the account going because of low amount of training they had received in India.
I feel sorry for any accounts that does not have in the contract "US only or American only" people to work the accounts. This would save the clients loads of money and time. Bottom line is Greed for the top people and talented people are being let go here.
Sure we are all happy with the improvements on paper. Morale however is very low and the motivation of the average worker here, and not the executive with perks and stock options has been affected. It should not be this way. Simply adding and improving the compensation plan, and adding some award money would supplant all this negative energy. I do hope someone in Armonk summarizes some of these comments. I did enjoy reading this article and the comments. Still happy with IBM, but know it can improve. It's about time, isn't it? Look inside, we deserve better.
In the Old IBM employees were considered "golden" as they had the utmost respect of upper management. Bottom lines were made by sales of our world wide superior product lines. Today IBM is in the Services and Server industry. To my knowledge we do not dominate the market place in either of these areas but are just another "me too" company. Gone are the days where IBM owned the marketplace which is not the case today. One has to question why this is.
Now it is said often that "....times have changed" as an excuse for not conducting business as we did 50 years ago. Nonsense. Today's management style is easy, involves little risks, small development dollars, elimination of manufacturing, and it often uses employee layoffs to achieve the end of the year financial results. AND where is IBM today in doing their part to solution the unemployment problems that this country faces? The company has been deftly quiet. That to me is NOT the definition of outstanding leadership in Armonk. Far from it.
Sorry but I'm disappointed with IBM in 2011. I remember what IBM used to be all too well.
BM when I "retired" from Global Services recently it was not the same company that I joined. It had abandoned its principles and everything that was its roots. It turned on its employees - Reneged on its promises. It turned its back on quality. It sent its jobs oversees to stay cost competitive because it lost the value and respect it once had. ( I only have to offer as evidence Bob Moffat http://www.makli.us/bob-moffat-arrested-0010156/ who I knew well enough to have no sympathy for).
had a great 25+ year career with IBM but I'm glad I'm no longer there. The people I used to manage that still have jobs in USA are being abused. Some are forced to move at their own expense to keep their jobs. Salary cuts, long hours, lost benefits... its sad. Very very sad. Oh, but now they can play Jeopardy...
When I started at IBM in 2000, we were proud to say that we had 450,000 IBMers worldwide, 50,000 of which were overseas. Today we have 400,000 IBMers, and only about 130,000 are in the US. That means that in 10 years, 270,000 Americans were fired, or 27,000 per year - every year, for 10 years. That's an awful lot of ruined lives. And this pace has kept up as the economy tanked, and as we went into recession. IBM is more than doing it's part to contribute to that.
Those of us that are left are not getting raises, bonuses get smaller each year, there is no mobility upward or even sideways into different divisions. We're underpaid as compared to our peers in other comparable positions, and expected to work insane hours. Sam and his inner circle on the other hand spend all their time on the golf course, and collect BILLIONS in bonuses each year.
The feeling within the company is not one of Innovation and excitement, it's one of terror. The senior executives are brutal, screaming and cursing on calls and driving people to work 80 hour work weeks and achieve impossible goals. The cost cutting measures taken within the company are done with ONLY quarterly profits in mind, and will have dire consequences in another decade.
IBM has been a great company for 100 years largely on the strength and dedication of it's employees, who can and will do things no one else will, because they're dedicated, because they were proud to be IBMers. No more. Those days have gone, and those of us with real talent are going to leave the company as soon as the economy recovers.
IBM has been a great company for 100 years largely on the strength and dedication of it's employees, who can and will do things no one else will, because they're dedicated, because they were proud to be IBMers. No more. Those days have gone, and those of us with real talent are going to leave the company as soon as the economy recovers.
Thank you for your time. Posted By A Senior IBM Executive Manager: March 8, 2011 8:47 AM
If the business goes on at a lower cost, why would the leaders not continue that direction? So instead I pose the question of how long the business can or will go on? If the business is Strategic Outsourcing, it needs customers to buy the service. Those US customers are increasingly dissatisfied with the service they receive. And the dwindling US workforce trying to hold things together for them is increasingly burned out. EPS does not sell or support customers - dedication to a client's business does, and that value does not appear to be shared worldwide. I see a third act following Sam's tenure -- one where he takes his golden parachute billowing with the millions he makes for himself and the other top executives and runs away to leave IBM crumbling in the wake of a diminished client base.
Yes, EPS will continue to rise for a time, driven not only by cost takeout of US salaries and benefits but also by higher prices. Sam IS trying to drive revenue growth. And the way that is being done is through straight-out pricing increases -- no added value, no added service, software or hardware -- just plain out added markup.
Yes, Sam has expanded on the direction set by Lou before him. But, from what I remember, at least Lou was honest about it, and while still painful I could respect his straight talk. He would send division-wide communications announcing Resource Actions saying that he was trimming the fat. And even inviting those who were coasting and not maintaining their skills to leave and make room for someone more energetic. What ever happened to the VOLUNTARY separation package, that would allow the remaining workforce to rebalance before involuntary cuts? Long gone, I'm afraid. Instead, shrouded in secrecy, quality US workers are replaced with off-shore workers whose water-cooler talk cheers the demise of the US overall in the global economy.
There is nothing wrong with growing the global economy and global jobs. In fact it's good. What IS wrong is doing so by needlessly shrinking the US economy - the US salary, US tax base and all the other US jobs that salary supports - with no benefit to the end US customer unless they also happen to be an IBM stockholder.
Then again, you will say his job is to make the company money. True, but at what cost? Ruining peoples life while top management pockets gets full?
I would love, JUST LOVE, to have this conversation with an IBM executive. But I can't find one.
IBM is run as a sweatshop purely to boost EPS, period. The workforce are down-trodden, expendable and abused. Palmisano is the architect of carnage in the lives of tens of thousands of skillful, dedicated IBMers and in the lives of their long-suffering families.
Smarter Planet? IBM is a bureaucratic, inefficient, lumbering monster. If that's Sam's vision for the future of planet Earth, book me on the next shuttle (RIP) trip to Mars. IBM needs to get its own house in order, treat its people with respect and live up to its fine traditions, before it starts preaching to the planet. The Smarter tag is just a ploy to get more government tax dollars from fat outsourcing deals. Having witnessed first-hand the comical IBM offshoring fiasco of recent years, I wouldn't outsource management of my electric tin opener to IBM, let alone allow IBM to manage a major IT installation. Child, play and loaded gun spring to mind.
Palmisano has managed in a decade to destroy something precious that took 90 years to build. Now the trust has gone, the respect has gone, the morals have gone, the morale has gone. Shame on you Palmisano.
Perhaps a more sobering aspect of this story is the realization that this is the future direction of the country. US workers salary, benefits, even their very jobs are going down and away while China, India, Brazil, etc. will have jobs added and salaries increase. Those forces will continue until they are more balanced, but that will leave the US standard of living decimated and the economy reeling as there are no longer consumers able to spend. I fear for my children as that happens.
It's hard sometimes to think you can be working hard and performing well and executive management decides its neck is not yet fat enough. But that's the environment we're in. I've survived a few near misses, including one in 1994, so this old barnacle has learned a few new skills for the day when I'm cleaved off the not-so-good-ship IBM and need to swim on my own.
How were data collected? Applications for the 2010-11 Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Award were received by November 15, 2010. As instructed on the application form, companies provided data on technical women in their U.S.-based technical workforce (regardless of where a company was headquartered). Data excluded temporary staff members who are contracted through a third-party agency.
Cons: Company is unwilling to back fill attrition. They are also unwilling to invest in the hardware, tools, education and networking which will enable people to do their jobs well. Very few expenditures are approved unless directly related to current quarter revenue.
Consequently, everyone is working harder than ever. Due to annual layoffs, most organizations have retained only the highest quality workers...but due to their inflexible "grading on a curve" review system, management is still required to give a certain percentage of workers below average performance reviews. The bar is being raised every year and it's to the point where people have to work on their vacations or purchase their own equipment to even compete with their peers. It's demoralizing to management as well as individual contributors.
The habit of acquiring companies and then not investing in the technology also reduces morale for those people supporting the products.
IBM's focus on the bottom line is short sighted, and will likely cause a spiraling problem as the job market improves and quality technical resources leave
Advice to Senior Management: Please be more forward thinking in your internal investments. While investing only in your few "strategic products", you are alienating loyal customers and excellent employees who are dedicated to your non-strategic technologies.
Cons: Raises are minimal; - get a good salary when you join b/c cost of living increases are nil and merit increases are small. Bonuses have decreased significantly. Recognition is virtually nonexistent. Management is extremely secretive. Constant worry about job security. Utilization rates makes vacation almost impossible.
Advice to Senior Management: Stop having such a short term focus. Despite the fact that your bonuses are dependant on the rising stock prices, if you continue reach those heights at the expense of your employees soon all the good ones are going to leave and IBM is going to be left faltering. I am 2+ performer and I'm am definitely thinking about heading out the door.
Do more than lip service as to how much you value employees. You can win every industry award on work/life balance those people that work here know better. A majority of the individuals I work with are bright and capable individuals. We can see beyond the constant spin we are fed. We work extra hours to meet "new " utilization targets, receive emails about record quarters/year/etc., see the constantly rising stock prices and yet we continue to less and less with respect to raises/bonuses while the exact opposite is true for executives - 19% really? If you aren't going to show us the money than at least start showing us you value us in by allowing us to develop ourselves professionally thru training or organization membership. If you want to be a true consulting leader then carve out that time for your employees to write white papers/attend conferences/etc. And by carve out time I don't mean "on the weekend". At the very least openly communicate with us...we hear the rumors, we see the actions that are taken. And when you do communicate with us to do so by either putting so much spin on it's virtually false or not saying anything at all is just frustrating.
Two and a half decades ago, his then employer, Occidental Petroleum Corp., cut its traditional defined pension plan in favor of a 401(k)-type system. So instead of getting a guaranteed pension check of $1,308 a month for his 36 years as a full-time, salaried employee, the former chemical-factory worker receives $225 a month from his 13 years as an hourly employee, plus $180.16 a month from a profit-sharing plan Oxy had for salaried employees until 1994. He also has $70,000 left of the money he saved from his tax-deferred 401(k). On the days he works, Shively rises at 5 a.m. to get to the golf course. He mostly enjoys the job. But on tournament mornings, he has to be at the course at 4 a.m. A few years ago the country club switched from gas to electric carts, some of which have four 84-lb. batteries each. Every year, Shively and another worker have to lift out all the batteries and store them for winter. "Your body aches all over," he says.
This isn't how retirement was supposed to be.
If you have even peeked at your account statements in the past year, it's painfully obvious that something is wrong with the way we save. The tax-deferred 401(k) plan, and others like it, such as the 403(b) and the IRA, have become our nation's go-to retirement piggy bank. Invented nearly 30 years ago as an executive perk — one more way to dodge Uncle Sam — the 401(k) was never meant to replace the employer-guaranteed pension fund, supplemented by Social Security, as the cornerstone of our nation's retirement system. But propelled by a combination of companies looking to cut costs and consumers who wanted control of their retirement destiny, that's exactly what happened.
The little-known federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. insures roughly 27,500 corporate defined-benefit pensions, covering 44 million U.S. workers. These plans, popular in the public sector but increasingly rare in the private economy, promise workers fixed monthly retirement income, often equivalent to a final year's salary or an average salary over the last few years of work.
It's not over. This is only the beginning. WI and America are energized and can see more clearly this morning than they have for years. Kathi.
A system that will do this should no longer be associated with the integrity that once backed the name IBM. You have employees being blocked from any chance of fair treatment with just months to bridge to retirement after a good, solid career, due to a current arbitrary ranking on some 'list'. Then you have a chief executive who collects almost double in incentive pay alone last year - $9 million - not to mention the rest of the compensation package yet to be revealed.
Also, business for 'friends' like the former head of bankrupt Lehman who has done advisory work with IBM's acquisitions team (according to Fortune's September issue). Something's wrong and doesn't add up, and any fluff journalism that doesn't probe on actual facts behind how IBM is making some of their bottom line 'profit' isn't worth the time of day.
The 1990 biography 'Father, Son & Co' authored by the real Watson (vs. the fact-spitting machine) mentions how he - Thomas Watson Jr - and Al Williams stopped taking stock options at one point because 'we don't want to look like pigs' (Williams quote).
The facts are, you have employees who have worked their entire career for a full retirement package only to have it ripped off with just months to spare in some cases. If they've done it once, they've done it too many times and it's happened more than that in this environment. The building blocks of integrity, decency, and a sense of fairness are gone in the IBM of today. If every current and former employee would join the Alliance on behalf of not only themselves but their current and former co-workers, those who are still there and those who are gone, there would be a fighting chance to bring back the greatness of this once great company. The Alliance is the one to do it, who is fighting for it in the fairness of a bona fide employment contract. The time for this is now; the time to join is now. -Former True Blue-
Taking advantage of slave labor in the worlds biggest police state where workers are beaten for minor infractions and suffer from terrible environmental conditions is where Sam's working with the communists on the installation of a major facility giving 50,000-80,000 jobs for the communist empire to help control it's citizens and grow it's military power, another good example of what more and more people see as an anti-American sociopath!
His protégée and rumored future replacement, Moffat, another coward who wilted when confronted on his actions, is now doing a stretch in prison.
The company, mimicking Sam's cowardly demeanor no longer reports layoffs, or how many employees they have in the US, current estimates are 90k and losing 5-8% per year. They stopped reporting what they claimed was replacing people due to 'skills' because current employees are forced to 'train' their own untrained replacements making that lie so clear even the public fooled by these fluff pieces could figure it out.
He got away with stealing about 10 Billion in the pension lawsuit, buying off the lawyers for a $80 million many would call it, and paying his future 'early grave bound' workers, pennies on the dollar. At the same time he and his predecessor/sociopath were in the process of spending a ballpark $100 billion buying back stock, boosting the price and unloading their own as fast as they could, and Sam still does nearly as fast as he get his hands on it. He gets about $10 million of shares a year and doesn't even seem to want to own it long enough to get taxed at the long term/ 1 year rate 15% rate, dumping it at the seemingly 50% short term rate.
He wants to get rid of it so fast, he might be getting the company to pay his taxes as many CEOs do. He shills at the shareholder meeting and throughout the year what a great business he's running and then bails with both hands year after year like he's running some kind of Ponzi scheme, but then, that would be normal behavior for a sociopath. Look, like clockwork, he's done it again!
1-Feb-11 57,274IBM Disposition (Non Open Market) at $162.98 per share. (Value of $9,334,516). Sam talks a good game but he's got plenty of company on his, get out of dodge tour: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/it?s=IBM+Insider+Transactions
He recently told employees he wanted to get back to the 'dna' of the company, but like any sociopath, what they say and what they do are two different things. Respect for individuals is a long dead slogan as anyone still working there knows. Respect for American is clearly also dead in Armonk, based on Sam's actions. -sams conscience-
Like many of the nation's 48,000 psychiatrists, Dr. Levin, in large part because of changes in how much insurance will pay, no longer provides talk therapy, the form of psychiatry popularized by Sigmund Freud that dominated the profession for decades. Instead, he prescribes medication, usually after a brief consultation with each patient. So Dr. Levin sent the man away with a referral to a less costly therapist and a personal crisis unexplored and unresolved.
Medicine is rapidly changing in the United States from a cottage industry to one dominated by large hospital groups and corporations, but the new efficiencies can be accompanied by a telling loss of intimacy between doctors and patients. And no specialty has suffered this loss more profoundly than psychiatry.
"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.
One reason we know that nobody knows these things is that they are not spoken on television. Another is that we have polls, including this one showing that only 25% of Americans think our country should spend three times as much on the military as the next most militarized nation, but only 32% (not 75%) think we currently spend too much. In reality, of course, we spend much more than three times what China spends. A bill in Congress to restrict US military spending to three times the next most militarized nation might carry big popular support, but Congress would never pass it in the absence of intense public pressure, because it would require major cuts to the US military. ...
And here's the big gap between the people and the politicians. The public wants to raise more money by cutting the military and by taxing the wealthy, taxing wealthy estates, taxing corporations, taxing alcohol, taxing soft drinks, taxing hedge fund managers' income, and by charging a crisis fee to large banks. A plurality of 49% of the public also wants to tax carbon dioxide emissions. A strong majority does not want a sales tax. The White House and Congress, in contrast, prefer a combination of going into debt and slashing basic services. The public reduces the deficit dramatically. The President increases it, and Congress leaves it about where it was before.
Now the people themselves have taken down those regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, and they're rattling the ones in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman and Iran. They are not doing it for us, or to answer bin Laden. They are doing it by themselves for themselves — because they want their freedom and to control their own destinies. But in doing so they have created a hugely powerful, modernizing challenge to bin Ladenism, which is why Al Qaeda today is tongue-tied. It's a beautiful thing to watch. ...
In other words, the Arab peoples have done for free, on their own and for their own reasons, everything that we were paying their regimes to do in the "war on terrorism" but they never did. And that brings me back to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last October, Transparency International rated the regime of President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan as the second most corrupt in the world after Somalia's. That is the Afghan regime we will spend more than $110 billion in 2011 to support. ...
The truth is we can't do much to consolidate the democracy movements in Egypt and Tunisia. They'll have to make it work themselves. But we could do what we can, which is divert some of the $110 billion we're lavishing on the Afghan regime and the Pakistani Army and use it for debt relief, schools and scholarships to U.S. universities for young Egyptians and Tunisians who had the courage to take down the very kind of regimes we're still holding up in Kabul and Islamabad.
I know we can't just walk out of Afghanistan and Pakistan; there are good people, too, in both places. But our involvement in these two countries — 150,000 troops to confront Al Qaeda — is totally out of proportion today with our interests and out of all sync with our values.
Christopher Hellman at TomDispatch added up all the military-related spending in the budget and came to a startling number: for fiscal year 2012, the actual military budget is something like $1.2 trillion dollars. Trillion with a T. Just to put that in perspective for a second, a million seconds is 12 days. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.
So after all that cash is gone, what are we left with? Not a whole heck of a lot for the rest of us. "Discretionary" spending is nearly 40% of the budget, but if Hellman's numbers are accurate, that $1.2 trillion eats up nearly 90% of discretionary funds, leaving just 10% for the rest of us. (That doesn't include mandatory spending on things like Social Security and Medicare, which are separate.)
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics 31.1% of state public sector employees were unionized in 2010. This compares to 26.8% of federal employees. For local governments the number was 43.3% of which many are firefighters and police officers. Teachers union classification between state and local varies depending upon where they are. The facts the majority of public employees are not unionized. What this boils down to is most folks do not have public employee unions involved in their local costs. Regardless if people do not like the salaries and benefits being paid then elect people that will reign in these costs (be it union or non-union).
As far as pensions go most are not the burden to state and local budgets as they are made out to be. According to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators the US state pensions are 2.9% of state spending. If you prefer a group not associated with the plans themselves the number is 3.8%. This number comes from The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. This is approximately the same burden as the 3.5% for private companies pensions (Employee Benefits Research Institute). Assuming no new inflows to the plans the majority would be able to pay all benefits owed for 10 years or longer. As many of the plans are contributory it is highly unlikely that all inflows would cease.
It is important to realize that all Federal Civil Service employees have been on a contributory retirement plan since 1984. It is not much different than many private pension plans. Full details can be found on any federal government website. I can also speak to my wife's state pension plan. She contributes 6% of her income with a state match of 3%. She has access to a 401K with no matching. She will also get free lifetime medical however has to pay for any dependents. The current monthly rate for dependents is $549/month. Not cheap but better than the alternatives (such as IBM access only). If you look at the plan percentages it does not compare as well to some 401K's. It will also only replace around 30%-40% of her pre-retirement income. This type of retirement plan is very common and I would say the most prevalent for public sector employees.
The main thing I am trying to get at is the vilification of public employees is purely being done to divide and conquer. The folks making these statements only want one thing and that is to have all of the marbles for themselves. One of the easiest ways to do this is target the most visible workers they can find and those happen to be in government.
Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.
Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.
And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it. ...
The truth is, there's lots of money to go around. LOTS. It's just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates. They know they have committed crimes to make this happen and they know that someday you may want to see some of that money that used to be yours. So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them. But just in case that doesn't work, they've got their gated communities, and the luxury jet is always fully fueled, the engines running, waiting for that day they hope never comes. To help prevent that day when the people demand their country back, the wealthy have done two very smart things...
The executives in the board rooms and hedge funds could not contain their laughter, their glee, and within three months they were writing each other huge bonus checks and marveling at how perfectly they had played a nation full of suckers. Millions lost their jobs anyway, and millions lost their homes. But there was no revolt.
But to get to the most important trend you have to dig under the job numbers and look at what kind of new jobs are being created. That's where the big problem lies. The National Employment Law Project did just that. Its new data brief shows that most of the new jobs created since February 2010 (about 1.26 million) pay significantly lower wages than the jobs lost (8.4 million) between January 2008 and February 2010.
While the biggest losses were higher-wage jobs paying an average of $19.05 to $31.40 an hour, the biggest gains have been lower-wage jobs paying an average of $9.03 to $12.91 an hour. In other words, the big news isn't jobs. It's wages.
For several years now, conservative economists have blamed high unemployment on the purported fact that many Americans have priced themselves out of the global/high-tech jobs market. So if we want more jobs, they say, we'll need to take pay and benefit cuts. And that's exactly what Americans have been doing. ...
Conservatives say it's not enough. That's why unions have to be busted – and why some governors are seeking to abolish laws requiring workers to become dues-paying union members in order to get certain jobs. Hence, the fights brewing in the Midwest. Meanwhile, millions of non-union workers have accepted cuts in pay and benefits just to keep their jobs. Health benefits have been slashed, pension contributions from employers dramatically cut, wages dropped or "frozen."
Not that Congress hasn't tried, mind you. The Dodd-Frank financial reform law, enacted last year, imposed the same legal liabilities on Moody's, Standard & Poor's and other credit raters that have long applied to legal and accounting firms that attest to statements made in securities prospectuses. Investors cheered the legislation, which subjected the ratings agencies to what is known as expert liability under the securities laws.
ut since Dodd-Frank passed, Congress's noble attempt to protect investors from misconduct by ratings agencies has been thwarted by, of all things, the Securities & Exchange Commission. The S.E.C., which calls itself "the investor's advocate," is quietly allowing the raters to escape this accountability.
How's that working out, you ask? Well, that was then, and now it's another story. Emboldened by demands from Tea Party Republicans that Congress reduce "Big Government," toy industry lobbyists are crying that the safety commission's new rules are too intrusive, too costly, too onerous... too much. In particular, the industry wants to kill a public database that CPSC set up so consumers themselves can report any product hazards they find and can search for injury reports on a particular product before buying it.
This is an effective, low-cost way of policing product safety, because it directly empowers us consumers in the marketplace. Of course, the corporate powers hate that. So, sure enough, one of the newly-minted Tea Party Republicans, Mike Pompeo of Kansas, rushed to soothe the fevered brow of the corporate interests. His amendment in the House cuts all of the funding ($3 million this year) for our consumer database. So, in keeping with today's politically-correct ideology, the Toy Boys get small government, and children get small protection.
Yet, Walker is but one of a flock of far-right, corporate-crested Republican governors and congress critters who're waging an all-out class war on unionized workers. It's a shameful effort to bust the wage structure and legal protections that support America's already-endangered middle class.
In Washington, for example, loopy GOP leaders are out to abolish the legal mechanism through which workers can form a union and have their bargaining rights protected. Meanwhile, war-whooping Republican governors in Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana, and elsewhere are slashing the health care and pension benefits owed to public employees, blaming these middle-class workers for their states' fiscal messes. But state budgets have been depleted by the economic crash caused by Wall Street greed and massive tax giveaways to wealthy elites – not by a firefighter's pension or a teacher's health plan.
And check out Nevada, where the Chamber of Commerce is even pushing to eliminate the minimum wage. This corporate-funded Republican assault is not about fiscal responsibility. The corporate powers intend nothing less than to dismantle the entire framework of America's economic democracy and return us to the dark days of Robber Baron plutocracy. To the barricades, people!
With unemployment and underemployment devastating millions of families in our country, perhaps you've assumed that U.S. corporations aren't hiring these days. Nonsense, they added 1.4 million jobs last year alone – overseas. For example, more than half of Caterpillar's new hires in 2010 were in foreign countries. Many more of this giant's jobs are headed offshore in the near future, for Caterpillar, which was once an iconic American brand, has recently invested in three new plants in China. It'll not only manufacture tractors and bulldozers there, but it'll also begin to ship its design work and technology development jobs to China.
Likewise, DuPont, once proud of its U.S. workforce, has slashed its number of American employees in recent years, while increasing its Asia-Pacific workforce by more than half. Indeed, DuPont no longer considers itself American – "We are a global player," sniff's its chief innovation officer.
Such homemade brands as Coca-Cola, Dell, and IBM are also among the multitude of corporations abandoning our shores and our middle class. Of course, they still keep their well-appointed headquarters here so the corporation and top executives can continue enjoying all that America has to offer. Calvin Coolidge once asserted that "What's good for business is good for America." That was myopic enough, but today's narcissistic CEOs are are even more self-serving, declaring that "What's good for business is good for business, America be damned."
If we are to have a united society, America cannot tolerate such raw selfishness by the privileged few. We can have a plutocracy, or a democracy. But not both.
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