Here’s who is hiring in 15 big U.S. cities: ...
Comment 02/05/12: @"More Jobs at IBM": Job openings may not really mean much. If they are really hiring, this could be to replace people that were fired and now they try to hire for a fraction of the wage. But actually it may not even mean that they are really hiring. Big companies use decoy job openings as PR tools. It doesn't cost much to post non-existent jobs but you will get positive coverage in the media, as you can see from the Forbes article. People like you and (local) politicians will be puzzled or even think that they need to support IBMs strategy, because they are hiring. If IBM doesn't really fill the openings, they can claim that they did not find suitable applicants and that they need to hire from abroad or fill the jobs in countries where the skill is available. PR means to create a favourable opinion in your local environment. Further tools that the PR departments use are pre-wirtten articles that go to the media at the same time as they pay for adds, positive reviews in e.g. GlassDoor and more things of this kind. Is it ethical to manipulate in this way? I wouldn't thinks so but that doesn't matter for a company that needs to keep the promises of the agenda 2012. So here the question is, do they only post job openings or are they really hiring in Miami, NYC, ... -anonymous-
Access-only FHA? Imagine the bonus of the executive who came up with that one. As if the FHA weren't bad enough, they degraded it further with the access-only FHA.
Oh yes, my point.
There is a very good discussion going on right now, beginning with message 15921 (and earlier), on the ibmemployeeissues board which those still in the dark about the FHA should read.
May we all outlive IBM's intentions for us.
For those retirees prior to FHA, IBM back in early 1990's capped the subsidy at $7000; that amount was reached in the 2000/01 timeframe, and any amount beyond that was paid with ever increasing monthly premiums, which reached $600 a month, deducted from the pension, before I became Medicare eligible.
Actually, no. The 'intent' of the FHA was to lighten the burden on poor IBM's pocket when it came to promised retiree health care for thousands of longtime employees. The 'intent' of the FHA was to replace promised lifetime retiree health care - NOT free, mind you - with an abomination that runs out when the longtime employee now retiree needs it most.
The 'intent' of the FHA was just as it was designed, a clever executive brain child which robbed the longtime employee of an unwritten promise and replaced it with scrip that not only ran out, but could even be withheld if - again, clever executive - the employee didn't meet the criteria.
Criteria which, as has been proven, could be manipulated by those clever executives. Executives who, as you know, do NOT have the FHA but rather the lifetime retiree medical.
If you had the FHA, John, you would not be comparing it to the promised - not in writing, mind you - lifetime retiree medical that IBM owed - not in writing, mind you - their longtime employees now retirees.
By the time I get thrown into Medicare, for me it'll probably be down to 1/4 or 1/5. It's getting outrageously expensive to stay alive and IBM has decided not to fully fund my longevity.
FHA is a similar but more aggressive move to reduce long term IBM expenses by capping the IBM contribution for retiree medical care, affecting employees who didn't get to keep the defined benefits pension. As I recall, FHA is capped so as to be comparable to about 3 years of IBM contributions under the former plan - equivalent to retirement at 62. And no contributions for age 65 and beyond.
Yes the old plan is obviously better. But then again, it was even better in 1992. And even better for husband/wife employees who got 100% coverage before that.
Isn't there a law of thermodynamics that applies to this situation?
What you described Pre-FHA is EXACTLY what will happen with the Ryan Bill proposed by the current House of Representatives. Vouchers will be provided in lieu of the current Medicare system As health care costs increase, Seniors will need to pay more and more out of pocket. In a short time, the vouchers will become no more valuable than grocery store coupons. It will be a boon to insurance companies which will offer products. Seniors who cannot afford insurance will just expire earlier than before.
Although those 55 or older are exempt from the Ryan Bill, I fully expect that once the bill passes, an amendment will be proposed so that ALL Seniors can enjoy the same benefits of the 'Preserved Medicare System.
However, 2 days after getting the appraisal, my second line dropped by my office to see what was wrong. After about an hour of discussion, he re prioritized the appraisal items and my 3 became a 2.
That was IBM. -- Don
I'm very pessimistic about this situation ever changing, because there are too many large business interests that benefit from the current mess. They will fight tooth and nail against a change in the "status quo", unless the change benefits them in some way. Meanwhile, primary care providers such as myself sink deeper and deeper into a quagmire of paperwork, fewer and fewer MDs in training go into primary care, and those currently trying to provide primary care are bailing out in large numbers. A whole industry has sprung up, offering expensive courses to help MDs transition to "non-clinical" careers.
The idea that turning health care loose in a "free market" will reduce costs is a myth, in my opinion. In addition to the fact that it is seen to be untrue, from an ethical standpoint I don't feel that health care should be treated like "just another industry".
My advice is to stay as healthy as you can, as long as you can. Who knows what the future will bring? Nothing good for the patient, I'm afraid.
2) They make campaign contributions: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/summary.php?cycle=2012&ind=f09
3) They are ORGANIZED: http://ahip.org/about/
4) They spend lots of money on PR, trying to convince us that we don't want 'single-payer': http://wendellpotter.com/2012/02/the-battle-for-vermonts-health/
During my 20 years as a health insurance PR executive, I was involved in numerous efforts to make the very term "single payer" toxic to most Americans. We even spent hundreds of thousands of premium dollars in 2007 to help finance the operation of a front group, called Health Care America, for the sole purpose of trashing a movie — Michael Moore's "Sicko" — that put single payer systems abroad in a favorable light. You can rest assured that the industry will spend much, much more to make sure that Vermont does not succeed.
5) Insurance companies make money off of us. http://wendellpotter.com/2012/02/the-battle-for-vermonts-health/
Health insurers make enormous amounts of money off of us, something they cannot do so effectively in other countries, especially Canada. The four largest insurers, United, WellPoint, Aetna and CIGNA, reported earning a combined $11 billion on nearly $220 billion in revenues last year.
The above links talk about single-payer movements in California and Vermont. Wendell Potter is an ex-Cigna VP - turned whistle blower who worked in insurance public relations for years.
I HIGHLY recommend his book, "Deadly Spin": http://wendellpotter.com/allWendell/resources/DeadlySpinFlyer.pdf
He knows the insurance playbook. Check out his blog for updates.
I ended up paying $223. for my glasses, my question to the IBM Representative (Contractor not Employee) was quite simple. With four companies plus the provider making a profit (None where charities) how much profits to these companies are my benefits paying for?.
Even if a 401(k) plan were optional, it would be dangerous for our retirees, both economically and morally.
The point of 401(k) plans was to supplement pensions, not replace them. Using a 401(k) in place of a defined benefit pension would undercut the financial security that our workers deserve.
Instead of the reliable benefit of the pension system now in effect across the state, a 401(k) plan fluctuates at the whim of the stock market. While some retirees could hit the jackpot, the chances are higher that they would hit rock-bottom if the market struggles as it has since the Great Recession started in 2007.
Many retirees with 401(k) plans have met this fate, and the results have been difficult to watch. Seniors are going back to work well into their 70s and 80s, turning to food stamps and food banks just to eat, and putting a bigger strain on public assistance, especially medical services.
Cons: This is a money machine with the management vision not going beyond the quarter. IBM are a collection of brands who will be cutting each others throats for every cent of revenue Very risk averse and hates to invest -- most of innovation is done at the client's expense, so your moral code will be terrorised. Each solution we do is done like it is first of its kind. Trying to get hold of an SME is more like a ping pong game and you will play the role of a ball. The amount of dead wood - we have forests.
Advice to Senior Management: Walk the talk. Lead by example. Reduce the hypocrisy and complacency. Innovate REALLY not in your heads. Fix managers' charisma -- most have none. You are very process oriented but 90% are just obsolete burden which exists for historical reason. To test your new management appointments, please sack them if they start with changing the reporting hierarchy -- you are a matrix, why you need so many levels of management? Support your staff and provide them with real career advancement opportunities -- your GOM is a joke with 95% positions dead, opened to follow the process.
Cons: IBM makes no secret that they are moving thousands of jobs overseas. In order to stay under the radar they are accomplishing this in increments of under 1000 people at a time. The IBM infrastructure is impossible to gain proficiency in navigating: long time veterans have trouble finding out 'where to go or who to talk to'. Benefits have stagnated over the years and the huge number of retirees draw on IBM revenue. IBM's research is cutting edge, but the generally do not execute on trillion dollar ideas. When IBM lays people off, they target the most senior and highly paid employees. It is common that layoffs include 30 year veterans who have had incredible success at adding value to IBM and increasing IBM revenue: these people are shell-shocked and blind sided when they get word their job has been offshored.
Advice to Senior Management: IBM is not making any friends in the United States by sending the jobs overseas. For every senior person that is laid off, IBM makes a solid enemy in virtually ever industry in the world. Also, start capitalizing on the wealth of patents that are granted each year. There has got to be at least 1 multi-billion dollar idea in the 15000 patents IBM files each year.
According to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., American Airlines received specific funding relief in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and an Iraq War spending bill in 2007 that allowed airlines to spread their unfunded liability in 2008 over 10 years instead of seven. The war spending bill also let American use an interest rate of 8.25% to compute required contributions for 2008 through 2017. American and other airlines got additional relief for required contributions in 2006 and 2007.
PBGC officials are fighting plans by the airline's parent company, AMR Corp., to terminate its four defined benefit plans as it goes through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. PBGC Director Joshua Gotbaum is reminding members of Congress that the airline received several rounds of pension funding relief from 2006 to 2011, which allowed the company to make lower pension contributions.
Lenovo investors have much to be grateful to chief executive Yang Yuanqing for. The company is defying expectations by expanding beyond its Chinese borders. Acquisitions of German consumer electronics company Medion and a joint venture to make PCs with Japan’s NEC helped push sales in mature markets up by 80 per cent. These regions now make up over two-fifths of total sales. It also grew its share of China’s PC market to over one-third, bounds ahead of Acer in second place.
Working through Warehouse Workers for Justice, workers at the Elwood, IL, distribution center—reputedly Wal-Mart's largest with 3 million square feet of space—filed suit against Eclipse Advantage and Schneider Logistics for firing roughly 65 workers on December 29. In November, some of these workers had sued the two companies for violating state and federal wage and hour laws, such as not paying a minimum wage or premium pay for overtime in many cases.
The new amendment to that suit filed on February 1 claims that Schneider and Eclipse as "joint employers" failed to give the required 60-day notice of a mass layoff required by the federal WARN Act.
Consumers have long complained about the cost of going outside their health plan's network, but Smith encountered a new twist: a growing number of insurers have changed the way they calculate reimbursements to shift more of the expense to patients.
Now, instead of paying a percentage of the "usual and customary" charges from physicians and other providers, insurers are basing reimbursements on a percentage of what Medicare pays, which can be much less. "Every carrier is moving to this," says Ken Sperling, global health care practice leader at the benefit consulting firm Aon Hewitt. ...
Payment Changes 'Buried' To be sure, the information about how the insurer would calculate the payment was included on page 108 of a 126-page booklet outlining the Oxford plan offered by her husband's employer. The two-page explanation says the employer purchased a rider from Oxford that changed out-of-network payments from a percentage of usual and customary charges to Medicare rates plus 50 percent.
"It was so buried I never saw it," says Smith, adding that even if she had, there was no easy way to find out what Medicare pays for a procedure.
"In a case study involving low-income people enrolled in a community-based health insurance program, we found that use of primary care increased but use of emergency services fell, and -- over time -- total health care costs declined," David Neumark, a co-author of the study, said in a release accompanying the findings.
The study -- which focused on uninsured people in Richmond, Virginia who fell 200 percent below the poverty line -- found that over three years, health care costs fell by almost 50 percent per participant, from $8,899 in the first year to $4,569 in the third after they received insurance. Participants who enrolled in health coverage made fewer trips to the emergency room, which are notorious for running up patient bills. Instead, insured participants went for more primary care visits.
"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.
Two years ago, Citizens United tore down a century’s worth of law aimed at reducing the amount of corruption in our electoral system. It will go down as one of the most naive decisions ever rendered by the court.
The strongest case against judicial activism — against “legislating from the bench,” as former President George W. Bush liked to say — is that judges are not accountable for the new systems they put in place, whether by accident or design.
he Citizens United justices were not required to think through the practical consequences of sweeping aside decades of work by legislators, going back to the passage of the landmark Tillman Act in 1907, who sought to prevent untoward influence-peddling and indirect bribery.
If ever a court majority legislated from the bench (with Bush’s own appointees leading the way), it was the bunch that voted for Citizens United. Did a single justice in the majority even imagine a world of super PACs and phony corporations set up for the sole purpose of disguising a donor’s identity? Did they think that a presidential candidacy might be kept alive largely through the generosity of a Las Vegas gambling magnate with important financial interests in China? Did they consider that the democratizing gains made in the last presidential campaign through the rise of small online contributors might be wiped out by the brute force of millionaires and billionaires determined to have their way? ...
Justice John Paul Stevens’ observation in his dissent reads far better than Kennedy’s in light of subsequent events. “A democracy cannot function effectively,” he wrote, “when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”
But ascribing an outrageous decision to naiveté is actually the most sympathetic way of looking at what the court did in Citizens United. A more troubling interpretation is that a conservative majority knew exactly what it was doing: that it set out to remake our political system by fiat in order to strengthen the hand of corporations and the wealthy. Seen this way, Citizens United was an attempt by five justices to push future electoral outcomes in a direction that would entrench their approach to governance. ...
Those who doubt that Citizens United (combined with a comatose Federal Election Commission) has created a new political world with broader openings for corruption should consult reports last week by Nicholas Confessore and Michael Luo in the New York Times and by T.W. Farnam in The Washington Post. Both accounts show how American politics has become a bazaar for the very wealthy and for increasingly aggressive corporations. We might consider having candidates wear corporate logos. This would be more honest than pretending that tens of millions in cash will have no impact on how we will be governed.
That corporate structure offered him some tax savings, but an S corporation is usually meant for businesses, often family-held, that make and sell products. It is not often used by someone whose income comes from writing books, giving talks and doing consulting work.
Mr. Gingrich received a tax advantage by reporting the bulk of his earnings — $2,478,539 — as profits from his S corporation, exempting that portion of his income from the Medicare tax. ...
Had Mr. Gingrich earned the same amount as a banker or a lawyer from a company or partnership, he would have paid the Medicare tax on the full amount of his income. In 2010, Mr. Gingrich paid $1,000,959 in federal taxes (which included Medicare tax on the $450,000 of his income classified as wages).
Hedge-fund manager Cliff Asness is building a 25,900-square-foot, Colonial-style home with an indoor swimming pool and tennis court in Greenwich, Conn., according to permits and other town records. Nearby, a 31,500-square-foot mansion is being built for Lee Weinstein, founder of data-center concern Xand, with 15 bathrooms (plus additional powder rooms), a 2,500-square-foot master suite and a basement with a theater, wine cellar, juice bar, dance studio and sauna, records show. Twenty miles away, in Westport, Conn., Melissa and Doug Bernstein, whose Melissa & Doug company makes educational children's toys, are creating a compound of more than 30,000 square feet with a stand-alone ice-cream parlor, plans show. The main house alone is 29,500 square feet and includes a gym partially covered by glass; there's also a guest cottage, pool cabana and rec-room-and-garage building. The property also has a pool, tennis court and playground. The town deemed the home complete last summer; the tax assessor in 2010 valued the property at $19.8 million.
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