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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—June 13, 2015

  • ABC Channel 17 News (Columbia, Missouri):

    Source: IBM workers in Columbia furloughed as early as 2011. By Jillian Fertig. Excerpts: IBM employees in Columbia who were part of the latest round of layoffs said the company has moved up their last days, meaning they now have less time to find new jobs.

    ABC 17 News is told their new departure date is June 30.

    For the last month, ABC 17 News has been investigating after the state suspended some of the tax credits IBM had been receiving because the company isn't meeting minimum staffing numbers.

    On Wednesday, a former employee who wanted to remain anonymous said IBM has had trouble keeping employment numbers up since the facility opened in 2010.

    The former employee told ABC 17 News some employees were furloughed back in 2011, only about a year after the Columbia facility opened its doors. ...

    According to the Missouri State Department of Economic Development, IBM received nearly $2 million for training.

    But some seem to question where that money went.

    "I did have to sign off on a few things for the state, in regards to the grant that IBM got 'cause they quote unquote 'trained me' to do my job, but there was really no training involved," the former employee said. "It was just, 'hey, this is what you're going to do,' and that's what I did."

    This employee told ABC 17 News while some were furloughed back in 2011, others were unhappy with the work environment and left of their own will.

    "It got to the point where essentially everyone's home page was CareerBuilder.com.," they said. "Honestly, I feel like it was probably a waste of taxpayers' money."

  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM Continues To Deteriorate. By Josh Arnold. Excerpts: To say I've been bearish on tech dinosaur IBM is a bit of an understatement. In the last couple of quarters I've outlined why I think IBM is doomed to perpetual underperformance, the lion's share of which is due in no small part to a management team that operates like zombies, failing to think for themselves and instead continuing on failed policies of leadership teams from the past. A lot has happened since I profiled Big Blue so in this article, I'll take a look at IBM's fundamentals in relation to its higher stock price and see if maybe it is time for me to turn my bearish frown upside down. ...

    The two main issues I have with IBM have always been that the business is dying and that the management team is clueless. Issue number one can be seen in any of IBM's recent earnings reports, including the Q1 report that came out about two months ago. IBM beat slightly on EPS but revenue came in light at a whopping 12.9% less than the comparable quarter a year ago. This is a story that has been playing out for a long time as IBM continues to cede business to its competitors. IBM's focus on financial engineering instead of running the business has cost shareholders dearly in the past few years and it is seen most clearly in loss of revenue.

    The second issue is certainly more qualitative and subjective in nature but is important nonetheless. IBM's last decade or so has been spent trying to grow shareholder value by repurchasing stock. This is an idea that makes sense as long as the underlying business can support it but IBM's management teams over that time span have been blinded to anything except buying back shares and in the process, the business has been steadily shrinking. The current CEO has been in place for nearly 4 years and has done absolutely nothing except continue on with failed practices from her predecessors. I honestly can't understand why IBM pays for a CEO when a piece of software can execute share buybacks; when there is no strategic direction coming from the top, why have a leadership team? ...

    I still think IBM is expensive here because there is virtually no way it can hit its EPS growth rates in the coming years. Analysts apparently agree because even after IBM reiterated its guidance, EPS estimates haven't moved. IBM will continue to post disappointing numbers, lose revenue, post flat margins and continue to buy back stock. Those things we know will happen because they have been happening for years. And since the leadership team apparently has zero ability to make any difference, I suspect we'll continue to see those things happen and that the stock will continue to drift downward as the business dies off.

  • I, Cringely:

    Disney’s IT troubles go beyond H-IBs. By Robert X. Cringely. Excerpts: Disney has been in the news recently for firing its Orlando-based IT staff, replacing them with H-1B workers primarily from India, and making severance payments to those displaced workers dependent on the outgoing workers training their foreign replacements. I regret not jumping on this story earlier because I heard about it back in March, but an IT friend in Orlando (not from Disney) said it was old news so I didn’t follow-up. Well now I am following with what will eventually be three columns not just about this particular event but what it says about the U.S. computer industry, which is not good. ...

    Disney had its IT operation in-house, then hired IBM to take it over with the usual transfer of employees followed by layoffs as IBM cut costs to make a bigger profit. Ultimately Disney fired IBM, hired (or re-hired) a new IT staff, which is the group now replaced by H-1Bs employed by an Indian company essentially offering the same services that were earlier provided by IBM. This more detailed story means, for one thing, that the workers being replaced by H-1Bs have for the most part worked for Disney for less than three years. ...

    But in Disney’s specific case there’s another underlying issue that has to be taken into account, which is IT mis-management on an epic scale. I have been talking with IT folks I trust from Orlando — both former Disney workers and others just familiar with the local tech scene — and the picture of Disney IT that emerges is terrible. Disney turned to IBM not so much to save money as to save IT. But as you can guess, an essentially un-managed IBM contract was viewed by Armonk as a blank check. Disney started complaining, but it is my understanding that at least some of the trouble had to do with Disney’s own communication problems — problems that didn’t improve once IBM was fired. ...

    “I remember there was a big crisis,” recalled a former IBMer who worked on the Disney account. “There was a massive backlog of new service requests, hundreds. It turned out most of the service requests had already been processed and had been waiting on Disney for months, sometimes over a year, for approval. In the interim Disney had changed their request process. So we moved the finished requests to the new system. A few months later most of those requests were still awaiting Disney’s approval.” ...

    I blame Disney CEO Bob Iger for not knowing what’s happening at his own company, which I’m told now thinks that moving everything to the cloud is the answer. It isn’t. And with Disney such an iconic brand I’m quite sure there are technical people in Russia, China, North Korea and elsewhere who know very well the company’s vulnerability.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Bob- Your depiction of the displaced Disney cast members is not entirely accurate. I know several who had been with the company in excess of 15 years and were let go. They were not new hires, but experienced staff. However your assessment that Disney has been mismanaging IT is no surprise. The CIO’s office has a revolving door, and there’s a very clear disconnect between the way the senior levels of management try to run things and the way they need to be run. Disney continues to view IT not a as core competency but as an expense to be minimized. They haven’t yet figured out that their primary concern should be serving their customers (the other business units) not the finance people. Screw up IT, and pretty much everything at Walt Disney World stops.
    • Regarding “for the most part worked for Disney less than three years”: If the outsourcing (and subsequent insourcing some years later) worked as I’ve seen it, I’d bet that some of those affected employees were Disney to begin with, and then were hired on by IBM (in rare cases seconded out to IBM from Disney, but unlikely), and then after Disney took its IT back, these people were brought along, still in their same jobs as before, back to being Disney employees. And then finally laid off. So actually, they could have been employed in the same spot for a lot of years, only with different employers. Heck, I’ve seen many cases where it was policy to transfer seniority and pre-existing benefits (e.g. vacation accrual) from the old employer to the new one, unchanged.
    • I work for another company that booted their experienced IT staff and brought in HCL (the company Disney chose) a couple years back. It has been a complete and total disaster. Thinking that bunch of useless bozos will straighten out your company’s IT problems is like thinking “This bucket of gasoline will put that fire right out!” Good luck, Disney… you’re gonna need it!
    • Isn’t this also fraud. I understood the point of the H1B to be to obtain technical talent abroad that is not available here. But this totally public layoff (including having the former employees train their replacements) shows that to be a complete lie.
  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “UNIX Systems Administrator”

      Former Employee — Unix Systems Administrator in Buenos Aires (Argentina). I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: Clients have very large, potentially interesting hardware and software deployments. Custom IBM hardware that's administered is very nice. Work from home policies are very lax. Cons: Excessive, dehumanizing processes for absolutely everything. Multiple layers of bureaucracy slow down work. Extremely narrow area of focus. Communications with the customer are handled through multiple layers of people. Quality of surrounding employees varies widely. On-call rotations are frequent and can be exhausting.
    • “Insufficient Return On Investment (time/energy)”

      Current Employee — Senior Software Engineer in Poughkeepsie, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Layoffs have been reduced (not eliminated). Now hiring to replace laid off workers. Work from home opportunities are good.

      Cons: As a 30+ year employee, I regularly work 60+ hours per week and I bring home less than I did 5 years ago due to increased medical premiums and infrequent raises. Last 5 years of raises were 0%, 2.1%, 0%, 0%, 2.2%, all while working 60+ hours per week. IBM's official policies are:

      • Hire the best
      • Pay average

      Actual pay is a bit under average.

      Advice to Management: There needs to be appropriate financial return for hard work and dedication.

    • “IT Project Manager”

      Former Employee — IT Development Manager in Huntsville, AL I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: Very organized and methodical in all approaches. Cons: Extremely impersonal with very high expectations for performance and little reward for achievement. Advice to Management: Up and coming career seekers — good choice. Long term professionals — negotiate well before being hired in. Internal process lock down opportunities. Great for conformists...not so great for idealists.
    • “Life After IBM Does Exist”

      Current Employee — Software Sales in Denver, CO. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Great teammates. Iconic brand. Decent benefits.

      Cons:

      • Know nothing mid-management
      • Sycophant first-line managers
      • Age Discrimination
      • EPS at all costs
      • Too many empire-builders

      Advice to Management: Too much corporate nepotism; the company needs fresh blood at the very top. Stop recycling lifers into new executive roles. Get rid of all executives that have no direct reports. Stop laying off worker bees; they are the life blood of the company.

    • “IBM sourcing analyst”

      Current Employee — Sourcing Analyst in Raleigh, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Great company. Not very many opportunities for advancement. Huge company offers great benefits. Opportunities for travel. Great experience. Looks fantastic on resume. Cons: Technology and tools aren't great. Can't is 100 yet as old and they still act it. Computers are complete crap even in a client facing role. Can actually be embarrassing.
    • “Great Place”

      Current Employee — Software Developer in Toronto, ON (Canada). I have been working at IBM full-time (less than a year.)

      Pros:

      • Respect from colleagues
      • Open helpful culture encourages intellectual curiosity
      • Good pay
      • Strong company structure and programs
      • Good benefits
      • Trusting atmosphere
      • Flexible working hours
      • Occasionally working from home is great
      • My best job to date (hope I can stay (thinking) until I am gray).

      Cons:

      • Rigid bureaucratic structure (to be expected with such a large organization)
      • Slightly impersonal at times (though not nearly as bad as other places)
      • Slightly more annual holidays might be nice (now: three weeks)

      Advice to Management: Great job; high praise from me at least!

    • “Project Manager”

      Former Employee — Global Project Manager in Armonk, NY. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Good retirement plan. Drug medication discount up to 75% to the whole family (Vidalink). Cons: Toxic environment. Stressful and with a lot of bureaucracy. Work goes overseas every year. We always need to improve our productivity. (We didn't have work/life balance). Advice to Management: You have lost many of the best of your resources recently. Plan careful any transition due to new strategy change. Take action based on employee values and satisfaction and not to please stock market.
    • “Not great, to put it short”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Kraków (Poland). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: Ermm, this is is hard. It's seriously hard to find something above "very bad" level here. We have 14 inch laptops for all tech employees, as an example.

      Cons:

      • I met multiple Infrastructure Architects who never heard of Jenkins. Guess what they are building.
      • Everything is VERY budget. Old laptops, Lotus Notes, very short list of approved software. gVim is banned. Seriously.
      • My knowledge transfer from previous team was 10 minutes of cursing.
      • Local management is horrible. You are not expected to talk with anyone.
      • Medieval technology. 90% employees really believe someone apart from IBM uses AIX. That leads to very strange technology. 6.99% of people I met never heard of Git.
      • No one hides the fact there are no raises.
      • Security checks. You are officially not allowed to use internet apart from Ibm.com domain.
      • A lot of senior people work 25 years here. Go convince that guy ksh is not a good programming language for all automation.

      Advice to Management: Stop Watson business. Throw Tivoli monster out of the window. Forget AIX. Get people under 30 making technical decisions. Just close the shop, seriously.

    • “Consulting IT Architect”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA. Pros: Benefits were good. Great group of people to work with. Got to meet many people worldwide. Had the opportunity to work hands on with software. Cons: Management is not honest. They do not treat employees with respect. Do not provide the opportunity to grow your skills. Very stressful environment. Advice to Management: Be your own person. Work to grow your department and have a positive work environment. Get to know the people in your department no matter where they are located.
    • “Not the company it use to be”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Job security. Provides employee a broad range of opportunity within their chosen field to broaden their scope and take on new roles. Cons: Quarterly focus and 2015 road map has ruined the company. Everything is dictated by short-term thinking. Constant travel and spend restrictions. Decisions by senior management are slow and cautious. Poor management and leadership overall.
    • “Terrible (unless you are a robot)”

      Former Employee — Inside Sales in Littleton, MA.

      Pros: Some very nice and professional co-workers. (No idea where they get their patience, other than there are no other jobs so they go along to get along but hate the company).

      Cons: Poor work/life balance (your whole life is supposed to be about IBM).

      Poor middle management; your manager will 'have your back' until the manager above him/her complains and then they will throw you under the bus and put you on a 30-60 day 'plan' to exit you out of the company.

      Advice to Management: Grow up; being a middle manager at IBM doesn't mean a thing. You're not the President of the United States or anyone of any significant importance. Treat your people like humans and stop hiding behind titles.

    • “Was great until I made a paperwork error”

      Former Employee — Senior Software Engineer Manager in San Jose, CA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Great people, lots of flexibility, can move around inside to different jobs. Good work/life balance and alternate work options.

      Cons: The pay is lower. Expense controls to drive you nuts. No clear strategy or vision at least in my division.

      Advice to Management: Give loyal employees the benefit of the doubt. After 16+ years I would not have expected a simple paperwork error to have resulted in termination.

    • “PwC Acquisition // 12 year IBM Employee // Job Outsourced”

      Former Employee — Assistant in DFW, TX. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Remote work from home option supporting execs in domestic USA or global countries. Working in a virtual world.

      Cons: Corporate savings since employees are responsible for paying for own home/phone; internet; and printer usage sometimes exceeding limits. No pay raises for 10+ years. Many women in management trying to get ahead therefore disrespecting others.

      Advice to Management: Moving in the direction as WANG Laboratories but with much more greed!

    • “Pressure cooker environment”

      Former Employee — Senior Program Manager in Armonk, NY. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Big company, lots of opportunities to learn new things and career choices. Working from home positions!

      Cons: IBM keeps cutting workforce in the US every year moving the work to APAC; customers do not want to deal with people who are not local to the US so they cling onto the few US resources left overloading them with work...fewer and fewer people make for very long work weeks. The added aggravation of all the overhead activities to be performed to align with management initiatives turns this company into the only relationship you will entertain as you won't have time for anything else.

      Advice to Management: Stop this madness of firing US resources. The 80/20 rule does NOT work when you are offshoring jobs to India and the like. There is too much time difference; the difference in work ethics are too wide and constitute a huge barrier and your customers are willing to pay extra for US based resources!

    • “Everyone is a Widget”

      Former Employee — Department Manager in Rochester, MN. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Most people on the front lines are great people trying to make a difference. Cons: To managers, everyone is a widget, interchangeable and disposable. Layoffs are very common. First-line managers have no authority. Advice to Management: Poor business results leading to layoffs are the outcome of ineffective executive management with extremely poor business acumen.
    • “Not at the top of the tree anymore”

      Former Employee — Programmer Manager in Leeds, England (UK). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros:

      • Global travel for the younger employees
      • Some good financial benefits
      • Close working relationships
      • Community education and mentoring facilities

      Cons:

      • Ever reducing company benefits
      • Poor career advancement
      • Constant pressure to take on more and more workload
      • Poor work/life balance despite rhetoric to the contrary

      Advice to Management: Mean what you say, push boundaries, include all employees, be interested in them.

    • “Incompetent Management/No Job Security”

      Former Employee — Program Manager in Burlington, VT. Pros: Co-workers (non-managers) are great and support you to get the job done. Cons: No Job security. Management only looks to save their own job. No appreciation for good job if you are not the senior management favorite. Advice to Management: Get a life.
    • “Director”

      Former Employee — Director in Armonk, NY. I worked at IBM (more than 3 years). Pros: Many talented people, excellent R&D. Good brand, not always well managed beneath the "top line" name. Risk averse and distrustful of business partners. Cons: Huge bureaucratic overhead, competing product lines. Management by accountancy. Little ability to delegate decisions to the right level in the customer's eyes. Rather insular US outlook, despite international presence. Advice to Management: Untangle the terribly hampering lines between responsibility and authority to act. Reduce placeholders, increase real talent.
    • “Benefits great but slow to give out training dollars”

      Current Employee — Consultant in Washington, DC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: People are talented and gifted; a lot of projects to roll onto to try different roles/responsibilities. Work with a variety of people where you can learn from; people who've been with the company for 10+ years and those at least a year. Benefits are great — covers dental, medical, etc. Cons: Depending on who you have as your manager and who he/she reports to, you may or may not get training dollars — you need to talk to the right people (mainly those higher in the chain) to get the training you need to get ahead for your own career development. Advice to Management: Please look out for those who joined the company and do not lie to them about your rating system, and how many 1s or 2+s you give out to your staffers.
    • “Delivery Executive”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Great compensation, flexible work environment. Cons: Big organization with too many decision makers and not enough decision making. People selling what cannot be delivered. Variable compensation is good but salary increases non-existent. Travel only in coach class. Unfair salary or bonus distribution. Incentive plans targets are subjective and they want to keep as that.
    • “Marketing and communications global”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Armonk, NY.

      Pros: A few good employees left to work with

      Cons:

      • Terrible leadership
      • Managers are bullies
      • No raises
      • Tear down self esteem at every turn

      Advice to Management: All management should be fired from first-line management up to Ginnie. Start again.

    • “Hardworking and active culture with very little emphasis on reward”

      Current Employee — IT Project Manager in Melbourne (Australia). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros:

      • Constant stream of work
      • Supportive middle management structure
      • Hardworking culture with can do attitude — no deadwood

      Cons:

      • No work life balance and no reward
      • Too much emphasis on cost and headcount reduction
      • Higher management lacks client focus and commitment
      • Conversions to permanency and contract remuneration increase rejected multiple times
      • No career progression

      Advice to Management:

      • Invest in revenue streams rather than cost reductions.
      • Invest and reward talent
    • “Consultant”

      Current Employee — Senior Consultant in Atlanta, GA. Pros: Flexible work environment and ability to travel. Work with some of the largest customers in any industry. All employees have the opportunity to invest in themselves and have access to training and a tremendous support system. Cons: A lot of offerings and products that do not work together. Focus is on quarterly performance by brand or product. Little emphasis on solutions that combine all of IBM. Advice to Management: Listen to the customer. Stop expecting them to conform to how you have done business in the past.
    • “Still a good place to work”

      Current Employee — IT Architect in Toronto, ON (Canada). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Work at home provides the flexibility to adjust your schedules provided you aren't overloaded with work. Some managers are excellent and really care about their staff and show great respect. Cons: Workloads can be excessive and time frames are often far too short to do the correct things. Customer requirements are often changing and executives often don't consider the complexity of customer solutions. Generally there aren't enough staff available to do the volume of work. Advice to Management: Management is a tough challenge since most 1st and 2nd line managers don't have much say in things, so show as much respect to employees as you can since that makes a big difference.
    • “Maintenance Tech”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Current management is OK but there are too many people looking to stab you in the back. Cons: Constantly trying to get blood from a stone. Less people more work and no pay increase.
    • “IBM Global Business Services”

      Former Employee — Certified Senior Project Manager in Paterson, NJ.

      Pros: Benefits, plenty of opportunities for those willing to travel, many positions can be performed at home. Good place to get experience at the beginning of one's career, plus working for IBM looks great on a resume.

      Cons: Most of the money, bonuses, and opportunities go to people in specific areas (those that IBM is focusing on at a given moment). Currently that would be big data, cloud, mobile, etc.

      Advice to Management: Find ways to recognize and reward your "meat and potatoes" employees. Many excellent, much needed employees are demoralized and feel unappreciated.

    • “Operations manager”

      Current Employee — Operations Manager in New York, NY.

      Pros: Average to normal work environment and lots of flexibility. Mostly a work at home environment and full of strong employees.

      Cons: No career growth 1 to 2% raise year over year ONLY for top 10% employees. Anything outside of that is not eligible for an increase. Only 2 people on a team of 10 can land in that category.

      Advice to Management: Be more people oriented and so trying to be IBM cool. Offer more learning support.

  • truthOut:

    Backlash Grows as Leaked TPP Text Reveals Increased Corporate Control of Public Health. By Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh. Excerpt: As the Obama administration praises the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), backlash continues to grow against the deal. WikiLeaks has just published another section of the secret text - this one about public healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. Newly revealed details of the draft show the TPP would give major pharmaceutical companies more power over public access to medicine, and weaken public healthcare programs. The leaked draft also suggests the TPP would prevent Congress from passing reforms to lower drug costs. One of the practices that would be allowed is known as "Evergreening." It lets drug companies extend the life of a patent by slightly modifying their product and then getting a new patent. We speak to Peter Maybarduk of Public Citizen and John Sifton of Human Rights Watch about their concerns.
  • Washington Post:

    How to get the most out of your Social Security benefits. By Allan Sloan. Excerpts: I’m going to oversimplify — the only way to deal with Social Security without bogging down — until we get to a strategy called file-and-suspend, which might not be available much longer.

    Okay, here we go. If you have at least 10 years of employment (or have been married long enough to someone with the requisite 10 years), you can begin drawing Social Security retirement benefits at any time between ages 62 and 70. The longer you wait to start, the bigger your monthly benefit — but the fewer years you have to collect it. ...

    Conventional wisdom is to wait until 70 if you can afford it and are in good health, because higher benefits offset the risk of outliving your money — that’s longevity risk. However, unless you live to your mid-80s, you don’t come out ahead by waiting: It takes 12 1/2 years of a 132 percent benefit to make up for the four years of 100 percent benefit you gave up. Should you die at 69 and 11 months, you and your spouse are out of luck. That’s what’s called mortality risk. ...

    But your feelings could be different. And file-and-suspend is easy to do — at least for now — by following instructions in the popular new book “Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.” My longtime friend Philip Moeller, a journalist who specializes in retirement issues, is one of the co-authors. The others are Paul Solman of “PBS NewsHour” and Laurence J. Kotlikoff of Boston University. It’s a very useful book.

    File-and-suspend works like this. When one member of a benefits-eligible couple hits 66, for example, he or she files for Social Security but immediately suspends receiving payments; the other member files for “spousal benefits,” which are equal to half what the filer-and-suspender would have gotten. After reaching 70, the filer-and-suspender refiles. So the couple gets four years of partial age-66 benefits plus full age-70 benefits rather than not getting a dime until age 70.

  • The Center for Public Integrity:

    Free market ideology doesn't work for health care. Costs imposed by 'medical industrial complex' defy reason. By Wendell Potter. Excerpts: In my column last week I suggested that one of the reasons Americans tolerate paying so much more for health care than citizens of any other country — and getting less to show for it — is our gullibility. We’ve been far too willing to believe the self-serving propaganda we’ve been fed for decades by health insurers and pharmaceutical companies and every other part of the medical-industrial complex, a term New England Journal of Medicine editor Arnold Relman coined 35 years ago to describe the uniquely American health care system.

    One of the other reasons we tolerate unreasonably high health care costs is gullibility’s close and symbiotic relative: blind adherence to ideology. By this I mean the belief that the free market — the invisible hand Adam Smith wrote about more than two centuries ago and that many Americans hold as a nonnegotiable tenet of faith — can work as well in health care as it can in other sectors of the economy.

    While the free market is alive and well in the world’s other developed countries, leaders in every one of them, including conservatives, decided years ago that health care is different, that letting the unfettered invisible hand work its magic in health care not only doesn’t create the unintended social benefits Smith wrote about, it all too often creates unintended, seemingly intractable, social problems.

  • Washington Post:

    As the rich become super-rich, they pay lower taxes. For real. By Christopher Ingraham. Excerpts: One of the cornerstones of American income tax policy is that taxes are progressive. People who make more money devote a higher share of their income to federal income taxes than people who make less money. That allows for a redistribution of wealth that lowers inequality.

    That's how it's supposed to work, at least.

    But new data out this spring from the IRS gives us a closer look of how the income tax works at the pinnacle of the income distribution -- not just the top 1 percent, or even the top 0.1 percent, but among the rarefied realm of the 0.01 and even the 0.001 percent. Those latter two categories are new in the IRS report this year, reflecting a growing public interest in the ultra-wealthy and their effects on the economy.

    The IRS found that as you go from being merely wealthy (the 1 percent) to super-duper wealthy (the 0.001 percent), your average federal income tax rate actually goes down. In other words, the progressivity of the federal income tax starts to fall apart at the upper reaches of the income distribution. Take a look.

  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • In Temporary Victory for Seniors, Bad Trade Deal Fails to Advance in House
    • Speakers Named for Alliance’s National Legislative Conference in Washington, DC
    • Florida Alliance Holds Annual Convention
    • Medicare Turns 50: President Clinton Calls Out GOP Hypocrisy on Medicare Cuts
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 06/09/15:

    HSBC just announced they are shedding 50,000 jobs and moving software development to India and China. Their stock, of course, went right up on the announcement. Look for IBM to take advantage of that to do more cuts and 'hide behind' or join this 'trend' by using the same excuses. IBM stock has been down for days running, and they will soon be needing some excuse to justify poor 2Q earnings and yet another quarter of declining revenues as they are in 'transition'. Buckle up if you haven't been RA'd yet, and by all means join and support the Alliance now while you still can. -ReadTheTeaLeaves-
  • Comment 06/10/15:

    Over one thousand members of IBM Australia staff have been RA’d since February 2015 mostly older workers; some jobs off shored others replaced by younger new hires at less cost . -anon-
  • Comment 06/10/15:

    There is a project being run now to transition accounts to a 100% Global Resource model called GDD or Global Delivery Direct. All service lines across all IOT's and sectors are being targeted. Initiative is being supported by service line VP's. Long term / large, well established accounts affected. India GDC leadership is lobbying for large accounts. CA is a problem because IBM has to pay a 200K tax for landed Visa resources. The landed positions are typically leadership roles. In order to mitigate the tax some of these accounts are being filled with lower banded inexperienced resources in leadership positions. 100 plus accounts transitioned in 2014. Target for 2015 is 250. Some large accounts affected include Walmart, national Grid, HSBC, etc.. Eliminating US jobs in favor of offshore resources as a practice that is alive and well. -Anon-
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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