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Job Outsourcing Stories

Read first-hand outsourcing tales from the job front.
Shouldn't the norms apply equally? Written by BonusOnus on 02/15/2012I work at a Silicon Valley company and there's a diverse workforce at my company.

I have a coworker, "S", who is Indian. She's arrogant and patronizing and I don't like dealing with her but I am professional towards her.

A few months ago, she and her husband bought a house and had a house-warming party. She invited some of the people in our group. But they were all Indian. She only invited her Indian coworkers to her housewarming party. No whites or Asians.

"S" only socializes with other Indians; with Asians or whites like me, she does not socialize with us. That's OK with me. I support the right or freedom to associate with anyone you want. Just be professional at work because I'm at the office primarily to work and get a paycheck, not primarily to socialize.

A few weeks ago, I had a Super Bowl party at my house. I invited a few coworkers. Since "S" does not like football, I did not invite her. I did not invite any of my Indian coworkers, not because I wanted to exclude them but because they have never shown interest in football. Most of the coworkers I invited were also men, because I invited the ones who liked football.

"S" found out about the party and complained to my manager so that it came across as if I excluded Indians. Mind you, there was an Indian (male) at my SB party but he was not a current coworker but a former one (who works at another company). There were also Chinese, Korean, and Hispanics at my party, as well as white people.

I didn't hold a "whites-only" party.

Now, I support "S" and other Indians to socialize among themselves and exclude me. That's fine. But why is it that when I exclude them, it's viewed as being racist?

I don't understand how the various ethnic cliques at my company (Russians, Indians, Chinese) are tolerated but if whites formed a little social clique at work, we'd be viewed as racist.

Why doesn't the norms of race apply equally to all races? Why didn't "S" get dinged for only inviting Indian coworkers to her house warming party but I did for not inviting Indian coworkers who don't even like football?
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Posted by wageslave on 02/18/2012:
Did your manager actually address this with you? Do all these people know you are allowed to invite anyone you want to your OWN house? I feel bad for you, you have ridiculous co-workers.

Posted by BonusOnus on 02/19/2012:
My manager did bring it up with me. She's not Indian though so she advised me to invite everyone next time to look like I wasn't being exclusionary. I didn't retort to her that she should give the same advice to my Indian coworker "S" either. I suspect "S" is just doing the Indian thing and trying to cause trouble behind my back. However, what bugs me the most is that Indians like my coworkers can socialize only amongst themselves or the Chinese or Russians can form their own exclusionary ethnic cliques without any ramifications. But if I formed a "white Americans only" clique, we'd be in trouble. What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by Office Drone on 03/20/2012:
'the picture' is what is wrong. Anything White or Christian cannot be tolerated, too racist, not P.C. It sucks and it's wrong, you're not. Wonder if you had invited 'them' if any of them would have come???

Posted by Itstheeconomystupid on 05/08/2012:
I have been following your stories. Please stop lamenting and do your work. There are plenty of countries out there willing to send their brightest, dumbest and average to eat you lunch. Fast forward ten years and forget your boat, parties and the false sense of entitlement driven by maxing out on credit cards. This will bite you. Bye now.

Posted by don-task on 05/10/2012:
... boats? parties? sense of entitlement? credit-cards? And Where Have You Been for the last 10 years? To be treated as a human being and with dignity at a job should not even be an issue, but right now it's priceless.

Posted by BonusOnus on 05/15/2013:
Hey itstheeconomystupid, I do my work. And I am painfully aware of the situation in other countries where they can only dream of things that we here take for granted. I've travelled a lot too, not just to 1st world countries in Europe but places like India. I know what it's like. I know people in other countries would die to get a chance to switch places with me. Mexicans risk death by crossing our borders through deserts. Chinese risk death by being sealed in containers on container ships. However, the reason so many bright/dumb/average Indians is because our country is one that provides opportunities. And we can do this because we have a unique culture, especially in the Silicon Valley. One of them is that we try to hire or work with the best and brightest, no matter what race or nationality they are. The other is that we "mix" racially. We do not have ethnic cliques or ethnic ghettoes. When Indians come over here because they can't make a decent living in India, I expect them to adopt to our culture, not try to impose their culture on us non-Indians. That means they shouldn't just socialize themselves while complaining if we do the same. That means hiring the best and brightest, not just other Indians (which I have seen way too often). They shouldn't treat those subordinate to them like they do their servants, as they do in India. They should leave their racism and prejudices in India. That's only fair.

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Americans losing their jobs Written by wageslave on 10/19/2011I tried to dispute a Sears credit card charge this weekend. I was connected with an operator in Guatemala. I could hardly understand her. The whole conversation was very frustrating and I asked to be connected to someone in the US. Why is a multibillion dollar company throwing away jobs?

Why can't I find one pair of jeans made in the US? LEVIS are now made in Mexico and India and their quality has suffered. NFL gear is not cheap but that's how it's made.

I am starting my own personal boycott on foreign made goods. Bring back the tariffs on foreign made goods! Corporations will not wise until they feel the economic pinch.
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Posted by labtech on 10/26/2011:
You can ask to be connected to an operator in the US, that's about all you do. You can't find a Hershey's chocolate bar made in the US either, they're made in Mexico. To find jeans made in the US, go to All American Clothing Company. But you won't be able to buy much else that's made in America now - and some tools are made in China, relabelled as Made In America, repacked and sold as the real goods. So in a generation or so, we'll be just as third world as the countries these big corporations are outsourcing to, since jobs will be so scarce, minimum wage will be the main goal of most working class Americans - and owning a house, raising a family, will be impossible dreams unless you are on welfare and food stamps. Welcome to the 19th century. Just wait until China calls in those loans our president made. We'll be a bigger version of Greece.

Posted by wageslave on 10/28/2011:
Labtech, thanks for the tip. But wasn't it president Bush who made the deal to finance a war on credit? I am not meaning to be snarky but our President inherited the worst financial mess ever. I feel bad for Obama I wouldn't want his job for anything.

Posted by wageslave on 10/28/2011:
I won't buy Hershey bars anymore. Everyone knows not to drink Mexican water. How do you make food without water?

Posted by Sphincter Detector on 11/03/2011:
Does anyone else think Hershey chocolate smells like sour cream/baby throw up? I can't eat it, I gag ever time.

Posted by dontask on 11/03/2011:
Because Hershey's is made with sour milk, that's why. A convoluted and slow mixing process sours the milk. The bad aftertaste is deliberate to make you reach for the next piece of chocolate. Everything is geared towards more consumption and makes us fat. I stopped dealing with Sears or buying Hershey's a long time ago.

Posted by wageslave on 11/07/2011:
I will be dropping Verizon and switching to Comcast. Verizon outsources their customer service. We had 4 TV's and the 1 downstairs was old and blew out. I sent back the box and they raised my rates. I called and asked that someone call me to explain how 3 TV boxes cost more than 4 and no one ever called me back. Every one I know is disastified with their billing. I relayed my request for a callback to some foreign customer service rep. Once my service is cancelled I can't wait for their call I am going to let them have it.

Posted by wageslave on 11/27/2011:
I contacted Verizon and the angry rep asked why I disconnected service. I explained and she tried to belittle me. I had to make 3 phone calls to get to someone who was intelligent and rational.

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I'm not greedy, you are! Written by Sphincter Detector on 11/10/2010For the past six months I've been trying to start a business. It's a silly little thing, coupon booklets, printed material and such, but it's potentially very profitable if you consider that it's a one time cost expense that can be reproduced for pennies and sold for dollars. Anyway, I used to have a real hard-on about these greedy jokers that like to send our jobs to China and India ( me and Lou Dobbs!) just to inflate their already fat bottom lines and I was very hard lined about sourcing suppliers locally.. That is, until I experienced first hand, the sheer greed and opportunism that exploits 'need' by charging outrageous prices leaving me no choice but to go to China to be even a little bit profitable. Let’s take for example, something like a simple 8.5 x11 color flyer printed on slandered white paper. How much do you figure a piece of printed paper should cost? 5 cents? 20 cents? 50 cents? At the 'Quickie' mart it costs 50 cents and I'm good with that. But now I need 20 thousand flyers and the Quickie mart doesn't give bulk discounts. Any good business person would expect a discount when ordering in bulk and since I can't expect that from my local Quickie mart, I have to go to a commercial printer. Guess what, the lowest quote I got was 1.20 per flyer. I guess they roll their bulk discounts in from the top down! Are you f'n kidding me? Well no wonder everyone's going to China! I go to China and get quoted 4 cents! Don't have to be a genius to figure out the math on that one. Now, I'm supposed to feel guilty, like I'm the one being greedy and unpatriotic? So, Mr. Supplier, and Mr. Quickie Mart, if it weren't for your greed in the first place, I wouldn't have had to go to China! If the Quickie Mart had the brains to start issuing bulk discounts and the Local supplier didn’t exploit the market, no one would outsource. So the way I figure it, the problem starts with you! Don't get me wrong, I would have gladly paid a modest premium to source locally, I would have paid up to 75 cents or even a buck. But you make it virtually impossible for me, and then fault me for my choice to go to China. What a hypocrisy!

I realize there are several reasons why the pricing disparity is so huge. Cost of labor, sweatshops, unsafe working environments. But even providing for that, by working with ISO certified vendors, you're still looking at less than 10 cents a flyer. So this just tells me that sometimes cheap is cheap simply because it's cheap, not because it's unethical. Our local guys are charging upwards of 500 percent mark ups.. So why not just 50%, this way everyone can make a buck!? So long as we have a 'meet it or beat it' annual profit guidance, this will never happen. 'Some' profit is never enough.. always has to be 'more' profit. Same profit as last year is never good enough, always has to be more than last year.. at what point to you cap out? reach the max limit? So the way I see it, we're all guilty of perpetuating this outsourcing problem. The consumer wants it cheap, cheaper and cheapest, so the retailer wants it wholesale, and the wholesaler wants it for next to free. Wholesaler has to go to China. Everyone's got to get greased, to keep this big wheel moving.. Capitalism at its finest folks!.. and I have no solutions, just observations.
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Posted by Printing Fool on 04/09/2011:
Wow, I don't know what state you're in. I'm in Alaska and we don't even have prices like that! There usually is a price break per 1000 units. At 20,000 copies you should be able to get a per unit price at 5 to 7 cents a unit black and white copy,(black ink, white bond 20lb paper). For most color jobs, spot color or even process (dot to dot) that's usually about 70 cents per unit. Make sure you are going to REAL Printers, not the push button digital copiers. Ink costs way less than toner, offset is way faster, and the quality much better, plus you are not limited to the type of paper that can be put on a real press. Most papers designed for digital copiers are way more expensive, and they are limited on the types of substrates that they can print on. You also have to figure out the cost per unit when bindery is needed. But I have to say, these prices just don't sound right to me. What state are you in, and how much do those Printer's make down there?!! I should think about moving!!!!

Posted by Printing Fool on 04/09/2011:
You also have to be on guard of these so called print shops. They will call themselves a printery but they will not have any presses, only digital copiers. I think there ought to be a law against this.

Posted by Printing Fool on 04/12/2011:
You should be getting a price break after every thousand ordered.The main costs are the plates and set up involved on a press that is the most expensive. After the press is set up to print additional thousands is called "gravy time" The owner makes money, the Printer gets to sit back and just feed the press paper and ink and the customer sees their per unit cost reduced the more that is printed. Digital Printers have a click charge with every print. That is the company that sold them the machine gets a cut for every print that comes off that copier. It can range anywhere from one half percent to three cents a copy. That may be the reason they are not giving you a discount for every thousand that you print. Just find a REAL print shop, especially a smaller one. You will get better prices, better prices, and they will work their hardest to keep you as an account. I hope this helps. If you have anymore questions just email me at

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Only in America Written by BonusOnus on 02/01/2010In the 1990s, the Democrats wanted banks to stop "redlining" and offer mortgages to poor people so they could buy houses.

So banks did.

And then to "reduce" the risk of loaning money to people who couldn't afford it, they created exotic financial instruments that were supposed to make the loans to poor people less risky.

Poor and lower income people, people who shouldn't have been able to buy a home with their level of income and savings, bought homes. Created a housing bubble.

The bubble popped.

Banks and financial institutions were in trouble because they were holding these mortgage loans on people who couldn't afford them.

So our politicans, the same ones who pushed the banks to make loans to the people who couldn't afford them (ie the poor), now attacked the banks for offering loans to people who couldn't afford them. And made it sound like the banks were in some scam to bilk the lendees. And the politicians (especially the liberal Democrats) absolved themselves of the blame.

The banks got bailed out. They got attacked for making risky loans to people who couldn't afford them. And tightened their lending standards.

Now the politicians are saying that the banks need to lend more to Main Street America, even if it means lending to risky lendees and offering them loans that they can't afford to pay.

Isn't this how we got into this mess in the first place?
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Posted by BonusOnus on 02/02/2010:
I stand corrected. The banks are lending. They have capital reserves after being backed by us, the taxpayers. But they're only lending to the US government (via bonds). The banks get loans from the US government at almost 0% rates. Then they turn around and buy US bonds that offer them about 3%. So they're making about 3% by returning the money to the US government. And paying big bonuses for that. This has got to be the stupidest financial bailout in history.

Posted by Wage Slave on 02/02/2010:
Corporate America owns this country, the Democrats and the Republicans. Don't be confused by the Republicans v. the Democrats shell game. It's just smoke and mirrors. The wealthy contol the market and didn't lose as much money as the poor schlubs with their 401k's. The stocks available to the average 401k participant were garbage with no hope of growth. Hedgefunders controlled gas prices when they were ridiculous. As long as we bury our heads in the sand and point fingers; it's the Democrats fault or it's the Republicans fault, corporate America and the ultra wealthy will get away with ruining this country. Both the Dems and the GOP have a hand in the current mess.

Posted by BonusOnus on 02/09/2010:
I'm pointing fingers at both parties. The Democrats had a hand in the housing bubble because it was because of their policies that led to people getting mortgages that couldn't afford them. I also blame the Republicans for quickly moving to bail out the banks and Wall Street firms because they were "too big to fail". By doing this, they let Wall Street keep their profits when times were good but bailed them out when times got rough. This is NOT FREE MARKET economics that Republicans are supposed to support! I don't know who's dumber - the Republicans who think bailing out corporate America is "free market" economics. Or the Democrats who think that their party isn't beholden to corporate interests like Republicans do.

Posted by econobiker on 02/09/2010:
Remember that Republicans only think welfare is wrong when po' folks get it versus tax credit, training credit, stimulus fund etc type welfare for mega corporations. I am currently reading the 1977 book by John Kenneth Gailbraith "The Age of Uncertainty" which predicted our most recent corporate situation but only 30 years ago. Also the term "too big to fail" used to mean a "monopoly" which needed to be broken up. "Teddy Roosevelt where are you now?"

Posted by BonusOnus on 02/10/2010:
You're right econobiker. Republicans only think it's wrong if poor people get welfare. Republicans have no problem when corporations get welfare. And these corporations get billions. Unfortunately, Democrats don't have a problem when corporations get welfare either. Here's a little secret. Corporate welfare (tax breaks, subsidies, bailouts) DWARFS the social welfare programs. A free market advocate can't possibly justify giving welfare to corporations that are *making* millions in profits.

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At my former company... Written by BonusOnus on 01/04/2010They have an office in India. The Indian office is full of people who are BS artists. They have yet to deliver on time and as promised -- so far, for every project, they have been behind schedule, or, if they are on schedule, they have not provided 100% of the functionality as they promised.

Yet they survive layoffs because...well, the CTO is Indian and he protects them. But if you are an employee in the US and you never delivered on time or didn't deliver 100% of what you promised, you get canned. And there's been layoffs in the US office.

So they started bringing over the desis from India on L1B visas, ostensibly to train them better. Then they are kept here, allowed to get greencards, and allowed to replace those who get laid off. It's not outsourcing because the jobs would be sent to India. Instead, Indians (and Indians from India only -- Indians in America need not apply) are hired.

Sounds fishy to me. I called INS and reported a possible visa violation. I don't have enough evidence but this also looks very discriminatory too -- maybe I should call the Dept. of Labor too.

Why the f**k is my former company bringing Indians over when 1) they aren't as good as American workers; 2) there's a ton of Americans unemployed and looking for work? And why are they just bringing over Indians and not Chinese or Russians on visas?

I'm so glad I'm no longer there. I had an idiot manager (white) and a bunch of sneaky Indians I had to deal with.

PS: to all of you out there, if you see possible violations of discrimination, avoidance of laws by hiring illegals, or skirting of visa laws by bringing in Indians on H1B or L1B visas, please contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You need to start raising a stink. The job you save might be your own.

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Posted by twiz on 01/05/2010:
I left corporate america for this exact reason. I think it has been 4-5 years since I last stepped foot in an office. I work for myself now. No bosses or management to decide my fate. I make all my own decisions for my own future. Hope I never have to go back.

Posted by chubby girl on 01/06/2010:
Bonus you are obviously very intelligent. Maybe you could start your own company like Twiz did. It's sounds like your whole field is overrun with shady illegals.

Posted by chubby girl on 01/06/2010:
You should get a job at the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Wouldn't your ex-employer love that? Go to Obviously they need competent employees.

Posted by BonusOnus on 01/09/2010:
chubby girl, if I were working at INS, I would probably not be immediately placed at the investigative dept. but probably doing paper work, documenting immigration visa requests, citizenship requests, etc. But also, the INS can't investigate everyone. They just go by the forms that the companies submit. If the company submits an H1B or L1B visa request and they "fudge" the facts, how is the INS to figure out if there is fraud? They can't investigate every request, which is why it's up to us to report the employers if they are violating US visa laws. You can report it anonymously to the INS. I would urge all people here to do so. I don't know how we can allow companies to bring in tens of thousands of H1B/L1B visas or talk about giving amnesty to illegal immigrants while our unemployment rate is 10%.

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No wonder we are screwed Written by BonusOnus on 08/14/2009Now that we have Obama has president, we have:

1) Wingnuts who claim Obama is illegitimate because he wasn't born in the US

2) people who disrupt health care townhall meetings because they are extremely opposed to health care reform

3) people who equate Obama with Hitler

I shake my head.

Then I look at the other side of the political aisle and remember just a few years ago when:

1) Wingnuts claimed Bush was illegitimate because he "stole" the election in 2000 and 2004.

2) anti-war people like Code Pink disrupted government meetings and threw items at Bush's 2004 presidential procession.

3) people who equated Bush with Hitler

I shake my head even more....
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Posted by chubby girl on 08/14/2009:
Are all these people crazy or do the bad times bring out the worst in people?

Posted by BonusOnus on 08/14/2009:
No, they are just stupid. Both the right and the left. Why do we have such poor political leaders in DC? Look at the voters.

Posted by avid reader on 08/15/2009:
Ha! Very observant! You are so right.

Posted by anonymous on 08/16/2009:
it was scary to see how low the educational level of the biggest screamers are and how easy they could influence and frighten the crowd. we are up the ...creek without even a stick, forget the paddle. however there were some electronic election irregularity going on in 2000 and 2004 and maybe even before that. one is quietly being handled in a neighboring town, there were also some letters to officials on another site, describing how it was done. Another official was not allowed to warn voters that sharpie pens would negate the ballot. it is against the local law to disparage any product.

Posted by anonymous on 08/16/2009:
BTW where did CK's entry about employment verification go to? very good and thanks!

Posted by BonusOnus on 08/17/2009:
There were election irregularities in the Minnesota Senate election of 2008 and the Washington governor election of 2004 (where the Repub was declared the winner in the initial and 1st recount and the Dems demanded another recount until the results were in their favor). There are voting irregularities in almost any election with 5 digits of voters. Usually the election isn't close enough for the disputed votes to matter. I for one would like to see a uniform voting law for all national offices. But people will complain that it unfairly disenfranchises the poor or minorities.

Posted by DanieD on 08/24/2009:
I actually do think the Bush family rigged the first election, but I'm astounded that he was elected willingly the second time...

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Possible changes to H1B visa rules Written by BonusOnus on 06/04/2009

The outsourcing companies say that the Indian government will respond. Of course they will. But they'd be hypocrites. They have already reacted to the global economic downturn by trying to force Indian airline companies to fire foreign pilots and hire Indian pilots. Now they are angry that the US government is reacting the same way?
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Posted by WalkingInMyOwnShoes on 06/04/2009:
Don't buy and don't use products, services of these companies and countries. I do my utmost to buy local. I also know that sometimes it's impossible (sigh) but I substitute somehow or use my imagination to replace whatever is needed. What else can we do?

Posted by CK on 06/09/2009:
They want our jobs but not our people! Now Walmart is outsourcing the IT department to India!

Posted by WalkingInMyOwnShoes on 06/10/2009:
What terrible news, sorry CK. This is another store to ignore. I bypass it many times.

Posted by James on 06/24/2009:
Hey "WalkingInMyOwnShoes". I dont think Walmart will consider your ignorance by not making that move if its good for the business.

Posted by Anonymous on 10/25/2009:
I deal with these Indian H1B's as tech support at a well known company. These Indians are such jerks. If you don't drop everything on a less than a moments notice, they wiil escalate the ticket to management and make you look bad.

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What if America did this? Written by BonusOnus on 05/10/2009

Even India's government tries to look out for its citizens first.

Ours doesn't. Doesn't matter if it's Democrat or Republican, the jokes on us, the voters, for believing the BS that either side blows.
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Posted by SouthernProgrammer on 05/11/2009:
I agree, I don't see that happening here though it should happen.

Posted by BonusOnus on 05/11/2009:
It's funny how the Indian government is forcing their nations' companies to give preference to their citizens, but then turns around and is outraged that the US government would dare do the same thing (eg, prohibiting companies receiving bailout money from hiring H1B visa workers)

Posted by CK on 05/11/2009:
Sad isn't it! They want the US jobs and money but not the citizens ... What is IBM going to do when they start shipping US citizens to their Indian IBM plants? Some how I don't think IBM thought of that! I know that at times Canadians get slammed but being half Canadian myself I have to defend them. The Canadian government has always been their citizens first. India is using protectionism for their slumping economy. But we would be slammed if WE did the same thing! I say that we should cut the H1b visas and put OUR citizens to work! If India complains then say that we are following their example!

Posted by SouthernProgrammer on 05/11/2009:
Here in the US not only do we bend over....backwards for illegals we want to give voting rights...

Posted by BonusOnus on 05/11/2009:
SP, wow, I'm surprised Mass. cities allow non-citizens (even legal immigrants) to vote. San Francisco had a proposal to allow this too - let noncitizens, legal or illegal, vote in local elections. Even in wacko SF, this proposal was defeated. That's just incredible. Letting noncitizens to vote. Why don't we just let everybody in the world vote in our elections?

Posted by labtech on 05/13/2009:
There's no proof of citizenship required in my state, to get to vote. So ANYONE, including your family pet, can fill out a form and get permission to vote in the next election and for all those to follow. And in my state, they want to give the illegals driver's licenses and cheap college tuition (probably financial aid, too). What if America had a "required" percentage for employment of citizens ? What if a foreign citizen could only work here for so many years, then had to become a citizen or go home ?

Posted by BonusOnus on 05/13/2009:
There's no requirement to show proof of citizenship to vote in CA either. Or even a requirement to show a proof of ID. I think Georgia required a ID requirement to vote and it was opposed by liberals because they said that it was a racist law because it unfairly affected blacks and Hispanics more than whites. I don't understand the logic of their argument but suffice it to say, it's easier to vote than to buy a beer or rent a DVD in almost every state. And you wonder why our country is screwed up?

Posted by sympathetic reader on 05/16/2009:
Bonus you hit the nail on the head!!!! Our politicians do not care about us. We are paying for some crazy kind of shell game. I actually read the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act because my husband bought a new AMERICAN car and we can deduct the sales tax. According to the act we could have deducted the sales tax if it was a FORIEGN car. I'm really glad we are helping out TOYOTA and HYUNDAI. I was really worried about them since all I hear about is GM employees losing their jobs! Some FOREIGN car manufacturers are greasing some politicians' hands. To hell with these people being laid off. To hell with those of us working paying taxes and subsidizing this mess. These politicians from both sides count on us ignoring everything.

Posted by BonusOnus on 05/18/2009:
SR, It's hard to define what constitutes an "American" car these days. What does the definition of an American car mean to you? 1) A car made by an American car company (GM, Ford, Chrysler) built in a factory in Mexico that employees Mexican workers and shipped over the border? 2) A car made by an American car company where the parts are made at factories outside the US but then are assembled in the US by American workers? 3) A car made by a foreign car company (Toyota) but built at a factory in America that employs American workers? Because of globalization, you can't really determine what it means when they say "American cars"

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Is Your View Of Work Different From A Year Ago? Written by SouthernProgrammer on 05/08/2009Over the past few months, I have noticed a big change at work. Mainly that people are taking longer lunch breaks, leaving earlier than usual, and just really seem to be more blasé about work.

I mentioned this to a few co-workers during lunch and the response was "Well, since [insert co-workers name here] has been laid off I see the company isn't loyal to me so why should I knock myself out!"

I can't say I blame them, I too have felt less excited about work these days and find myself looking more forward to the weekends to the point it has become a distraction.

How about you?
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Posted by BonusOnus on 05/08/2009:
I work at a startup now so no one here can afford to let off the accelerator. Everyone here is committed to a single goal of generating sales and growing this business (and this is one of the things I like about this job). But at my last job, where things were toxic and full of backstabbers, I did notice that I stopped caring as much when I made the decision to leave. I did hear that some of the slackers in my former group were working harder because the new manager was threatening them with layoffs in a subtle way to get their performance up. It's an ironic thing but the people who are good won't take well to this kind of "intimidation" because they are talented and can find work somewhere else, even in this tough job market. It's the deadwood who will try to improve because they know they can't find another job so easily. If a company treats its employees bad, ironically, it's the good ones who leave first because they are good. You have a perverse situation where the people you wanted to drive out are the ones who remain. That's what's happening in my former group.

Posted by labtech on 05/09/2009:
Yes, I notice that the hard workers get more work, of a more difficult nature; the slackers get less work, of an easier nature, their mistakes are overlooked, and they are permitted to loaf around at breaks and lunchtime. I notice that the hard workers are being rushed through tasks and expected to multitask everything; it's almost as if the boss is trying to have a accident occur, or he's trying to drive some of us to leave the job. We have a deadwood lower-level supervisor who could be dropped and no one would notice, but since this little maggot has one skill - kissing up - we're stuck. I also notice that the only new hires are those with definite connections in the company - family members, who are well-placed. So my outlook at work is grimmer than a year ago.

Posted by CK on 05/10/2009:
I have to agree with LT - the salckers have taken over. The only reason that the y haven't fired the slackers is because management enjoy their little pets but also need work done so they can't get rid of the hard workers. I also noticed that there is more and more rework and/or mistakes made. But the real kicker is that management thinks it is OK because it bumps up the numbers. Management is measuring the wrong matrix!

Posted by sympathetic reader on 05/11/2009:
I noticed about 2 years ago they put pressure on everyone to work harder and do the impossible. I cannot count how many people retired or transferred. Even the suck ups left because they were expected to work. Now we have a younger workforce that really appreciate having a job. I am thankful to have a job.

Posted by SouthernProgrammer on 05/11/2009:
In my case, my company kept a mix of those who have talent and those who may not have as much talent but do not have high salaries. In my companies case, very few slackers have been kept but they did get rid of some people who had been with the company for years (except for myself).

Posted by HaveADamnNiceDay on 05/12/2009:
I think my attitude has definitely changed, but probably moreso over the last ten years than over the last year. I entered the workforce energetic, optimistic, compliant and super-hard-working. Now I feel like I belong to a theives' guild or something because I distrust companies and their management so much. I have busted my @$$ for people and all they did was mistreat me, demean me and only recognize mistakes instead of consistent good work. I've stopped caring. I used to care. I'd take one for the team. Now I only care about myself. I feel this attitude protects me, but is harmful to me overall. I feel like it prevents me from caring about others, but I'm afraid to now because I think they might take advantage of me or my friendship and use it to advance themselves, promote themselves or get rid of me because I'm slim and pretty (and the harpy even mentioned my looks--a lot) and they for some reason are intimidated by that (someone explain that to me please). But anyhow, I've slowly become a cynic in the workplace. I watch and wait to see where and when managment will try to screw me first. I wish I had the capacity to start my own company... things would be run differently. My employees would be my asset, not a liability. I'd value them and praise them for good work. I'd fire the @-holes and have a no-BS policy at work. I'd give the best benefits I could possibly give, and put employee needs over company profits--meaning I'd rather give the employees a raise than line my own pockets and take expensive vacations while they toil away in a hopeless dead-end job. I'd find a way to give people tuition reimbursement, and I'd find ways to encourage them without using stupid corporate crap (like the fish philosophy). It just wouldn't be like a typical workplace. I'd make sure that my employees didn't dread coming to work in the morning. However, my dad often says, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. Does anyone know what that means?

Posted by sympathetic reader on 05/16/2009:
Beggars/dreamers always have lots of high hopes and nothing else. They don't have horses. Horses were once a valuable asset for transportation, and a measure of one's wealth.

Posted by OCLADY1208 on 05/18/2009:
I don't seem to care as much anymore. I use to go out of my way to find out why something wasn't getting done by another dept. for one of my customers. But after the 1st Qtr. lay offs that I survived, I just don't give a d*mn anymore. If something isn't getting done, it's because someone isn't doing their job. And guess what, it's not my problem anymore. I don't get paid enough to worry about it. Let the Management worry about it. They're the ones screwing us over and not treating us right. Sure, I have benefits that most people would love to have. And yes I'm going to hold on to my job only because it's paying the bills. If this company goes down, it'll be because of poor "Leadership"!

Posted by SouthernProgrammer on 05/19/2009:
OCLady Nailed It....

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What should my friend do? Written by BonusOnus on 03/16/2009I have a family friend. He's actually the friend of my dad.

He has a small business and employs about 6 people. It's not a big business. It's a sole proprietorship so the friend, who is also the owner, gets the profits from the business. In other words, his salary is what his business makes, minus labor costs, rent, equipment, insurance, etc.

He has had 1 employee for 8+ years. He doesn't pay them all that much but they make around $15-18 an hour. He doesn't offer them health care benefits but provides for vacation. He pays all the payroll, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance. Most of his employees are Hispanic.

His business has gone down since the recession started.

He has a competitor and he's been losing contracts to the competitor. He found out that the competitor is hiring illegal immigrants and paying under the table. The competitor does not pay for payroll, UI, DI, etc. and passes that savings onto the customers. Since the competitor can offer less for contracts (around 10% less), his competitor has been eating into his business. He needs all the business he can get.

He has tried reporting the use of illegal immigrants to the ICE. Nothing happened, no raids, nothing. My friend is thinking of now firing all his employees and either hiring them back off the books or hiring illegals on a per day basis to keep his labor costs down. If he doesn't do something, he will lose business and have to lay off almost everybody. His business might go under.

I advised NOT hiring illegal immigrants but he's desperate and he sees his competitor surviving this way. I don't necessarily blame him though. What should my friend do? Abide by the law and get underbid and go out of business? Or cheat and survive?
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Posted by HaveADamnNiceDay on 03/16/2009:
Wow, Bonus! Your friend is in a pickle! Since the law is not responding to him, he should make them accountable by going to the local media anonymously! He might spark an investigation.

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/16/2009:
This is California. The media won't get involved since they are usually sympathetic to illegal immigrants. He's reported his competitors to the INS/ICE many a times but nothing.

Posted by CK on 03/16/2009:
What evidence does he have? Also what about the news media? If the government won't do their job then try the news! If anything, just keep talking to others - congress representive, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.

Posted by UnsupportedSupport on 03/17/2009:
Well here is a website for reporting places that hire illegal aliens: The website itself isn't going to do much since it has never occurred to me to go looking for whether the companies I work with employ illegal aliens or not. However, by using the contact form the person that runs this site will probably have the most efficient answers on dealing with this problem.

Posted by SouthernProgrammer on 03/17/2009:
Before he does anything, he needs to talk to his employees. Hiring them off the books probably sounds like the best option. He should not slander his competition in anyway (IE - media), that may backfire against him in the form of a lawsuit. I doubt the Government will do anything about the illegals, they know about it but consider it a necessary evil.

Posted by sympathetic reader on 03/17/2009:
If these people were paid as employees and he converts them to self employed contractors he can get into trouble through the department of labor. He may have to pay back payroll taxes. It can really bite him in the end. If it's a landscaping business has he thought about hiring American or any other teenagers in the summer? They would jump at the chance of making half this much. My cousin's husband has a very successful landscaping business. He hired high school and college boys in the summer and kept cost down that way.

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/17/2009:
SR, He is not in the landscape business. He is in the industrial market. The competition is tight. He fills niche markets -- the huge orders are filled by the bigwigs and since these bigwigs demand a minimum size, my friend can fill these for small or medium size businesses. Problem is, he just can't make the margins. He's already laid off employees and he looks like he's going under. He's already complained to the INS/ICE but I don't think he will gripe to the media. That's a good way to blacklist yourself and get Hispanic activists to show up at your front door to protest that you are a nativist racist. I hope he survives. But to say that illegals only do the work that Americans won't do isn't 100% true. It tilts the field away from the employers who play by the rules about paying payroll taxes and observing labor laws.

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So how come E-Verify wasn't placed in the stimulus bill? Written by BonusOnus on 03/09/2009Remember folks, the stimulus bill prohibits companies from using the government bailout to hire H1B employees.

But the requirement that contractors for the infrastructure programs check that their employees are legal residents thru E-Verify was removed.

One step forward, then one step back.

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Posted by anonymous on 03/09/2009:
more like one step forwards and TWO steps back! This annoyance is huge!

Posted by UnsupportedSupport on 03/10/2009:
Well, the senate has to do what their constituents require. Democrats know their constituents generally back the ACLU. Republicans are swayed by the big business lobby. In an odd turn of events the big business lobby and ACLU find themselves on the same side of this arguement so Bob's your uncle, Fannie's your aunt, there you go. It was made easier that they could use the reasoning that E-Verify has a failure rate of 5% to 13% depending on whether you ask the people that made the system of the people that currently use the system. These ones that are initially "unconfirmed" have to contact the office and get their records sorted which can take weeks or even months. According to the GAO it would require increased capacity at the DHS to handle the massive new intake. Then there is the need of every business to create new policies to use the system that would slow the process of actually hiring people which is the goal of the stimulus. In short if you want a bill whose goal is to "Make Jobs Now", then it is more prudent to remove the E-Verify. If the goal is to make sure the jobs go to US legal workers in a few months then leaving it in would be best. I would have to conclude that special interests had the swaying vote.

Posted by UnsupportedSupport on 03/11/2009:
Sorry for all of the typos. I had to leave early for medical reasons and did not have time to go over what I wrote.

Posted by HaveADamnNiceDay on 03/11/2009:
Awww, we forgive you Unsupported! I know I've made my share!

Posted by UnsupportedSupport on 03/11/2009:
Shucks, you'd think if I was going to get up on my soap box I could clean up after myself. Thanks, HADND.

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/11/2009:
US, The failure rate is about 4% according to the US government evaluation. That might be still too high and yes, if the system gets a lot more requests, it will probably be swamped. But this has to happen eventually if we are to prevent illegal aliens from being unlawfully employed in the US. Also, even if the main purpose is to get people to start working "now", what's the point if the people being hired are illegal aliens who take a job being created by the American taxpayer? If 1 out of 6 jobs created by the stimulus package are taken by illegal immigrants, that's 15% of jobs that could have been taken by unemployed citizens/legal residents. Finally, what is the failure rate of a credit check? If I need to buy a house or rent a place and they do a credit card check, what percentage of them come up with false data? I'd bet it's around the same failure rate as E-Verify. In tough times like this, we have to take care of our own people first. I'm not surprised Republicans would be against this, just like I'm not surprised the Chamber of Commerce is against this. I'm surprised Democrats are against this though.

Posted by UnsupportedSupport on 03/12/2009:
Varying Percentages: Intel Corporation in 2008 13% - Using the System Government Accountability Office 8% - Examining the System Department of Homeland Security 0.5% - Created the System I also reviewed the votes and the republicans are off the hook for this one. Not a single one voted to table the e-verify. This was just the democrats in the senate. Perhaps this is similar to the Kyoto Treaty. They are voting down a faulty plan in the hopes that a better plan will come later instead of making the faulty plan mandatory. If e-verify were as good as the DHS claims, and there was a mechanism for enforcing it and keeping illegal immigrants from just working “off the books”, and there was a way to prevent employers from abusing the program, then it would be a plan good enough to be made mandatory. Perhaps they can work on this before the next vote. New topic of Credit Check accuracy: Well it depends. Some people pay close attention to their credit report and try to correct errors as it directly affects them when they are making a large purchase. On the other hand, we all generally assume the social security database is accurate and there is not a lot of direct input from citizens to verify accuracy. E-verify uses the social security database so that is where the accuracy issue comes in. The results are only as accurate as the database is well maintained. Now for the %15 estimated figure based on estimates of estimates. This figure is based on the amount spent in road construction in 2005 (1 Billion) which resulted in 19,584 jobs, multiplied by the $104 billion being spent on the stimulus bill. This assumes that there is no fluctuation in the amount of jobs created for each billion dollars spent. Next it uses this number with the percentage of illegal immigrants assumed to be working in the construction industry based on an abstraction of the numbers reported by the CPS. Considering that the job market has tanked since then, and Mexico is having problems with the abundance of citizens returning, I find the 15% on shaky ground. I should also point out that the majority of illegal immigrants working in construction are in California, Texas, and Arizona. Arizona made e-verify mandatory as of January this year. This seems like the best test case of the e-verify system. If they can come up with some realistic numbers showing the difference between Arizona and its neighbors, it could prove the e-verify argument one way or the other. By the way Bonus, I know we can get antagonistic at times, but I truly do enjoy debating with you on issues we don’t see eye to eye on. I know getting all political on a work venting site may seem a little odd, but it is nice to be able to have these conversations without the trolls or posters that devolve into profanity and name calling. Though I guess I should admit that I did call ABC News out for “half-assed journalism” recently so perhaps I will rephrase that. We generally don’t devolve into profanity and name calling of other posters. Perhaps that qualifier will help.

Posted by sympathetic reader on 03/14/2009:
I believe Corporations make fortunes with these undocumented workers. Corporations hire lobbyists. Lobbyists pressure our legislators. This problem exists on both sides of the fence, Dems and Reps. Corporate America is running the government. I used to think this was a rant from old hippies but they were right.

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More skilled immigrants returning to their home country Written by BonusOnus on 03/03/2009

The study is tainted and leaves a few points out.

>> "Despite the fact that they constitute only 12% of the U.S. population, immigrants have started 52% of Silicon Valley's technology companies and contributed to more than 25% of our global patents."

This is misleading. Immigrants have contributed immensely to our economic growth. HOWEVER, just because they go back to their home country doesn't mean that they will create the next Yahoo or create patents.

There is a reason why you can't name a Chinese or Indian version of Microsoft, Yahoo, or Google. While the immigrants from these countries are talented and help American innovation, these people did it in the American environment. The same people in the Chinese or Indian environment will not start tech companies or file patents because the business environment there does not foster such things.

I do not fear that China and India will overtake America for innovation on growth, not unless either country becomes more like America in terms of corruption, infrastructure, access to capital, free flowing thought, and entrepreneurship. People, go back 20 years - people were saying that Japan Inc would overtake America by now. Has it?

> "Nearly a third of the Chinese returnees and a fifth of the Indians came to the U.S. on student visas. A fifth of the Chinese and nearly half of the Indians entered on temporary work visas (such as the H-1B). "

I don't have a problem with giving H1B visas to students from other countries who study here, get a degree and want to work here.

I have a problem with bodyshops like Satyam, Wipro, and Tata who use H1B visas to bring foreign workers and undercut the salaries of American workers.

Why don't we have separate visas for students who studied here and want to start working here? I have no problem with that.

Finally, I have a problem with Americans, white, black, Hispanic not getting science, math, and engineering degrees.

At one of my former companies, it sponsored interns. The company was a high-tech company in Silicon Valley. Most of them are post-graduate students. They had a little fair to show off their work at the company, to talk about the project that they worked on.

Almost all the interns for marketing, finance, and sales were filled with Americans. 95% of the interns for the engineering departments were filled with foreign students, mostly from India and China. Why the f**k are more Americans not getting post graduate degrees in engineering and computer science? And then we complain about Indians and Chinese taking our jobs? ***> This is the other half of the H1B problem!
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Posted by CK on 03/03/2009:
Well Bonus - "... problem with Americans, white, black, Hispanic not getting science, math, and engineering degrees" The reason is that the other cultures usually invest in their children and their education. Some of those schools are very competitive! But here it is different! Where I'm at they are cutting education down to the bone! Big companies want us dumb - we will then work for less and a dumber society is easier to control.

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/03/2009:
That's not true. Compare what the US spends per student against what Japan or China spends per student (factoring in the price parity factor). The US spends way more. The average school size in Japan is 42. Countries like China and Japan don't spend as much per student as the US. But they turn out engineering students because they have more people and their culture values education. Our culture does not. Money is not the problem for the state of our public education in this country

Posted by CK on 03/03/2009:
Well the way they are cutting teaching jobs here you'd never know! But it is also the level of the teachers as well. I have heard some teachers (in a different state) use such poor English that I hardly could understand it! If you hire poor teachers you will get poor students who become poor adults. But regardless - our state has cut education to the bone! There is nothing left to cut! Yet they lay off more and more teachers, closing schools, and pushing students into over-crowded classes. They are creating a condition of poor learning.

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/04/2009:
The reason poor teachers are in the public school system is because of the NEA (the school teachers' union). Any measure to reform the public schools is reflexively opposed by the NEA. Consider: - the NEA has opposed any measures to test teachers for proficiency. After you are "certified", that is it, no more testing. - the NEA has opposed any proposals to allow people who didn't go thru the approved-NEA process to teach. - the NEA has opposed merit pay for teachers - the NEA has opposed charter schools (these are public schools BTW) - the NEA has opposed vouchers - the NEA opposed an initiative measure in California that would have forced the state to spend a set percentage of all school funds directly for the classrooms. Bureaucrats and sundry programs would have been contained. This measure was authored by a public school teacher. The NEA opposed it. - the NEA has opposed a measure to make schools year long. Instead of having a long summer vacation, some educators wanted year long quarters with 4 weeks of vacation between quarters. This would have helped the students retain knowledge that they learned. The NEA opposed it because it would take away the summer vacations of public school teachers. - the NEA has opposed No Child Left Behind or any proposal to test if students are learning. The supposed lack of money spent on public education is not the biggest impediment to education. The NEA is a bigger impediment.

Posted by sympathetic reader on 03/04/2009:
I think school boards and the government are cutting the wrong programs. Teachers have the responsibility of influencing our future leaders. Do you want our kids/future leaders to be hard working and intelligent or do you want them to be able to regurgitate test answers on command? I do not begrudge one dime of my local school taxes. I am very pleased with my local school system. They do not hand out A's and their programs are challenging. I do not want a lazy slob who wants the summers off teaching my child. If you want quality teachers you are going to pay for them, union or no union. In most schools if you look at the athletic budgets you will be shocked. This information comes from a college professor. Sports are important and they have their place but they are not more important than staffing and other programs.

Posted by HaveADamnNiceDay on 03/04/2009:
I think this problem is a little more deeply rooted than cutting programs or underfinanced education... It seems our generation and the couple of generations previous (boomers, flower children, genX, etc.) have as a culture declined greatly. A lot of these folks have become parents, and haven't really learned how to rear children. They seem to assume the kids will raise themselves. I'm not trying to lump every person into this that's older than I am, but there are a great deal more parents out there these days that just don't care like they should, and are having more children than they can handle, and are stuck working to support all those hungry mouths as a single parent. Not only do a lot of these folks not care, but some of them just don't have the TIME to care. As a result, education has suffered and our competitive edge with the rest of the world has been dulled a bit. I pray that our free thinking and creative culture doesn't get swept under the socialism rug.

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/04/2009:
SR, what level of school are you talking about with regard to athletic budgets? high school or college? Some colleges have huge athletic budgets because they are huge revenue makers. Some do not. High-school wise, the schools in my district had to cut some athletic programs because of budget cuts. My alma mater had an athletic budget that was not too big. But because of Title XX, it had to provide teams for women to balance out the 50%/50% split required by Title XX. On the other hand, we had remedial english and math classes for people who didn't know how to do basic math or write a proper sentence. Why was a 4 year public college providing remedial math and english classes when the money and professor time for them could have been used to provide classes for other topics? Shouldn't these students have gone to a community college and gotten up to speed on math and english instead and then transferred to my alma mater?

Posted by SouthernProgrammer on 03/04/2009:
It's all about the money. A winning high school football team means college recruits. This means parents will want their future quarterback to attend the school. This means property values climb. This means businesses thrive. A town/city/state can make money when a High School / College has a winning athletic program. Not too many businesses thrive when a school has a great math department except for hiring the math graduates to be accountants. I don't mean to come across as harsh but those are the facts. Our country values a quarterback who can lead a team to a superbowl victory over a math whiz. Then again, Bill Gates has a lot more money than all the Quarterbacks combined...

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/04/2009:
SP, ...which dovetails with HANDN's assertion about the lack of culture. We as a society value a QB more than the next Sergey Brin (the founder of Google). Even in school, we make fun of intelligent people and call them nerds. This attitude does not exist in countries like India or China, where education is valued. No amount of money spent on public education will fix this problem. PS: And I'm not bashing QBs either - I love football.

Posted by labtech on 03/04/2009:
India, Russia, and China all pay for their citizens' advanced degrees. An Indian who attends university in India can come out with a MS in 4 years, a PhD in 6. A Russian can come out with a MS in 4.5 years. The Chinese, I'm not sure, but I know it's not as long as our 4 years for a BS, 2 years for a MS, and 4 years for PhD (and guess who gets to pay for it !). So, if the US of A was going to pick up the tab for MY education, I'd be a double PhD, and not going into debt to get my MS, thanks so much. THAT is why the Americans are not getting higher education - we can't afford it.

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/04/2009:
Labtech, Can you cite where you got the info that India, China, and Russia pay for their citzens getting advanced degrees? I'm assuming that this means these countries pay for them in a non-scholarship way.

Posted by allbymyself on 03/05/2009:
Education begins in the home! If the parents are active in their child's life and pay attention to teaching their children manners and basic common and decent behavior, we would not have this problem. You can not educate someone who does not want to be educated. Ask any teacher, some students will never be engineers, they do not care! Hey, that is okay with me because we need people to remove the trash and fix our cars and wire our houses etc.

Posted by SouthernProgrammer on 03/05/2009:
Bonus, > This attitude does not exist in countries like India or China, where education is valued. > You are 100% correct! In China, teachers are revered, to be sent home with a bad note from the teacher brings shame upon the family. In the US, the attitude is "those who can, do - those who can't - teach!". Well, who teaches you to read, do math, etc? TEACHERS. Admittedly, our school system leaves a lot to be desired. Personally I think we should privatize our school system and give out vouchers. We also should have uniforms. Kids spend too much time worrying about how they look in school, if everyone had a uniform that would remove that distraction.

Posted by labtech on 03/07/2009:
Yes, unfortunately, Bonus, it is true. My sources are; 3 Chinese immigrants I have worked with. Two of them got their degrees in China, one got her advanced degree here, on a grant. They did not pay for this education. I have worked with 4 Indian immigrants; none of them paid for their education and the PhD expressed disbelief that it 'took that long' to become a PhD in America, it had only taken him 6.5 years to go through BS, MS and PhD. The 2 Russians did not pay for their degree; the one explained to me in great detail the educational system in Russia, also expressing disbelief that it took 6 years on average here to get a MS - it took her 4.5 years to get both the BS and MS degree in Russia, and she didn't have to pay a dime. I find it hard to believe all of those people were lying to me, the exact same lie, when they are separated over twenty years and 4 jobs. So, perhaps when our wonderful country, the US of A, decides to put some money into the education of its citizens, we can have a better chance against those immigrants who DON'T have 'student loans' hanging over their heads.

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Good Example Of Why Raising Taxes Won't Help... Written by SouthernProgrammer on 03/03/2009

A 63-year-old attorney based in Lafayette, La., who asked not to be named, told that she plans to cut back on her business to get her annual income under the quarter million mark should the Obama tax plan be passed by Congress and become law. We are going to try to figure out how to make our income $249,999.00," she said. "We have to find a way out where we can make just what we need to just under the line so we can benefit from Obama's tax plan," she added. "Why kill yourself working if you're going to give it all away to people who aren't working as hard?"


If this is an example of what will happen, watch the rate get lowered.
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Posted by HaveADamnNiceDay on 03/03/2009:
Reading this article brought back memories from my childhood on sundays at the roller rink. They always had a 'limbo time' where everyone would play limbo in their roller skates. Have you ever tried to do that??? To get to the lowest bar setting without knocking it over, I had to be in a near split just to get under it... This of course was accomplished because I was under 10, under 50 lbs and under 4 feet tall. This tax bill reminds me of those days playing limbo in roller skates... It's quite the metaphor, I think. Good thing I'm close to the bottom tax brackets!!!!

Posted by HaveADamnNiceDay on 03/03/2009:
After giving this a bit more thought, I think that instead of a limbo bar, it's some huge guy's arm swinging in a clothesline! Instead of falling on your butt and getting back up, you fall on your head and MIGHT get back up if someone finds a way to help you regain conciousness...

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/03/2009:
But hey, the liberals want to give it to the rich, who "benefitted unfairly" because of BushCo's tax cuts. They don't realize that raising taxes have unintended consequences: --------------- quote -------------- "Fewer jobs mean less income tax. Even wealthy people with steady work are earning less taxable income because investment income is down. Losses for high earners add up fast due to progressive tax rates — a loss of $1 million in capital gains can hurt a state treasury more than dozens of workers losing $40,000-a-year jobs." ----- end quote ------------------ Really? You mean the rich bear a disproportionate share of the tax burden? BTW folks, in terms of the Federal income tax, what percentage of all FIT revenues come from the top 1% of the income earners top 5%? top 50%?

Posted by sympathetic reader on 03/04/2009:
The rich will always pay less in taxes. A good example is the Social Security Wage Base limit. An individual that makes $106,800, stops paying into Social Security tax but the rest of us support the Social Security system. If you're making money on the market you will get a discount because of the capital gains rates. Remember the real golden rule, those with the gold make the rules. Honest middle class taxpayers get to pay their fare share and everyone elses. We pay for the lower classes and we have always paid corporate welfare.

Posted by SouthernProgrammer on 03/04/2009:
The combination of the Social Security tax and the Medicare tax is often referred to as FICA. Combining the information above, the FICA rate for 2009 is 7.65% withheld from the first $106,800 of each employee’s earnings and 1.45% on any employee’s earnings above $106,800. Since the employer matches these amounts, the employer must remit 15.3% of each employee’s first $106,800 of earnings plus 2.90% of any employee’s 2009 earnings that are greater than $106,800.

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/04/2009:
SR, I don't know where you get your info but your comment "If you're making money on the market you will get a discount because of the capital gains rates" is incorrect. The rich do NOT pay less in taxes, especially when it comes to Federal income taxes (and here in California, state income taxes). Again, I'll ask this question. What share of the Fed. income taxes do the top 1% pay? What share do you think the top 5% pay? What share do you think the top 50% pay? If you have a long-term capital gains, it's at 20%. Short term capital gains rate is the same as your marginal tax rate. In other words, short term capital gains are counted as income. I should know since that's what I had to pay for my income tax. Also, even if you are lucky enough to get a long term capital gains rate, it might be offset by AMT (alternative minimum tax).

Posted by Danny on 03/05/2009:
If you're willing to cut back on business to get your income below 250K you are a moron. This person in the article should stop being such an irrational idiot and actually read the new tax proposals. They outlined it all you can look it up....for people making just OVER 250K you're not exactly talking about a major increase...if you make like 300K you will owe like 140 bucks more in taxes a year. Wahhh. If I made even close to that much money I'd gladly pay the extra 140.

Posted by BonusOnus on 03/05/2009:
Danny, Could you cite where you got your info? If you make $300K and you only pay $140 more, that would mean that the marginal tax rate increase is .28%. Why would Obama go thru the trouble of raising the tax rate on the rich by less than 1%? Something's off. Either the person in the article is wrong or you are. Please cite your source.

Posted by sympathetic reader on 03/06/2009:
My information came from the 1040 instructions.

Posted by UnsupportedSupport on 03/09/2009:
All this talk of numbers was really just calling for me to join in. I had been ignoring this one because the lady in Lafayette is a reactionist idiot. Here's the deal: First of all the 3% increase these people are whinging about only applies to the NET PROFIT and not the GROSS PROFIT. Also the first $250K is taxed at the same amount and only the amount over that is taxed at the increased (+3%) amount because it is a MARGINAL TAX RATE. To do the math for you this means someone making $400K per year will pay an extra $4,500. The last time it was 28% was when Reagan was in office. Now for the second part. Since it is the net and not the gross all this person has to do is come up with a business expense to bring her net income under the amount she imagines she needs to. Gee, I don't know, how about a corporate retreat for the employee of one paid for by the company to increase morale? I mean seriously, how creative do you have to be to keep profit under $250K? ABC apparently decided to take a he said/she said angle on this instead of pointing out the facts. Very disappointing half-assed journalism.

Posted by anonymous on 03/09/2009:
so now when some mean tax shy business owner limits himself to making less than 250k there will be plenty of others willing to pick up their customers. this in turn could be a boon to smaller business owners who want to grow their business and run it right. By keeping it a manageable size this is a real possibility. most businesses eliminated their competition by swallowed or undermining them. that killed a lot of innovations and good ideas. in the not so distant future smaller companies will not have to worry about some leviathan company coming after them. could be a good thing. :)

Posted by UnsupportedSupport on 03/10/2009:
Also, if they really want to get their net profits under that amount they could hire more employees. That would be a good idea these days too.

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What Bill Gates giveth, Bill Gates can taketh away. Written by lost_in_america on 02/23/2009What Bill Gates giveth, Bill Gates can taketh away.

Microsoft says some of the 1,400 employees it laid off last month accidentally got too much in their severance packages -- and now it wants the money back.

"This letter is to inform you that an inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment in severance pay by Microsoft," reads a letter sent to an unnamed employee and posted on the TechCrunch blog. "We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologize for any overpayment to you."

Blacked out are the employee's name and address and how much Microsoft says he owes. The letter bears a Microsoft letterhead and a date of Feb. 18.

Contacted by CNet News, a Microsoft spokesman confirmed the letter was real and hinted that some other laid-off employees had been underpaid in their severance packages.

He or she declined further comment, deeming it "a private matter between the company and the affected people."

Microsoft wants the money back within two weeks. The incentive? An adjusted employee tax statement from Microsoft. Otherwise, you're liable for the income tax on the extra cash.

On Jan. 22, the day the layoffs were announced, Microsoft reported its net income for the Oct.-Dec. 2008 quarter was down 11 percent from a year previously, but was still a healthy $4.17 billion.
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Posted by lost_in_america on 02/23/2009:
I wonder who wrote the program that mis-calculated the pay outs?

Posted by SouthernProgrammer on 02/23/2009:
Again, another story I can relate to. I once worked in a department and was offered a position in another area. I took the position though my boss was not very thrilled (understatement of the year) though there was nothing she could do to stop it though she tried. My new boss promised me a raise and after a few weeks I pulled up my banks online web page and was shocked to see that my auto-deposited paycheck had doubled. Wow, did my boss get me a raise THAT big? What a great guy! I realized that what had happened was that my old boss had not properly processed my removal from her department and the automated payroll system was still charging me to her cost center. I contacted finance and was told "This couldn't happen" and I politely told them that if that were true then I was happy but this was a courtesy call to let them know what was going on. A week later I got a frosty letter DEMANDING the overpayment back or my paycheck would be frozen. I contacted the person who wrote the letter and told them I did not like the tone of the letter since I had informed THEM of the problem and that she could have simply called me. After an apology I wrote a check.

Posted by BonusOnus on 02/23/2009:
I can kinda relate to this one - at my last job, I had an incompetent boss "B". He was my manager's manager. The worst manager I ever had - he just was not competent at all. Anyway, my manager at the time, "Kevin", quiet because he got tired of "B". So B had to run my group directly. It was obvious that he was over his head in managing people directly. One of my coworkers quit. He gave notice and left. B forgot to tell payroll that my coworker quit. My coworker got a paycheck two weeks later. He also found out that because B forgot to tell anyone, my coworker could still access the company IT thru the company external dialup number. My coworker, being a very conscientious person, told B about his paycheck and such. I told my coworker later that he should have kept quiet. My coworker said that by California laws, the company could have asked for the money from the paycheck back. But I told him that personal benefit wasn't the goal for staying silent -- by not saying anything, during the quarterly reviews, my coworker would still be listed on the employee payroll while not having worked there for a couple of months and then B would have had a lot of explaining to do. When I left my former company, I complained about B to a few higher ups (and burned some bridges) and related this story. B was terminated a couple of months after I left for performance reasons.

Posted by bookwoman on 02/24/2009:
read this online this morning. I'm so glad that Microsoft "remains profitable" after letting 5000 employees go....

Posted by lost_in_america on 02/24/2009:
Apparently after this was leaked to the media, MS had a change of heart and decided to let them keep the money... (In other words, please don't buy that Apple now, we really do have a heart)

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They Sent My Job to India Written by SingAbout It on 02/22/2009This new music CD reflects my sentiments about outsourcing, bosses from hell, etc. I could not be a programmer any more, because my old company sent these jobs to India.

I created the CD to vent about the hell I had just been through (four rounds of layoffs in a year in an increasingly hostile environment, boss screwing up and blaming me so he would not be laid off, etc.). I did not want take my anger to my next job, so I thought venting through music might help me. It is humorous, but cuts to the point.
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