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IBM Stops Disclosing US Headcount Data

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-everybody's-doing-it dept.

IBM 377

theodp writes "ComputerWorld reports that IBM has stopped providing breakouts on US employees, closing a door to data that provided insights into the bellwether company's employment shift. In its latest Annual Report, Big Blue only provides its global headcount, and an IBM spokesman confirmed that disclosure of US headcount is a thing of the past. The Rochester Institute of Technology's Ron Hira called the US workforce data critical for policymakers trying to understand the dynamics of offshoring. 'By hiding its offshoring, IBM is doing a disservice to America — through omission the company is providing misleading labor market signals and information to policy makers,' Hira said. Ironically, CEO Sam Palmisano's Letter to Shareholders, which accompanied the Annual Report, touts how IBM's Analytics and 'Smarter Planet' efforts are empowering US government decision-makers. Nondisclosure domestically and abroad seems to be the new rule of thumb for Big Tech, sparking calls for government intervention." IBM laid off about 10,000 US workers last year, and 2,900 so far this year, according to the Alliance@IBM, a labor union.

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Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453118)

Although unions generally lead to sloth, corruption and economic failure, in this one narrow instance I must admit they are providing a useful service.

I've never joined a union but .. (4, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453356)

You forgot to mention the 40hr work week and a minimum wage. Unions have their downside, but at least one generation has been significantly better off for their existence.

Unions aren't the problem (3, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453674)

It is their membership. Over the past year, private sector Union jobs have declined by over a million workers. Ironically the public sector has gone the other way. Unions work for collective bargaining only when the changes made are beneficial for both the worker and the employer. The 40 hour work week, child labor laws, safety standards and health benefits actually improved the productivity of workers and thus the bottom line for the employer. In this particular case, I believe IBM Alliance just wants to form an official IBM union as seed corn for the IT industry. I suspect from the issues they submit press releases on that they are not interested in the success of IBM the company and only play lip service to IBMers as employees. If they, or any traditional union represented the IT employees, it is likely the difficulties in finding mutually beneficial improvements will only speed the outsourcing. There is room for a collective bargaining counter to upper management, but it would more it would be more likely to succeed outside the traditional union infrastructure.

Re:I've never joined a union but .. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453714)

You forgot to mention the 40hr work week and a minimum wage. Unions have their downside, but at least one generation has been significantly better off for their existence.

In the US, hat would be our grandfathers' generation.

In the last 50 years or so, the big US unionolpoly (AFL-CIO) has done very little to keep jobs or improve conditions. Mostly it has focused on pursuing unsustainable benefits packages for its dwindling membership, enriching its managers, and allying with organized crime.

Unions can be good, but the AFL-CIO has given unionization a bad name.

Re:Unions (5, Insightful)

sabs (255763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453690)

Unions also protect employees from the ravages of Corporate America.

You forget how badly employees were treated back before Unions. Alot of the places that 'treat their employees just fine without unions.' Started doing so, and continue to do so.. in order to keep the unions out, not because of some altruistic feelings for their employees.

How Odd (0, Troll)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453820)

Germany is pretty much one large union. And you would claim that Germany is made up of Lazy, corrupt ppl and it is an economic failure? Yeah. Right. Well, I certain understand why you went AC.

Wow. Offshoring... (-1, Flamebait)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453134)

its not a problem when u.s. companies buy and fire workers in overseas countries, exploit their resources to depletion, even interfere in their laws and customs through lobbymaking, turning them upside down in every way, leave aside employment.

but its a problem when americans lose jobs to whatever reason.

so basically, its 'america can trade with anyone, but noone can trade with america'. screw that.

Re:Wow. Offshoring... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453170)

America is exploiting these countries? Try again ass monkey, corporations are.

Re:Wow. Offshoring... (0, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453192)

however america is ass monkey corporations. since america's government has been controlled by corporate backed administrations since last 60 years

Re:Wow. Offshoring... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453318)

however what is appalling is that, despite all the exploitations they suffer at the hands of their corporations, copyright, patent trolling, ACTA, healthcare shit and alike, there are STILL people getting worked up when the obvious is stated, like the parent i posted.

and that is despite they themselves complain everytime about it.

Re:Wow. Offshoring... (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453210)

I'm not saying you're wrong but when it comes to US Citizens losing their jobs, yes, the government has a problem with that.

I won't care to elaborate on why that is, but the fact that you seem surprised is a little confusing. It shouldn't be surprising that a government has more of an interest in the health of the job market for its citizens over the job[less] rate of another countries population.

Re:Wow. Offshoring... (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453258)

its globalization. america has to come to terms with the age of globalization, especially after forcing many countries to come to terms with it itself.

It really isn't (4, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453426)

True globalization would include the free flow of people as well as business. Of course all countries who claim to be supporters of globalization have tariff and subsidies as well, so it's a bit of a joke.

beyond joke (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453550)

especially while u.s. employs an elaborate and all encompassing system of quotas for each country in many sectors.

Re:Wow. Offshoring... (4, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453552)

Are you surprised with real unemployment approaching 20% that citizens of the U.S. might be just a little bit upset over a company shipping jobs overseas but then claiming to be a US company when bidding for U.S. government jobs and tax breaks?

What level of unemployment should we reach in the united states before the government can act to protect its citizens?

Re:Wow. Offshoring... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453694)

make the basis for tax deductions on the number of
reported US workers, no reports, no breaks.
problem fixes itself.

jr

Re:Wow. Offshoring... (5, Funny)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453742)

What level of unemployment should we reach in the united states before the government can act to protect its citizens?

When the unemployed band together and buy a few senators I'm sure we will see some action on this.

Re:Wow. Offshoring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453806)

its not a problem when u.s. companies buy and fire workers in overseas countries, exploit their resources to depletion, even interfere in their laws and customs through lobbymaking, turning them upside down in every way, leave aside employment.

but its a problem when americans lose jobs to whatever reason.

I'm not sure why you think these things are mutually exclusive. Just because I complain that my friends, family and I are being screwed, doesn't mean it doesn't bother me that people in other countries are being screwed as well(which also indirectly screws me, as it devalues my position).

Two can play that game... (3, Informative)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453136)

It would be trivial for those policy makers to order GSA to drop IBM from its vendor list...

Re:Two can play that game... (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453154)

It would be trivial for those policy makers to order GSA to drop IBM from its vendor list...

Trivial? I'm not sure that's the right word to describe it. Sure, it may be trivial to remove them from the list... but far less trivial to disengage IBM from current projects and bring in new contractors. How much would that cost?

Re:Two can play that game... (2, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453344)

It would be trivial for those policy makers to order GSA to drop IBM from its vendor list...

Trivial? I'm not sure that's the right word to describe it. Sure, it may be trivial to remove them from the list... but far less trivial to disengage IBM from current projects and bring in new contractors. How much would that cost?

Not much. I've seen any number of projects where the company hired in all the service provider's employees, and fired the service provider. It's happened to IBM and every other outsourcer in the book, many, many times already. Essentially all that changes is the name that signs the paychecks.

Re:Two can play that game... (2, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453388)

and hardware? sorry but IBM is the source for big iron.. and they aren't going to be able to walk away from that easily

Re:Two can play that game... (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453496)

Almost every critical government contract requires hardware and software based on open standards to avoid exactly that situation. Unless you're talking about mainframes, which are largely legacy systems, replacing an AIX box with a Solaris, Linux or HPUX box is no big deal.

Re:Two can play that game... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453458)

Probably less expensive than switching all their desktop computers from Windows to Linux.

Re:Two can play that game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453646)

With how much IBM charges for consultants ($300/hr for an engineer that is, most likely, fresh out of college) it would probably save a ton of cash to ditch them, even if it means hobbling along for a little bit until you can bring on another consulting firm at half the price or hire full time employees.

Re:Two can play that game... (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453174)

With what desired result? Further closing of their shops in America? More unemployment for the US? You would really help the union then, not!

Re:Two can play that game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453204)

US General Services Administration, for those of us not well-versed in government acronyms.

Why is IBM doing this culling? (4, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453566)

IBM is clearly trying to hide its US headcount for the purpose of hiding its replacing American employees with foreign workers in other countries.

IBM is one of the few companies that remained consistently profitable during the worst recession since the Great Depression. This profitability was accomplished by replacing high-wage Americans with low-wage foreigners in India, China, etc. Seeing the writing on the wall, IBM management has decided to accelerate the reduction of the American workforce.

The shareholders love this strategy since it maximizes their return on investment. The only problem is a political one: Washington will retaliate against IBM if IBM drastically reduces its American workforce in favor of cheap overseas labor. Hence, IBM has ceased reporting the size of the American workforce.

Dirty? Disgusting? Yes. Good business strategy? Yes.

Re:Why is IBM doing this culling? (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453782)

"The shareholders love this strategy since it maximizes their return on investment."

That is really not the only problem. And it is only for a short term. Sorta like eating your seed cord. The people who used to receive those paychecks will not be, for a short while at least. Some may go on to find other jobs, but due to many doing this, wages in that sector will fall here, disposable income will go down, less money makes people spent less, causing an economic impact here. Which will then cause other companies to have reduced revenues, causing them to need to lay off, lather rinse repeat.....

land of the free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453172)

except when it comes to information

Umm, so what? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453186)

Your loss is OUR gain. 10,000 less American workers will probably translate into 100,000 Indian workers who will now be lifted out of poverty. Why is it that Americans (especially on Slashdot) proclaim they love the free market and libertarianism, but then get all fucking communist when it affects THEIR jobs?

Re:Umm, so what? (5, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453306)

but then get all fucking communist when it affects THEIR jobs
 
India isn't too bad but a lot of the jobs will be going to China, which IS all fucking communist. When I lived in China I applied to the local IBM to do business intelligence / data warehousing. They wanted to pay me a Chinese wage which would be OK there in China. But IBM wanted to send me to the USA on an L visa which lets them continue to pay the China wage the whole time. I made it through three levels of interviews before I found this out. When I said that as a US citizen I'd have to make at least US minimum wage (which would NOT be cool at all) they hung up and stopped responding to my calls. If you have an IBM consultant in the USA who is Chinese - he (she) is getting paid about $1,000/month while you're getting billed $120/hr from Blue.

Re:Umm, so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453658)

Wish I had mod points. Because what you say is absolutely true.

Re:Umm, so what? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453774)

Because what you say is absolutely true
 
Actually, I just made a wild guess at the bill rate that IBM charges based on consulting rates in the US. But whatever it is, I'm sure it's more than $6.25.
 
PS - One correction, I should have said I had to make CA minimum wage (not US min) since the client they wanted to send me to was in the Los Angeles area.

Desired conclusions come first (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453434)

Generally, people do not arrive at conclusions through logical means. Certainty is a feeling, not the end result of logic. People start with the conclusions they want to arrive at, then work backwards to create a chain of rationalizations leading there.

But we did not elect our politicians to further India's interests. We did not elect them to further IBM's. We elected them to further our interests. That being said, it would be hypocritical to proclaim a love of free markets and libertarianism, while supporting protectionist policies and government intervention. Hypocritical in the extreme. However, this would not make them communists, it is much more accurate to call them hypocritical protectionists.

What would NOT be hypocritical would be to call for a citizen lead and enforced boycott of IBM. One can be a libertarian and love the free market, but still not want to do business with companies that screw over your friends and neighbors. However, I think you will find that most libertarians want license to do whatever they please, rather than desiring true freedom, which takes work, and principles.

Re:Desired conclusions come first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453644)

Your 1352 is truly deserved, Sir. I always make it a point to stop and applaud rational thought and that now a days does not happen too often. So, here.

Re:Umm, so what? (2, Interesting)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453512)

Let's get real. The poorest people in India aren't going to get those jobs.

You're right about the US hypocrisy over free trade, but I think if you examine your conscience you'll conclude that India isn't free from hypocrisy either.

Re:Umm, so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453770)

Right. The educated middle class in India will get those jobs that formerly went to the educated middle class in America. It's just that the educated middle class in India gets paid half as much (in terms of absolute cost to the employer at standard exchange rates before taxes). Why does nobody care about the middle class anywhere? A strong middle class is vital to a strong economy.

Re:Umm, so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453790)

Actually, many DO love the FREE market.
We just do not like it rigged by nations fixing their money, AND having trade barriers, AND dumping their goods, AND subsidizing and ....

If you have nothing to hide... (4, Interesting)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453202)

...then why are you hiding it?

Big Blue only provides its global headcount, and an IBM spokesman confirmed that disclosure of US headcount is a thing of the past.

Companies that operate contrary to the national interest of the countries they operate in, shouldn't be allowed to operate in those countries.

Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
--Thomas Jefferson

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453350)

Companies that operate contrary to the national interest of the countries they operate in, shouldn't be allowed to operate in those countries.

Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. --Thomas Jefferson

Doesn't your statement and the Thomas Jefferson quote contradict each other?

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453424)

In what way? Jefferson was acknowledging the intrinsic disloyalty of merchants. Why would he object to checking their activities when those activities became harmful to the national interest?

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453444)

no.. the Quote says that a Merchant is more loyal and care for the well being of whom they draw their profits - which isn't always where they housed them selves

his comment says that i the merchant is in our soil and is doing things that are bad for us we should kick them out - aka one that is more loyal to another nation - let them go there

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (4, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453636)

If Microsoft and IBM likes chinese and indian labor so much- how about making the executives move there.

Then if they cross the government, they can simply disappear at night (in china) or perhaps be killed by some random extremist (india).

But no... they stay in the u.s. reaping the benefits of our legal system, police, military protection, democracy and "relative" safety (i.e. our government does bad things too- but not to the wealthy much any more).

If IBM has 1000 employees in the US and 90000 employees overseas- then why should they get us government work any more.

Seriously-- this is going to fix itself. Rampant inflation in china and india (over 100% on the low end of society) combined with deflation here and the retiring baby boomers should give us some relief in under five years.

Likewise, it's reached a point where the u.s. consumer isn't willing to spend future money any more because that future money is increasingly dubious.

Overseas capitalism wouldn't be so bad if it resulted in cheaper prices here. But it doesn't. Laws protect the right to sell drugs for 1/50th of the cost there and forbid importation here. To sell movies for $2.50 there and $20.00 here. You can't have it both ways. You can't ship the jobs over there AND keep charging 10 to 20 times as much for products in the U.S.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (2, Insightful)

eht (8912) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453362)

They're not hiding anything, they're just not telling people information for free anymore.

Last I knew companies weren't legal or socially obligated to disclose this kind of info.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453432)

Companies that operate contrary to the national interest of the countries they operate in, shouldn't be allowed to operate in those countries.

So you support Iran's and NK's and China's blocking of youtube/twitter/google, etc? If you don't, watch out for your double standards. If you really think companies shouldn't be allowed to exist while annoying their governments, please go work for the gleat leader. I hate IBM but I must say this; they're on their right not to disclose what isn't required.

Principles (free market, free speech, etc) are only meaningful if you stand by them when they are inconvenient.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453560)

Companies that operate contrary to the national interest of the countries they operate in, shouldn't be allowed to operate in those countries.

I hate IBM but I must say this; they're on their right not to disclose what isn't required.

Principles (free market, free speech, etc) are only meaningful if you stand by them when they are inconvenient.

Sure they're within they're right. But what are they hiding, why are they hiding it, and who are they hiding it from?

Sure, you have the right not to testify against yourself. That doesn't necessarily mean you have a right not to be convicted.

Re:If you have nothing to hide... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453818)

'By hiding its offshoring, IBM is doing a disservice to America — through omission the company is providing misleading labor market signals and information to policy makers.'

To quote Dick Cheney, "So?"

Good (1, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453228)

Stop with the federal and state contract with IBM. And when they give up the data, then it is time for contracts to be tied to the nations monetary difference if the nation fixes their money. In particular, since a lot of IBM hardware is made in China, then we should determine the true difference on their money, and then their contracts should be adjusted accordingly. So, if it is determined that money should be 1 to 1 with Yuan to Dollar, rather than the currently fixed 7 to 1, then the contract needs to be less 1/7 of the bottom of another contract to win.

Misleading signals? (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453240)

I think ceasing to disclose U.S. employment sends a very clear labor market signal: The off-shoring will continue, probably at a rate much higher than you were thinking or are comfortable with. What more does a policy maker really need to know than "IBM is shipping jobs over seas so fast they don't want to talk about it"?

Re:Misleading signals? (2, Informative)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453374)

The main thing is to what extent the taxpayers are subsidizing IBM and will be asked to cough up in the future. Also any Government consulting contracts, especially military related issues, are important.

Other than that, I would say it is a truth in advertising issue. Corporations lie a lot.

Open Source is also a driver (3, Interesting)

poet (8021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453264)

I run a small company. The reality is, off shoring especially with the Open Source market makes entirely too much sense from a business perspective. I can have 4 United States based people, and another 12 strategically located throughout the world. The cost of the 4 is the same as the 12. It is better for my customers, and frankly my pocket book. Also, to be honest Open Source expertise is easier to obtain off american shores.

The downside to the largest economy in the world is that it is also ridiculously expensive. Of course not as bad as western Europe but still...

Re:Open Source is also a driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453380)

Is your point that Open Source is pushing American jobs offshore? Please provide more clarification.

Re:Open Source is also a driver (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453546)

See. Evidence that open source won't eliminate software development jobs - as long as you live in a third-world country.

Dominance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453276)

And so begins the American slide into irrelevance... Hooray.

Re:Dominance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453540)

begins?

ibm isn't an american company anymore (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453278)

it's an indian company

its' time for the usa, and especially new york state, to stop granting ibm special favors. all ibm has done for new york is slowly kill the hudson valley technology employment sector, including entire cities. ibm has betrayed its birthplace

fuck ibm, treat it like a foreign entity with questionable and dubious agendas. because ibm most certainly treats the usa like that, while the usa still coddles and mollifies it, like a deluded lover. ibm's betrayal of the usa and especially the hudson valley is longstanding and obvious, and now it is just passive aggressive, like a cheating spouse who has gotten away with countless crimes and is now embarrassed at how thoroughly he has duped their spouse

its a charade. fuck ibm, ibm only deserves scorn and hostility, unless you're in bangalore

Re:ibm isn't an american company anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453414)

just because when you call a help desk and you hear an indian voice, doesn't mean everything IBM does happens in india. sure the low-level call centers might be there, but all of the real-work is done either in Europe or the US.

you have no idea what you are talking about 'circletimessquare'

you're not up on current events (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453484)

the entire company, middle management and upper management, is moving to india. they have an internal timeframe for this, sped up and slowed down by economic and political influences. of course they will retain a toehold here, but it will be a shell of its former self

good for india. bad for the usa. ibm has betrayed the usa

Re:ibm isn't an american company anymore (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453778)

just because when you call a help desk and you hear an indian voice, doesn't mean everything IBM does happens in india. sure the low-level call centers might be there, but all of the real-work is done either in Europe or the US.

you have no idea what you are talking about 'circletimessquare'

You're saying that R&D and product development aren't real work? Apparently so - because they're doing increasing amounts of that in Beijing and Bangalore as well. The only thing that isn't being moved off-shore are the executives. Trust me on this one. I work there.

Re:ibm isn't an american company anymore (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453520)

i personaly think NO company should be given special favors. sorry i know that when a data center or a manufacturing plant is being built that it will bring jobs to a community BUT having communities fight over them by giving tax breaks or cheap land is just wrong - if nothing your stealing jobs from another community. And it isn't fair at all to the smaller or mid sized companies that can't offer 1,000 jobs but rather 50.. the smaller ones end up paying a higher premium and there for it is harder to compete with the larger ones.

This scratch my back and i'll scratch yours shit has to stop or it will be the downfall.

its worse than that (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453582)

ibm gets obscene special favors in the midhudson valley politically and economically on the national, state, and county, and city levels

and all the while ibm slowly moves everyone out

so its getting special treatment to TAKE AWAY jobs. how the hell does that work? i know new york politics is fucked up, but come on, this is blatant, long standing and insanely obvious

ibm is getting special treatment, and it serenely smiles while it stabs new york in the back

i have nothing for ibm management except burning hatred. i spit on ibm. as for new york politicians, they're so fucking retarded and dysfunctional, hate has no use

Re:ibm isn't an american company anymore (4, Funny)

Attack DAWWG (997171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453616)

fuck ibm, treat it like a foreign entity with questionable and dubious agendas.

You mean, allow it to spend unlimited funds in U.S. political campaigns?

please (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453720)

don't even get me started

i'm frothing at the mouth enough as it is

if you send me down the path of that subject matter, i'll turn into a rabid epileptic fit. for my own mental health, i'm not going to comment on what you just wrote, as the sheer tidal wave of anger that would well up inside me would turn me into travis bickle

that the usa supreme court should so blatantly sell the principles of this country to the highest bidder... they deserve...

god, i can't write anymore. if i do, nice government agents will be knocking on my door

good god, i'm biting my hand in rage

please god, don't turn me into the unabomber

Re:ibm isn't an american company anymore (1)

jonpublic (676412) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453650)

can you explain your comment further? i'm curious why you say ibm's screwed the hudson valley and the special favors that new york state has given it.

Re:ibm isn't an american company anymore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453800)

And why is IBM different to Microsoft?

Remember, MS is registered in Nevada which has little or no corporate taxes rather than in WAS where they are?
Remember, MS, Europe is given special tax breaks by the Irish Government. AFAIK, IBM pays its way in Europe.

Oh, nd Yes, MS is moving to India as well. Redmond could well become a ghost town. The IBM sites near New York City are at least in an area where are are other jobs. What is there in rural WA? Not much.

No, I don't work for nor have I ever worked for IBM or Microsoft.

Re:ibm isn't an american company anymore (1)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453704)

As an IBMer, I can say the parent speaks the truth. Every time I see Sam Palmisano with another government official, my blood boils. That man has destroyed an excellent company.

Regulate (3, Insightful)

homer_s (799572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453282)

The govt should pass a new law that forces companies of all sizes to provide a breakdown of where they do business and where they hire. They should punish companies that do not hire where they make and sell things.

Every business should be forced to hire in the locality where they make money. This should be done not only countrywide, but statewide, citywide and blockwide.

Forget about stupid things like 'comparative advantage' - we will follow Mao's great leap forward. That will create a lot of wealth.



For the truly stupid, I'm being sarcastic.

Mao no longer makes a good bogie man (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453574)

Very few people under the age of 40 know who Mao was unless they grew up in China.

Re:Mao no longer makes a good bogie man (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453752)

Is it really that bad in the US?

Re:Regulate (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453598)

The govt should pass a new law that forces companies of all sizes to provide a breakdown of where they do business and where they hire. They should punish companies that do not hire where they make and sell things.

Maybe not. But companies which receive tax breaks for "creating jobs" should be required to publish employment stats.

Re:Regulate (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453826)

What was the last law the government passed that was in the interest of the social economics of the population and not to the benefit of corporations?

I think you are mistaking who is working for who. Presidents and Senators don't make money helping you or me.

Wait a minute... (0)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453288)

Labor at IBM is unionized? And these unions can't see any connection between unionized labor in the US, and IBM's preference to offshore labor to places without unionized labor? Hey, if you want to stop IBM from shipping jobs overseas, why don't you try unionizing all of their overseas employees?

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

ScottyB (13347) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453472)

Yeah! Race 'em to the bottom!?!? Or, maybe structure our government's trade laws to be more beneficial to American workers? And tax the IBM executives at a higher rate if they're going to be living in the comfort of the United States while making their money off the poor in the developing world and destroying the American middle class (whose provide soldiers, policemen, firemen, and the government that make living and running the company in the US so comfortable)?

No, definitely the unions' fault.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453604)

One obvious move would be to not allow anything to be sold in the US that was not manufactured in accordance with US environmental, health and safety, and child labor standards. But that would require a certification regime for foreign manufactures which could probably be easily circumvented with a few well-placed bribes. Another obvious move would be to find a way to prevent multinationals from playing games with internal transfers of goods such that all profits are taken in the region with the lowest tax rate, rather than the region where most of the work is done. However, ultimately some leveling of wage levels must be seen as an inevitable consequence of globalization. Americans simply have no god-given right to a higher standard of living than people doing identical work in other parts of the world.

Also, this offshoring is ultimately rather short sighted -- how long will it take for shareholders to realize that there are trained overseas executives also willing to do the job of their American counterparts for far less, and that it doesn't make sense to have all your blue collar workers overseas, while all of your management stays in the US?

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453730)

Agreed- american wages have to normalize.

And american COSTS have to normalize too (no excuse for us paying 8x for movies and 50x for pills compared to our competitors-- especially since many of those drugs were developed in the US).

Housing is clearly going to stagnate or head down in prices for the next couple decades because people's incomes are not going to support increasing housing prices.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453538)

Unions had their place in time and their need (the old coal mines) but now days they have gotten way over done - i have seen more people hurt in modern times by unions than not.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453728)

There needs to be a balance of power between labor and management, as well as encouragement to both to work for the best interest of the companies. I believe employee ownership is a much better way of fostering this than developing an adversarial relationship between labor and management. I worked for Teamsters Local 959 in the early '80s when they practically ran the state of Alaska and were considered more powerful than the governor. That's a huge imbalance of power that is not good for the common good. But then, the conditions of the early industrial age that led to union organization in the first place were also a harmful imbalance of power, which I would rather not return to.

One more observation regarding IBM... I knew software engineers that worked for IBM in the late '80s that were forced to leave the building at 5:00 every day! This seems emblematic of a corporate culture that completely misunderstands the mindset of the people that are actually producing it's products.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453662)

"And these unions can't see any connection between unionized labor in the US, and IBM's preference to offshore labor to places without unionized labor?"

I don't know what connection the unions see, but I don't see one.

Do you really believe that IBM's labor savings are limited to the difference between union and non-union jobs in the US?

Is off-shoring limited to US companies who have unionized workers?

IBM, like many other companies in the US today, wants the cheapest labor they can get. It's not about unions, it's about greed.

indeed, so what. (-1)

Hansele (579672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453334)

And why should they release their headcount unless other companies do the same? All releasing that info does is make them a lightning rod for criticism by politicians who need someone to bash, especially while the anti-business party is in power. IBM needs to do whatever they have to to survive and compete. If the US has made it difficult, the natural response is to shift resources elsewhere. If the govt. seriously wanted to get businesses to come back here instead of fleeing, they'd get rid of corporate taxes. All of a sudden the US would be a tax haven for business, jobs would come here as businesses relocated to the US, and we the consumers would not get stuck subsidizing corporate taxes. After all, if the govt makes it more expensive to do business here, a corporation must either 1) move to a better tax climate, or 2) pass along the costs in their pricing. All the additional jobs would raise lots of money in payroll taxes, social security and medicare would be better funded due to the increase in jobs, and the US would be much more competitive in the world.

Re:indeed, so what. (1)

StickyWidget (741415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453710)

Uh. No. We won't be dropping corporate taxes. The issue here is outsourcing; companies can find cheaper labor outside of the United State. Removing corporate taxes isn't going to reduce the cost of an employee to a company, it's going to make it more difficult for the government to obtain revenue. Think about it: if the company isn't paying taxes, and the company's employees are paying taxes in India, where does the US government get money?

~Sticky

Should be law... (4, Insightful)

Thinine (869482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453364)

All companies, especially publicly held ones, should be forced to report their labor figures every quarter along with their financial information. Just like we should track capital flowing in and out of our country, we should be able to track jobs as well. Remember, the more you know...

Re:Should be law... (1)

fortyonejb (1116789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453756)

I would take that a step further. Any company private or public which holds a government contract should report their labor figures. If you are essentially being funded by my money, I should know how that is being used, if I so choose.

Uh.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453386)

Duh.

Labor Statistics could be had via IRS (2, Insightful)

Nickodeemus (1067376) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453390)

rts

Re:Labor Statistics could be had via IRS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453504)

This was the first thing I thought when reading this. I don't understand how any company can choose to hide employment data from the IRS.

Re:Labor Statistics could be had via IRS (2, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453660)

Yeah, this info isn't being hidden from the government, it is being hidden from shareholders (who likely don't care as long as it is profitable), and thus from the public as a whole (who do care, but likely won't do anything about it).

My invisibl hand... (1)

autophile (640621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453532)

...let me show you it.

Re:My invisibl hand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453692)

The problem with the invisible hand is that you can't be sure what fingers it's waving at you.

IBM is simply following others (1)

butabozuhi (1036396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453554)

We are living in a culture where there is great talk of transparency (i.e. healthcare) and communication (i.e. facebook) but there is little really being done (or said). I'm not that old but I find myself 'yearning for the days' when people walked their walk and sat down face to face for some quality time with friends. Maybe I should start a facebook group...

Welcome to Capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453592)

Why should IBM pay,say 50K/year for a US programmer when it can get the same for 10K in India. Salaries are another expense the company must keep as low as possible.
IBM's purpose is to make money for its shareholders, which btw I presume are mostly US citizens- not charity. Welcome to Capitalism.

Welcome to Corporate Welfare (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453810)

Why should IBM get the protection of incorporation when it would be better for their customers if the owners were held personally responsible for the company's behavior? Welcome to Corporate Welfare.

The "I" stands for... (2, Interesting)

toriver (11308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453634)

Did anyone expect anything else from "International Business Machines"? They are not "American Business Machines".

floating point numbe minimum representable value (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453642)

The headcount probably went below that on IBM computers :-)

IRS (3, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453648)

If one hand in our hopelessly inefficient government knew what the other hand was doing, they wouldn't even have to ask IBM for these numbers, they could just use tax information from the IRS.

This is a non-story.

Speaking as an IBMer... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453664)

We're projected to have more Indian employees than American in the next year or two. We already have over 100k in India, and we're ramping up in Argentina and Brazil.

Meanwhile, internal outsourcing has been an absolute mess. Our Indian-based helpdesks are reviled, both inside IBM and by our customers who use them. Indian technical resources are likewise extremely difficult to work with, and it has nothing to do with language or timezones - they refuse to speak up (from what we're told, "it's cultural", meaning don't make an issue of it or you'll get sent to sensitivity training). A solution can be completely wrong - as in, the contract says we were supposed to start work two months in the past or numbers literally don't add up, yet they won't question blatant errors, and won't respond if you question them. Apparently questioning someone else is deeply frowned upon, and makes them next to useless as anything but strict, brainless order takers. They have no initiative whatsoever, and seemingly no capability of independent creative thought. Maybe it's "cultural", maybe it's poor training - I don't know. I do know it's not working, but all executive management sees is that they cost a fraction to hire as western workers. You get what you pay for, and all that...

None of this applies to the many Indians I work with who are based in other geographies. But for whatever reason, Indians in India are just extremely poor replacements for western workers.

Re:Speaking as an IBMer... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31453764)

Totally true. We had a UK manager go to India and deliberately give them an impossible task to do. For 2 weeks he kept asking on progress and was told everything was going fine. On delivery day they said it was all going great. Nothing turned up. The day after he asked where it was 'nearly there'. Eventually he confronted them and asked if they had made any progress at all. They said yes. Even after he told them it was impossible they said they had got something. That particular cultural quirk is very hard to work with and requires very careful questioning in a way that allows them to tell the truth but make it sound positive. It very rarely (IME) gets spoken of as a problem though in outsourcing circles though.

Policymakers (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453670)

as if they ever understand what they are doing either way? what a laugh.

There are no American corporations. (5, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31453748)

There are only money corporations. Those who run multinational organizations care nothing about whether their money comes from China, India, the USA or Mars. They have no loyalty to the USA or its people, and as the government and people of India and China will soon discover, they have no loyalty to them either. The wealthy can live anywhere. It's all one world to them. Only the sets and the local operating environments change.

The poor of the world have no enemy but the wealthy. Loyalty to "country" or political affiliation is just a con for the rubes.

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