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Comment This often happens (Score 1) 848

This situation occurs from time to time. A person starts a new job. He is paid a low wage because of his lack of experience. But he is ambitious. He spends time improving his programming skills. He notices a persistent problem and writes a program in his spare time to solve it. He offers it to his boss and the program is implemented. There are the usual hiccups that go along with implementing a new program but after a few months, the program is running smoothly. Efficiency increases, man hours are reduced and most people are happy with the changes.

His manager gives raises of 1 to 3 % with 5 % for exceptional performance. To give a larger raise, the manager has to fill out a lot of paperwork, making the case why the employee deserves more. Even then the raise may not be approved. After all money is tight and 5% is considered an excellent raise.

When the employees review comes due, he is called to the manager’s office and is offered the 5% raise. He will go from 24000 to 25,200 per year. The manager explains that 5% is the largest raise he can give.

The employee is disappointed. He protests. “Programmers make 60 – 70 k. I have proven my abilities. I expected a larger raise.” The manager says “I don’t have a slot for a programmer in this department. My manager won’t authorize me to pay you even $30,000 much less 60 or 70.

What happens next? Sometimes the employee keeps up the good work, with various results. Often he concludes that working hard is a waste of effort. Why work so hard when to company will basically steal his work? He becomes one of the drones, doing the minimum amount of work he can get away with.

If he is smart he looks elsewhere. In the company’s mind, he is a 25,000 a year guy. No matter how many new skills he develops, the company is unlikely to give him a substantial raise.

Comment Re:Occupy Wall Street (Score 1) 377

Occupy has brought attention to the problem of income inequality, Money created through work is taxed more than money created by investment.

I work in industrial automation and I have seen the gains in productivity and efficiency that have taken place since I began working in the 70’s. When I was young it was common for the man to be the wage earner while the woman raised the children. It was possible in this situation for them to live the “American Dream”. Today with both parents working families are struggling. Why, with all these improvements in technology, are people worse off than we were 40 years ago?

Most people know that they are being screwed but don’t agree on how it is being done. I agree with some of the tea party ideals but my gripe is not that we pay too much in taxes but that we get far too little in exchange for the taxes we pay. For example, the other industrialized countries have very inexpensive medical care 5 weeks of vacation per year etc. We get lots of government control of our lives but very little that benefits us. And where government control is needed in regulating corporations we get far too little of it.

The problem as I see it is that politicians are owned by corporate interests. What else can you call it when a corporation donates to both the democratic and the republican candidate for the same office? The politicians in turn make laws that benefit corporations over individuals.

The goal of corporations is to pay employees as little as possible for as much work as possible. They want to sell their products for as much as possible. The goal of workers is to maximize compensation. The goal of consumers is to get the most for their money. I realize there are other issues involved but these are basic. There must be a compromise. But because of the corporations influence over politicians that balance has shifted way too far toward the corporations.

Neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties are working for the benefit of the citizens. Both have sold out to the corporations.

What alternative would you suggest?

Comment Occupy Wall Street (Score 1) 377

Occupy represents me too. I am a self employed computer programmer who has plenty of work.

Is someone gets caught stealing a carton of cigarettes from a store he will likely spend a few days in jail. If someone illegally downloads a few songs he can be fined thousands of dollars.

But when criminals on Wall Street screw up peoples pensions and trash the economy with their get rich quick schemes, they get huge bonuses. The companies that perpetrated these frauds got bailed out. No one was held accountable. No major player in the scandal was held accountable.

The government takes a large chunk of my pay as taxes. Corporations make billions and often pay no taxes.

That is why I support Occupy.

Comment Re:Wikileaks done in by its own leak (Score 2) 316

I am not saying Assange in particular, but Wikileaks as an organization. Did they disclose the people that are leaking the information to them, such as Manning? How is that any different than a government refusing to release the sources of their information? a lie by omission is still a lie.

You are missing the whole point. Wikileaks has to keep the leaker's identity secret so that they will be free to reveal what they know. This used to be the job of the press in this country but unfortunately they are in bed with the government and the corporations.

The purpose of all this is so that we, the voters, can know what is going on. How can we vote intelligently when all we are fed is propaganda?

Comment Right to sue is absolute (Score 1) 273

I has been a long time since I took business law in college but one thing I remember is that you cannot contract away your right to sue. But having such a clause in the contract may discourage someone from trying to sue.

I noticed the clause allows a small claims suit (The price of the game?) It also allows suits over intellectual property and piracy. It seems that they are trying to prevent lawsuits that would hurt them while keeping the right to sue when it benefits them.

My guess is that if someone attempted to sue them the court would throw out those clauses.

Comment The e-toilet (Score 1) 471

It's been done!

http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-etoilet-to-revolutionize-online-shitting,633/

E-Toilet To Revolutionize Online Shitting

Early e-toilets forced users to keep a lot of windows open, so e-dumpers lacked the kind of privacy you want while doing your business," said designer Peter Cheng, a self-described "whiz kid" who has put hundreds of gigaflops through the new e-toilet without once encountering the dreaded, bomb-emblazoned "Shit Failed" message.

"With the new Advent e-toilet, cutting-edge cyberdump technology has finally arrived and is within reach for all Americans," said Scoscia, smiling. "The question is: Do you want to go today?"

Comment Re:Wow... (Score 1) 439

When I was a young geek (they didn't call us geeks back then) most of the clocks had a small AC motor in them that relied on the power line for 60 cycle (it wasn't called Hz. then) power which kept the time. I haven't seen one of 'these in a long time.

But back in the day, they were ubiquitous like the 5 tube radio.

Comment Kids are just emulating adults (Score 1) 669

The kids were just doing what they see adults doing. If you don't like the president, call him a nazi or a communist. It damages his reputation and makes it difficult for him to keep his job. It turns people against him. The kids used the same strategy against their teacher. They called him the worst name they could think of.

Perhaps what we need to do is to set a better example for the kids.

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