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Author Topic: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance  (Read 760 times)

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Offline eloneTopic starter

Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« on: February 08, 2013, 11:27:07 PM »
http://hamptonroads.com/2013/02/state-workers-parttime-hours-capped-due-health-lawhttp://

As if things weren't bad enough in the workforce situation, Governor of Virginia has introduced legislation to cut part time workers hours to under 30 per week to avoid paying health care under the Affordable Care Act. aka Obamacare. Now people who were barely making a living not only are to lose wages, but will have to take care of health insurance as well.

Apparently, restaurant chains are also threatening to do this. Among them Applebee's, Denny's, Papa Johns, Taco Bell, and others.


Applebees:
Oct 30 (Reuters) - DineEquity Inc, which owns the Applebee's and IHOP restaurant brands, reported a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations, boosted by a higher gain on refranchise and the sale of Applebee's company-operated restaurants.

Third-quarter net income tripled to $58.7 million, or $3.14 per share, from $15.5 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned $1.03 per share in the latest quarter.

Total revenue fell 18 percent to $216.3 million.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn 93 cents per share on revenue of $202.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Government:
"The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) says that as few as 10,000 U.S. businesses out of six million (less than 0.2 percent) will be hit with the requirement. The vast majority of businesses -- 96 percent -- have fewer than 50 employees and thus will be exempt, according to the department. Furthermore, of those firms with more than 50 employees, more than 96 percent already offer health insurance to their workers.

Another aspect of the health care law aims to make it cheaper for small businesses to provide insurance for their employees: Starting in 2014, firms with up to 100 employees will have access to state-based Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges, which are intended to increase competitive pressure on insurers and bring down costs."

So, are businesses and states just going to screw employees to avoid healthcare costs?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 11:28:53 PM »
Don't forget Wal-Mart who supported the Healthcare Reform pretty much for this reason.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 01:54:50 AM »
Yet any group that tries to protect the worker is automatically a 'bad thing'.

sigh..

And when the cuts come to your job..when everyone else has lost benefits.. and only the execs get all teh perks.. who will speak up for folks. (to paraphrase an old poem).

Self Interest is being used by busienss to whittle away at the working classes benefits and protections. I've seen more attempts to roll up and reverse the last CENTURY's efforts in labor protection in the last 5 to 7 years than in the rest of my lifetime.


Offline RubySlippers

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 02:42:39 AM »
Actually I fully expected this but I will note with the kinds of incomes we are looking at and the expansion of Medicaid most likely by almost if not all states (deal is to good to ignore) and the exchanges they won't be paying much for health care.

I looked into this for a friend whos family falls just over the Medicaid line in the sand for being on that the family would pay ,using the IRS numbers for the Bronze plan, around $600 a year [$50 a month] for premiums and most of the out of pocket costs are subsidized per bill. We figure 1.3 days pay after taxes. Far less than she is paying now by the way at $142 a month and she had a higher deductible and not very good benefits.

But businesses won't pay out more than they have to but look on the good side most business wll then need to hire more part time workers that means more jobs.

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 05:57:55 AM »
Because the industry you want your sick and unhealthy is in food prep and delivery.

I was lucky enough to qualify for my full-time benefits this year. I have dental, vision and drug coverage now, on top of the basic health care afforded to me by my Canadian citizenship. And I can't wrap my brain around these corporate douches screwing with their employees.

I'm in hospitality. They want us healthy. They want us well. With how many people we come into contact with on a daily basis, we're a prime vector for spreading disease. Hell, my manager pushed through a bunch of insurance applications for first-time qualifiers (including mine) in three weeks instead of three months. The company even covers the employee 100%. The only thing I'm responsible for is coverage for my family, and I think the company might even chip in on that (but I'm not sure).

Maybe it would be different if we weren't unionized, and if our management were more worried about the money instead of the people.

Offline vtboy

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 06:47:18 AM »
This is one of the problems with the jerry-rigged national health care system we've adopted.

Theoretically, at least, businesses exist to increase the wealth of their owners (or, more practically, the wealth of the professional managers who run most publicly traded companies -- but that is a topic for another thread). Since maximization of a business's profit generally will redound to the wealth of its owners, no one should be surprised that a business, where practicable, will seek to increase profits by cutting costs, including labor costs like those for employee health care. To castigate businesses for "screwing" their employees or for acting selfishly fundamentally misconceives their nature, which is to prefer the wealth of owners over other concerns. It is like denouncing scorpions for their sting.

If a business is able to avoid health care costs by replacing full-time employees with part-timers, and to do so without sacrifice to other factors which may contribute to profitability (e.g., worker efficiency, public image, etc.), why on earth would it not? Since the ACA opened this window, it was certainly foreseeable that some businesses would opt for part-time over full-time employees.

If universal coverage had been the primary goal of health care reform, it would have been far better to adopt a single payer system.

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 07:41:00 AM »
Businesses don't exist to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses exist because there is a market for their product which incidentally may increase their owners' wealth.

I can, and will, castigate businesses for their shady, unethical practices. They say on one hand that their products will cost more because of Obamacare, and with the other hand, they slash employee hours so they don't have to pay for Obamacare anyway. So they pocket the extra money they're charging the customer because of "new health insurance costs", and they pocket the extra money cut from employee's paychecks because "they can't afford to pay for health care".

If it was a Mom and Pop store, or a small indie chain, or even a franchise owner with only one or two stores, I could more fully understand the logic. But nobody who has many stores within franchises like Applebees or McDonalds or Burger King or Subway or any of these fast food places is hurting for money. They can scare up a friggin' health plan.

Corporate d-bags are capitalizing on the fact that people are terrified to lose or walk out on their job right now. The American people are cowed and nervous, and are slowly having their dignities stripped from them one by one. You can get fired for taking a sick day. You can get fired for not taking a sick day. You can get fired for being on birth control. Now, your hours are cut because Corporate doesn't want to give you health care, so congrats, you're now a part-time employee. Good luck paying your bills!

That isn't business sense. That isn't even ethical. It's greed. Pure and simple.

Offline vtboy

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 09:14:23 AM »
You mistake businesses for eleemosynary institutions. If you are aware of anyone willing to risk capital in a business without promise of a healthy return, please be so kind as to introduce us, as I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell. 

Businesses don't exist to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses exist because there is a market for their product which incidentally may increase their owners' wealth.

Econ 101. To speak of the existence of a market independent of the existence of a willing buyer and of a willing seller misconceives the thing. A market comes into being only when someone wants to buy a product at a given price and someone else is willing supply it at the same price. The prospect of profit induces a supplier to provide the product. It would be the extraordinarily rare supplier that would, for the benefit of employees, undertake the efforts and risks attendant to bringing the product to market. By the same token, it would be the extraordinarily rare purchaser that would, for the benefit of those employees, voluntarily pay a premium for the product.   

Quote
I can, and will, castigate businesses for their shady, unethical practices. They say on one hand that their products will cost more because of Obamacare, and with the other hand, they slash employee hours so they don't have to pay for Obamacare anyway. So they pocket the extra money they're charging the customer because of "new health insurance costs", and they pocket the extra money cut from employee's paychecks because "they can't afford to pay for health care".

Well, you can, of course, do as you please, but my point was that passing moral judgments on the profit-driven behavior of businesses is a bit like King Canute commanding the tide to recede -- it misconceives its subject and fails at its object.

Government exists only to get people to do what they otherwise likely would not. Businesses act in ways consistent with their perceived self-interests. If we want businesses to act in a different way -- for example, to spend money on health care benefits for employees -- intelligent and informed regulation, providing behavior-shaping rewards and/or sanctions, is what is required, rather than sermonizing about a venal "they," "d-bags" and greed. Our Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were effective in reducing industry's pollution of our rivers and lakes and particulate contamination of our air because they imposed comprehensive, enforceable regulatory schemes, well-designed to achieve their objectives. To the extent employers are replacing full-time workers with part-time workers to avoid (legally) the expense of ACA compliance, it would appear the Act is counterproductive and, likely, was not well thought through.   

Again, if comprehensive health care coverage was the object of our health care legislation, wouldn't something like universal Medicare, financed through a rational tax scheme (including taxes on businesses), have been a better means of achieving it?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 09:16:29 AM by vtboy »

Offline eloneTopic starter

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 09:48:41 AM »
vtboy, all of this is true, of course, business is there to make money. However, it seem like this has changed over time to making money at any cost. Once, people worked for companies that offered benefits and they stayed there, making it a career. Now, that does not seem to be so true, whether by the individuals choice or the business. It seems that there has been a fundamental change from long term growth and stability to short term profit. Additionally, we see wages stagnating for the average worker, while CEO pay and those of the corporate officers have skyrocketed. This is one businesses are now seen as purely greedy. Add to that, outsourcing jobs, failure to make infrastructure improvements and gutting of unions and we have the recipe for disaster for the American worker. I don't know if it can be reversed, but our culture has changed in that the middle class is disappearing as a result of corporate greed. At some point, maybe society will get tired of being screwed, we will reach the tipping point between complacency and revolution. What we need is a government that works for the people and their interests and gets rid of the old idea that the business of government is business.

As for government, and states, cutting hours to avoid benefits is just wrong and a kick in the face to people who work for them in a lot of low paying jobs. In Virginia it will also effect community college instructors and others. The governor says it will cost 110M to insure these people. Given the number of employees involved that came to about 15k apiece. Sounds a little off the mark to me.

Yes, enforceable schemes like the Clean Water act forced businesses, kicking and screaming to do something. Obamacare, apparently was not thought out enough, or got changed by lobbyists when written to leave too many loopholes.  National health care like Medicare for all, funded by taxes would have been a better choice. Unfortunately, the political will or ability to get that done was lacking. Thank you Republicans for once again protecting us from ourselves while your campaign coffers fill with special interest money.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 10:19:38 AM by elone »

Offline Rhapsody

-
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 12:11:46 PM »
Again, if comprehensive health care coverage was the object of our health care legislation, wouldn't something like universal Medicare, financed through a rational tax scheme (including taxes on businesses), have been a better means of achieving it?

Very likely. I'm Canadian; I have exactly what you're speaking about simply by dint of my birth. My taxes, my neighbour's taxes, my family's taxes, strangers' taxes, all go to pay for the provincial health care program. It's part of the province's budgetary responsibilities to ensure everyone has access to physician and hospital care without worrying about the cost of it. Private health coverage, through my place of employment, picks up the slack in vision, dental, drug and extra costs (like private hospital rooms, or seeing specialists like physiotherapists {nominally covered by Worker's Compensation if injured on the job} outside of strict medical necessity).

I've had this discussion many times with conservative and (surprisingly) a few liberal friends. This is the argument you run into: "Why should I pay for my neighbour's care if he breaks his leg? I'm healthy, I'm in good shape. I don't need a doctor, so I don't want to pay for one for someone else."

My company pays for me, as is outlined in our union contract. And, as is outlined in our union contract, money is deducted out of my check every pay period to extend those benefits to my family, as I requested on my application.

So really, I live it both ways. I have excellent coverage for free myself, and I pay for my family. I'm satisfied with this arrangement. I even agree with there needing to be some qualifiers for health care, I do. I myself had to log 1000 hours last year to qualify for my benefits this year. I understand the need for employers to see that, if they're going to shell out for health coverage for this employee, that they've proven their worth to the company by striving for and fulfilling the requirements.

Getting that thousandth hour felt like a major accomplishment. It's of value to the worker's morale as well.

And yes, I call them d-bags because the behaviour is an exemplar of douchebaggery. At one time in American history, the worker was the backbone of society, and the people at the top treated them like valued employees. I realize that this is a blanket statement, and so I will amend by stating that of course exceptions to this existed. Just like there are corporations already that didn't need federal legislation to extend care to their employees.

I'm purely talking about the ones who gleefully announce the slashing of hours because PT employees don't qualify for benefits.

Consideration for the worker has started down a long, steep slope, and the health care issue is only one part of it. When loyal, long-term employees can be fired without warning or suspension because an angry, embarrassed customer demands it, when they're told that the big boys in Corporate got huge bonuses but sadly, their pensions are gone, and when employees can't even spend one of the few federal holidays everyone gets with their families, it's systemic and pandemic, and is gradually eroding the work ethic Americans claim to take pride in. It seems like fostering the long-term benefits of happy, productive workers with a sense of pride and commitment to their place of employment has been taken out back and shot, and what's replaced it is the quest for the almighty dollar.

But perhaps that's another thread.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 12:28:08 PM »
Businesses don't exist to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses exist because there is a market for their product which incidentally may increase their owners' wealth.

I can, and will, castigate businesses for their shady, unethical practices. They say on one hand that their products will cost more because of Obamacare, and with the other hand, they slash employee hours so they don't have to pay for Obamacare anyway. So they pocket the extra money they're charging the customer because of "new health insurance costs", and they pocket the extra money cut from employee's paychecks because "they can't afford to pay for health care".

If it was a Mom and Pop store, or a small indie chain, or even a franchise owner with only one or two stores, I could more fully understand the logic. But nobody who has many stores within franchises like Applebees or McDonalds or Burger King or Subway or any of these fast food places is hurting for money. They can scare up a friggin' health plan.

Corporate d-bags are capitalizing on the fact that people are terrified to lose or walk out on their job right now. The American people are cowed and nervous, and are slowly having their dignities stripped from them one by one. You can get fired for taking a sick day. You can get fired for not taking a sick day. You can get fired for being on birth control. Now, your hours are cut because Corporate doesn't want to give you health care, so congrats, you're now a part-time employee. Good luck paying your bills!

That isn't business sense. That isn't even ethical. It's greed. Pure and simple.

I'm not fond of what they are doing but its legal, most places are non-union and quite a few states are right to work states like Florida left to do as they wish they will move to maximize profits. But I will note most businesses in my state affected are in food service, retail or tourism which usually place workers under 40 hours if your a skilled worker your going to get better treatment (a friend is a seasoned heating and cooling tech he is working overtime every week in summer and winter with very good wages). But many of these positions are lower skilled work with plenty of people looking for work favoring the employers a cashier you can shake a tree and they fall out, why would they be generous to a replaceable worker?

Now its pointed out skilled workers and others will get hit now to but its not illegal there is a non-Federal solution states should step in they could do a employer must help pay for insurance law regardless if the person opts out of the employers insurance or the employer doesn't offer them any. States do have a good deal of power here to act.

But Obamacare is what we have to work with dreaming of something else won't help.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 02:38:58 PM »
You know.. sooner or later.. the 'average worker' will start asking questions like 'Why is an executive meriting 500% increases in pay when I get a 10% pay cut three years running' or 'Why are my kid and wives less important than someone who is an MBA'. Folks forget a LOT of the stuff unions came into being about was because once upon a time you weren't workers.. you were company serfs tied to company towns. There was a LOT of company script only towns. You had companies BOMBING unionists once upon a time.

Sooner or later there will come to a point where you as a working joe will have to move to do something. It wasn't a massive act of repression that killed countries it's a piling of small ones. Sooner or later..that old camel's back breaks. Capitalism is a delicate mix of give and take.. problem is business has been taking more than giving. Sooner or later.. things will get so bad that people will snap back.

Things like a return to debtor's prison might be a start.

http://www.leftinalabama.com/diary/9863/debtors-prisons-right-here-in-alabama

Offline vtboy

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 05:11:29 PM »
vtboy, all of this is true, of course, business is there to make money. However, it seem like this has changed over time to making money at any cost. Once, people worked for companies that offered benefits and they stayed there, making it a career. Now, that does not seem to be so true, whether by the individuals choice or the business. It seems that there has been a fundamental change from long term growth and stability to short term profit. Additionally, we see wages stagnating for the average worker, while CEO pay and those of the corporate officers have skyrocketed. This is one businesses are now seen as purely greedy. Add to that, outsourcing jobs, failure to make infrastructure improvements and gutting of unions and we have the recipe for disaster for the American worker. I don't know if it can be reversed, but our culture has changed in that the middle class is disappearing as a result of corporate greed. At some point, maybe society will get tired of being screwed, we will reach the tipping point between complacency and revolution. What we need is a government that works for the people and their interests and gets rid of the old idea that the business of government is business.

Like you, I am extremely concerned about the squeezing of America's middle class and the consequent fraying of our social fabric. Where we differ, I think, is in our perception of the cause of the problem. I gather you believe corporate greed is the main culprit. I think the roots of the problem are a bit more diffuse and complicated.

When I was a kid, the televisions in my home and in the homes of my friends bore names like Zenith, Sylvania, Admiral, General Electric, Emerson, and RCA -- all, I believe, American companies. Now, televisions are Samsungs, Vizios, Toshibas, Hitachis, and Sonys. When I went off to college, I doubt more than one in eight cars on the road was manufactured abroad. What is the percentage today, I wonder? Even those products that still roll off American production lines are frequently assembled from foreign components. 

Along with American product nameplates, good manufacturing jobs -- the portal into the middle class for so many working class families -- began disappearing in this country about 30 or 40 years ago. In some cases, U.S. companies proved themselves incapable of competing in price and quality with foreign manufacturers and went the way of the dinosaur. In others, U.S. businesses remained competitive by moving operations to other parts of the world, where labor and other costs of production were lower, or by simply purchasing foreign made goods and slapping their own logos on them.  One might, I suppose, blame the outsourcing on the greed of corporations, seeking to maximize profits at the expense of the American worker.

But, wasn't the choice to favor foreign over domestic production really made by American consumers rather than by American businesses? It was, after all, consumers who, time and again, opted to purchase cheaper (and frequently better) foreign goods over those made domestically. American manufacturers might have remained competitive, I suppose, at least for a time, by cutting wages and benefits paid to their workers. In the heyday of the unions, however, how many workers would have accepted slimmer pay envelopes and pared-down benefit packages? How many unions would have welcomed job-eliminating automation calculated to reduce the production costs of American goods? And, how many consumers would have protected their neighbors' jobs by paying, for example, $1,000 more for a Chevy than for a Toyota, or $10 more for jeans made in South Carolina than for a pair made in China?   

America was the only industrial economy to emerge intact from World War II. During the first three or four post-war decades, with relatively little serious competition from foreign manufacturers, there were plenty of profits to go around, and American management and American labor were able to bury the proverbial axe somewhere other than in each other's backs. That has all changed in this brave, new global economy.

Though I imagine there remain strategies by which we may nurture and expand our middle class, I don't pretend to know what they are. I doubt, however, we will ever discover them if we continue to prefer villification of corporate managers to close analysis of economic realities. 

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 06:41:43 PM »
But, wasn't the choice to favor foreign over domestic production really made by American consumers rather than by American businesses? It was, after all, consumers who, time and again, opted to purchase cheaper (and frequently better) foreign goods over those made domestically. American manufacturers might have remained competitive, I suppose, at least for a time, by cutting wages and benefits paid to their workers. In the heyday of the unions, however, how many workers would have accepted slimmer pay envelopes and pared-down benefit packages? How many unions would have welcomed job-eliminating automation calculated to reduce the production costs of American goods? And, how many consumers would have protected their neighbors' jobs by paying, for example, $1,000 more for a Chevy than for a Toyota, or $10 more for jeans made in South Carolina than for a pair made in China?

I will be the first to admit that I'm not an economist, and that my reaction is one of a consumer and an upper-lower class worker (I hover at the poverty line, but I live a comfortable life, paycheck-to-paycheck). And I will also say that things are somewhat different in Canada, where unions have not been vilified (I belong to one myself) and stricter labour laws prevent a lot of the abuses that happen at the worker levels, the management levels and the corporate levels. (For instance, wait staff up here have to legally earn minimum wage, making their tip earnings a bonus, not a necessity.)

But from my untrained eye, it seems that when American businesses move production, manufacture and technical jobs overseas because of tax loopholes and workers willing to work for a lot less, they're actually damaging the American economy. If you take away Joe Smith's job and give it to a worker in India, Taiwan or China, that means that Joe Smith is out of a job. Joe Smith has no income to put back into the economy. No money with which to purchase American goods.

Perhaps it makes good business sense to move facilities to a country where labour laws and manufacturing processes permit companies to have less overhead and turn a greater profit, but it doesn't help the economy to remove income from markets that could sorely use a fresh influx of wealth.

I'm going to pull the giant FUBAR that was the Hostess bankruptcy. While workers on the lines had to deal with the losses of their pensions due to corporate shenanigans, actually taking losses in their yearly income (I cannot find the link right now, but I read a fairly well-written article by an employee in a Wonderbread factory that had worked there for a fairly long time, who actually went from making close to 40,000 a year to expecting to make 23,000 a year within five years) while the rotating door of CEOs gave themselves big fat raises to the tune of up to 80%. Bear in mind, their salaries were already six- and seven-figure digits. Even in the process of their bankruptcy, the judge permitted the executives to take a staggering amount of money to give themselves more bonuses instead of feeding it back to the workers whose retirement those self-same CEOs had self-interestedly stolen.

While that is also a failure of the judicial process, that is a prime example of the corporate greed of which I'm speaking. That isn't on consumers, who are buying Wonderbread and Twinkies and Ring-Dings and all those other empty-calorie delicious snackie cakes. That's largely on the folks at the top who decided that their bank accounts needed more padding, and the workers actually putting the effort in to produce those goods got shafted. Not indirectly. Directly.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2013, 07:41:59 PM »
What irks me is so many of my friends .. who have worked similiar jobs or still do.. swear and blame the unions.

I mean.. yeah.. unions add to the cost SOMEWHAT.. but come on.. look at the Hostess company...

-The company was sold to a Bain style venture group after the current CEO inflated profits (or not) in addition to giving the exec MASSIVE stock bonuses
-A year or two later, suddenly they are 'oh we made a mistake in the accounting and it wasn't record profits'. Cut and slash everywhere there wasn't an MBA.
-They convince employees to put like $3.00/hour into the pension fund instead of getting their full pay. Then promptly raid the fund to cover costs
-Another year or two goes by.. suddenly they need the workers to take another cut..while giving themselves raises..
-Another couple years.. they come back to the unions AGAIN.This time one of the unions, the bakers, balk at their demands and they go 'Screw you guys.. I'm going home' and shut down. They, the management, continue to get paid to 'shut down'
-They pillaged the pension fund to pay their salaries.. got a judge to sign off on BONUSES.. and they still own all the IP tied to Hostess which is worth a TRUCKLOAD of money.

They robbed their own employeess.. and I'm not talking just about going from a 40+ grand salary to 20+ grand. They took these people's pension funds.

Yet a LOT of my friends blame the union right off the bat without looking. I pointed out if these guys had done to them what they did to the union bakers.. they'd have been up in the bluffs above the exec's houses with a high powered rifle to cap one or two of them

I had one friend's mom, a sweet lady of like 65, all but slap him and make him go read up on it before he 'spouts any more shit in my house'. She's NEVER cursed but she's always insisted that you 'KNOW the story before you support a side. This is one of things she researched because she said 'it stank'. Add in the fact that one of her distant cousin's was hit by this..she wanted to know the truth.

Truth is.. Hostess and the venture types who own the brand.. fucked their staff to make an extra dime. They stole from their workers, dealt in bad faith and in a past time it would have been argued they had engaged in union breaking. They LOOTED their employees bank accounts and will get away with it. And these are the same type of people who say we don't need a FDA and that they could 'self-regulate' more reliably?

We'd be back to 'mystery meat' and other fun things in nothing flat.


Offline Rhapsody

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2013, 08:01:23 PM »
What irks me is so many of my friends .. who have worked similiar jobs or still do.. swear and blame the unions.

I mean.. yeah.. unions add to the cost SOMEWHAT.. but come on.. look at the Hostess company...

My union fees last year were approximately $150 for the year, or about 12.50 a month. Or $6.25 per paycheck, since our schedule is biweekly. The union, through which my employment contract is negotiated, protects me from being fired without cause (as it was put to me, "once you're union and over your probationary period, it's nearly impossible to get rid of you"), negotiates on behalf of the worker when contracts expire (as ours does this year, should be interesting), makes sure the company upholds their end of the contract in things like covering employee health benefits and yearly raises (I've gotten $1.50/hour in raises over the last three years), and makes sure the company can't force me to work overtime or on holidays without proper compensation. Among other things.

$6.25 off my check is well worth it. Again, it's a different experience because it's a different country, but the point is, it could be just as beneficial to American workers to have a similar system in place.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2013, 08:15:28 PM »
My union fees last year were approximately $150 for the year, or about 12.50 a month. Or $6.25 per paycheck, since our schedule is biweekly. The union, through which my employment contract is negotiated, protects me from being fired without cause (as it was put to me, "once you're union and over your probationary period, it's nearly impossible to get rid of you"), negotiates on behalf of the worker when contracts expire (as ours does this year, should be interesting), makes sure the company upholds their end of the contract in things like covering employee health benefits and yearly raises (I've gotten $1.50/hour in raises over the last three years), and makes sure the company can't force me to work overtime or on holidays without proper compensation. Among other things.

$6.25 off my check is well worth it. Again, it's a different experience because it's a different country, but the point is, it could be just as beneficial to American workers to have a similar system in place.

A LOT of people where have forgotten the shit that big business here in the US did to their workers before unions came along. Or what they did to anyone who spoke up. I grew up visiting family in a textile town where you'd see 50+ year olds missing fingers because it wasn't PROFITABLE to install safety gear in weaving machines when they were kids. (Their words). Or read about some of the stuff my family (distant) suffered in West Viriginia/Kentucky.

Check out the things the companies involved in the Pullman strike and the Blair Mountain Battle did to get their way (or try to). They BOMBED people at Blair Mountain in an attempt to break unionization. If you don't think that can happen again.. well just watch what methods have gone from illegal, to wrong to 'good business' in the last 30 years.

And the reason I'm a bit twitchy about hiring/firing practices is I found out recently that the 'mistake' that got me fired in '09 might have been purposely fired. The woman who was working for Lockheed as part of the hiring staff was found to have purposely misinformed others that the change over coordinator thought were 'overpaid and new' to the job. Total count.. 9 new employees at the jobsite (most of them less than 15 months) were let go in the first 6 months of the contract change over so that newer, younger and cheaper employees could be hired. Why hire a 15+ year vet for avionics work when you can ALMOST hire 2 3-4 year techs who can do MOST of what he can.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 08:24:24 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2013, 08:29:22 PM »
A LOT of people where have forgotten the shit that big business here in the US did to their workers before unions came along. Or what they did to anyone who spoke up. I grew up visiting family in a textile town where you'd see 50+ year olds missing fingers because it wasn't PROFITABLE to install safety gear in weaving machines when they were kids. (Their words). Or read about some of the stuff my family (distant) suffered in West Viriginia/Kentucky.

Check out the things the companies involved in the Pullman strike and the Blair Mountain Battle did to get their way (or try to). They BOMBED people at Blair Mountain in an attempt to break unionization. If you don't think that can happen again.. well just watch what methods have gone from illegal, to wrong to 'good business' in the last 30 years.

Like I said, likely a different experience due to different countries. :)

It doesn't happen all that often up here because we have entirely different sets of labour laws, and we don't have the history with unions that the US does. But believe you me, I've cursed the unions a time or two, most notably when the bus drivers went on strike a few years back and it was a pain in the ass to try and get around town anywhere for four months. (I don't drive; the bus is my transportation method of choice.) A lot of that was union interference; while they were ostensibly trying to get the best deal possible for their workers, it came down to quibbling over pennies for the sake of quibbling in the end.

While unions aren't 100% free of corruption, power-mongering and generally being thorns in various sides, I still think they do far more good than they do ill.

We're not arguing differing points though, are we?

Quote
And the reason I'm a bit twitchy about hiring/firing practices is I found out recently that the 'mistake' that got me fired in '09 might have been purposely fired. The woman who was working for Lockheed as part of the hiring staff was found to have purposely misinformed others that the change over coordinator thought were 'overpaid and new' to the job. Total count.. 9 new employees at the jobsite (most of them less than 15 months) were let go in the first 6 months of the contract change over so that newer, younger and cheaper employees could be hired. Why hire a 15+ year vet for avionics work when you can ALMOST hire 2 3-4 year techs who can do MOST of what he can.

Oh wow. That royally blows, Callie. I'm so sorry to hear that.  A family member is going through something similar right now, a wrongful dismissal grievance through his union. The last I heard, management was negotiating for at least a five-figure settlement, which my family member told them through his union-provided to shove. He's in his late 50s, and it would be difficult for him to find a new job in the current job market at his age. If they don't end up giving him his job back (which they don't want to do), he wants to make it count. Thankfully, he's unionized, so he can get arbitration for a better settlement in on it.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 08:32:51 PM by Rhapsody »

Offline eloneTopic starter

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2013, 10:44:52 PM »

But, wasn't the choice to favor foreign over domestic production really made by American consumers rather than by American businesses? It was, after all, consumers who, time and again, opted to purchase cheaper (and frequently better) foreign goods over those made domestically. American manufacturers might have remained competitive, I suppose, at least for a time, by cutting wages and benefits paid to their workers. In the heyday of the unions, however, how many workers would have accepted slimmer pay envelopes and pared-down benefit packages? How many unions would have welcomed job-eliminating automation calculated to reduce the production costs of American goods? And, how many consumers would have protected their neighbors' jobs by paying, for example, $1,000 more for a Chevy than for a Toyota, or $10 more for jeans made in South Carolina than for a pair made in China?   

America was the only industrial economy to emerge intact from World War II. During the first three or four post-war decades, with relatively little serious competition from foreign manufacturers, there were plenty of profits to go around, and American management and American labor were able to bury the proverbial axe somewhere other than in each other's backs. That has all changed in this brave, new global economy.

Though I imagine there remain strategies by which we may nurture and expand our middle class, I don't pretend to know what they are. I doubt, however, we will ever discover them if we continue to prefer villification of corporate managers to close analysis of economic realities.

The reason that American goods left was not due entirely to foreign goods being cheaper and better. A lot of the blame goes to management of American companies who made shoddy products. The auto industry is a prime example, US cars sucked and fell apart before 100k miles or about 5 years. People realized that a Honda would run for hundreds of thousands of miles and last much longer. So whose fault is that, the American worker or the CEO? Now we see Honda and Toyota and others making cars in America with American workers, albeit in states with no unions. But we can't blame the worker for the foul ups. Same in the motorcycle industry. Harley, once the icon of bikes, when taken over by AMF went straight to hell. It took getting the company back to get them going again with a quality product. Again, not the workers fault, but the worker suffered. Now we see everything coming from China, India, Indonesia, et al. Korea is emerging as a major player as well. I was in Korea when they were just beginning to make things. Their government had immense tariffs on foreign goods so as to protect their fledgling industry. That would be one way for the US to get jobs back. Yes, it would make goods more expensive, but it would also bring some manufacturing home. As it is now, people just don't have money to spend on quality products, so they buy cheap Chinese goods. That would change with some reinvestment in the middle class by our government and business. And yes, I think we can vilify manufacturers and CEOs who put profit as the single most important aspect of their business. Maybe we can blame investors and shareholders for wanting a quick buck as well, rather than putting long term strategies on their priority list. It's all about greed. Look no further than the bankers and wall street financiers, laughing as they all remain out of jail. But there is another thread for that here.

And yes, if it weren't for the Walmarts of the world (I refuse to shop there), maybe people would spend an extra few bucks for American goods. It is hard to actually find American goods these days, but whenever I run across them, I gladly pony up the extra bucks for them. This Christmas, for example, I made an effort to google American made for anything I wanted. I found that there are a lot of small companies making things that can be purchased at a reasonable price. Electronics, not so much, but I am optimistic enough to believe that can be done as well, maybe a tariff is what we need, worked in Korea. So next time you need some jeans, socks, shirts or whatever, look for a company in this country that makes it.

Busting unions is certainly not the answer to providing a decent wage to workers, why do you think they came about in the first place.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 10:50:33 PM by elone »

Offline amandafame

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2013, 01:32:54 AM »
It is sad to see an say but America as I know it will be changed by the time my son is older.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2013, 05:49:04 AM »
There a simple fact if your employee base can be filled with part-time workers you can then do that and cast off the need to provide health care and its fine on you, you will then do so as an employer its common sense.

An example a typical food service worker a chef might be harder to get in a good restaurant so they are likely with the managers full-time but a bartender or wait person are common and why make them with dishwashers full time you could make those 20 hours a week pretty easily.

Now lets say your business is building boats all the workers are likely skilled tradespeople, with specialized skills and therefore hard to get so you will pay more and give them the hours needed to say build a ship your skills sets are very unique.

The simple solution then if one can do so is to get yourself so skilled that shafting you on hours and pay makes no sense to the business but that will not work for everyone and in this country takes money and time to do.

Offline vtboy

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2013, 07:35:41 AM »
The reason that American goods left was not due entirely to foreign goods being cheaper and better. A lot of the blame goes to management of American companies who made shoddy products. The auto industry is a prime example, US cars sucked and fell apart before 100k miles or about 5 years. People realized that a Honda would run for hundreds of thousands of miles and last much longer. So whose fault is that, the American worker or the CEO? Now we see Honda and Toyota and others making cars in America with American workers, albeit in states with no unions. But we can't blame the worker for the foul ups. Same in the motorcycle industry. Harley, once the icon of bikes, when taken over by AMF went straight to hell. It took getting the company back to get them going again with a quality product. Again, not the workers fault, but the worker suffered. Now we see everything coming from China, India, Indonesia, et al. Korea is emerging as a major player as well. I was in Korea when they were just beginning to make things. Their government had immense tariffs on foreign goods so as to protect their fledgling industry. That would be one way for the US to get jobs back. Yes, it would make goods more expensive, but it would also bring some manufacturing home. As it is now, people just don't have money to spend on quality products, so they buy cheap Chinese goods. That would change with some reinvestment in the middle class by our government and business. And yes, I think we can vilify manufacturers and CEOs who put profit as the single most important aspect of their business. Maybe we can blame investors and shareholders for wanting a quick buck as well, rather than putting long term strategies on their priority list. It's all about greed. Look no further than the bankers and wall street financiers, laughing as they all remain out of jail. But there is another thread for that here.

And yes, if it weren't for the Walmarts of the world (I refuse to shop there), maybe people would spend an extra few bucks for American goods. It is hard to actually find American goods these days, but whenever I run across them, I gladly pony up the extra bucks for them. This Christmas, for example, I made an effort to google American made for anything I wanted. I found that there are a lot of small companies making things that can be purchased at a reasonable price. Electronics, not so much, but I am optimistic enough to believe that can be done as well, maybe a tariff is what we need, worked in Korea. So next time you need some jeans, socks, shirts or whatever, look for a company in this country that makes it.

Busting unions is certainly not the answer to providing a decent wage to workers, why do you think they came about in the first place.

My point, perhaps not made with sufficient clarity, is not that we should be busting unions, but that we should be busting demagoguery. Ascribing the nation's economic ills to the avarice and venality of capital or management only coarsens and cheapens public discourse about topics of mind-boggling complexity, without doing much to develop solutions. I didn't much care for Mitt Romney's brand of demagoguery in castigating 47% of the American people as takers who refuse to accept responsibility for their lives, and I don't much care for equally banal and inflammatory generalizations about those who invest in or run American businesses.

Are the ranks of investors, financiers, and corporate managers plagued by greed, arrogance and incompetence? Sure. What else is new? These seem to be pervasive and enduring human traits, though, thankfully, not our only ones. And, if you think the same cannot be said of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, you just aren't getting out enough. 

The problem with traiffs and other barriers to international trade is that they necessarily result in someone's ox getting gored, and that someone is not always rich in oxen.

One response to continued loss of domestic textile production, for example, might be to impose protective tariffs on imported garments which would push their prices up to those of garments produced domestically. American textile workers would obviously gain (at least in the short term) from the consequent preservation of jobs and resistance to downward wage pressure. The textile mill owners and, presumably, their managers, would also likely benefit. The single mom, working two jobs and trying to figure out how to stretch her paycheck to clothe three kids in the coming school year, might not have quite as rosy a view of the measure, however.

And, then, there is the problem of retaliation. Sometimes a nation, believing its manufacturers are being unfairly hobbled by barriers erected to  participation in another country's markets, will respond in kind. This may be of little concern to businesses, protected by the tariff, which derive the bulk of their revenue from domestic markets. It would likely be a matter of graver consequence, however, for businesses (and their employees) dependent on sales of their products in the retaliating nation. Another ox gored.   

Quick fixes, like tariffs, tend also to have debilitating effects on the long-term competitiveness of the protected businesses. Competition provides impetus for innovation in design, production and distribution. When producers are able to insulate themselves from competition, and to continue earning profits without innovating, there is less reason to undertake the effort and investment required for improvement. Business may proceed happily enough for a time, but ultimately a day of reckoning is sure to come, sometimes with devastating effect.

The matter is further complicated by the reality that the imposition of trade barriers -- always an act of government -- does not proceed so much from clear thinking about their economic merits, as from the political clout of those who favor them. That clout is frequently purchased with the profits (or the union dues) the exponents of trade barriers are seeking to protect.

Domestic trade protection also poses an ethical issue. The championing of the economic interests of American workers is only the latest brand of chauvinism. Why, ultimately, are our workers any more entitled to jobs than their counterparts in India, Malaysia or Peru? To the extent cost advantages of foreign producers reflect oppressive practices (e.g., child labor, absence of environmental and safe work place regulation, etc.) which we believe conflict with fundamental requirements for civil society, we should exert what pressures we can (hopefully, in concert with other nations) to rectify injustices. But, if foreign capital and labor are playing fairly by the rules of the game, on what moral basis does the U.S.A. get to steal away the benefits for its own?

To return for a moment to the issue of employer avoidance of ACA health care expenses, please understand that I am not opposed in principle to imposing burdens on businesses, whether they are directly financial or regulatory, to achieve social ends. I only ask that more thought be devoted to selection of the mechanism by which the desired benefit is delivered and the attendant costs imposed. It should have been evident to the architects of the ACA that, as economic actors (whether capital, management, or labor) pursue their own interests, some employers would reduce their labor forces or cut their employees' hours to escape or minimize the costs of compliance. To assail these employers as greedy pigs, rather than criticize our legislators for failing to build a better mousetrap, is naive and does nothing to deliver health care services to the working poor. 

The problem is just not as simple as white hats and black hats.

Offline eloneTopic starter

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2013, 10:21:01 AM »
My point, perhaps not made with sufficient clarity, is not that we should be busting unions, but that we should be busting demagoguery. Ascribing the nation's economic ills to the avarice and venality of capital or management only coarsens and cheapens public discourse about topics of mind-boggling complexity, without doing much to develop solutions. I didn't much care for Mitt Romney's brand of demagoguery in castigating 47% of the American people as takers who refuse to accept responsibility for their lives, and I don't much care for equally banal and inflammatory generalizations about those who invest in or run American businesses.

Are the ranks of investors, financiers, and corporate managers plagued by greed, arrogance and incompetence? Sure. What else is new? These seem to be pervasive and enduring human traits, though, thankfully, not our only ones. And, if you think the same cannot be said of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, you just aren't getting out enough. 

The problem with traiffs and other barriers to international trade is that they necessarily result in someone's ox getting gored, and that someone is not always rich in oxen.

One response to continued loss of domestic textile production, for example, might be to impose protective tariffs on imported garments which would push their prices up to those of garments produced domestically. American textile workers would obviously gain (at least in the short term) from the consequent preservation of jobs and resistance to downward wage pressure. The textile mill owners and, presumably, their managers, would also likely benefit. The single mom, working two jobs and trying to figure out how to stretch her paycheck to clothe three kids in the coming school year, might not have quite as rosy a view of the measure, however.

And, then, there is the problem of retaliation. Sometimes a nation, believing its manufacturers are being unfairly hobbled by barriers erected to  participation in another country's markets, will respond in kind. This may be of little concern to businesses, protected by the tariff, which derive the bulk of their revenue from domestic markets. It would likely be a matter of graver consequence, however, for businesses (and their employees) dependent on sales of their products in the retaliating nation. Another ox gored.   

Quick fixes, like tariffs, tend also to have debilitating effects on the long-term competitiveness of the protected businesses. Competition provides impetus for innovation in design, production and distribution. When producers are able to insulate themselves from competition, and to continue earning profits without innovating, there is less reason to undertake the effort and investment required for improvement. Business may proceed happily enough for a time, but ultimately a day of reckoning is sure to come, sometimes with devastating effect.

The matter is further complicated by the reality that the imposition of trade barriers -- always an act of government -- does not proceed so much from clear thinking about their economic merits, as from the political clout of those who favor them. That clout is frequently purchased with the profits (or the union dues) the exponents of trade barriers are seeking to protect.

Domestic trade protection also poses an ethical issue. The championing of the economic interests of American workers is only the latest brand of chauvinism. Why, ultimately, are our workers any more entitled to jobs than their counterparts in India, Malaysia or Peru? To the extent cost advantages of foreign producers reflect oppressive practices (e.g., child labor, absence of environmental and safe work place regulation, etc.) which we believe conflict with fundamental requirements for civil society, we should exert what pressures we can (hopefully, in concert with other nations) to rectify injustices. But, if foreign capital and labor are playing fairly by the rules of the game, on what moral basis does the U.S.A. get to steal away the benefits for its own?

To return for a moment to the issue of employer avoidance of ACA health care expenses, please understand that I am not opposed in principle to imposing burdens on businesses, whether they are directly financial or regulatory, to achieve social ends. I only ask that more thought be devoted to selection of the mechanism by which the desired benefit is delivered and the attendant costs imposed. It should have been evident to the architects of the ACA that, as economic actors (whether capital, management, or labor) pursue their own interests, some employers would reduce their labor forces or cut their employees' hours to escape or minimize the costs of compliance. To assail these employers as greedy pigs, rather than criticize our legislators for failing to build a better mousetrap, is naive and does nothing to deliver health care services to the working poor. 

The problem is just not as simple as white hats and black hats.


This has gotten a little off track from the purpose of this thread but good discussion is fine.

I agree that that the economy is much to complicated to lay the entire blame for what is happening in this country at the feet of management and corporate greed. Blame, however, does have a place in argument if it begins to open peoples eyes to what is going on around them. The economic meltdown was largely due to the housing crisis for example. Now, we can lay that at the feet of consumers who bought something that they could not afford, or we can put it on banks and businesses who enticed them in, sold and resold the debt, duped investors with complex derivative transactions, and eventually wrecked havoc with the world's economy.

The difference between corporate greed and mismanagement and that of the candlestick maker is both the scale and the end result of the actions taken. The candlestick maker, maybe makes lousy product, but that eventually comes back to him and him alone. Maybe his assistant candlestick maker also loses his job if consumers avoid his shoddy product. With corporations, their greed and mismanagement has a more widespread affect on people and the economy as a whole. As you state, greed, arrogance, and incompetence are pervasive in business, and government as well I might add, but accepting that and as a human characteristic and passing over it with a nod and  a wink in not acceptable. Unfortunately, our equally inept and corrupt government has not had the courage to  step in and slap their hands.

I agree totally that tariffs are not the best way to manage or address the inequalities found in manufacturing costs in developing countries. It is taking a sledgehammer to the problem. I only suggested it as there was no other solution thrown out in this discussion. However, how else would one address the wage inequality for workers in these countries as opposed to those in the US. Perhaps we should remove the minimum wage and go back to sweat shops. Maybe their rules, but not ours. Of course,  who are we to tell them about labor rights. Hence the power of tariff. If workers in other countries make only cents on the dollar comparitively and work in unsafe conditions, what is the solution? It is our corporations, after all, that have supported this when they moved their manufacturing processes to these places. We can, of course, give manufacturers more tax incentives to stay here, but what does that do to the tax base here. We may have corporate tax rates that are high compared to other countries, but who pays them? Like individual tax rates, very few actually pay the rate due to deductions etc. The point is that foreign capital and labor are not playing by the rules. Take the manipulation of currency by the Chinese. What is the solution to that?

Let me be clear, I do not put the entire blame for all of our ills on corporate greed, but I do recognize it as a large part of the problem. As you state, the issue is more complex than that.

Of course, back on topic, health care is a major problem both for consumers and businesses. Business would rather pay none of it, consumers would have them pay for all of it, and insurers would rather take your money and limit access to those who never get sick. So what are we to do? Clearly, government is not the panacea for all ills, but for the state of Virginia to make a concerted effort to avoid providing health care to its employees in unconscionable.  ACA is a start, not perfect to be sure, but it gets a foot in the door. The real answer lies in a national health care system that everyone pays into and benefits from. It must be managed well, prevent fraud, and not impose an unfair burden on anyone. Maybe that is an impossibility. First, we need to get costs under control. Procedures that are unnecessary need to go, doctors don't need to get paid thousands of dollars for an hour long surgical procedure, malpractice reform needs to be put in place, prescription costs need to be on par with what other countries pay, and preventative care needs to be emphasized. Also, contributions from individuals need to be scaled on something other than net income. We need to change the caps if we still have income based contribution. Current caps on Social Security of around $113K of income needs to be raised. Medicare has no cap, but is still based on earned income, not investment, I believe, I may be wrong. Obviously we need a better system.

No the problems are not simple, but we as a individuals rely on our government to sort this out. As individuals, we can make our voices heard, but that does not seem to be enough to outweigh the lobbyists and special interests that rule our government. Currently gerrymandering even keeps us from throwing out those who are part of the problem in congress. What we really need is for people to get off their asses and come out in masse for what we need to do. Inaction leads one to assume that the majority are content with their situation or afraid to speak out, or have just given up on change.  I don't really have a solution, but I wish there would be more of an effort to take care of these problems.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 02:53:25 PM by elone »

Offline Tiberius

Re: Virginia governor cuts workers hours to avoid paying insurance
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2013, 11:36:33 AM »
I still remember something from the World leaders conference in Europe a few years ago, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel went up to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and asked her how out of all of the powerful nations how did Australia with its in comparison small population and relatively small economy avoid taking any significant loses in the economy or industry? Well the answer to that question is pretty simple, at the start of the GFC Australia had something like $26 billion dollars sitting in the national treasury. That wasn't doing anything it was a pot of gold sitting there from several years of consecutive surplus and Australia also had not one cent owing in deficit.

It came across because unlike Europe or America who's industrial and commerce laws allow big business all of these concessions where they could take as much money as they pleased without even taking the time to consider how it would impact upon employees or how the business operated. In the rush to cut costs and try and stem the massive hemorrhage of deficit undermining the productivity of multiple major banks and big businesses instead of dropping the complete excess of expense of executives and the CEO they fired people and outsourced workers and production, shutting factories leaving gaping holes where thriving business centers used to be fostering massive welfare issues and dumping massive financial strain on city councils and state governments to suddenly provide health care and welfare support to tens of thousands of workers suddenly unemployed by the extreme waste and greed of poorly managed companies.

Countries that came through the GFC with mostly no ill harm have laws in place blocking business from allowing such practice, businesses here in Australia still get around our laws and outsource regardlessly but the government still has processes in place to catch the people disadvantaged from such a situation. The harm is minimized when you have effective soultions already in place to deal with such situations so they place as little strain as possible on government. Our health care service is a mandatory requirement for all citizens. Every Australian has access to free medical check ups and some hospital surgeries are covered by government insurance. We also have one of the best welfare services in the world with unending unemployment benefits.