Tales from private industry...
Boiled down to it's essence the debate over the stimulus is between those that subscribe to the tired religion of the "free market" vs. those who realistically recognize that there are occasions when it's necessary for the government to take action to keep the economic waterwheel that is the economy from seizing up and grinding to a stop.
There are more than a few people who continue to look at government as evil and for them the debate begins and ends with that concept. They cannot fathom that private industry ain't all that and a bag of chips. As someone who actually has spent his whole life in private industry I find this idea pretty absurd. Every criticism you can level at government can be turned around and thrown and private companies. Every single one.
I value my bloggy anonymity, mainly because I'm often reading, writing and commenting on other's blogs from work. They say that's frowned upon. So this may be somewhat vague, but all of it is true.
I'm a middle manager at a Fortune 500 company in real life. I like the company I work for quite a bit. I consider them well run, their reporting to Wall Street is pretty above board and they're not likely to wind up on the nightly news because of any corporate shenanigans. But they are a company like any other, which means we've continued to increase productivity for years without rewarding employees and they do things that I would consider unfair if they weren't standard corporate practice.
Just one example of how employees suffer the death of a thousand cuts behind the scenes. For years annual merit raises have been held to 3% average, 5% for our best performing employees. It's a sort of grading curve where as a manager I'm expected to identify poorly performing staff and exclude them from an annual raise. The thing is - I have no poorly performing employees. If I did they wouldn't be working for me.
So the net result is that my experienced, tenured staff wind up getting 3% raises annually. Well below the cost of health care inflation alone, not to mention the cost of living. The longer they work for me here the worse off they are going to be financially.
I've been terribly worried that this year this would be even worse and that the percentages for non-exempts would be lowered or raises frozen altogether. They've done that with managers like myself already so I won't be getting a raise this year. Truth be told- I'm just happy to have a job in this economy so I'm not terribly upset.
Tomorrow I'll tell you about how the company recently started sticking me with incentives I'm eligible for. They've really become quite ingenious in how they screw you. Under other circumstances I might admire their creativity.