Shifting the Employment Paradigm – I Still DO NOT want to be an Employee!

November 2012, I wrote the first in a series of articles on shifting the employee paradigms.  These articles discussed the freelance or consultant versus the employee in the structure of the organizational design.  Multiple times, the right to control has been addressed as part of the “rights” granted by the Internal Revenue Service to Employers, so the employers will continue to play the Federal Government’s game of control and heavy-handed authoritarian thuggishness.  These topics and more continue to surface on this blog in an attempt to help the employee understand the problem and issues, the loss of freedoms and rights, in becoming an employee.

Today, Joey, the blundering president, has published the 400+ page OSHA abomination that forces you to lose the rest of your privacy to your employer—ending HIPAA, foreclosing your rights to your liberty not to vaccinate, and shaming you into wearing a mask and discriminating if you do not.  While the OSHA regulation is unconstitutional and a clear governmental overreach, Congress remains silent in its scrutiny of the executive branch of the government.  Worse, the citizens of America think that the judicial branch can be trusted to “save them” from the executive branch of government, which is always a BAD IDEA!

OSHA and Joey have declared that employers with over 100 employees have to comply.  After this is accepted, then employers over 50-employees, then 10- employees, and so forth will be targeted until nobody who employees anyone can escape.  This is how the government works, and this is why we need a different structure to operate under.

Employers, employees, I have a better idea than trusting the government to act responsibly.  It is past time to revisit the structure wars and redesign the employee/employer relationship in America.  What is the answer; knowledge vending instead of the employer/employee relationship.  Please, allow me a moment of your precious time to explain.

The idea is simple.  You have employees who know your business cold, know your customers, understand your processes, procedures, workflows, products, and services.  How many of your employees would love to brand themselves to your organization as knowledge vendors?  Ask them!  Then offer them the choice to become independent contractors using the IRS publications as a guide.  The knowledge vendor provides their tools, you provide them access, and they brand themselves and contract to serve your organization, with autonomy to work for you on their terms and schedule.

Please note, this is critical; the IRS continues to change the rules on an almost fluid and whimsical basis.  The link takes you to the designation between an employee and a contractor.  Lawyers will need to help design the necessary contracts to control the relationship.  Some assistance will be required to help those transitioning to ensure they are not killed financially in the tax tsunami the IRS likes to launch.  However, taking this step forces the Federal Government hand over OSHA and allows you and your now independent contractor workforce to return to business instead of compliance. Everyone retains their liberty, plus your privacy and medical records remain your business, not your employer’s or the Federal Governments’.

It cannot be stressed enough; the IRS should never have been placed in control over the employee/employer relationship controls.  Worse, these controls should never have been assumed by the government in the first place.  Since the Federal Government has assumed these powers, everyone needs to understand the fundamental categories that differentiate an employee from a knowledge vendor/contractor.

These topics are covered in-depth on the links, and I have covered them in various articles previously.  Until Congress removes these rights from the IRS, the contracts covering those knowledge vendors must spell out succinctly these controls to avoid the IRS meddling and penalizing the vendor and the employer maliciously.  More to the point, the IRS has, in the past, gone backward and retroactively changed its rules to penalize employers and vendors through “clarifying,” which the courts upheld.

Risky path to take; potentially!  However, all life is risk, and I cannot think of anything more perilous than capitulating to Joey and his merry band of authoritarian thugs!  Plus, America needs to join the rest of the industrialized nations in offering choices to the employer/employee relationship.  Tax laws, generally, and the IRS specifically, are choking the lifeblood out of American ingenuity and increasing the cost of compliance year-over-year.  We need real solutions to these problems and freeing the American worker is the best solution.

© Copyright 2021 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

The Proper and Improper Role of Government – Part 3

Bait & SwitchThere many ideas I embraced as a child that brings me short mentally and cause some discomfort.  The biggest of these was the support of labor unions.  As a kid, I thought labor unions were the best thing since sliced bread.  I learned in K-12 how the labor unions had ended child labor, gave us weekends, Federal holidays, and the 8-hour day, among other tremendous and notable accomplishments.  Until I lost my job to a labor union guy who took four times as long to complete work, complained horribly and sent me to the unemployment line.  I never understood what he had to complain about, times were hard, and I lost a good job to a labor union member.

ApathyBecause of the hold, the Labor Unions have on government, the line between government policy and labor union influence is generally so blurred that confusion is bred as to why things work the way they work in government.  Unfortunately, every country with a representative government and labor unions has the same problem.  Labor unions are entirely Marxist in their ideology, but to keep the masses happy, instead of communism, we get rampant socialism instead.  J. T. Murphy writes specifically eloquently on the ties between socialism and the labor unions.  Frankly, I have never understood how a labor person can swear they love freedom and America while supporting tooth and nail their labor unions’ Marxist and socialist agendas.

Inflation and Socialism, plus the Captivity of Debt

Public Employment Retirement Costs Are At "Tipping Point"Public-sector labor unions are the number one reason many states in America have seen their credit ratings drop.  The debt of the retirement packages and pensions is a millstone around every state’s neck.  This is an absolute reality proven time and time again.  The pension crisis is so large that Forbes keeps coming back to this topic several times a year.  If you would like a primer on the public pension crisis, go here.  The public pension crisis is mentioned solely because it remains the number one budget item for too many states.  With that much money owed, the debt runs the state’s fiscal decisions, not people, and brings up the captivity of debt.

Look up the principle of “usury” in historical texts, and you find usury occurs when interest is charged on money borrowed, which creates captivity.  TheWalletcoach.com eloquently details how debt is captivity.  The oldest of historical texts, the Old Testament, is vehemently against charging usury of brothers and family members, but strangers being in debt captivity was okay.  Today, the confinement of debt, specifically the public pensions, leads the politicians like a goat to slaughter. But, unfortunately, none of the politicians can find the time to formulate a plan, gather their fellow politicians, and fix the problem.  Debt, to the height of the public pension crisis, creates inflation and leads to socialism, as the government runs out of other people’s money to pay for the failures of previous politicians to be fiscally literate and fiscally responsible.  Add in the labor unions’ consistent sticky hands, and the local and state governments are in deep trouble.  Add in the Federal Government’s debt obligations, and money trouble is a catastrophe!  Please note that catastrophe is not an “If” or “when;” it is a current issue right now!National Debt Graph + Bush-Reagan Voodoo Video - zFacts

16 March 2019, Tom Del Beccaro, writing an opinion piece for Fox News, produced the greatest missive I have ever seen tying the principles of debt captivity to inflation and governments becoming socialized!  Historically speaking, Mr. Del Beccaro is 100% correct that the socialization of Greece and the fall of the Roman Republic are both tied to government debts. However, the Founding Fathers in America knew history, were literate, and they feared what would happen to this Free Republic (if we can keep it) when the government is allowed to rack up debts!  Every single publication I have on the Founding Fathers, and the Founding of America, come back to the bondage of debt and the problems with government debt. However, when the population demands “free benefits” from the government and uses their voting power to elect only those who keep the “Gravy Train” coming, socialism has been achieved in all but name!Government Largess

That fact alone should scare every member of the American Experiment into correcting their government!  Yet, what do we find, the exact opposite!  Frightening does not entirely cover my feelings here!

Socialism, Taxes, and The Workplace

Gravy TrainReturning to the pattern discussed on 16 March 2019, Tom Del Beccaro, writing an opinion piece for Fox News, discussed how taxes are a knee-jerk reaction to “keep that gravy train running.”  Therein lay the root causes for how socialism has been promoted in the workplace and how high taxes will eventually go!  I have written about this relationship for a long time, but please allow me to refresh memories.

In the United States, the Government Agency tasked with employment, employment laws, and employer responsibilities is not the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB); by statute, it is the Department of Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The NLRB is only there to handle labor unions, labor union growth, and labor union law.  The IRS defines what an employee is vs. a contractor or knowledge vendor.  Worse, the IRS rigidly protects this relationship as a key to preserving the government’s interest (tax dollars) in keeping socialism in the workplace.  Some of my earliest articles deal with these exact principles and the socialized employee structures in which each worker and business is demanded to participate.Gravy Train 2

Upset with how your employer treats you, both on and off the employer’s property, there is only one place to put the blame, the IRS.  The IRS states the employer can invade your privacy, in your home, as an extension of “Risk Control” because your employer agreed to the IRS’s demands to pay taxes.  Your rights, freedoms, and liberties are curtailed, culled, and clipped in the workplace because the IRS demands the employer play ball with them, and your liberties are the price you pay for a paycheck.  Every time I see a labor union complaining about how the employer treats them, I want to shake the stuffing out of the leaders, for it is not the employer but the IRS that should be struck down and disbanded!  Yet, the NLRB will always side against the employer, and the labor union, a Marxist organization, wins, the IRS wins, and the employer and non-union employees lose. As a result, socialism in America becomes more powerful and influential.

Socialism and Mothers in the Workplace

As a means to improve the strength of the family in society, several religious organizations would love to see mothers provided the power to stay home.  Yet, socialism, as a fundamental operating principle, that all able bodied people must support the state, K-12 educators can rear kids, and the government acquires drones who do as they are told.  High fuel prices are no longer discussed on the nightly news because the government needs every able-bodied and disabled person working and asked the media to find something else to discuss.Plato 2

Why does the current president keep ducking questions about inflation; because the higher inflation goes, the higher prices are demanded, and the more people will rely upon the “Government Gravy Train.”  Unfunded liabilities (kited checks) are acceptable to socialists as a means of controlling the populace and keeping people in the game.  Higher taxes from inflation are good when it controls those in society who would raise their heads and ask questions under the thumb of totalitarian control.  If mothers returned home, how fast would demands for improved schools become the big issue in local politics, again?Gravy Train 3

My wife, a single mother due to divorce, while raising her two kids, relates stories of gathering mothers in Seattle to fight the school board and win.  Bewitched (1964-1972), the TV show reflects several times where Samantha got involved and changed local politics.  It used to be expected in local politics for mothers to have the ultimate last word on worthy politicians for whom to vote.  Yet, by increasing prices, mothers had to go to work.  It is now standard for politicians to get elected whose only desire is to keep socialism going, stealing liberties and freedoms while pontificating that the other party is at fault for your suffering.

Knowledge Check!I repeat, only for emphasis, the IRS remains the most influential, nefarious, and deadly threat to America.  America, what I am proposing will be a culture shock. It will turn many people onto their heads. It will appear anathema, all because we, the citizens, have watched the government become stronger and us the citizens weaker for so many generations.  But, the reality remains, we own the government, the government has been abusing us, and the time of big government to solve all the problems from a broken shoelace to fixing the weather has to end!  We must believe, gather knowledge, and act as a conjoined whole to make the necessary changes.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

Employee Engagement

Knowledge Check!Recently this topic was raised in a town hall style meeting, and the comments from the leadership raised several concerns.  It appears that employee engagement is attempting to become a “buzzword” instead of an action item, and this bothers me greatly.  Worse, many people lead teams with vague ideas about what employee engagement means and then shape their own biases into the employee engagement program, making a pogrom of inanity and suffering out of a tool for benefiting and improving employee relations.

When discussing employee engagement, we must first begin with a fundamental truth; employees do not work for a company, do not work for a brand; they work for a manager.  An employee might like a company; they might enjoy having their professional brand aligned with a known branded organization. The employee might feel pride in associating with other employees under that brand.  When the road gets difficult at the end of the day, an employee works for a manager.  The relationship between a manager and an employee is one of trust operationalized and honed through shared experiences.

Employee Engagement – Defined

ProblemsAccording to several online sources, the definition of employee engagement is, “Employee engagement is a fundamental concept in the effort to understand and describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of the relationship between an organization and its employees.”  If you believe this definition, you will miss the forest for the bark you are fixated upon!  Employee engagement is fundamental; it is not a concept, a theory, or a buzzword.  Employee engagement is a relationship between organizational leaders and the employees, but employee engagement is not about collecting qualitative or quantitative data for decision-making policy-based relationship guidance.  At the most basic level, employee engagement is the impetus an employee chooses to onboard because of the motivational actions of the manager they report to.

Employees must choose to engage; when they choose not to engage, there is no enthusiasm in the employee, and this can be heard in every action taken by the employees on the company’s behalf.  Is this clear; employee engagement is an individual action, where impetus leads to motivated and enthused action.  While organizational leaders can and do influence motivation, they cannot force the employee to engage!  Thus, revealing another aspect of why the definition found online is NOT acceptable for use in any employee engagement effort!Leadership Cartoon

Employee engagement is the actions an employee is willing to take, indicating their motivation to perform their duties and extra-duties for a manager they like.  Employee engagement is the epitome of operational trust realized in daily attitudes, behaviors, and mannerisms of employees who choose to be engaged in solving problems for their employer.  While incentive programs can improve employee engagement, if the employee does not first choose to enjoy the incentive, the incentive program is wasted leadership efforts.  The same can be said for every single “employee benefit.”  If an employee cannot afford the employer’s benefits, those benefits are wasted money the employer needs elsewhere.  Hence, the final point in defining employee engagement is the individualization of incentives and the individual relationship between managers and employees.  Stop the one-size-fits-most offerings, and let’s get back to talking to people.Anton Ego 4

Reflective Listening

Listening has four distinct levels; currently, these are:

      • Inactive listening – Hearing words, seeing written communication, zero impact mentally. Mainly because your internal voices drown out the possibility of communication.
      • Selective listening – Hearing only that which confirms your own voices, opinions, and biases. While others are speaking, you are already forming your response.
      • Active listening – Show the other person you are paying attention to, engage with meaning in a reply. You are focused on removing barriers to get your point across.
      • Reflective listening – Paying attention to intent and content, reducing emotion, two-directional as both parties are engaged in achieving mutual understanding.

Chinese CrisisInactive and selective listening can be heard through phone lines, instant messaging, text messaging, and easily observed during face-to-face communication.  Worse, active listening launches trust, and when faked, destroys credibility, ruining relationships.  Reflective listening can only achieve mutual understanding when both parties are choosing to listen intently and with the purpose of reaching mutual understanding.  The most powerful tool in an organizational leader’s toolbox for quickly rectifying employee engagement is reflectively listening.

Communication occurs in two different modalities, verbal and non-verbal.  Good communicators adapt their message to the audience using reflective listening and careful observation.  Adapting the message requires first choosing, determining who the primary and secondary audience is, and then focusing the message on the primary audience.  Next, adaptation requires prior planning, which includes mental preparation, practice, and channels for feedback.  Finally, adaptation requires listening to achieve mutual understanding, careful observation, asking questions designed to lead to mutual understanding, and clarifying what is being said to achieve mutual understanding.  The pattern described can be the tool that begins employee engagement but is not an end-all solution all by itself.Anton Ego

Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative inquiry is a growth mechanism that states that what a business organization needs, they already have enough of, provided they listen to their employees.  Appreciative inquiry and common sense tell leaders who want to know and change their organization and how and where to begin.  Appreciative inquiry-based leadership is 6-continuous steps that start small and cycle to more significant problems as momentum for excellence permeates through an organization.  But the first step, just like in defeating a disabling addiction, is admitting there is a problem.

Here are the six operational steps for appreciative inquiry:

      1. Admit there is a problem and commit to change.
      2. Define the problem.
      3. Discover the variables and stay focused on the positive.
      4. Dream BIG!
      5. Design the future and outline the steps to that future.
      6. Destiny, create the destination you desire.

Bait & SwitchFollow the instructions on a shampoo bottle, “Wash, Rinse, Repeat.”  The appreciative inquiry model can be scaled, repeated, implemented into small or large teams, and produce motivated members who become the force to create change.  Allow yourself and your team to learn, this takes time, but through building motivation for excellence, time can be captured to perform.

Of all the steps in appreciative inquiry, it must be stressed that focusing on the positive is the only way to improve people.  Even if you must make careful observations to catch people doing good, do it!  Focusing on the positive provides the proper culture for engaging as many people as possible.  Criticism, negativity, aspersions, and insults all feed a culture of “Not my problem,” and when the employee claims, “not my problem,” they will never engage until the culture changes.

Organization

Andragogy - LEARNEmployee engagement requires structural changes to the organizational design.  Employee engagement is going to bring immediate change to the organization.  If the leaders, directors, managers, supervisors, team leaders, etc., are not prepared for and willing to change, employee engagement will die as an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.  As a business consultant, I have witnessed the death of employee engagement, and the death is long, protracted, and disastrous to the entire business.  Worse, individuals refusing to change stand out like red dots on a white cloth as employee engagement dies.

Thus, the first step in employee engagement belongs not to the employee, but the employer, who must answer this question: “Are we a learning organization willing to change, or are we a knowing organization who does not need to change?”  How the leadership answers this question will speak volumes to the employees closely observing and making their decisions accordingly.  Depending upon how that question is answered will depend upon whether the business can move onto the second step or remain stuck on the first step.

Andragogy - The PuzzleThe second step in employee engagement is training the organization to accept change and failure as tools for learning, growing, and developing.  A toddler learning to walk will fall more than they stay up before they can run.  The same is true when initiating employee engagement.  Guess what; you are going to fail; can you as an organizational leader accept failing?  Are you willing to admit you failed, made a mistake, and publicly acknowledge the blame and consequences?  Are you willing to allow others to accept the praise for doing the right thing?  Will you as an organizational leader accept change?  How you answer these questions also speaks volumes to the employees you are trying to engage.  Depending upon how you individually and collectively as a team answer these leadership questions will decide if you fall back to step one or advance to step three.

The third step in organizing employee engagement is total commitment.  Are you onboard?  Are all the leaders onboard?  Being onboard means 100% commitment to the organization dreamed in the operational steps to appreciative inquiry.  If not, do not launch an employee engagement program, for it will fail spectacularly!  Never forget the cartoons where a character has one foot on a boat leaving the pier and one foot on the dock; they get wet and left behind!

Have FUN!

Semper GumbyEngaging with employees should be fun, it should be an enjoyable experience, and it should bring out the best in you!  All because you want to see others engage, grow professionally, learn, develop, and become.  Your efforts to teach engagement lead you to learn how to engage better.  Seize these learning opportunities, choose to grow, but never forget to have fun.  My best tool for engaging with employees, dad jokes!  Really, really, really, bad dad jokes!  For example, when Forrest Gump came to Amazon, what was his computer password?

1F@rr3st1

When you get that joke, laugh; but wait for others to get it as well!  Employee engagement is fun, exciting, and can be the best job you ever had as a professional.  Just believe in yourself, believe in and invest the time in appreciative inquiry, organize yourself and your business, and always reflectively listen.Never Give Up!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

 

NO MORE BS: The IRS – The Pernicious and Detestable Federal Agency

Angry Wet ChickenNow that tax season is, for the most part, completed and behind us for another year.  It occurred to me that many people do not know the power and reach of the IRS in their daily lives.  Plato is quoted as saying, “The price of apathy towards  public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”  No truer words can describe the situation with the IRS, and I think it is time every American knows just how destructive the policies of the IRS have been and continue to be.

Employee

UseLegal.com (2012) provides the actual definition of an employee, “An “employee” is defined as “a preference eligible in the excepted service who has completed one year of current continuous service in the same or similar positions” or “an individual in the excepted service (other than a preference eligible)… who is not serving a probationary or trial period under an initial appointment pending conversion to the competitive service.” Ramos v. Merit Sys. Prot. Bd., 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 24378 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 6, 2009)”  Essentially, a person can be hired by an employer, but does not attain employee status and protection until that person has been hired for a continual year by the same employer, is not under a ‘probationary period,’ and or appointment.Apathy

An employee agrees to be controlled by an employer; that person’s production is only one of the controls granted to an employer.  Employee conduct both on and off the job can be controlled, and the means and manner of producing the work specified.  The right to control is the primary determining factor in this relationship.  The right to control is also the deciding line between freelance workers and employees.  Upon this single imperative hang tax law, the responsibility of parties, risk, and every item in employee/employer relationships, hierarchical structures, and will ultimately decide who or which party is in charge, and is entirely governed by the IRS in America!

The Right to Control

The IRS breaks into three categories the essential components where the ‘Right to Control’ hinges, namely, Behavioral Control, Financial Control, and Type of Relationship.

Behavioral Control:  Relates to the questions, what, where, and how work is completed.  Employees have set schedules, tight restrictions about how to think, where to sit, etc., dictated by the employer.

Financial Control:  Relates to all things money.  The employee is forced to accept all terms of the employer without negotiation, from business expenses to taxes.  Where Financial Control is, risk shortly follows; where risk is, the threat of litigation follows.  Therefore, when the employer has financial Control, risk follows the employer, not the employee.  Profit and loss, tools of the trade, and the freedom to offer services to other organizations are all part of the financial controls relinquished by the employee to the employer.  Under Financial Control falls the following, the Americans with Disabilities Act – 1990 (ADA).

    • The ADA’s seminal beginning originate in 1973 Section 504, which made it illegal to discriminate against those with disabilities if the organization receives Federal Government subsidies.
          • “No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States… shall, solely because of her or his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”(ED.gov, 1995).
          • Classified disabilities by disease; includes “Hidden Disease[s],” is changed constantly to update diseases covered, and dictates the only requirement for the condition is that the disorder “have a material effect on one’s ability to perform a major life activity” (Ed.gov, 1995).
          • Business costs mainly occur in ‘soft’ costs, i.e., changing procedures, reasonable accommodations, etc., something to keep in mind, though, “… noncompliance can cost an employer.  For example, in the fiscal year 2006, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) resolved 15,045 disability discrimination charges.  It recovered $48.8 million in monetary benefits for workers who did not receive accommodations to which they are entitled under the ADA” (Woog, 2008).  Thus, monetarily speaking, noncompliance costs more than compliance.

Type of Relationship:  Relates to all things in the interaction of the two independent parties, including written contracts dictating the interaction, risks, penalties, etc.  The extent of the relationship is a significant point and colludes with permanency and benefits to form the marriage between two independent entities.  The employee forfeits Control in this arena to the employer who automatically sets the terms, demands compliance, and exerts totalitarian Control.quote-mans-inhumanity

Employee Surveillance

IRS.gov (2018) sets the standard upon which the premise for employee surveillance rests; the business organization holds the right to control, monitor, insist, and legally demand employee behaviors. Goshray (2013) quoted Cashmore (2009) and is correct; employee privacy is dead, and the origination is social media.  Thus, with the IRS granting legal ability to monitor and control employees, there are no other legal or ethical issues, privacy concerns, or anything else wrong with employee surveillance.  If the employee chooses to take issue with the monitoring, that employee is free to end their relationship with the company; in fact, Lyon (2017) substantiated that with newer employees, who have grown up with the acceptance of digital citizenship, surveillance is expected and no privacy concerns exist in the workplace.Patriotism

Holt, Lang, and Sutton (2017) further inform that employee surveillance does not affect potential employees’ rating of the organization’s ethics, nor the organizational views when monitoring, e.g., employee surveillance is higher than another business in the same industry. Holt et al., (2017) further added that employee surveillance has been, and continues to be, radically changed by the technology available (Waxman & Barile, 2016).  Returning to the organizational “right,” as provided by the government through both edict and legislation, employees have no individual control and relinquish privacy rights upon hire to the employer (IRS.gov, 2018).

Vargas (2017) reviewed a business and found that the employer considers each employee a criminal and that through working for the company, investigated criminalization of employee behaviors is enacted and reproduced.  Essentially, making each employee an automatic suspect anytime a crime occurs, suspecting every transaction, and disciplining for minor changes in expected corporate behaviors. While admittedly, this behavior by the business might be considered extreme, it is not beyond the legal “rights” of the employer.  An argument could be made to treat employees better to reduce churn; in this particular industry (retail), high churn means you pay less in wages because good employees leave quickly and bad employees are fired fast.  Thus, criminalizing the employee is not wrong; employee surveillance is not unethical and should have no consequences for honest employees.The Duty of Americans

However, labor unions vociferously continue to advocate privacy in the workplace and attempt to place limits upon employee surveillance by a company, completely disregarding the fact that the employer has the legal right and ability to demand and enforce all types of direct and indirect employee surveillance programs (Goshray, 2013; Holt, Lang, and Sutton, 2017; IRS.gov, 2018; Leclercq-Vandelannoitte, 2017; Lyon, 2017; Waxman & Barile, 2016; Vargas, 2017).  While Leclercq-Vandelannoitte (2017) attempts to place ethical constraints, prior knowledge, policies, and procedures around employee surveillance, nothing in the IRS.gov (2018) mandates declare an employer has to mention or warn employees that their every keystroke, every conversation, and every action are directly and indirectly monitored as the “right” of the business.

Knowledge Check!Is the pernicious role of the IRS now more understood?  Your Employer/Employee relationship is not governed by the NLRB, but by the IRS, and this was by design to protect tax money!  Every action made in an employment situation is governed by the IRS, and the IRS has given great latitude to the employer, making you the property of the IRS, with control granted to your employer.  The IRS remains a danger to every American, and the globe.  Why is the United States the only industrialized nation to not allow options to the employee/employer relationship, squashing innovation, curtailing small businesses opportunities, and unequally tipping the scales for large organizations, look to the IRS!  Want to point fingers, thank President Woodrow Wilson (D) and his complicit Congress and his executive orders!

References

Effelsberg, D., Solga, M., & Gurt, J. (2013). Getting followers to transcend their self-interest for the benefit of their company: Testing a core assumption of transformational leadership theory. Journal of Business and Psychology, 29(1), 131-143. doi:10.1007/s10869-013-9305-x

Ghoshray, S. (2013). Employer surveillance versus employee privacy: The new reality of social media and the workplace. Northern Kentucky Law Review, 40(3), 593-626. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lgs&AN=90242325&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Holt, M., Lang, B., & Sutton, S. G. (2017). Potential employees’ ethical perceptions of active monitoring: The dark side of data analytics.Journal of Information Systems, 31(2), 107-124. doi:10.2308/isys-51580

Leclercq-Vandelannoitte, A. (2017). An ethical perspective on emerging forms of ubiquitous IT-based Control.Journal of Business Ethics, 142(1), 139-154. doi: http://dx.doi.org.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/10.1007/s10551-015-2708-z

Lyon, D. (2017). Digital Citizenship and Surveillance| Surveillance Culture: Engagement, Exposure, and Ethics in Digital Modernity. International Journal of Communication, 11, 19.

Waxman, S. S., & Barile, F. G. (2016). “Eye in the sky:” Employee surveillance in the public sector. Albany Law Review, 79(1), 131.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS.gov) (2018). Independent contractor vs. employee. Available from http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,id=99921,00.html

U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS.gov). (2018). The Agency, its Mission, and Statutory Authority. Retrieved from http://www.irs.gov/irs/article/0,,id=98141,00.html

Vargas, T. L. (2017). Employees or Suspects? Surveillance and Scrutinization of Low-Wage Service Workers in U.S. Dollar Stores, 20(2), 207–230. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eoh&AN=EP123822581&site=ehost-live&scope=site

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

LIC and the Labor Unions – Or Ideological Passion Drives Violence

Low Intensity Conflict or LIC is a misnomer; those who have become a victim of the barbarous cruelty of those practicing LIC find nothing “Low” about the experience.  The conflict is intense, the actions brutal, and the practitioners remain cunning adversaries using and employing willing dupes to hide the true depths of moral decay inherent in their societal destructions and depravations.  Many confuse LIC in trying to describe the actions of unbridled violence committed by ideologues under the banner of terrorism.  The US Military Joint Chiefs of Staff define LIC as:

A limited political-military struggle to achieve political, social, economic, or psychological objectives. It is often protracted and ranges from diplomatic, economic, and psychological pressures through terrorism and insurgency. Low-intensity conflict is generally confined to a geographic area and is often characterized by constraints on the weaponry, tactics, and levels of violence (Tinder 1990).”

Some will proclaim loudly, mostly due to affiliation with or money from labor unions, that LIC is only limited to those more commonly perceived as terrorists, i.e., car bombers, hijackers, and rioters, and that labor unions are not terrorists, but are organizations with the sole purpose of “Protecting the Workers.”  This article will prove the lie behind this fallacy and the charade will fall.  I contend, if labor unions were truly for the worker, their names would be changed to ‘Human Resources,’ dues would never be mandatory, and the personal and political power of independent organizations would come to replace the useless and power hungry monstrosity referred to as labor unions.LIC 2

As the definition demonstrates, LIC requires a “… Political-military struggle to achieve political, social, [and] or psychological objectives, ” along a “limited” front or axis.  Labor unions have always used the “Plight of the Worker” as their political and military casus belli.  As the basis for their actions, this excuse, the “Plight of the Worker,” also provides a limited but effective axis to justify their foul and loathsome acts of violence and degradation.  Throughout the history of the world, in every age, every society, in every single polity on the earth, children, women, men, all engaged in working conditions that were horrific, found themselves being exploited by power-hungry people, and/or were brutalized into serving others through war or other oppression.  These historical facts and political bents formed the modern labor pools the Industrial Revolution utilized to initiate the manufacturing of commodities.  By forming a collective, using violence to create news and through forced subscriptions, labor unions were born.  Upon forming an organized labor society, union members did three things: one, they changed working conditions in every organization employing people; two, they created the largest ‘Ponzi Scheme’ in history; three, they transformed politics into a beast which they can control by making a little news.  This took time, essentially from the late 1800’s to mid 1930’s.  The actions taken employed communistic literature, sympathetic rich people, and power mad activists to make a bad thing look good and appeal to the greater populace as respectable.  Taken one at a time, the following evidence is clear that the political-military struggle is all about power and not about employee health, wealth, or societal improvement.  Taken together, these three items showcase a dastardly design with the intended purpose of transforming a capitalistic society into a communistic community.

Changed Working Conditions

OSHA, MSHA, NLRB, Child Labor Laws, Education Mandates, and many other federal and state labor regulation boards were created through the insistence and political powers of labor unions.  This includes the most egregious law of them all, the Federal Minimum Wage Law.  By forcing the Federal Government to override state law, labor unions formed the first federal government overreach into the freedom power grab we face today.  Every single labor law, for good or ill, has been drafted, pushed, and violently fought through the actions of labor unions.  The very arguments swirling around the current president regarding class warfare, the individual mandate, and the freedom power grab have their beginnings in the labor union.  As stated, LIC must employ a three-pronged attack to justify the actions of those making violence, the fingers of the attack being political, social, and psychological.  For example, the injury of children working on looms was horrific and reprehensible and all societies now have child labor laws.  To pass child labor laws during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, labor unions exploited children, who had been seriously injured, and those, who were young with mutilated bodies permanently deformed, by submitting their photos and stories to newspapers to begin the psychological war justifying the violence they created, such as destruction of private property, beating shop and business owners, and breaking laws with their organized crime efforts.  Enraged people then began the political and social war to change the laws.  But what laws did we get but forced federal governmental education of all children, and more power went from individuals and states into the federal coffers all in the name of “Protecting the Children.”  Parents were pushed aside, the needs of families thwarted, and child labor laws were deemed good for society as a whole.  The ‘Ripple Effect’ or the ‘Laws of Unintended Consequences’ meant that labor unions gained significant power, authority, and from these early gains, launched massive labor union growth, but not development.

Ponzi Scheme

Bernie Madoff has been given the title of running the largest ‘Ponzi Scheme’ in the world.  Yet, he is inconsequential compared with labor union organizations.  The Federal Security Exchange Commission FAQ’s on ‘Ponzi Schemes’ outline perfectly the points of this argument providing a wonderful base for the argument and can be found by clicking the link above.

Labor unions are organized as a ‘Ponzi Scheme’ with “Little or no legitimate earnings.”  Labor unions must finance themselves.  Labor unions do not produce a good or service for sale; so all monies generated originate from forced dues paid by members.  These members are people struggling to earn sufficient money through their employment.  Even when not working, many union members still have some dues mandated by the unions, which must be paid for membership to continue.  From the SEC definition alluded above we find this tidbit, “In many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors and to use for personal expenses, instead of engaging in any legitimate investment activity.”

Consider the incredible bill of goods sold to new union members about retirement benefits upon reaching the age of retirement.  Because the benefits of retirement are convincing, thousands of union members gladly pitch money into retirement; few of these union members will actually have a usable retirement fund.  The disparity rests in several factors, namely, fraud and theft of the pension, mandates and restrictions, and union leadership.  The number of pension managers getting caught raiding the pension accounts has grown and continues to grow leaving the pension bereft of funds and the retirees bereft of benefits paid for.

Union leadership receives big money as compensation for managing their unions.  For example, Andy Stern as head of the SEIU (2006) was earning $249,000 plus a lot of lucrative benefits while the majority of his union membership earned less than $30,000 a year.  Yet, every dollar Andy Stern “earned” came from the forced dues of his members.  Ponzi Scheme, the top and early investors get benefits and everybody else gets to pay for them.  The worst part of this entire scheme is that the Federal Government turns a blind eye to the scheme because of all the forced dues being pushed into political election campaigns.  If you doubt this, consider this tidbit:  SEIU, just SEIU, donated over $28 million to Obama’s election campaign in 2012.  This is not to single out any particular union, but considering all union donations, comparing leadership wages versus union worker wages and benefit packages is irreconcilable and practically impossible.

Transformed Politics

A major shift in politics took place in 1907; labor unions began making large inroads into the political arena.  While labor unions had been around in an on again/off again pattern since the early 1870’s, the American Federation of Labor under the capable leadership of Samuel Gompers began the most recognizable labor union model still in use today.  Coordinating strikes, creating coalitions, and banding under a single banner, many of the smaller less organized labor unions achieved political power.  While Samuel Gompers’s death and the ‘Roaring 1920’s helped reduce the power of organized labor, the Wagner Act brought organized labor into the federal government’s embrace in the middle of the ‘Great Depression;’ the labor union was reborn as a political powerhouse.

The Wagner Act is also called the National Labor Relations Act or NLRA.  This single piece of federal overreach came through the militant actions of the railroad union’s demand for, through force, violence, and political subjugation, many good and many bad items.  For example, the NLRA set forth what has become the standard 8-hour workday that some call “good,” and demanded an employer cannot interfere with the workers forming a union that many call “bad.”  By their unlawful actions, the NLRA stomped on states’ rights, removed individual rights, and set the stage for the current fiasco in Washington State where labor unions are forcing Boeing to transform their plant located in South Carolina, a ‘Right to Work’ state, into a forced union membership plant, transforming politics incredibly, innumerably, and ignominiously.

LICThe next part of the LIC requirement to prove the case of labor unions being terrorists comes directly from the definition of LIC.  “… Often protracted and ranges from diplomatic, economic, and psychological pressures through terrorism and insurgency.”  Any Google search on the terms ‘labor unions and violence’ will pull down millions of hits on the correlation between labor unions and their violent beginnings, violent actions, and current levels of violence towards non-union members, non-union political leaders, non-union lawyers, and other members of society who speak against union membership and the compulsory dues.  Political leaders, judges, and high-ranking members of society all turn a blind eye to the violence committed by unions.  This violence is always organized, sanctioned by the highest leaders in the union organization, and applauded by these same leaders.

A marvelous example is the ABC World News Article by Alan Farnham entitled, “How Nasty Can Union Violence Get and Still be Legal.”  Another case in point is the illegal imprisonment or borderline kidnapping of security guards by the Longshoreman Union and violent activities during a recent strike in Longview, Washington.  Since the SCOTUS ruling in 1973, many courts have turned the proverbial ‘blind-eye’ to violence performed by unions during strikes and also performed during protests not connected to strikes.  Like a spoiled child screaming in a grocery store when told ‘No,’ unions move quickly down the chain from diplomatic actions to violent revenge, when told ‘No’ again.  Terrorist activity and labor unions are inseparably connected.

Finally, we come to the most chilling part of the LIC definition and the terrorist connection to labor unions.  “… Low-intensity conflict is generally confined to a geographic area and is often characterized by constraints on the weaponry, tactics, and levels of violence.”  National borders formerly confined labor unions, but with the movement of labor unions being documented in the recent Egyptian struggle to replace Mubarak in power, we see geographic areas being violated.  The AFL-CIO is documented as having its hand in the recent spate of civil disobedience and unrest in the Middle East; this violence has left thousands dead, millions injured, and is employing levels of violence rarely seen outside of civil war.  Weapons, tactics, and levels of violence by the protestors and the government continue to escalate.  A mobster in Chicago from the movie “The Untouchables” is credited with this saying, “If they pull a knife, we pull a gun. They send one of our guys to the hospital; we send one of their guys to the morgue. THAT’S the Chicago way!”  This is also the labor union way of dealing with any and all obstacles to their agenda:  violence, more violence, and even more bloody violence.

It is important to always remember, labor unions are organized and sanctioned terrorists.  There is no difference between an ideologically driven person who straps on a semtex vest and explodes himself in a shopping area or airport and a labor union member.  No significant differences exist between these two ideologically driven individuals.  None!  Consider the recent violence in Michigan over the state moving from forced unionism to ‘Right to Work.’  The union’s disgruntlement turned violent, people lost resources, people were injured, private property damaged and destroyed, politicians threatened, “blood will be spilled,” and ideologically driven people become violent on demand.

Additional Links:

This article was compiled and presented on Michelle Malkin’s Blog, it has video’s and additional links to other sources:  http://michellemalkin.com/2011/09/05/happy-labor-day-top-10-union-thug-moments-of-the-year/

If the truth about LIC and Unions is not made clear above, this link has been certified and shows the case more clearly: http://www.unionfacts.com/crime-corruption/union-leader-fraud additionally links from this article span into election year activities and individual cases of fraud and corruption.

Finally, this article continues to deal with union violence and asks some good questions:  http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/08/22/why_do_we_accept_union_violence__99205.html

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved

Reference

Tinder, A. J. L. (. (1990). Low intensity conflict. Informally published manuscript, Air War College – Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Retrieved from http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA241060

Employee Practices – Or ‘More Top Down Government Control’

Over the course of time, the Federal government has exerted control over employment.  Each time control has been exerted, freedoms, money, and precious resources have been squandered, wasted, and lost forever.  The following is a high level overview of the legislation and the costs involved.  There are no political leanings contained herein, simply facts about the costs and the freedoms lost.  Tied to each of these pieces of legislation is the utopian ‘Kool-Aid’ goal of full employment previously discussed.

In brief review, modern employment, as we know it, began with a small change.   Soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen coming home after being drafted to go to war, wanted and needed jobs.  Thus, the Federal Government changed some rules, wrote the legislation, and veteran preference in hiring began.  Sounds good, right?  Everyone loves veterans, so this is going to be a good thing all around; not quite.  By carving out exclusions for veterans, other people wanted to possess special treatment.  These people found lawyers to argue their cause, and special classes emerged for all types of people.  Entire industries have been built to identify, find, and pressure for special classes in the law.

This is not to say some of those people desiring special treatment did not need to have awareness of their particular plight become more known.  For example, people with physical disabilities needed awareness raised to advance hiring practices and level the playing field, but this should not have been a matter for federal legislation.  Each state in the Republic of America was considering laws for physically disabled people.  By forcing federal legislation, states lost the power to dictate, employers lost the freedom to act independently, and those with physical disabilities became second-class employees.  Instead of pride in accomplishment, which was desired while raising awareness, serf-like attitudes and complacency have become the order of the day.

Let us review three federal laws that emerged from these circumstances described above and which influenced employer/employee relations.

Americans with Disabilities Act  – 1990

  • Has its seminal beginning in 1973 Section 504 making it illegal to discriminate against those with disabilities if the organization receives Federal Government subsidies.
    • “No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance….”  (ED.gov, 1995)
    • Classifies disabilities by disease.  Includes “Hidden Disease[s],” is changed constantly to update diseases covered, and dictates the only requirement for the disease is that the disease have a material effect on one’s ability to perform a major life activity.”  (Ed.gov, 1995)
    • Costs to business mostly occur in ‘soft’ costs, i.e., changing procedures, reasonable accommodations, etc.  Something to keep in mind though, “… noncompliance can cost an employer. In fiscal year 2006, for example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) resolved 15,045 disability discrimination charges and recovered $48.8 million in monetary benefits for workers who did not receive accommodations to which they are entitled under the ADA…”  (Woog, 2008)  Thus, monetarily speaking, noncompliance costs more than compliance.

Monetary issues are not the only costs involved, and the ‘soft’ discrimination of people with disabilities is reported to remain an ongoing problem.  Regardless of size in the organization, employers report a general consensus:  if the costs of compliance are under $500, it “makes sense” to comply.  If more than $500, the employer and disabled person will be at loggerheads.  The reason so many people have problems with compliance is that disability compliance is difficult to prove in the current employee/employer environment.  Shifting the paradigm and hiring by skill set allows the individual to set the work site accommodations, own the solution, and drive relationship.  Pride in accomplishment is lost when government mandates compliance, forming yet another cost.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

  • Begun with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
    • Foundations are discovered in Executive Order 8802, signed by President F. D. Roosevelt, demanding no discrimination based upon Race, Color, or National Origin.  This is the same president with war camps rounding up Japanese descendants and forcing those of German and Italian descent underground, but I digress.
    • Civil Rights Movement forces onto the worldwide stage the disparity between those of color and national descent.
      • Funded by the USSR and other communist and Islamist nations
      • Feeds into the current mindset that those of color should be coddled
      • Strips pride of accomplishment, desire to improve, and need to become better from people of all color, race, and national origin
      • Age discrimination has been added to protected classes against discrimination and the following statistics are known:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Charge Statistics for 2008. Private sector discrimination filings with the EEOC for 2008 (95,402) surpassed 2007 (82,792) by a staggering 15% – the biggest jump in the federal agency’s entire 44-year history.

  • Legal fees for lawyers, litigation costs pre-trial, and costs for compliance monitoring and training are substantial outlays for all business organizations regardless of size.  Compliance costs do not include ‘soft’ expenses and, as shown above, compliance costs are never about money alone, but many companies place total costs for compliance in monetary figures between $100,000 to $500,000 depending upon business organization size per claim.

Societal costs are staggering and unsustainable.  The need to both protect against litigation and meet the hiring quotas has, instead of bringing together a unified melting pot, broken the nation along more racial and national lines, pitted the experienced against the inexperienced, slandered age, and destroyed knowledge attainment for political connections.  The death of merit, honor, and dignity has been pronounced if changes to employment cannot occur soon.

Affirmative Action

  • This disaster has lead to such ambiguous terms as “Reverse Discrimination,” “White Guilt,” etc.  Affirmative Action was expected to be a temporary measure, but like all governments everywhere nothing is more permanent than a temporary measure.
  • Empowering judges to litigate from the bench to “correct wrongs.”  While the courts straddle the line about applying affirmative action and EEO, specific mathematical formulas detailing compliance are frowned upon, making compliance costs soar.
  • Closely tied to the utopian use of money to sway society.  Local, state, and federal government call this “investing in minorities and women” by spending prescribed amounts of money solely on business organizations owned by minorities and located in minority areas, all based upon quotas and political leadership.

Affirmative action, more than any other piece of legislation, accrues higher compliance costs.  Most of the legal problems will end in the Supreme Court where the basic price tag is $1 million.  Again, the entire cost of this legislation is not found in dollars and cents, but in mindsets, attitudes, and societal shifting.  The government costs for abiding by their rules is staggering; yet, the costs for businesses, schools, non-profits, etc., is worse.  Disney produced the movie, “Remember the Titans;” in this movie, the head coach and his assistant coach are having a conversation with direct merit to Affirmative Action.  The head coach tells the assistant that he “… [I]s crippling the young black kids… by coddling them.”  Society, since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has crippled black society into being what they are currently, crippled white society, and forged iron chains of captivity around the hands and feet of all Americans in and out of the workforce.

These are but three of the many pieces of legislation stemming from the idealistic desire of the ‘Employment Act of 1946’ and the 1976 revision ‘Full Employment and Balanced Growth Bill.’  Top down government mandates only work in the US Military, and then only rarely work well.  America must re-embrace free enterprise, recognize that knowledge builds value, and exercise the freedom to choose including the inherent responsibility and accountability for consequences.  Until then, employers will continue to be forced into compliance, employees will lose, and politicians at the federal and state levels of government will award winners and losers unequally.

We, the citizens of America, must force the issue of change and reign in government spending, both of which can be accomplished through shifting the employment paradigm from employer/employee relations to an employer/independent contractor model.

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

References

Ed.gov. (1995, January 01). The civil rights of students with hidden disabilities under section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973. Retrieved from http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html

Woog, D. (2008, August 22). What is the real cost of ada compliance?. Retrieved from http://hrpeople.monster.com/news/articles/1073-what-is-the-real-cost-of-ada-compliance

Employee Benefits – A History of Corruption and Coercion

From humble beginnings atrocities begin.  Every action must follow immutable and unalterable laws, consequences follow choices; this article follows the influence of choice pieces of legislation from impetus to current event entanglements.  Only through learning history can proper change produce preferred results.

Modern employment, as we know it, began with a small change from the republic principles of free enterprise morphing into the democratic philosophies of top-down government control.  Soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen coming home from WWII had left jobs and wanted those jobs back; so, the Federal Government changed policies, wrote legislation, and veteran preference in hiring began.  Sounds good, right?  But by carving out exclusions for veterans, other people wanted to possess special treatment.

What occurred in Federal Legislation has caused some serious problems; the first of these problems began with the altruistic ideal of full employment.  Full employment refers to  “the continuing policy and responsibility of the Federal Government . . . to coordinate and utilize all its plans, functions, and resources for the purpose of creating and maintaining . . . conditions under which there will be afforded useful employment opportunities, including self-employment, for those able, willing, and seeking to work, and to promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power.”  (Scitovszky, 1946)

The Federal Government in 1945, with enough good intentions to pave a super-highway from New York to Beijing, sought to avoid the natural swings which occur in finance and wrote a bill, eventually entitled the ‘Employment Act of 1946’ to avoid future problems experienced between the prosperous 1920’s and the depression of the 1930’s.   To try to improve financial situations for the Federal Government, employment was considered and tied to economic indicators, suggesting low unemployment equates to higher tax revenues and dollar strength.  This reasoning is valid; however, the consequences spinning off these legislative nightmares are self-defeating.

The next time these economic indicators were reviewed was in 1976 with the ‘Full Employment and Balanced Growth Bill.’  Both of these bills, 1946 and 1976, show tremendous influence from Keynes and his theories of being able to spin into prosperity by incurring unsustainable debt.  Sections 2b and 2c of the original bill from 1945 are crucial to understanding the nightmare problem.  In 1945 the legislators declared full employment is possible for all those who desire it, and proposed full employment through federal government spending.  See the problem, especially in the current fiscal cliff negotiations; the Federal Government has become a consumer of goods and exercises a little known principle “Those who pay, control.”  By becoming a consumer of goods and spending money as a customer, the Federal Government can now demand private enterprise obeisance.

Section 3 of the 1945 version of this legislation requires that the president forecasts and writes a budget to increase or decrease spending based upon unemployment numbers and percentages.  The president must forecast spending on a yearly basis to which Congress must then write the underlying legislation as part of the budgeting process.  The president was made directly responsible for the employment of every person in the US who wanted to work, desired to work, was healthy enough to work, and the legislative bodies would produce the needed bills to make it happen.

Flash forward from 1945 to 2012 and the problem is glaringly obvious.  With a disinterested president failing in his legal duties to propose legislation and forecast employment and spending to the House of Representatives and the Senate, a contentious House and Senate that is more interested in internal politics, divisive sound-bites, class warfare and race games, and world economy fluctuating between dead and dying, the problem with this legislation becomes clear.  There is no control mechanism that compensates for the above.  Dictating through top-down government what businesses need to produce and still call it free enterprise is not possible.  The principle of full employment limits choices by forcing people to become employees through inflation, limiting markets, and the over regulation of enterprise.  These laws do not treat people equally because of the definition of employee, which feeds into the description of full employment.  Ranchers, farmers, and other independents suffer because of these laws and the definitions and classifications of the term ‘employee’ and ‘employment’ including ‘self-employment.’  Making the Federal Government a consumer has failed to provide true economic freedom and prosperity.

The nightmare of compensatory finance, as established by Keynes, is the main problem facing America today.  These two little known bills continue to rob America of greatness, steal future generations of prosperity through debt, and keep the Federal Government wasting tax dollars on frivolous projects.  Full employment is a worthy goal, but it is not obtainable due to the following reasons:  Federal Government spending into debt just to buy goods not used; Federal Government spending simply to keep unemployment numbers low; or Federal Government spending to soften financial cycles, all of which are unerringly wrong.

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

References

Barro, R. J. (2011, August 24). Keynesian economics vs. regular economics. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903596904576516412073445854.html

Sanotini, G. J. (1986). The employment act of 1946: Some history notes. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Scitovszky, A. (1946). The employment act of 1946. Social Security Bulletin,

Independent Contractor vs. Employee – Or, The Structure Wars Continue via ‘The Right to Control’

Employee is a catchall term and includes the following three distinctions:  common-law employees, statutory employees, and non-statutory employees; hereafter referred collectively as employee.    The basics covered in this writing discuss the IRS view of ‘Right to Control’ between the three classes of employee and independent contractor (IC).

The ‘Right to Control’ was discussed previously and remains the central component upon which all employer/employee and employer/independent contractor relationships hinge.  The IRS makes this clear in Topic 762 – Independent Contractor vs. Employee.  The IRS breaks into three categories the essential components where the ‘Right to Control’ hinges, namely, Behavioral Control, Financial Control, and Type of Relationship.

Behavioral Control relates to the questions, what, where, and how work is to be completed.  Employees have set schedules, tight restrictions about how to think, where to sit, etc., dictated by the employer.  Independent contractors (IC) answer the ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions themselves, negotiate times and schedules, and possess the freedom to perform the work in a cost effective manner, judged by themselves and the pleasure of the contracting authority.

Financial Control relates to all things money.  The employee is forced to accept all terms of the employer without negotiation, from business expenses to taxes, whereas the employer and contractor negotiate all terms.  Where financial control is, risk shortly follows; where risk is, the threat of litigation follows.  Therefore, when the employer has financial control, risk follows the employer, not the employee.  When the contractor has financial control, risk is shared between the contractor and the employer.   Profit and loss, tools of the trade, and the freedom to offer services to other organizations are all part of the financial controls that are relinquished by the employee to the employer, or negotiated with the employer and the independent contractor.

Type of Relationship relates to all things in the interaction of the two independent parties, which includes written contracts dictating the interaction, risks, penalties, etc.  Extent of the relationship is a major point and colludes with permanency and benefits to form the marriage between two independent entities.  The employee forfeits control in this arena to the employer who automatically sets the terms, demands compliance, and exerts totalitarian control.  The contractor negotiates terms of interaction with the employer, thus the contractor has a constructive voice in the outcome of the contract.

Currently, Publication 15-A governs employee vs. contractor labels and is the authority to refer to when contemplating the differences among employees, all three classifications, and independent contractors.  Several examples are included in the publication and the legalese is sufficiently straightforward.  The publication can be accessed using the link for Topic 762 above.

Several cautions must be included here:

  • I am not a tax attorney; this is not counsel, simply a discussion of changing perspectives.
  • No single criterion defines the legal separation between an employee and an independent contractor.  The IRS is the decision maker and their publications help define the guidelines.
  • It is extremely important to adhere strictly to tax guidelines in determining the differences between contractors and employees.  The saying in Vegas is, “The house ALWAYS wins.”  This is true of the IRS; the rules continue to change in complexity, increasing volume, and application.

Contained below are the 20-points, commonly referred to as the IRS 20 Factor Test, for determining the differences between employees and independent contractors:

  1. Level of instruction
  2. Amount of training
  3. Degree of business integration
  4. Extent of personal services
  5. Control of assistants
  6. Continuity of relationships
  7. Flexibility of schedule
  8. Demands for work – Referring to the percentage of time demanded by a business organization.
  9. Need for on-site services
  10. Sequence of work
  11. Requirements of reports
  12. Method of payment
  13. Reimbursement of business expenses
  14. Tool and material provision
  15. Investment in facilities
  16. Profit & Loss – Risk should also be considered specifically here.
  17. Freedom to contract with other organizations
  18. Availability to the public
  19. Control over discharge
  20. Right of termination

A brief review of these items makes it clear the three main categories of control currently remain.  These 20 points label and describe as well as define, classify and spell out succinctly for tax purposes financial control, behavioral control, and type of relationship that separates and identifies the employee and the independent contractor.

Important to note, these same 20-points form the main topics of discussion when writing out the contract for services and provide the perfect starting point for changing the employee-contingent society in the business world today.  According to these points and the IRS publications, freeing the American worker is possible, obtainable, and provides the possibility to forever change America for the better through ending the label, “employee”.  When everyone is an independent contractor, opportunities abound as the ‘Right to Control’ rests where it should always have been, in the individual hands of free people.

Currently, as of this writing, fiscal cliff negotiations are ongoing. There is talk of increasing tax revenues from small businesses.  There is talk of raising taxes on all people.  There is talk of everything but drastic, immediate, necessary cuts to spending that is non-military and no one is discussing entitlement reforms with any type of seriousness.  This simple movement of employees to independent contractors immediately forces the spending valve closed that allows the government to spend freely by directly placing every citizen as a taxpayer at the higher small business rates.  Tax reform will be swift when everybody feels the pain of the taxman at the small business rate.  The entire intent of moving the ‘Right to Control’ from employers and business organizations into the hands of regular people is to produce more freedom, to allow knowledge to be valued, enhance the dignity of the individual, and to improve individual working conditions all without forced union participation or giving up rights and liberties to control individual destiny.  It cannot be stressed enough that freedom often requires sharing in and overcoming distressful circumstances to accomplish a greater good. Whether those circumstances are experienced in money, time, taxes, etc., everyone must make an investment in freedom.

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

Freelance or Consultant vs. Employee: Or, The Structure Wars

Labels, like manners, matter.  Social researchers are always resurrecting or creating new labels, classifications, and divisions to increase variable control.  Through variable naming and onto controlling, social researchers slip bias for particular variables into research reports, slanting conclusions, creating disharmony in the population, and destroying unity.  The results can be seen and witnessed in every facet of American Life.  Republicans are constantly pitted against Democrats, both are pitted against Independents, and inside these general classifications are heaps of additional labels, splitting the general classifier into ever smaller and more easily controlled sub-groups such as Constitutional, Conservative, Progressive, etc.  From this disharmonious adventure in social research has come a plethora of laws benefitting one sub-group against other sub-groups, upholding gender against gender, religion against religion, culture against culture, and forcing courts to choose.  The end result, everyone loses.

This same division has caused business organizations problems aplenty since the WWI era.  Government has forced business to uphold cultures, genders, and personal choice over what is best for the organization.  The relationship between law and the organization is going to be reviewed in future writings.  This first review assesses the definitions for freelance or consultant and employee as well as the relationship behind labels, and the dilemma and burden of the hierarchy of business organizations.

Freelance

According to UseLegal.com (2012) freelance workers are self-employed; work for their selves, bid for open work, and are independent of the business hierarchy.  Contractors and Consultants are considered in this category.  Freelance employees possess some tax benefits, risk problems, and American Business has embraced these classifications for filling work in times past to reduce payroll expenses.  Freelance workers must justify their work, intentions, and pass a 20-point test from the IRS to qualify as a freelance worker.

Employee

Again from UseLegal.com (2012) the actual definition of an employee is quoted herein, “An “employee” is defined as “a preference eligible in the excepted service who has completed 1 year of current continuous service in the same or similar positions” or “an individual in the excepted service (other than a preference eligible) . . . who is not serving a probationary or trial period under an initial appointment pending conversion to the competitive service.” Ramos v. Merit Sys. Prot. Bd., 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 24378 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 6, 2009)”  Essentially, a person can be hired by an employer, but does not attain employee status and protection until that person has been hired for a continual year by the same employer, is not under a ‘probationary period,’ and or appointment.

An employee agrees to be controlled by an employer; the production of that person is only one of the controls granted to an employer; conduct both on and off the job can be controlled, along with the means and manner of producing the work specified.  The right to control is the primary determining factor in this relationship.  The right to control is also the deciding line between freelance workers and employees.  Upon this single imperative hang tax law, responsibility of parties, risk, and every item in employee/employer relationships, hierarchical structures, and will ultimately decide who or which party is in charge.

Fancy axioms have been created to express a need to become more creative in thinking, to break the model of dependency, and drive ingenuity and creativity back into the workplace, but these axioms do not reduce control and their purpose is immediately lost when applied to restoring workforce employee choices.  To change the paradigm, business organizations must evaluate their ultimate motivation with regard to employee relationships, and employees must decide as individuals how they can best foster their knowledge, experience, talents, and skills whether in a climate of self-control or company control.

Long has it been claimed that, “Those who pay, rule.”  By choosing to be an employee, the rights of the employee to control his responsibilities are surrendered to the employer in exchange for less tax burden, regular paychecks, and a continuity producing security.  Supervision, management, or control is placed upon an individual’s agency in exchange for less risk.  Less risk breed’s complacency, complacency breed’s compliance, compliance breed’s servitude, and thus the individual is captured in a system of control producing a menial mindset.  This menial mindset is expressed by phrases like, “Captured by the system,” Taken over by the man,” “Brainwashed,” etc., and has created a dilemma in every business organization.  The dilemma is this:  although business organizations have control over processes and individuals, this control restricts or prevents employees from doing exactly what business organizations desire in an employee, which is the ability to use ingenuity, logical thinking, and freedom of action so necessary in business interactions and transactions between employee and customer.

The epitome of this dilemma is that the federal government has consistently made having control more expensive through taxation, mandating benefits, and increasing controls thus forcing businesses to choose to either exert more controls upon employees or go out of business.  This simple fact is the driving force behind shifting the employment paradigm.  It is past time for freedom in employment to break out, to return to valuing knowledge acquisition in business transactions, and to enhance freedom in all aspects of individual lives and livelihoods.

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

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