18 April 2002

Wal-Mart Profits From Death

Here is this morally reprehensible bit about a Wal-Mart lawsuit clipped from a Houston Chronicle article.

Jane Sims always knew her husband was a valuable employee to Wal-Mart. She just didn't know how valuable. Sims discovered recently that Wal-Mart, the company her husband, Douglas, worked for before he died, had taken out a life insurance policy in his name. When Douglas Sims died in 1998 of a sudden heart attack, Wal-Mart received about $64,000. She got nothing from that policy.

"I never dreamed that they could profit from my husband's death," said Sims, whose husband worked in receiving at Wal-Mart's distribution center in Plainview for 11 years.

Companies routinely take out secret life insurance policies on the lives of their low-level employees and collect thousands of dollars when they die. The families never know the policies are in place and typically receive none of the money. The policies are called corporate-owned life insurance policies or COLIs for short. But they're better known in the insurance industry as "dead peasant" and "dead janitor" policies.

As it says in the bible, the love of money is the root of all evil ...

4 April 2002

ITAA Disinformation On H1B Visa

I wrote this in response to an publically posted argument in favor of the H-1B visa program by ITAA president Harris Miller

Mr. Miller, you've done nothing to dispel the notion that you're merely a shill for an organization that's solely interested in preserving a source of cheap labor for the tech industry at the expense of American professional IT workers and the communities in which they live. I speak as a programmer who has witnessed and endured first hand the follies of this misguided program. I find it enlightening that Tancredo's arguments are supported with empirical data, while you attempt to cast opponents of your proclamations as aspirants of "anti-immigrant fervor".

First, let me say that I have nothing but the utmost respect for individuals emigrating to this country to apply their IT knowledge and hone their craft. I count many as friends, and several as dear friends. Yes, there may be a small contingent of those who dislike immigrants for xenophobic reasons, but I think a consensus of IT professionals bear no ill grudges against the H-1B visa holders themselves, just the anti-American policies that undercut our means of providing for our families.

Your arguments are riddled with inaccuracies, irrelevant anecdotal references and blatantly false prentensions. I'll try not to allow emotion to seep into my arguments here, but speaking as an American who was displaced in a previous computer programming position by an H-1B visa holder, it may be a tad difficult. But here goes ...
» read more