Guest Post: Dude, Where's My Job

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Dude, Where's My Job

The storyline being sold to the American public by the White House
and the corporate mainstream media is that the economy is growing, jobs
are being created, corporations are generating record profits, consumers
are spending and all will be well in 2011. The 2% payroll tax cut,
stolen from future generations to be spent in 2011, will jumpstart a
sound economic recovery. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.



It was another wise old man named Ben Franklin who captured the essence of what those in control are peddling:

“Half a truth is often a great lie.”

The economy is growing due to unprecedented
deficit spending by the government, fraudulent accounting by the Wall
Street banks, the Federal Reserve buying $1.5 trillion of toxic mortgage
“assets” from their Wall Street owners, various home buyer and auto tax
credits and gimmick programs, and Fannie, Freddie, and the
FHA accumulating taxpayer loses so morons can continue to purchase
houses. Jobs are being created. According to the BLS, we’ve added
951,000 jobs since December 2009, an average of 79,000 per month. Of
course, the population of the US is growing at 175,000 per month. It
seems that there are millions of jobs being created, just not here as
shown on these graphs from the NYT.

The storyline of corporate profits is true.
As a percentage of national income, corporate profits are 9.5%. They
have only topped 9% twice in history – in 2006 and 1929. When you see
the paid Wall Street shills parade on CNBC every day proclaiming the
huge corporate profit growth ahead, keep these data points in mind. Do
profits generally rise dramatically from all time peaks? 

You might ask yourself, if corporations are
doing so well how come real unemployment exceeds 20%? The answer lies
in who is generating the profits and how they are doing it. It seems
that the fantastic profits are not being generated by domestic
non-financial companies employing middle class Americans producing
goods. Pre-tax domestic nonfinancial corporate profits are not close
to record levels as a share of national income. They exceeded 15% of
national income once in the late 1940s, and repeatedly topped 12% in the
1950s and 1960s; in the third quarter of this year, they were 7.03% of
national income. I wonder who is making the profits.

According to BEA data, financial industry profits and “rest of world”
profits — that is, the money U.S.-based corporations make overseas —
are relatively much higher now than they were in the 1950s or 1960s. And
the taxes paid by corporations are much lower now than they were then,
as a share of national income. The reason that corporate profits are
near their all-time highs is that Wall Street corporations and
mega multinational corporations are making gobs of loot and paying less
of it out in taxes. Isn’t that delightful for the CEOs and top
executives of these companies?

The profits are being generated on Wall Street through collusion with
the Federal Reserve, as the insolvent Wall Street banks accept free
money from the Federal Reserve to generate speculative profits at the
expense of senior citizens earning .20% on their CDs. The
mega-multinationals are ”earning” their profits by continuing to ship
American jobs overseas at a record pace. The Economic Policy Institute, a
Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million
jobs overseas this year. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have
lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott,
the institute’s senior international economist. “There’s a huge
difference between what is good for American companies versus what is
good for the American economy,” says Scott. The hollowing out of the
American economy has been going on for decades and despite the usual
rhetoric out of Washington DC, it continues unabated today.

But consumer spending has surged, so the recovery must be solid and
self-sustaining say the brainless twits on CNBC. Consumer spending is
rising because the top 1% wealthiest Americans are doing splendidly as
they are now reaping 20% of the income in the country, levels last seen
in 1929. The Haves have more, the Have Nots have less. The top 10%
wealthiest Americans own 98.5% of all the stocks in the country. They
feel richer because Ben Bernanke has propped up the stock market with
trillions of borrowed money from future generations. The other 90% of
Americans have stagnant or non-existent wages, rising costs for fuel and
food, falling home prices, rising debt levels and little hope for the
future. They have been thrown a bone of extended unemployment bennies, a
temporary payroll tax cut, and extended tax cuts. Any spending they are
doing is on credit cards as the austerity deleveraging storyline is
another big lie by the MSM.

Greater Depression 

The figure of 15 million unemployed reported by the government and
regurgitated by the corporate media is one of the biggest lies in the
history of lies. The real figure is 30 million and I will prove it using
the government’s own data. I created the chart below from BLS data ( to
prove that we are in the midst of a Greater Depression and no amount of
spin by politicians and the media can wish it away. When we look at
jobs in America across the decades, a picture of a country in decline,
captured by financial elites, reveals itself. In 1970, America still
produced goods, ran trade surpluses, and paid wages that allowed
families to thrive with only one parent working. Only 34.6% of the
population was employed, with a third of these workers producing goods. 

(Millions Employed) 1970 1980 1990 2000 2007 Dec-09 Nov-10
Mining & Logging 677 1,077 765 599 724 676 763
Construction 3,654 4,454 5,263 6,787 7,630 5,696 5,615
Manufacturing 17,848 18,733 17,695 17,263 13,879 11,534 11,648
Trade, Transport. & Utilities 14,144 18,413 22,666 26,225 26,630 24,653 24,806
Information 2,041 2,361 2,688 3,630 3,032 2,748 2,717
Financial Activities 3,532 5,025 6,614 7,687 8,301 7,657 7,573
Professional & Business Serv. 5,267 7,544 10,848 16,666 17,942 16,488 16,861
Education & Health Services 4,577 7,072 10,984 15,109 18,322 19,350 19,719
Leisure & Hospitality 4,789 6,721 9,288 11,862 13,427 12,991 13,174
Other Serices 1,789 2,755 4,261 5,168 5,494 5,314 5,402
Government 12,687 16,375 18,415 20,790 22,218 22,481 22,261
TOTAL EMPLOYED 71,005 90,530 109,487 131,786 137,599 129,588 130,539
US Population 205,052 227,225 249,439 281,422 299,398 308,200 310,300
% of US Population Employed 34.6% 39.8% 43.9% 46.8% 46.0% 42.0% 42.1%
Source: BLS Establishment Data               


Whether it was due to the woman’s movement of the 1970s or due to
financial necessity, the percentage of the population employed grew
relentlessly until it reached 46.8% in the year 2000. The level of 46.8%
meant that when the opportunity to be employed was available, this
percentage of Americans wanted a job. Since 2000 the population of the
U.S. has grown by 28.9 million people. The labor force between the ages
of 18 and 64 has grown by 26.1 million people since 2000. The
government insists that millions of Americans have chosen to “leave the
workforce” and should not be considered unemployed. This is laughable.
Why would people choose to leave the workforce when wages are stagnant,
retirement looms, prices relentlessly rise, and they are drowning in
debt? The truth is that at least 46.8% of the population wants to be
employed. That means that 145.2 million Americans would be working if
they had the chance. Only 130.5 million are currently employed. This
means that there are really 30 million Americans unemployed versus the
15 million reported by the government and MSM.

Not only is the country short 30 million jobs, but the type of jobs
reveal a country of paper pushers, consultants, temp workers, government
drones, waitresses, and clerks. The chart below shows the distribution
of jobs through the decades. 

(% of Employed) 1970 1980 1990 2000 2007 Dec-09 Nov-10
Mining & Logging 1.0% 1.2% 0.7% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.6%
Construction 5.1% 4.9% 4.8% 5.2% 5.5% 4.4% 4.3%
Manufacturing 25.1% 20.7% 16.2% 13.1% 10.1% 8.9% 8.9%
Trade, Transport. & Utilities 19.9% 20.3% 20.7% 19.9% 19.4% 19.0% 19.0%
Information 2.9% 2.6% 2.5% 2.8% 2.2% 2.1% 2.1%
Financial Activities 5.0% 5.6% 6.0% 5.8% 6.0% 5.9% 5.8%
Professional & Business Serv. 7.4% 8.3% 9.9% 12.6% 13.0% 12.7% 12.9%
Education & Health Services 6.4% 7.8% 10.0% 11.5% 13.3% 14.9% 15.1%
Leisure & Hospitality 6.7% 7.4% 8.5% 9.0% 9.8% 10.0% 10.1%
Other Serices 2.5% 3.0% 3.9% 3.9% 4.0% 4.1% 4.1%
Government 17.9% 18.1% 16.8% 15.8% 16.1% 17.3% 17.1%
TOTAL EMPLOYED 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
 Source: BLS              


In 1970, jobs in the goods producing industries made up 31.2% of all
jobs. Today, they account for 13.8% of all jobs. The apologists will
proclaim that corporate America just got phenomenally more efficient and
productive. That is another falsehood. In 1970, we were a net exporter,
consumer expenditures accounted for 62.4% of GDP, and private
investment accounted for 14.7% of GDP. Today, we consistently run $500
billion to $700 billion annual trade deficits, consumer expenditures
account for 71% of GDP, and private fixed investment is a pitiful 11.5%
of GDP. We’ve degenerated from a productive goods producing society to a
consumption based, debt fueled society. This is a classic late stage
trait of declining empires. Rome and Britain before us experienced
similar declines.  

The most damning facts that can be garnered from the BLS data relate
to how we’ve become a nation of bankers, real estate agents,
accountants, lawyers, tax specialists, and fast food fry cooks.
Manufacturing jobs have dropped from 25% of all jobs in 1970 to less
than 9% today. Jobs in the spreadsheet generating, credit default swap
creating, subprime mortgage pushing, frivolous lawsuit filing, tax
evasion sector of the economy went from 12% in 1970 to 19% today.

The misinformation and lies will continue. The MSM keeps repeating
that jobs are coming back. You don’t hear which jobs. Hysterically, the
four fastest growing job categories according to the BLS are:

  1. Administrative and support services
  2. Food services and drinking places
  3. Couriers and messengers
  4. Performing arts and spectator sports

The well paying goods producing jobs are never coming back. American
manufacturing jobs have been shifted overseas for more than two decades
by corporate America. Now those jobs have become more sophisticated,
like semiconductors, software and even medical and finance.  The
American middle class is relegated to being McDonalds fry cooks,
Wal-Mart greeters, and temp workers. What has happened to the American
middle class was not an accident. The wealth of the country has been
pillaged by an elite group at the very top of the economic food chain,
who were able to reap the rewards of globalization (outsourcing American
jobs), manipulate the debt based financial system through synthetic
fraud products, and avoid taxes by hiring thousands of lawyers,
accountants and tax consultants. When you hear that the rich need lower
taxes, corporate taxes are too high and increased productivity is great
for America, remember what they have done to the country since 1970. If
corporate America and its leaders continue to reap obscene profits while
the middle class falls further into the abyss, societal unrest will

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CPL's picture

If it makes anyone feel any better Canada is jakcing up payroll taxes Jan 1st 2011.  CPP and EI to brand new shiny, unafforable levels!!  For All!!


Isn't communism grand.  Canada, where the US learned how to hide unemployment.  We're around 17% right now in terms of real numbers.

dlmaniac's picture

Who needs jobs when you can sit idle at home to collect unempolyment benefit til forever?

AnonymousAnarchist's picture

Threadjack: This recent Wikileaks released cable...

UBS economist Wang Tao, for example, expected a move mid-year, with a near-term goal of five percent appreciation by year-end 2010. China Construction Bank Vice President/Chief Economist Hwa Erh-cheng agreed that the exchange rate was a "challenge" for the People's Bank of China (PBOC), and even though the PBOC might be forced to allow appreciation, it would only be incremental because the international environment remained fragile and the export recovery was not strong. Predicting that the RMB would rise about three percent in 2010 and five percent in 2011, Hwa concluded that it was unlikely to be a "one-shot" change (e.g. a jump appreciation). China knows it needs to increase domestic demand and consumption to stabilize growth and adjust economic structure in 2010, so the exchange rate issue must eventually be "part of the equation."

DavidPierre's picture

Lots of "Jobs " if you know where to look

First there was the drug war... the CIA helps bring in more drugs. 
Billions of dollars in law enforcement "make work" projects were created and civil liberties were shredded. 
Then the "War on Terror" ... plenty of jobs @ BlackWater.
Not many terrorists, so lots of creative "Wag the Dog" stories were generated to manufacture justify countless billions in domestic empire building... TSA.
Now cyberwar. 
Enter "WackyLeaks", kind of like Zorro or "V" but with a hipper look.
bobboberson's picture

You sir are right on the money.

merehuman's picture

OMG! An army of hairy wankers being bravos on the net, supervised by Leo and robo.

Gonna need more than one basement . Nadler!!

tamboo's picture

Manufacturing Dissent

Wikileaks has the essential features of a process of "manufactured dissent". It seeks to expose government lies. It has released important information on US war crimes. But once the project becomes embedded in the mould of mainstream journalism, it is used as an instrument of media disinformation:

"It is in the interest of the corporate elites to accept dissent and protest as a feature of the system inasmuch as they do not threaten the established social order. The purpose is not to repress dissent, but, on the contrary, to shape and mould the protest movement, to set the outer limits of dissent. To maintain their legitimacy, the economic elites favor limited and controlled forms of opposition... To be effective, however, the process of "manufacturing dissent" must be carefully regulated and monitored by those who are the object of the protest movement " (See Michel Chossudovsky, "Manufacturing Dissent": the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, September 2010)

What this examination of the Wikileaks project also suggests is that the mechanics of New World Order propaganda, particularly with regard to its military agenda, has become increasingly sophisticated.

ajax's picture


But you can't (collect unemployment forever). You're gonna be on food stamps forever. And ever and ever.

sethstorm's picture

Well, at least the people who refuse to hire will end up paying you for the privlege of their arrogance.  That's just the fact of the matter, no matter how bad it sounds.  Of course, they can always choose against it by hiring them, directly.


Irony, at that. 


The 22nd Prime's picture


Wow, 8 junks so far. Congrats. Me thinks a few benefits have run out.

Sabibaby's picture

C'mon, they have enought to afford Internet. They also have time to surf the Internet rather than look for a job.

nmewn's picture

"They also have time to surf the Internet rather than look for a job."

Seven junks for saying the truth?

I would love for these junkers to step forward and explain how they've been whiling away the hours.

Did they use the time to attend a vocational school?...or further their education in their chosen field?...pursue the possibility of opening their own business?...while out drinking beer & fishing did they entertain the idea of taking up commercial fishing?...or decide they suck at it and their thoughts turn to being a paid beer taster?

Further, I would like to know, if when the financial collapse was upon us, were they some of the ones who were screaming "we must do something" thus giving cover/aid & comfort to the Wall Street bailouts...or when the "shovel ready jobs bill" was being debated, were they slobbering at the mouth screeching "we must do something"?

When everyone got their pantie's in a wad over Arizona passing a law that mirrors the exisiting federal law, were they some of the ones howling raaayyycism?

That's what I want to know.

RKDS's picture

No, you were both junked for ignorance.  Lots of companies post fake IT jobs to discourage American workers so they can cry no applicants and skirt the H1B quotas.  Neither one of you has a fucking clue what suffering unemployment when you want to work is like.

nmewn's picture

Well here's one now ;-)

You speak of ignorance...tell does a company posting a fake job prevent you from moving on to something else, perhaps even more lucrative?

Are you saying you're untrainable or unmotivated?

sethstorm's picture

You assume:

a) training is free in time or monetary costs

b) the industry you move to won't be offshored in your lifetime.

c) that you can find something in that new industry

Right now a,b,c are all not in your favor. If they aren't going to hire you, why should one bother with your own route?  The only good solution is to kill the fraud that offshoring depends on, completely.  Or at the very least make it impossible to ignore or work around hiring the long-term unemployed.

nmewn's picture

seth writes,

You assume:

a) training is free in time or monetary costs...if you are unemployed time is one thing you have in abundance.

b) the industry you move to won't be offshored in your lifetime...every job I have ever had in my life led to another job or added to my worth as an employee somewhere else...even in a different field. 

c) that you can find something in that new industry...again, you don't have to work FOR of the best jobs I ever had (as far as freedom/not answering to anyone, leaving aside the paperwork involved and required by government) was when I opened my own business. A more lucrative position (monetarily) came open after a couple years so I closed it. While the new job paid more, I lost some's a trade off.

I'm not without compassion...I've been out of sucks. But 99 weeks is ridiculous. I would go insane (maybe more insane than some here think...LOL) sitting around on my ass all day...I've found I can stand it for about a week.

It's important to remember actions have consequences, I remember how a former president talked about "a new economy" and started offshoring in earnest with a brand new treaty. That wasn't an evil corporation that signed that treaty. That was a president elected by the people, twice.

sethstorm's picture

Already well past the 99 week mark(113) as of this post.  I don't like it either (and do keep quite busy) but I don't see the private sector cooperating.  Their tax dollars could be going to something more productive for these people, but they seem to choose against it every time.   Some even make sure that those past 99 weeks should be forsaken for any prosperity, deserving only a hand-to-mouth existence.  For all the effort to keep people from stable and permanent work, it would cost less just to simply make the long-termer not so(even if by legal prohbition against using time of non-employment).


if you are unemployed time is one thing you have in abundance.

Only on smaller scales of time is that true.  Larger scales of time, not so much. 


...every job I have ever had in my life led to another job or added to my worth as an employee somewhere else...even in a different field.

Not sure what you're meaning by this.  If you're trying to suggest that drudgery work (aka the stuff that would be a financial loss to have) has some value, I'd have to disagree.

You presume that everyone has the same ability to suspend morality, a requirement of running a business.   I don't have that, and know that I have such a moral incompatibility. 

Sad Sufi's picture

This is a very good question.

I wonder that too as I sit home collecting unemployment.

Rhodin's picture

Sure, but even folks who don't NEED a job might like one! 

Let's imagine you are one of the xxxK SSEs (senior software engineers) in their 50s who have had their positions outsourced to India, Malayasia, or wherever.  ( i just happen to know several.)  You are competent and made decent six figures.  UI is 20-25K max in most states, maybe you "jump through the hoops" to collect it, maybe not.  You never had to look for a position before, just decide whether a 20-30% increase in salary offer was worth the disruption of moving and the learning curve.

You have mining stocks, PM's and high cash flow apartments, and the mortgage is paid off.  You don't have to work, but you would enjoy it.   However, noone wants to hire a 50+ white person, who speaks english without an accent, even at half their former salary.  There are few positions to apply for and most are given to immigrants or temp filled with H1Bs.  Most of the HR and HM in the corps speak english with a heavy accent and hire accordingly.  After about two years you decide to stop wasting time looking for a position and start preparing full time for the incoming scocio-economic clusterfuck.

 (Of 18 i know who were laid off two years ago, 8 are working. 4 locally, and 4 moves, one foreign. Of these, half took significant salary cuts, and all were hired by 12/09.  One "retired" and bought a sheep ranch.  The other nine would still like work in their field, but don't think it will happen.)



sethstorm's picture

That only makes the point of outsourcing's bad qualities that much more deep.  For such an honest idea, why does it take fraud to perpetuate it? 

Dr. Porkchop's picture

Is there a Canadian equivalent to shadowstats, or are our numbers actually realistic?

CPL's picture

CBC and CTV used to report on them in the early 90's, but it's been a long time since the media has had any real interest in informing the general Canadian population on anything in general.  In Ottawa you can tell the health of the economy by counting for lease signs and the wicked turn over on sparks street.  Main drag downtown in a civil servant town with private sector other than contract firms selling into the federal government.

Then again Ottawa is a dump and there are better places to do business, but when Canada's unemployment rate was around 24% in 1992, when people were on the highway holding signs on the 417 for a job (some even got one).  Sparks street was mostly boarded up except for a couple of places.

When attempting to decipher Canadian unemployment rates it goes like this.  EI announces the number which is standing at 7.6%, those are only people that have collected enough weeks to qualify for EI.

Then there are those on welfare, Canada keeps roughly 6-8% of it's working adults on welfare at any one point in time.  They aren't counted in the final tally.  Funny thing is nobody is pointing at that number anymore saying we have to do something about it.

Then students, which aren't counted at all because they don't make enough hours to even qualify for EI, but the government is quite happy to take their money in a slush fund scam.  THey rated the taxation levels on incomes under 10k.  Funny thing is EI didn't change and CPP certainly changed...a lot.

Then the working poor.  Those working less than 32 hours a week are under the "part time job" classification.  Nobody noticed that little POS the government pushed through in 2007, but it gave me no end of grief as an employer.

Then the current situation is asking me as the business owner to pay into EI.  Like I could ever, EVER, collect EI because I'm self employed.  So next year I'm looking at 8k to the government that I'll never see a dime of.

Fuck it.  I'm firing everyone and offer contracts the next day.  Make sure I point people towards where I buy my medical and dental because as the boss I'm not allowed to be on the same group health policy because I'm not by definition an employee, but an owner.  I'll offer consultation on where to get incorporated, where to find a good accountant and where to find a dental/medical package for under 4 grand.


Fuck I hate Canada, can't wait for retirement to leave this dump forever.



DavidPierre's picture


You did not even mention the over $40 BILLION that the feds scooped out of the 'UI'...Unemployment Insurance... fund when they renamed it EI ...Employment Insurance and  threw most people who pay in off the eligible list.

That whack of the People's Money just went into gen. rev. to pay back the local bank/gangsters*.

* Goldman Sucks alumnus runs Bank of Canada.

Bill D. Cat's picture

They got the Bernank , we got the Dodge .

CPL's picture

They have been doing it every year since, they change the rules by fractions, shit they pushed through some nonsense about being in unions and not recieving UI if there were conditional arrangements with government bond holdings and pensions involved.  One of the reasons our other local resident Canuck Leo is jumping up and down about Nortel and it's pensions.  What people don't understand in that situation is Nortel was Bell Northern Research and a fuck load of the old alma mater were pensioned employees, under govie ma Bell pensions. 

Plus the bunch of them are playing with the Harmonized Sales tax.  I would love them to open the books someday if it wasn't illegal to do so after 9/11.  With the current economic crap going on, the information is locked down even tighter.  All I see are reminders from CRA weekly that something they passed is in effect and I have to cough up more dough.  It almost like the government is forcing my hand to push people that work for me into contract positions like the early 90's

There is little in Canada that is original or socially constructive other than the media proclaiming it so. 


DavidPierre's picture


TheSteve sure has got his nose deep up the butts of them USSA ...Tony Soprano type... Crime Bosses that like to think they run both countries.

The9/11 covers all the crimes... as if Enron never was ... is a myth that never happened. 

Don't be you be bringing up The9/11 in a SmokeyQuinn Thread or he will be accusing you of being me...

fiftybagger's picture

Man, your pols are as corrupt as ours.  Lamposts for Canada!!

blindfaith's picture

seems the rules have changed...folks getting junked now have something important to say.  It must be All you FOX, Rupert Murdock employees who are doing the junking for your master.

GoinFawr's picture

"Fuck I hate Canada, can't wait for retirement to leave this dump forever."

I'm sure the Great White North feels the same way about you, eh.

CPL's picture

Hell no.  CRA has assholes fingering me and the accountants every quarter.  They even bill me for the pleasure of their time via taxes...taxes on everything.  There isn't a single item I can name that isn't taxed.  Even the air is taxed now, I figure the sun will be taxed soon enough.

All to be considered "free".  How long would I remain "free" if I opted to not pay any taxes?  At least until the end of my fiscal quarter.  My businesses were made by me.  Never took out a loan or asked for handout.  It was all my time and my effort.  What happens in Canada?  If I did a rough calculation I would say 70% of whatever the business takes in flys out the window to government...or in reality...government debt.

GoinFawr's picture

Yah, welcome to the club, it's not exclusive. At least not in any country with a modicum of social conscience.

But I ain't complainin' where I am at; if bean-counters say we're still in the black everything else is just the good ol' 'cost of doing business'. Suck it up buttercup.

And IMHO, Canada still has far more truly beautiful places left than it has 'dumps' (decent beer too). Which is a fuck sight more than I can say for a lot of places I've had the privilege of visiting.

Buck Up or ship out b'y; why don't you try to run a business in Equatorial Guinea? I hear the only taxes/regulations there are to make sure you butter MBASOGO's bread on the right side, or else you get a public stool pushing (and I'm not kidding, either).

Yeah, I bet we'd find out real quick on which side of the fence you found the grass greener if you tried that one...

Bonne Chance!

puckles's picture

The US also does not count welfare into the unemployment statistics, for various reasons.  Most welfare determinations have to do with discrimination or incapacity, whether racial, gendered, age-related, or handicapped in origin (the latter can include handicaps related to self-induced obesity, heart conditions, diabetes, drug addiction, AIDS, other sexually related diseases, as well as the more commonplace workplace injuries, birth defects, and non work-related accidents or assaults).

Students are another matter.  When I was an undergraduate, lo those many years ago, I had a campus job (and a prestigious one at that, even though it paid butkis).  In the US, all earnings are reported to the dear old IRS, and taxes are [now] owed above a certain minimum. In 1971, my freshman year, I had to file a tax return.  I had earned next to nothing; I worked between 5-20 hours/week, at, if I recall correctly, something like $1.30/hr., and only when the Department required me.  I also had a summer job that paid slightly above minimum wage, by perhaps 25 cents per hour.

These earnings were far exceeded by my tuition costs, which amounted to around $5k per year back then, and nearly $6K by the time I graduated in 1975; they barely paid for my books and incidentals.  After taxes, they did not even do that.

CheapKUNGFU's picture

CPL, just a couple of thoughts. Why not pay yourself dividends instead of wages, as a director... I do that now, I earn the first chunk TAX FREE and the remainder is at a kinder tax rate - and NONE to EI...

Also if you are married you can have your wife/partner as a director as well that can do the same, thereby doubling the TAX FREE part.

Ask your accountant about dividends rather than wages...


CPL's picture

Over 17 years of running an incorporated business I've done all the tricks, I have two accountants in my employ to handle that. 

BTW Dividends fall under capital gains and are capped at 475k in a total lifetime, after that it means nothing in terms of savings tax wise.  Wife and I ran out of that option eight years ago.  That includes only paying yourself 36k a year.  I haven't made more than 36k a year as a salary for nearly 20 years.  House and cars are paid for and used so it doesn't take much to live.

In fact the only people that have worked for me that make a little less than me are the co-op students I employ.  RRSP's are a waste of time, who seriously socks money away with a million restrictions and penalities around it.  It's a nazi savings account for people that like taking money out of circulation and being handed back a bag of nothing.  Imagine if instead of people falling for that suckers scheme 15 years ago, most of them would have their homes paid or nearly paid.  Once the house is done, then the real brick work of saving money can start to happen.  Plus the person would have paid WAY less in terms of dollar strength.  Plus if they sold the house now it wouldn't have been taxed.  Versus the RRSP scam the Gov't of Canada offers.


The Solution is simple.  Tank the company and put contract tenders for the exact same positions up with new job titles up the next day.  Out source 30% of the positions overseas which allows me to escape penalities because that's allowed, in fact I've been told by my lawyer and accountants, encouraged.  Then set up a company title transfer to somewhere else in the world.

GoinFawr's picture

I hear Equatorial Guinea's gov't 'discourages' the formation of unions. Why don't you make a new start there?

sethstorm's picture

Now you wonder with all that dirty pool, you call that a solution?  You're just part of the problem by giving people a reason to want to use the government to make sure that can't happen.  Never mind all the distrust that comes by becoming more out of touch with the people that do the work.  The government just happens to be a weapon of last resort, when the private sector is out of touch with the people that do the actual work.


With all that fraud you advocate, you only make the situation worse by making someone disposable.  One would only hope that all that trickery pays you back in a not-so-good way.  That might not be favorable to you, but passing on more risk to people without reward (via contracting out) always deserves to backfire. 


I'm surprised there's not something against intentional scuttling.  There needs to be, for your exact situation.  Otherwise, I would hope for your sake that every single t is crossed, and every i is dotted for the rest of your life. 


sethstorm's picture

Then hope that you live to the end of that day, for you are part of that problem.  You are not more holy because you run a business; expecting such is to ask for yourself to become royalty at the expense of others.


Disposability and temporary work are things that should have died a horrible death.  Unfortunately, you want to bring back things that should remain dead and buried. 

CPL's picture

If you run a business with more than 10 people in Canada with professional job titles, the government makes it very much worth your while in terms of tax credits to offshore most if not all of the work.

GoinFawr's picture

So instead of capitulating you should try resisting, which can be as simple as writing a letter. Or is your conscience simply not that active? Too much of a hassle to interject a monad of civic responsibility into your daily deluge of luxury?


Indeud, you are truly 'so hard done by'...



Fred Hayek's picture

I missed the part where he was asking for veneration. 

sethstorm's picture

Wherever you have staffing industries protecting the employers more than the people that do the work, you have that.  In places that prefer such industries of disposability, veneration of the employer is for the sake of having your contract renewed.   This is just like your company town, except without the town or the debt.

See FedEx, Honda, and the deep preferences of the American Staffing Association for protecting the employers for US examples.

I'd imagine that Canada has similar examples and is further down the whole "let's screw regular individuals by permatemping people!" track that other parts of the world (outside the US) use.


When did profitability somehow get disconnected from giving a damn? 

CPL's picture

First of all, it's my business and I can do with it as I please.  If my business became a matter of public trust then you would see me do nothing, simply nothing.  And that's what has happened.

Through government taxation/forms and more forms and constantly being taxed retroactively (which should be so fucking illegal), I have such a level of disincentive that I do not care to participate anymore.  At one point I thought I could change it by being political and attempting to influence MP's and MPP's.  That did nothing.  So I joined up with a group of business people to attempt the same thing in terms of lobbying.  Didn't work.  Just more lip service and more retroactive taxes that had to be paid.

For the taxes last year paid, i could have tripled my staff.  Tripled my sales force.  Tripled the expansion.  But no, this is Canada.  Taxes first, then figure out cash flow.  Which is a very dangerous situation.  One month I'm solvent, then retroactive tax collection.  The next month I'm fucked.

So, since my company is NOT a public trust and I'm at the point where the taxes are a bit too much to ignore, combine that with owning a business and watching practically everything happen under the sun with bad hires.

  • the usual cheating
  • stealing
  • lying
  • laziness
  • drama
  • masturbation in an employees cube (wasn't a guy btw, hambeast engineer with busy fingers)

I think I'm just tired of running a business here.  So Jan 3rd, they are all canned, I shipwreck the place by not attempting new contracts and I just stay on the company payroll.  Or I sell it.  Another guy i know in the area dumped his company last year and his stress level has gone from 10 to 0 and he's liking his life now.  He only has one form to fill out now.  T4 and that's it.

sethstorm's picture

When I hear things like that, I see the collateral damage.  Run it however you like, but be mindful of the consequences - that's what I mean by "giving a damn".  It has nothing to do with being a public trust, and everything to do with being careful with your nothing.

Have you heard of the phrase "not doing something, even though you could", applied in a slightly different direction?  In this case, I am talking about closing it in a way that is neither a surprise(to the people who work there) nor a mass bridge-burning event.  Do what you like, just be aware of how you do it.


If your aim is to frustrate a bureaucrat or a group of them, don't aim for the regular individuals.  If you can manage to avoid collateral damage(or minimizing it as much as possible), those regular individuals will thank you.  The key here is not to give the bureaucrat more reason to regulate even more.


I just see too many people with business sense that try to frustrate the bureaucrat, but end up taking a lot of regular people down with them(and not always removing the bureaucrat). 

chumbawamba's picture

Don't you think a guy who's run a business as long as CPL has would know how to treat his employees fairly?  You're simply making assumptions based upon your own projections for some unobvious slight you received in the past from a former employer of yours.

Besides, your line of attack completely misses the real target, which as CPL has tried to explain over and over again in lieu of your apparent lack of comprehension, is government.

Whatever happened to private contracts?  If all I'm able to pay is one dollar a day, and someone is willing to work for me for a dollar a day, why should you or anyone else have the right to get in between me and that person and dictate otherwise?

Fuck you and all you statist buffoons that cry for the moon when the sun is shining.

I am Chumbawamba.

RockyRacoon's picture

Thanks.  I was about to go nuts thinking I was the only one thinking what you just said.  The "taker" mentality is the norm now.  Back in the 1980s when I actually had employees, they got together to "decide" what their holidays would be.  I asked that they include an "Employers Day", wherein they come in one Saturday a year and work a day for free to say, "Thanks for the job!".   My suggestion was met with dazed incomprehension at such an outrageous concept.   Fuck 'em.

sethstorm's picture

The way CPL said it, I'm not sure that he did.  That said, it's a lot easier to find bad apples than good apples.  I've been fortunate enough to have had a good set of employers and recognized the (increasing) rarity of them.  It is hard to have good faith when there are too many incentives to act in bad faith.


If CPL does know how, then he took the more favorable path.  In that case, the people that worked for him found out or figured out.  What happens after they part ways is up to each individual. 

As for the dollar a day bit, that'd be cutting a lot of corners for most non-trivial work.  Nothing is going to stop you from paying that dollar or finding someone.  The problem exists when that is applied to regular and complex work, such that cost reduction overtakes everything else(with the end result of a lower quality product or service).  You aren't stopped from paying that dollar, but that cheapness will cost you.

I'm not sure that you understand that I've recognized that government wasn't helping.  I was suggesting that he doesn't give the government any help.  That was stated by how I said not to give a case for the bureaucrat to act.  While it won't stop the truly determined bureaucrat from initially acting, it will make sure they do not last.

CPL's picture

In all choices in life there is damage.  That is part of growing up and getting older.  Who knew that offering free food to african nations thirty years ago would have completely destroyed the ability of those nations to establish a reasonable farming practice.  Yet to this day we "feed" Africa if only to keep the third sector very well heeled and paid.  What might have started in an altruistic act has only turned into a 30 second soundbite so very well packaged it might as well be an iPod for women with too many cats, too much time on their hands and too much money.

Yes there will be blow back, but as those above acknowledge, they have EI to fall back on.  Appearently it's my right as a business owner to pay it and rightly so.  If someone pays into insurance as long as the terms and conditions are met, it should be paid.  The folks that work for me will be cared for by the state.

I would offer them the company if they could arrange a buy out situation, but like most bone heads in North America they make a lot, save nothing and, saddly like 80% of the very well to do middle class in Canada, have been spending home equity like it was a debit card against property values.  If they could scramble to buy me out, sure I would consider it but this isn't a movie.  People moving in herds are stupid, I could lead you into a boardroom on business strategy sessions, these are people that couldn't organise a cat fight.  What usually happens is the group throw out ideas, people argue over them, as a business owner i use them like the borg.  The group throws around ideas, even if one wins in the group, I could give a shit.  I'm looking for effective and cheap.  This is what one of my industry peers did and is happy for it.

Option two, put the company up for sale.  This takes a while.  Only companies approaching me are Indian and Chinese companies that want an established mid-tier engineering company to get a solid foothold into Canada.  You would not believe the amount of red tape around selling to someone outside the country with money.  It costs a shit load and for the return it's frankly not worth it. 

That leaves option three.

Shipwreck the place by finishing existing contracts, giving implicit instructions to not follow up on renewing contracts/chasing new business and being the sole paycheck to the piggy bank of my corporation because to off set taxation costs I would have to can half my staff anyways and ship the engineering over seas to an IT Curry Shop.  So what would I have left in my company, sales people, a development team 7000 kilometers away (Indians aren't as cheap as the media makes them out to be btw), a receptionist and my accountants?  I believe that model is called IBM, Microsoft, Apple, HP.  Since I'm not interested in being publically traded nor getting over 80 people, I say fuck it, shut it down.  People don't need an engineering firm looking out for their safety or building safe and useful things.  The public needs its nose broken, which I'm more than willing to step out of the way for. 

Government wants more money, they won't get a nickle more out of me than they have to. I'm not funding the morons anymore.  I'm sure that as the tax creep happens, it'll slowly start to strangle more businesses out there until eventually plywood and nails will be in short supply boarding up the last of the builders out there.  Canada already has in it head it will only do one thing.  Sell every square inch of it's commodities business to anyone, anytime as fast as possible.

Sometimes, like trading stocks or hunting, the choice to not do anything is more effective than "picking a side".  There is no side.  Only the choice and the outcome.  My choice is to do nothing, remove 80 taxed government profit centers down to myself, who makes next to nothing.  By 2012, they won't even have corp to tax anymore because there will be no profit.  Eventually someone else will be able to pick up the slack as people do in contracts.


//Sitting on the deck drinking a beer and watching it burn.  Collecting names to bring to noose after it's all said and done.

RockyRacoon's picture

Damned good comment and straight to the point.   Having been an entrepreneur all my life I can do nothing but cheer your proposed action.   I well remember a friend back in the 1980s who was making great money owning a propane gas rural distributorship and a small building supply.  The place was a money generating fool.  At one point he just threw up his hands and said, "I quit".  His point was that if he made another dollar, 75 cents of it was going to the government (see past tax rates).   He did a pump-n-dump to make the business look great -- and then sold it to an interstate natural gas company.  Retired rich and disillusioned at the age of 50.  He kept the building supply as a hobby and had fun with it but didn't care if it made a cent of profit.  Those "buying trips" to the Dallas Trade Mart and to Mexico for "lighting fixtures" were a lot of fun -- and tax deductible.  Thus hath the government wrought a generation of business assassinations.