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Emails Reveal Battle Over Employee Poaching Between Google and Facebook

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the you-scratch-my-back dept.

Google 132

colinneagle (2544914) writes "Apple, Google, and a slew of other high-tech firms are currently embroiled in a class-action lawsuit on allegations that they all adhered to tacit anti-poaching agreements. With that case currently ongoing, we've seen a number of interesting executive emails come to light, including emails showing that Steve Jobs threatened Palm's CEO with a full-fledged legal assault if the company kept going after Apple engineers. There is also correspondence between Sergey Brin, Marissa Mayer, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, and Google's Jonathan Rosenberg discussing the threat that Google saw in Facebook hiring its engineers. The discussion elevates, with Sandberg pointing out the hypocrisy of Google growing to prominence by hiring engineers from major Silicon Valley firms. Rosenberg then hints at the potential for a 'deeper relationship' that Google would be willing to reach as long as Facebook stops hiring its engineers, going so far as to tell Sandberg to 'fix this problem.'"

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132 comments

Amusing? sentence before the redaction: (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46622929)

"Finally, we (or basically I) have not done a good enough job of high rewards for high performance." - Sergey Brin

Re:Amusing? sentence before the redaction: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623039)

The best workers do it for love, and are treated with the best resources. The mediocre does do it for money, and are thrown money.

This is why it's always ultimately best to work in government. The pay isn't high, but the work environment is ideal. It also explains the strength of intelligence agencies, which give bright people whatever they want to work with, in return for a little bending of ethics.

Re:Amusing? sentence before the redaction: (4, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | about 4 months ago | (#46623427)

This is why it's always ultimately best to work in government. The pay isn't high, but the work environment is ideal.

Huh? My first job as a college graduate engineer was with the DOD as a civilian. The pay is OK, but not great as you suggest. But I can tell you that the work environment is NOT ideal, even in the best of circumstances. I had great people to work for and with. They where among the best I've had in my 25-30 years so far. But, it is maddeningly frustrating to work for the government, if you care even a small amount about doing the job efficiently the right way. Maybe I'm just too frugal, but I found the wholesale waste that happened due to all the rules and laws to be frustrating to watch. Things such as spending $250K to get a $750K worth of equipment purchased, or throwing away 90% of a certain kind of part because they where so poor in quality that we had to test and select parts that met specs to repair equipment. Then we'd end up having to re-repair things because these junk parts drifted out of tolerance quickly.

If you have the right mindset, I suppose government work is fine. But if you try to care, or actually do the right thing by your customers in the most efficient way possible, it's an exercise in frustration.

Re:Amusing? sentence before the redaction: (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 4 months ago | (#46624167)

Same exact thing...but I experienced this working in a community college.

Re:Amusing? sentence before the redaction: (1)

synx (29979) | about 4 months ago | (#46625003)

The best workers do it for love, and are treated with the best resources. The mediocre does do it for money, and are thrown money.

The problem with this specific quote is... I can't tell if you are being genuine and really mean this, or are cynically saying this to reduce how much you would have to pay employees.

I hope you can see that, from my point of view, based on this comment, there is no way for me to tell what kind of person you are. Because someone who wants to manipulate their employees would say the exact same thing.

Finally, I hardly think it's wrong to ask employers to return even a small part of their VAST fortunes to their employees who creates the opportunity for the profit to be made.

Poaching is bad for employees too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46622941)

If there was a bigger sign that said "we are not interested in training our employees and have a terrible corporate culture" poaching would be it.

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 4 months ago | (#46622973)

For employees it is evil a sort of substitute for slaves and indentured servants.

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623155)

Those poor indentured servants, making only four times the median salary, instead of five.

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#46624233)

By the same logic, the H1Bs should be supremely happy, what with landing their dream jobs...or not? Now I'd argue that if the money offered doesn't correspond to what demand and supply would want it to be, it's still bad even if it's only partially bad.

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 4 months ago | (#46624601)

By the same logic, the H1Bs should be supremely happy, what with landing their dream jobs...or not?

Many H1Bs do land their dream jobs, and actually get paid the same as their American colleagues, you know. The entire anti-H1B story focuses on cases of abuse, which, I'll give you, are numerous, but do not represent the industry as a whole. I don't know of a single H1B person in Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook or Apple that would get less than what a local would with the same skills and experience. It's sweatshops like Tata that really abuse it, but their horror stories are the only thing you ever hear about on the subject.

This is NOT slavery (5, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#46623171)

For employees it is evil a sort of substitute for slaves and indentured servants.

Seriously folks. Let's not for a moment pretend that this is remotely similar to actual slavery. We're talking about two companies to collude to suppress wages for employees that by all objective standards are paid pretty well and have pretty good lives. Are you seriously going to claim that that is in any way comparable to being the property of another human being?

Yes this collusion is wrong. No it isn't even close to slavery. Claiming that the two are anything similar is unbelievably clueless.

Re:This is NOT slavery (0)

Aighearach (97333) | about 4 months ago | (#46623285)

Uhm, I didn't say it is like slavery, I said it is like the set of things that includes slavery and indentured servitude. How is it NOT like indentured servitude if your employer's competitors have all agreed with your employer that you're not allowed to work for them, that you have to stay with your current employer? How is wage suppression via collusion that involves locking employees to one employer NOT like indentured servitude?

Your attack on my statement is idiotic, you don't even address my point. You take the far edge of my point, and claim it is the far point. Duh. I stand by what I said, and I declare your attack to be faulty in form, content, and intent.

Re:This is NOT slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623475)

Because it is not locking employees to one employer based upon an agreement with ALL of your employer's competitors. There are thousands of other companies that you could go work for besides Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. If you weren't happy with your situation at Apple, then leave, nothing is stopping you from walking out the door and putting in an application at a dozen other places the same day. I agree that the collusion is/was terribly unethical and (hopefully) illegal, but seriously man, get out of the bubble, the world is not Silicon Valley.

Re:This is NOT slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623487)

It's not like indentured servitude, because there are THOUSANDS of other employers they could go work for that aren't colluding with Google or Facebook, and they are free to leave and go work for those thousands at any time. Not even remotely like indentured servitude. Not even close.

Re:This is NOT slavery (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#46623587)

I didn't say it is like slavery,

You most certainly did. You said "For employees it is evil a sort of substitute for slaves and indentured servants." It is nothing like a substitute for slavery and claiming so makes you look really clueless.

How is it NOT like indentured servitude if your employer's competitors have all agreed with your employer that you're not allowed to work for them, that you have to stay with your current employer?

Because Google and Facebook and Apple are not the extent of the IT universe no matter what they might want you to believe.

How is wage suppression via collusion that involves locking employees to one employer NOT like indentured servitude?

Are you really that stupid? You can't figure out the difference? Do you even know what indentured servitude is? Nobody was locked to Google. It's at will employment even if the employer is a douche. Indentured servitude is slavery. It means you are property. It means you don't own your own body. Nobody at Google is anything remotely resembling property.

Your attack on my statement is idiotic

Your statement was idiotic and absurdly hyperbolic nonsense.

Re:This is NOT slavery (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#46623865)

How is it NOT like indentured servitude if your employer's competitors have all agreed with your employer that you're not allowed to work for them, that you have to stay with your current employer?

You mean, aside the fact that you're not working for free to pay off a previous debt?

Think of it this way - if you don't want have your income "limited" at six figures because your employer has a "gentleman's agreement" with some of their local competitors, you're always welcome to walk out that door and go apply at McDonald's.

I'd avoid bitching about how your former 6-figure job was "slavery" to your new minimum wage co-workers, in that case.

Re:This is NOT slavery (4, Insightful)

geek (5680) | about 4 months ago | (#46623435)

For employees it is evil a sort of substitute for slaves and indentured servants.

Seriously folks. Let's not for a moment pretend that this is remotely similar to actual slavery. We're talking about two companies to collude to suppress wages for employees that by all objective standards are paid pretty well and have pretty good lives. Are you seriously going to claim that that is in any way comparable to being the property of another human being?

Yes this collusion is wrong. No it isn't even close to slavery. Claiming that the two are anything similar is unbelievably clueless.

Is it that far off really? Many engineers come out of school with 100k+ in debt. They go to work for one of these companies and can never leave because of secret agreements from the execs. Their wages are kept artificially low in a high cost of living area. Between rent/mortgage and other costs of living, they simply can't afford to drop the job and go elsewhere without having another job in the wings.

This isn't much different from indentured servitude. Only with indentured servants there is typically a contract up front, after X number of years you're free to move on. In Silicon Valley its all backroom deals, under the table and out of sight from the public. Your "owners" own you without you explicitly knowing it, there is no end date and there is serious direct career consequences if you try to change it.

They may not be subjected to beatings but they are certainly subject to economic ruin if they try to change or improve their station. I've seen it happen. I've seen good engineers leave engineering altogether because they became untouchable simply because of who they once worked for.

Re:This is NOT slavery (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#46624937)

They may not be subjected to beatings but they are certainly subject to economic ruin if they try to change or improve their station. I've seen it happen. I've seen good engineers leave engineering altogether because they became untouchable simply because of who they once worked for.

Can you elaborate on this please?

Re:This is NOT slavery (2)

geek (5680) | about 4 months ago | (#46625141)

They may not be subjected to beatings but they are certainly subject to economic ruin if they try to change or improve their station. I've seen it happen. I've seen good engineers leave engineering altogether because they became untouchable simply because of who they once worked for.

Can you elaborate on this please?

My father worked for Cisco. Amazingly, every place he applied for while still there, would refuse to interview him, when only 5 years before he was one of the most sought after engineers in his field. Eventually he left Cisco and opened his own small business outside of Engineering because he simply couldn't even get interviewed anywhere. He nearly went broke trying.

I have two friends, one who worked for Google and another for Apple. Both left Engineering and went into the Accounting sector because they were untouchable by anyone.The only jobs they would get interviewed for were paying half what they used to make at small shops with virtually no health benefits.

In fact almost everyone I know that worked as an Engineer/software dev has now left the industry. In no small part because of this, coupled with a bit of age discrimination.

Re:This is NOT slavery (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 4 months ago | (#46625383)

Is it that far off really?

Yes, there's a huge difference. In one scenario, if you try to leave your owner you are a fugitive of the law. In this scenario, you can always get another job. Just because a few big name companies prevented poaching doesn't mean you couldn't find work at the countless number of startups or established companies. The comparison is ridiculous and insulting to the people who experienced the atrocities of slavery.

Re:This is NOT slavery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623469)

It doesn't matter how well paid these defrauded engineers are considered by you & those like you. Claiming that is relevant in any way is clueless. It is still theft on a grand scale, exactly like Enron & Bernie Madoff. These execs, have defrauded/stolen billions from people & they should be punished as such. That's the bottom line.

Re:This is NOT slavery (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623921)

It would be WW3 if it were the government colluding to suppress earnings of investment bankers or shareholders, who by ANY measure do INCREDIBLY well. However when THEY are colluding...oh it's not slavery, they're just protecting their investments...

I'm not sure it isn't a form of slavery to be honest. They are colluding to remove employment options, earnings and general freedom from their employees. I'd call it slavery, just as I do with H1Bs who are not free to become citizens, who are not free to shop their wages and get what they deserve for being so valuable we fly them halfway across the world.

Maybe we can call it 2nd Degree Slavery? Can we put them in a ass-pounding prison for a decade or so?

Re:This is NOT slavery (1)

CBravo (35450) | about 4 months ago | (#46624659)

It is like employer-socialism ;-).

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623091)

Oh please. There isn't some great big anti-graining conspiracy here against training. It's the Republicans that want to make sure that engineers make as little money as possible. They hate science thus they hate us. They would force us to work for free (slavery) if they could get away with it.

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#46623373)

It's the Republicans that want to make sure that engineers make as little money as possible.

Guess which party gets the largest donations from the tech industry.

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 4 months ago | (#46623489)

Whoa there AC. Your political shorts are showing. Might want to pull up your pants.

Republicans don't want you poor engineers to make money eh? And here I thought it was the Democrats that where doing that..

And don't fool yourself. The Republicans where the party of Lincon and supported the end of slavery.

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623669)

Republicans where the party of Lincon

Where are they? Why does your kind spout constant nonsense? Also, who the fuck is Lincon, and what in the hell does that person have to do with Republicans?

supported the end of slavery.

Bullshit. They are calling for its return.

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#46624171)

The Democrats wants us making plenty of money. But they want a big cut before we get to take the rest home.

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (0)

bobbied (2522392) | about 4 months ago | (#46624683)

The Democrats wants us making plenty of money. But they want a big cut before we get to take the rest home.

I'd only add one thing to that... Even if they don't take everything now, they eventually will. Why do I say that? Because they never say no to spending on social programs and as a wise man once said.. "The poor will always be with you.. "

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46624401)

Nixon - he adopted the racists disenfranchised by democrats civil rights laws. Oh you forgot that while you were sucking on my cock did you faggot?

Re:Poaching is bad for employees too (3, Informative)

SpzToid (869795) | about 4 months ago | (#46623123)

Poaching and wanting H1-B rules relaxed means I.T. workers whose knowledge is perishable in the marketplace as technology evolves are getting screwed from the tech billionaires. Been that way for decades, and if that's not enough to make you puke, young Zuckerberg and his buddies even started a PAC to lobby on their behalf.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Innov... [csmonitor.com]

Unions (0, Flamebait)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 months ago | (#46622981)

So its okay for employees to have unions ... but not for businesses?

Hypocrisy at its greatest.

Re:Unions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623025)

Wow, are you really that stupid?

Re:Unions (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 months ago | (#46623033)

which employees in silicon valley are part of a union?

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623331)

I was a computer operator at a factor and was represented by the Teamsters. I was "laid off" under bizarre circumstances, and the union said nothing could be done about it. I later learned that the union representative landed his niece that job after I was ousted.

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623051)

Dont see where this is unions. But no. Businesses are not people.

Re:Unions (2)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 4 months ago | (#46623055)

Nice troll. Except the relationship is not symmetrical in any other ways either, e.g. the employees cannot fire the CEO and/or the board at any time for whatever reason (like in globalization! cost cuts! out with the fat cats! let's offshore the board! etc.).

Collective Bargaining Agreements (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#46623119)

Except the relationship is not symmetrical in any other ways either, e.g. the employees cannot fire the CEO and/or the board at any time for whatever reason

With a collective bargaining agreement in place the CEO often cannot fire a union employee at will either. In fact with a sufficiently restrictive CBA in place union employees can be nearly impossible to fire even for actions that arguably should get them fired, like showing up for work stoned.

Re:Collective Bargaining Agreements (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 4 months ago | (#46623277)

It's still asymmetric. It can't be the other way, so let's not bring symmetry into the discussion as the guiding principle.
OTOH as other posters have already noticed, there are no unions in IT. So unions and symmetry are completely out of place in this discussion.

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623131)

Perhaps not, but then why is it assumed that the relationship is supposed to be symmetrical in the way you describe?

This is false.

Are you not a free man, that you should be able to agree with another man to work for a wage - or not? You are free to agree to the wage, and the employer is free to agree to pay it - or not. This *is* symmetrical. So where is the problem?

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623283)

This situation here is anti-competitive, in the same way as if the oil companies agreed to not sell their product for less than a certain price. You are a free man that should be able to agree, or not, to pay this price.

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623349)

I am not aruing that this case is or is not 'fair', - I agree with you on this.

However I do not think it should be thought fair that the employee demands the right to fire the CEO. This is the point I was trying to make.

Re:Unions (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#46623565)

So where is the problem?

In your inability to to distinguish between simplistic reasoning and the real world. You're free to accept the wage or not, just as you're free to become destitute. So many choices in a "free" market. Bonus points if you can tell me who has the greater bargaining power in a situation with 10 buyers and 10,000 sellers.

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623717)

"just as you're free to become destitute" Really? You are also free to invent a new mousetrap. Life is full of choices, risks and rewards. Deal with it. Simplistic reasonaing or real world? Fuck off. Real world is just that, you want fair? Life isn't fair. You want free? No.

"Bonus points if you can tell me who has the greater bargaining power in a situation with 10 buyers and 10,000 sellers."

You fail to make any point here.

Re:Unions (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#46623885)

let's offshore the board!

I am so suggesting that at the next shareholder's meeting...

Re:Unions (0)

jmrives (1019046) | about 4 months ago | (#46623071)

So its okay for employees to have unions ... but not for businesses?

Hypocrisy at its greatest.

Ignorance at its greatest

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623077)

Excellent use of logic there poster, something that is sorely lacking around here. Funny too as one would think that a bunch of computer savvy nerds would be highly logic oriented. Oh well.

I also don't get why so many people seem to be against people earning lots of money.

I'd love to be able to earn shit loads of money, wouldn't you?

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623105)

So its okay for employees to have unions ... but not for businesses?

Hypocrisy at its greatest.

Correct. They companies are run by wealthy Republicans so all they do is constantly try to exploit the workers. They shouldn't be allowed to form a union because they already have all of the power and money. The engineers have no money and no power thus they need protection.

Re:Unions (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623173)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Party-of-the-rich-In-Congress-it-s-the-Democrats-5363121.php

"WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are the party of the rich, right? It's a label that has stuck for decades, and you're hearing it again as Democrats complain about GOP opposition to raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits.

But in Congress, the wealthiest among us are more likely to be represented by a Democrat than a Republican. Of the 10 richest House districts, only two have Republican congressmen. Democrats claim the top six, sprinkled along the East and West coasts. Most are in overwhelmingly Democratic states like New York and California.

The richest: New York's 12th Congressional District, which includes Manhattan's Upper East Side, as well as parts of Queens and Brooklyn. Democrat Carolyn Maloney is in her 11th term representing the district.

Per capita income in Maloney's district is $75,479. That's more than $75,000 a year for every man, woman and child. The next highest income district, which runs along the southern California coast, comes in at $61,273. Democrat Henry Waxman is in his 20th term representing the Los Angeles-area district.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district comes in at No. 8.

Across the country, Democratic House districts have an average per capita income of $27,893. That's about $1,000 higher than the average income in Republican districts. The difference is relatively small because Democrats also represent a lot of poor districts, putting the average in the middle.

Democrats say the "party of the rich" label is more about policies than constituents."

Re:Unions (2)

Cyberax (705495) | about 4 months ago | (#46623543)

That may be true, but it's still misleading. $75k per capita is high middle class, and if it's California then it's probably a self-made middle class rather than inherited. Such people usually understand that help from the government is sometimes necessary to make poor peoples' lives at least bearable and to give their children a chance of success.

We're talking about uber-rich rich, the ones that have hundreds of millions in the bank - THEY are mostly Republican.

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623601)

"We're talking about uber-rich rich, the ones that have hundreds of millions in the bank - THEY are mostly Republican."

You cannot support that with evidence. Put up or shut up.

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A

Look at all the fat cats donating 100s of millions to Democrats.

Re:Unions (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 4 months ago | (#46623759)

Here's a link from your site: https://www.opensecrets.org/ne... [opensecrets.org] It's obviously not possible to say with 100% assurance about the voting patterns of rich, but their Republican leaning is not a secret. Here are some data points: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n... [nytimes.com]

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623875)

Hmmm.

From your opensecrets link

"In President Barack Obama's first year in office, Wall Street sent Democrats $29.9 million, and Republicans $20.7 million."

Ok. Then; "But starting in 2011, as the chart below shows, the gap widened and Wall Street's financial support for one party began to tip the scales."

Heh. So like I said, all along the rich Democrats have been supporting Democrats all along. Then along comes Obama and all bets are off. Surprised? Not me.

You aren't trying to tell me that all rich Democrats are altruistic generous truthful saints are you?

Re:Unions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46624669)

So the 'takers' Romney was spouting off about was the Kotch brothers? Suck my cock faggot. Choke on the shaft.

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623751)

$75k per capita is high middle class

You're right. Only $300,000.00 per year for a family of four is middle class.

Seriously, WTF! You Republicans are completely disconnected from reality. $300k per year is not middle class. Seriously, either go fuck yourself or go out into the real world to see how most people live. Your idea of the middle class is ridiculous.

Re:Unions (1, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#46623905)

We're talking about uber-rich rich, the ones that have hundreds of millions in the bank - THEY are mostly Republican.

Not true [huffingtonpost.com] .

In fact, 8 of the 10 richest Congressional districts are long-time Democratic strongholds.

From the article:

...in Congress, the wealthiest among us are more likely to be represented by a Democrat than a Republican. Of the 10 richest House districts, only two have Republican congressmen. Democrats claim the top six, sprinkled along the East and West coasts. Most are in overwhelmingly Democratic states like New York and California.

The richest: New York's 12th Congressional District, which includes Manhattan's Upper East Side, as well as parts of Queens and Brooklyn. Democrat Carolyn Maloney is in her 11th term representing the district.

Re:Unions (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 4 months ago | (#46624023)

For some reason I've lost the previous message. These districts represent high self-made middle class - not the uber-rich people. And high middle class is indeed more Democratic-leaning, because they generally understand that government help is necessary to make poor people lives bearable and give poor children a chance.

Re:Unions (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#46624079)

For some reason I've lost the previous message. These districts represent high self-made middle class - not the uber-rich people. And high middle class is indeed more Democratic-leaning, because they generally understand that government help is necessary to make poor people lives bearable and give poor children a chance.

Sounds like cognitive dissonance to me - if the "uber-rich" don't live in the 10 richest Congressional districts, where do they live? Canada?

Re:Unions (2)

Cyberax (705495) | about 4 months ago | (#46624107)

Why must they live in the richest Congressional districts? A Congress district is a large place, and even one very rich man won't raise the average (never mind median) income by much.

Re:Unions (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#46625285)

Why must they live in the richest Congressional districts?

Perhaps because "richest districts" in this context means "districts with the highest per-capita income."

Which has nothing to do with your opinions regarding who the "middle class" votes for, and why.

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46624089)

"because they generally understand that government help is necessary to make poor people lives bearable and give poor children a chance"

Of good fucking grief, are you seriously this fucking dumb? Really? Do you even see how condescending and superior you sound? Only Democrats care about the poor and only Democrats are qualified and capable of taking care of the poor, is that right? Go fuck yourself with a barbed wire wrapped pineapple you socialist shitbird, I can't stand you sanctimonious holier than though shitstains. Stop stealing my fucking money.

If these Democrats are so damned generous why don't they give money to the poor instead of other Democrats? They don't give a fuck about the poor you stupid fucking asshole. They care about money.

Re:Unions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623163)

Might have something to do with the workers never hiring Pinkerton to keep the owners under their thumbs, or forcing the owners to shop from the company store.

Not exactly ancient history we're talking about. Business has the most powerful union imaginable, it's called Truckloads of Cash.

Re:Unions (1)

Zxern (766543) | about 4 months ago | (#46623793)

Yes because we as a people have decided it's not in societies best interest to allow another East India trading company.

Re:Unions (1)

CBravo (35450) | about 4 months ago | (#46624703)

No no ... employer-socialism (it hits a nerve)...

Google and Apple conspired to do evil? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623045)

Oh the humanity.

Ultimate fanboi war!

Don't be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623049)

Still trying to square Google up with its tagline - "Don't be evil" when time and time again they choose the dark side. Then I realized...

Anakin Skywalker: From my point of view, it is the Jedi who are evil.

From their perspective, what we call evil is good.

Re:Don't be good (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 4 months ago | (#46623287)

Getting virtually all their revenue from advertising should have been the first, last, and only clue needed.

This is why I became a leftist (5, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 4 months ago | (#46623185)

When I was little, my daddy told me "never attribute to malice what might as well be ignorance." And I believed this. So I was a libertarian and was suspicious of regulations on business. Let companies compete in the free market! Leave them be, government busybodies!

But then I grew up.

It is not the purpose of government to serve the people. It is the purpose of government to preserve the status quo. To keep the rich rich and the poor poor. These corporations give massive amounts of money to both political parties, and they get what they pay for. Fat government contracts. Protection from competitors, foreign and domestic. You think they give a shit about unemployment? Hell no. They LOVE unemployment. Keeps the workers in line knowing there's 5 other people who would love to take their job if they get uppity. Student loan debt forgiveness? Hells no. Debt keeps the slaves tied to their wheels. And if our barristas have Ph.Ds, all the better. Damn tech workers think they're entitled to a middle class lifestyle? Haha, bring in the H1-Bs! Secret backroom deals to cap salaries! The nerve thinking Americans should earn middle class wages...in America. Working at the most profitable companies in history. We need that money to maximize shareholder value! The Dow's through the roof with massive unemployment? Perfect!

That is not ignorance. That is malice.

So, fuck 'em. Fuck 'em hard. I am a socialist.

Re:This is why I became a leftist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623241)

"The only universal medicine socialists have for social evils - State ownership of the means of production - is not only perfectly compatible with all the disasters of the capitalist world: with exploitation, imperialism, pollution, misery, economic waste, national hatred and national oppression, but it adds to them a series of disasters of its own: inefficiency, lack of economic incentives and above all the unrestricted rule of the omnipresent bureaucracy, a concentration of power never before known in human history".

-- Leszek Kolakowski

Re:This is why I became a leftist (2)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | about 4 months ago | (#46623357)

It is the purpose of government to preserve the status quo. To keep the rich rich and the poor poor

Actually, many of this corporations didn't exist ten years ago and none of this guys weren't shit-load-millionairs. So there, the govermente sucks at preserving the status quo.

Re:This is why I became a leftist (1, Insightful)

Phil Urich (841393) | about 4 months ago | (#46623581)

It is the purpose of government to preserve the status quo. To keep the rich rich and the poor poor

Actually, many of this corporations didn't exist ten years ago and none of this guys weren't shit-load-millionairs. So there, the govermente sucks at preserving the status quo.

What about the major shareholders and board members of "this corporations [sic]"? Were they "shit-load-millionairs [sic]"? Yeah, most of them probably were. And you do remember that for example Facebook was started by rich boys who went to Harvard, right? It's not exactly a rags-to-riches story, just a riches-to-more-riches. And lets not even start on the average wages for tech-sector employees . . . but then again, since the third spelling mistake you made was "govermente" for government I'm starting to suspect I've just been sucked in by a troll.

Re:This is why I became a leftist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623873)

thats just a lottery that runs for two reasons

        o it keeps skilled people working with the hope they will cash out big

        o it provides a narrative for them to build bubbles around

if that means that a couple of normal people make it to the big leagues, thats ok

Re:This is why I became a leftist (0)

geek (5680) | about 4 months ago | (#46623501)

So a bunch of leftist execs screw people over and then you decide to jump over and become a leftist? Every single one of these execs is a major Democrat donor, whether its Marrissa Mayer or Eric Schmidt giving max contributions to Dem candidates, going so far as to actually host the parties at their homes or Steve Jobs being best buds with Bill Clinton and Al Gore. In fact every single one of these companies is directly hostile to Republican and Libertarian campaigns and causes.

Your leftists are the problem here with their crony capitalism and constant meddling in the free market. Republicans aren't innocent here but you're so bass akwards on this it's comical. You really think leftism is the solution to this? Sad.

There Is No Spoon (2)

mx+b (2078162) | about 4 months ago | (#46624755)

Really, the issue is that people like to attach labels to things so they can strawman you. There really isn't such a thing as a left and a right in American mainstream politics; it is one big Corporate Party where we get the "left" and "right" labels based on which corporate industry you pander to the most. They fight with each other so much only because the industries they represent happen to often be at odds. It's not because either really subscribes to a real philosophy.

In past elections, when the country has a "vote the bums out" attitude, we see massive switch over from one party to the other. After Bush, there was a flood of congresspeople to the Democrat side for the election so they could be "Not Bush/Republican". After the antics of Obama's first term, we saw a flood of people switching parties to Republican to be "Not Obama/Democrat". Really, the party title means little now because most of these bozos are the SAME PEOPLE, they switch their party affiliation as the wind blows to try to stay in office.

I say all of this because being leftist/socialist is not necessarily shown as a bad thing just because there are some douches in power that align with the "left". That is a logical fallacy in itself, and we must all try to rise above that and not let the labels define us -- which is exactly what the "left" and "right" want us to do. Let's have a real conversation on the problems of the country, and possible fixes.

Vote Green Party, Justice Party, or Libertarian Party, in 2014!

Re:This is why I became a leftist (3, Interesting)

Cyberax (705495) | about 4 months ago | (#46623665)

A few years ago I read a financial magazine on an airplane (quick googling tells that it was WSJ, I can't find a direct link but this blog post describes it: http://blog.rongarret.info/201... [rongarret.info] ) about how companies should watch their stock options closely and do not allow 'unnecessary' employees like chefs to get them. Because if a company grows big then these peons might actually become members of the Rich! And little people totally do not deserve it.

I wanted to break a window and throw this magazine out.

Re:This is why I became a leftist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46624091)

Chefs are replaceable commodities while experienced software developers are not. They could have gotten another chef whose food would have been equally as good.

Re:This is why I became a leftist (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#46624041)

That does not really follow. You do not need an evil mastermind pulling strings to have a system that benefits the rich. You are saying that you actually believe that there is some league of evil rich people out there, that are not just looking out for their own best interests but actively undermining the poor so that they have cheap oppressed labour? And they are not just mistakenly undetermined poor out of ignorance, but purposely infantry to do so, all the while laughing maniacally as they order their chauffeurs to run over homeless people.

Re:This is why I became a leftist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46625227)

You are saying that you actually believe that there is some league of evil rich people out there, that are not just looking out for their own best interests but actively undermining the poor so that they have cheap oppressed labour?

I don't think they're in league here, but what about actively undermining the poor so that they have cheap oppressed labour is not just rich people looking out for their own self interest? Of course this is happening intentionally. Do you actually think corporations are not actively thinking of ways to keep wages lower?

Re:This is why I became a leftist (1)

dcollins (135727) | about 4 months ago | (#46624235)

Me too.

but it's all the republicans and democrats fault! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46624711)

lololololololo llololololololol

Re:This is why I became a leftist (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 4 months ago | (#46624925)

You were never a libertarian to switch to socialism, you were and currently remain a simple-minded pile of goo that has no will or ideas of its own.

Socialists, leftists, social conservatives is what destroyed the USA economy, libertarians were the people that created it out of nothing before the socialist / fascist thieves destroyed it (and when I say fascist and socialists, I mean these specific subsets of the larger collectivist mob).

Protection from competitors? That's a socialist or a fascist value, not a libertarian one, libertarian values exclude government protections to anybody and at anybody's expense.

Preserving the status quo? That's socialist or fascist values, libertarians expect the market to change at any time.

Fat government contracts? That's a socialist or a fascist value.

Massive amounts of money flowing to corrupt politicians? That's the result of socialism and fascism, more correctly: collectivist mobocracy that is willing to sell any principle for a promise of a lunch paid by money out of somebody else's pockets.

Creating debt slaves? That's a socialist or a fascist value, not a libertarian one at all. Debt slaves are created by governments spending beyond their means.

Unemployment is not a problem anyway from point of view of libertarians, the market clears at a correct prices, however socialists and or fascists prevent the prices from being discovered within market settings.

Should anybody earn any particular level of wages? No, there is no rule that says anybody is entitled to anybody's money. Of-course the economy during more libertarian times in the USA grew value of wages, while lowering costs year to year before socialist and or fascists took over the individual freedoms and allowed the government to usurp unauthorized powers.

Shareholder value must be maximized of-course, in a free market economy people are shareholders as much as they are employees.

You are a socialist, which means you are a brainless gnat.

Re:This is why I became a leftist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46625067)

Suck my cock John Birch motherfucker. Lick the shaft clean, like a Penn State coach.

TMZ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623271)

Such Slash, Much Dot

Spank 'em hard (2)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 4 months ago | (#46623323)

As an engineer that could have been affected by these shenanigans, I hope that each of these companies gets spanked and spanked hard. A message needs to be sent that abusing their talented, non-union labor force will have stinging consequences.

Re:Spank 'em hard (1)

blue9steel (2758287) | about 4 months ago | (#46623621)

As an engineer that could have been affected by these shenanigans, I hope that each of these companies gets spanked and spanked hard. A message needs to be sent that abusing their talented, non-union labor force will have stinging consequences.

Ha, hahahaha, you still believe those people are subject to the same rules as the rest of us. That's so quaint.

Re:Spank 'em hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46624417)

Ha ha ha. Gas is cheap and homes burn nicely even behind gated communities. Burn baby burn.

Adam Smith (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46623361)

Adam Smith wrote eloquently about this vary topic in 1776! He wrote "Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this [natural] rate". Smith means the natural rate as determined by market supply and demand. Apparently this is precisely what occurred. Those who feel compelled to pen remarks would be well advised to read Adam Smith instead.

The final soultion. (4, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#46623499)

Shaka, when the walls fell! Gorbachev and Regan, at Geneva. Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra!

Google, when the being wasn't evil. Zuckerberg, his fucks dumb. Eric Schmidt, with nothing to hide. Dathon and Picard at El Adrel.

Custer, his last stand. Murphey, his law unbroken. Snowden, his PRISM wide open.

Re:The final soultion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46624047)

mod parent up, comment of the year. Could have done without the nazi reference, but nobodies perfect.

Re:The final soultion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46624379)

Or as they sometimes say... pobodies nerfect!

Re:The final soultion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46624163)

That's disturbingly accurate. Be gone with you!

Re:The final soultion. (1)

Rogue974 (657982) | about 4 months ago | (#46624873)

I just don't know what to say about this comment. The awesomeness of it is unbelievable. You just blew my mind!

There is a major difference (2)

kasperd (592156) | about 4 months ago | (#46623713)

There is a major difference between agreeing not to hire from each other, and just not actively going after each other's employees. I have worked at Google in the past, and while I was working there I was actively being approach by facebook recruiters. I was not the only person being approach like that. I heard from multiple colleagues that they too were being contacted by facebook recruiters. I am aware of multiple of my former colleagues who actually did get jobs at facebook.

To me facebook felt too aggressive in their pursuit of Google engineers. There was a real practice among facebook recruiters to search through linkedin and any other source, where they could identify Google engineers and contact them. I saw enough evidence pointing towards those people being contacted simply because they were currently working for Google. Personally I had zero interest in switching from Google to facebook, I don't think I even bother answering, when I was approached by facebook.

If Google and facebook had reached an agreement under which facebook would be a little less aggressive in their pursuit of Google engineers, I would not have feared this would have a negative impact on my salary. And it would have felt a bit more reasonable to me. The recruiters could still look for talented employees, and if by chance they end up finding Google employees, they could still approach them just like they would have, if they had not been Google employees. As long as they weren't directly picking candidates based on them working for Google, I would call it an improvement.

Some people have argued those companies shouldn't even actively be contacting candidates. Instead they should wait for interested candidates to submit a resume on their own. Even that would not even get close to not hiring each other's employees.

Employees could still move from Google to facebook, they just had to take initiative to submit a resume. I would only consider there to be a real problem, if facebook would reject resumes submitted by candidates, just because they happened to work for Google. I have seen no evidence of such a practice existing.

Re:There is a major difference (3, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 4 months ago | (#46624071)

Hey Kasper,

It's Mike H, remember me? We used to work together in SRE ;) How is the startup going? I have also recently moved on from the big G.

Now. When this thing first started to bubble up, I didn't feel very concerned either. OK, so I got fewer emails from recruiters than otherwise would. No big deal, not like there was exactly a shortage of those.

However, I just want to point out one thing:

I would only consider there to be a real problem, if facebook would reject resumes submitted by candidates, just because they happened to work for Google. I have seen no evidence of such a practice existing.

Did you read the article? It seems that the only reason such a situation did not occur is because Sandberg told Google to pound sand. During the time in question, these emails clearly show that a very senior Google executive was directly asking Facebook not to hire Google employees, even if they employees in question wanted to go work there and what's more, good corporate relations were being pegged to that demand.

I must admit, I never knew much about Rosenberg and don't have many memories of him (can't even recall what he looks like). But regardless, this paints Google in a very negative light indeed. Rosenberg was willing to threaten other companies in order to make them stop not just pursuing but actually hiring "his" people. Facebook refused, but who knows what other companies didn't? Was that really the only time he took that approach? Was this a Rosenberg-specific moment of madness/idiocy or does it run deeper? I await further discovery with great interest. Even if this was a brief failure on the behalf of just one executive, that's still completely unacceptable and Rosenberg needs to be fired, now. Employees are not assets whose freedom of employment can be traded for corporate deals and to treat them that way is completely unacceptable.

Re:There is a major difference (1)

kasperd (592156) | about 4 months ago | (#46625803)

Did you read the article? It seems that the only reason such a situation did not occur is because Sandberg told Google to pound sand. During the time in question, these emails clearly show that a very senior Google executive was directly asking Facebook not to hire Google employees, even if they employees in question wanted to go work there and what's more, good corporate relations were being pegged to that demand.

The article didn't come across as entirely clear to me. That particular point I missed on the first reading. I see that Rosenberg did go too far. The position facebook took did mean that in this particular case there was probably no harm done by Rosenberg's move. That doesn't make it acceptable though.

I wouldn't mind seeing facebook taking a small step towards Rosenberg's position. But Rosenberg was going even further off in the other direction. I'd certainly rather see facebook being a bit too aggressive in their search for candidates than I'd see facebook enter the agreement Rosenberg was suggesting.

Re:There is a major difference (4, Interesting)

synx (29979) | about 4 months ago | (#46624823)

I encourage anyone with skin in the game to read the court documents, they are easy to read and really lay out the case for how anti-recruitment agreements (whereby Google agreed not to directly recruit from Apple and vice versa) directly affect overall pay scale. It is laid out clearly, concretely, and isn't just a wishful case. There are a few solid narratives which I think will put google under severe pressure at trial (eg: giving EVERY employee a 10% raise because of Facebook's aggressive recruiting).

First off, it's a FACT that Google's (and other companies) agreements are illegal. That isn't even what this case is about - the DOJ came to a settlement and Google is no longer allowed to make such agreements. This case is about wage impact and class impact. Now that the class action was certified by a judge, there is good chance that in a trial a connection between the illegal activities the companies in question were conducting and class-impact and wages were affected.

Since you used to work at Google, presumably you're a smart person, I hope you can see how your own personal feelings about how recruiters from other companies should or should not behave have little bearing on the actual illegal activities that Google was undertaking.

Now, as a Google employee, you certainly know about the pay bands, right? That your pay is not at the sole discretion of your hiring manager or your manager, but set in a company wide policy that employees of job title X get paid between $A - $B with GSU/RSU/option grants in a specific range as well. There are pay bands for every single title in the company (except maybe executives). Google (and Intel, and many companies) make it a high priority to keep internal equity between employees at given titles (eg: SRE II), so if too many employees were being recruited away and retained they would have to adjust pay, either by giving promotions or adjusting pay bands.

As we know, Google had to elect to do the latter. In response to Facebook recruiting, Google gave across the board 10% raises, and specific raises to SRE titles as well. This is all laid out in court discovery, and is a fact, even Google's lawyers dont deny that.

The class filing has a lot of discovery, a strong narrative, and statistical modeling to demonstrate there was "class wide impact" (aka YOU were affected by your coworkers inability to discover their true worth via getting unsolicited job offers).

Now, finally, you said "some people have argued... shouldn't even be actively be contacting candidates." The question is ... why is this justified? Where's the legal basis for such a strict restriction? Also how does it affect overall market dynamics? Maybe if there was an country-wide law for this, but what purpose would it serve? In a market based economy wages are set by companies bidding for employees. Since a lot of people in this field have jobs nearly all the time, the only way to find out they are unpaid is to be offered a job with a higher pay. There are only 2 ways for this to happen, one is for the employee to seek, the other is for companies to reach out. Why restrict companies?

I think a lot of your arguments are around the notion of definitions of "aggressive", polite or decorum. Legally speaking there isnt any distinction here, and I am not sure the common good is benefited by restricting the function of the market of jobs and employees.

Re:There is a major difference (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 4 months ago | (#46624893)

If you're being annoyed by Facebook recruiters, it's fairly easy to tell them to GTFO. It's something between you and Facebook, not between Google and Facebook, so there's no reason why Google should intercede on your behalf and negotiate a blanket restriction - especially when that other guy who's in the office next door to you might actually appreciate those offers.

Amazon seems to be similarly active at trying to recruit people from MS. I don't find it any difficult to tell them that I'm not interested in the career opportunities that they have to offer when they email me every couple of months or so.

interesting (1)

Mimi Zheng (3595615) | about 4 months ago | (#46623853)

There's always going to be a struggle on hiring and retaining the best employees. They have a hard time of making sure intellectual property stays put as it is...but should this spill over to limit talented people's opportunities? Who will the law sway in favor of? This reminds me of a similar post from Ben Horowitz's blog (portraying the situation on a smaller scale) - Is it Okay to Hire People from your Friend's Company? http://www.bhorowitz.com/is_it... [bhorowitz.com]

Awww. Isn't this cute? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#46624291)

Google and Facebook with their little pissing matches?

Come to work in the government contracting world. Where the players decide who will win which contracts and which employees each will need. And if you don't play ball, you might have a career as a barista at Starbucks. But they'll make any other companies life hell if they try and hire key people away.

It's like choosing a winner between (1)

Theodore Wirth (3040559) | about 4 months ago | (#46625857)

a war between Germany and Japan in 1939--nothing good will come from it. Both of them need to focus on their customers as opposed to the profitability of their plutocratic shareholders.
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