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SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens 
November 1999

(formerly the _Rochester Rag_, formerly the _News from Detroit_)

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independence.

-- C.A. Beard


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On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,
Is it okay to kill people, who have killed people, to show that killing people is wrong?

I am against the death penalty, which probably confuses  people who equate conservatism with injustice.  However, the simple fact is (made by several letters below) that a government sanctioned death penalty is immoral.  As David points out, one cannot be an executioner without performing the very act which was supposedly being punished.  And of course that gets into an infinite spiral.

Pro death penalty types would say, "but there is a difference between murder and putting the guilty to death.  Even the Bible says, an eye for an eye."

Yes there is a difference, if one assumes a trial by an impartial, perfect judicial system.  However, if there has ever been any doubt that money bends justice in America, the trial of O.J. Simpson seems to have put that to rest.

The reality is, courts and juries are imperfect.  And it may be the case, that some of these imperfections are not accidental.  Furthermore, of what deterrence is a death penalty when increasingly mass murderers put down 5,10 or more people and then take their own lives?  Any honest policeman will tell you, there are not enough of them to protect you.  The principal function of police is to keep public order, investigate crime, and capture the alleged perpetrators to bring them to the judicial system.  If deterrence isn't, and there are not enough Guardian Angels in the form of police, then who is going to protect you, your family, and your property?


When deterrence isn't, the only recourse open to would-be victims is to take their own defense in their own hands.

On this issue;
As I have every year for the past five years, this year I will be attending a meeting in Chicago which takes place the day after Thanksgiving through the following week.  Sheryl and I've taken advantage of this to tack on our Christmas vacation with our respective families in Wisconsin and MN.  For that reason, this issue will come out a bit early and the December issue may be shortened scratch then because I will not be able to work on it until the second half of December.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Guest Editorial:

Perhaps no populist author in the century has done more to express the Libertarian ideal than Ayn Rand.  I came relatively late in life to reading her books. I started reading her in graduate school, couldn't beat through it, and finally came to her again.  But I probably understand it far better now and I would have ten years ago.  Although I realize many of you have already read her, I think it would be instructive to to look at some of the key soliloquies. Towards that end, I would like to inject some excerpts from time to time.

Atlas Shrugged
by Ayn Rand

(adapted  from the chapter Aristocracy of Pull)

So you think money is the root of all evil?  Have you ever asked what is the root of money?  Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men who produce them.  Money is the material shape of the principal that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value.  Money is not a tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force.  Money is made possible only by the men who produce.  Is this what you consider evil?

When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others.  It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money.  The sheddding of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you'll need to survive tomorrow.  Those pieces of paper, which should be gold, are a token of honor-your claim upon the energy of the men who produce.  Your wallet is your statement of hope the somewhere in the world around your there are men who will not default on the moral principal which is the root of money.

Have you ever looked at the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking beasts. Tried to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had discovered it for the first time.  Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical labor-and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of old goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strengths do you mean?  It is not the strength of guns or muscles.  Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.  Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it?  Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools?  By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy?  Money is made-before it  can be looted or mooched-by the effort of every honest man to the extent of his ability.  An honest men knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.

To trade by means of money is the code of  men of goodwill.  Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort.  Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return.  Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more.  Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders.  Money demands of you a recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss-the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery-that you must offer them value, not wounds-that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods.  And when men live by trade-with reason, not force, as their final arbiter-it is the best product wins, the best performance, the men of best judgment and highest ability - and the degree of a man's productivity is the degree of his reward.  This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money.  Is this what you consider evil?

But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but will not replace you as the driver.  Money is the scourge of men who attempt to reverse the law of causality-the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.  Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants.  Money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek.  Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent.  The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up becoming the victim of his inferiors.  The men of intelligence desert him, but cheats and frauds will come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money.

Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth - the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started.  If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him.  If not, it destroys him.  Do not envy a worthless heir, his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it.  Do not think that it would have been better used distributed among the poor.  Loading the world with 50 parasites instead of 1 would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune.  Money is a living power that dies without its root.  Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it.  Is this why you call it evil?

Money is your means of survival.  The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life.  If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence.  Have you obtained your money by lowering your standards?  By doing work you to despise for purchasers you scorn?  If so, then your money will not give you a moment's or pennie's worth of joy.  The only things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reminder of shame.  Do you scream that money is evil because it would not pinch-hit for your low self respect?

Let me give you a clue to men's characters.  The man who damns money has obtained it dishonestly, the man who respects it has earned it.

Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil.  That sentence is the warning of an approaching looter.  So long as men live together on earth and need to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of the gun.

Money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it.  To men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem they have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life.  Such men will not remain rich along.  They are the natural bait for looters that stay hidden for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs forgiveness for the sin of owning wealth.  They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt and of his life, as he deserves.

Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard.  The men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the money which they loot. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and statutes are written to protect you against them.  But when a society establishes criminals by right and looters by law-men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims-then money becomes its creator's avenger.  Such looters believe it's safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them.  But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. And the race goes, not to the best producer, but to those most ruthless.  When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pick pocket.  And then society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

Do you wish to know if that day is coming?  Watch money.  When you see that trading is done not by consent, but by compulsion-when you see that in order to produce, you must get permission from the men who produce nothing-when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors-when you see that men get richer by graft and connections than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but rather they against you, then know that your society is doomed.

Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is man's protection and the base of a moral existence.  Destroyers seize gold and leave  its owners counterfeit piles of paper.  This kills all objective standards and delivers man into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setting of values.  Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce wealth.

When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good.  Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the tool of the immoral.  Do not ask, "who is destroying the world?"  You are.

If you ask me to name the greatest distinction of Americans, I would choose the fact that they created the phrase "to make money".  Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created.  The words "to make money" hold the essence of human morality.  Yet these are the words for which Americans are denounced by the rotted cultures of the looter continents.  Now the looters regard your achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, industrialists, as evil, and your magnificent factories as the product of muscular labor, the labor of whip driven slaves like the pyramids of Egypt.  The man who whines that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide-and I think he will.

Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction.  When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, men become the tools of man.  Blood, whips, guns-or dollars.  Take your choice-there is no other-and your time is running out.


1. Rafe Donahue writes:

Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 11:32:57 -0500
From: "Donahue, Rafe" <>

> Is it okay to kill people, who have killed people, to show that killing
> people is wrong?

Rafe Donahue, PhD

2. Dave Dubey opines:
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 13:37:06 EST
Subject: Re: lastcall

"Is it okay to kill people, who have killed people, to show that killing
people is wrong?"

No, because then the executioner would have to be killed (because he killed
someone), and then the executioner of the executioner, etc., until the last
person left was a killer.

It is also not okay also because our justice system is not 100% accurate, and
therefore an innocent person would be killed.  If your question ended 'to
show that killing innocent people is wrong,' then the executioner would still
have to be killed, and lead to the same end, that the last person left was a

Ed: Damn, I always said you were the best mathematician in our class. And there you go with a irrefutable induction proof.

3. Chuck Scripter says:

Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 21:00:06 -0500
From: Charles Scripter <>

Howdy Steve,
> Is it okay to kill people, who have killed people, to show that
> killing people is wrong?

   It is not useful.  Far better to assign a _true_ life sentence, and
WELD these prisoners into their cells.  "No, you were a bad boy and
you will stay in that cell until you die".  If they want an "early
release", offer them a voluntary overdose of morphine.

   But further, given that in at least some States, the government(s)
are so ill behaved that they cannot be trusted to only execute
prisoners who are _actually guilty_ (see these sites for examples:, these governments should not
exercise any such power.

   Conversely, Citizens who catch criminals "in the act" should be
allowed to use deadly force in defense of themselves, their neighbors
and their property.  (no, this not "vigilantism", despite what many
liberals claim -- see John Locke's Second Treatise on Government:

   Simple enough?


Quote(s) of the month:

I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

-- Ayn Rand, ATLAS Shugged

"Dodge: Do not follow. Do not conform. Be different."

-- A car ad promoting independant thought - by decree.

Fix of the month:

Is it the govt's duty to protect it's citizens from their own stupidity,or is it just a convenient excuse to loot the producers of society?



1. Nov. 2, Olympia: You may recall from last month that initiative 695 was a proposal to replace Washington state's current car registration fee (which is based on 7 percent of the vehicles value) with a flat fee.  And in a defensive move, the authors of the initiative also attached the condition that any further tax increases would have to be approved by public referendum.  Against all pundits and political expectations, the proposal was passed in all but four counties.

The governor and legislature now find themselves scrambling to recover from the revenue loss. The governor has made no bones about the fact that  he intends to make the cuts where they will hurt the most.  One of the areas most affected will be the ferry service.  Despite the fact that the counties using the ferrys are not the ones responsible for passing the initiative, the ferry service has announced that beginning Jan. 1, they will half the number of passenger only boats and cease construction on the new passenger run altogether.

Given that the total lost revenue represents approximately five percent of the ferry service budget, it seems rather draconian to eliminate 15 percent of the system service.  In particular, it is interesting to note that fully two-thirds of the operational ferry service is funded by ticket sales with only the remaining third coming from various state subsidies.  Hence a simple 7-8 percent rate increase on the tickets would have offset the revenue loss, and there is little doubt that a referendum on that bill would have been passed.

However, this isn't about serving the governed.  It's about teaching them a lesson from their betters.

2. Seattle, 25 Nov.: While I am now gone to the midwest for vacation, Seattle is now playing host to the World Trade Organization.  Both Sheryl and my employer sent us warnings to use alternate routes and public transportation to try to reach our respective places of work.  The police and health care institutions have been warned to expect massive demonstrations ranging from peaceful demonstrations against human rights abuses through violent anti-free-trade demonstrations by  American labor unions trying to discourage any further U.S. involvement in treaties such as NAFTA.  I will be following developments on the story as most of the rest of you will be, from the dubious viewpoint of the national media.


1. Minneapolis, Nov 10: A leading midwest HMO announced today that it will shortly cease pre-approving diagnostic and treatment decisions of its member physicians.  You may recall in the Clinton's first term when the nationalized health-care system was being discussed, it was a widely considered that reasonable business oversight could introduce sharp curtailment of "un needed" services.  This was expected to yield much more affordable health care.  However, it was found by this group that they overturned the physician's judgment in only 1~2 percent of cases, and additional staff salaries far exceeded any savings.  The decision is expected to reverberate throughout other HMOs.


1. Madison, Nov. 10: A student of the University of Wisconsin Madison is suing the school on the grounds that part of his tuition room is being used to fund political action groups of which it is not approve.  The university charges 15 percent of the students tuition as as a separate fee which is set-aside to support the palette of political groups on campus.  This particular student (Scott?) happens to be a religious conservative, but he argues regardless of his political leanings, no student should be compelled to fund groups that they find objectionable. Among the groups listed are: a gay and lesbian rights group, and environmental group, a socialist group, and a pro abortion group.

On its behalf, the university argues that submersing its students in a milieu of ideas is the proper role of the university.  They contend that regardless of individual beliefs, every member of the student body should be obligated to pay for the free speech of others.

The university lost its case at the state level and is currently appealing it in the U.S. Supreme Court.


1. Dade County, Nov. 4: The Japanese owner of a Miami sushi bar is finding himself in a lawsuit with the state Attorney General over a matter of gratuities. One evening a man and his wife were dining and when they noted the amount of the bill they concluded that a 15 percent tip had been added.  Since the stated policy of store was that an automatic tip was only added for parties of eight or more they were a bit confused.  Turning to the couples on either side of them, they noticed that they had not been charged the 15 percent on their bills.  Confused, the husband asked the proprietor the reason for the surcharge.  The owner responding matter of factly, "because blacks don't tip good."

And indeed it turns out the couple in question were the only black customers in the restaurant.

The customer began arguing and the owner called police.  When they arrived they pulled the combatants aside separately and interviewed them.  Acting almost embarrassed, the officer confirmed to the customer that indeed he was only being treated differently because of his race.  The officer was white.

It turns out, however, that this particular black customer was also an attorney who happened to know the state Attorney General.  And that is how the sushi bar owner now finds himself facing the state.

Washington D.C.

1. Nov. 12: Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman said today that the population of theUnited States of America is the most overweight of any country on the planet. He continued that this remains true despite years of education efforts by his department to encourage healthy eating habits from grade schoolchildren through the elderly. He said that in an effort to save money, his department will now cut back its advertising effort because "people have to take control over their own eating habits."
Ed: interesting how this does not seem to apply to people who smoke. Perhaps there's not yet enough money to go after the makers of potato chips.

Misc. News;

Thanks tons to Sheryl for helping me out to get the following items in.

1. Why it pays to QUIT

Loyalty, shmoyalty.  In todayís frenzied job market, staying put gets you nowhere.  Walking out gets you ahead.

 By Kim Clark
 US News & World Report, November 1, 1999

Truck drivers are abandoning their rigs at truck stops and driving off with recruiters who offer them a few more pennies per mile.  Waitresses scooping up tips of dollars and dimes are also pocketing business cards left by competing restaurant managers.  When pharmacists answer the phone, they hear the healthy voices of headhunters offering big signing bonuses to jump to the new chain store across town.

Maybe your mother told you that quitters never prosper.  Well, Mom never saw a job market like this.  No one has.  Trying to rein in salaries, employers continue to limit annual raises for long-time employees to a paltry 4 percent on average.  But in their hunger for extra staff, they are offering job hoppers 10 to 20 percent raises over their current salaries.  By the millions, American workers are taking the hint and the cash.  Based on a survey of resignation rates by the Saratoga Institute, a work-force research firm, US News estimates that approximately 17 million workers will quit to take other jobs this year, up 6 million from five years ago.  The quit rates in some industries, such as the notoriously low-paying retail sector, are mind-boggling.  On average, companies nationwide will have to replace one seventh of their work force this year, but the National Retail federation says that because part-time clerks tend to stick for only a few months, a typical store replaces the equivalent of nearly its entire work force annually.

 Money talks.  True, people change jobs for all sorts of reasons.  But anyone who thinks puny raises arenít at the root of almost every decision to quit gets a snort from Stephen Pollan, co-author of career advice books like Live Rich and an upcoming negotiation primer.  ìBoy, are they wrong,î he says.  In his opinion, money is behind many of the common non-financial explanations for changing jobs.  It can ease the pain of personal problems such as child or elder care crises, Pollan notes.  A hefty raise can also compensate for an obnoxious boss or other work-place hassles.

Dan Meyers, 51 couldnít agree more.  The manager of five mobile-home parks in Connecticut, Meyers was fed up with being on call seven days a week, breakdown prone equipment, and his frozen salary.  Early this year, he gave up asking for improvements and found another job.  Now manager of a nursing home near Chicago, he is still on call evenings and weekends and has plenty of stress.  But he doesnít mind so much because heís earning $15,000 more a year.  ìPeople say it isnít the money,î Meyers says.  ìBut it is.  It is always the money.î

There may be plenty of good reasons to stick with your current job ñ great benefits, a pension plan, or you might just plain enjoy it.  And the quit-to-win strategy does have a downside.  Job-hoppers have no chance of retiring with a company pension, for example, and they face the danger that in a downturn, the most recent and higher-paid hires will be the first fired.

 But loyalty also now carries a cost.  If long time employees ever decide to look for other jobs, some recruiters suspect they lack drive or competence.  Chris Olson, a headhunter in Fresno, CA says she recently tried to sell an employer on a prospective applicant who had been at his current job for 15 years.  ìThe employer asked: ëWhatís wrong with him?í I said: ëHeís loyal.íî

How did we stumble into this through the looking glass job market, in which loyal workers are left behind?  One reason is that companies believe it is more profitable this way.  Itís hard to argue with them ñ so far, anyway.  Since the beginning of this economic expansion in 1991, companies have budgeted 4 percent annual merit raises for their salaried workers and slightly less for hourly workers.  Corporate profits, mean while have risen by 9.4 percent a year.  Executives and investors have done even better.  Take home pay of CEOS of large corporations rose by 13 percent a year in the same period.  The S&P 500 index has skyrocketed by 15.5 percent a year.

Bye-bye staffers.  The calculus is simple to managers like Theresa Hoover, who heads human resources for Gallery Graphics, a Joplin, MO firm of some 100 workers that makes frames and gifts.  Large raises have gone only to a few indispensable workers who threatened to leave.  Thatís meant a lot of costly turnover, but Hoover shrugs it off.  ì

We just have to lose people,î she says.  ìIt is cheaper than giving general raises.î
Thatís why professional career coaches like Leslie Prager, founder of the Prager ñ Bernstain Group and coordinator of the Career Center at New Yorkís New School University, warns clients not to expect big raises from their current employer.  If your boss tries to keep you from jumping by making a counteroffer, youíre probably wise to ignore it.  ìThey shouldnít but employers hold it against you,î she says.  Her straight forward advice: ìto get a significant raise, you have to change jobs.î

Demographics also work against many baby boomers who stay loyal.  Most companies say they distribute raise funds by merit.  But they also tend to distribute the money by age: The older the worker, the smaller the percentage raise, observes Sylvester Schiber, vice president of research and information for Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a human resources consultant.  He says this makes economic sense not just because it limits the dollars the companies hand out ñ it doesnít take many dollars to give a big percentage raise to a young, low-wage worker.  Itís also a good strategy for companies because younger workers are probably showing the biggest increases in productivity, Schieber says.  Middle aged workers, who are already comparatively well paid and productive, find themselves bumping up against the corporate ceiling.  ìThere are so many baby boomers in journeyman positions that there is a bottleneck at the top,î Scheiber explains.

No bump.  Thatís what happened to Dennis Morris, who spent seven years working in the labs for Watson Pharmaceuticals in Salt Lake City.  Early this year, Morris, 42, realized he had topped out.  ìThey couldnít bump me up to the next level, senior scientistî because he only had a bacheloreís degree, not a doctorate.  And there was plenty of competition for management jobs.  Facing the prospect of doing the same job for 3 percent raises for the rest of his life, Morris concluded: ìThe only way to move up was to move companies.î  He called a local headhunter, checked Web sites for job listings, and read the want ads.  After a couple of month, he found a job testing vitamins in the lab at a nearby vitamin company for a 20 percent raise.

Even if they arenít being pushed to look for new jobs by their current employers, new technology is pulling a lot of workers into the job market.  Becky Dinkins, 49 a part-time school aide, ìhadnít even thought of looking for a job online.î  Cruising the Internet this summer, she happened click on a banner ad for the CarreerPath Web site.  She noodled around and suddenly was staring at a want ad that seemed to have her name on it ñ and paid twice as much as her current job ñ for 10 hours less a week.  She clicked over to the employerís Web site, printed out an application, and a week later, was talking to the man who became her new boss.  She loves her new job installing videoconferencing equipment in schools so NASA scientists can talk with students, she has more time to spend with her 13 year old son, and sheí using the extra money to buy a house ñ all because of an accidental job search.

Drugstore cowboys.  Donít think for a moment that the job shortage is limited to the red-hot technology field.  As a result of the booming economy, dozens of headhunters make cold calls or lurk outside workplaces to nab bodies in occupations that just a few years ago were over crowded.  Ray Rogers spends much of his day taking calls from desperate pharmacies at the San Antonio headquarters of Innovative Staff Search.  He scours the country for pharmacists at a drugstore paying, say $25 an hour and offers them, typically, a 50-cent-an-hour raise and up to a $5,000 signing bonus if theyíll shift to a competing store across town.  Theyíll get more if they have to move or if the job is a promotion, he says.  ìItís crazy.  Five years ago we had to fight to get openings. Today there arenít enough pharmacist to go around,î he says.  Other headhunters repeat similar stories for anyone with computer expertise, as well as a host of less nerdy skills: chefs, assistant store managers, nurses, truck drivers, journalists, even barkeeps.

Keep on truckiní.  Finding another job is so easy that workers of all stripes are jumping for relatively small advantages.  Donnie Whitley of Milano, TX had trouble finding his first truck driving job in 1987.  In the past couple of years, though, whenever he pulls into a truck stop one recruiter or another tries to lure him.  Earlier this month, he jumped to his 11th employer in his 12 year driving career, joining Hawk Transport of Dallas because it promised steady work, a friendly atmosphere, and a 3 percent raise.  ìFrom my point of view, itís a big raise,î he says.

All this pushing by employers and pulling by the Internet canít help but change worker attitudes.  Through much of the hiring binge of the 1990s, economist, including Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, have puzzled over why so many workers have clung to low paying jobs.  After all, surveys by the Hay Group show workersí satisfaction with their compensation has eroded steadily from its 58 percent approval rating in the late 19702.  As workers have watched profits and executive pay skyrocket past them in the 1990s, their happiness with their compensation level has slipped to about 40 percent.  Fed up, wired and ready to grab their share of the boom, workers are abandoning their economically puzzling job insecurities and loyalties.  Millions of American workers whoíd never before thought about changing jobs are logging on to want ad Web sites.  Whatís more, theyíre doing it on company time.  Hits on the new Wanted Technologies meta-Web site (which searches 30 other job sites) peak at 1 pm.  And those who seek are taking the jobs theyíre finding.  Five years ago, 1 in 10 workers was a quitter.  Today the number is 1 in 7.

Darren Smith, 32 remembers how he lost his nerve in his first attempt to switch jobs.  Instead, he gladly accepted a counteroffer from his first employer, a mall software firm.  Within a year he was sorry, though, as he realized he would have to keep getting other offers to get more raises and promotions.  In the five years since then, he has changed jobs twice for big raises.  He likes his job a s a network services engineer at the Web division of a publisher in Tampa, but he still checks We site job listings and help wanted ads religiously because he believes ìthereís always somebody willing to pay you more down the street.î

Lunch crunch. Yet job jumping can carry a psychic cost.  Proving yourself again is emotionally exhausting.  So is learning new bureaucracies, coping with a new insurance and benefits package, making new friends, even figuring out the best lunch spot.  Thatís what 31 year old Penny Brothers learned this summer.  After four years of feeling underpaid as an account manager at an Orange County, insurance brokerage, she landed a job as an account manager at a health claims administration company for $6,000 more.  But her new office was poorly organized, so she had to put in long hours filling in for others.  Worn out and frustrated, she quit for a sales job that paid less (though still more than the previous job) but promises more in commission and fewer hassle.  ìThe more you [quit],î say Brothers, ìthe easier it gets.î

Some employers are finding the growing popularity of job hopping so distressing and potentially unprofitable that they are beginning to reward loyalty again.  Costs associated with turnover are sky rocketing from some employers.  Surveys by the Saratoga Institute show the average time to fill openings has increase by 10 days to 51 days in the past 3 years.  And some employers say they canít afford to lose too much institutional memory.
A penny saved by not giving a raise isnít always a penny earned.  Mike McBroom, vice president for human resources for the Hendrick Health System in Abilene, TX says his hospital brags that it is keeping raises to the industry standard 4 percent.  But, he acknowledge, ìWhen you tack on recruiting costs and hiring bonuses, our budget is probably up 10 percent.î  McBroom says the hospital is now considering retention bonuses as a counterweight to hiring bonuses.

Donít go.  Larry Hall, Chuck Dresslerís boss at Mickís Restaurant in Atlanta, has thought hard about the value of loyalty.  Last year, he was recruited away from a company that offered meager raises, and he doesnít want to repeat his previous employerís mistakes.  Heís also seen studies showing that restaurants with stable work forces make more money.  So Hall is handing out annual raises of about 8 percent this year.  But he canít afford such big raises forever.  At some point, his workers ìwill be topped out and theyíll leave,î he says.
Someday, too the great hiring frenzy will screech to a halt.   The growing recruitment and retention costs will put pressure on prices.  The Federal Reserve, already hypersensitive to any signs of inflation, will raise interest rates in response.  Then will come the true test of the technological and attitudinal changes in the labor market.
The free agents of the work force may indeed be the first to suffer when Internet sites and headhunters stop bidding for their services.  But two dozen years of corporate layoffs and the Internet communications revolution have combined to release the genie of employee loyalty from its cubicle.  It would take more tan a run of the mill recession to make workers forget the thrill of walking into their bossís office with a better offer in their pocket and saying, ìI quit.î

Ten Signs that itís time to go
1. You spend your entire raise on the celebratory six-pack.
2. Your new project leader is so young he thinks Creedence Clearwater Revival is a Pentecostal church in West Virginia.
3. You get more calls from headhunters than from the boss.
4. When you ask about stock options, youíre given the choice of blue or black ball-point pens.
5. The company spends more on the executive retreat than on research and development.
6. You see your office PC at the Smithsonian.
7. Your only friend at work is the UPS man.
8. Your long-awaited promotion means taking on the work load of the guy who just quit.
9. The continuing-education program is the Learning Channel on the break-room TV.
10. You are reading this, arenít you?

2. Seattle frets but gets ready for WTO conference

Seattle Times: Business News : Thursday, November 18, 1999
by Jack Broom and Susan Gilmore Seattle Times staff reporters

With the World Trade Organization conference less than two weeks away, Seattle is struggling with the question of whether to show off, celebrate, protest or hide.

A mix of welcome and worry, the latter triggered by the congestion and demonstrations expected to accompany the event, is prompting an unusual assortment of preparations,  promotions and precautions downtown.

Among them:

Some businesses sponsoring the gathering, including Bank of America, are confidentially instructing employees not to wear clothing with corporate logos, to avoid contact with demonstrators and consider taking vacation time during the event.

Seattle Municipal Court, preparing for possible mass arrests, is canceling all trials during the conference; King County courts are canceling most proceedings, including all jury trials so jurors won't face the difficulty of getting to the courthouse.

Building operators downtown are increasing security,  watching for attempts by protesters to get to rooftops and limiting the use of building loading docks.

In the Public Safety Building, showers and a gymnasium open to city workers who bicycle to work are being closed to house extra police officers to deal with the WTO.

At the Environmental Protection Agency's regional office, an internal memo says demonstrators are already testing the capability of building security systems and will likely attempt "some mischief designed to attract attention."

Hotels are instructing staff members on ways to welcome people of different cultures, but are also advising employees to be alert and to quickly report any signs of trouble.

"Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst" is how the attitude is characterized in a recent Pioneer Square business newsletter.

While some downtown offices and day-care centers are closing for the week, others are taking steps to entice the 6,000 delegates and support people in town for the conference Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

"This is not a time to panic, but it is a time for people to think through things," said Lucinda Payne, marketing director for the Downtown Seattle Association. "We think it's an opportunity for Seattle to shine, but clearly there is also a concern."

Downtown retailers remember other major events, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in 1993 and the Goodwill Games in 1990, for which advance publicity about the difficulties of  navigating downtown scared people away, hurting business.

 If this goes well, it could be an incredible opportunity for Seattleites to come downtown," Payne said.

For many, that remains a big "if," given that no one knows exactly what to expect from the tens of thousands of protesters anticipated.

Keeping a low profile Bank of America sent a memo to employees warning that   demonstrators "may be aggressive, so pay attention and avoid them if possible."

The memo, which a bank spokeswoman would not discuss, encourages workers to wear business casual clothing that does not identify them as bank employees. It also warns about traffic and   suggests telecommuting if appropriate.

Building managers, particularly those close to the Washington State Convention and Trade Center and along protest-march routes, are advising tenants to watch for suspicious items and activities.

At Union Square, where two skyscrapers house 235 businesses with 5,000 employees, General Manager Pat McCabe said about 10 percent of his tenants are closing their offices, at least for the first part of the week when major demonstrations are planned. Some others will stay open but discourage client visits and meetings.

"We're going to have heightened security, but we're trying to operate in a welcoming, business-as-usual mode," McCabe said.

Union Square tenants are being advised to carry their building-access cards. Although McCabe plans to start the week with building entrances open as usual, a change could be made quickly so that access cards are required.
As far as the expected traffic difficulties, McCabe said, "We've been advising tenants to treat it as if a blizzard came in and dropped 2 feet of snow."

The University of Washington is canceling most class sessions in extension programs that meet in two buildings on Fourth Avenue during the WTO conference, a closure that affects 600 students in   two dozen classes.

Cutting into Christmas trade.  The timing of the conference, early in the Christmas shopping                           season, is a particularly sensitive issue for shop owners.

"Our main concern is that the local people won't come downtown, and this is a very big week for retail," said Eriann Pearson, owner of The Best of All Worlds gift shop on Union Street and Sixth   Avenue. Pearson said she hopes to maintain her usual hours, but she hasn't decided.

But at a Briazz sandwich shop a block away, assistant manager Jennifer Miller said her primarily college-age crew, despite the inconvenience of having some bus routes changed, is looking forward to working extra hours "and getting some spending money for the holidays."

At Minuteman Press on Union Street, a manager said, "Our intention is to operate business as usual. But if it gets real nasty, I guess we could just lock the door."

And at the nearby Tom Teifer women's wear, owner William McClelland said he's apprehensive. "Conventions are usually good for business, but with this one, I just don't know what to expect."  One side effect: McClelland will miss his regular exercise because he works out in the convention center at World's Gym, which will be closed during WTO.

City and county employees have been told they can ask for vacations during WTO if they are worried about being able to get to their jobs.

"Employees who are concerned that civil disturbances during the WTO summit may interfere with their commute to work, or  employees who may wish to participate in WTO-related activities,                            may request vacation leave," said Paul Tanaka, deputy county executive, in a memo to employees. "Supervisors should do their best to accommodate such leave requests."

Tanaka said county government will remain in operation during the event, but that departments may be closed due to emergency conditions only with his approval or that of County Executive Ron  Sims. `All hands on deck'

While some employers are inviting workers to take vacations, others - particularly those in the hospitality industry - are restricting or prohibiting vacations during WTO.

"It's all hands on deck here," said Carla Murray, general manager of the Westin Hotel, where President Clinton has often stayed during Seattle visits. Murray said hotel security personnel are in  close touch with law enforcement, and that hotel security includes "making sure everyone has a heightened sense of awareness of what's going on."

WTO delegates, along with their liaison officers and spouses, will be welcomed to the city with packets that promote downtown retailers, including notice of special hours and gifts offered with certain purchases.

"It's everyone's dilemma about what we can expect, so we're trying to be as positive as possible," said Rose Dennis, chair of the retail committee welcoming the WTO.

No place for a class field trip

One group that won't be visiting downtown during the event is Talbot Hill Elementary School in Renton, where Principal Ed Sheppard had hoped to use a WTO visit as part of a curriculum on the importance of world trade. Sheppard said the idea was scrapped after the FBI recommended against it.   "We were told it would be better if we not participate," Sheppard said. "Even though we think most of the demonstrations will be peaceful, we didn't want to put any of our kids at risk potentially.  It's turning into a much bigger security thing than I understood."

Preparing for the unthinkable

The possibility, however remote, of a terrorist attack with biological or chemical weapons is prompting officials to bring up to 400 federal emergency-response personnel here.

The Seattle-King County Health Department has sent letters to hospitals and emergency rooms asking that they be vigilant for symptoms of exposure to biological agents. Scenarios as grim as the release of anthrax bacteria, nerve gas and food-borne contamination have been included in planning.

Despite all those precautions - or partly because of them - the city's official position on the gathering is a positive one.

Mayor Paul Schell said the city has "prepared for every possible contingency. . . . But even more importantly, as members of the global community, we are providing the chance for these critical discussions to be shaped Seattle-style - in an atmosphere of respect and civility and reasoned debate."

© Steve Langer, 1995-2000