In the past 2 weeks I have spent over 4 hours on the phone with the IRS’s on-hold music. I worked on a 1099 last year, wherein I took a higher level of pay and didn’t have taxes taken out; instead, I defer the payment to a single tax payment after some standard deductions as a consultant. If you play it properly you have the tax money (and then some) stored up and ready when the bill comes due. In our case, the payment to the IRS hasn’t happened because of… well, I’m not sure. It seems like the payment was supposed to, but didn’t, go through, and then I got a letter that prompted a call. Apparently, that letter went out to a lot of people. I have yet to speak to an actual human at the IRS.
At the same time, a massive merger between AT&T and TimeWarner occurred, creating WarnerMedia. Having worked at AT&T a number of times I can honestly say it is one of the corporations that is best at treating employees with the most basic of respect to keep them from leaving. Which is too bad. Because when publicly-traded corporations are beholden to shareholders, the CEO will do a dance to perhaps make people feel good about their investments. Money rolls in. Stock price rises. Dividends are paid out. Employees grind through work to keep the machine rolling. The company makes a very public, virtue-signaling bonus payout announcement. But that’s just a small part of the story.
So what’s my problem? It’s this… Shortly after the announcement, a round of layoffs began. There was no announcement for that. It’s a year-end move AT&T, and likely other corporations, do in order to get money off the books before benefits reset. For a company that touts itself – and this is for any corporation – as wanting to grow, invest in, and care about the people who work for it, nobody is more important than the Investor. That might also be employees of the company. The workforce within, and this is also common at many corporations, is heavily augmented by consultants, contingent workers, or contractors. We do not receive the same benefits as the people who we work alongside who are full time employees. But we do the same work. And many times, from management or leadership positions.
I work for a great corporation at the moment. I’ve worked for not-great corporations. A great corporation takes care of people, inside-out. It pays taxes to the areas and nations it works in. It has jobs for people to move in to, and up to, and cuts workforce as a last resort. Yes, Capitalism has allowed me a very comfortable lifestyle while I work to pay off taxes I accrued by working in a Capitalist economy. It’s a loop I’m out of, with an anchor to cut loose instead of reeling in to drop somewhere again. There’s a point where we all have to get to a 0-balance life. Hopefully we’re alive when it happens.