Q&A

 

Q.  How and why did Dequav form?


  1. A.  Dequav was an outgrowth of several talks given by Attorney Tom Nelson  before groups of unemployed that 40 Plus of Southeastern Wisconsin and the Dr. William Needler Job Forum mentored, plus the collective experiences of the many thousand who were in these groups between 1976 and 2008. Tom Nelson made clear to all of us that while employment-at-will was unfair, it was the law of the land in all but a few States (Montana is currently the only hold out).  On Feb. 13, 1997,  Dequav was formally incorporated in the State of Wisconsin as a non-stock corporation with Ron Mulvaney and Tom Nelson as principals.  The general nature of the corporation’s business was -- and still is -- “a coalition to preserve employment contract rights.”  I.e., Dequav is the antithesis of employment-at-will.


  1. Q. Why haven’t we heard of Dequav until now?


  1. A. Though Dequav has been in existence for 12 years, it had been mute until 2008 when it launched its web site and blog on Memorial Day.  And it has been mute because Internal Revenue Service would not permit political advocacy of recently formed 501C3 non-profit organizations (such as 40 Plus) which were attempting to raise funds that were tax deductible.  Practically, it was also foolish to attempt to raise funds from businesses or their foundations for non-profit organizations judged to be hostile to their economic interests.  Thus, Dequav remained “toothless” until Ron Mulvaney severed all legal affiliations with 40 Plus in 2005.


  1. Q. Isn’t elimination of employment-at-will a Draconian solution to the Law?

  2.                       

  3. A. No.  It’s employment-at-will that’s Draconian.  It gives monarchial rights to employers.  It violates with impunity an employee’s civil rights.  It is the greatest form of violence that can be inflicted on a society because it leads  inevitably to poverty.  In fact, it entrenches it.


  1. Q. Is Dequav a front for organized labor?  Wouldn’t it force employees into    unions?


  1. A. No on both counts.  Dequav has no affiliation with any union.  And it is not a front for “organized labor.”  In fact, organized labor would be cool to Dequav.  It would allow two other ways for employees to be hired or fired that unions would be unable to control -- either for good or just cause OR  with an employment contract.  The third option of course would be a union contract.  But no employee would be forced into a union.


  1. Q. Will the elimination of employment-at-will eliminate unemployment?


  1. A. Of course not.  But it will remove the linchpin of the corporate monarchy that plagues labor.


Q.  Aren’t you indulging in hyperbole by labeling free enterprise “corporate

     monarchy”? Isn’t the unfettered free enterprise system the only guarantee

     we have for a continued democracy, which Dequav would undermine?


  1. A. No on all counts.  First, on the charge of “hyperbole.”  There’s an old expression in forensic argumentation: if it looks and acts like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.  For example:

  2.   

  3.     A large American retailer that wanted to be even larger made an offer  several years ago to buy out the controlling interest of another retailer.  While the offer was very generous, the CEO of the target retailer, who had controlling interest, wanted several hundred millions of dollars more than the initial offering.  And he wanted cash.  The suitor didn’t want to be involved in a hostile takeover, nor did it want to be in a bidding war.  The suitor accepted the counter offer at considerable cost beyond the hundreds of millions in cash it would pay in; the suitor’s stock dropped more than 90% on the stock market.

        

         The new owners of the merged company reassured staff members at the first staff

      meeting in all the stores that “nothing would change.”  At the second meeting,

      however, management announced that it was no longer participating in the company’s

      pension program.  In the months that followed, management announced many other

      unilateral changes to “eliminate redundancies,” make “economies of scale,” and

      generally “reorganize.”  To wit, departments were eliminated, supervisors demoted,

      full-time non-essential staff (who coincidentally were receiving benefits) were fired

      and part-timers replaced them;  part-timers, whose only benefit was they were paid if

      they worked, had their hours cut.  Any remaining full-timers had their hours cut

      to 32 hours.


But this “duck” is more like a gaggle; thousands of at-will employers practice similar or worse atrocities against their employees. Regarding the second charge: how “unfettered” is a free enterprise that allows its managers, such as in the duck example above, to oppress its employees into paying for its multi-million dollar mistakes?   Lastly, Dequav wouldn’t undermine democracy, it would restore it.



  1. Q. Why should we call October 3, 2008, a Day of Infamy?


  1. A. On this day -- one month before the national elections -- both front running U.S. presidential candidates, Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama, and a lame-duck President voted with the majority of their colleagues in the Senate and the House for Wall Street’s heavily lobbied $700 billion Emergency Stabilization Act.  It was the biggest boondoggle in U.S. history, and it changed our form of government from a Republic to an Oligarchy, or, we prefer the term coined by author John Perkins, a “Corporatocracy.”  No matter what we call it, it’s socialism:  Socialism of Wall Street, by Wall Street, for Wall Street.  True, much of the money has since been returned but even the Treasury Department’s conservative estimate is that taxpayers will still lose $89 billion.  But as Watergate’s Deep Throat once urged, “follow the money.”  It’s gone to the big banks.  See baselinescenario.com/financial-crisis-for-beginners.  Before the crisis, as late as the mid 1990’s, the top six banks (or their predecessors -- they change their names a lot these days) controlled less than 20% of the assets of the U.S.  After the Day of Infamy, these six banks -- Goldman Sacks, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo -- control 60% of U.S. assets.  These big banks are not too big to fail, they’re just too big.  BREAK THEM UP, DON’T JUST FINE THEM!  What does all this have to with employment-at-will?  Simple.  It’s the enabler, the catalyst, the linchpin.  Treat people like human beings in the work place and Wall Street’s socialism disintegrates.  Delenda est quaesus ad voluntatem.



  1. Q. Aren’t You Grossly Exaggerating a Change in Government Rule?


A.  Hardly.  Remember the Golden Rule.  Whomever has the gold rules.  Goldman Sacks, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo now have the gold.  And let there be no doubt about their power to exceed the U.S.A.’s constitutional governance.  From the autumn of 2008 through the spring of 2009, the Federal Reserve lent $3.3 trillion to  U.S. and foreign banks and hedge funds -- all without Congressional approval.


  1. Q. Was This Change in Government Rule a Conspiracy?


  1. A. That’s probably an exaggeration.  The U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve  officials and Wall Street lobbyists who maneuvered the President and the Congress into enacting the Emergency Stabilization Act mainly wanted to prevent an international financial meltdown.  We’re not questioning motives here, just results.  And the results are the same whether or not there was a conspiracy:  Critical Mass.

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