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  • Looks like time to shutdown IV site..

    I suggested long time back .. do not allow anyone to start the threads ..

    Only allow users who are active contributors to IV budget.

    Now this site is becoming like yahoo chats ...

    God help Immigration community ...

    EB3 is not moving ...EB2 dead stop ...

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  • Agree with you...
    Also let me share a story ....

    Once upon a time, two ferries were taking passengers to an Island called Green Land. First ferry was calle EB2 and the other ferry was Eb3. Both these ferries were jam packed with little or no room. But EB2 was in slightly better position with few spaces to spare.

    These ferries were navigating at legendary slow speed because the crew and the drivers (read USCIS) were very slow. Also the fuel (read visa numbers) was not enough so now and then it needed to get some assitance from the base (read lawmakers).

    The base has put out an option to move from one ferry to another. So the people in Eb3 ferry decided to swim to EB2. One who could not start cursing their fate and the ones in EB2 boat start screaming to prevent that happening.

    Soon the passengers forgot that the reason why the ferries are running slow and start blaming each other.

    An old man on the shore sighed and said to himself, wouldn't it be nice if these people had concentratred their effort on the right place.


    Thanks for giving me ear, and thought to my points.

    Indians(myself included) were ruled by British for years, i never believed history that people can fight so much with each other that they forget to work together; now i know better.

    We got to get togther and work with each other (add efforts), but sometimes we are working together but ironically against each other and net result is wasted effort.

    Lets not waste energy by stopping people from actions even if we may not like their tools or techniques. Lets work more and get something done.

    Thanks SunnySurya.

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  • I agree. We have involved in IV action Item. It is Simply our Hard Luck that, we all (EB3-I)are stuck in this situation. IV has tried for Bill every Single year Since about Last 3 Years, Organized rally. Nothing worked out for us. In the mean time EB-2 moved to 2006 and EB-3 is Still in 2001. I believe it is just our hard luck, that despite of all IV efforts & Our support to IV , No Result for Eb-3 Forward movement. NOW THE QUESTION IS WHICH ACTIONS CAN BRING THE RESULTS FOR EB-3 (I)
    Guys I am getting the impression that EB-3- I did not act on IV action items..that's not true we have been actively involved in IV action items and have been contributing...

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  • Rolling_Flood, great idea to benefit just U'r own GC cause. If you are positive about U'r logic why don't you go ahead and file a lawsuit. Looks like your true intention of creating this thread is to create a divide among IV members. Already members had a tough few weeks (in terms of unity) after the Aug bulletin. Now you are poking another rift.

    The EB classification is for a future job. Since the person is qualified, he ports to EB2 midway so what. The GC is for a future job, and when the person gets his/her GC, he/she is qualified for that position at that time. So what is U'r logic??

    If you want to truly fight the system them fight for a common basis for EB classification. There are cases where the same job title has been classified under all 3 categories. Example

    Senior Programmer (say Bachelor's with 5 yrs exp)

    Files under EB1 : because he/she came L1, qualification might be few yrs exp.
    Files under EB2 : because he/she has 5 yrs of exp and the attorney was smart to classify it as EB2.
    Files under EB3 : because of company policy or based on bad attorney advice (conservative approach).

    The above example shows that if U'r company and attorney is smart U can get U'r GC faster.

    If you are keen on doing a lawsuit why not
    File one against USCIS for wasting thousands of visa's over the past few years, which is the source of this backlog.
    Or file one against DOL for taking n number of years to get the LC done.
    Or file one against 245 filers who clogged the USCIS system which is causing USCIS to be inefficient.

    I need to find out how many people are interested in pursuing this option, since the whole interfiling/PD porting business (based on a year 2000 memo) can seriously undermine the EB2 category.

    I am currently pursuing some initial draft plans with some legal representation, so that a sweeping case may be filed to end this unfair practice. We need to plug this EB3-to-EB2 loophole, if there is any chance to be had for filers who have originally been EB2.

    More than any other initiative, the removal of just this one unfair provision will greatly aid all original EB2 filers. Else, it can be clearly deduced that the massively backlogged EB3 filers will flock over to EB2 and backlog it by 8 years or more.

    I also want to make this issue an action item for all EB2 folks volunteering for IV activities.


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  • http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Barack_Obama_Immigration.htm

    Barack Obama on Immigration
    Democratic nomine for President; Junior Senator (IL)

    America has nothing to fear from today's immigrants
    For all the noise and anger that too often surrounds the immigration debate, America has nothing to fear from today's immigrants. They have come here for the same reason that families have always come here--for the hope that in America, they could build a better life for themselves and their families. Like the waves of immigrants that came before them and the Hispanic Americans whose families have been here for generations, the recent arrival of Latino immigrants will only enrich our country.
    Source: Obama & McCain back-to-back speeches at NALEO Jun 28, 2008

    We need comprehensive reform, like McCain used to support
    Senator McCain used to offer change on immigration. He was a champion of comprehensive reform, and I admired him for it. But when he was running for his party's nomination, he walked away from that commitment and he's said he wouldn't even support his own legislation if it came up for a vote.
    If we are going to solve the challenges we face, you need a President who will pursue genuine solutions day in and day out. And that is my commitment to you.

    We need immigration reform that will secure our borders, and punish employers who exploit immigrant labor; reform that finally brings the 12 million people who are here illegally out of the shadows by requiring them to take steps to become legal citizens We must assert our values and reconcile our principles as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. That is a priority I will pursue from my very first day.

    Source: Obama & McCain back-to-back speeches at NALEO Jun 28, 2008

    Recognize the humanity of immigrants: Todos somos Americanos
    Ultimately, the danger to the American way of life is not that we will be overrun by those who do not look like us or do not yet speak our language. The danger will come if we fail to recognize the humanity of [immigrants]--if we withhold from them the opportunities we take for granted, and create a servant class in our midst.
    More broadly, the danger will come if we continue to stand idly by as the gap between Wall Street and Main Street grows, as Washington grows more out of touch, and as America grows more unequal. Because America can only prosper when all Americans prosper--brown, black, white, Asian, and Native American. That's the idea that lies at the heart of my campaign, and that's the idea that will lie at the heart of my presidency. Because we are all Americans. Todos somos Americanos. And in this country, we rise and fall together.

    Source: Obama & McCain back-to-back speeches at NALEO Jun 28, 2008

    GovWatch: Anti-immigrants fuel xenophobia, but 45% increase
    Barack Obama said at a Palm Beach fundraiser on May 22, "A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia. There's a reason why hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year. If you have people like Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh ginning things up, it's not surprising that would happen."
    Obama needs to be more careful in his use of statistics. If he is going to blame Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh for "ginning up" hate crimes against Hispanics, he needs solid data to back up his allegation. The hate crimes statistics are wildly inaccurate--and a subsequent modified claim provided by his campaign was also off the mark.

    Lou Dobbs of CNN has repeatedly made use of flawed statistics, but there is no excuse for resorting to equally flawed data to attack Dobbs and his ilk. Hate crime offenses against Latinos rose from 529 in 2003 to 770 in 2006, a total increase over three years of about 45% [not even closed to double].

    Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis Jun 4, 2008

    Encourage every student to learn a second language
    Q: Is there any down side to the US becoming a bilingual nation?
    A: It is important that everyone learns English and that we have that process of binding ourselves together as a country. Every student should be learning a second language, because when you start getting into a debate about bilingual education, for example, now, I want to make sure that children who are coming out of Spanish-speaking households had the opportunity to learn and are not falling behind. If bilingual education helps them do that, I want to give them the opportunity. But I also want to make sure that English-speaking children are getting foreign languages because this world is becoming more interdependent and part of the process of America's continued leadership in the world is going to be our capacity to communicate across boundaries, across borders, and that's something frankly where we've fallen behind. Foreign languages is one of those areas that I think has been neglected. I want to put more resources into it.

    Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

    Need to look at different aspects of immigration reform
    We need stronger border security. We are cracking down on employers that are taking advantage of undocumented workers because they can't complain if they're not paid a minimum wage and not getting overtime. Worker safety laws are not being observed. We have to make sure that doesn't lead to people with Spanish surnames being discriminated against. We have to require that undocumented workers go to the back of the line, so that they are not getting citizenship before those who have applied legally.
    Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

    Have border patrolled, surveillance, and deploy technology
    Q: Do you think your vote on the border fence or the implementation of it was wrong?
    A: The key is to consult with local communities, whether it's on the commercial interests or the environmental stakes of creating any kind of barrier. The Bush administration is not real good at listening. I will reverse that policy. There may be areas where it makes sense to have some fencing. Having border patrolled, surveillance, deploying effective technology, that's going to be the better approach.

    Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

    Increasing the legal fees on immigrants is not helping
    It is important that we fix the legal immigration system, because right now we've got a backlog that means years for people to apply legally. What's worse is, we keep on increasing the fees, so that if you've got a hard working immigrant family, they've got to hire a lawyer; they've got to pay thousands of dollars in fees. They just can't afford it. It's discriminatory against people who have good character, but don't have the money. We've got to fix that. We have to improve our relationship with Mexico and work with the Mexican government so that their economy is producing jobs on that side of the border. The problem is that we have had an administration that came in promising all sorts of leadership on creating a US-Mexican relationship. Bush dropped the ball. He has been so obsessed with Iraq that we have not seen the kinds of outreach and cooperative work that would ensure that the Mexican economy is working not just for the very wealthy in Mexico, but for all people.
    Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

    Deporting 12 million people is ridiculous and impractical
    The American people want fairness, want justice. They recognize that the idea that you're going to deport 12 million people is ridiculous, that we're not going to be devoting all our law enforcement resources to sending people back. But what they do also want is some order to the process. We're not going to be able to do these things in isolation. We're not going to be able to deal with the 12 million people who are living in the shadows and give them a way of getting out of the shadows if we don't also deal with the problem of this constant influx of undocumented workers. That's why comprehensive reform is so important. Something that we can do immediately that is very important is to pass the Dream Act, which allows children who through no fault of their own are here but have essentially grown up as Americans, allow them the opportunity for higher education. I do not want two classes of citizens in this country. I want everybody to prosper. That's going to be a top priority.
    Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008
    and so on .....

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  • What men say and what they actually mean . . .

    • "I'M GOING FISHING" Means: "I'm going to drink myself dangerously stupid, and stand by a stream with a stick in my hand, while the fish swim by in complete safety."
    • "YES, DEAR..." Means: Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response.
    • "IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN" Means: "I have no idea how it works."
    • "TAKE A BREAK HONEY, YOU'RE WORKING TOO HARD". Means: "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."
    • "THAT'S INTERESTING, DEAR." Means: "Are you still talking?"
    • "I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU, AND GOT YOU THESE ROSES". Means: "The girl selling them on the corner was a real babe."
    • "WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?" Means: "What did you catch me at?"
    • "I HEARD YOU." Means: "I haven't the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't spend the next 3 days yelling at me."
    • "YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE." Means: "I am used to the way you yell at me, and realize it could be worse."
    • "YOU LOOK TERRIFIC." Means: "Please don't try on one more outfit, I'm starving."
    • "WE SHARE THE HOUSEWORK." Means: "I make the messes, she cleans them up."
    Just want to add one more

    "Thats a good question" - Means i have no clue or have no answer for that question.

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  • Lobbying Is Lucrative. Sometimes Very, Very Lucrative (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/26/AR2007032602027.html), By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Lobbyists, as they say, make the big bucks. That's why so many lawmakers, congressional staffers and political appointees move downtown when they leave government.

    So just how lucrative is it? Well, pretty lucrative. According to new data from the Center for Responsive Politics, 22 clients paid $1 million or more in lobby fees to individual lobbying firms last year.

    Three of the biggest payments went to the usual suspects: Patton Boggs, Hogan & Hartson and DLA Piper -- all major law firms. But two of the top five recipients were small shops you have probably never heard of: Canfield & Associates and New Frontiers Communications Consulting.

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  • well..you hit nail..yes..I initially worked with that company that started with S**..but I changed them after 1 year after coming to US

    So, keep cool. Talk to an Attorney. use a good Attorney for everything from now. You can forward the email request to the Attorney and go from there.

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  • I am not sure why we are worrying about this bill. This makes restrictions on Consulting companies, so what Clients won't be able to find people, so they do hire people as full time instead of temporary consulting position. That is good for us we can find more full time positions from client it self. I even heard that this bill makes sure H1B are paid by market rates instead of DOL wages which are often very less than market value. Good thing for us the staring salaries would be at higher rate than present rates. This bill is bad for consulting companies but good for us. Am i missing any thing here??

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  • Factors to consider when buying:
    1. Will you have to slog extra to make mortgage payments. If it means you are going to spend less time with your family, then is it really worth it.
    2. Will your spouse start working to help support mortgage payments. Does this imply kids go to daycare. Then probably your kid isnt geting the care a mom can only provide to her child.
    3. Will the stress level increase after buying the house (again worried for making payments, losing jobs). Is it worth it.
    4. Mostly all apartments have open areas where kids can play. They are much bigger then backyards in any house. Even in your backyard you will have to watch your kids when they are outdoors. Same here in the apartment outdooors.
    5. Chances are you will have more savings when you live in an apartment. You can do something really constructive like take you family for vacation, cruise.
    6. Does owning a home prevent you from visiting your home country, relatives etc as you are always tied up to making mortgage payments.

    For people who are really making lots of money & dont care much for it, above statments dont have much significance. Most of us are in the middle class range. So savings do matter to them.

    Let me declare the winners:
    1. Mariner & nojoke are logical & declared winners in this debate
    2. kaiserose & NKR have made some mistakes by buying a costly home & wouldn't admit.

    May God Bless you guys.

    probably you have change your handle from iwantmygreen to iamgreenwithenvy. dude, first of all who made you the judge, second of all how and why did you assume that I bought a costly home?. I went in for a townhome not far from where Mr Marinner lives, going by his posts I know he lives in or near atlanta. also, we are on single income and I can happily afford the mortgage for my small home and ofcourse my kid is happy.

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  • I agree with you 100%. These guys here are all getting worked up as if the world will come to an end in 2 years and it is unreasonable to think beyong 2011. A regular investor like us, someone w/ a job, one who saves in the bank, and/or dollar cost averages in a 401(K), should never think short term.

    Let's see 10 years from now who will be in a better position - the guy who owned a home or a guy that is renting.

    Of course, some guys will start complaining about GC, but then other posts here are claiming that regardless of GC, buying a house now is dissasterous.

    Why are be debating 3 - 4 years rent vs own? As the subject indicates "long" term prospects of buying a home..we of all the ppl should know the meaning of the word "long" based on our "long" wait for PD (which I think should be renamed to retrogress date because I see nothing priority about it)..the point being lets debate 10 years rent vs own..as against 3-4...I think over a 10 year timeline the buyers would come out ahead of the renters..maybe not in CA but in other states that's quite likely..

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  • not as easy as you say.
    when you actually sell - you need to get it cleaned - empty and it stays on th block for sometime. about parents - your remark again would be different for different people.
    would you be able to care for yr parents more if you are renting or if you own a house with big bills ?? with renting, you can leave at a day or 2 days notice !! with house - not so easy ! . with renting you can probably stay there for a longer time - if u have a house maybe not. This is another big reason I chose to rent even though someone in India is taking care of the elders. GC matters here too - maybe u can take longer vacations if u have GC and a house. but on EAD --renting seems to be the way :-).
    as for kids - till the age of 5 - 6, apt and house does not really make much difference for kids ..they just need a place to jump / spoil walls / have friends and play in park / school.
    ofcourse the foreclosures and firesale deals may change things - hey if you can get a house for half its cost and if you have the guts / courage to go through the whole thing ..then why not. people need to be careful too ..if people are still staying in the house ...it is a nightmare to remove them...bank repos or thru agents would be safer

    Nobody said it is easy mate. If you are paranoid and want to be safe and prepare for the worst case (like getting fired or your 485 getting rejected) then don�t buy a house. It is a long haul and no one knows when his/her PD would become current. By the time one gets GC, the kids would have grown up and missed their childhood. Read my previous 3 posts. My suggestion was for the person who started this thread and for his situation only. I know each and every person�s situation is different. Like I said if I was in CA, probably I would be renting too.

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  • puddonhead,

    To be FAIR In your calculation should you not include the tax break you would get for buying a home. I know the interest is variable, You will be paying lot of interest in the early years. But maybe we can average say Total Interest Payment/30 = Average Interest paid per year. And use this figure to calculate the average tax break one should expect.

    For e.g. Lets say on an average you pay every year 24K in Interest payment for your Mortgage, You would get approx 8k back in tax credits (assuming 30% tax bracket).

    So shouldn't your left side be:
    (mortgage + property tax - All tax breaks)

    Also in areas like Bay area, Even with the above update formula (If you notice i did not even count maintenance).. I am not optimistic that this formula will ever work. So does that mean you can never buy a home in bay area :)..

    Or should you include some more variables here say if you live in NYC/Bay Area has a thumb rule its ok to pay X% extra compared to the average national trend line ?

    If only everybody in bay area used this formula before they bought their home :). Amen.

    >> Also in areas like Bay area, Even with the above update formula (If you notice i did not even count maintenance).. I am not optimistic that this formula will ever work. So does that mean you can never buy a home in bay area ..

    I know someone IN Bay Area who has made this formula work - not once - not twice - but more than 10 times. He has a portfolio of investment properties where the rent he gets > his outflow.

    Obviously he did not buy duing the 2003-2007 frenzy. And I know he has started to buy again.

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  • Hello,

    Great discussions...remember a similar thread that was hot in 2008.. :)

    IMHO, buying house has little to do with 'status' in the country, but much more to do with your financial capabilities, location and timing...

    1. Financial Capabilities
    a) Can I afford to make payments even if I've to leave US and settle somewhere else?
    b) Does buying house give me any tax breaks in US that I otherwise won't get?
    c) Do I have 'reserve' funds (5-6% of purchase price) to take care of maintenance etc of the house?

    2. Location
    a) Is the neighbourhood dependent on a stable source of economic activity (e.g. tech industry areas like Bay Area or traditional industry areas like Texas)
    b) Can the house be rented (if not, I would be cautious)?
    c) Is the demographics well off (if not, bad economy may have a larger impact)?

    3. Timing
    a) Has housing appreciated by more than 2-3% per annum in the neighbourhood since 2000 (if yes, I would be cautious)?
    b) Can I get 1-time tax benefits?
    c) Can I make more money through other investments (leverage adjusted)?

    The final decision is always personal and is neither right or wrong...its just a choice that the individuals make... good luck to those who are considering home ownership....


    Make as low a down payment as possible as the money supply is cheap as of now....if interest rates are higher than what you can get as investment return in the market, then making as large a down payment as possible makes sense... as of now, cost of money is at 5-6% and you can get more than that through investments...just my 2 cents!

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  • Fighting between EB categories shows how shallow our debates can turn out to be! Rhimzim & all, do the illegals differentiate between meat packers, seamstresses, window cleaners etc.? Why waste time and energy?

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  • Again, we are not recommending against buying a house, which everyone should do at a point in our lives, but it's unsafe to bank on it, as a sound investment.

    That's true. We should not look at buying a house as a sound investment because it is really not. I bought a house for my own happiness and satisfaction of a living a nice life in my lifetime.

    What would I do with the tons of money invested somewhere else while I live in an apartment? Most probably, I would just spend it on vacation, travel the whole world, or probably lose some of the returns in buying a nice home at inflated price in the future.

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  • Until AD 1100, everybody in Egypt are christians, the arabs conquer there and killed many and convert them. Few are left as christians. Now only 10%. Ask any egyptian christians. They need to pay JAZIA to be live as christians. The language COPTIC now only in church. Coptic sound similar to Latin. Abrabs imposed their language, where ever they conquer. They cut the tongue of people, who spoke native language. See in India, moguls made Urdu and make Arabic script for it.Egyptian christians are only real egyptians. Muslim egyptians are mixed people with Arab warriors. War children.
    Real egyptians are here in USA, you can talk to them, they are nice people no terrorist, brain washed bastards. Go to a coptic chrch and see these people.
    Same happened in Kashmir. Pandits are the real Kashmiris. The Kashmiri muslims are children of the Kashmiri women and arab invaders. Now they kicking real Indian pandits out from kashmir, and they live in own country as refugees.
    In the end all terrorist, satanic nations wiped out at the second coming of Jesus. Those good muslims belive him will be saved. Others will go to hell.

    I guess you meant 700 AD not 1100 AD.
    Here's a something along your train of thought.. before 300 AD all egyptians worshipped the sun god "Ra" until a Roman emperor converted to Christianity and made it the official religion, he still persecuted christian egyptians because the coptic version of christianity differed from his.
    Ra worshippers are the only true egyptians.. any idea where i can find them?

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  • I wonder if big names like Mircrosoft and others are aware of this. I am sure they will have a huge loss if this bill went through. May be it is time Bill Gates dropped his gloves and fight for us too.

    Bill Gates is very influential but he is one man and can do only so much. I think all the forum members should become active in educating and engaging our friends and employers about this potential disaster.

    What Will It Take for Companies to Unlock Their Cash Hoards? (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303654804576349282770703112.html) By JASON ZWEIG | Wall Street Journal

    There is a cash crisis in corporate America�although it comes not from a shortage of the stuff, but from a surplus.

    In the first quarter, the five companies with the greatest cash hoards�Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Google, Apple and Johnson & Johnson�added $15 billion in cash and marketable securities to their balance sheets. Microsoft alone packed away roughly $9 billion, or $100 million a day. All told, the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index are sitting on more than $960 billion in cash, a record.

    To be sure, at many companies the cash piling up is at global operations that generate "undistributed foreign earnings" that can't be brought home, under U.S. law, without incurring taxes of up to 35%. But hundreds of billions in cash remain available�and idle.

    Meanwhile, the payout ratio�the proportion of earnings paid out as dividend income to shareholders�fell to 28.9% for the past four quarters. That, says S&P senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt, is the lowest level since 1936. Dividends are going up�Intel, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint have recently raised them�but cash is still piling up far faster than most industrial giants can possibly find a prudent use for it. Of course, investors themselves might have a better use for the cash, if they could get at it.

    As Daniel Peris, co-manager of the Federated Strategic Value Dividend fund, says, "The likelihood of spending money poorly is increased by having a surplus of it."

    Microsoft's purchase price for the online telecommunications firm Skype, widely criticized as too rich at $8.5 billion, almost precisely matches the amount of cash that Microsoft raked in last quarter. Was that torrent of cash burning a hole in Microsoft's pocket?

    "No way," says Bill Koefoed, general manager of investor relations at Microsoft. "We see this as being a very strategic acquisition."

    The heart of the problem, as the great investor Benjamin Graham pointed out decades ago, is that the best interests of corporate management and outside investors are at odds. That is especially true for giant companies whose growth has been slowing. "The more dubious the company's prospects�the more anxious management is to retain all the cash it can in the business," Graham wrote. "But the stockholders would be well advised to take out all the capital that can be safely spared, because these funds are much more valuable to them if in their own pockets, or invested elsewhere."

    Amnesia is another culprit. In the past, companies paid out vastly more of their profits as dividends, and they should again. "If there were a greater historical sensibility among investors and managers," Mr. Peris says, today's low payouts "would be called out as an abnormal situation that's likely to lead to that money being less well-spent than it otherwise might be."

    Dividends have gotten short shrift in recent years as investors have come to favor companies that instead use cash surpluses to buy back their shares. Meanwhile, with the economic recovery barely out of the sickbed, many companies are reluctant to invest heavily in expansion. Others want to keep cash handy for potential acquisitions. So cash sits idle�even as interest rates, after inflation, are so low that cash often produces negative real returns.

    Benjamin Graham made three simple proposals in 1951 that deserve to be revived.

    First, investors need to realize that a company's cash is a valuable asset, even when interest rates are low; if management won't put it to good use, investors must speak up. As Graham wrote: "When the results on capital are unsatisfactory, it is appropriate for stockholders to�insist that it be returned to stockholders on an equitable basis."

    Second, companies should set formal dividend policies. Rather than paying or raising dividends out of the blue, they should state in advance what proportion of earnings they expect to pay out as cash dividends. If, instead, they plan to use excess cash to buy back shares, they should offer hard evidence that the stock is undervalued.

    Finally, Graham advocated that leading companies should pay out two-thirds of their earnings as dividends. That rate isn't as radical as it might sound, even though it would amount to more than a doubling from today's levels. The dividend payout, as a percentage of total profits, has averaged 52.3% since 1936 and 46% over the past two decades, according to Standard & Poor's.

    If the companies in the S&P 500 raised their payout ratio to 50%, Mr. Silverblatt estimates, that would put an extra $207 billion into investors' pockets�at a time when shareholders' dividend income is taxed at historically low rates.

    "Companies are basically earning more than they've ever made before, but their payouts are nowhere near that high," says Mr. Silverblatt. "They're holding their cash really tight. You can call them Scrooges if you want."

    A Generation of Slackers? Not So Much (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/weekinreview/29graduates.html) By CATHERINE RAMPELL | The New York Times
    Made in America: Manufacturing Jobs Are Coming Home (http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/05/26/Made-in-America-Manufacturing-Jobs-Are-Coming-Home.aspx) By Patrick Smith | Fiscal Times

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