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Thai cuisine -- robin, 04:14:24 02/04/16 Thu 
Thai cuisine is the national cuisine of Thailand. Balance, detail, and variety are of paramount significance to Thai chefs. In his book The Principles of Thai Cookery, celebrity chef, writer, and authority on Thai cuisine McDang wrote:
"What is Thai food? Every country in the world has its own food profile. It reflects its culture, environment, ingenuity and values. In the case of Thailand, these words come to mind: intricacy; attention to detail; texture; color; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavor.
We not only pay attention to how a dish tastes: we are also concerned about how it looks, how it smells, and how it fits in with the rest of the meal. We think of all parts of the meal as a whole - sum rap Thai (the way Thais eat), is the term we use for the unique components that make up a characteristically Thai meal."
Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. It is known for its complex interplay of at least three and up to four or five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. Australian chef David Thompson, a prolific chef and expert on Thai food, observed that unlike many other cuisines:
"Thai food ain't about simplicity. It's about the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish. Like a complex musical chord it's got to have a smooth surface but it doesn't matter what's happening underneath. Simplicity isn't the dictum here, at all. Some westerners think it's a jumble of flavours, but to a Thai that's important, it's the complexity they delight in.".
Thai cuisine (อาหารไทย : Ar-Han-Thai) is one of the most popular cuisine in the world. In 2011, seven of Thailand's popular dishes made it to the list of the "World's 50 Most Delicious Foods (Readers' Pick)"— a worldwide online poll of 35,000 people by CNN Travel. Thailand had more dishes on the list than any other country. They were tom yam goong (4th), pad Thai (5th), som tam (6th), massaman curry (10th), green curry (19th), Thai fried rice (24th) and moo nam tok (36th).
Regional cuisines and historical influences
Thai cuisine is more accurately described as four regional cuisines, corresponding to the four main regions of the country:
Central Thai cuisine of the flat and wet central rice-growing plains and of Bangkok, site of the former Thai kingdoms of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, and the Dvaravati culture of the Mon people from before the arrival of Tai groups in the area.
Isan or northeastern Thai cuisine of the more arid Khorat Plateau, similar in culture to Laos and also influenced by Khmer cuisine to its south, as evidenced by the temple ruins from the time of the Khmer Empire.
Northern Thai cuisine of the verdant valleys and cool, forested mountains of the Thai highlands, once ruled by the former Lanna Kingdom and home to the majority of the ethnic groups of Thailand.
Southern Thai cuisine of the Kra Isthmus which is bordered on two sides by tropical seas, with its many islands and including the ethnic Malay, former Sultanate of Pattani in the deep south.
Thai cuisine and the culinary traditions and cuisines of Thailand's neighbors have mutually influenced one another over the course of many centuries. Regional variations tend to correlate to neighboring states (often sharing the same cultural background and ethnicity on both sides of the border) as well as climate and geography. Northern Thai cuisine shares dishes with Shan State in Burma, northern Laos, and also with Yunnan Province in China, whereas the cuisine of Isan (northeastern Thailand) is similar to that of southern Laos, and is also influenced by Khmer cuisine from Cambodia to its south, and by Vietnamese cuisine to its east. Southern Thailand, with many dishes that contain liberal amounts of coconut milk and fresh turmeric, has that in common with Indian, Malaysian, and Indonesian cuisine. In addition to these four regional cuisines, there is also the Thai royal cuisine which can trace its history back to the cosmopolitan palace cuisine of the Ayutthaya kingdom (1351–1767 CE). Its refinement, cooking techniques, presentation, and use of ingredients were of great influence to the cuisine of the central Thai plains.
Many dishes that are now popular in Thailand were originally Chinese dishes. They were introduced to Thailand by the Hokkien people starting in the 15th century, and by the Teochew people who started settling in larger numbers from the late 18th century CE onward, mainly in the towns and cities, and now form the majority of the Thai Chinese. Such dishes include chok Thai: โจ๊ก (rice porridge), salapao (steamed buns), kuaitiao rat na (fried rice-noodles) and khao kha mu (stewed pork with rice). The Chinese also introduced the use of a wok for cooking, the technique of deep-frying and stir frying dishes, several types of noodles, taochiao (fermented bean paste), soy sauces, and tofu. The cuisines of India and Persia, brought first by traders, and later settlers from these regions, with their use of dried spices, gave rise to Thai adaptations and dishes such as kaeng kari (yellow curry) and kaeng matsaman (massaman curry).
Western influences, starting in 1511 CE when the first diplomatic mission from the Portuguese arrived at the court of Ayutthaya, have created dishes such as foi thong, the Thai adaptation of the Portuguese fios de ovos, and sangkhaya, where coconut milk replaces unavailable cow's milk in making a custard. These dishes were said to have been brought to Thailand in the 17th century by Maria Guyomar de Pinha, a woman of mixed Japanese-Portuguese-Bengali ancestry who was born in Ayutthaya, and became the wife of Constantine Phaulkon, the Greek adviser of King Narai. The most notable influence from the West must be the introduction of the chili pepper from the Americas in the 16th or 17th century. It, and rice, are now two of the most important ingredients in Thai cuisine. During the Columbian Exchange, Portuguese and Spanish ships brought new crops from the Americas including tomatoes, corn, papaya, pea eggplants, pineapple, pumpkins, culantro, cashews, and peanuts.
Thai food was traditionally eaten with the right hand  while seated on mats or carpets on the floor, customs still found in the more traditional households. Today, however, most Thais eat with a fork and spoon. Tables and chairs were introduced as part of a broader Westernization drive during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. The fork and spoon were introduced by King Chulalongkorn after his return from a tour of Europe in 1897 CE.
Important to Thai dining is the practice of khluk, mixing the flavors and textures of different dishes with the rice from one's plate. The food is pushed by the fork, held in the left hand, into the spoon held in the right hand, which is then brought to the mouth. A traditional ceramic spoon is sometimes used for soup, and knives are not generally used at the table. It is common practice for the both the Thais and the hill tribe peoples who live in north and northeast Thailand, to use sticky rice as an edible implement by shaping it into small, and sometimes flattened, balls by hand (and only the right hand by custom) which are then dipped into side dishes and eaten.
Chopsticks were foreign utensils to most ethnic groups in Thailand with the exception of the Thai Chinese, and a few other cultures such as the Akha people, who are recent arrivals from Yunnan Province, China. Traditionally, the majority of ethnic Thai people ate with their hands like the people of India. Chopsticks are mainly used in Thailand for eating Chinese-style noodle soups, or at Chinese, Japanese, or Korean restaurants. Stir fried noodle dishes such as pad Thai, and curry-noodle dishes such as khanom chin nam ngiao, are also eaten with a fork and spoon in the Thai fashion.
Thai meals typically consist of rice (khao in Thai) with many complementary dishes shared by all. The dishes are all served at the same time, including the soups, and it is also customary to provide more dishes than there are guests at a table. A Thai family meal would normally consist of rice with several dishes which should form a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures as well as preparation methods. Traditionally, a meal would have at least five elements: a dip or relish for raw or cooked vegetables (khrueang chim) is the most crucial component of any Thai meal. Khrueang chim, considered a building block of Thai food by Chef McDang, may come in the form of a spicy chili sauce or relish called nam phrik (made of raw or cooked chilies and other ingredients, which are then mashed together), or a type of dip enriched with coconut milk called lon. The other elements would include a clear soup (perhaps a spicy tom yam or a mellow tom chuet), a curry or stew (essentially any dish identified with the kaeng prefix), a deep-fried dish and a stir fried dish of meat, fish, seafood, or vegetables.
In most Thai restaurants, diners will have access to a selection of Thai sauces (nam chim) and condiments, either brought to the table by wait staff or present at the table in small containers. These may include: phrik nam pla/nam pla phrik (fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilies and garlic), dried chili flakes, sweet chili sauce, sliced chili peppers in rice vinegar, Sriracha sauce, and even sugar. With certain dishes, such as khao kha mu (pork trotter stewed in soy sauce and served with rice), whole Thai peppers and raw garlic are served in addition to the sour chili sauce. Cucumber is sometimes eaten to cool the mouth with particularly spicy dishes. They often feature as a garnish, especially with one-dish meals. The plain rice, sticky rice or the khanom chin (Thai rice noodles) served alongside a spicy Thai curry or stir fry, tends to counteract the spiciness.
When time is limited or when eating alone, single dishes, such as fried rice or noodle soups, are quick and filling. An alternative is to have one or smaller helpings of curry, stir fries and other dishes served together on one plate with a portion of rice. This style of serving food is called khao rat kaeng (lit., "rice covered with curry"), or for short khao kaeng (lit., "rice curry"). Eateries and shops that specialize in pre-made food are the usual place to go to for having a meal this way. These venues have a large display showing the different dishes one can choose. When placing their order at these places, Thais will state if they want their food served as separate dishes, or together on one plate with rice (rat khao). Very often, regular restaurants will also feature a selection of freshly made "rice curry" dishes on their menu for single customers.
Thailand has about the same land area as Spain and a length of approximately 1,650 kilometers or 1,025 miles (Italy, in comparison, is about 1,250 kilometers or 775 miles long), with foothills of the Himalayas in the north, a high plateau in the northeast, a verdant river basin in the center, and tropical rainforests and islands in the south. With over 40 distinct ethnic groups each with its own culture and even more languages, it comes as no surprise that Thai cuisine, as a whole, features many different ingredients (suan phasom; Thai: ส่วนผสม), and ways of preparing food.
Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices. Common flavors in Thai food come from garlic, galangal, coriander/cilantro, lemon grass, shallots, pepper, kaffir lime leaves, shrimp paste, fish sauce, and chilies. Palm sugar, made from the sap of certain Borassus palms, is used to sweeten dishes while lime and tamarind contribute sour notes. Meats used in Thai cuisine are usually pork and chicken, and also duck, beef, and water buffalo. Goat and mutton are rarely eaten except by Muslim Thais. Game, such as wild boar, deer and wild birds, are now less common due to loss of habitat, the introduction of modern methods of intensive animal farming in the 1960s, and the rise of agribusinesses, such as Thai Charoen Pokphand Foods, in the 1980s. Traditionally, fish, crustaceans, and shellfish play an important role in the diet of Thai people. Anna Leonowens (of The King and I fame) observed in her book The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870):
"The stream is rich in fish of excellent quality and flavour, such as is found in most of the great rivers of Asia; and is especially noted for its platoo, a kind of sardine, so abundant and cheap that it forms a common seasoning to the labourer's bowl of rice."
Freshwater varieties come from the many rivers, lakes, ponds, and paddy fields inland, and seafood from the tropical seas of the southern half of the country. Some species, such as the giant river prawn, need brackish water as juveniles but live out their lives in freshwater once mature. Aquaculture of species such as Nile tilapia, catfish, tiger prawns, and blood cockles, now generates a large portion of the seafood sold in, and exported from Thailand
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Outsourcing -- robin, 23:50:08 02/02/16 Tue 
In business, outsourcing involves the contracting out of a business process to another party (compare business process outsourcing). The concept "outsourcing" came from American Glossary 'outside resourcing' and it dates back to at least 1981. Outsourcing sometimes involves transferring employees and assets from one firm to another, but not always. Outsourcing is also the practice of handing over control of public services to for-profit corporations.
Outsourcing includes both foreign and domestic contracting, and sometimes includes offshoring (relocating a business function to another country). Financial savings from lower international labor rates can provide a major motivation for outsourcing or offshoring.
The opposite of outsourcing, insourcing, entails bringing processes handled by third-party firms in-house, and is sometimes accomplished via vertical integration. However, a business can provide a contract service to another business without necessarily insourcing that business process.
Two organizations may enter into a contractual agreement involving an exchange of services and payments. Outsourcing is said to help firms to perform well in their core competencies and mitigate shortage of skill or expertise in the areas where they want to outsource.
In the early 21st century, businesses increasingly outsourced to suppliers outside their own country, sometimes referred to as offshoring or offshore outsourcing. Several related terms have emerged to refer to various aspects of the complex relationship between economic organizations or networks, such as nearshoring, crowdsourcing, multisourcing and strategic outsourcing.
Outsourcing can offer greater budget flexibility and control. Outsourcing lets organizations pay for only the services they need, when they need them. It also reduces the need to hire and train specialized staff, brings in fresh engineering expertise, and reduces capital and operating expenses.
“Do what you do best and outsource the rest” has become an internationally recognized business tagline first “coined and developed” in the 1990s by the “legendary management consultant” Peter Drucker. The slogan was primarily used to advocate outsourcing as a viable business strategy. It has been said that Mr. Drucker began explaining the concept of “Outsourcing” as early as 1989 in his Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article entitled “Sell the Mailroom.”
From Drucker’s perspective, a company should only seek to subcontract in those areas in which it demonstrated no special ability. The business strategy outlined by his slogan recommended that companies should take advantage of a specialist provider’s knowledge and economies of scale to improve performance and achieve the service needed.
In 2009 by way of recognition, Peter Drucker posthumously received a significant honor, when he was inducted into the Outsourcing Hall of Fame for his outstanding work in the field.
Reasons for outsourcing
Companies primarily outsource to reduce certain costs — such as peripheral or "non-core" business expenses, high taxes, high energy costs, excessive government regulation/mandates, production and/or labor costs. The incentive to outsource may be greater for U.S. companies due to unusually high corporate taxes and mandated benefits, like social security, Medicare, and safety protection (OSHA regulations). At the same time, it appears U.S. companies do not outsource to reduce executive or managerial costs. For instance, executive pay in the United States in 2007 was more than 400 times more than average workers—a gap 20 times bigger than it was in 1965. In 2011, twenty-six of the largest US corporations paid more to CEO's than they paid in federal taxes.
The digital workforce of countries like India and China are only paid a fraction of what would be minimum wage in the US. On average, software engineers are getting paid between 250,000 to 1,500,000 rupees ($4,000 to $23,000) in India as opposed to the $40,000-$100,000 in countries like US and Canada. However, unlike typical sweatshops and manufacturing plants, most of the digital workforce in developing countries have the flexibility to choose their working hours and which companies to work for. With many individuals telecommuting from home, the companies that require this type of work do not need to allocate additional funds for setting up of office space, management salary, and employee benefits as these individuals are contracted workers.
Greater physical distance between higher management and the production-floor employees often requires a change in management methodologies, as inspection and feedback may not be as direct and frequent as in internal processes. This often requires the assimilation of new communication methods such as voice over IP, instant messaging, and Issue tracking systems, new time management methods such as time tracking software, and new cost- and schedule-assessment tools such as cost estimation software.
Communications and customer service
In the area of call centers end-user-experience is deemed to be of lower quality when a service is outsourced. This is exacerbated when outsourcing is combined with offshoring to regions where the first language and culture are different.
Foreign call center agents may speak with different linguistic features such as accents, word use and phraseology, which may impede comprehension. The visual cues that are missing in a telephone call may lead to misunderstandings and difficulties.
Before outsourcing, an organization is responsible for the actions of their entire staff, sometimes a substantial liability. When these same people are transferred to an outsourcer, they may not even change desks. But their legal status changes. They are no longer directly employed by (and responsible to) the organization. This creates legal, security and compliance issues that are often addressed through the contract between the client and the suppliers. This is one of the most complex areas of outsourcing and sometimes involves a specialist third-party adviser.
Fraud is a specific security issue as well as criminal activity, whether it is by employees or the supplier staff. However, it can be disputed that fraud is more likely when outsourcers are involved, for example credit-card theft when there is the opportunity for fraud by credit-card cloning. In April 2005, a high-profile case involving the theft of $350,000 from four Citibank customers occurred when call-center workers acquired the passwords to customer accounts and transferred the money to their own accounts opened under fictitious names. Citibank did not find out about the problem until the American customers noticed discrepancies with their accounts and notified the bank.
Outsourcing has gone through many iterations and reinventions. Some outsourcing contracts have been partially or fully reversed, citing an inability to execute strategy, lost transparency & control, onerous contractual models, a lack of competition, recurring costs, hidden costs, and so on. Many companies are now moving to more tailored models where along with outsource vendor diversification, key parts of what was previously outsourced has been insourced. Insourcing has been identified as a means to ensure control, compliance and to gain competitive differentiation through vertical integration or the development of shared services [commonly called a 'center of excellence']. Insourcing at some level also tends to be leveraged to enable organizations to undergo significant transformational change.
Further, the label outsourcing has been found to be used for too many different kinds of exchanges in confusing ways. For example, global software development, which often involves people working in different countries, cannot simply be called outsourcing. The outsourcing-based market model fails to explain why these development projects are jointly developed, and not simply bought and sold in the marketplace. Recently, a study has identified an additional system of governance, termed algocracy, that appears to govern global software projects alongside bureaucratic and market-based mechanisms. The study distinguishes code-based governance system from bureaucracy and the market, and underscores the prominent features of each organizational form in terms of its ruling mechanism: bureaucracy (legal-rational), the market (price), and algocracy (programming or algorithm). So, global software development projects, though not insourced, are not outsourced either. They are in-between, in a process that is sometimes termed "remote in-sourcing". Projects are developed together where a common software platform allows different teams around the world to work on the same project together.
Standpoint of labor
From the standpoint of labor, outsourcing may represent a new threat, contributing to worker insecurity, and is reflective of the general process of globalization and economic polarization.
On June 26, 2009, Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, called for the United States to increase its manufacturing base employment to 20% of the workforce, commenting that the U.S. has outsourced too much and can no longer rely on consumer spending to drive demand.
Standpoint of government
Western governments may attempt to compensate workers affected by outsourcing through various forms of legislation. In Europe, the Acquired Rights Directive attempts to address the issue. The Directive is implemented differently in different nations. In the United States, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act is meant to provide compensation for workers directly affected by international trade agreements. Whether or not these policies provide the security and fair compensation they promise is debatable.
A main feature of outsourcing influencing policy-making is the unpredictability it generates regarding the future of any particular sector or skill-group. The uncertainty of future conditions influences governance approaches to different aspects of long-term policies.
Economic growth requires change, therefore a governance disposed to helping social and economic structures adapt to the changing environment will facilitate growth and a stable transition to new economic structures., until the economic structures become detrimental to the social, political and cultural structures. In less economically developed countries, policies which embrace the global phenomenon of outsourcing are a logical response to the ongoing movement towards "open markets" and "trade liberalization." Outsourcing, when interpreted as a trade phenomenon, complements trade liberalization strategies not only by promoting technological spillovers and capital inflows but also by offsetting the increasing levels of unemployment which result from opening up domestic markets. As prices adjust to those in the global market they no longer reflect domestic productivity, driving lower-productivity firms in the previously protected sectors out of business. Economic theorists argue that the resulting unemployment is only temporary as workers readjust and are eventually incorporated into the country’s most productive sectors, namely those which enjoy a competitive edge over other players in the international market. Nonetheless, rapid liberalization of markets in developing nations has not maximized the productivity potential of the region. In the Global South, where technological development is drastically lower than in the North, the redeployment of human and capital resources into new export markets has not come at the cost of necessarily low-productivity sectors but rather underdeveloped ones. In other words, many of the previously protected sectors were not competitive yet on a global scale, not because they naturally lacked the comparative advantage, but because industry efficiency had not yet been reached. In such cases where liberalization stunts the growth of potential industries, unemployment is a reflection of many underemployed resources. Outsourcing fills in the gap of receding protected national industries, improving employment and living standards. Among other economic externalities, outsourcing promotes capital inflows and infrastructure. In Mexico, wage convergence was faster in cities where outsourcing first took hold through maquiladoras, along the US-Mexican border. Studies suggest that for every 10% increase in US wages, northern cities in Mexico which are most influenced by outsourcing would experience wage rises of 2.5%, about 0.69% higher than in inner cities. Corruption and reduced tax revenues after signing the NAFTA Treaty have limited the economic resources available to the Mexican government, thus explaining the difference in investment policies between Mexico and China. Conversely, one of the successes of Asian countries in the twentieth century has been their promotion of higher rates of saving and investment. Studies suggest that the increase in capital input fueled the ‘Asian miracle’ rather than improvements in productivity and industrial efficiency. Though the previous conclusion suggests production conditions in the region remained static, the situation in East Asia experienced rapid transformations. Not only were national educational rates raised drastically, but there was also an increase in patenting and research and development expenditures. Rising levels of education, urbanization and even of patenting illustrate the active role of the government in advancing education as well as encouraging research and development.
Jobs become outsourced not based on the skill-level group it represents, but rather based on a variety of other factors including transportation cost of ideas, wage and labour productivity edge. Because of the overall uncertainty regarding the future dynamics of outsourcing it is not possible to predict the nature of labour demand in different regions. To better prepare the domestic workforce to future industry demands, therefore, national education programs ought to focus on flexibility and diversity of skills rather than on any specific task-oriented skills. Emphasis should go on preparing students both to succeed in non-habitual tasks and to adapt to changes in labour demands in the market. A specific goal that ought to be adopted is teaching students how to learn rather than teach them particular skills. This strategy would help students adapt to changing skill requirements in the future thus reducing friction from structural unemployment.
Welfare state strategy
The uncertainty regarding the domestic productivity edge renders caution a key element of governance to ensure a sustainable regional developmenloyed re-enter the work force and smoothly transition into high-demand labour opportunities – potentially through re-training programs –, the government should also address the socioeconomic struggle and other welfare concerns of displaced employees. Negative welfare effects of outsourcing have gathered substantial public attention. The possibility of outsourcing has internationalized labour markets which used to be local, opening up jobs which were traditionally non-traded to international competition. The resulting combination of lower wages and unemployment for certain jobs has driven the perceived ‘losers’ to engage in heated political debate. Labour unions in the European Union have succeeded in pushing through protectionist policies in favour or lower-skilled groups throughout the 1970s and 1980s, including the Common Agricultural Policy on farming. Interest groups opposing outsourcing have been more active to voice their disapproval because the negative outcomes of the phenomenon are more concentrated on specific groups of people, namely those losing jobs to external competition, whereas the benefits from it become dissipated among the population at large. Overall lower prices and greater quality and variety of goods in domestic markets are some of the benefits of exploiting a country’s comparative advantage through outsourcing. Unlike the alleged ‘losers’ from outsourcing, those affected positively by it lack the motivation to organize to voice their support. There has been a wave of protectionism concerned with deep changes in the social structure allegedly imposed on the global system through globalization and outsourcing. The activists see a readjustment of class systems and highlight an increased fracture in societies between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ as different groups adjust to increasingly or decreasingly advantageous positions in the system of outsourcing. Opponents of outsourcing have also denounced it as a threat to local cultural integrity. The argument on cultural disintegration points to the standardization of practices and norms as multinational corporations become involved with industries in regions culturally different from those in the country of origin. The alleged diffusion of culture has raised concern over the endurance of cultural norms and values, sociopolitical institutions and frameworks, or even cultural preferences and traditions in a context of increasing foreign presence. Increased uncertainty regarding future socioeconomic security ought to be met with policies promoting equality and a fair redistribution of economic gains for a government to maintain its voters’ favour. Because of overall unpredictability, governments will likely need to reassure civilians that the burden of employment jobs resulting from outsourcing will be shared among taxpayers. The fluctuations in employment levels are determined by the types of jobs which can be profitably outsourced or offshored. Domestic jobs become offshored or outsourced when lower productivity in other regions is compensated by lower wages, making outsourcing profitable even despite the added costs of transportation. The overall cost-effectiveness of the spatial unbundling of the industrial process thus depends on the cost of transporting specific services or ideas given the available technology. Because of this reason technological advancements such as the telecommunications revolution, air shipping or the Internet have deeply accelerated outsourcing and may continue to boost this process. The future results of technological ingenuity and innovation are unknown, as are its potential impacts employment levels on any given task or job across regions. In the Global South, policies attracting multinational corporations can help increase employment levels and promote growth. Governments which pursue such strategies facilitate welfare protection given the context of increased unemployment in industries which cannot compete with the international market due to trade liberalization policies.
Outsourcing results from an internationalization of labor markets as more tasks become tradable. According to leading economist Greg Mankiw, the labour market functions under the same forces as the market of goods, with the underlying implication that the greater the number of tasks available to being moved, the better for efficiency under the gains from trade. With technological progress, more tasks can be offshored at different stages of the overall corporate process.
There are widespread claims that outsourcing has pushed environmental standards down in developing regions as countries compete to attract foreign projects and investment. Similar to lower wages, lower health and environmental regulations contribute to giving a country a comparative advantage over another due to lower production costs. The controversy this raises, however, is that unlike wages, lower health or environmental standards does benefit the new employees joining the workforce. Import competition has caused a de facto ‘race-to-the-bottom’ where countries lower environmental regulations to secure a competitive edge for their industries relative to other countries. As Mexico competes with China over Canadian and American markets, its national Commission for Environmental Cooperation has not been active in enacting or enforcing regulations to prevent environmental damage from increasingly industrialized Export Processing Zones. Similarly, since the signing of NAFTA heavy industries have increasingly moved to the US which has a comparative advantage due to its abundant presence capital and well-developed technology. A further example of environmental de-regulation with the objective of protecting trade incentives have been the numerous exemptions to carbon taxes in European countries during the 1990s. The evidence suggests that even if outsourcing has promoted lower environmental protection, there are no intrinsic geographic implications that the Global South has been more negatively affected than the North. o Although outsourcing can influence environmental de-regulatory trends, the added cost of preventing pollution does not majorly determine trade flows or industrialization.
Globalization and socio-economic implications
Main article: Globalization
Global inequality and development
Outsourcing has contributed to further levelling of global inequalities as it has led to general trends of industrialization in the Global South and deindustrialization in the Global North.
Even though outsourcing has promoted a movement of industrial sites from the Global North to Global South regions, it has not been the only reason for the concurrent deindustrialization and industrialization of the North and South respectively. Deindustrialization in more economically and technologically developed regions has also been affected by increased industrial productivity.
The rise in industrial efficiency which characterized development in developed countries has occurred as a result of labour-saving technological improvements. Although these improvements do not directly reduce employment levels but rather increase output per unit of work, they can indirectly diminish the amount of labour required for fixed levels of output. Likewise, a trending shift in demand towards non-tradable services such as those in the health-care or government sectors has further accelerated deindustrialization in the Global North. Since these tasks cannot be outsourced, the demand for them needs to be met domestically abiding by the local market price. Consequently, a shift in the labour force towards fulfilling these profitable services has mostly taken place at the expense of industry since the agricultural sector in the early industrializing Global North had already been maximizing its labour capacity.
Despite the variety of domestic and international factors affecting deindustrialization in the Global North, those concerning the external influence of the global market have been the most influential ones since 1994.
The recent industrialization process outsourcing has encouraged in the Global South has taken place at a much faster pace than it did during its beginnings in the North, given that the well-developed technology was already developed, and merely spread to further regions.
Growth and income
The almost simultaneous industrialization of the developing Global South and deindustrialization of the more developed Global North resulted in an international convergence of incomes.
Outsourcing has been characterized by rapid rates of growth and industrialization in the Global South. Conversely, the Global North has experienced a moderate slowdown in growth. Patterns of global industrialization and deindustrialization are explained by a combination of models in economic geography and economic growth. Models in economic geography illustrate that decreasing communication costs reduce the spatial clustering of industrial development. The lower cost to the spread of ideas improved coordination and communication within corporations across greater geographic distances. This process originated roughly after the international chaos of the World Wars, as a consequence of advancements in information technology during the 1960s. Further adaptations to technological progress, particularly the spread of the internet and liberalization of the telecommunications industry, permitted an acceleration of the movement of ideas and consequently of outsourcing since about the 1980s.
The pace of urbanization in the Global North decreased considerably relative to its high levels following the Industrial Revolution. Rates of urban growth have been higher in the Global South.
Outsourcing emerged with a new wave of globalization marked by high volumes of trade and capital flows. The increased movement of capital and goods contrasted starkly with the barriers and protectionism prevalent throughout the World Wars and the Great Depression during the Interwar Years.
The level of migration has remained relatively low, particularly compared to the mass migratory trends which characterized the Industrial Revolution roughly between 1850 and 1914., probably because labor markets are not free now. Countries now have discrimination labor laws, only allow people with citizenship cards live and work free in their territories, even getting a citizenship card is difficult for some one not born in their territory. Free labor markets, discrimination based with a person skills would help reduce outsourcing problems, letting people freely follow their jobs in other countries.
Outsourcing in the Global North led to a rising divergence in domestic employment levels in different tasks within a given industry, making tackling unemployment more difficult for governments as job losses ceased to be primarily sectoral.
"Outsourcing" became a popular political issue in the United States, having been conflated with offshoring, during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. The political debate centered on outsourcing's consequences for the domestic U.S. workforce. Democratic U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry criticized U.S. firms that outsource jobs abroad or that incorporate overseas in tax havens to avoid paying their "fair share" of U.S. taxes during his 2004 campaign, calling such firms "Benedict Arnold corporations".
Criticism of outsourcing, from the perspective of U.S. citizens, generally revolves around the costs associated with transferring control of the labor process to an external entity in another country. A Zogby International poll conducted in August 2004 found that 71% of American voters believed that “outsourcing jobs overseas” hurt the economy while another 62% believed that the U.S. government should impose some legislative action against companies that transfer domestic jobs overseas, possibly in the form of increased taxes on companies that outsource. One prediction (from 2010) claims that, by 2014, more than 1.3 million positions will disappear because of "the accelerated movement of work to India ..." and some other countries willing to accept outsourced jobs. President Obama promoted an act titled 'Bring Jobs Home Act' that would help reshore jobs by giving incentives such as a tax cut or a 20 percent tax credit for moving operations back to the USA. The same bill was reintroduced in the 113th United States Congress as the Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 2569; 113th Congress).
Union busting is one possible cause of outsourcing. As unions are disadvantaged by union busting legislation, workers lose bargaining power and it becomes easier for corporations to fire them and ship their job overseas.
Another given[by whom?] rationale is the high corporate income tax rate in the U.S. relative to other OECD nations, and the practice of taxing revenues earned outside of U.S. jurisdiction, a very uncommon practice. However, outsourcing is not solely a U.S. phenomenon as corporations in various nations with low tax rates outsource as well, which means that high taxation can only partially, if at all, explain US outsourcing. For example, the amount of corporate outsourcing in 1950 would be considerably lower than today, yet the tax rate was actually higher in 1950.
It is argued[by whom?] that lowering the corporate income tax and ending the double-taxation of foreign-derived revenue (taxed once in the nation where the revenue was raised, and once from the U.S.) will alleviate corporate outsourcing and make the U.S. more attractive to foreign companies. However, while the US has a high official tax rate, the actual taxes paid by US corporations may be considerably lower due to the use of tax loopholes, tax havens, and "gaming the system". Rather than avoiding taxes, outsourcing may be mostly driven by the desire to lower labor costs (see standpoint of labor above). Sarbanes-Oxley has also been cited as a factor for corporate flight from U.S. jurisdiction.
See also: Disney litigation
Where outsourcing involves the transfer of an undertaking, it is subject to Council Directive 77/187 of 14 February 1977, on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the safeguarding of employees’ rights in the event of transfers of undertakings, businesses or parts of businesses (as amended by Directive 98/50/EC of 29 June 1998; consolidated in Directive 2001/23 of 12 March 2001). Under that directive, rights acquired by employees with the former employer are to be safeguarded when they, together with the undertaking in which they are employed, are transferred to another employer, i.e., the contractor. An example of a case involving such contracting-out was the decision of the European Court of Justice in Christel Schmidt v. Spar- und Leihkasse der früheren Ämter Bordesholm, Kiel und Cronshagen, Case C-392/92 . Although subsequent decisions have disputed whether a particular contracting-out exercise constituted a transfer of an undertaking (see, for example, Ayse Süzen v. Zehnacker Gebäudereinigung GmbH Krankenhausservice, Case C-13/95 ), in principle, employees of an enterprise outsourcing part of its activities in which they are employed may benefit from the protection offered by the directive.
Seeking to implement the cost-cutting solutions, many Western European firms have been transferring tech projects eastward. For example, Deutsche Bank has some of its software developed in Ukraine, Siemens possess R&D center in Romania. Europe Outsourcing has produced outstanding results and henceforward they are increasing them in numbers.
Despite unfavorable economic conditions from 2007 to 2009, the outsourcing services market continued to flourish in Central and Eastern European. In 2008 when the inflow of investment in Western Europe was down by 48%, it fell by only 9% in Central and Eastern Europe. In Poland alone, during 2009, the year following the global economic downturn, approximately 10,000 jobs were created in business process outsourcing (BPO).
Co-sourcing is a business practice where a service is performed by staff from inside an organization and also by an external service provider. It can be a service performed in concert with a client's existing internal audit department. The scope of work may focus on one or more aspects of the internal audit function. Co-sourcing can serve to minimize sourcing risks, increase transparency, clarity and lend toward better control over the processes outsourced.
Examples of co-sourcing services are supplementing the in-house internal audit staff with specialised skills such as information risk management or integrity services, providing routine assistance to in-house auditing for operations and control evaluations in peak period activity and conducting special projects such as fraud investigation or plant investment appraisals. Another example of co-sourcing is outsourcing part of software development or software maintenance activities to an external organization, while keeping part of the development in-house. Other internal business activities such as HR and administrative tasks can also be co-sourced by employee leasing companies.
Identity management co-sourcing
It is an approach to enterprise identity management in which the identity service interacts directly or through some technical footprint with an organization’s Information Technology (IT) identity backend infrastructure (directories, databases, and other identity repositories). The organization and the external service provider typically have a shared responsibility for building, hosting and operating the identity service. The balance of this responsibility can vary depending on the service levels required, and span from an all on-premises deployment, where the identity service is built, hosted and operated within the organization’s IT infrastructure and managed on-premises by the external service provider. This contrasts with an "all in-the-cloud" service scenario, where the identity service is built, hosted and operated by the service provider in an externally hosted, cloud computing infrastructure.
There has been a recent overturn of the tendency to outsource. The most recent trends in outsourcing and offshoring have been precisely the opposite force as companies are drifting back to perform tasks themselves and develop facilities back in their home Western locations.
Many firms are undoing their steps in outsourcing because the consequences were not entirely as expected. The circumstances which allow firms to unbundle the different tasks or stages of its manufacturing process into different locations have not been fully determined. Though the nature of the tasks plays a role determining their interconnectedness, other factors such as innovation in the manufacturing process or advances in transport and communication technology also affect the need for direct contact among employees. As the process which ties tasks together within firms remains unclear, there is a degree of uncertainty about which tasks need to remain geographically clustered together. In many cases firms took risks experimenting with outsourcing while lacking a firm understanding of the relationship among internal tasks and its spatial implications.
Despite saving money, companies have often faced unexpected drawbacks from outsourcing, such as miscommunication or lower quality of intermediate products, which end up delaying the overall production process. According to a Deloitte Consulting survey carried out in 2005, a quarter of the companies which had outsourced tasks had to reverse their strategy. Many big companies like Lenovo are increasingly considering turning around strategies of outsourcing.
Another reason for a decrease in outsourcing is that many jobs that were subcontracted abroad have been replaced by technological advances.
Public opinion in the US and other Western powers opposing outsourcing was particularly strengthened by the drastic increase in unemployment as a result of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. In the first decade from 2000 to 2010, the US experienced a net loss of 687,000 jobs due to outsourcing, primarily in the computers and electronics sector. Public disenchantment with outsourcing has not only stirred political responses, as seen in the 2012 US Presidential campaigns, but it has also made companies more reluctant to outsource or offshore jobs.
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Center on Business and Poverty -- robin, 23:47:56 02/02/16 Tue 
Center on Business and Poverty (COBAP) is a non-profit organization that supports writing and community projects related to employers which participate in social enterprise or employee ownership. It is an initiative of The College of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin Madison. John Hoffmire founded the organization in 2004 and serves as the current director. By arranging community projects, the program informs low income individuals and families as well as employees on how to improve their financial situations through various means
The idea for COBAP emerged during conversations between John Hoffmire and John Karl Scholz who knew each other from graduate school at Stanford University. Hoffmire started working on setting the groundwork for the center in 2004 and established a national advisory board. The original idea was to use trained volunteers from the university to counsel workers on financial matters. The program started as a way for UW Hospital employees to have their taxes done for free, but branched out to other businesses when demand increased.
COBAP supports writing and community projects related to employers which participate in social enterprise or employee ownership. The organization has developed several community projects to enroll employees in programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, direct-deposit banking and company-matched retirement plans. The service is available to those who earn less than $49,000 and is offered at several businesses, credit unions and universities.
COBAP has also helped launch 25 businesses, and helped create financial literacy training programs for over 80 credit unions As of 2011, the organization through its volunteers had helped more than 21,000 low-income people complete their tax forms for free or for reduced fees.
The Center on Business and Poverty has helped to grow three sister organizations: Progress Through Business (Progress), The Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation (PFEEF) and the Impact Bond Fund. Progress is an entity focused on research and journalism. PFEEF sponsors the Personal Financial Wellness Scale and Survey and The Impact Bond Fund, at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, allows students to invest $5,000,000 each year in publicly traded bonds that have positive social and/or environmental impact.
The organization raises funds through individual and corporate donations and foundation grants. It was started on seed money of $89,000. Some of its current and recent partners have included Puelicher Center for Banking Education, UW Credit Union, in conjunction with Beta Alpha Psi at UW-Madison, Journey House, Housing Ministries of American Baptists, Zions Bank, Precision Information, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service, and Staples, Inc
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Employee stock ownership plan -- robin, 23:44:30 02/02/16 Tue 
An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is an employee-owner program that provides a company's workforce with an ownership interest in the company. In an ESOP, companies provide their employees with stock ownership, often at no upfront cost to the employees. ESOP shares, however, are part of employees' remuneration for work performed. Shares are allocated to employees and may be held in an ESOP trust until the employee retires or leaves the company. The shares are then either bought back by the company for redistribution or voided.
Some corporations are majority employee-owned; the term employee-owned corporation often refers to such companies. Such organizations are similar to worker cooperatives, but unlike cooperatives, control of the company's capital is not necessarily evenly distributed. In many cases, voting rights are given only to certain shareholders, and more senior employees may be allocated more shares than new hires. Compared with cooperatives, ESOP-centered corporations often allow for company executives to have greater flexibility and control in governing and managing the corporation.
Most corporations, however, use stock ownership plans as a form of in-kind benefit as a way to prevent hostile takeovers or to maintain a specific corporate culture. The plans generally prevent average employees from holding too much of the company's stock.
See also: UK company law and UK labour law
ESOPs became widespread for a short period in the UK under the government of Margaret Thatcher, particularly following the Transport Act 1985, which deregulated and then privatised bus services. Councils seeking to protect workers ensured that employees accessed shares as privatisation took place, but employee owners soon lost their shares as they were bought up and bus companies were taken over. The disappearance of stock plans was dramatic.
The John Lewis Partnership has been cited as an example of an employee share ownership. However, unlike some other employee ownership arrangements, partners in John Lewis have no proprietary right to their stake and cannot buy or sell their rights or collectively dissolve the entity. ESOPs are almost entirely opposite because at John Lewis, employees get a voice at work but cannot trade an ownership stake; an ESOP typically carries no meaningful voice but allows the interest to be bought and sold.
In July 2012, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills published a report, "The Employee Ownership Advantage, Benefits and Consequences". This report listed several major advantages of employee ownership including stronger longterm focus, increased employee representation at board level and greater preference for internal growth. The report also highlighted that employee owned businesses face greater problems when it comes to raising capital and dealing with regulatory requirements. The study was based on data from a survey of 41 employee-owned businesses and 22 non-employee owned businesses in the United Kingdom, and also draws upon the published financial data of 49 EOBs and 204 non-EOBs in the UK.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced in a speech at the Conservative Party Conference on 8 October 2012 that the law would be reformed to create a new employment status for "employee-owners". Employee-owners will pay no capital gains tax on any profit made from selling these shares, but they will have to give up certain employment rights in return, including redundancy and unfair dismissal. The consultation by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills was published on 18 October 2012. Lawyers have suggested that the employee-owner scheme could have significant unintended consequences as, under the existing proposal, it may be possible for entrepreneurs to set themselves up as employee owners in order to avoid capital gains tax. In practice, those entrepreneurs will be far more 'owner' than 'employee' and the employment rights they will be giving up are likely to be of much less value to them than to ordinary employees and so the tax advantages of far greater value to them than to ordinary employees.
On 3 December 2012, the government published its response to the consultation. It had decided to press ahead with the changes despite 92% of responses to the consultation being either "negative" or "mixed" and despite it being "widely derided both in the House of Lords and in business chambers across the country." The term "employee owner" was dropped in favour of the more accurate "employee shareholder". Lawyers have commented that uncertainty remains as to how these proposals will operate in practice.
In April 2013, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill was passed and received Royal Assent. Implementation of the employee-shareholder provisions was expected to take place in October 2013. The employee ownership provisions received significant amendment in the House of Lords, with the unintended consequence possibly being that trade unions may now benefit.
At the end of June 2013, it became clear Osborne's "pet project", it had been the centrepiece of his Conservative party conference speech in 2012, had flopped after it emerged that just four companies had enquired about his shares-for-rights scheme, while only two had gone the further step of asking for information about it; the chancellor had been expecting thousands of firms to actually sign up. One UK official commented that, it was "an outrageously, terribly low figure", and even the Tory-leaning press described the failed idea as "Osborne at his worst".
An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a defined contribution plan, a form of retirement plan as defined by 4975(e)(7)of IRS codes, which became a qualified retirement plan in 1974. It is one of the methods of employee participation in corporate ownership.
ESOPs are regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal law that sets minimum standards for investment plans in private industry. Internal Revenue Code section 404(a)(3) provides for an annual limit on the amount of deductible contributions an employer can make to a tax-qualified stock bonus or profit-sharing plan of 25% of the compensation otherwise paid or accrued during the year to the employees who benefit under the plan.
The Oakland, California-based think tank National Center for Employee Ownership estimates that there are approximately 11,300 employee stock ownership plans for over 13 million employees in the United States. Notable U.S. employee-owned corporations include the 150,000 employee supermarket chain Publix Supermarkets, Hy-Vee, McCarthy Building Company, environmental consulting firm Citadel Environmental Services, Inc., the craft brewery New Belgium Brewery, and photography studio company Lifetouch. Today, most private U.S. companies that are operating as ESOPs are structured as S corporation ESOPs (S ESOPs).
In the mid-19th century, as the United States transitioned to an industrial economy, national corporations like Procter & Gamble, Railway Express, Sears & Roebuck, and others recognized that someone could work for the companies for 20 plus years, reach an old age and then have no income after they could no longer work.The leaders of those 19th century companies decided to set aside stock in the company that would be given to employees when they retired.
In the early 20th century, when the United States sanctioned an income tax on all citizens, one of the biggest debates was about how to treat stock set aside for an employee by his employer under the new US income tax laws.
ESOPs were developed as a way to encourage capital expansion and economic equality. Many of the early proponents of ESOPs believed that capitalism's viability depended upon continued growth and that there was no better way for economies to grow than by distributing the benefits of that growth to the workforce.
In 1956, Louis Kelso invented the first ESOP, which allowed the employees of Peninsula Newspapers to buy out the company founders. Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Russell Long, a Democrat from Louisiana, helped develop tax policy for ESOPs within the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), calling it one of his most important accomplishments in his career. ESOPs also attracted interest of Republican leaders including Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.
In 2001, the United States Congress enacted Internal Revenue Code section 409(p), which effectively requires for ESOP benefits to be shared equitably by investors and workers. This ensures that the ESOP includes everyone from the receptionist to the CFO.
Like other tax-qualified deferred compensation plans, ESOPs must not discriminate in their operations in favor of highly compensated employees, officers, or owners. In an ESOP, a company sets up an employee benefit trust that is funded by contributing cash to buy company stock or contributing company shares directly. Alternately, the company can choose to have the trust borrow money to buy stock (also known as a leveraged ESOP, with the company making contributions to the plan to enable it to repay the loan. Generally, almost every full-time employee with a year or more of service who worked at least 20 hours a week is in an ESOP.
The United States ESOP model is tied to the unique US system encouraging private retirement savings plans and tax policies that reflect that goal. That makes it difficult to compare to other tax codes from other nations.
S corporation ESOP
Most private US companies operating as an ESOP are structured as S corporation ESOPs (S ESOPs). The United States Congress established S ESOPs in 1998, to encourage and expand retirement savings by giving millions more American workers the opportunity to have equity in the companies where they work.
ESOP advocates credit S ESOPs with providing retirement security, job stability and worker retention, by the claimed culture, stability and productivity gains associated with employee-ownership. A study of a cross-section of Subchapter S firms with an Employee Stock Ownership Plan shows that S ESOP companies performed better in 2008 compared to non-S ESOP firms, paid their workers higher wages on average than other firms in the same industries, contributed more to their workers' retirement security, and hired workers when the overall U.S. economy was pitched downward and non-S ESOP employers were cutting jobs. Scholars estimate that annual contributions to employees of S ESOPs total around $14 billion. Critics say, however, that such studies fail to control for factors other than the existence of the ESOP, such as participatory management strategies, worker education, and pre-ESOP growth trends in individual companies. They maintain that no studies have shown that the presence of an ESOP itself causes any positive effects for companies or workers.;:27 One study estimates that the net US economic benefit from S ESOP savings, job stability and productivity totals $33 billion per year.
A study released in July 2012 found that S corporations with private employee stock ownership plans added jobs over the last decade more quickly than the overall private sector.
A 2013 study found that in 2010, 2,643 S ESOPs directly employed 470,000 workers and supported an additional 940,000 jobs, paid $29 billion in labor income to their own employees, with $48 billion in additional income for supported jobs, and tax revenue initiated by S ESOPs amounted to $11 billion for state and local governments and $16 billion for the federal government. Also, the study found that total output was equivalent to 1.7 percent of 2010 U.S. GDP. $93 billion (or 0.6 percent of GDP) came directly from S ESOPs, while output in supported industries totaled $153 billion (or 1.1 percent of GDP).
Advantages and disadvantages to employees
In a US ESOP, just as in every other form of qualified pension plan, employees do not pay taxes on the contributions until they receive a distribution from the plan when they leave the company. They can roll the amount over into an IRA, as can participants in any qualified plan. There is no requirement for a private sector employer to provide retirement savings plans for employees.
Some studies conclude that employee ownership appears to increase production and profitability and improve employees' dedication and sense of ownership. ESOP advocates maintain that the key variable in securing these claimed benefits is to combine an ESOP with a high degree of worker involvement in work-level decisions (employee teams, for instance). Employee stock ownership can increase the employees' financial risk if the company does badly.
ESOPS, by definition, concentrate workers' retirement savings in the stock of a single company. Such concentration is contrary to the central principle of modern investment theory, which is that investors should diversify their investments across many companies, industries, geographic locations, etc.:8–11 Moreover, ESOPs concentrate workers' retirement savings in the stock of the same company on which they depend for their wages and current benefits, such as health insurance, worsening the nondiversification problem.:8–11 High-profile examples illustrate the problem. Employees at companies such as Enron and WorldCom lost much of their retirement savings by overinvesting in company stock in their 401(k) plans, but the specific companies were not employee-owned. Enron, Polaroid and United Airlines, all of which had ESOPs when they went bankrupt, were C corporations.
Most S corporation ESOPs offer their employees at least one qualified retirement savings plan like a 401(k) in addition to the ESOP, allowing for greater diversification of assets. Studies in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Washington State show that on average, employees participating in the main form of employee ownership have considerably more in retirement assets than comparable employees in non-ESOP firms. The most comprehensive of the studies, a report on all ESOP firms in Washington state, found that the retirement assets were about three times as great, and the diversified portion of employee retirement plans was about the same as the total retirement assets of comparable employees in equivalent non-ESOP firms. The Washington study, however, showed that ESOP participants still had about 60% of their retirement savings invested in employer stock. Wages in ESOP firms were also 5-12% higher. National data from Joseph Blasi and Douglas Kruse at Rutgers shows that ESOP companies are more successful than comparable firms and, perhaps as a result, were more likely to offer additional diversified retirement plans alongside their ESOPs.
Opponents to ESOP have criticized these pro-ESOP claims and say many of the studies are conducted or sponsored by ESOP advocacy organizations and criticizing the methodologies used. Critics argue that pro-ESOP studies did not establish that ESOPs results in higher productivity and wages. ESOP advocates agree that an ESOP alone cannot produce such effects; instead, the ESOP must be combined with worker empowerment through participatory management and other techniques. Critics point out that no study has separated the effects of those techniques from the effects of an ESOP; that is, no study shows that innovative management cannot produce the same (claimed) effects without an ESOP. :36
In some circumstances, ESOP plans were designed that disproportionately benefit employees who enrolled earlier by accruing more shares to early employees. Newer employees, even at stable and mature ESOP companies can have limited opportunity to participate in the program, as a large portion of the shares may have already been allocated to longstanding employees.
ESOP advocates often maintain that employee ownership in 401(k) plans, as opposed to ESOPs, is problematic. About 17% of total 401(k) assets are invested in company stock, more in those companies that offer it as an option (although many do not). ESOP advocates concede that it may be an excessive concentration in a plan specifically meant to be for retirement security. In contrast, they maintain that it may not be a serious problem for an ESOP or other options, which they say are meant as wealth building tools, preferably to exist alongside other plans. Nonetheless, ESOPs are regulated as retirement plans, and they are presented to employees as retirement plans, just like 401(k) plans.
Conflicts of interest
Because ESOPs are the only retirement plans allowed by law to borrow money, they can be attractive to company owners and managers as instruments of corporate finance and succession.:14–16 An ESOP formed using a loan, called a "leveraged ESOP," can provide a tax-advantaged means for the company to raise capital.:14–15 According to a pro-ESOP organization, at least 75% of ESOPs are, or were at some time, leveraged. According to citing ESOP Association statistics as cited in.:14–16 In addition, ESOPs can be attractive instruments of corporate succession, allowing a retiring shareholder to diversify the company of stock while deferring capital gains taxes indefinitely.
Company insiders face additional conflicts of interest in connection with an ESOP's purchase of company stock, which most often features company insiders as sellers and in connection with decisions about how to vote the shares of stock held by the ESOP but not yet allocated to participants' accounts.:16–19 In a leveraged ESOP, such unallocated shares often far outnumber allocated shares for many years after the leveraged transaction.:19–21
Other forms of employee ownership
Stock options and similar plans (stock appreciation rights, phantom stock, and restricted stock, primarily) are common in most industrial and some developing countries. Only in the U.S., however, is there a widespread practice of sharing this kind of ownership broadly with employees, mostly (but not entirely) in the technology sector (Whole Foods and Starbucks also do this, for instance). The tax rules for employee ownership vary widely from country to country. Only a few, most notably the U.S., Ireland, and the UK, have significant tax laws to encourage broad-based employee ownership. In India, employee stock option plans are called "ESOPs”.
The most celebrated (and studied) case of a multinational corporation based wholly on worker-ownership principles is the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation. Unlike in the United States, however, Spanish law requires that members of the Mondragon Corporation are registered as self-employed. This differentiates co-operative ownership (in which self-employed owner-members each have one voting share, or shares are controlled by a co-operative legal entity) from employee ownership (where ownership is typically held as a block of shares on behalf of employees using an Employee Benefit Trust, or company rules embed mechanisms for distributing shares to employees and ensuring they remain majority shareholders).
Different forms of employee ownership, and the principles that underlie them, are strongly associated with the emergence of an international social enterprise movement. Key agents of employee ownership, such as Co-operatives UK and the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), play an active role in promoting employee ownership as a de facto standard for the development of social enterprises.
Other varieties of employee ownership include:
Direct purchase plans
Main article: Employee stock purchase plan
Direct purchase plans simply allow employees to buy shares in the company with their own, usually after-tax, money. In the U.S. and several foreign countries, there are special tax-qualified plans, however, that allow employees to buy stock either at a discount or with matching shares from the company. For instance, in the U.S., employees can put aside after-tax pay over some period of time (typically 6–12 months) then use the accumulated funds to buy shares at up to a 15% discount at either the price at the time of purchase or the time when they started putting aside the money, whichever is lower. In the U.K. employee purchases can be matched directly by the company.
Stock options give employees the right to buy a number of shares at a price fixed at grant for a defined number of years into the future. Options, and all the plans listed below, can be given to any employee under whatever rules the company creates, with limited exceptions in various countries.
Restricted stock and its close relative restricted stock units give employees the right to acquire or receive shares, by gift or purchase, once certain restrictions, such as working a certain number of years or meeting a performance target, are met.
Phantom stock pays a future cash bonus equal to the value of a certain number of shares.
Stock appreciation rights
Stock appreciation rights provide the right to the increase in the value of a designated number of shares, usually paid in cash but occasionally settled in shares (this is called a “stock–settled” SAR).
Worker cooperatives are very different from the above mechanisms. They require members to join. Each worker-member buys a membership interest at a fixed price, or buys a share. Only workers can be members, but cooperatives can hire non-worker-owners. Each member gets one vote.
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Workers' self-management -- robin, 23:42:06 02/02/16 Tue 
Self-management or workers' self-management (also referred to as labor management, autogestión, workers' control, industrial democracy, democratic management and producer cooperatives) is a form of management that involves management of an organization by its workforce and self-directed organization. Self-management is a characteristic of many forms of socialism, with proposals for self-management having appeared many times throughout the history of the socialist movement, advocated variously by market socialists, communists, and anarchists.
There are many variations of self-management. In some variants, all the worker-members manage the enterprise directly through assemblies; in other forms, workers manage indirectly through the election of specialist managers. Self-management may include worker supervision and oversight of an organization by elected bodies, the election of specialized managers, or management without any specialized managers as such. The goals of self-management are to improve performance by granting workers greater autonomy in their day-to-day operations (self-directed activity), while reducing alienation and eliminating exploitation.
An enterprise that is self-managed is called a labour-managed firm. Self-management is about control rights within a productive organization, being distinct from the questions of ownership and the economic system under which the organization is operating within. Self-management of an organization may coincide with employee ownership of that organization, but self-management can also exist in the context of organizations under public ownership, and to a limited extent within private companies in the form of co-determination and worker representation on the board of directors.
An economic system consisting of self-managed enterprises is sometimes referred to as a participatory economy, self-managed economy or cooperative economy. This economic model is a major version of market socialism and decentralized planned economy, stemming from the notion that people should be able to participate in making the decisions that affect their well-being. The major proponents of self-managed market socialism in the 20th century include the economists Benjamin Ward, Jaroslav Vanek and Branko Horvat. The Ward-Vanek model of self-management involves the diffusion of entrepreneurial roles amongst all the partners of the enterprise.
Branko Horvat notes that participation is not simply more desirable but also more economically viable than traditional hierarchical and authoritarian management as demonstrated by econometric measurements, which indicate an increase in efficiency with greater participation in decision-making. According to Horvat, these developments are moving the world toward a self-governing socialistic mode of organization.
In the economic theory of self-management, workers are no longer employees but partners in the administration of their enterprise. Management theories in favor of greater self-management and self-directed activity cite the importance of autonomy for productivity in the firm, and economists in favor of self-management argue that cooperatives are more efficient than centrally-managed firms because every worker receives a portion of the profit, thereby directly tying their productivity to their level of compensation.
Historical economic figures who supported cooperatives and self-management of some kind include the anarchist Pierre Joseph Proudhon, classical economist John Stuart Mill, and the neoclassical economist Alfred Marshall. Contemporary proponents of self-management include the American Marxist economist Richard D. Wolff and Anarchist Philosopher Noam Chomsky.
Labor managed firm
The theory of the labor manager firm explains the behavior, performance and nature of self-managed organizational forms. Although self-managed (or labor-managed) firms can coincide with worker ownership (employee ownership), the two are distinct concepts, and one need not imply the other. According to traditional neoclassical economic theory, in a competitive market economy, ownership of capital assets by labor (the workforce of a given firm) should have no significant impact on firm performance.
The classical liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill believed that worker-run and owned cooperatives would eventually displace traditional capitalist (capital-managed) firms in the competitive market economy due to their superior efficiency and stronger incentive structure. While both Mill and Karl Marx thought that democratic worker management would be more efficient in the long run compared with hierarchical management, Marx was not hopeful about the prospects of labor-managed and owned firms as a means to displace traditional capitalist firms in the market economy. In Western market economies, despite their advantages in efficiency, the labor-managed firm is comparatively rare.
Benjamin Ward critiqued the labor managed firm's objective function. According to Ward, the labor-managed firm strives to maximize net income for all its members, as contrasted with the traditional capitalist firms' objective function of maximizing profit for external owners. The objective function of the labor managed firm creates an incentive to limit employment in order to boost the net income of the firm's existing members. An economy consisting of labor-managed firms would thus have a tendency to under-utilize labor and tend toward high rates of unemployment.
In the 19th century, the idea of a self-managed economy was first fully articulated by the anarchist philosopher and economist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. This economic model was called mutualism to highlight the mutual relationship among individuals in this system (in contrast to the "parasitism" of capitalist society) and involved cooperatives operating in a free-market economy.
The classical liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill argued worker-run cooperatives would eventually displace traditional capitalist (capital-managed) firms in the competitive market economy due to their superior efficiency.
Karl Marx championed the idea of a "free association of producers" as a characteristic of communist society, where self-management processes replaced the traditional notion of the centralized state. This concept is related to the Marxist idea of transcending alienation.
The Soviet-type economic model as practiced in the former Soviet Union and Eastern bloc is criticized by socialists for its lack of widespread self-management and management input on the part of workers in economic institutions. However, according to both the Bolshevik view and Marx's own perspective, a full transformation of the work process can only occur after technical progress has eliminated dreary and repetitive work - a state of affairs that had not yet been achieved even in the advanced Western economies.
In his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel H. Pink argues on the basis of empirical evidence that self-management/self-directed processes, mastery, worker autonomy and purpose (defined as intrinsic rewards) are much more effective incentives than monetary gain (extrinsic rewards). According to Pink, for the vast majority of work in the 21st century, self-management and related intrinsic incentives are far more crucial than outdated notions of hierarchical management and an over-reliance on monetary compensation as reward.
Worker self-management became a primary component of some trade union organizations, in particular revolutionary syndicalism which was introduced in late 19th century France, and guild socialism in early 20th century Britain, although both movements collapsed in the early 1920s. French trade-union CFDT ("Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail") included worker self-management in its 1970 program, before later abandoning it. The philosophy of workers' self-management has been promoted by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) since its founding in the United States in 1905.
Critics of workers' self-management from the left such as Gilles Dauvé and Jacques Camatte do not admonish the model as reactionary, but simply as not progressive in the context of developed capitalism. Such critics suggest that capitalism is more than a relationship of management. Rather, they suggest capitalism should be considered as a social totality which workers' self-management in and of itself only perpetuates and does not challenge - despite its seemingly radical content and activity. This theory is used to explain why self-management in Yugoslavia never advanced beyond the confines of the larger state monopoly economy, or why many modern worker-owned facilities tend to return to hiring managers and accountants after only a few years of operation.
Guild socialism is a political movement advocating workers' control of industry through the medium of trade-related guilds "in an implied contractual relationship with the public". It originated in the United Kingdom and was at its most influential in the first quarter of the 20th century. It was strongly associated with G. D. H. Cole and influenced by the ideas of William Morris.
One significant experiment with workers' self-management took place during the Spanish Revolution (1936–1939). Rudolf Rocker said in his book Anarcho-Syndicalism (1938):
In the 1950s, at the height of the Cold War, Yugoslavia advocated what was officially called socialist self-management in distinction from the Eastern Bloc countries, all of which practiced central planning and centralized management of their economies. The economy of Yugoslavia was organized according to the theories of Tito and – more directly – Edvard Kardelj. Croatian scientist Branko Horvat also made a significant contribution to the theory of workers' self-management (radnicko samoupravljanje) as practiced in Yugoslavia. With the exception of a recession in the mid-1960s, the country's economy prospered under Titoist Socialism. Unemployment was low, the education level of the work force steadily increased. The life expectancy (which was about 72 years) and living standards of Yugoslav citizens was nearly equal to the life expectancy and living standards of citizens of Western capitalist countries such as Portugal. Due to Yugoslavia's neutrality and its leading role in the Non-Aligned Movement, Yugoslav companies exported to both Western and Eastern markets. Yugoslav companies carried out construction of numerous major infrastructural and industrial projects in Africa, Europe and Asia.
After May 68 in France, LIP factory, a clockwork factory based in Besançon, became self-managed starting in 1973 after the management's decision to liquidate it. The LIP experience was an emblematic social conflict of post-68 in France. CFDT (the CCT as it was referred to in Northern Spain), trade-unionist Charles Piaget led the strike in which workers claimed the means of production. The Unified Socialist Party (PSU), which included former Radical Pierre Mendès-France, was in favour of autogestión or self-management.
In the Basque Country of Spain, the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation represents perhaps the longest lasting and most successful example of workers' self-management in the world. It has been touted by a diverse group of people, such as the Marxian economist Richard D. Wolff and the research monograph Capital and the Debt Trap as an example of how the economy can be organized on an alternative to the capitalist mode of production.
In the 2010s, due to the economic crisis in Greece, a number of factories have been occupied and have become self-managed along the lines of autogestión.
During the Great Depression, worker and utility cooperatives flourished to the point that more than half of U.S. farmers belonged to a cooperative. In general worker cooperatives and cooperative banking institutions were formed across the country and became a thriving alternative for workers and customers. Now,[when?] due to the economic downturn and stagnation in the rustbelt, worker cooperatives such as the Evergreen Cooperatives have been formed in response, inspired by Mondragon.
In October 2005 the first Encuentro Latinoamericano de Empresas Recuperadas ("Latin American Encounter of Recovered Companies") took place in Caracas, Venezuela, with representatives of 263 such companies from different countries living through similar economical and social situations. The meeting had, as its main outcome, the Compromiso de Caracas (Caracas' Commitment); a vindicating text of the movement.
The fábricas recuperadas movement
English-language discussions of this phenomenon may employ several different translations of the original Spanish expression other than recovered factory. For example, worker-recuperated enterprise, recuperated factory/business,worker-recovered factory/business, reclaimed factory, and worker-run factory have been noted. The phenomenon is also known as "autogestión," which comes from the French word for self-management (applied to factories, popular education systems, and other uses). Worker self-management may coincide with employee ownership.
Argentina's fábricas recuperadas movement, which emerged in response to Argentine's 2001 economic crisis, is the current most significant workers' self-management phenomenon in the world. Workers took over control of the factories in which they had worked, commonly after bankruptcy, or after a factory occupation to circumvent a lockout.
Fábricas recuperadas means "reclaimed/recovered factories." The Spanish verb recuperar means not only "to get back", "to take back" or "to reclaim" but also "to put back into good condition". Although initially referring to industrial facilities, the term may also apply to businesses other than factories (e.g. Hotel Bauen in Buenos Aires).
Throughout the 1990s in Argentina's southern province of Neuquén, drastic economic and political events occurred where the citizens ultimately rose up. Although the first shift occurred in a single factory, bosses were progressively fired throughout the province so that by 2005 the workers of the province controlled most of the factories.
The movement emerged as a response to Argentine's 2001 economic crisis, and about 200 Argentine companies were "recovered" by their workers and turned into co-operatives. Prominent examples include the Brukman factory, the Hotel Bauen and FaSinPat (formerly known as Zanon). As of 2005, about 15,000 Argentine workers run recovered factories.
The phenomenon of fabricas recuperadas ("recovered factories") is not new in Argentina. Rather, such social movements were completely dismantled during the so-called "Dirty War" in the 1970s. Thus, during Héctor Cámpora's first months of government (May–July 1973), a rather moderate and left-wing Peronist, approximately 600 social conflicts, strikes and factory occupations had taken place.
Many recovered factories are run co-operatively and all workers receive the same wage. Important management decisions are taken democratically by an assembly of all workers, rather than by professional managers.
The proliferation of these "recoveries" has led to the formation of a recovered factory movement, which has ties to a diverse political network including socialists, Peronists, anarchists and communists. Organizationally, this includes two major federations of recovered factories, the larger Movimiento Nacional de Empresas Recuperadas (or National Movement of Recuperated Businesses, or MNER) on the left and the smaller National Movement of Recuperated Factories (MNFR) on the right. Some labor unions, unemployed protestors (known as piqueteros), traditional worker cooperatives and a range of political groups have also provided support for these take-overs. In March 2003, with the help of the MNER, former employees of the luxury Hotel Bauen occupied the building and took control of it.
One of the highest difficulties such a movement faces is its relation towards the classic economic system, as most classically managed firms refused,[verification needed] for various reasons (among which ideological hostility to the very principle of autogestión) to work and deal with recovered factories. Thus, isolated recovered factories find it easier to work together in building an alternative, more democratic economic system and thus manage to reach a critical size and power which enables it to negotiate with the ordinary capitalistic firms.
The movement led in 2011 to a new bankruptcy law that facilitates take over by the workers. The legislation was signed into law by President Cristina Kirchner on June 29, 2011.
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Self-employment -- robin, 23:38:59 02/02/16 Tue 
Self-employment is the act of generating one's income directly from customers through working, clients or other organizations as opposed to being an employee of a business (or person).
Generally, tax authorities will view a person as self-employed if the person (1) chooses to be recognized as such, or (2) is generating income such that the person is required to file a tax return under legislation that subsists in the relevant jurisdiction(s). In the real world the critical issue for the taxing authorities is not that the person is trading but is whether the person is profitable and hence potentially taxable. In other words, the activity of trading is likely to be ignored if no profit is present, so occasional and hobby- or enthusiast-based economic activity is generally ignored by authorities.
Self-employed people generally find their own work rather than being provided with work by an employer, earning income from a trade or business that they operate. In some countries governments (the United States and UK, for example) are placing more emphasis on clarifying whether an individual is self-employed or engaged in disguised employment, often described as the pretense of a contractual intra-business relationship to hide what is otherwise a simple employer-employee relationship.
Self-employment in the United States
Although the common perception is that self-employment is concentrated in a few service sector industries, like sales people and insurance agents, research by the Small Business Administration has shown that self-employment occurs across a wide segment of the U.S. economy. Furthermore, industries that are not commonly associated as a natural fit for self-employment, such as manufacturing, have in fact been shown to have a large proportion of self-employed individuals and home-based businesses. In the United States, any person is considered self-employed for tax purposes if that person is running a business as a sole proprietorship, independent contractor, as a member of a partnership, or as a member of a limited liability company that does not elect to be treated as a corporation. In addition to income taxes, these individuals must pay Social Security and Medicare taxes in the form of a SECA (Self-Employment Contributions Act) tax.
Different Types of Self-Employment
There are many different ways in which one can be self-employed in the United States. Self-employment is a specific form of labor market activity with a particular tax classification spanning hundreds of different occupations and industries. So artists, musicians, accountants, doctors, mechanics, real estate agents, consultants, lawyers, IT software developers, etc. can all be classified as self-employed. Many self-employed individuals have employees who work for them as in the case of small business owners. One ways to differentiate self-employment is by industry-sector. So, one can be self-employed in manufacturing, retail trade, professional services, personal services, or finance. While all forms of self-employment offer independence and autonomy for self-employed individuals, the rewards and income generation vary dramatically by industry 
Self-Employment Among Immigrant and Ethnic Minorities
Self-employment is relatively common among new immigrants and ethnic minorities in the United States. In the United States, immigrants tend to have higher rates of self-employment than native-born Americans regardless of race or ethnicity. But, self-employment in the United States is unevenly distributed across racial/ethnic lines. Immigrants and their children who self-identify as White have the highest probability of self-employment in lucrative industries such as professional services and finance .In contrast, racial and ethnic minorities are less likely than native-born Whites to be self-employed, with the exception of Asian immigrants who have a high rates of self-employment in low prestige industries such as retail trade and personal services. Much like the regular labor market, self-employment in the United States is stratified across racial lines. In general, self-employment is more common among immigrants than their second-generation children born in the United States. However, the second-generation children of Asian immigrants may continue to seek self-employment in a variety of industries and occupations 
The self-employment tax in the United States is typically set at 15.30%, which is roughly the equivalent of the combined contributions of the employee and employer under the FICA tax. The rate consists of two parts: 12.4% for social security and 2.9% for Medicare. The social security portion of the self-employment tax only applies to the first $110,100 of income for the 2012 tax year. There is no limit to the amount that is taxable under the 2.9% Medicare portion of the self-employment tax. Generally, only 92.35% of the self-employment income is taxable at the above rates. Additionally, half of the self-employment tax, i.e., the employer-equivalent portion, is allowed as a deduction against income. The 2010 Tax Relief Act reduced the self-employment tax by 2% for self-employment income earned in calendar year 2011, for a total of 13.3%. This rate will continue for income earned in calendar year 2012, due to the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011. Self-employed persons sometimes declare more deductions than an ordinary employee. Travel, uniforms, computer equipment, cell phones, etc., can be deducted as legitimate business expenses. Self-employed persons report their business income or loss on Schedule C of IRS Form 1040 and calculate the self-employment tax on Schedule SE of IRS Form 1040. Estimated taxes must be paid quarterly using form 1040-ES if estimated tax liability exceeds $1,000.
401k retirement account
Self-employed workers cannot contribute to a company-run 401k plan of the type with which most people are familiar. However, there are various vehicles available to self-employed individuals to save for retirement. Many set up a Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP) IRA, which allows them to contribute up to 25% of their income, up to $51,000 (2013) per year. There is also a vehicle called the Self-Employed 401k (or SE 401k) for self-employed people. The contribution limits vary slightly depending on how your business is organized but are generally higher than the other types of plans.
Effects on income growth
Research has shown that levels of self-employment in the United States are increasing, and that under certain circumstances this can have positive effects on per capita income and job creation. A 2011 study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Pennsylvania State University looked at U.S. self-employment levels from 1970 to 2000. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the absolute number of people registered as non-farm proprietors (NFPs) or self-employed in metropolitan counties grew by 244% between 1969 and 2006, and by 93% in non-metropolitan counties. In relative terms, the share of self-employed within the labor force grew from 14% in 1969 to 21% in 2006 in metropolitan counties, and from 11% to 19% in non-metropolitan counties.
In non-metropolitan counties, the study found that increased levels of self-employment were associated with strong increases in per capita income and job creation and significant reductions in family poverty levels. In 1969, the average income of non-farm proprietors was $6,758 compared to $6,507 earned by salaried employees; by 2006 the difference in earnings widened to $12,041 in favor of salaried employees. The study notes that the gap could be due to underreporting of income by the self-employed. Alternatively, low-productivity workers could be losing their jobs and are forced to be self-employed. Further, some research shows that higher local unemployment rates lead workers to self-select into self-employment, as does past unemployment experience.
Self-employment in the United Kingdom
A self-employed person in the United Kingdom can operate as a sole trader or as a partner in a partnership (including a Limited Liability Partnership or "LLP") but not through an incorporated limited (or unlimited) liability company. It is also possible for someone to form a business that is run only part-time or concurrently while holding down a full-time job. This form of employment, while popular, does come with several legal responsibilities. When working from home, clearance may sometimes be required from the local authority to use part of the home as business premises. Should the business hold records of customers or suppliers in any electronic form it is required to register with the Information Commissioner's Office. Other legal responsibilities include statutory public liability insurance cover, modifying premises to be disabled-friendly, and the proper recording and accounting of financial transactions. Free advice on the range of responsibilities is available from government operated Business Link centres. Many people living with disabilities choose to be self-employed.
Self-employment in the European Union
The European Commission defines a self-employed person as someone: “pursuing a gainful activity for their own account, under the conditions laid down by national law”. In the exercise of such an activity, the personal element is of special importance and such exercise always involves a large measure of independence in the accomplishment of the professional activities. This definition comes from Directive (2010/41/EU) on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity. This is in contrast to an employee, who is subordinate to and dependent on an employer.
In addition, Article 53 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) provides for the free movement of those taking up and pursuing activities as self-employed people. It stipulates: “In order to make it easier for persons to take up and pursue activities as self-employed persons, the Council shall… issue Directives for the mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications”.
The self-employment form of work does not group homogenous workers. As indicated by the European Commission in 2010, there are “different understandings and definitions of the term self-employment across the countries, with a number of different subcategories defined: for instance, according to the legal status of the enterprise, whether the business has employees or not (employers versus own-account workers) and/or the sector in which the business operates. Some countries also make the distinction between self-employed status and the status of ‘dependent self-employed’ (e.g. Spain, Italy), where the self-employed person works for only one client. Others distinguish self-employment which is carried out in addition to paid employment (e.g. Belgium)”.
The European Parliament Resolution on Social Protection for All has stated that: “the absence of a clear national definition of self-employment increases the risk of false self-employment” and the European Parliament Resolution on the Renewed Social Agenda invites Member States to take initiatives that would “lead to a clear distinction between employers, genuine self-employed and small entrepreneurs on the one hand and employees on the other”.
Self-employment is mostly regulated at national level only. Each authority and individual body applies its own legal and regulatory framework provisions, which may vary depending on their remit or policy area (tax law, social security, business law, employment market, insurance). The provisions related to self-employment vary therefore widely between the countries. As indicated by Eurofound in 2014, the diversity of the self-employed has attracted diverse forms of regulation, mainly decided at national level: “EU employment law addresses the self-employed mainly in narrowly specific areas such as free movement and equal treatment”.
As recommended by the European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP), the EU, employers’, employees’ and self-employment representatives should adopt a Europe-wide joint recognition of genuine self-employment and a common definition that includes a shared terminology for the various sectors.
A list of public policy instruments and good practices to support self-employment in the member states is available here.
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Women in photography -- robin, 23:36:46 02/02/16 Tue 
The participation of women in photography goes back to the very origins of the process. Several of the earliest female photographers, most of whom were from Britain or France, were married to male pioneers or had close relationships with their families. It was above all in northern Europe that women first entered the business of photography, opening studios in Denmark, France, Germany, and Sweden from the 1840s, while it was in Britain that women from well-to-do families developed photography as an art in the late 1850s. Not until the 1890s did the first studios run by women open in New York City.
Following Britain's Linked Ring, which promoted artistic photography from the 1880s, Alfred Stieglitz encouraged several women to join the Photo-Secession movement which he founded in 1902 in support of so-called pictorialism. In Vienna, Dora Kallmus pioneered the use of photographic studios as fashionable meeting places for the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy.
In the United States, women first photographed as amateurs, several producing fine work which they were able to exhibit at key exhibitions. They not only produced portraits of celebrities and Native Americans but also took landscapes, especially from the beginning of the 20th century. The involvement of women in photojournalism also had its beginnings in the early 1900s but slowly picked up during World War I.
While the work of the English and French gentlemen involved in developing and pioneering the process of photography is well documented, the part played by women in the early days tends to be given less attention.
Women were however involved in photography from the start. Constance Fox Talbot, the wife of Henry Fox Talbot, one of the key players in the development of photography in the 1830s and 1840s, had herself experimented with the process as early as 1839. Richard Ovenden attributes to her a hazy image of a short verse by the Irish poet Thomas Moore, which would make her the earliest known female photographer.
Anna Atkins, a botanist, was also introduced to photography by Fox Talbot, who explained his "photogenic drawing" technique to her as well as his camera-based calotype process. After learning about the cyanotype process from its inventor, John Herschel, she was able to produce cyanotype photograms of dried algae. She published them in 1843 in her Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, said to be the first book with photographic illustrations.
Another botanist and keen amateur photographer, John Dillwyn Llewelyn, was possibly introduced to photography by his wife Emma Thomasina Talbot, a cousin of Fox Talbot. His wife had shown an early interest in photography and did all his printing.
The first professionals
In France, Geneviève Élisabeth Disdéri was an early professional in the photography business. Together with her husband, André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri who is remembered for patenting the carte de visite process, she established a daguerrotype studio in Brest in the late 1840s. After Disdéri left her for Paris in 1847, she continued to run the business alone. Bertha Wehnert-Beckmann was probably Germany's first professional female photographer. In 1843, she opened a studio in Leipzig together with her husband and ran the business herself after his death in 1847. Emilie Bieber opened a daguerrotype studio in Hamburg in 1852. After a slow start, business picked up and she ran the studio until 1885 when she transferred it to her nephew. In the United States, Sarah Louise Judd (1802–1886) is reported to have made daguerrotypes in Minnesota as early as 1848.
Thora Hallager, one of Denmark's earliest women photographers, probably practiced in Copenhagen from the beginning of the 1850s. She is however remembered above all for the fine portrait of Hans Christian Andersen she took in 1869. In Sweden too, women entered the photography business at an early stage. Brita Sofia Hesselius performed Daguerreotype photography in Karlstad as early as 1845, and Marie Kinnberg was one of the very first to use the new photographic technique in Gothenburg in 1851-52.
Hilda Sjölin became a professional photographer in Malmö in 1860, opening a studio there the following year, while Sofia Ahlbom also included photography among the arts she practiced in the 1860s. In 1864, Bertha Valerius in Stockholm became official photographer of the Royal Swedish court. During the 1860s, they were at least 15 confirmed female photographers in Sweden, three of whom, Rosalie Sjöman, Caroline von Knorring and Bertha Valerius belonging to the elite of their profession. In 1888, the first woman, Anna Hwass, became a member of the board of the Photographic Society.
In Switzerland, Alwina Gossauer (1841–1926) became one of the first women professional photographers
Two British ladies are remembered for their early contributions to artistic photography. In the late 1850s, Lady Clementina Hawarden began to take photographs. The earliest images were landscapes taken on the Hawarden estate in Dundrum, Ireland. After the family moved to London, in 1862 she converted the first floor of her South Kensington home into a studio, filling it with props which can be seen in her photographs. She specialised in portraits, especially of her two eldest daughters clad in the costumes of the day. Her work earned her silver medals at the exhibitions of the Photographic Society in 1863 and 1864. Even more widely recognized for pioneering artistic work is Julia Margaret Cameron. Although her interest in photography did not begin until 1863 when she was 48 years old, she consciously set out to ensure photography became an acceptable art form, taking hundreds of portraits of children and celebrities. While her commitment to soft focus was frequently criticized as technically deficient during her lifetime, it later formed the basis for the Pictorialism movement at the beginning of the 20th century and is now widely appreciated. Caroline Emily Nevill and her two sisters exhibited at the London Photographic Society in 1854 and went on to contribute architectural views of Kent with waxed-paper negatives. In Italy, Virginia Oldoini, a mistress of Napoleon III, became interested in photography in 1856, recording the signature moments of her life in hundreds of self-portraits, often wearing theatrical costumes
Studio work in the 19th century
A number of Danish women were quick to open their own studios. Frederikke Federspiel (1839–1913), who had learnt photography with her family in Hamburg, opened a studio in Aalborg in the mid-1870s. Mary Steen opened her Copenhagen studio in 1884 when she was only 28, soon becoming Denmark's first female court photographer with portraits of Princess Alexandra in 1888. Benedicte Wrensted (1859–1949) opened a studio in Horsens in the 1880s before emigrating to the United States where she photographed Native Americans in Idaho.
After studying photography at the London Polytechnic, Alice Hughes (1857–1939) opened a studio in Gower Street, London, in 1891, quickly becoming a leading photographer of royalty, fashionable women and children. At the height of her career, she employed 60 women and took up to 15 sittings a day. In Japan, Shima Ryū together with her husband Shima Kakoku, opened a studio in Tokyo around 1866. In New Zealand, Elizabeth Pulman assisted her husband George with work in his Auckland studio from 1867. After his death in 1871, she continued to run the business until shortly before she died in 1900.
One of the first female photographers to open a studio in New York City was Alice Boughton who had studied both art and photography at the Pratt School of Art and Design. In 1890, she opened a studio on East 23rd Street becoming one of the city's most distinguished portrait photographers. Zaida Ben-Yusuf, of German and Algerian descent, emigrated from Britain to the United States in 1895. She established a portrait studio on New York' s Fifth Avenue in 1897 where she photographed celebrities.
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Photographer -- robin, 23:33:50 02/02/16 Tue 
A photographer (the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning "light", and γραφή (graphê), meaning "drawing, writing", together meaning "drawing with light") is a person who takes photographs.
Duties and functions
As in other arts, the definitions of amateur and professional are not entirely categorical. A professional photographer is likely to take photographs to make money, by salary or through the display, sale or use of those photographs. An amateur photographer may take photographs for pleasure and to record an event, emotion, place, as a person without a monetary motivation.
A professional photographer may be an employee, for example of a newspaper, or may contract to cover a particular planned event such as a wedding or graduation, or to illustrate an advertisement. Others, including paparazzi and fine art photographers, are freelancers, first making a picture and then offering it for sale or display. Some workers, such as crime scene detectives, estate agents, journalists and scientists, make photographs as part of other work. Photographers who produce moving rather than still pictures are often called cinematographers, videographers or camera operators, depending on the commercial context.
An amateur may make considerable sums entering work in contests for prize money or through occasional inclusion of their work in magazines or the archive of an agency. The term professional may also imply preparation, for example, by academic study, by the photographer in pursuit of photographic skills. There is no compulsory registration requirement for professional photographer status, so ambivalent or overlapping concepts apply here as they do in other areas of unregulated artistic activity, such as painting or writing.
Photographers are also categorized based on the subjects they photograph. Some photographers explore subjects typical of paintings such as landscape, still life, and portraiture. Other photographers specialize in subjects unique to photography, including street photography, documentary photography, fashion photography, wedding photography, war photography, photojournalism, aviation photography and commercial photography.
The exclusive right of photographers to copy and use their products is protected by copyright. Countless industries purchase photographs for use in publications and on products. The photographs seen on magazine covers, in television advertising, on greeting cards or calendars, on websites, or on products and packages, have generally been purchased for this use, either directly from the photographer or through an agency that represents the photographer. A photographer uses a contract to sell the "license" or use of his or her photograph with exact controls regarding how often the photograph will be used, in what territory it will be used (for example U.S. or U.K. or other), and exactly for which products. This is usually referred to as usage fee and is used to distinguish from production fees (payment for the actual creation of a photograph or photographs). An additional contract and royalty would apply for each additional use of the photograph.
The contract may be for only one year, or other duration. The photographer usually charges a royalty as well as a one-time fee, depending on the terms of the contract. The contract may be for non-exclusive use of the photograph (meaning the photographer can sell the same photograph for more than one use during the same year) or for exclusive use of the photograph (i.e. only that company may use the photograph during the term). The contract can also stipulate that the photographer is entitled to audit the company for determination of royalty payments. Royalties vary depending on the industry buying the photograph and the use, for example, royalties for a photograph used on a poster or in television advertising may be higher than for use on a limited run of brochures. A royalty is also often based on the size at which the photo will be used in a magazine or book, and cover photos usually command higher fees than photos used elsewhere in a book or magazine.
Photos taken by a photographer while working on assignment often belong to the company or publication unless stipulated otherwise by contract. Professional portrait and wedding photographers often stipulate by contract that they retain the copyright on wedding photos or portrait photos, so that only they can sell further prints of the photographs to the consumer, rather than the customer reproducing the photos by other means. If the customer wishes to be able to reproduce the photos themselves, they may discuss an alternative contract with the photographer in advance before the pictures are taken, in which a larger up front fee may be paid in exchange for reprint rights passing to the customer.
There are major companies who have maintained catalogues of stock photography and images for decades, such as Getty Images and others. Since the turn of the 21st century many online stock photography catalogues have appeared that invite photographers to sell their photos online easily and quickly, but often for very little money, without a royalty, and without control over the use of the photo, the market it will be used in, the products it will be used on, time duration, etc.
Commercial photographers may also promote their work to advertising and editorial art buyers via printed and online marketing vehicles.
Main article: Photo sharing
Many people upload their photographs to social networking websites and other websites, in order to share them with a particular group or with the general public. Those interested in legal precision may explicitly release them to the public domain or under a free content license. Some sites, including Wikimedia Commons, are punctilious about licenses and only accept pictures with clear information about permitted use.
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Freelancer -- robin, 23:30:05 02/02/16 Tue 
A freelancer or freelance worker is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. Freelance workers are sometimes represented by a company or a temporary agency that resells freelance labor to clients; others work independently or use professional associations or websites to get work. "Independent contractor" would be the term used in a higher register of English that designates the tax and employment class of this type of worker, the term freelancing is most common in culture and creative industries and this term specifically motions to participation therein.
Fields, professions and industries where freelancing is predominant include: music, journalism, publishing, screenwriting, filmmaking, acting, photojournalism, cosmetics, fragrances, editing, photography, event planning, event management, copy editing, proofreading, author editing, indexing, copywriting, writing, computer programming, web design, graphic design, website development, consulting, tour guiding, post-secondary education, video editing, video production, translating, illustrating, and other forms of piece work which some cultural theorists consider as central to the cognitive-cultural economy.
Freelance practices and compensation
According to the 2012 Freelance Industry Report compiled primarily about North America freelancing, nearly half of freelancers do writing work, with 18% of freelancers listing writing as a primary skill, 10% editing/copy-editing, and 10% as copy-writing. 20% of freelancers listed their primary skills as design. Next on the list was translating (8%), web development (5.5%), and marketing (4%). Elance, a web platform that connects freelancers with contractors, surveyed its members and 39% listed writing and editing as their main skill set.
Depending on the industry, freelance work practices vary and have changed over time. In some industries such as consulting, freelancers may require clients to sign written contracts. While in journalism or writing, freelancers may work for free or do work "on spec" to build their reputations or a relationship with a publication. Some freelancers may provide written estimates of work and request deposits from clients.
Payment for freelance work also depends on industry, skills, and experience. Freelancers may charge by the day, hour, a piece rate, or on a per-project basis. Instead of a flat rate or fee, some freelancers have adopted a value-based pricing method based on the perceived value of the results to the client. By custom, payment arrangements may be upfront, percentage upfront, or upon completion. For more complex projects, a contract may set a payment schedule based on milestones or outcomes. One of the drawbacks of freelancing is that there is no guaranteed payment, and the work can be highly precarious.
In writing and other artistic fields, "freelance" and its derivative terms are often reserved for workers who create works on their own initiative and then seek a publisher. They typically retain the copyright to their works and sell the rights to publishers in time-limited contracts. Traditionally, works would be submitted to publishers, where they would become part of the slushpile, and would either elicit an offer to buy (an "acceptance letter") or a rejection slip.
People who create intellectual property under a work for hire situation (according to the publishers' or other customers' specifications) are sometimes referred to as "independent contractors" or other similar terms. Creators give up their rights to their works in a "works made for hire" situation, a category of intellectual property defined in U.S. copyright law — Section 101, Copyright Act of 1976 (17 USC §101). The protection of the intellectual property rights that give the creator of the work are considered to have been sold into a work for hire agreement. of employees, however in a contractual rather than employment relationship.
The total number of freelancers in USA is inexact, as the most recent governmental report on independent contractors was published in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. At that time, there were approximately 10.3 million United States workers (7.4% of the workforce) employed as independent contractors of all sorts. In 2011, Jeffrey Eisenach, an economist at George Mason University, estimated that number of freelancers had grown by one million. While in 2012, the Aberdeen Group, a private research company, estimated that 26% (approx. 81 million) of the United States population was is a part of the contingent workforce, a category of casual labor that includes freelancing. In 2013, the Freelancers Union estimated that 1 in 3 workers in the United States were self-employed (approx. 42 million), with more than four million (43%) of those self-employed workers members of the creative class, a strata of work specifically associated with freelance industries, such as knowledge workers, technologists, professional writers, artists, entertainers, and media workers.
The total number of freelancers in UK is also inexact, however figures from the Office of National Statistics show that people working mainly at or from home rose from 9.2% in 2001 to 10.7% in 2011. It has been estimated that there are approximately 1.7 million freelancers in the UK, however.
Freelancing is a gendered form of work. The 2012 Freelance Industry Report estimates that more than 71% of freelancers are women between the ages of 30-50. Surveys of other specific areas of freelancing have similar trends. Demographic research on Amazon Mechanical Turk reveals that the majority of North American Mechanical Turk workers are women. Catherine McKercher's research on journalism as a profession has showcased that while media organizations are still male dominated, the reverse is true for freelance journalists and editors, whose ranks are mainly women. .
Freelancers have a variety of reasons for freelancing, the perceived benefits differ by gender, industry, and lifestyle. For instance, the 2012 Freelance Industry Report reported that men and women freelance for different reasons. Female survey respondents indicated that they prefer the scheduling freedom and flexibility that freelancing offers, while male survey respondents indicated they freelance to follow or pursue personal passions. Freelancing also enables people to obtain higher levels of employment in isolated communities. Freelancing is also taken up by workers who have been laid-off, who cannot find full-time employment, or for those industries such as journalism which are relying increasingly on contingent labor rather than full-time staff. Freelancers also consist of students trying to make ends meet during the semester. In interviews and on blogs about freelancing, freelancers list choice and flexibility as a benefit.
Freelancing, like other forms of casual labor, can be precarious work. Websites, books, portals and organizations for freelancers often feature advice on getting and keeping a steady work stream. Beside the lack of job security, many freelancers also report the ongoing hassle of dealing with employers who don't pay on time and the possibility of long periods without work. Additionally, freelancers do not receive employment benefits such as a pension, sick leave, paid holidays, bonuses or health insurance, which can be a serious hardship for freelancers residing in countries such as the US without universal health care.
Freelancers often earn less than their employed counterparts. While most freelancers have at least ten years of experience prior to working independently, experienced freelancers do not always earn an income equal to that of full-time employment. Based on feedback from members, it soon becomes apparent that web portals such as Freelancer.com tend to attract low paying clients that, although demanding very high standards, pay ~$10 per hour or less. Low-cost suppliers frequently offer to work at rates as low as $1–$2 per hour. Because most projects require bidding, professionals will not bid because they refuse to work at such rates. This has the effect of reducing the overall quality of the services provided.
According to research conducted in 2005 by the Professional Writers Association of Canada on Canadian journalists and editors, there is a wage gap between staff and freelance journalists. While the typical Canadian full-time freelancer is female, between 35-55, holding a college diploma and often a graduate degree, she typically earns about $29,999 Canadian dollars before taxes. Meanwhile, a staff journalist of similar age and experience level working full-time at outlets such as the Ottawa Citizen or Montreal Gazette newspapers, earned at least $63,500 Canadian dollars that year, the top scale rate negotiated by the union, The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. Given the gendered stratification of journalism, with more women working as freelancers than men, this disparity in income can be interpreted as a form of gender pay gap. The Professional Writers Association of Canada report showed no significant difference between the earnings of male and female freelancers, though part-time freelancers generally earned less than full-time freelancers.
Working from home is often cited as an attractive feature of freelancing, yet research suggests working from home introduces new sets of constraints for the process of doing work, particularly for married women with families, who continue to bear the brunt of household chores and child care despite increases in their paid work time. For instance, three years of ethnographic research about teleworkers in Australia conducted by Melissa Gregg, a Principal Engineer and Researcher in Residence for the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing at UC Irvine, raises concerns over how both physical isolation and continuous access enabled with networked digital media puts pressure on homeworkers to demonstrate their commitments through continual responses by email and to conceal their family or home life.
Impact of the Internet
The Internet has opened up many freelance opportunities, expanded available markets, and has contributed to service sector growth in many economies. Offshore outsourcing, online outsourcing and crowdsourcing are heavily reliant on the Internet to provide economical access to remote workers, and frequently leverage technology to manage workflow to and from the employer. Much computer freelance work is being outsourced to developing countries outside the United States and Europe.
Online freelance marketplaces are websites that match buyers and sellers of services provided via the internet. Buyers bid on services at a fixed price or at an hourly rate. These marketplaces allow people to sign up remotely for freelance assignments and get paid through a merchant account.
The Internet also enables many freelancers to be interviewed and hired without actually meeting an employer in person. This facilitates long distance business relationships all over the world, but can provide a challenge in screening applicants. Hiring more than one applicant for a short test assignment after the interview is now a common extra step in the hiring process.
Freelance employment has been common in the areas of writing, editing, translation, indexing, software development, website design, advertising, open innovations, information technology, and business process outsourcing. Freelance journalists, for example, may find it easier to start their own or shared news blogs, with many blogs growing into highly trafficked and competitive news sites capable of hiring dedicated staff and other talent.
Changes to the publishing industry since the 1980s have resulted in an increase in copy editing of book and journal manuscripts and proofreading of typeset manuscripts being outsourced to freelance copy editors and proofreaders.
Online activists, defending different social and political causes, are also referred to as political freelancers or freelance politicians.
There are many freelance internet websites such as Elance, Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer.com, Guru.com, Peopleperhour, and Fiverr.com.
Many periodicals and newspapers offer the option of ghost signing, when a freelance writer signs with an editor but their name is not listed on the byline of their article(s). This allows the writer to receive benefits while still being classified as a freelancer, and independent of any set organization. In some countries this can lead to taxation issues (e.g., so-called IR35 violations in the UK). Ghost signing has little bearing on whether a writer is a freelancer or employee in the US.
Freelancers often must handle contracts, legal issues, accounting, marketing, and other business functions by themselves. If they do choose to pay for professional services, they can sometimes turn into significant out-of-pocket expenses. Working hours can extend beyond the standard working day and working week.
The European Commission does not define “freelancers” in any legislative text. However, the European Commission defines a self-employed person as someone: “pursuing a gainful activity for their own account, under the conditions laid down by national law”. In the exercise of such an activity, the personal element is of special importance and such exercise always involves a large measure of independence in the accomplishment of the professional activities. This definition comes from Directive (2010/41/EU) on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity.
The European Forum of Independent Professionals defines freelancers as: “a highly-skilled subset of self-employed workers, without employers nor employees, offering specialised services of an intellectual and knowledge-based nature”. Independent professionals work on a flexible basis in a range of creative, managerial, scientific and technical occupations; they are not a homogeneous group and as such, they cannot be considered or investigated as a whole. They are generally characterised by a large portion of autonomy, a high labour productivity, knowledge intensive performance, social commitment and a large dose of entrepreneurship and specialisation.
In Europe, the perceived disadvantages of being freelance have led the European Union to research the area, producing draft papers that would, if enforced, make it illegal for companies or organizations to employ freelancers directly, unless the freelancer was entitled to benefits such as pension contributions and holiday pay. In the UK, where the terms of integration into the EU have and are being hotly debated, this would lead to a significant reshaping of the way freelance work is dealt with and have a major impact on industry; employers would be required either to give freelancers the contractual rights of employees or employ only freelancers already being employed by agencies or other organizations granting them these rights. However, the White Papers that recommend such moves have not yet been adopted in the EU, and the potential impact on UK employment laws is being opposed by key UK organizations lobbying the government to negotiate over the acceptance of EU legislation in such areas. The legal definition of a sole trader requires that he/she must have more than one client or customer which promotes the freelancing ethos.
In the U.S. in 2009, federal and state agencies began increasing their oversight of freelancers and other workers whom employers classify as independent contractors. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that the Secretary of Labor have its Wage and Hour Division "focus on misclassification of employees as independent contractors during targeted investigations." The increased regulation is meant to ensure workers are treated fairly and that companies are not misclassifying workers as independent contractors to avoid paying appropriate employment taxes and contributions to workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation.
At the same time, this increased enforcement is affecting companies whose business models are based on using non-employee workers, as well as independent professionals who have chosen to work as independent contractors. For example, book publishing companies have traditionally outsourced certain tasks like indexing and proofreading to individuals working as independent contractors. Self-employed accountants and attorneys have traditionally hired out their services to accounting and law firms needing assistance. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service offers some guidance on what constitutes self-employment, but states have enacted stricter laws to address how independent contractors should be defined. For example, a Massachusetts law states that companies can hire independent contractors only to perform work that is "outside the usual course of business of the employer," meaning workers working on the company's core business must be classified as employees. According to this statute, a software engineering firm cannot outsource work to a software engineering consultant, without hiring the consultant as an employee. The firm could, however, hire an independent contractor working as an electrician, interior decorator, or painter. This raises questions about the common practice of consulting, because a company would typically hire a management consulting firm or self-employed consultant to address business-specific needs that are not "outside the usual course of business of the employer."
Commonly attributed to Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) in Ivanhoe (1820) to describe a "medieval mercenary warrior" or "free-lance" (indicating that the lance is not sworn to any lord's services, not that the lance is available free of charge)., a previous appearance occurs in Thomas N. Brown in The Life and Times of Hugh Miller (1809)., p 185. A search through Google's Ngram service yields results tracing back to 1716. It changed to a figurative noun around the 1860s and was recognized as a verb in 1903 by authorities in etymology such as the Oxford English Dictionary. Only in modern times has the term morphed from a noun (a freelance) into an adjective (a freelance journalist), a verb (a journalist who freelances) and an adverb (she worked freelance), as well as into the noun "freelancer".
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Virtual Private LAN Service -- robin, 23:26:59 02/02/16 Tue 
Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) is a way to provide Ethernet-based multipoint to multipoint communication over IP or MPLS networks. It allows geographically dispersed sites to share an Ethernet broadcast domain by connecting sites through pseudo-wires. The term 'sites' includes multiplicities of both servers and clients. The technologies that can be used as pseudo-wire can be Ethernet over MPLS, L2TPv3 or even GRE. There are two IETF standards track RFCs (RFC 4761 and RFC 4762) describing VPLS establishment.
VPLS is a virtual private network (VPN) technology. In contrast to L2TPv3, which allows only point-to-point layer 2 tunnels, VPLS allows any-to-any (multipoint) connectivity.
In a VPLS, the local area network (LAN) at each site is extended to the edge of the provider network. The provider network then emulates a switch or bridge to connect all of the customer LANs to create a single bridged LAN.
VPLS is designed for applications that require multipoint or broadcast access.
Since VPLS emulates a LAN, full mesh connectivity is required. There are two methods for full mesh establishment for VPLS: using Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and using Label Distribution Protocol (LDP). The "control plane" is the means by which provider edge (PE) routers communicate for auto-discovery and signaling. Auto-discovery refers to the process of finding other PE routers participating in the same VPN or VPLS. Signaling is the process of establishing pseudo-wires (PW). The PWs constitute the "data plane", whereby PEs send customer VPN/VPLS traffic to other PEs.
BGP provides both auto-discovery and signaling. The mechanisms used are very similar to those used in establishing Layer-3 MPLS VPNs. Each PE is configured to participate in a given VPLS. The PE, through the use of BGP, simultaneously discovers all other PEs in the same VPLS, and establishes a full mesh of pseudo-wires to those PEs.
With LDP, each PE router must be configured to participate in a given VPLS, and, in addition, be given the addresses of other PEs participating in the same VPLS. A full mesh of LDP sessions is then established between these PEs. LDP is then used to create an equivalent mesh of PWs between those PEs.
An advantage to using PWs as the underlying technology for the data plane is that in case of failure, traffic will automatically be routed along available backup paths in the service provider's network. Failover will be much faster than could be achieved with e.g. Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). VPLS is thus a more reliable solution for linking together Ethernet networks in different locations than simply connecting a WAN link to Ethernet switches in both locations.
VPLS has significant advantages for both service providers and customers. Service providers benefit because they can generate additional revenues by offering a new Ethernet service with flexible bandwidth and sophisticated service level agreements (SLAs). VPLS is also simpler and more cost effective to operate than a traditional service. Customers benefit because they can connect all of their sites to an Ethernet VPN that provides a secure, high speed and homogenous network. Moreover, VPLS provides a logical next step in the continuing evolution of Ethernet from a 10 Mbit/s shared LAN protocol to a multi-Gbps global service.
VPLS MPLS packets have a two-label stack. The outer label is used for normal MPLS forwarding in the service provider's network. If BGP is used to establish the VPLS, the inner label is allocated by a PE as part of a label block. If LDP is used, the inner label is a virtual circuit ID assigned by LDP when it first established a mesh between the participating PEs. Every PE keeps track of assigned inner label, and associates these with the VPLS instance.
PEs participating in a VPLS-based VPN must appear as an Ethernet bridge to connected customer edge (CE) devices. Received Ethernet frames must be treated in such a way as to ensure CEs can be simple Ethernet devices.
When a PE receives a frame from a CE, it inspects the frame and learns the CE's MAC address, storing it locally along with LSP routing information. It then checks the frame's destination MAC address. If it is a broadcast frame, or the MAC address is not known to the PE, it floods the frame to all PEs in the mesh.
Ethernet does not have a time to live (TTL) field in its frame header, so loop avoidance must be arranged by other means. In regular Ethernet deployments, Spanning Tree Protocol is used for this. In VPLS, loop avoidance is arranged by the following rule: A PE never forwards a frame received from a PE, to another PE. The use of a full mesh combined with split horizon forwarding guarantees a loop-free broadcast domain.
VPLS is typically used to link a large number of sites together. Scalability is therefore an important issue that needs addressing.
VPLS requires a full mesh in both the control and data planes; this can be difficult to scale. For BGP, the control plane scaling issue has long been addressed, through the use of route reflectors (RRs). RRs are extensively used in the context of Internet routing, as well as for several types of VPNs. To scale the data plane for multicast and broadcast traffic, there is work in progress to use point-to-multipoint LSPs as the underlying transport.
For LDP, a method of subdividing a VPLS VPN into two or three tiered hierarchical networks was developed. Called hierarchical VPLS (HVPLS), it introduces a new type of MPLS device: the multi-tenant unit (MTU) switch. This switch aggregates multiple customers into a single PE, which in turn needs only one control and data plane connection into the mesh. This can significantly reduce the number of LDP sessions and LSPs, and thus unburden the core network, by concentrating customers in edge devices.
HVPLS (LDP) may also be used to join two VPLS mesh structures together. Without using HVPLS, every node in each VPLS mesh must become meshed with all nodes in the other VPLS mesh. However, with HVPLS, the two meshes can essentially be joined together at certain locations. Techniques such as redundant pseudo-wires can provide resiliency in case of failures at the interconnection points.
Since VPLS links multiple Ethernet broadcast domains together, it effectively creates a much larger broadcast domain. Since every PE must keep track of all MAC addresses and associated LSP routing information, this can potentially result in a large amount of memory being needed in every PE in the mesh.
To counter this problem, sites may use a router as the CE device. This hides all MAC addresses on that site behind the CE's MAC address.
PE devices may also be equipped with content-addressable memory (CAM), similar to high-end Ethernet switches.
An alternative mechanism is using MAT (MAC Address Translation). However, at the time of writing this, there aren't vendors providing MAT functionality.
In a VPLS-based VPN with a large number of sites, manually configuring every participating PE does not scale well. If a new PE is taken into service, every existing PE needs to have its configuration adjusted to establish an LDP session with the new PE. Standardization work is in progress to enable auto-discovery of participating PEs. Three implementations are being worked on:
The LDP method of PE auto-discovery is based on that used by the Label Distribution Protocol to distribute labels across P and PE routers within a single autonomous system.
The BGP method of PE auto-discovery is based on that used by Layer-3 MPLS VPNs to distribute VPN routes among PEs participating in a VPN. The BGP4 Multi-Protocol (BGP-MP) extensions are used to distribute VPN IDs and VPN-specific reachability information. Since IBGP requires either a full mesh of BGP sessions or the use of a route reflector, enabling the VPN ID in a participating PEs existing BGP configuration provides it with a list of all PEs in that VPN. Note that this method is for auto-discovery alone; LDP is still used for signaling. The method of establishing VPLS with BGP described above accomplishes both auto-discovery and signaling.
This method requires ALL PEs to be configured with one or more RADIUS servers to use. When the first CE router in a particular VPLS VPN connects to the PE, it uses the CE's identification to request authentication from the RADIUS server. This identification may be provided by the CE, or may be configured into the PE for that particular CE. In addition to a username and password, the identification string also contains a VPN name, and an optional provider name.
The RADIUS server keeps track of all PEs that requested authentication for a particular VPN, and returns a list of them to the PE requesting authentication. The PE then establishes LDP sessions to every PE in the list.
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