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Comment: Here is the playbook of the tech CEO's (Score 4, Insightful) 442

1. We want to drive down wages in the US

Rationale: Wages in the US are high compared to the rest of the world. To sell to consumers and customers in the rest of the world, US wages must come down.

2. We prefer to import H-1B's. Opening offices in other countries is not as efficient as bringing skilled people to the US where employers have the upper hand.

Rationale: The US is the only developed country with 'employment at will' This is preferred over 'just cause' used by most of the rest of the world. By importing H-1B's we get the business-friendly legal framework, and we can deport any troublemakers back to thier home country if they rock the boat. Opening offices in
other countries is costly and requires a management to be present in the offshore country, and the timezone differences hamper productivity.

3. The US federal government is one of the few in the world set up to put the interests of the 'opulant minority' ahead of the common people.

Rationale: We can pay lobbyists to promote laws in our interest knowing that we will get favorable laws passed which are not popular with the US electorate.

Comment: Coming: Revenge of the junk fees (Score 2) 631

by hwstar (#49140485) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

I approve of the FCC decision, but I have a concern about lack of regulation on pricing matters.

I suspect this will end up like POTS. Here is a sample of a future bill.

25/5 Broadband Service Base Fee $39.99
Advertising Fee $20.00
Plant maintenance Fee $20.00
Regulatory Capture Fee $20.00
Washington Lobbying Fee $20.00
Bandwidth Fee for data over the cap limit 100.00

Total amount due this month: $219.99

Some action on the FCC's part to limit these fees will be required in the future.

Comment: The solution is to refuse to play their way (Score 3, Insightful) 271

by hwstar (#48867119) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees

1. Have/Learn marketable skills.
2. Have plenty of money in the bank and as little debt as possible.
3. Have a source of passive income to help with cashflow during times of unemployment (Rents, royalties, etc.).
4. Have as few kids as possible.
5. Be picky on what jobs you accept. Use 1-3 to exit the labor force for as long as necessary to retrain and regroup.
6. Be active politically: e.g. Lobby congress for tighter H-1B restrictions, better labor laws, inclusive capitalism.
7. Live below your means. Try to do as much as possible yourself without hiring contractors, mechanics, gardeners, etc.

Comment: Re:Dirty Little Secret (Score 2, Interesting) 450

No hand holding required. (That is unless you are the one who is insecure) This is just something that the citizens of other countries expect from thier governments
and Americans have been conditioned to be "Exceptional individualists" to the point that they are getting robbed blind by opertunistic business entities.

Typical American. Took it completely out of context as usual. Can't tou see that companies such as Intuit are RENT SEEKERS. Geez.

Comment: Dirty Little Secret (Score 3, Informative) 450

The governments of most advanced countries provide free on-line income tax preparation for thier taxpayers. Not so in 'Murica it where it is "monetized".
There is quite a powerful American lobby (Intuit mostly) in place to keep things that way. This is perfect example of what happens when outfits such as faux news brainwash americans that no good can come from a government run program of any kind. The other advanced countries do not charge anything as they see it as something in thier best interest.

Comment: Intuit's MBA's have ruined the product (Score 2) 450

I switched to TaxAct last year as the discounts I got from my e-stock brokers were severely curtailed. What happened this year doesn't surprise me in the least.
I have schedules D and E, and the only issue with TaxAct that I had 2013 taxes was the State E-filing option. I ended up filing state using paper.

Comment: Re:An alternative (Score 1) 572

by hwstar (#48221121) Attached to: FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

Spot on.

The root of the issue is the FTDI chip is to damn expensive. It performs a relatively trivial function and is not cost effective. It's only claim to fame is it works on a large number of platforms without installing any device drivers. This is why the Chinese want to make counterfeit chips. The genuine part costs too much.

Comment: Re:Flee To Where? (Score 1) 257

by hwstar (#47732247) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

Is the product or service absolutely essential? If not, what about doing without? We pay money for a lot of things which are not absolutely required and end up with a garage full of stuff which we never use and pay to have stored. We also use things which appear to be "free" but have hidden costs. These things are a burden, and should be eliminated.

Comment: Financial Independence: It's your only hope (Score 1) 441

by hwstar (#47731433) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

There is only one way out of this mess. Become financially independent before age 50. Do not let yourself become enslaved by debt. Reject materialism, and seek out providers of the lowest cost products and services.For more details, read some of the articles on This guy was an engineer, and
through will power and determination saved enough money to not be subject to the whims of employers.

+ - H-1B visas are bad news for older workers->

Submitted by hwstar
hwstar (35834) writes "The H-1B visa reform contained in S744 will result in continued high unemployment of older experienced US citizens, and make it very difficult for older workers to remain in a technical field.

There is a caviler attitude being propagated by high tech executives regarding older STEM workers:

The 29-year-old self-proclaimed social media phenom also quipped, “Young people are just smarter,” something he later apologized for. However, Zuckerberg also recognizes the profitably of hiring H-1B visa holders over American kids. Critics call it the immigration lottery, as most foreign students will work twice the hours for half the pay as their U.S. counterparts in order to gain legal status in America.

The industry uses younger STEM workers because they work longer hours for less pay then when they
cast them aside:

"Oftentimes the result of the H-1B visa program is that 35+ and older workers are thrown away like yesterday’s newspaper. Nelson said the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill S744 would be a disaster for Americans."

The article also describes that "dark money" is being used to lobby Congress for H1B reform:

With the help of political PACs, STEM employers use “dark money” (a term used by 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(6)s donors who wish to remain anonymous), in a calculated effort to continue the flow of foreign workers.

With the help of political PACs, STEM employers use “dark money” (a term used by 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(6)s donors who wish to remain anonymous), in a calculated effort to continue the flow of foreign workers.

Finally, Salary parity between H-1B and Domestic technical workers is a farce:

Rep. Zoe Lofgren told Computerworld that “the average wage for computer systems analysts in her district is $92,000, but the U.S. government prevailing wage rate for H-1B workers in the same job currently stands at $52,000, or $40,000 less. ‘Small wonder there's a problem here, we can't have people coming in and undercutting the American educated workforce.’”"

Link to Original Source

Comment: US will become an Autocratic Plutocracy (Score 1) 1216

by hwstar (#45501579) Attached to: Should the US Copy Switzerland and Consider a 'Maximum Wage' Ratio?

The US will go the way of China if this ever becomes popular enough to happen. The US business community, the far right, and the southern states will not tolerate such a change, and a "second business plot" will happen and be successful. The rest of the industrialized world has decent laws in place to protect its employees, but not the US and China. Where else will the fat cats go to if a maximum wage is adopted in the US? China? I would think that would not want to go to China unless they are assured they will have complete control there as well. With no place to flee to with thier capital, they will fight to the bitter end here in the US.

If you don't have time to do it right, where are you going to find the time to do it over?