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Comment Trendy (Score -1) 172

People are being trendy. Old farts have decided to do a "digital detox" for a while. In ten years it will have as much meaning as their Atkins diet. In the end, we all try to limit our unproductive time - but reading is reading, and cutting out your reading just because it is on a "screen" is straight-up retarded. Or trendy. Whatever, I need a smoothy cleanse.

Comment Re:Fuck California. (Score 1) 235

actually it was the collectivist/Marxist special snowflakes that pushed

You have an interesting read on history. That is, you haven't read it. Zoning did not arise from Marxists.

Those laws are unconstitutional

Actually, zoning, property taxes, and even eminent domain have all been tested in court. They are constitutional.

Comment Re:Who would have thought (Score 1) 80

Exactly. If you're taking 9-figure investments, you ought to have a sustainable business model sorted out by now. At that level, raising more is supposed to be for things like accelerating growth in existing markets or expanding into lucrative new markets that have high barriers to entry, i.e., work that builds on an existing successful formula. Investing that kind of money in a business that couldn't survive without it was always a dubious proposition.

Comment Re:Fuck California. (Score 1) 235

You don't have a right to my property.

I have to laugh at this. Of course he does, through force of law. You essentially rent the land through property taxes, and you have to abide by zoning rules and ordinances. You have to meet certain standards with your construction, and the house must be serviced by certain kinds of utilities to be rated habitable. And if you want to enter the commercial sphere you have to follow the rules of the market.

None of what I said is even remotely controversial or new, and if you disagree with that it is you who are the special snowflake.

Comment Re:You were hired to work for THEM (Score 1) 387

It's not just free overtime.

That is often very much what being on a salary means in practice: you get X money per day/month/whatever, and X doesn't increase if you work more than your normal hours. However, it's also not unusual for salaried employees to have those normal working hours specified in their employment contracts, effectively putting a lower bound on the amount of working time expected in exchange for the salary.

Again, though, this all depends very much on where you are and how your local labour laws work. For example, the US system of at-will employment is actually closer to what most of the world would consider contract or freelance work than employment, typically involving very little commitment to continuing the relationship by either side and relatively low benefits for employees beyond their pay cheque. What is particularly unusual in that case is that in much of the US such an arrangement seems to be the norm even for entry-level and low-paid work. Elsewhere, employment tends to involve much more of a commitment from both sides for those kinds of jobs, while the lighter touch arrangements tend to be used more for skilled professional work. In that context, abusive hiring and firing is usually less of a problem, and all parties may benefit from the greater flexibility, including flexibility about compensation arrangements.

Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 1) 304

But they live in the US under worse living conditions because they know it isn't permanent.

Some, I suppose. The H1-Bs I know very much want to stay.

Meanwhile on this side of the pond I have to support a family.

You're basically saying that you'd like steeper immigration barriers to artificially boost your market value and artificially depress the market value of those who weren't lucky enough to be born here. You're far from alone in that view, but I think it's immoral. I spent some formative years living in another country, with great, smart people who worked their asses off for a standard of living that we wouldn't consider fit for a dog. They deserve a chance to earn something better, and if that means I have to compete harder, or even if it means I have to lower my standard of living, I'm good with that.

To be fair, it's easy for me to say that since I'm pretty comfortable. But I felt the same when I was a poor kid with a young wife and a new baby and I'd just been laid off, so I don't think it's just my relative safety speaking.

Comment Re:You were hired to work for THEM (Score 0) 387

Your understanding of "salary" is probably not in line with law, though it depends on your industry and state. It's very complicated (you can make a good living specializing in it as a lawyer). Here is a 5-minute rundown.

For most people in most industries, their "salary" is the minimum amount they can expect to receive from their employer each week, no matter how much they work. If this situation does not apply to you, then you become a non-exempt employee and are subject to all the hourly rules like overtime. This is the part that probably trips you up, as it leads to a lot of misunderstanding:

However, whether an employee is paid on a salary basis is a "fact," and thus specific evaluation of particular circumstances is necessary. Whether an employee is paid on a salary basis is not affected by whether pay is expressed in hourly terms (as this is a fairly common requirement of many payroll computer programs), but whether the employee in fact has a "guaranteed minimum" amount of pay s/he can count on.

In other words, just because your payroll system requires you to fill out a timesheet with 80 hours and your check seems to agree does not mean that is anything more than an implementation detail.

Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 2) 304

So, as I forgot to say, I agree with your solution to the issue as long as prices fall to global averages as well as salaries.

It will equalize globally. Places with low salaries and low cost of living will see both rise. Places with high salaries and high cost of living will see both fall. Standards of living will also equalize, which probably means those who currently have the highest standards will see theirs decline, though not nearly as much as the low standards of living will rise.

This has already happened quite a bit in India, and in China. Labor costs have risen substantially, and cost of living has increased, too. For that matter, the cost of many types of goods has fallen dramatically in the US. Basically anything that can be manufactured overseas and imported is significantly cheaper than it would be otherwise. Clothing, for example, costs less than half what it did, on an inflation-adjusted basis, than it did 30 years ago. Toys, electronics, also dramatically cheaper. In fact, strangely enough, most of those things are actually cheaper to buy in the US than they are to buy in the places they're made!

Note that this equalization won't happen instantly, or painlessly, and there will be winners and losers in the short term. But it's the right thing.

Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 1) 304

The main problem I have is that the H-1B is not fair because it is enough to replace me as a worker but it is not enough for me to have lower cost of living

That's a potential argument against outsourcing, but not against H-1B. The H-1B worker lives in the US and pays the same prices you do.

Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 1) 304

So you're saying house builders are free to get carpenters through H-1B?

There's no reason why not. They'd just have to figure out how to satisfy the rather vague requirements of high skill. They'd have to be pretty highly skilled just to justify the effort, though, since it costs several thousand dollars to get a potential employee through the H1-B process.

How can a person ever chose a profession if the most lucrative ones will just have a back door opened to relieve the price pressure?

Just accept that you're competing on a global market. If someone in India, or Romania, or Brazil, or wherever can do my job for less money, I see no reason why they shouldn't do it. I have some enormous inbuilt advantages in my understanding of the culture and language, my access to high quality education, etc., and if I can't leverage all of those to outcompete them, I deserve to lose. Yes, this means Americans can't just coast on their luck at being born here. Boo hoo.

My opinion is that we shouldn't have an H1-B program, instead we should allow anyone who wants to work in the US to do so. If that creates a larger influx than we can manage then we can be selective but we should still take every highly-skilled and highly-educated worker we possibly can. Brain drain the whole world, because that will keep the innovation and progress here, and keep our economy the most powerful in the world. Immigration has always been the engine that drives economic growth in the US. That was true when my ancestors arrived in the early 19th century, it was true when we used all the Nazi rocket scientists to win the space race, and it's true today.

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