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Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 1) 290

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:Fiduciary duty (Score 2) 290

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) 290

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) 290

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.

Comment Re:Fiduciary duty (Score 1) 290

Why is only one industry a candidate for this legal replacement? H-!B should be open to all professions or not at all.

It is. Relevant to this discussion, one of my son's college professors is here on an H1-B visa. She's concerned that Trump's changes to the program may cost her her job. Oh, and she's not a CS/IT prof; she teaches Japanese Literature.

Comment Re:Well, sadly, probably.... (Score 1) 349

Many if not most employment contracts/agreements have verbiage that states that anything you come up with on company time, belongs to the company.

Many if not most employment contracts/agreements for software engineers and the like have verbiage that states that anything you come up with on company or personal time, belongs to the company.

Read your contract carefully before starting a side business.

Comment Re: Favorable? (Score 1) 274

Going with your premise, why should Google and Facebook be permitted to track my usage of other sites?

They can't. Not shouldn't, can't.

What can happen is that when you visit some site that site may tell your browser to load a resource from Facebook or Google, and when your browser does so, they find out about the visit. Your browser even sends them a nice referer header. Alternatively, the site you visit may send a message to Facebook or Google telling them about your visit. Neither of those things require any eavesdropping on traffic not intended for Facebook or Google.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 540

I know every generation thinks the young generation is lazy, etc., but there is real statistical evidence that the Millennial generation actually is starting to work much later. On a more anecdotal basis, I notice a very different approach to work in my kids (late teens, early 20s) and in their peers. My kids have always had to do chores and work around the house so I don't think that's the difference.

They do things like decide they're unhappy with their current employer so they just walk out, without trying to fix the problem and without trying to find another job first. I have never in my life quit a job before finding another, and it wouldn't even occur to me to do so. If my job sucks, by all means I'll make a move, but not until I have something else lined up. That's just one example, but it's typical of their whole approach. I suppose in some ways it's good to be more focused on quality of life and less on income... but not until you're safely self-sufficient.

It concerns me that I'm wandering into "get off my lawn!" territory here... but there really does seem to be a difference, a worrisome one.

Comment Re:Storage? (Score 2) 476

For coal, this doesn't really matter - it still loses. To pick up where renewables leave off, you want natural gas (or even petroleum) turbines that can quickly be brought on and off line. Coal and nuclear are not really suited to this.

The power industry makes the distinction between "base load" and "peak load" generation sources. Coal and nuclear are best for base load, running 100% capacity as much as possible. Combined-cycle turbines are best for peak load since they can be economically throttled.

The issue is both peak and base load demands are increasing. Turbines make great peak load sources but are poor for base load. TVA -- my former employer -- took coal plants offline due to Obama-era regulations making them impossible or unprofitable to operate (or both). They made up for the lost generating capacity by running their turbines as if they were base load generators. The result? Huge increases in turbine maintenance costs, more frequent maintenance outages, and more unplanned outages.

If the goal is to kill coal you have to replace it with something. Nuclear is a non-starter for most people because of their hysterical, irrational fear of it. Natural gas is cheap but, as stated above, it's not the best candidate for peak load generation. Nothing in the solar or wind column can come close to substituting for any current base load generation technology.

Comment Re:Coal is a campaign punchline (Score 2) 476

Only reason why it's an issue at all is because it sounded good on the campaign trail for Trump's supporters.

More specifically, it appealed to people in one of the regional subcultures (Appalachia) who are often a swing vote. They mostly vote Republican these days, but they've never been closely tied to either of the two major parties, and Trump had to lock them down in order to shore up the fact that his support was weak in other traditionally-Republican subcultures (though he was helped by the fact that his opponent's support was weak in important traditionally-Democrat subcultures).

Comment Re:Total regulatory impact 2-3 percent (Score 2) 476

Coal has been made disproportionately more expensive over the last several years by government fiat, not market forces. Burdensome regulation and carbon taxes have made it so. Until recently I worked for TVA (mostly nuclear plants but some coal, hydro, and combined-cycle turbines). Several coal plants were shut down well ahead of schedule simply because Obama-era regulations made them unprofitable to run. Remember, candidate-Obama promised to destroy coal. He certainly worked hard enough at it.

If coal is allowed to float without government interference it will be quite a bit cheaper than renewables and much more abundant. Windmills only spin when the wind is blowing. Solar only works when the sun is out and your panels aren't covered in snow. Coal runs 24x7, rain or shine, windy or calm, hot or cold.

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