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Comment Re: Free movement of labor for other jobs... (Score 1) 246

On the contrary.

If you properly impose a tariff, which includes yearly limits on quotas of imported goods, you put the imported good artificially at the same or very similar market price as the locally produced product.

EG, in your example of 4$ per pound cotton textiles, the government artificially raises the price of that import via the tariff, making it say-- 19$ per pound once it gets to the market.

People don't stop wearing clothes just because the price goes up. Instead, they start looking more strongly at quality. They don't have the disposable income (everything costs more) to waste on crap clothing that they have to replace every year. Instead, they see the value in purchasing the clothing made with the higher production quality that lasts longer, This increases the demand for the higher quality product, and with increased demand, go increased opportunities for investment--- aka, JOBS.

Comment Re:It's obvious it won't accelerate offshoring (Score 2) 246

When you demand impossible education requirements for basic employment, you impose a significant cost on your potential applicants.

Specifically, the cost of the education level you are demanding. It can easily enter triple digits, and take a third or more of a worker's lifetime to pay off, and is non-dischargeable.

That cost is real. It does not go away when you hire H1B laborers. The local economy is still saddled with the debt created by this wasted educational burden. (Wasted, because you never had any intention of hiring those applicants anyway.)

When you put a want ad out in the local job market, then purposefully ignore all applications that are local, so that you can hire a cheaper H1B, you are saddling the local economy with the difference in the cost of education, since the people that you caused to be trained by putting out your fake demand, now are unemployable, AND IN DEBT.

Comment Re:Free movement of labor for other jobs... (Score 1) 246

So, let me get this straight AC--

A country that imports more than it exports is "Great!" in your estimation, and pointing out that the actual quote from ricardo concerning his theory is as follows, with a little added emphasis of my own:

"If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them [b]with some part of the produce of our own industry employed in a way in which we have some advantage.[/b] The general industry of the country, being always in proportion to the capital which employs it, will not thereby be diminished ... but only left to find out the way in which it can be employed with the greatest advantage."

Note, his thesis does not work at all when the bolded part is not met.

While the US does have the second largest export market, A significant proportion of the US's labor force is not tied to manufacturing or exports, most of it is service industry. Further, the manufacturing capacity of the US is currently struggling.


Reuters attributes the low manufacturing performance to a high valued dollar, and low oil costs (globally)-- resulting in labor for manufacturing being too expensive in the USA-- THE EXACT THING WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT, and that tariffs are intended to help avert.

Their opinion is not alone-- The economic policy institute has a rather lengthly report about it.


To which they credit " nearly two decades of policy failures that have damaged its international competitiveness" as the primary causal factor behind the massive reduction in US manufacturing. What policy decisions have been enacted in the past 20 years? Various free trade agreements that removed trade tariffs.

It further states that manufacturing accounts for only 8.8% of the US's labor force. Meaning that most americans are not employed doing manufacturing, but in some other industry.

Yet somehow, despite the massively disproportionate segment of the US labor force that is allocated to service providing, industries seeking service workers (No, software is NOT a manufacturing job. it is a service job.) "Simply cannot find qualified applicants!" Perhaps we aren't training enough people to meet those needs? No-- the NYT seems to feel otherwise.


The costs of attaining a college degree are spiraling out of control, while the benefits of getting one diminish, due to labor force saturation. This is because there is out of control demand for college education, coupled with lackluster pay once it is attained. Basically, the service industry in the US does not want to pay for the education requirements it is demanding, and is leaving hopeful applicants holding the bag.

Instead, the service industry leadership wants only the cream of the crop, so to speak, of the potential applicant pool. It demands only the very finest caviar, and wants to pay cheesewiz prices. (Why not, it can get caviar for the price of cheezewiz elsewhere!)

This comparative difference in labor rates is ALSO controlled innately by tariffs, and prevents this kind of labor shopping-- at least as far as outsourced labor is concerned.

Now that I have buried you under a pretty substantively sized wall of text with some citations and opinion pieces by bonafide economists, perhaps you can be a little more forthcoming in how my interpretation of your rhetorical question is so clearly "Wrong", yes?

Comment Re:Goverment already does cost-of-living adjustmen (Score 1) 246

It sounds like your rates in your high cost areas are not congruent with the actual costs of operating your business.

Since you are doing surveys for new building constructions, and other essential civil engineering services for the locality you service-- remind your local civic authorities that lowballing you will result in their deadlines not being met, because you cannot keep the staff required to service their needs in a timely manner on the rates they are demanding. Your competitors will likewise be unable to meet these demands placed upon you, because the demands are unreasonable.

Costs for certification and services rendered need to reflect the actual costs (including labor) of those services, otherwise business is not sustainable.

Comment Re:Free movement of labor for other jobs... (Score 3, Informative) 246

In this case, there is no counter-benefit to the trade, other than "inexpensive purchases", without a subsequent offsetting or balancing return transaction. Tariffs and excise duties help to balance out these kinds of inequalities, and help to artificially secure such comparative advantages, where otherwise it would be impossible to sustain them.

The goal of a tariff is not to squelch foreign products in the market. It is to ensure that the domestic products remain in the market, and continue to be produced by the country engaging in the trade. The counterpoint to the principle thesis of the theory of comparative advantage is that a country that is very prosperous, and able to supply itself with any and every good conceivable in a more efficient manner than any other nation it could trade with, will still engage in trade-- is that countries that are less capable of producing goods, still produce goods to trade to the more capable country.

The US produces fewer and fewer trade goods, and consumes more and more trade goods every year, and with it, employment (and financial liquidity) decline, and with those, standard of living declines, or at least progresses at slower and slower rates.

Again, the goal of a tariff is not to completely squelch the flow of foreign trade goods--- Foreign trade goods enrich the local market by leveraging the creativity and resources of other nations, allowing the local consumers to benefit from other country's advances as well-- The goal is to ensure that local production CONTINUES.

Now, are you satisfied, AC?

Comment Re:Goverment already does cost-of-living adjustmen (Score 1) 246

65k is princely in other parts of the country. Is the cost of the loss of in person business meetings so high, that the value of a telecommuting architect is totally lost?

Your applicant does not need to be local. Just easily able to collaborate. It may seem strange, but there really is high speed internet, and people interested in becoming architects in the flyover land parts of the country, where costs of living are much lower, who would be willing to work for a much smaller wage than could be offered with a straight face anywhere on the coasts. People here routinely live on 30k a year. Dwell on that.

The major obstacle these days is the office politics. The "need" for people to stand at attention when called into a room, and waste an hour or more listening to a poorly made powerpoint presentation about keeping the break room clean, or whatever other office politics shit has necesstated such a meeting. I work in aerospace. Most of my contacts are communicated with via email. They could be anywhere. As long as they respond promptly, and reliably, they could very well be on the moon, and I could still get my work done.

There is no compelling reason for white collar work in the age of instant digital communication to be shackled to a specific location. That includes architectural firms. They can send you lovely proposals digitally. They don't need to be there in person, unless you value grandstanding in the boardroom over actual architectural ability. If thats the case, hire salesmen, not architects. They specialize in selling iceboxes to eskimos.

Your inability to find somebody to work at below 60k/yr at entry level in your area just means you need to consider telecommuting, or branch offices. It does not mean you need to jam foriegn workers into the local labor pool, and drive up local costs of living even higher, just so that they can fill a seat in person.

Comment Re:It's obvious it won't accelerate offshoring (Score 5, Insightful) 246

I hate to sound crude or callous, but--

The government, nor the labor force are beholden to your vision of a successful startup. The labor you seek costs money. Even if it does not cost you, it still costs that money. Preventing abuse of h1b labor prevents the sideloading of that cost onto the rest of society. If your startup requires impossible wages (wages only possible via h1b or other wage shenanigans) then your startup is not really viable as a business venture. Hard thing to swallow, but that is the way it is.

As an employer, the sooner you understand that you too have to negotiate at the hiring table, and that you can't get AAA+ talent for D- wages, the better. You are beholden to the economy, the same as the rest of us. We only succeed when we both benefit.

My suggestion to you: hire new grads at new grad pay. Hire a small number of AAA+ people, and use them to improve the quality of your new grad workers. Set company goals that are attainable with that arrangement, and reward employees that exceed those expected goals.

The age of getting the best while paying next to nothing are nearly gone forever. Plan for that future. Hire the lackluster, at lackluster pay, then improve them. Contrary to what you have been trained in MBA school, employees are a valuable asset that you invest in. If you are good to your people, they will be good to you. Treat them like disposable trash, and they will dump you in a minute, the soonest they can, and spit on your memory.

Comment Re:Free movement of labor for other jobs... (Score 4, Interesting) 246

Most americans were actually against removing the trade barriers that allowed labor market shopping of the kind you imply. The agreements were railroaded through anyway.

Most Americans would actually support reintroduction of tariff and excise costs on foriegn goods and services, even though this will increase domestic product cost.

Comment Suspect a trap... (Score 0) 246

I have not read issa, but i suspect that it is a trap. Big issue the general public wants, wrapped around some onerous provision for even deeper anal penetration by thier real constituents, monied interests, and corporations. Perhaps even carte blanc for a tla or two.

That seems to have been the major play the past 30 years. Anyone read it yet?

Comment Re:the complaint (Score 1) 92

Suppose a contrived example:

A person is in such a position, that they need to communicate with someome, and can only do so by either violating copyright, or by circumventing a technological restriction.

(A poignant example can be seen in the otherwise horrible movie short circuit 2. A scene in the movie has Ben jiavari and his former coworker trapped in a freezer at doo wa's Asian restaurant. Ben cobbles together a tone generator and sends distress messages as short musical phrases from popular music that give hints to where they are being held. Far fetched and fictional, but would apply to the first case scenario. For the latter, suppose the only broadcast device you have to send your message with is dmca encumbered with a manufactruer lockout intended to prevent "unauthorized use". Say, requiring a keycard, or Sim module. You desperately need to send the transmission to save either your own life or someone else's. To do so, you circumvent the restriction, and send the message without meeting the onerous requirements.)

Then of course, there is the far more reasonable/likely ways that it impacts speech. For a good example, the bruhahah over the CSS decryption key. Many mathematicians asserted in court that declaring an arbitrary number forbidden to write down, communicate, or otherwise disclose was an unreasonable restriction on their ability to communicate with their peers, which it is.

The reality that 100% lockdown of distribution is simply not possible, and thus is an unreasonable expectation from both law, and enforcement, is never acknowledged by the copyright holders. That is why the DMCA is written the way it is.

Comment Precisely placing atoms is not new. (Score 2, Interesting) 68

I have seen AFM images of xenon atoms spelling out IBM on a graphite sheet as old as the 90s.

This smacks of "gimme fundingz plz!".

This work is not terribly novel. If they could dynamically change the state of the arrangement withat applied electric or magnetic fields, that would be worth reporting. This however is not, imho.

Comment Re:Confused! (Score 5, Insightful) 180

there is a shortage of "qualified applicants".

There is not a shortage of talent.

qualified applicant == a person with the skillset we want that will also work at well below median pay, work much more than median hours without overtime, and is beholden to the company and cannot leave easily. They also have to be local, so they can attend those all important meetings.

I hope that helps.

Comment makes sense. (Score 2) 180

You dont have to be from silicon valley to be interested in software, and the best developers are the ones who learned out of personal self interest. such people will be all over the place.

It makes sense that employers who need and value them will accept telecommuting in exchange for securing that talent, given the so called scarcity. (sweetening the deal, rural US wages are much lower than on the coasts.)

I really dont see what is so unusual about this statistic.

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