Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 39990
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2018/12/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/16   

2005/10/5-6 [Industry/Jobs, Politics/Foreign/Asia/Others] UID:39990 Activity:moderate
10/5    Hypothetical question: Suppose there's a shortage of resources,
        should the free market take its course which will hopefully
        make self-corrections, or should the government intervene and
        ration resources? What are the pros and cons for either approaches?
        \_ don't know about pro and con, I just know that in reality,
           free market is never allowed to distribute critical/essential
           resources anywhere in the world during severe shortage, rather
           it is food, water,  petro, or steel.
        \_ It happens everyday.  A house costs more than an apple because
           houses are harder to build and require more resources to do so
           than an apple.  A car costs more than an apple but less than a
           house for the same reason.  What is your question?
                 \- A1 steak sauce is $5. You can get a DVD player for $30.
                    I am not sure these things are really "a priori".
                    \_ Wrong comparison.  How about comparing the A1 to the
                       B&O DVD player instead, or the generic brand sauce to
                       the no-namo DVD player?  Either the more expensive one
                       took more work/more expensive ingredients, or they
                       successfully created an artificial demand (viz.
                       Godiva $5 chocolate covered strawberries.)  Either
                       way you've proven that the market sets prices.  -John
                       \- i am not sure what your point is but i didnt
                          really elabroate on mine. 10 years ago i think
                          somebody reflecting on "how difficult is it to
                          make steak sauce vs a dvd player" probably would
                          not have guessed the difference in price would
                          be under 6:1. so this idea of "difficulty" is
                          probably not meaningful outside the mkt price.
                          i am getting at the notion of price signals
                          in the hayakian sense. in fact i think you
                          should abandon the whole notion of "difficulty
                          to build" or resource use and just look at things
                          more abstractly ... this building/resource approach
                          might apply to mfgring [but really you have to
                          look at return on optimal mix of K,L since something
                          can become "easier" by investing more money] but
                          really doesnt apply to something like haircuts.
                          in the abstract setting you consider price,
                          willingness to pay, the difference being consumer
                          surplus, the marginal and average costs and then
                          thigns can get more complicated when you factor
                          in asymmetric information [like when the same
                          in assymetric information [like when the same
                          disposable contact lenses were sold at different
                          prices because they were labelled for diff #hrs].
                          here is an interesting question: movies clearly
                          cost $10m to $200m+ ... but why are all movie
                          tickets ~$10.
                          \_ Partha, It would be much easier to reply to you
                             if you used a spelling checker and didn't
                             ramble for 3 pages.  As it is, I don't assume
                             that you're interested.  -John
                          \_ Because the cost of a $200m is spread over a
                             much larger number of viewers.  A blockbuster
                             will make a billion $ in sales (us, domestic, and
                             dvd) vs a less expensive film which is also less
                             likely to be known and recover it's costs.  Also,
                             a big chunk of the "cost" of a $200m film is in
                             marketing and PR and often a $50MM/film hollywood
                             actor.  I suspect most films will do just as well
                             or as poorly without all that junk heaped on top
                             of the base production cost.  For example, the
                             Spiderman flick did super well with a no-name
                             actor (and now every moron in hollywood wants to
                             be a super hero) but Electra was a total bomb and
                             so was Dare Devil with well known actors who made
                             oodles more cash than the SM kid.  Ok, nvm, I'm
                             way off topic and now ranting about the stupidity
                             of hollywood.  I feel better now.  :-)
           \_ Why can't I afford to buy a house when I am a hardworking
              intelligent person, while some dot-com millionaire who got
              his money through sheer good luck instead of hard work lives
              in a mansion and has a hot girlfriend?
              \_ Because you live in the Bay area(or southern california).
              \_ Because you live in the Bay area (or southern california).
                 It really is that simple.  Anywhere else in the country
                 you'd be able to afford a home.  No, I don't know how much
                 you make, but in most of the country, buying a house with
                 a 25k/year salary is feasable.
              \_ You should've gone to medical school.
              \_ This is why I stopped being a coder and went to law
                 school.
                 BTW, perhaps you should look down as well as up - there
                 are BILLIONS of people in this world who weren't lucky
                 enough to be born into a country where opportunity and
                 prosperity is everywhere and hardly anyone concerns
                 themselves about things like potable water and edible
                 food. One may easily ask what EXACTLY we did to deserve
                 our comfortable existence while everyone else continues
                 to struggle just to survive.
                 \_ Except many lawyers don't make all that much more than
                    a good s/w engineer. There might be more job security,
                    but maybe not. Medical school is your best bet.
                    \_ The problem w/ engineering is that there is no
                       long term job prospect - esp. in the valley.
                       Whatever your skill set is, it eventually goes
                       stale and some young kid is going to be better
                       at your job and mgmt can get rid of you and pay
                       him less to get the same work.
                       The practice of law is different, experience counts
                       and many practice areas never go stale b/c people
                       keep having the same problems over and over again.
                       BTW, the pay is better ~ 110-125K start.
                       \- also lawyers and doctors are smarter about
                          restricting competition.
                          \_ Are lawyers and doctors smarter about restricting
                             competition, or is less competent engineering
                             more acceptable (in the sense less subject to
                             remedy by the court system) than less competent
                             medical or legal service?  Not in the sense that
                             foreign engineers are less competent, but that
                             official certification of engineering training
                             has greater value.
                             \_ I think he means that you can't practice
                                as a doctor/lawyer unless you pass an exam
                                and its reasonably hard to pass that exam.
                                There is nothing comparable to that in eng.
                                Sure there is PE, but outside of Civil hardly
                                anyone cares.  In coding I'm not exactly
                                sure what difference an exam would make
                                b/c most of the really good coders I've met
                                were mathematicians, physicists, &c. rather
                                than EE/CS so an exam might actually keep
                                good people out.
                                Re less competent engineering - Just work
                                on any big project and you will find lots
                                of stuff that doesn't work or wasn't well
                                thought out, &c. The impact of something
                                like this is less unlike giving someone
                                the wrong medication or failing to file
                                a motion in a timely fashion, &c. At worst
                                you will lose some money.
                                    \- the practice is law is defined very
                                       broadly [see the infamous Nolo v.
                                       Texas case. I actually wonder if
                                       HARRIET THE JUDGE had a role in that]
                                       as are medical practices ... like
                                       you cannot to the best of my knowledge
                                       go to a dental hygenist for a tooth
                                       cleaning without a dentist involved
                                       or go to an optician for a an
                                       eye power measurement. however a non
                                       PE engineer can do lots of work. my
                                       parent never bothered to get a PE till
                                       maybe 15yrs after his phd and had
                                       billions of dollars of projects
                                       under his belt. in the 70s the AMA
                                       made certain certification test changes
                                       specfically targetted at incoming
                                       russian and indian doctors. i actually
                                       think there are a fair number of sort
                                       of iffy doctors. as they saying goes,
                                       "what do they call the guy who graduated
                                       at the bottom of his med school class?"
                                       "doctor". but yeah, probably fewer
                                       leem doctors because there arent that
                                       many med schools. there are a lot of
                                       clown lawyers and a huger number of
                                       leem law schools and some of them may
                                       have automatic bar pass ... i doubt
                                       a lot of the PDs in boise are very good.
                                       \_ no matter how many clown lawyers
                                       \_ not matter how many clown lawyers
                                          there are - and I agree there are
                                          lots and lots of clowns - there
                                          are clearly many more clown eng-
                                          ineers. It doesn't take much to
                                          get an engineering degree or to
                                          find a entry level engineering
                                          job. Maybe you don't meet these
                                          \_ I believe it is harder to get an
                                             engineering degree than a law
                                             degree.
                                             \_ Law school seems far
                                                more difficult to me.
                                                In engineering you
                                                could get by w/o do-
                                                ing much (I managed
                                                3.0+ and I can barely
                                                integrate)
                                                \_ Did you take any humanities
                                                   classes? Anyone can get
                                                   a 3.0 at a CSU and get
                                                   into a mediocre law
                                                   school. Overall, I find
                                                   the average engineer to
                                                   be much smarter than
                                                   the average lawyer.
                                                   \- I was pretty much in
                                                      the middle of the pack
                                                      in upper div and grad
                                                      math/science classes
                                                      I took, but I was
                                                      definitely "order of
                                                      coif" the ConLaw,
                                                      coif"/summa in ConLaw,
                                                      I took (and at the dumb
                                                      end of a few seminars),
                                                      but I was definitely
                                                      "order of coif"/summa
                                                      cum laude in ConLaw,
                                                      Law&Econ, BusinessLaw,
                                                      Legal Philosophy, Legal
                                                      History and Law Seminars
                                                      I took.
                                                      I took, however these
                                                      were in academic depts,
                                                      not the law school for
                                                      the most part. (--not PP)
                                                      the most part. The people
                                                      in philosophy were prob
                                                      the smartest humanities
                                                      people. (--not PP)
                                                      people and a few smart
                                                      in econ. Pol Sci and Bus
                                                      school people were dumb
                                                      or apathetic usually.
                                                      (--not PP)
                                                      in my experience hum/
                                                      socsci grad students
                                                      in legit depts who are
                                                      legit admits are usually
                                                      sharper than most Boalt
                                                      students. (--not PP)
                                                   \_ I took a few, but
                                                      I mostly avoided
                                                      humanities b/c they
                                                      were a lot more work
                                                      than upper-division
                                                      engineering classes.
                                                      I'm guessing that if
                                                      someone like me can
                                                      make it through cal
                                                      engineering, it must
                                                      be *really* easy to
                                                      get an engineering
                                                      degree.
                                          jokers in the ivory tower, but
                                          I used to bump into them every
                                          day in the valley.
                                          \- hello, accroding to Bureau
                                             of Labor Statistics:
                                             stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm
                                             compared to ~.9million people
                                             licensed to practice law.
                                             \_ Maybe I'm reading this
                                                wrong but according to
                                                bls.gov/oco/ocos053.htm
                                                there are about 700K
                                                lawyers, while there
                                                are about 1.5 million
                                                engineers (+ 675K soft-
                                                ware engineers:
                                                bls.gov/oco/ocos267.htm).
                                                \- there are a lot of
                                                   "paraengineers" who may
                                                   be called engineers, while
                                                   there are paralegals who
                                                   are not lawyers. i have to
                                                   go to mcdonalds now.
                                       russian and indian doctors.
                                          job.
                                                   \_ so what? is your
                                                      determination of
                                                      what an engineer
                                                      is somehow more
                                                      authoritative?
                          \_ I read an article in WSJ that says lots of
                             companies are outsourcing jobs to lawyers in
                             India (eg. patent research).  It also says
                             that in India job status ranking is:
                              engineer > doctor > accoutant > lawyer
                             Is that true?
                             \_ Re outsourcing - what I've seen is
                                that some of the grunt work of writing
                                a patent and lots of the prior art
                                searching has been moved offshore,
                                but the real legal work (esp. in
                                litigation and patent counseling
                                remains here).
                                Re India job ranking - partially true.
                                Software engineers are at the top of
                                the totem pole, but regular engineers
                                aren't that highly regarded b/c there
                                are so many of them. Until about 6 or
                                7 yrs ago, the top job was IAS (Indian
                                Administrative Service - civil servants).
                                \_ Re: outsourcing, yes this is true. However,
                                   many lawyers think that the grunt work
                                   is where lots of good skills are
                                   learned. You don't start at the top.
                                   It's akin to outsourcing medical
                                   residents, but not practicing doctors.
                                   FWIW, lots of radiology is also being
                                   outsourced so medicine is not 100% safe
                                   either.
                                Re India job ranking - partially true.
                                Software engineers are at the top of
                                the totem pole, but regular engineers
                                aren't that highly regarded b/c there
                                are so many of them. Until about 6 or
                                7 yrs ago, the top job was IAS (Indian
                                Administrative Service - civil servants).
                                Being a doctor was an okay line of work
                                but it didn't really fetch you much more
                                money than anyone else.
                             medical or legal service?
                                \_ Re: outsourcing, yes this is true. However,
                                   many lawyers think that the grunt work
                                   is where lots of good skills are
                                   learned. You don't start at the top.
                                   It's akin to outsourcing medical
                                   residents, but not practicing doctors.
                                   FWIW, lots of radiology is also being
                                   outsourced so medicine is not 100% safe
                                   either.
                       \_ No, you are wrong regarding the valley, but you
                          have to work your way pretty far up the food chain
                          to realize that.
                          \_ I know lots of people who have been working
                             in the valley for 25+ yrs and I'm pretty
                             sure its true. Unless you move into mgmt
                             or something, there are no longer term
                             prospects.
                             \_ Trust me, you're wrong.  The trick is not
                                "25+ years" but rather "pretty far up the
                                food chain".  There are engineers with 25+
                                years of experience who are mostly worthless,
                                just as there are engineers whose worth never
                                expires.
                                \_ Maybe so, but what I noticed was that
                                   high on the food chain positions mostly
                                   went to politically connected people
                                   rather than competent people (this is
                                   at a big company - maybe startups and
                                   vc firms are better).
                                   at a big company though).
                                   Anyway, making it high up the food
                                   chain wasn't really an option for
                                   me, so I chose something w/ more
                                   stability and similar (or slightly
                                   higher) pay.
                                   \_ I can drop names if you wish.  Are you
                                      at Sun?  The first generation of DE's
                                      were mostly impressive, and many are
                                      still technical.  I am friends with
                                      several (ehf, agn, and tvh--ehf is
                                      officially a vp, tho he's still technical
                                      and has no direct reports, i think; agn
                                      got burned and is back at cmu again, i
                                      hear; tvh is still retired, though his
                                      role was technical and not managerial at
                                      artx).  I am less sure of the current
                                      crop of Sun DE's.  I was more thinking
                                      of Gunning or Dobberpuhl when I answered
                                      your original claim.
                                      \_ I'm at Sun. I've met some current
                                      \_ I'm Sun. I've met some current
                                         DEs and I wasn't impressed - they
                                         were mostly political appointees.
                                         The major exception was Diffie,
                                         but he's Diffie and I'm just random
                                         coder.
                                         My promotion from MTS to Staff
                                         The promotion from MTS to Staff
                                         Eng. also seemed to have a lot more
                                         to do w/ politics than skill, which
                                         was disheartening, esp. considering
                                         I was responsible for a moderately
                                         successful product that actually
                                         makes money vs. the people who were
                                         considering my promotion hadn't
                                         shipped an actual product in 5+ yrs.
                                         shipped a actual product in 5+ yrs.
                                         I've also gone through the ARC
                                         several times and the people were
                                         pretty useless but they certainly
                                         had job stability.
                                         I also worked w/ some of the orig.
                                         UNIX team at Bell Labs and saw
                                         them get forced out b/c of bs
                                         politics by complete tools.
                                            \_ This is probably because
                                               lots of the 1st generation
                                               were academics. They have
                                               given way (necessarily,
                                               IMO) to businessmen who are
                                               less special but possess a
                                               different set of skills.
                                         Maybe I'm just a little jaded.
                                         I figure the legal thing is a
                                         bit better b/c you can get a
                                         decent practice going and just
                                         stick to that.
                                         \_ The first generation of DE's were
                                            all pretty special, and even the
                                            senior staffs from that era were
                                            significantly smart.  Since then,
                                            I've been told DE's have beomce
                                            yet another promotion and are now
                                            much less special.
                                food chain".
                                \_ The people I know are at senior staff
                                   eng. or principal eng. (or mgmt equiv
                                   at director).  I guess if you can make
                                   DE or VP you can get some measure of
                                   job security but I don't know too many
                                   people who can get that far.
                                         politics by complete fools.
                                            \_ This is probably because
                                               lots of the 1st generation
                                               were academics. They have
                                               given way (necessarily,
                                               IMO) to businessmen who are
                                               less special but possess a
                                               different set of skills.
                       \_ The pay is marginally better. If you look at
                          salary averages there are a lot of lawyers not
                          making even $100K.
                          \_ Sure, but most lawyers aren't in technical
                             practice areas (patent, copyright). So few
                             lawyers can understand the science/technology
                             needed that the pay is much higher in those
                             areas.
                             \_ Well, this is like comparing the salary
                                of a surgeon to a pediatrician. Most
                                lawyers COULD NOT PRACTICE in a technical
                                area if they wanted to.
                    \_ The problem w/ engineering is that whatever your
                       skill set it eventually goes stale and some young
                       kid is going to be better at your job and mgmt can
                       get rid of you and pay him less to get the same
                       work.
                       The practice of law is different - and if you don't
                       like one area of practice or that area starts to
                       dry up you can always go work for a real estate
                       or insurance firm.
                       \_ No, you are wrong.  But you have to work your way
                          pretty far up the food chain to realize that.
                                \_ sure, but I was responding to wages
                                   in comparison to being a coder - the
                                   income potential for a former coder
                                   lawyer in a tech practice is quite
                                   high.
           \_ If the price naturally rises, it will allow substitutes which
              were previously not feasible to enter the market.  So allowing
              the price to rise will potentially increase total supply.
              \- it depends why there is a shortage. govt intervention !=
                 govt should provide/subsidize it. govt repsonses can include
                 things like changing ip regime. if you want a generic frame-
                 work to think about this, do mircoecon. if you want to talk
                 about a spcific case, you should mention what it is. in the
                 real world it's often unclear what constitutes a "shortage"
                 [is there a shortage of diamonds?] just like it is often
                 unclear if a firm has market (monopoly) power. also a "supply
                 shock" is not the same as a persistent shortage, say in the
                 case of water or power. the govt probably should not intervene
                 in the RARE MAGIC CARD mkt. and finally it depends on the
                 govt. a bad govt can clearly make things worse. see e.g.
                 AK Sen's work on famines.
        \_ I agree there is a shortage of h07 42n ch1x in san jose.
        \_ I agree there is a shortage of h07 42n ch1x in the bay area.
           SOMETHING must be done!
           \_ free h07 4zn ch1x for 1337 c0d3r5! w00t!
              his money through sheer good luck lives in a mansion and has
              a hot girlfriend?
                 case of water or power.
2018/12/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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