Day of rants – 2 for the price of 1

This past weekend Melissa and I joined many of the consumer based economy here in the US and went in search of a new phone. Why … well, the Sony cordless that I have is a much older model (as I have had it for quite some time … in fact the 900MHz phones were the “new” thing at the time). It is a basic cordless (sub-900Mhz … didn’t have that much money) and has seen a good number of days. The battery is looking like it needs replacing again (this will be the 3rd time), it doesn’t have the best reception or range, and it lacks caller-id (really the only feature we were looking for in a replacement).
So we headed off to BestBuy and picked up the VTech 2435 … and it looked to be a sufficient upgrade for the reasonable price of $40. 2.4GHz, Dual handset system, and caller-id (of course). The two handsets were an added bonus, but man what a good idea (though not really new in the world of phones – just to us).

Dual Handset System
Dual handset systems provide the convenience of operating two handsets using only one phone jack. The second handset simply needs an AC outlet to plug into. These systems also include V MODE™ technology, which allows you to transfer calls, conference an outside call or use the intercom feature between handsets.

But what it fails to mention that you can only use one of the handsets at a time – only forwarding the calls between them. Gah, what is the point then?? It does mention a “conference an outside call” option … but “how” is not referenced in the manual, website, or found by poking around in the phone options.
This was compounded by phone options that took 4 tries – and eventually never succeed – in programming a phone number into memory from a previous call — a process that should be simple. It was too easy to ‘cancel’ the operation forcing you to start again. So, in an act of economic freedom, the phone went back … it did not solve the needs that it created. Thus we will continue looking …
Topic slide
H1-b limit has apparently been reached for 2005 (glad I secured mine this year), but the topic brought us to this discussion and a common thread that I have found over the last several years of working in the US. Basically, “your stealing jobs away” … this is an odd statement in reality – especially from the United States who prides itself in the ideals of a capitalist market.
There is a distinction that needs to be made. People are not getting H1-b work visas to get into the country – there are other means to do that. These are people that are looking for a job!!! … honestly, they probably don’t care “where” too much – in fact if a similar job was available at home they would likely prefer that. I know I would … closer to friends, closer to my culture, closer to my family. The fact is that more jobs are available in the US … a result of a large economy. They are not ‘taking lower pay’ or ‘working harder’ or ‘accepting less’ to get into the states … no they are doing it because they are being offered ‘more pay’, ‘more benefits’, and ‘more opportunity’. The cold hard facts are that many skilled workers in the US have priced themselves right out of the market. Companies are not able to pay the salaries and wages being asked for … so they are finding those who WILL work for it. That way they maintain their profits (whole reason to be in business) and they can continue to offer the goods at prices reasonable to the general consumer. Remember higher wages ==> higher operating costs ==> higher priced goods. This is on-top-of the fact that many people follow the fads, the skilled/educated “fashions” … and leaves many companies looking to fill requirements that do not fall in these particular disciplines, they must at that point look in the larger pond for the fish.
For the non-skilled workers, companies are moving their factories to them … they are cheaper, they work harder, and they demand less, just remember that those workers are now getting a lot more (pay, benefits, and stability) than before the factory moved there. All with the goal of keeping the goods in the price range the US consumer expects.
So … in the end, the US worker has priced themselves out of the market. In my field (software development and IT) the internet boom facilitated huge wages and people are having a hard time adjusting to the “bust” that followed. In other markets, Unions have driven wages too high for companies to support. And now, the worker must change what is acceptable pay/benefits (or change skills/jobs) … companies would prefer to higher locally and/or produce locally – it builds more loyalty in the community.
I did not take a job away … I just found one that no one else could fill!
As someone under an H1-b; I live, work, and pay taxes as any other person here in the states … I am just not allowed to vote and I must choose to get the green card or go home after the visa expires … so I am supporting the the local economy not hurting it, so please don’t insult my skill, experience, and determination because of a protectionist attitude. I work hard cause I have to sign my name to the things I work on … that means something to me. My wages are well within the acceptable range. Since Melissa, my wife, does not meet the ‘qualifying standards’ she is not allowed to work … so, we are held to a single income. Yet, we have managed to maintain high living standard (vehicle, large apartment, TV, cable, broadband, telephone) … I just don’t own multiple gas-sucking SUVs, 500 TV channels, and brand name cloths — oh please, the horror. But that is all about choices and priorities … maybe my culture differs what I desire/require (?)
In reality the advent of the internet, cell phones, and video conferencing the global village is upon us. I believe that in this global village we all need to work together, that means job/skill sharing between countries … that means economic freedom in a global sense. There are jobs that fit different peoples interests and skills … they just might not be located in the community that you live in. Times are changing … the world is changing … work is changing — we just need to figure out where we fit.
Life is not about making money … it is about enjoying what you do. Sure making money is nice, but heck I can make money doing almost anything … what I do defines who I am. And that drives my decisions.

I should note: working visas are provided to those individuals that meet requirements that are not met by local (ie US-based) residents. They are not based on money, race, religion, etc. You must fulfill specific requirements in experience and/or education … and then … match requirements of a company that is willing to sponsor you. Further, often the company is suppose to advertise the position locally before looking at a foreign applicant. And thus is not intended to be just for those who will “just work for less”. [There are a lot of good quotes regarding visa distribution available here]
Each situation is different, each visa has different conditions, and each person has their own views. This is just mine. This is intended to drive conversation and discussion … and that I hope it does.

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