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Old 2013-02-27, 03:22   Link #381
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Not sure what you mean here, the only "human powered" action in a manual transmission compared to auto is the shifting of gear itself, and while an auto can shift much faster, you're talking about fractions of seconds here - completely irrelevant as far as fuel efficiency goes. And if you're going to play with gear ratios, then it's a wash, as that has little to do with the transmission type itself.
In terms of energy used, the only energy an automatic transmission car must supply, compared to a manual, was the energy the driver supplied to the mechanical clutching process, and the stick. That is the only reason a theoretically perfect human driver could never be bested by an automatic transmission (IE the gap is the power required by the gear changing system, that had been previously supplied by the human manipulating the mechanical components).

It is very difficult to create a machine that is more fuel efficient then human muscle.

As for the increased gear shifting speed, in any minute of driving a driver of a manual transmission car has to shift gears up to 5 or 6 times. Over time, those seconds of saved gear shifting time add up to quite a lot. And it's not just the faster gear shifts, it's also about judgement too. I would guess that most drivers are not great at predicting the exact gear they need to be in, and it's something they inevitably choose through "gut instinct", rather then through a detailed mathematical analysis of the car, which a computer is capable of. A human operator could always be lingering a bit too long in 3rd gear, for instance. Another factor is that the driver of a manual is often distracted from the gear shifting process by having to do road maneuvers (for instance, it's difficult to shift gears when going through a complicated intersection, or round-about), which the automatic would be able to handle with ease.


Of course, all this might be rendered moot if cars are driven by electric motors in the future. Electric motors don't really need gears the way a petrol driven motor does(original Teslas had only one gear, though I hear they're now switching to two).
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Old 2013-02-27, 04:10   Link #382
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Going back to immegrant talk, I find this video interesting.

The farmers in this video claimed that currently most agricultural low paying jobs are done by Hispanics because no one else wanted to do it. That they had to invest millions of dollars on a robot milker because they aren't sure the Hispanics would be available in the future. Note that there is no talks of hiring Americans; not because they don't want to, but that they can't find anyone else willing to sign up to these jobs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21583379

According to the farmers in this case at least, they don't see the Hispanics as "stealing American jobs". Not when they don't see American applying for the backbreaking work. And that if all the Hispanics disappear then a large chunk of the agricultural industry would simply stop.
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Old 2013-02-27, 04:42   Link #383
DonQuigleone
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It's not the low wage Hispanics I'm actually particularly worried about.

It's the "skilled" people they want to bring in on H1B visas. American workers can't compete with them, not necessarily because of the wages, but because the H1Bs lock the employee into working for them for years at a time, unable to protest their contracts by moving to another company.

If, as these CEOs claim, America had a huge shortage of STEM workers, then why have STEM wages been stagnant (and even fallen) in the last 10 years?

Not that I'm against skilled people immigrating to a country (I think they're a net plus), but the nature of their visa shouldn't make them more attractive then a domestic worker.
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Old 2013-02-27, 04:50   Link #384
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Not that I'm against skilled people immigrating to a country (I think they're a net plus), but the nature of their visa shouldn't make them more attractive then a domestic worker.
Take two skilled workers: American, Hispanic.

The Hispanic is willing to do the same job as the American, and just as well as the American. In addition, the Hispanic is willing to work for less.

Who do you pick?
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Old 2013-02-27, 05:12   Link #385
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Frankly from purely a national perspective, if the choice is between bringing in skilled workers into America, or have the entire industry shifted offshore to where the skill worker lives, the government would prefer to have the worker come to America. At least if they work in the country then they would spend some of the wages on the Service sector.

The skilled workers will find work one way or another, in America or somewhere else, assuming he or she is value for money.
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Old 2013-02-27, 05:16   Link #386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Take two skilled workers: American, Hispanic.

The Hispanic is willing to do the same job as the American, and just as well as the American. In addition, the Hispanic is willing to work for less.

Who do you pick?
The American. Given the education system, I concur that the Yank is easier to brainwash into getting paid with hell notes. *sarcastic*
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Old 2013-02-27, 05:24   Link #387
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http://www.nationaljournal.com/polit...-cpac-20130226
Quote:
“CPAC is like the all-star game for professional athletes; you get invited when you have had an outstanding year,” Cardenas said. “Hopefully he (Chris Christie) will have another all-star year in the future, at which time we will be happy to extend an invitation. This is a conservative conference, not a Republican Party event.”
I find it amusing that Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas is indirectly suggesting the likes of CPAC invitees Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney had an "outstanding year"... On which parallel universe?
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Old 2013-02-27, 05:52   Link #388
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
It's not the low wage Hispanics I'm actually particularly worried about.

It's the "skilled" people they want to bring in on H1B visas. American workers can't compete with them, not necessarily because of the wages, but because the H1Bs lock the employee into working for them for years at a time, unable to protest their contracts by moving to another company.

If, as these CEOs claim, America had a huge shortage of STEM workers, then why have STEM wages been stagnant (and even fallen) in the last 10 years?

Not that I'm against skilled people immigrating to a country (I think they're a net plus), but the nature of their visa shouldn't make them more attractive then a domestic worker.
This ... has been a lurking disaster since the late '90s and it just keeps growing. I've watched entire subsectors of the technical professions swamped with this stuff (oh, gosh, we can't find someone who knows 8.1, only 8.0 so we need to bring in someone (hint: 8.1 isn't out yet)). That's basically the routine - construct a resume no one domestically fits, but once you have the waiver, ignore that resume to bring in what you wanted (mostly there and works for slop).
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Old 2013-02-27, 07:32   Link #389
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Take two skilled workers: American, Hispanic.

The Hispanic is willing to do the same job as the American, and just as well as the American. In addition, the Hispanic is willing to work for less.

Who do you pick?
The American has clear benefits, in that there education is better, and they will be better at communicating (being a fluent English speaker). Furthermore, wages of a technical worker is not their only cost, their training is a bigger cost consideration.

The logic goes that with a American, you might train them up for 3 years, and then another company could come along and snap them up.

With a foreigner, you can slap them with a H1B, and keep them indentured for years. Furthermore, you can treat them as terribly as you like, as they can't leave you.

I don't mind foreign workers competing on wages, that's the market doing it's work, and that's their prerogative. It's that they're used to circumvent labour rights, and used as indentured labour, that's the problem. For one thing, as a worker entering the field, I don't mind low wages (though I have the luxury of not having College loans...), but I can't compete with a worker who's tied to them by a chain for the foreseeable future, and frankly, I don't want to compete. After all if my workplace is awful, I should be able to vote with my feet and leave, and employers should have incentives for making a good constructive work environment for employees.

We're getting a race to the bottom(how can we save the most by extracting value from employees while we have them?), when it should be a race to the top (How can we create a workplace that our employees wouldn't want to leave?).

After all, most people, if they're happy with their jobs, like their coworkers and are settled, won't take another job that's offered to them, even if there's higher pay. Employers need to understand that loyalty is not something they can buy, they have to inspire it.

This goes with the a seeming fixation on retaining "the best" employees, paying them absurdly large salaries, while disregarding everyone else. However, the reality is that the people who aren't "the best" can contribute almost as much value (and sometimes more) then these "best". The employer just needs to make a bit more effort to get them engaged in their work. Most workforces(and workers) are unproductive not because of a dearth of talent, but a dearth of drive and motivation. While to an extent it's the worker's job to motivate themselves, it's hard for workers to continue with a can-do attitude when their employer treats them as a commodity. Why should they be committed to the employer if the employer isn't committed to them?
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Old 2013-02-27, 10:18   Link #390
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
This ... has been a lurking disaster since the late '90s and it just keeps growing. I've watched entire subsectors of the technical professions swamped with this stuff (oh, gosh, we can't find someone who knows 8.1, only 8.0 so we need to bring in someone (hint: 8.1 isn't out yet)). That's basically the routine - construct a resume no one domestically fits, but once you have the waiver, ignore that resume to bring in what you wanted (mostly there and works for slop).
I have to say it feel different from my angle, I have a lot of friends who were in comp sci, to their view, usually the U.S citizens will get ALL the on campus interviews, and the H1B will get 1-2 interviews if they out class the citizens completely (which is rare). Offers would fall the same way.

Because it cost as much as 8-10K a year for companies to "sponsor" and H1B, not to mention if the guy get a green card or a better visa (I.E only legit to work for this employer) he could jump ship to a better firm. So most firms will require "Legal resident or Citizens" rather than International students. Not to mention a lot of high tech firm require citizenship anyway to avoid national security issues.

There is just no legitimate economic reason to sponsor unless it is for something really rare. My ex got into the NASA space program, but then she cancel it and took an offer for a wall street firm in fear China might pressure her family in China to hand over sensitive data.

Also, in my opinion, Vexx, what you should be afraid of is not H1Bs, which is small, but having positions transfer into low cost tech countries like India. Most Chinese/German/American/Russian/French even Indian engineers livings here worry about their living out sourced for ruppees at a fraction of cost...
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Old 2013-02-27, 12:18   Link #391
DonQuigleone
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I'm not necessarily so afraid of all the STEM jobs getting outsourced to China/India. Firstly, India and China are still not graduating that many STEM students (China's numbers are distorted by the fact they include things like car mechanics under "Engineer"), and the quality of their education is also poor, besides one or two top universities.

If they outsource the educated work to these countries, my guess is that they'll see a lot of lacklustre work occur, for several reasons:
1. Communication issues, sure those Indians can technically speak English, but it's nigh unintelligible (the Chinese are even worse).
2. Distance issues, Time zones can really mess with efficient communication, and then you have to deal with a region that's really far away from your supply chain. You want your techs ideally quite close to the factories so that in emergencies they can solve problems "in person".
3. Culture clash, if the upper management and workforce are of different cultures and values, you'll steadily get an unmotivated workforce.
4. Poor worker commitment, a company that offshores to India or China is likely only on the lookout to exploit the labour there. In combination with 3, the workforce is likely to be unmotivated as a result. Native companies will be able to pick off their best talent and get much more out of them.
5. Siphoning off of intellectual assets, Employees that leave the company for native employers will take the companies knowledgebase with them, and so these native companies will siphon off the western companies competitive edge.
6. Their education is not as rigorous as at western schools.

All this makes for an unreliable workforce. If they're just working in an unskilled way to mass produce stuff, this isn't a problem. But if you're expecting them to do work that they're committed to, at a high quality...

If outsourcing of this work to less developed countries continues, they're bound to encounter problems.
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Old 2013-02-27, 12:45   Link #392
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Your whole premise is predicated on there being an inevitable, but sudden and unforeseen runaway spike on gas prices in the near future, under what premise will this happen?
Trouble in the Middle East, refineries going offline, oilfields dry up, etc. Spikes have happened before.

Quote:
As oil become scarcer/more costly to produce(or speculation runs more rampant), the price of gas is naturally going to go up, this combined with continued development in EVs and such should naturally drive more and more of the public towards the new fuel standard, whatever it may be. Artificially inflating the price of gas now may have a similar effect for EVs, but that only makes sense if your goal was large adaptation of EVs in the immediate future. Personally I don't feel there is a need for that, especially at the cost you'll have to incur, and on whose back it'll have to be carried.
The reason people make bad decisions, is because the short-term effect is good. As you note, oil will slowly run out, driving up the cost. You prefer the short-term effect of not causing pain to people. But the long term effect is made worse, because we use oil for other things. If we don't nudge alternatives now to gasoline, we'll face much more pain later (due to prices rising for everything that uses oil, like plastics), and much sooner. If we DO nudge things now, by using taxes to encourage people to other modes of transportation, then the price of everything else won't be subject to as much shock.

The prices are going to rise anyway. We can either decide to let the oil companies have it, or divert some of it to society to prepare for what we know is coming. Upgrading infrastructure, improving mass transit, developing alternate vehicles and assisting people in getting into other vehicles and transportation modes.

As we see with many countries in Europe and elsewhere, this works. We either work out and exercise now, or we're going to be really out of breath later. We can either take the short term benefit, or think for the long term. Wall Street seems to do a lot of thinking about the short term, and we see what that does for us in the long term.
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Old 2013-02-27, 12:50   Link #393
ganbaru
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Right cheers Bob Woodward ‘fact check’
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/0...074.html?hp=l7
Quote:
The journalism icon’s fact check on the sequester in The Washington Post over the weekend and the subsequent blowback has caused a major stir, with pundits and reporters pouncing on the item. In his piece, Woodward laid the blame on the White House for the sequester, pinpointing the administration as responsible for coming up with the plan for automatic spending cuts and calling out Obama for claiming it was created by Congress
And of course, there's more than a few for contradicting him:

On the sequester, the American people ‘moved the goalposts’
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...the-goalposts/
How Bob Woodward's Book Debunks His Big Washington Post Op-Ed
http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/20...ost_op_ed.html
The GOP Rage Machine and Its Mainstream Apologists
http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...pologists.html
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Old 2013-02-27, 13:10   Link #394
willx
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Oil.
I'm not sure where all these attitudes of big oil being "invincible" and or otherwise strangling the economy comes from? In my work, I'm staring directly at a company that lost billions of dollars due to the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium, and subsequent become insolvent because of that. I've also worked on or around transactions related to large companies working on hydrogen fuel cells.

Oil is a commodity. It's a resource. It's valuable because of how energy efficient it is and it's (relative) ease of portability. It allowed great leaps in innovation and productivity. I'm not talking about pipelines and oil tankers, I'm talking about it being a storage of "energy" in a relatively static state. Let's not kid ourselves about how absolutely awesome oil is.

That said, oil is just a commodity, a commodity that has gotten more expensive. So as it's gotten more expensive, side businesses and side industries have emerged in response, such as: "fracking" is back in vogue, fuel efficiency has become important, alt. energy companies (solar, hydro, hydrogen fuel cell, bioethanol, etc.) were investigated and hybrid and electric cars are in development (most popular, Prius but most fancy, Tesla Motors). The world has not been and will not be standing still.
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Old 2013-02-27, 13:30   Link #395
DonQuigleone
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From what I can see, the main reason Oil companies get big profits is because of OPEC keeping price high enough to earn themselves a steady profit. That has the knock-on effect of benefiting the Exxons and BPs of this world.
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Old 2013-02-27, 13:31   Link #396
sikvod00
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Conservative Justices Hammer The Voting Rights Act
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2...th.php?ref=fpa

Quote:
The Voting Rights Act took a beating from conservative justices Wednesday during oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

At issue is the constitutionality of Section 5 of the 1965 law, which requires state and local governments with a history of voter disenfranchisement to pre-approve any changes that affect voting with the Justice Department or a federal court.

Oral arguments showed a sharp divide along ideological lines and suggested that the conservative majority is strongly inclined to overturn Section 5 of the half-century-old law.

A question posed by Chief Justice John Roberts to the Obama administration’s lawyer defending the Voting Rights Act captured the tenor of the proceedings.

“Is it the government’s submission that citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North?” Roberts asked.
The bolded part can be summarized as: if you're a Southern state, you need permission from the federal government to change voting laws. Why? Because you're a southern state.

I really don't knwo what the effects will be if this gets repealed (which it probably will be). Will it matter?
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Old 2013-02-27, 13:40   Link #397
sikvod00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Right cheers Bob Woodward ‘fact check’
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/0...074.html?hp=l7

And of course, there's more than a few for contradicting him:

On the sequester, the American people ‘moved the goalposts’
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...the-goalposts/
How Bob Woodward's Book Debunks His Big Washington Post Op-Ed
http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/20...ost_op_ed.html
The GOP Rage Machine and Its Mainstream Apologists
http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...pologists.html
Bob Woodward is really bad. He's out there now complaining about Obama's decision not to send an aircraft carrier to Persia Gulf...even though Obama is following the law.
http://editors.talkingpointsmemo.com....php?ref=fpblg
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Old 2013-02-27, 14:46   Link #398
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Originally Posted by sikvod00 View Post
I really don't knwo what the effects will be if this gets repealed (which it probably will be). Will it matter?
Considering there were multiple states that attempted to push voter discrimination laws into effect shortly before the 2012 election and were only stopped by this law, yes. It will matter. The GOP is now proudly saying "Hey, the south may have been racist in the past, but you can't hold them accountable for that now! You have to let them be racist again, and then try to push this same legislation through again!"
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Old 2013-02-27, 14:58   Link #399
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I'm not necessarily so afraid of all the STEM jobs getting outsourced to China/India. Firstly, India and China are still not graduating that many STEM students (China's numbers are distorted by the fact they include things like car mechanics under "Engineer"), and the quality of their education is also poor, besides one or two top universities.

If they outsource the educated work to these countries, my guess is that they'll see a lot of lacklustre work occur, for several reasons:
1. Communication issues, sure those Indians can technically speak English, but it's nigh unintelligible (the Chinese are even worse).
2. Distance issues, Time zones can really mess with efficient communication, and then you have to deal with a region that's really far away from your supply chain. You want your techs ideally quite close to the factories so that in emergencies they can solve problems "in person".
3. Culture clash, if the upper management and workforce are of different cultures and values, you'll steadily get an unmotivated workforce.
4. Poor worker commitment, a company that offshores to India or China is likely only on the lookout to exploit the labour there. In combination with 3, the workforce is likely to be unmotivated as a result. Native companies will be able to pick off their best talent and get much more out of them.
5. Siphoning off of intellectual assets, Employees that leave the company for native employers will take the companies knowledgebase with them, and so these native companies will siphon off the western companies competitive edge.
6. Their education is not as rigorous as at western schools.

All this makes for an unreliable workforce. If they're just working in an unskilled way to mass produce stuff, this isn't a problem. But if you're expecting them to do work that they're committed to, at a high quality...

If outsourcing of this work to less developed countries continues, they're bound to encounter problems.
1. I partially agree. However, you forget many Indian's native language is English, due to British invasion years ago. And their english is better than you think, especially the ones on the higher end of Tech, similar for the chinese, especially the ones who studied in European/U.S Schools. Furthermore, the fact it is happening on a wide scale means at least some firm found it valuable to do so.

2. Tele-Communication is getting better all the time. Heck, even some of the law/accounting complain about this. A lot of grunt work, I.E check documents, due diligence etc are being out sourced to India, because Indian lawyers and accountants can review the docs during morning your time, give you the highlights to speak with clients. You can literally cut 1st-2rd year hires (I.E associates) from Biz and law firms by 2/3 in the long run.

3. I strongly don't see that. I been to Chinese research labs in Shanghai, I can tell you they are top notch, not say, MIT or Stanford, but those guys can definitely code. And they don't work for peanuts either. For $25,000 USD they can have a house, a car, and support for a mistress. Currency Translation for the win.

4. Exactly in combination of #3. I can tell you the Tech people there are definitely not mis-treated. Heck, quite a few American friends of mine head to China to work as Supervisors. According to expait experiences, Your pay skyrockets thanks to the translation (60,000 usd is 360,000 Yuan), you get to hire a maid (for the cheap), a nice house, a car, all the girls want to talk to you (blonde/red hair a super+), and the labs are excellent quality. The only downside is the Air may suck now and then.

5. That is true everywhere though...this is not 2020 where employee get their mind washed of company intellectual experience.
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Old 2013-02-27, 15:00   Link #400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
Considering there were multiple states that attempted to push voter discrimination laws into effect shortly before the 2012 election and were only stopped by this law, yes. It will matter. The GOP is now proudly saying "Hey, the south may have been racist in the past, but you can't hold them accountable for that now! You have to let them be racist again, and then try to push this same legislation through again!"
How are these voting registration laws racist? What specific element of them renders them racist?

A criticism as strong as "racist" ought to be substantiated, imo. So if this voting registration law is racist, it would be good to know what exact lines from it makes it so.
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