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RLFOLEY(--nospam--at) wrote:
> I have been in private practice for  29 years so I am even 2.9x more
> than you, Dennis.
> In the late 70's I helped gather Orange County S.E.'s for regular lunch
> meetings to discuss mutual problems.  It was  benificial to face your
> competitors and get to know them. We had these same discussions about
> clients and accomodating engineers.  The real problem was that these
> engineers were for the most part not interested in coming to our meetings.
> again we were preaching to the choir, and sometime I suspected even some of
> the choir members strayed from time to time.
> Rationalization of fees will always take place and you have just read many
> this thread; I charge as much as I think I can get; I charge less the first
> time to get a client; I ask the client how much he is willing to pay; If
> not busy I'll charge less, etc. As long as there is this type of rationale
> used to set our fee structure, is it any wonder the client feels he should
> "shop" around.
> We have ourselves to blame and also, personally I feel in addition we have
> gotten little support in the area of proper fee structures from SEAOC.
> Thank you for your concerns and good efforts

Well, some of you people have to face the fact that this is a FREE
MARKET ECONOMY!!!! (at least here in the United States).  Communist
Countires are the only ones I know of that have a bunch of politians sit
around and decide how important everyone is to their society, and then
set their pay accordingly.  There are some socialist countires that lean
in this direction with some professions.  As far as Soviet Engineers go,
I have one as a neighbor now who came to this country a few years ago. 
He was a Mechanical Engineer, highly trained and highly skilled at his
profession.  How he cleans out peolpes clogged sewer pipes.  He owns a
small roto-rooter type company.  It is a family operation and he has
three trucks.  It is very interesting talking to this man. While he
would like to be doing Engineering instead, he would never consider
going back to the USSR.  Even back in the peak of their economy.  He
makes a good living, and supports his stay at home wife and three
children well.  He makes more money than I do.  
So what!!   I hope more and more people make more than I do.  When they
save up all their moeny and get ready to build that new dream home,
maybe they will hire me to do the structural desgin of their home.  
You people need to stop looking around at what everyone else is doing,
and how much money they are making and feeling sorry for yourselves, and
learn how to make the free market economy work for you.  Don't sit
around and talk about the people in our industry that have failed, but
look at the ones who do succeed and learn from them.
I don't want any Government agency telling me what I should charge for
my services.  I do not want any portion of my SEAOC dues to go to trying
to figure out how we can all be paid what we think we are worth.  If you
want that then you should form a Union.  That is their function.
I am sure Mr. Foley shops around for nearly everything he purchases. 
There is a market for Mercedes Benz and Chevrolet.  The consumer knows
there is a difference.  Both Chevy and MB are successful, and their is a
market for both.  And yes, there are and should be certain minimum
standards for any product that involves safety of the public, just as
there are for auto's and structural engineering.  
People in this economy have an obligation to shop around for the best
price they can get for a product, and that includes Structural
Engineering.  And there is nothing we can do one way or another about
that.  All of those in our profession should provide a certain minimum
standard in the product we provide.  And if we violate that, we should
have our license revoked.  But then we need to decide if we are going to
sell Chevrolet's or Cadillac's.  There is a market for both.  But even
Cadillac has it competitors, and they must provide their high quality
product at a competative price.  
At whatever level we decide to provide our services, there will be
competition, and the Client will get the best price he can for the
We reward those in our economy who can produce a high quality product
and can deliver that high quailty product at the lowest price.
Learn the rules of the game, learn how to compete, and you will be

Lynn Howard

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Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team

The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
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