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Re: $FEES, Capitalism, etc.

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>but the part of 
>capitalism that is relevant to us is the part that states unequivocally that 
>the price of something is what the market will bear.
Interesting part about this thread is that it confuses capitalism, free 
markets, fair trade and value received for services rendered. At best 
they're only marginally related.
Capitalism is only an economic system where the means of production are 
privately owned and operated for the benefit of the owners. Capitalism 
doesn't necessarily mean the market is free, or trade is fair or that 
value received has any bearing on the value of the services. Unrestrained 
free markets frequently lead to unfair trade as we've seen for 150 years, 
and it doesn't mean that engineers must be fairly paid for their 
services. Monopolies may exist in a capitalist economy, and the means of 
production may be regulated. And an economic system may screw workers and 
consumers six ways from Sunday and still be capitalist. 

Let's admit taht the real thread here is how to get more money for the 
same work. It's not about free trade because it favors some engineers 
over others. And it isn't about free markets, because of the demand that 
engineering be restricted to people who behave only as those people in 
the business think proper. Which is to say free for structural engineers, 
but not for architects or civil engineers, demanding totally unrestrained 
trade in the morning and that only others of our ilk be allowed to size 
beams in the afternoon. We're not in a free trade sector--engineering is 
regulated and so it should be. It sounds like a good idea to concentrate 
on providing value, and not why it's a good thing to cut corners in lean 
times and gouge a client when things are fat. 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)