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RE: Eating $$ (Over-Runs)

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> I am convinced that there is nothing unethical about engineers or any
> discussing the value of their work...

How can it be "unethical" since we are now allowed (in some states,
including Texas, at least) to "bid" against each other?

I guess you could scream "price fixing," but doesn't a free market work both

Recently, I was asked to submit a "bid" for some structural renovations to a
25-year-old tilt-up building. I objected to word "bid" at the time, because
since most of my work in the last several years--during which time I've
become involved with the business side of our profession--has been in the
public sector, where "bidding" engineering work is not allowed.

However, I then went back and read, and to the astonishment of my ignorance,
discovered that for private clients, bidding is indeed allowed.

Now, this guy can find the "lowest bidder" for a job such as this, and this
guy can hire some Asian immigrant who is not yet "legal," and thus can pay
him $18,000/year, to do the work. Then, the unchecked drawings with the
engineers' stamp (and if you think no engineer would seal a design that
wasn't right, you're kidding yourself. How do you think this building came
to need repair in the first place?) can go out to be bid.

This is unconscionable to me, yet I imagine that the $30,000+ fee proposal
that I submitted for this $180,000 repair job (which includes everything
from materials testing to construction management) will easily be underbid
by someone more hungry and less scrupulous.

Therefore, how can seeking to circumvent such a situation be "unethical"?

How do attorneys demand, and receive, their exorbitant fees? No "price
fixing" going on there, right?