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RE: Future Generations of Engineers
- To: "'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: Future Generations of Engineers
- From: "Caldwell, Stan" <scaldwell(--nospam--at)halff.com>
- Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 10:49:51 -0500
At first, I wasn't
going to respond to your lengthy (blue) post, but
then I felt compelled to at least set a few facts straight. My brief
comments are inserted (black) below. Obviously, we live and work in two
very different worlds. Let's just agree to leave it at that and be done
with this subject!
You are fortunate to have done so well and for your children to have done
equally as well, but your observations of the earning potential of an attorney
and doctor is much outdated. As I do expert witness work, I find that the
high-rollers in the legal profession are large office attorneys who a pushed to
bill as many hours as can be productive in a 60 to 80-hour week. Once these
attorneys realize that they won't make partnership (considering that there are
only a limited number of partner positions available) the lawyer ends up moving
into private practice and/or another firm breaking his butt to log billable
two young attorneys in the immediate family, my knowledge is very much
up-to-date, thank you. Starting salaries for attorneys in Dallas and
Houston range from $100K to $150K, with work weeks averaging 40-45 hours.
As a diabetic, I see doctors more frequently than
most people. They all seem to live in big $1M+ houses, drive expensive
cars, have vacation homes and lots of other expensive toys, etc.
Consequently, I assume that the majority of them make a nice living.
Either that, or there is a whole lot of medical fraud going on in North
your children are truly unique and gifted and for this I applaud you in your
guidance of your family, but when you step out of your world and take a closer
look at the rest, the picture is not so rosy. Professionals close to the border
do have to worry about low priced competition and those who design low-rise
structures are more vulnerable to loss of work due to overseas labor than
engineers practicing on high-rise or essential facilities. All it takes is one
professional in another country who is licensed to practice in the US but who
lives in India, Korea, Mexico, or any number of areas of the world where people
are anxious to work for a small fraction of what we earn and our clients, who
are no different than the large global corporations that ran from the US to
areas of cheaper labor and destroyed our manufacturing industry.
How responsive is that engineer in India, Korea, or
Mexico with respect to short-notice coordination meetings, emergency site visits
to resolve problems in the field, etc? If you structure your practice to
provide services rather than products, foreign competition becomes theoretical
rather than actual.
Simply put, Banks don't forgive loans and they do foreclose. There is no
relieve for the millions who have lost their jobs to lower paid labor overseas
and the Non-Immigrant Status programs have led to the layoff of many
professionals during slow periods as it is less expensive for an employer to
lay-off an American employee than to renige on a contract with a Non-Immigrant
Status employee. If you will check the records, most of the top twenty
engineering firms save money on H-1B employees and this, in the written
agreement of the law, becomes a threat to American Services.
I am not
aware of even a single American structural engineer who has lost his/her job as
a result of H-1B. My firm (Halff Associates) has been trashed on the "hall
of shame" website for hiring H-1B workers. When I researched this to find
what great crime we had committed, it turned out that we have hired a few
foreign-born engineers with American MSCE degrees over the past decade or
so. They were hired based on their qualifications, as full-time permanent
employees with salaries and benefits entirely equal to their American-born
counterparts. Some have grown to become principals in the firm. How
can anyone criticize
One final point - while you assume that your children are professionals
and married to professionals - you describe the need of two working
professionals to support a home and family that was supported on one income
prior to 1974. Since then, non-professionals families are both working multiple
jobs to get ahead and those with higher aspirations require two
true that my son and daughter and their spouses all work, but by choice
rather than by necessity since neither are ready to start families yet.
However, each couple would still make over $100K with only one spouse