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Re: OT: Can Americans Compete ?

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From: "Jordan Truesdell, PE" <seaint1(--nospam--at)truesdellengineering.com>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: OT: Can Americans Compete ?

What I find most interesting is that this situation exists in the US. 
There is a great disparity in the cost of living between the most and 
least expensive places to live in the US. Still, companies chose to 
locate in San Francisco and New York, and pay the differential, even 
when the business is almost totally information based and needs no real 
physical presence. There seems to still be value in certain areas to 
having bodies on the spot.

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Funny - a client of mine called me to tell me that she is dealing with the latest earthquake and heavy rain damage with FEMA to set up an appointment for inspection in California. She called the office that was recommended in the literature she received in Riverside County California and the FEMA representative did not want to admit where the call was going. FEMA is using phone representatives in Puerto Rico which is still a US State, but the cost of labor is much lower than in the continental US. The sad fact is that unless you have a hands on type job such as a plumber or auto-mechanic, you are probably facing competition with third world nations. 

We forget about most of New Mexico; Yuma Arizona and most of the Southeast corner of the state, Western Texas (near Crawford) as well as many pockets outside of the metropolitan large cities of this country. Yet we prefer to move labor out of the US because global companies are at risk for the cost of vacation, benefits, insurances and pensions. This is all that is left to eliminate and as I stated before, many American based companies like hospitals have come down to eliminating full-time employees to circumvent the requirements for providing benefits to employees.

Fortunately, in this respect, Unions are on the rise which I was against in the past because of their abuse of power. Call me a flip-flopper but I am happy my wife works for a hospital that has a union. I am not happy that the Govenor of California has decided to break the law and order the enforcment of the nurse to patient ratio to be enforced until the appeals has hit the courts in 2006 or 2008 (I forgot what I read as to the date). My wife, a nurse, understands the danger of high patient load per nurse - especially at a time when hospitals are eliminating the support of unlicensed staff to handle patient care such as cleaning out bed pans and taking some of the "busy work" off the shoulders of the licensed nurses.

Dennis
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Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
Structural Engineering Consultant
http://wish92253.blogspot.com/ (Photo Blog)
http://www.structuralist.net/Professional.htm (Launch to Professional Discussion Blogs)

dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net

760.564.0884 (office - fax)

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