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Author Topic:   Atlas Shrugged
portmaster1000
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 117 (186389)
02-17-2005 8:21 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Chiroptera
02-17-2005 4:11 PM


Re: General question
Chiroptera writes:

Actually, the baron was responsible for the organization and smooth running of the whole operation, and so his huge income was quite justified. At least, by the same argument used by contemporary CEO's of contemporary corporations.

I'm sure a barony was a lot of upkeep and the baron did a lot of work. My example may have been historical incorrect if a baron was unable to demand more money on a whim and completely arbitrarily.

Chiroptera writes:

unlike workers in a contemporary business, the serfs were only obligated the pay a certain fixed proportion of their production to the baron (and the church) -- the rest was theirs to dispose of as they saw fit. That isn't true of modern workers, who must yield the entire amount of their production to the employer, for which they receive a salary that is determined largely by the employer.

How was the fixed proportion determined? What options did the serfs have if they disagreed with the fixed proportion?

In what manner can a modern worker keep what he produces? Do I wish to take home a fixed proportion of my source code at the end of the month instead of receiving money for it?

Don't all employers that use persons in my field really determine what salary I recieve? If my employer determines that programming is only worth minimum wage but other employers determine that it's worth 20 times more how long to do I stay in my current job? What kind of programmers will my company be able to hire by paying such a rate?

PM1K


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Chiroptera, posted 02-17-2005 4:11 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2005 9:51 PM portmaster1000 has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 117 (186417)
02-17-2005 9:47 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by portmaster1000
02-17-2005 8:06 PM


Is this cessation a given flaw in Capitalism or can it be avoided?

I dunno. It seems like things like anti-trust legislation and social programs help slow that decending spiral; and of course, anything that progressively redistributes wealth (although that's all capitalism is, regressive wealth redistribution - the only one who can "create" wealth is the US Mint.) But I'm no economist.

Why not?

Good for you, but there's a lot of competition in the server market. There's much less competition in the desktop market.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by portmaster1000, posted 02-17-2005 8:06 PM portmaster1000 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by portmaster1000, posted 02-17-2005 10:14 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 48 of 117 (186418)
02-17-2005 9:51 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by portmaster1000
02-17-2005 8:21 PM


Do I wish to take home a fixed proportion of my source code at the end of the month instead of receiving money for it?

It's slightly worse than that - under most contracts, your employer is entitled to 100% of not only the code you pound in the office, but any source code you develop at home, too.

For any reason or application. If you design the next killer open source OS in your spare time, your employer owns it.

If my employer determines that programming is only worth minimum wage but other employers determine that it's worth 20 times more how long to do I stay in my current job?

Well, that kind of depends on how mobile you are, doesn't it? But if your wife has a job you can't afford to have her leave, and there's no other opportunities in the local market, you're kind of screwed, aren't you?

It's a mistake to assume that workers are completely mobile, or that market forces can always iron out pay inequity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by portmaster1000, posted 02-17-2005 8:21 PM portmaster1000 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by portmaster1000, posted 02-17-2005 10:35 PM crashfrog has responded

  
portmaster1000
Inactive Member


Message 49 of 117 (186422)
02-17-2005 10:14 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by crashfrog
02-17-2005 9:47 PM


crashfrog writes:

There's much less competition in the desktop market.

I suppose you're talking OS here because not everone gets a Dell, dude ;)

Does MS control the desktop OS market now because of a superior product with outstanding service and reliablility? I'd answer no, what about you? Why they control the market is a worth a good thread in it's own right. Is it low price, high aggression, being first to reach mass market and riding on the price drops, or something else?

crashfrog writes:

Good for you, but there's a lot of competition in the server market.

MS is among the competition in this arena as well and their server OSes are just as fun as their desktop flavors. Shouldn't they eliminate server comp just as they have desktop?

PM1K


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2005 9:47 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2005 10:24 PM portmaster1000 has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 117 (186424)
02-17-2005 10:24 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by portmaster1000
02-17-2005 10:14 PM


Does MS control the desktop OS market now because of a superior product with outstanding service and reliablility? I'd answer no, what about you?

I'd agree with you. The control the desktop OS market because their massive accumulation of wealth gives them the power to screw anybody else.

Shouldn't they eliminate server comp just as they have desktop?

I think the difference is that the people who buy servers know a lot more than the people who buy desktops; therefore they're more resistant to getting screwed, or to buying something just because its what everybody else has. And they're not generally spending their own money so they can justify paying more for better stuff.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by portmaster1000, posted 02-17-2005 10:14 PM portmaster1000 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by portmaster1000, posted 02-17-2005 10:37 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
portmaster1000
Inactive Member


Message 51 of 117 (186425)
02-17-2005 10:35 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by crashfrog
02-17-2005 9:51 PM


crashfrog writes:

It's slightly worse than that - under most contracts, your employer is entitled to 100% of not only the code you pound in the office, but any source code you develop at home, too.

For any reason or application. If you design the next killer open source OS in your spare time, your employer owns it.

Can you point me toward some consultants that will sign these contracts? That'd be great!

Such ownership rights end if the code doesn't relate to a project the programmer is working on for said employer. If the contract states otherwise, sign it not!

crashfrog writes:

Well, that kind of depends on how mobile you are, doesn't it? But if your wife has a job you can't afford to have her leave, and there's no other opportunities in the local market, you're kind of screwed, aren't you?

It's a mistake to assume that workers are completely mobile, or that market forces can always iron out pay inequity.

To pull a line a from Atlas Shrugged, the needs of an employee should not dictate how that employee is paid. If you're not getting a fair wage for your work no one forces you to work there. Regardless of your situation, you always have the option to quit. Quiting could result in financial devastation or personal loss but the option remains.

Even if you can't take advantage of mobility or market force they still play a part in what your salary is likely to be.

PM1K


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by crashfrog, posted 02-17-2005 9:51 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by crashfrog, posted 02-18-2005 1:26 AM portmaster1000 has responded

  
portmaster1000
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 117 (186426)
02-17-2005 10:37 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by crashfrog
02-17-2005 10:24 PM


crashfrog writes:

The control the desktop OS market because their massive accumulation of wealth gives them the power to screw anybody else.

How did they accumulate such wealth without first controlling that market?

PM1K

edited to correct a spelling blooper.

This message has been edited by portmaster1000, 02-17-2005 22:38 AM


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MangyTiger
Member (Idle past 4770 days)
Posts: 989
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 07-30-2004


Message 53 of 117 (186431)
02-17-2005 11:26 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by portmaster1000
02-17-2005 10:37 PM


How did they accumulate such wealth without first controlling that market?

I would say they did control that market - right from the day Intergalactic Digital Research blew the chance to supply the IBM PC Operating System. Bill Gates grabbed his chance, offered to supply the OS as well as the languages (which was all they were originally going to provide) and the rest is history.

As an aside, I find the whole story of the IMB PC project, M$ buying (not writing) QDOS - which became PC DOS 1.0, IDR losing everything over the non-disclosure agreement and all the rest of it fascinating. See this for more on the story.


Confused ? You will be...

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 54 of 117 (186437)
02-18-2005 1:26 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by portmaster1000
02-17-2005 10:35 PM


Such ownership rights end if the code doesn't relate to a project the programmer is working on for said employer.

No, unfortunately, if you're not paid by the hour, then you're probably a "work for hire" worker, which means that your employer owns the fruits of all your labors that fall under your job title. So, if you're hired as a "work for hire" software developer, your employer owns all the software that you develop during the period of your employment. No matter what it is, or where you developed it.

At least in states where you have no legal protection against a work-for-hire contract.

Quiting could result in financial devastation or personal loss but the option remains.

Unlike you, apparently, I don't consider Hobson's choice a choice. If you're unable or unwilling to percieve that the wealth disparity between employer and employee rarely works to the employee's advantage, and rarely puts them in a position to bargain effectively, I'm not sure you're paying enough attention to the situation. It's just another example of how, in the absence of what we might term socialist policies, capitalism is unsustainable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by portmaster1000, posted 02-17-2005 10:35 PM portmaster1000 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Percy, posted 02-18-2005 8:45 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 62 by portmaster1000, posted 02-18-2005 2:53 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19425
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 55 of 117 (186466)
02-18-2005 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 54 by crashfrog
02-18-2005 1:26 AM


crashfrog writes:

No, unfortunately, if you're not paid by the hour, then you're probably a "work for hire" worker, which means that your employer owns the fruits of all your labors that fall under your job title. So, if you're hired as a "work for hire" software developer, your employer owns all the software that you develop during the period of your employment. No matter what it is, or where you developed it.

Oh, God, I hope not, otherwise my employer owns this site's software!

The term "work for hire" isn't one I've encountered in my own corner of the software industry. Most of the salaried employees are what is called "at will" employees, which means there's no contract and they can be fired (layed off) without cause at any time.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by crashfrog, posted 02-18-2005 1:26 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Dan Carroll, posted 02-18-2005 9:29 AM Percy has responded
 Message 60 by crashfrog, posted 02-18-2005 11:07 AM Percy has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 586 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 56 of 117 (186471)
02-18-2005 9:03 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Dan Carroll
02-15-2005 1:26 PM


quote:
Can't. Work, then banjo practice.

Is that what the kids are calling it these days?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Dan Carroll, posted 02-15-2005 1:26 PM Dan Carroll has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 117 (186476)
02-18-2005 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by Percy
02-18-2005 8:45 AM


The term "work for hire" isn't one I've encountered in my own corner of the software industry.

It's a term that comes up a lot in comics. It was the standard of the industry for about five decades. Crash's description is pretty accurate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Percy, posted 02-18-2005 8:45 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Percy, posted 02-18-2005 9:54 AM Dan Carroll has not yet responded

  
Dan Carroll
Inactive Member


Message 58 of 117 (186480)
02-18-2005 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by nator
02-18-2005 9:03 AM


Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

The clawhammer slide is pretty fun, but you gotta watch out for the finger picks.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by nator, posted 02-18-2005 9:03 AM nator has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 19425
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 59 of 117 (186487)
02-18-2005 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Dan Carroll
02-18-2005 9:29 AM


Dan Carroll writes:

It's a term ["work for hire"] that comes up a lot in comics. It was the standard of the industry for about five decades. Crash's description is pretty accurate.

I wasn't questioning Crash's definition of "work for hire". I'm not familiar with it and have nothing to go on. I was actually addressing just this:

Crash writes:

So, if you're hired as a "work for hire" software developer, your employer owns all the software that you develop during the period of your employment. No matter what it is, or where you developed it.

I was only saying that my corner of the software industry doesn't use this term, though perhaps contract workers, as opposed to regular full-time employees, might fit under this category - I have no first-hand experience myself with the hiring of contract workers. Anyway, "work for hire" is not an issue I'm familiar with, but given that I haven't seen the term before hints to me that it isn't a significant issue in the software industry. I'm not claiming any actual knowledge about this, but I did find this brief comment at http://www.irmi.com/Expert/Articles/2003/Warren03.aspx:

"For example, it is a common misconception that software qualifies as a work for hire. It is not, however, one of the enumerated categories of works that qualifies as a work for hire in the copyright statute."

Given the rapidity with which workers are hired and fired in this industry, there is little loyalty between employers and employees in either direction these days, and any attempts by a company to claim ownership of software an employee writes in his free time would, I think, strike most as highly unusual and very newsworthy.

--Percy

This message has been edited by Percy, 02-18-2005 10:03 AM


This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 60 of 117 (186513)
02-18-2005 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by Percy
02-18-2005 8:45 AM


Oh, God, I hope not, otherwise my employer owns this site's software!

Perhaps they do. Certainly in the past companies have exerted ownership over private projects developed by their work-for-hire employees in the past; and the courts have upheld this.

http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/03/21/0139244&tid=145

Most of the salaried employees are what is called "at will" employees, which means there's no contract and they can be fired (layed off) without cause at any time.

Then it's possible I've overstated the frequency of this type of contract; I do hope I have. Of course, I'm no software dev myself; my field is currently "Sandwich Delivery."


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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