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The Price Of Doing Business

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the they're-not-even-a-real-country-anyway dept.

The Almighty Buck 797

8127972 writes: "It seems that a ton of high tech companies are leaving cities (like San Fran) with high costs of doing business for cheaper cities (Washington DC is mentioned due to new government spending) or even cities in Canada. Sounds like American high tech workers are going to have to learn to say the word "eh?" a lot."

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fisted! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3092985)

fist pr0st?

Move to Oklahoma!!! (5, Interesting)

TurboRoot (249163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3092992)

The cost of living here is SUPER low.. plus.. you can hire VBscript monkies to work on ASP sites for $8/hour.

In Oklahoma, you put an add in the paper, and you will have billions of applications and you can pick who ever is willing to take the least amount of pay.

That is why companies like AOL like to put call centers in Oklahoma cause they can pay a whole $9/hour and people shit themselves about how much money it is. :)

Unfortuantly, actually SELLING a product in Oklahoma is kind of bleak.. but if your product is nation wide.. then this is the place.

Yes, but its still Oklahoma.... (1)

tacokill (531275) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093016)

You couldn't pay me enough to live there. Nice people. Sheltered world.

Re:Yes, but its still Oklahoma.... (1)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093129)

You couldn't pay me enough to live there. Nice people. Sheltered world.


I agree completly! That's why I live in Nebraska. So much more metropolitan. Though, I wouldn't want to live in Omaha - I'd probably get shot just walking from my door to my car!

Re:Move to Oklahoma!!! (4, Interesting)

Amarok.Org (514102) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093057)

I used to work for a company who did just that... transfered me from San Jose to OKC to work in a call center. That company (and it's call center) is still there. They've systematically eliminated most of the original CA transplants (and their associated CA salaries) after getting local "monkies" (as you call them) trained to do the work at less than half the cost.

Oklahoma (and similar states) also tend to offer HUGE tax incentives to companies like AOL to open call centers, since it creates lots of jobs for the local populous that would not have otherwise exist.

Luckily, I escaped the hell that is Oklahoma, and am now living in the hell that is Texas. *grin*

Re:Move to Oklahoma!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093084)

I guess your grin acknowledges it, but I'd like to point out that Texas is a whole other kind of hell, and it's a lot hotter too.

Re:Move to Oklahoma!!! (1)

the_mongo (552493) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093218)

That's why Texas has good cold beer and nice looking ladies to compensate. Plus the whole no state income tax thing makes CA not look all that grand.

Re:Move to Oklahoma!!! (2, Interesting)

TurboRoot (249163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093263)

Haha, I so know what you are talking about. Most of my friends, family, and ex-girlfriends have all escaped to Texas!

The few of us left here in Oklahoma, we refer to ourselves as "refuges", are too lazy to get off our asses and actually move to a state where we can get paid well.

But! the advantage is, I don't really have to work hard and get a ton of free time. Plus, my true love besides computers is cars (hence my nick of TurboRoot). In Oklahoma, we have no vehicle inspections anymore. That means you can take all that emission crap off your car (all the polution blows northwest and ends up in Denver) and you can't get in trouble. The only restriction is that your car isn't too loud. Other then that, modify your vehicle at will.

Of course, don't forget the joke "Why is Oklahoma so windy? Because Kansas blows and Texas sucks."

Re:Move to Oklahoma!!! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093137)

Sure, it's less expensive, and thanks to a higher unemployement rate you won't have to work as hard to recruit people, it's still not anywhere as nice as San Fran. When the job market heats up again, people will move to where they want to live. It's just a cycle and this is about 15 years into the current one.

Going, going, GONE!! (2, Funny)

nege (263655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3092995)

I hear there is some cheap real estate in Kabul...

Re:Going, going, GONE!! (1)

csbruce (39509) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093185)

I hear there is some cheap real estate in Kabul...

Might be a fixer-upper, though.

A Little /. Christmas Cheer! (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093001)

Hello, Slashdot! Here are a few Christmas-time riddles to keep your holidays bright and cheerful!

Q. How is Jon Katz like a yule log?
A. The only useful purpose they serve is causing flames.

Q. What does CowboyNeal have in common with Santa's sleigh?
A. Approximate size.

Q. What do John Katz's underpants have in common with a Christmas tree?
A. Little kids spend a lot of time playing underneath them.

Q. How is Slashcode like an old set of Christmas lights?
A. There's always going to be parts that don't work.

Q. How is the CowboyNeal poll option like a Christmas fruitcake?
A. They might seem okay at first, but trust me: it's only because you don't know how old they are.

Q. What does Hemos have in common with a stocking?
A. They both spend a lot of time rubbing against tranvestites' legs.

Q. How is Jon Katz like a candy cane?
A. They're both curved where it counts, and both get white and sticky after little boys and girls suck on them.

Q. What does VA Software have in common with Christmas decorations?
A. You won't be seeing them two months from now.

Q. How is Unix like Kwanzaa?
A. They were both invented in the 60's, and both are kept alive by leftists who don't know any better.

Q. What does CmdrTaco have in common with a snowman?
A. Spelling ability, lack of genitals, and a simplistic smile which betrays a complete absence of intelligent thought. (Also, both of them usually have a carrot jammed somewhere in their body.)

...and finally...

Q. How is Slashdot like a Christmas wreath? A. Both wouldn't be the same if it weren't for that big hole! [goatse.cx] [goatse.cx]

Merry Christmas from the Roto-Rooter Man, Slashdot! Don't forget... this holiday season, douche someone you love!

From the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Hmmm. (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093007)

This is paticularly benneficial for cities like Salt Lake, Boise, and somewhat so for Denver. Havens of white flight with fairly educated populaces.

follow the baby boomers (1)

jptwo (551230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093142)

hmmm... i can't say that i'm raring to move from SF to baltimore (lowest op-cost US city, according to the ref), despite the tough job climate in the bay area.

however, companies might find plenty of gracefully aging but eminently employable geeks in those US states to which many baby boomers are retiring: florida, arizona and new mexico come to mind.

the op costs would be low *and* part of the tech population might be enthused about relocating.

Saying "Eh?" a lot? (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093008)

Sounds like American high tech workers are going to have to learn to say the word "eh?" a lot."

Yeah, but is that really different then saying "Dude", "Man" or "Yeahhhhh" like we say in San Francisco?

Plus, we won't start to say "eh?" until you say "Francisco" :)

Re:Saying "Eh?" a lot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093205)

Sounds like American high tech workers are going to have to...

"High tech" should be hyphenated here. Leave your stoners in America where they belong!

Sure, whatever. (2)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093018)

First off, Canadian's don't say 'eh', well not much anyway... Second, the dollar is worth a lot more over here than in the states. There are a lot of technology companies in the states paying nearly twice as much in salary for US workers, than what they need to pay their Canadian counterparts, for equal, if not better productivity and performance. But with the same logic, the Australian dollar is even cheaper than the Canadian dollar... So should all high tech workers learn Australian slang? I think not.

Re:Sure, whatever. (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093068)

"Canadian's don't say 'eh', well not much anyway"


Depends on the area.. My brother owns a place in La Conception (about 50mins north-west of Montreal) and almost everybody up there says eh, A LOT!

Re:Sure, whatever. (1)

b0r0din (304712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093094)

Not to mention that the tech workforce there is subsidized by the Canadian government (which is also why a lot of film companies do their filming there). There has been a large movement of late to specifically move phone technical support workers there; after all, it's cheaper to hire/train/pay and there's no geographical problem with telephone switching, which is virtually instantaneous.

Re:Sure, whatever. (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093246)

>Not to mention that the tech workforce there is subsidized by the Canadian government

Depends what industry. Obviously, our social programs which are not privatized are indeed paid by the government. The film industry gets breaks, not in salary subsidizing, but in tax breaks, mostly.

Other than that, the lower expectations of standards of living, cheaper services (postal, health) has alot to do with lower salary demands. Make no mistake, too much privatization leads to higher costs of living, albeit maybe better products and services.

Re:Sure, whatever. (2, Informative)

Succa (108618) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093097)

Most people overlook Canada when it comes to being a tech "hotbed", but there are lots of great companies up here. Ottawa (Corel, Alcatel, Nortel [!]), Waterloo (RIM, Open Text), Burnaby BC (Electronic Arts), Toronto (guh...I dunno), and Montreal (Softimage, Discreet, Zero Knowledge) are the cities I'd be choosing to set up shop. Ottawa in particular has a wealth of (struggling) tech companies over in the west end, as well as the Ottawa Linux Symposium. Canada: not just for doughnuts anymore!

Re:Sure, whatever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093232)

Alias, Matrox and ATI too.

Then take back Teleglobe please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093101)

Their fat-assed sales dorks just stand around "Bistro! Bistro!" in the Reston Town Center driving away hot women and babbling about how great Canada and New York are.

Damn it! Canadians go home or go to New York city, where the girls are fat and the boys have titties.

Re:Sure, whatever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093105)

That's not really it.. It's the fact that Canada seems to have the broadband thing down. Not only that but the strippers dance nude and you can drink and touch em with their permission obviously. Also the fact that not much else is different in Canada. we don't really care about politics and your women certainly aren't half bad looking. You also have a good population of white/black/latino etc.. diff cultures and stuff. I think I'm gonna go up north for a couple of weeks and hang out.. Should be fun, eh?

Re:Sure, whatever. (2)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093130)

Actually, you *do* say "eh". You just don't notice it when you do, eh?
-russ

Re:Sure, whatever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093193)

I don't know what you're talking aboot, eh? :-)

Re:Sure, whatever. (2, Insightful)

csbruce (39509) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093258)

There are a lot of technology companies in the states paying nearly twice as much in salary for US workers

Canadians are extremely competitive internationally. Americans are simply over-paid; that is why America is an importer nation, because American-made products are also over-priced internationally.

Yeesh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093019)

Sounds like American high tech workers are going to have to learn to say the word "eh?" a lot.

Guffaw! The 'merkin made a funny!

I guess you'll have to start saying "aboot" and buy snowshoes, too, huh?

Idiots.

Amazing. (4, Insightful)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093028)

I find it amazing that they are moving out of large US cities into Canda instead of just moving to the midwest or something. Chicago is quite a lot cheaper than the coastal cities, and it has all the usual big-city perks.

Of course there are also a lot of small citys that would kill for some high-tech company to move in. Seems like they could get some pretty good deals if they used that option.

Why do so many companies feel the need to be tied to a coast?

Re:Amazing. (1)

red5 (51324) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093086)

Why do so many companies feel the need to be tied to a coast?

Long distance bills.
It's cheaper to call Canada from California then it is to call New York.

Re:Amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093088)

Because the high mucky-mucks who run them like to be near the coasts, and the also like to have the serfs nearby to keep an eye on them.

Works fine for me, I happen to think that Southern California is the finest city on the planet.

Re:Amazing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093229)

I think you might want to go back to junior Geography class.
Calgary isn't even near a coast. It's as far from the coast as North Dakota.

other related news (5, Insightful)

lemonhed (412041) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093033)

There has been alot of commentary on this subject. The Gartner group put out this commentary [com.com] about the "Tech Wreck" coming to the SF Bay area.

They claim that a city will do well if they install a broadband communications network that connects citizens, local businesses and the global marketplace.

I think that the obvious solution to this may be Telecomutting See this link for more info [gartner.com]

It's always been like this (2, Interesting)

Jaden42 (466735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093041)

The Bay Area economy has always been like this. Anyone who has been here for more then 10 years will realise that the entire thing is cyclical. Years of boom, then years of bust.

If you stick around long enough, you'll even see it yourself. Eventually, the next big thing(tm) will make its way back to the Bay Area and everyone will re-locate here again.

Already starting - biotech boom in Bay Area (2)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093207)

You can see the swell of the next boom industry - biotech, take hold in the Bay Area (and Boston).

The Bay Area is an expensive market for expensive talent in expensive industries.

No, you should not manufacture widgets in the Bay Area if you can do so elsewhere. The companies that are here are here becuase they need a high concentration of talent across a set of tech industries that you cannot find elsewhere in quantity.

R&D is expensive and the Bay Area is the R&D shop for the nation (if not the world).

first page widening post! (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093044)

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.wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .enough .charaters .per .line .that .really .sucks .when .that .happens .and .you .have .to .put .some .lame .lameness .filter .defeater .text .in .there .i .wonder .how .many .people .will .read .this .whole .comment .I .certainly .hope .it .doesnt .annoy .too .many .people .This .is .just .the .beginning .because .PAGE .WIDENING .IS .BACK .I .like .wide .pages .I .wish .all .pages .could .be .as .wide .as .this .dont .you .wide .pages .are .much .cooler .than .those .narrow .pages .you .are .used .to .reading .because .you .dont .have .to .worry .about .the .lameness .filter .telling .you .that .you .don't .have .e

It's True (-1, Flamebait)

suckwhat (562959) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093050)

I live pretty close to the Canadian border, and every time I go over there, I get 150% richer and 200% smarter. Canadians are nice, but you can't play hockey and drink beer your whole life and expect to be smart, too.

Re:It's True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093157)

thats funny. i live just over the border from you. Everytime I go over there, I become 60% poorer. But as a consoloation, I become 200% better educated, and 1000% smarter.

If you stopped smoking crack, you might not have such strange ideas about 'smart americans' lol.

Re:It's True - WHY THE HELL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093208)

Why the hell was this person given a flamebait? It was just his opinion. You moderators are freaking morons.

I hate this stupid dicussion site. As soon as you say something that is not "in" you get modden down. I feel like I am in freaking Germany in 1942

Re:It's True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093166)

Are you sure you don't get 50% richer? I'm not sure how to measure your %'ge increase in smarts, but I've got a funny feeling that it doesn't have a square root.

Re:It's True (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093189)

For all you international readers, what we have here is an American bragging about how smart he/she is. So the next time you are in Amsterdam and get asked by an American "What time do they fill up the canals?" or in Victoria, B.C., Canada, and have one mention they want to make a day trip to Quebec, just remember this guy.

News flash: Americans are, by and large, good natured and notoriously dumb, especially when they cross the border. In Canada, there is an entire cottage industry dedicated to laughing at these very traits (see "Talking To Americans" on "This Hour Has 22 Minutes").

Re:It's True -im at 50 now!!! (0, Offtopic)

lemonhed (412041) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093238)

Yeah! I finally made it too 50 KARMA!!!! Now its time to md my ass down. Mazel Tov!

Re:It's True (0)

suckwhat (562959) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093240)

Not bad, 3 anonymous cowards in a row. Yeah, OK, my math is a little shady, but the city I'm referring to is Windsor, which is like Detroit, only with a better casino and strip clubs as far as the eye can see. Not the brightest city in Canada. As far as the Northern provinces go, they can keep the snow and moose. I'll stay in Crimetown, USA! Signed, Dumb American

California (1)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093053)

The cost of living is just getting ridiculous in California. I don't even live in a major met area, but apartment and gas prices are rising month after month, and average wages haven't increased a dime in my county in about 4 years. So, it doesn't surprise me that companies are leaving for greener pastures.

There's a mass exodus going on in California. I looked into renting a moving truck to go across the country. The cost was insane, and the reason given? Trucks are leaving the state so fast that they can't keep them in stock, and almost none are coming back this way.

Re:California (2)

Steveftoth (78419) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093099)

Well, the exodus makes up for all the people that came here during the dot bomb. Change is a scary scary thing.

Mass relaocations to/from CA every four years (2)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093182)

This isn't anything new, Denver is filled with California expats who staffed the telco industry.

The Bay Area in particular is about the cutting edge industries - there is already a groundswell of biotech. Once an industry becomes mature and doesn't need cutting edge talent, it should leave the area.

Bad news for San Francisco - Bad strategy (5, Insightful)

Cirrocco (466158) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093058)

San Francisco landlords threw out long-term tenants in favor of tenants who could only afford rent for the short-term. Bad strategy. Now that dot-coms have gone to the away place San Francisco is now full of empty building and landlords begging tenants to come back. They aren't lowering the cost of rent, though. They expect that people will continue to pay the outrageous rents that the dot-coms paid. Survey says? BZZZZZT!! Oh, I'm sorry! It looks like you'll have to forgo the new Mercedes this year, Mr. Landlord.

Bad karma revisits landlords who threw out poor people for those who could handle higher rents! News at 11!

Re:Bad news for San Francisco - Bad strategy (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093180)

So, are whole neighborhoods going to be reverse-yuppified now? I bet JWZ's happy :)

ND (3)

austad (22163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093062)

I heard that tech companies are planning on moving to North Dakota. Of course, only after the state gets electricity, and Telco. And they'll still have to convince residents not to run them out with pitchforks and torches while yelling charges of witchery.

Then there's that little issue of finding the road during the winter since the ditches fill with snow and are level with the highway. Wow, I can't believe I actually lived there for over a year and made it out alive. The newest computer that I saw in that state was my apple IIe, which was 13 years old at the time. The only other computer I saw was at a bank, and made in the early 70's.

Re:ND (1)

Nameis (556253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093215)

Well, the tech companies are here (heard of a little place called http://www.greatplains.com ?), and we do have both power (more than CA!) and some decent telcos. I have sweet DSL in a town of 1300! (http://www.hettingernd.com)
True, sometimes we have poor winters, but no more so than Minneapolis and a lot of people seem to live there. This winter we've had basically *no* snow, and temps have been warm. Yay for global warming!
I work as a tech coordinator for two rural ND counties, and both have labs with PC's quite a bit more modern than Apple IIe's.
Haven't seen too many pitchforks or torches recently either...perhaps you mistook ND for Canada by mistake?

So they're going to Take Off, eh? (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093073)

Well, having lived around the Bay Area for the last 5 years, it's no surprise. Evictions were as outrageous as rent increases, making space for tech company offices and then screwing their employees through rent.

The median cost of rent where I live is the highest in the country. It's a nice place, but I could be buying a house in Ohio every five years, it's that bad. Firemen, police, teachers, gardeners, and others with lower incomes have been leaving the area and are very hard to recruit. The irony is, where tech industries fled to, early on, have become a similar problem. Austin, TX is a great example, seeing insanely rapid growth and the problems it brought, Sacramento, CA went the same route in the mid 80's. However, if you're looking for a decent place out of SF, Sacto isn't a bad place to go. Lots of office space and lower cost of living.

Canada? Wouldn't the taxes alone make that less appealing? When I think it's expensive in California, all I have to do is remember the GST and PST I paid in Ontario. Gads. Probably lots of available land, but so has most of the midwest.

Practical? (1)

TimButterfield (16686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093074)

The larger a company becomes, the less practical it is to move en mass. It is one thing to move a headquarters. It is quite another to try to move and/or replace the entire staff and risk loss of intellectual assets.

It's about time (2)

Ogerman (136333) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093075)

Anyone who's ever been to / lived in San Fran. or San Jose and seen the insane suburban population density there knows that those cities have some major disadvantages despite the wonderful weather. Some people like it, but for many, it's just not their style. Also the cost of living there is downright ridiculous compared to say.. the mid-west or north-east US.

colloquialisms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093079)

"Sounds like American high tech workers are going to have to learn to say the word "eh?" a lot."

Uh Huh

I can't wait (1)

slipkid (442316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093080)

Living in Los Angeles all my life, and having spent some time in the midwest, I have to say that I truly cannot wait until the tech sector wises up to the shafting we're getting from the big cities. I live 23 miles from work, but it takes me 45 minutes of freeway congestion to get here.

When I lived in Iowa (for a year), there was none of this. The air is clean, gas costs a reasonable price, and I could actually afford an apartment close to work! Why do we stand for the long commutes and outrageous cost of living in the big city? Plus, these overlooked cities are doling out huge incentives for businesses new to the area. ...Smells like a competitive advantage to me!

Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093091)

That has to be the lamest joke I have read online.

Eh? (1)

csbruce (39509) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093106)

Sounds like American high tech workers are going to have to learn to say the word "eh?" a lot.

That's a myth, eh? Only blue-collar workers ever say "eh?", eh? It was all a marketing coup for Bob & Doug, eh? Hook, line & sinker, Buds, that's what it's aboot, eh?

What th--?! (4, Interesting)

daeley (126313) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093109)

from the they're-not-even-a-real-country-anyway dept.

What is this? Editor-troll-and-flamebait day?

In any case, the movie industry here in sunny SoCal has had this problem for a long time, which is why a lot of productions have been moving up to non-sunny Canada.

Re:What th--?! (3, Informative)

dhamsaic (410174) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093230)

It's from the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. More specifically, it's from the song "Blame Canada", which, as the title implies, blames Canada for the problems of the world. It is said between song lines by one of the bystanders in the movie.

Rural IT Options (2, Insightful)

Nameis (556253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093110)

It will be interesting to see if some IT companies will move from the urban meatspace to the more rural areas of the US. The office space is *much* cheaper and it provides a safer environment, especially post 9/11.

Shameless Plug: rural communities with bandwidth can be found. Two I work in can be found at:

http://www.bowmannd.com

http://www.hettingernd.com

Re:Rural IT Options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093237)

The office space is *much* cheaper and it provides a safer environment, especially post 9/11.

The cities are no more or less safe now than they were on September 10th. Just get over it.

Columbus, OH....great place..... (3, Insightful)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093125)

Columbus, where I live, is a great place for this. We have a decent bus system, lots of shopping places, and lot's of office space. There are alot of call centers here and lots of 18-20 year old's because of Ohio State, Franklin University, DeVry, Keller Graduate School, Capital, Otterbien and Mount Vernon Nazerene College are here also. Columbus is also one of Ohio's most wired cities with a decent penetration of broadband (available almost city wide I believe.). Rent's for workers can range from cheap to exhorbitant. You can, if you can afford it, even buy a condo downtown in Miranova (starting aroun $300,000). Miranova is for that executive who doesn't like to put a lot of miles on thier Beamer (right downtown). In any case, Ohio in general is a good place for high tech (at least that's my feeling anyway!).

Interesting (3, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093126)

Recently in Canada one of the hot topics of discussion is about the "brain drain" to the US, where IT grads were moving to California for employment due to low taxes and a stronger US dollar (although supposedly we're doing quite well with educated immigrants). Still it would be interesting to see how many of these workers (or even companies) are Canadian or have strong Canadian connections already.

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

Sakhmet (137111) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093172)

Interestingly, the "Brain Drain" has also been called a hoax. It seems lately that a lot of skilled American workers are moving up here to follow the companies that are moving up here. Especially since Ontario has been named the most cost-effective place in North America to do business.

And Canada is generally considered (I don't actually support this opinion) a "better" place to live than most other countries.

Sakhmet.

The high cost of the world's best talent (2)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093131)

Yup, the Bay Area is expensive. You get the world's best array of tech talent in a 100 mile radius. Thats going to cost you.

Slash-homo Rhapsody: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093134)

I feel a silhouette sliding down my...

ASS RAPER! ASS RAPER!! FARTING ON BANANNA!!!

...{piano}...

I feel a drop of pee falling down my...

USB KEYBOARD! USB KEYBOARD!! GOTTA BUY A GNU ONE!!!

...{piano}...

GOATSE:

MaaaaaahMaaaaaaam!

Noooooo-ohhhhh-ohhhhhh-ohhhhhh!

Ieeeeyyyyyyee don't want it in. Sometimes I feel like I don't have an ass at allllllll. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

(malda)/. Spill it out! I will not let you go...

GOATSE: Let me go!

(malda)/. I will not let you go!

GOATSE: Let me go!


.ADD.FUCKING.INFINITUM.

The burbs (2, Insightful)

DCram (459805) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093135)

I live, work and play in a high tech burb. Just outside of Boston but in the tax free state of New Hampshire. When I first moved to this area it was great. Tons of high tech, low rent and tons of people just like me who had just moved into the area. After 4 years I will say that everything has changed. With all the high tech moving in the rent has jumped up 4-800 dollars for a two bedroom and the jump is even higher for a 1 bedroom for some reason.

I guess the moral to this rant is that no matter where you go to after a while its the exact same as where you left. The small town life doesnt remain the small town life for long as soon as the town fathers realize that they can make tons of cash off the tech industry.

I cant wait for the days where a high speed access point and a video phone are all you will need and you can work from anywhere.

Please move to Indianapolis (2, Funny)

charnov (183495) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093136)

As a tech worker who has (recently) endured lack of jobs in this sector, I plead to come here. The cost of living is very low, we have Purdue, IU, and Rose-Hulman, the NCSA is right down the road, the Internet2 has a main artery here, and God knows we need more tech-savvy people here. We'll even change to daylight savings time for ya...honest.

Must be that USD/CAD $ thing... (4, Interesting)

linux slacker (124381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093143)

It's funny that the article mentions Toronto as a viable relocation for high-tech companies - Toronto is generally considered as the most expensive city in Canada, followed by Vancouver.

Calgary is attractive to employees because unlike most of Canada, there is no provincial sales tax, only federal sales tax (so they end up paying only 7% on everything they buy, as opposed to 15% like Ontario and the eastern provinces).

One major centre which is not mentioned in Montreal - which is incredibly cheap compared to the other major urban centres in Canada. It's generally cheaper Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa in almost every category for employees (rent, car insurance, food, beer...) Only problem is that Quebec has a high rate of provincial tax, so maybe it factors out a bit in the end.

Re:Must be that USD/CAD $ thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093255)

Montreal also has insane requirements in terms of language laws. Regardless of whether you're an "English" company or not, at a certain size all of your internal documentation must be primarily in French. Signage, business cards, web sites, etcetera all must be in French, with the French words larger than English if you *must* put any English.

Montreal is great for social life; Fashion, food, alcohol, entertainment, Jazz...

Toronto is really the Internet hub of Canada; Yes, the rent is sick high (houses are insane too) but it's a thriving head-office high-tech location. Lots of brains in Toronto.

Ottawa is where the Venture Capital is. Pretty much most of it, aside from a small pocket in Toronto. It's a bleak lifestyle in Ottawa, but the money is there.

I'd avoid Quebec if you were a corporation. Hell, I'd avoid Quebec if you like being treated like a human (and are English).

We already do (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093147)

In fact, of the people in the ISD (aka IT) department where I work, almost half are Canadians (some are dual citizens like me).

Have another Molson's on me. I'll have a lite cider, in a litre bottle.

Will in Seattle

Makes sense (1)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093155)

Remember, profit is revenues less cost. There's nothing wrong with a business leaving a city to reduce fixed overheads.

The only problem is getting your workers to move, and if they don't, finding new workers to replace the old ones. Smaller cities have smaller labor pools.

The bottom line: Lowering your rent is always good, but in the case of workers, you get what you pay for, sometimes.

Another reason for Wil Wheaton to..... (2)

Lawmeister (201552) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093164)

'Blame Canada'

he's already knocked us for taking some of the film industry (ok, he's not the only one.... but remember they created Hollywood in California for the good weather - now with the smog in LA they can't shoot much anymore)

then there is the whole Hockey thumping... (damnit it's our sport anyways! :) but he was gracious enough to put up ar ereally nice post after the fact...

and lastly there are those damn 'Canadian Cold Fronts' that make it snow in Texas... yes definately BLAME CANADA!

ah.... all better now
have a great weekend all!

:)

To put things in perspective (2, Interesting)

ffa (104185) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093165)

Just a quick note: I am from Canada (Vancouver) and right now a US dollar gets you Cdn$1.592, which means company A who would pay employee XX US$70,000, can pay the employee Cdn$70,000 which is US$43,970 and save a grand total of $26,030. The employee would be totally happy, as the cost of living here is almost 1:1 when compared to most high tech centres in the States (ala Seattle, etc...) and the standard of living is just the same, if not higher, less traffic, beautiful nature and so on. As for education level, good universities here have the same level of education as good universities anywhere else, and due to the multicultural nature of Vancouver, there is a lot of talent that migrates here from other countries...

So all in all, it would be a win-win situation for them... and it has the same time-zone as LA, Seattle, San Fran and so on (as opposed to going over seas which makes for a development nightmare! I have been through it, working with UK/Ireland - from Vancouver, and let me tell you it is NOT my idea of fun :)

peace.

-farshad

Never understoof. (2, Insightful)

Torinaga-Sama (189890) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093167)

I never understood why a business would want to station itself in the Bay Area. If I pay 450k for a 3 bedroom house, it better be on 25 acres, preferably waterfront.

These guys are MBAs and they can't figure out how to spend less money. It blows my mind.

Wonder if this has anything to do with .. (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093183)

... US immigration saying enough is enough. It wasn't a totally secretive technique by US companies to fool immigration into saying that the talent wasnt available stateside - it was, but salaries being damanded were too high. So the immigration dept was pressured into giving out more and more B1s (?) .. ie, work visas to immigrants, whether they were Indian or Canadian.

Old hat tho. It happens (happened) in every industry. As the tech market becomes more 'bricks and mortar', the US will likely outsource much of its labour, although, as usual, not its executive staff. ;)

Calcualate your new salary (3, Informative)

bigmouth_strikes (224629) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093187)

Here's [homefair.com] a neat tool that let's you compare what your income would have to be elsewhere in order to have the same lifestyle.

$100,000 in Oklahoma City compares to $279,000 in Menlo Park.

I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true.

North Carolina highest unemployment in 30 years (2)

gelfling (6534) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093197)

Here in the Research Triangle Park, home to Red Hat, IBM, Cisco, Siemens, Motorola, Alcatel, Nortel, GE Aircraft Engines, Glaxo, Bayer, Fujitsu, AstraZeneca, and smaller software and support companies - this is the WORST its been in 30 years. On a national basis our labor costs are not even above average. I tend to think that failing companies relocate regardless of the cost of labor. The bigger problem is the cost of RENT in places like the Bay Area, SF.

AGCLT v2.0 (-1)

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I never looked back (1)

AutumnLeaf (50333) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093203)

I left the Bay Area (Silicon Vally, specifically)in 1997 and never looked back. The only thing I miss are my friends.

Goodbye insane cost of living. Goodbye nasty traffic. Goodbye techo-yuppies. Goodbye high real estate. Goodbye psycho work mentalities.

The place I live now has everything the Bay Area had, and none of the things that completely sucked. Skiing, wineries, good restaurants, theater - the Bay Area doesn't have a monopoly on those things.

Nice weather - that's another thing. But truth be told, the Bay Area seasons (more specifically, the lack thereof) really messed with my sense of time. So I don't miss that either.

Well, except for one thing... (5, Interesting)

cswiii (11061) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093204)

...the fact that trying to actually get in to Canada "sucks [cbc.ca]".

If all the high tech jobs move up that way, most Slashdot readers are gonna be working behind the counters at 7-11, unless Canada loosens its new immigration restrictions a bit.

Just gives me an excuse (2)

tulare (244053) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093206)

"Sounds like American high tech workers are going to have to learn to say the word "eh?" a lot."
I'd been meaning to leave the states anyhow. Too much willful ignorance here.

Availability of talent? (2, Insightful)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093209)

The one problem is - a tech company is composed of talented individuals. Most of the really talented people can find good jobs within their area, so they have less incentive to move to Podunk for just their career.

You can move the company, but if only the lower half of the talent pool follows, it's not a very good decision.

Exactly. Its about diversity of the job market (2)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093257)

If you live in the Bay Area you can change jobs twice a year for the next decade and still get off at the same bus stop. No other city in the world offers that density of opportunity.

How many employees are going to move to JerkWater where their new employer is the only game in town??

What smaller cities dont provide (1)

peripatetic_bum (211859) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093210)

No knock against smaller cities but I think the need to move out becuase of higher costs will out wighed by the need to have good sushi, and good new movies.

What is wrong with coming up north? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3093214)

What is wrong with relocating to Canada. We are hard working, friendly people with a relatively weak economy. Movie's are always being shot in our big cities, simply because it is cheaper. So is it not a logical step to move tech companies up here too. I guess it would be a fair trade, seeing how for the past decade or so the american's have created a "brain drain" on our country. I say come on up, and maybe by the time you get settled down I will be done college and could get a job.

Welcome to Canada, folks ... (written by a Canuck) (5, Funny)

feelafel (228034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093216)

Advantages:
  • lower fixed costs
  • have to pay less for skilled workers
  • health care is a cost savings for corporations
  • you can boast that you're a citizen of the nation with the greatest male and female hockey players
  • other nations don't have a seething hatred for you (justified or not)
  • better beer
  • funny comedians
  • really good music
  • an abundance of gorgeous people are our best kept secret
  • it's harder to get shot "by accident" here.


Disadvantages
  • get paid less as a skilled worker;
  • almost 1/2 your paycheck goes to income tax, employment insurance, and the Canada Pension Plan (which will by dry in 10-20 years)
  • only one airline, and man does it suck
  • yeah, ok - it's a little colder
  • the healthcare system is spiralling downwards due to funding shortages passed onto the provinces from a sneaky federal government that wants to report a "surplus"
  • lack of world class cities and attractions


One thing that I find ironic is that it was only a few years ago that Nortel was threatening to leave Canada because of its taxation rates which hurt corporations trying to compete against those in the USA.

Price of Living in Canada (1)

lapointe (236944) | more than 12 years ago | (#3093243)

I can confirm that prices are significantly better up here on many things from cars to Internet access. This seems to be because the market will bear a much higher price in the US for consumer items. That is because Canada has roughly the same affluence as the poorest state in America.

Significantly, real estate is a fair bit cheaper in major cities here than in the U.S. Office space is running about US$10/square foot (I think) and houses start about US$175,000 in Toronto. Taxes are somewhat higher, but you do get some mediocre health care thrown in for free. Yes, the heating bill is nasty in the winter.

Anyway, if you are a business, these things might be a big factor.

The downside (or upside depending on who you are) - from every salary survey I have seen, salaries here are much lower. Hard to get a handle on this, but my impression is that technical wages in U.S. are the same as Canada but in US$ (thus 40% higher?). Part of the problem is the "branch plant" factor in the Canadian economy.

Like, at least our beer is way better, eh?

BTW No, and we don't pronounce it "a-boot" Who started that myth?

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