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We paid $37B above market?
#16
(06-21-2016, 04:51 PM)plam Wrote: Hard to have a fair comparison with Quebec and its oodles of hydro power.

And the insulting rates they pay to Newfoundland for Churchill Falls power.
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#17
(06-21-2016, 03:55 PM)IEFBR14 Wrote: Well "BlackBerry Polisher" if you read my post you would see that Root Data centre received 25M in Private Equity Financing and decided to locate in Quebec where Electricity Rates are lower as it made the business case dead simple for them.  So yes for RoW to be successful in the Tech Startups Community there are some fundamental things that the government needs to address to make it more affordable for companies to locate here.  I don't really care which provincial government does it but having us over pay for electricity is a major deterrent.  Not having access to a skilled workforce is another deterrent.  Once you have a startup get off the ground then you need good management that continues to innovate or you end with the fate of a RIM/Blackberry.

You correctly pointed out that many data centres won't locate in Ontario because electricity is expensive, but then made the leap to tech startups won't locate here? I don't see how that follows. Yes, tech startups need data centers, but they don't need to be near them. 99% of startups will never set foot in a datacenter, just interact with them in the form of AWS or Azure. I'm not even sure why we'd want to attract datacenters, they're large and provide little employment.

Tech startups also aren't particularly concerned about the cost of electricity. Offices really don't consume that much of it, and electricity is a trivial cost compared to the salaries they have to pay. It's heavy industry with cheap labour that worries about electricity prices, not tech companies.

You're right about skilled workforce though, that's absolutely the biggest factor in where tech companies locate. It just doesn't seem to have any connection to the rest of your points.
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#18
(06-21-2016, 03:55 PM)IEFBR14 Wrote:  So yes for RoW to be successful in the Tech Startups Community there are some fundamental things that the government needs to address to make it more affordable for companies to locate here.

It's plenty affordable already, and the tech startup sector is growing rather rapidly. It's maybe even too affordable, in that at the wages companies tend to offer here, they're having a hard time competing with California. But that's a whole different story.

Rents matter, electricity not so much.
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#19
(06-21-2016, 07:40 PM)mpd618 Wrote:
(06-21-2016, 03:55 PM)IEFBR14 Wrote:  So yes for RoW to be successful in the Tech Startups Community there are some fundamental things that the government needs to address to make it more affordable for companies to locate here.

It's plenty affordable already, and the tech startup sector is growing rather rapidly. It's maybe even too affordable, in that at the wages companies tend to offer here, they're having a hard time competing with California. But that's a whole different story.

Rents matter, electricity not so much.

I wonder how much this has been studied?  I know wages in the Region would be far below those prevailing in California, but how does the cost of living overall compare?
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#20
(06-21-2016, 07:44 PM)panamaniac Wrote: I wonder how much this has been studied?  I know wages in the Region would be far below those prevailing in California, but how does the cost of living overall compare?

Haven't seen any studies, however the anecdotes are that the cost of living difference is large but the salary difference is often much larger. At least for people without families - but once you lose them to California, you might lose them permanently.
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#21
(06-21-2016, 10:48 PM)mpd618 Wrote:
(06-21-2016, 07:44 PM)panamaniac Wrote: I wonder how much this has been studied?  I know wages in the Region would be far below those prevailing in California, but how does the cost of living overall compare?

Haven't seen any studies, however the anecdotes are that the cost of living difference is large but the salary difference is often much larger. At least for people without families - but once you lose them to California, you might lose them permanently.

Have done exit surveys of Waterloo Software Engineering grads. Average starting salary in Canada was $70k and in the US $110k. We didn't think to ask about currency. Average 1BR rent is $3500 in San Francisco. I think housing is way more expensive, but everything else not.
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#22
(06-22-2016, 04:04 AM)plam Wrote: Have done exit surveys of Waterloo Software Engineering grads. Average starting salary in Canada was $70k and in the US $110k. We didn't think to ask about currency. Average 1BR rent is $3500 in San Francisco. I think housing is way more expensive, but everything else not.

(Also, they have zero rent control.)

I knew some people that left BlackBerry for Apple and rumours were some doubled their pay -- the actual people didn't confirm this to me. They did say that housing is way more expensive, income tax is surprisingly about the same, but pretty much everything else is cheaper; this despite the San Francisco area having some of the highest food costs in the US.

Recent grad seems to be the ideal time to go, as the more established you are in any other city (KW, Chicago, etc.) the more sacrifices you have to make to your standard of living in terms of housing -- unless you're in a very senior role. Unless you are moving from Toronto or Vancouver, selling your property won't really help much to anything the valley.
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#23
(06-22-2016, 01:35 PM)tvot Wrote: I knew some people that left BlackBerry for Apple and rumours were some doubled their pay -- the actual people didn't confirm this to me. They did say that housing is way more expensive, income tax is surprisingly about the same, but pretty much everything else is cheaper; this despite the San Francisco area having some of the highest food costs in the US.

That was my experience too, taxes were about the same, except that down in Cali you get no health care, no good public schools, streets have a lot more potholes and university in the state school is more expensive.
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#24
(06-22-2016, 02:22 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(06-22-2016, 01:35 PM)tvot Wrote: I knew some people that left BlackBerry for Apple and rumours were some doubled their pay -- the actual people didn't confirm this to me. They did say that housing is way more expensive, income tax is surprisingly about the same, but pretty much everything else is cheaper; this despite the San Francisco area having some of the highest food costs in the US.

That was my experience too, taxes were about the same, except that down in Cali you get no health care, no good public schools, streets have a lot more potholes and university in the state school is more expensive.

Wouldn't most high tech jobs in California have medical benefits?   In my experience, health care in the States is superb, as long as you are insured.
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#25
(06-22-2016, 02:26 PM)panamaniac Wrote: Wouldn't most high tech jobs in California have medical benefits?   In my experience, health care in the States is superb, as long as you are insured.

Even the best health care plans are full of deductibles. A visit to the dentist or doctor will run you in the hundreds of dollars in deductibles.
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#26
(06-22-2016, 02:34 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(06-22-2016, 02:26 PM)panamaniac Wrote: Wouldn't most high tech jobs in California have medical benefits?   In my experience, health care in the States is superb, as long as you are insured.

Even the best health care plans are full of deductibles. A visit to the dentist or doctor will run you in the hundreds of dollars in deductibles.

I never had that experience when I lived in the USA, as my Canadian public service plan covered everything except the co-pay for medications.  What I did find interesting was being questioned about my insurance coverage as part of determining whether to discount the price of services.  Not exactly "pro bono", but I was left with the impression that many doctors use the insurance coverage of their patients to reduce/subsidize costs to uninsured patients.  Bottom line, of course, it would be scary to not have adequate medical coverage while living in the States but, if you do, it is incredible how good the care can be.
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#27
(06-22-2016, 02:22 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(06-22-2016, 01:35 PM)tvot Wrote: I knew some people that left BlackBerry for Apple and rumours were some doubled their pay -- the actual people didn't confirm this to me. They did say that housing is way more expensive, income tax is surprisingly about the same, but pretty much everything else is cheaper; this despite the San Francisco area having some of the highest food costs in the US.

That was my experience too, taxes were about the same, except that down in Cali you get no health care, no good public schools, streets have a lot more potholes and university in the state school is more expensive.

Quebec has higher taxes, slightly worse health care, at least one good public school, more potholes than Ontario, and cheaper tuition.


(06-22-2016, 02:45 PM)panamaniac Wrote:
(06-22-2016, 02:34 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Even the best health care plans are full of deductibles. A visit to the dentist or doctor will run you in the hundreds of dollars in deductibles.

I never had that experience when I lived in the USA, as my Canadian public service plan covered everything except the co-pay for medications.  What I did find interesting was being questioned about my insurance coverage as part of determining whether to discount the price of services.  Not exactly "pro bono", but I was left with the impression that many doctors use the insurance coverage of their patients to reduce/subsidize costs to uninsured patients.  Bottom line, of course, it would be scary to not have adequate medical coverage while living in the States but, if you do, it is incredible how good the care can be.

I never had to pay anything with my school-issued student health plan in the US either. I think many plans are like that. As a random example, IBM is known for being thrifty. In-network routine and preventative care there is deductible-free (source: http://www-01.ibm.com/employment/us/benefits/s07a.shtml). Now, you can often choose a cheaper plan that has higher deductibles, but the choice is up to you.

I do agree that there is subsidization going on, but also sometimes US healthcare providers will provide cash discounts. It's tremendously complicated. There's also subsidization of people who show up at the ER and who have to be cared for by law. Which is a silly way to provide preventative care.
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#28
Having worked for an Insurance Company that has an international footprint and is in the top 3 in Canada and top 15 in the USA providing Health and Dental Benefits as well as Pensions and doing due diligence on possible acquisitions around the world I received a very interesting education by fire and it is interesting to see what Corporate Management basis their decisions on. Try being the IT guy in a room full of accountants, lawyers and actuaries. In the end their is a number of factors that come into play for why people pick California over RoW. I also did an IT strategy for the largest coop university in the world and interviewed many employers (Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Linked In, Google, Mozilla, D2L, Square, etc.) and many students to get insights into what they wanted to see from the largest coop university in the world. It was an interesting research project and insights into what drives someone to locate into California versus Region of Waterloo. So in most cases it becomes an emotional decision more so than a logical decision. So trying to model human emotions is still being studied in the Psychology Department at UoW. One experiment we did was rig a slot machine to control the outcome and understand the brain and what represents the formation of addiction in the brain. So in the end a very complex model that we are still trying to understand.
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#29
(06-22-2016, 05:37 PM)IEFBR14 Wrote: <humblebrag>

That was pretty much just a giant appeal to authority. An anonymous, self-promoting appeal to authority at that.
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#30
(06-22-2016, 03:36 PM)plam Wrote: I never had to pay anything with my school-issued student health plan in the US either. I think many plans are like that. As a random example, IBM is known for being thrifty. In-network routine and preventative care there is deductible-free (source: http://www-01.ibm.com/employment/us/benefits/s07a.shtml). Now, you can often choose a cheaper plan that has higher deductibles, but the choice is up to you.

School health insurance isn't really comparable to the company plans.  With IBM's PPO you can end up paying up to US$13K/year (or US$27K/year should you go to the wrong hospital).  The deductibles are significant if you need actual care, and that care can be very expensive when you do need it (US$30K for a colleague's broken wrist).  These are somewhat higher than my company's US maximums (US$10K/US$20K), but then there is a monthly cost at my company, too.

In the US, even with medical insurance, you have to expect to be spending a bunch of money on health care each year, especially if you have a family.
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