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Tedis Agolli

Software Developer


Foreigners should be allowed to compete on price

This tweet made a lot of people angry. The idea seems to be that it is unethical to underpay people just because of where they’re based. If a person in the Philippines and one in the US both provide you the same value, they should both make the same money. This is a morally commendable point of view, but deeply impractical.

$5/hour is a lot of money for a lot of people. They would be much happier if they could be paid that rate. Knowing this, we should make it as easy as possible for foreigners to have access to these jobs. Pushing for equal pay and shaming people who outsource work is only denying money to people whose lives would benefit from it.

Working for less money can be, maybe unintuitively, a powerful negotiation tool. It is really the only negotiation tool that most foreign employees have and they should be allowed to use this tool to 5x their income. Competing on quality is difficult on most administrative style work, such as answering phones. At the same time, only a small minority will be able to compete on quality with “skilled” labor, such as developers. The rest only have price to their advantage!

I hope the world moves toward equal pay regardless of location. This process will take time, so until then we should not sacrifice the good for the perfect.

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