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How do Silicon Alley startup compensation structures (Salaries and Wages/Equities) compare to those of Silicon Valley?
I was asked to answer this, so I'll give it a shot.  I don't have lots of firsthand knowledge of compensation norms in New York, other than to say that salary databases I've had access to puts it at about equal to Silicon Valley since the cost of living is comparable.  Other places are lower, but commensurate to the cost of living. Markets are markets.But I reject the premise of the question: the idea that entrepreneurs pick geographies and companies based on local compensation ranges just isn't true.  Entrepreneurs can and should select opportunities based on their interests, passions, and the company's likelihood of success. This means working with great people on great ideas in whatever geography gives they feel gives them the best access to those.  This will usually be a move to an entrepreneurial hub (New York, Silicon Valley) or leveraging the strong network you have where you currently are.  Entrepreneurs don't pick a random city to move to because salaries are 3% more there than somewhere else.I also question the premise that Startup America has created urgency to figure this out.  Why?  Is SA really going to cause a sea change in entrepreneurial activity and suddenly create mini-Silicon Valleys across America?  Even if so, it would take decades for that to play out.
How should salaries and compensation be determined for public employees like teachers and police officers?
That's one of the big elephants in the rod for me when ever I discuss education policy with Republicans.  I hear a lot of competing goals that lead me to believe that either the stated goals of the policies aren't the real goal, or they don't understand education. Here are some of the various things in the United States that have been implemented or are proposed. 1.  Completely market driven salaries: If there's a shortage of teachers in any region of the country,  subject matter, grade level etc then pay accordingly. Obstacles:  salaries are funded by the public and there are not infinite funds to draw from Public attitudes often speak out of both sides of the mouth: they want great teachers, but when the rubber meets the road, it's all "I don't get 12 weeks off? " " I don't make that much and I'm a xyz and work hard."  2. Pay according to percieved degree of difficulty of getting a degree in subject matter This generally  points to math and science teachers getting paid more. Problems: " Percieved " difficulty is just that, based on perception.  Are people who teach math and science providing more value to the school, district or community than those who teach music, reading, or special education? If you know a basic amount of brain-based learning research than you know that you can't so easily tease out the benefits on a students skill level by subject matter, especially in the lower grade. Music and math are neurologically quite intertwined, creativity is required to innovate in all areas , including science.  You need to be able to read and write to do just about anything.
How will the H1B wage hike to minimum USD 130k impact Indian IT industry?
I think I can answer this question.I am working in a IT firm which comes under top 5 companies that are sponsoring H1B visa to their employees, and that too I am working as a immigration coordinator. So my job is to process the visa for the employees. Last year I worked under processing H1B visas.Last year we got around 4000 applications for the organization, this year its been drastically reduced to 700. You can see the impact here. And most of them will think this is the major impact here, not really I hope.As an Immigration team, our work is processing visa for the employees, and we are 130 employees in a single bay, which taking care of all the immigration from India to all the countries in the world. Now here comes the fun part• Although we are processing all the country visas our major income is in H1B and US visa. Now after 4000 H1B application reduced to 700 our Department income will drastically reduce, So to compensate that our department is going to throw away some employees. After this happened 140 employees will get reduced to 70 maybe. They are also going to cut the service providers that we are having now. So if they decided to proceed with that $130,000, our organization has to close this department and maybe they will give this immigration work to some other private solution outside our organization. This will not end here..There are lots of teams that are depending on our team like, finance team who is taking care of our department funds, IT teams taking caring of our systems, software etc., and this is continually linked long chain. So this will affect a complete chain not only the employees who are going for US in H1B. This is a state of one organization, then what about the top 25 organization?
When would an owner paying himself a monthly salary be considered "salaries and wages" on an S Corp tax return instead of "officer's compensation"? What is the difference?
When an owner is considered to be an officer of the corporation, as appointed by the board of directors, anything paid to them that represents compensation (as opposed to expense reimbursements or shareholder distributions) should be considered "Officer's Compensation."Most corporations include at least the following Officer or Executive positions:Chief Executive Officer (CEO)PresidentChief Financial OfficerSecretaryTreasurerThere are no set rules to titles but you can sometimes find the same person holding multiple executive titles.President and CEOCFO and Treasureretc.
Is it acceptable to decline a job offer after accepting?
As J. Schaffzin says, you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences.I absolutely hate when applicants do this. Here's why.Our hiring process is thorough enough that, by the time an applicant is offered a job, he or she should know a great deal about it (about our agency culture, the job duties, the team, the scheduling expectations, the benefits, promotion opportunities, etc). So an applicant should really know what he or she is getting into at that point.I will always accept it if the applicant of my choice needs a few days to think the offer over. If you have any doubts, you should ask for this before accepting.I have invested significant time in you (reference checking, etc).I may have (like your potential employer) invested actual money, too. In my case, I pay for expensive pre-hire screenings.The hiring manager (and anyone else who has interviewed the applicant) is emotionally invested in the applicant. A decline is often a terrible disappointment.I have likely already turned down all my other applicants.My other front-running applicants may have accepted other offers, which means I will have to start the recruiting process from scratch. A three-week vacancy suddenly becomes a three month ordeal.So, yup, I hate what you are proposing.However, there are times when it is appropriate.If you have learned something absolutely untenable about the job.If you are positive (or close to positive) that you will quit the job once you find something else.If you can let the recruiter down in a way that is respectful and professional, and that won't leave you black-listed.But in most cases, if you have done your due diligence as an applicant, you won't ever get to this stage. You will ask lots of thoughtful questions at all stages of the process. You will study the body language of your interviewer(s). You will pay attention to your intuition and act on it, whether that leads you to withdraw, or to ask more questions. You will know what you want, need and admire in a job, and what you will absolutely hate.You will know what is negotiable for you and what isn't.You will be honest with yourself at all times.
What happens to all of the paper forms you fill out for immigration and customs?
Years ago I worked at document management company.  There is cool software that can automate aspects of hand-written forms.  We had an airport as a customer - they scanned plenty and (as I said before) this was several years ago...On your airport customs forms, the "boxes" that you 'need' to write on - are basically invisible to the scanner - but are used because then us humans will tend to write neater and clearer which make sit easier to recognize with a computer.  Any characters with less than X% accuracy based on a recognition engine are flagged and shown as an image zoomed into the particular character so a human operator can then say "that is an "A".   This way, you can rapidly go through most forms and output it to say - an SQL database, complete with link to original image of the form you filled in.If you see "black boxes" at three corners of the document - it is likely set up for scanning (they help to identify and orient the page digitally).  If there is a unique barcode on the document somewhere I would theorize there is an even higher likelihood of it being scanned - the document is of enough value to be printed individually which costs more, which means it is likely going to be used on the capture side.   (I've noticed in the past in Bahamas and some other Caribbean islands they use these sorts of capture mechanisms, but they have far fewer people entering than the US does everyday)The real answer is: it depends.  Depending on each country and its policies and procedures.  Generally I would be surprised if they scanned and held onto the paper.   In the US, they proably file those for a set period of time then destroy them, perhaps mining them for some data about travellers. In the end,  I suspect the "paper-to-data capture" likelihood of customs forms ranges somewhere on a spectrum like this:Third world Customs Guy has paper to show he did his job, paper gets thrown out at end of shift. ------  We keep all the papers! everything is scanned as you pass by customs and unique barcodes identify which flight/gate/area the form was handed out at, so we co-ordinate with cameras in the airport and have captured your image.  We also know exactly how much vodka you brought into the country. :)
What does Balaji Viswanathan think about Donald trump's H1B visa bill? How could it effect the IT sector in India and is it preferable to pursue MS in USA after this bill?
Would love for Balaji Viswanathan (பாலாஜி விஸ்வநாதன்) to answer this.Meanwhile a similar question was answered on Quora here. I’ll paste my answer from there:tl,dr: If it passes the way it is worded, the bill will reduce the pool of available visas to Indian IT firms. But 130K is not the minimum wage those clickbait headlines make it to say, that’s something different.Let me explainFirst, some background:1. Indian IT firms are very large users of H1BIn fact, some would say, that they are the biggest users. e.g. see here: Indians got 86% of the H1B visas for tech firms issued by the US in 2022 - The American Bazaar2. There is wide-spread myth in the US about “H1B workers taking jobs” from AmericansJobs are outsourced due to cost-savings of globalization, not due to H1B. For every IT worker Indian companies bring to US, there are 10 that are back in India, doing the work. Sponsoring H1B visas is also expensive viz. $8–10K, and the whole point of outsourcing is not to increase costs. It’s hence in the interest of IT companies to bring as few workers as possible. But there is just so much work outsourced and massive cost savings thereof.Yes, some American workers do lose their jobs, but it’s because of reduced costs due to globalization, and not because of H1B. e.g. if a company outsources 100-workers• worth work to India, the work of 80 of those 100 workers will now be done offshore, and not in US. Only about 20 workers• worth of work will be done locally, which may be displaced by H1B workers.Also, note that most of those 100 jobs, are relatively low-skilled jobs. Do you really think a company is going to outsource their most important jobs to overseas people?However, whenever even few jobs are lost, it gets a lot of bad press and complains to the lawmakers• offices. A little too much of it. That is what prompts legislators to bring these reform acts. After all, they also want to feel relevant, like all of us are.Now let’s analyze the bill in some detailHere is the current wording of the bill, for the curious, patient and frustrated: https://lofgren.house.gov/upload...At first, I was shocked, when I read that “minimum is 130K” headlines. But when I dug into it more, I realize that 130K is not what it means.It’s only for “H1B dependent employers”H1B dependent employers are employers with at least 15% workers that are H1B dependent. Turns out, most Indian IT firms are not H1B dependent employers. See here: H-1B-dependent employer - Wikipedia . There are intricate ways of calculating and attesting that, and the bill doesn’t address any of that.[Edit: A couple of readers pointed out, that many Indian IT firms are indeed classified as H1B dependent. For this, a more reliable source than Wikipedia is: Solution for Work Visa, Student Visa, Visa Jobs and Green Card . Note though, there too, you will still find some LCA applications from the same employers, which are filed indicating no H1B dependency. That may be a mistake on their part]130K is not minimum wage - it’s the exemption limitIt simply means, that if you don’t want to pay that much, you have to fill out some extra paperwork viz. “attestations” that you won’t do such and such things. All those “things” to be attested/promised are very fluffy and difficult to prove. And have been around since the 90s. This bill doesn’t address any of that.130K is not just salary, it includes other thingsLanguage includes doing a “market based compensation”, including “cash bonus” and “other similar compensation”. It’s anyone’s guess how this can be gamed. This bill doesn’t pay attention to that.In other words, no “130K” isn’t too relevant to Indian IT firms.What may affect the Indian IT firmsThe thing that may affect IT companies, is the intent of the bill to do “market based” allocation. e.g. if some employer is willing to pay 200% of wage, they will get a preference in allocation.In order to reduce costs, IT firms will very likely not pay very high salaries to H1B workers they bring here, and thus may lose those visa applications to other employers willing to pay higher.Reservation of 20% of quota for small employers will also reduce the pool of available visas for these big firms.Plus, the minimum wage tier has also been removed, which will increase costs for the IT firms.However, writing was on the wall for a number of years and these firms have already anticipated this tightening. They have hence moved a lot of their visa allocation to L1 visas.The bill doesn’t address the real issueThe way it is, falls short in a number of ways in addressing real problems. Apart from the ones I mentioned earlier, the other real issue, is the power imbalance between the employer and the employee. The employer has just so much influence on the job and say on the career of the employee, that you can easily find H1B employees stuck working for same employers for years together, with low salaries.The other thing influencing condition of H1B workers, is the one following and bigger mess viz. Green Cards, which has ridiculousness of its own. That is also not addressed by this bill.Finally, there are multiple such billsSo this is not the only H1B reform bill. While this is the most jazzy of all reform bills bill, there are multiple bills. We don’t know which bill will be discussed/enacted.If you are in the US or planning to come to US, your best bet is to work for some of the top employers. e.g. Google, Facebook, etc, who have offices all around the world.Work hard to get in there, get treated fairly, get paid very well, and make an amazing career without worrying about this political mess.
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