comments by raindoctor

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Wed, 20 Jan 2016, 9:34pm PST   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 1

Not all Ivy leagues are alike. They are tier-1 Ivy leagues, they are called HYP (harvard, yale and princeton). If you are looking for a job at McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, KKR, yes, HYP is the stepping stone. The proportion of tier-2 Ivy admits to that of total Ivys that a school has sent is very high at schools like Harker. So, don't pay top dollar for "Ivy": look for tier-1 Ivies that a particular school has sent.

BTW, Cornell, an Ivy league, is called poor man's Ivy on the east coast.

Same with companies: there are tier-1 companies. Tier-1 companies love to recruit students from tier-1 Ivy schools. It is true that McKinsey recruits from tier-2 Ivys like Duke, Columbia, etc. Tier 1 companies recruiting at tier-2 Ivies is like Harker sending to tier-2 Ivys.

Tier 1a Investment Banking(IB): Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley
Tier 1b IB: JP Morgan
Tier 2a: Citi, Barclays, credit suissie
Tier 2b: UBS, Duetsche Bank
Tier 3: Wells, HSBC, Nomura, etc.

Just working at Citi does not make you a top tier IB guy, any more than going to duke does make ya top tier Ivy. Yes, there are outliers; even these outliers have to do with the family pedigree. For instance, Brown used to recruit kids of famous hollywood actors, actresses, dumb kids of billionaires. And Goldman Sachs love to hair that dumb kid from Brown; this is an outlier.


Tier 1: McKinsey, Bain, Boston/BCG. Even here, McKinsey > Bain/BCG

Private Equity:

Tier 1: Blackstone, KKR, etc

MBA schools:
Tier 1: Harvard, Stanford
Tier 1.5: Wharton, which is called MBA Factory these days.
Next tier: Chicago, Northwestern, Columbia, MIT

Law Schools:

Tier 1: HYS: Harvard, Yale, Princeton
Next tier: T14 schools minus Tier 1.

When you don't have any pedigree beyond the school--and this is the case with the majority of American population including immigrants, you have to scheme to top tier Ivies, top tier IB/Consulting/PE, etc. This is a very hard game. Most of the time, most of us don't know how this layered system works. From the outside, every Ivy appears to on par with every other Ivy; every IB job appears like every other IB job.

Just go to,, to see how some kids/parents have been trying to scheme to get to the top (the top money making potential. not so much of learning/intellectuality).

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Sun, 17 Jan 2016, 7:47pm PST   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 2

lostand confused says

when does a lead become an executive??

In some countries, even customer service agents are called "customer service executives" :)

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Fri, 1 Jan 2016, 5:43pm PST   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 3

4 years ago, many Apple employees thought about their stock hitting up $1000. That amounts to 133.33. It reached the peak.

Iphone upgrade program is designed to capture some market--esp apple care, refurbished iphones, etc.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Fri, 1 Jan 2016, 2:46pm PST   Like (3)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 4

Majority of H1s are used to reduce wages paid for American works. I work as a perma-temp for a major corp in the bay area: last year, my contract was not renewed because TCS was willing to place a candidate for less than $20 dollars of what I was getting paid. So, I went to work in the east bay.

I had a permanent job offer, but declined to take it because i was competing against H1 fulltimers, who are willing to work 60 hours a week. Imagine fighting for bonus, stock refresh in a group dominated by H1s: you are fucked.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Tue, 22 Dec 2015, 8:48pm PST   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 5

I was reading on hacker news about how people in big companies like Facebook, Google and Apple make: like $300K after two years of tenure at these companies, including RSUs and bonuses. With this kind of income, two things are possible: (a) people don't mind paying $3500 for 950 sq ft 2b/2b apartment in the downtown mountain view; (b) $1.5 Million home.

Unless these big companies stop hiring or start laying off, it does not impact rental market in main areas. Sure, it will impact like Antioch, Brentwood, Tracy, etc.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Sat, 17 Oct 2015, 2:42pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 6

$2k * 12 = $24k post taxes = $30K pre-taxes.
I heard that living in vans reeks of distinct smell. If she does not have those problems, it is okay.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Fri, 5 Jul 2013, 7:02am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 7

Well, conformity = less risk. If conformity leads to losses (as in recent housing bubble), all those conformants can sob together and blame someone else, like the government, banks, etc.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Wed, 3 Jul 2013, 3:32am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 8

thomaswong.1986 says

my two cents, our great need today is alternative energy sources,

you will find great success looking after natural gas in middle america.

Not sure we need additional SW programmers, doctors or lawyers.

Even though what you say is true for those who can live for another 200 years, we, mere mortals, care about what is gonna happen in this decade and the next decade. That's how people are. When polity, policy is filled up with such people, who wanna make a quick buck for next decades, how about those who don't have power? What can the latter do? Just follow the elite sheep.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Tue, 2 Jul 2013, 10:33am PDT   Like (1)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 9

FunTime says

For the record, I favor the supposed gift from the Greeks of knowledge for knowledge sake. I find it helpful in forming a perspective that keeps day-to-day events at bay.

What unites everyone in the states? American dream, of course! American dream is not about knowledge; it is all about money. Money, more money, ways to make much more money, etc.

To all those people working in Technology, Finance, Medicine, Law, and other well paid fields, American dream = make sure that their kids reach a financial status a notch above what they currently have.

The school one went to, the kind of friends they have, the kind of circles they belong to, etc are all means to achieve that American dream.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Tue, 2 Jul 2013, 4:50am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 10

FunTime says

Children get educated in and out of good schools. The good schools aren't the source of education. Good schools might be the way to climb social circles, though, and so maybe a person's life becomes not harmfully difficult through social benefits.

It depends on how you look at it.

1. Modern education's primary purpose is to help people move up the ladder; its unintended consequence is some learning.

2. Modern education's primary purpose is to help people learn; its unintended consequence is is to help people move up the ladder.

Elite schools, academies, etc, sell the view point (2), to conceal the view (1).

What other alternatives are left for these parents, except to try to climb their way up?

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Tue, 2 Jul 2013, 4:22am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 11

FunTime says

I can see how this data would have a very satisfying effect on data-driven, science education parents. It has that effect on me. I don't think it's enough data, though. To simple. I'm actually doubting the benefit of good schools on a person's life. Climbing social ladders has benefits, but you have to be careful about how much priority you give it or someone ends up jumping off a ladder

What other alternatives are left for these parents, except for education? Even education may not get jobs in a few decades, as we are trying to get rid of once white collar jobs.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Wed, 29 May 2013, 8:52am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 12

That's what happens in a country where there is no culture, or the only thing that unites people in that country is so-called "American Dream", which is nothing but "make money at any cost" without looking after the majority of ordinary folks. If someone protests against this American Dream of making money, he is branded as "anti-markets, anti-freedom, anti-capitalism, pro-communism, pro-socialism".

America is run for, and by, criminal gangs called lobbies. Even the schools feed the same stuff: look at the rat race for admissions into top schools; it is all about making money!!

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Wed, 15 May 2013, 4:56am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 13

"The Supreme Court rulings undid a string of campaign finance regulations and opened up loopholes for groups to avoid disclosure. The tax-exempt 501(c)(4) nonprofit, which can accept unlimited contributions from any source and whose donors can be kept secret, became the primary vehicle for operatives looking to engage in politics with "dark" money. The number of applications for 501(c)(4) status spiked, thrusting the IRS into a precarious position of overseeing partisan politics in a way that it had never done before.

"It's just another example of just the inability of the IRS to really enforce what are really political election campaign regulations," said Ofer Lion, a lawyer who works with tax-exempt organizations at Hunton & Williams. "These are career civil servants down in the IRS basement somewhere without adult supervision trying to deal with problems they don't know how to deal with."

The main problem is the need for the IRS to review partisan political activity, which has been strictly limited for tax-exempt organizations since 1954. While 501(c)(4) groups are allowed to engage in some political activity, including running partisan advertising, it cannot be their primary purpose. In its review process, the IRS examines whether a group is seeking tax exemption for inappropriate reasons like personal gain or, the current concern, improperly engaging in politics."


raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Sat, 4 May 2013, 12:13pm PDT   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Share   Quote   Comment 14

Well, Keynes had an insight. Fix the aggregate demand problem, the economy cures it itself. The self-interests of the elite are not same as those of 95 percent of ordinary people; in which case, we need an entity that is different from elites, to serve the public. That's what the government is supposed to.

When the economy is cold (in recession), fire up the fiscal policy to inject into the economy. Monetary policy has no teeth; it just redistributes what is in the system.

When the economy is hot, bring in a tax policy to suck the money out.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Wed, 1 May 2013, 5:48pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 15

lostand confused says

I am still scratching my head-I am willing to pay cash, but you give me a loan at zero percent interest and a discount/rebate for that? WTF?????

Now, if only I can find someone who will give me a zero percent mortgage!

Well, the dealer is rational here: he makes 'more' money off by financing and other rebates. If you pay in cash, he makes less.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Tue, 30 Apr 2013, 5:29pm PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 16

New Renter says

The catalytic converter(s) does nothing for mileage, only for emissions.

Well, fuel injection is controlled by ECU, which in turns takes the readings from cat converter via O2 sensors. Yes, cat plays a role in the mileage.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Sat, 27 Apr 2013, 4:10pm PDT   Like (3)   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 17

The business of "number of jobs" is useless, unless we know the average income of these newly added jobs. These two factors (number of jobs and average income) provides a clue to the so-called recovery; in other words, we can figure out how much these jobs would add to the aggregate demand.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Thu, 25 Apr 2013, 8:16am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 18

CaptainShuddup says

You were disliked for posting the best account of the state of employment that I've seen yet. And to be honest your assessment in most verticals is more optimistic than I would put it.

I am not optimistic either. I see a pattern in these jobs: coveted jobs are far and few between. Getting these coveted jobs is very tough: that's why you see the rat race among India and chinese parents in the states. These coveted jobs are made to sound like 'you just need an MBA, JD, some other paper'!!

Let me give you an analogy. Imagine that 90% of fire and police jobs don't come with any benefits at all, and yet people would line up for these jobs. 10 % of police and fire jobs with generous benefits are with vey very wealthy cities like Atherton, Palo Alto, etc. This would set up a two tier job structure: public jobs with wealthy cities vs those with other cities, and every one is trying to game the system to get a job with those 10% wealthy cities.

In corporate world, this 90-10 job split happened long time ago. Working through way up does NOT work. Getting those 10% jobs is, to a large extent, depends on who one is born to. If one is a kid of those Indian and chinese IT guy in the valley, one is disappointed, but these sucker parents don't realize it. These sucker parents rationalize their rat-racing behavior other ways: 'oh, I wanna keep my kids busy; that's why I am sending them to Cupertino High; if I send my kids to other schools, they won't be busy and end up doing things I don't like'.

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Thu, 25 Apr 2013, 6:16am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 19

Read this professor from UC Davis on STEM and h1b:

raindoctor   befriend (0)   ignore (0)   Thu, 25 Apr 2013, 6:14am PDT   Like   Dislike     Share   Quote   Comment 20

Rin says

Folks, the existence of the lifelong postdoc is in itself, proof of the oversupply of scientists/engineers.

One cannot have a legion (sorry, make that armies) of highly skilled laborers earning $36K-$42K with a 2-5% chance of finding full time work as a principal investigator in academia, industry, or govt.

Thus, there's no shortage of S&Es, only a shortage of idiots who're willing to work in industry, for postdoc salaries. That's it.

It is called post-doctoral treadmill. Once you are on it, you won't get out.

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