The math is clear, and given the assumptions behind this question, the solution is obvious. Sadly, life is not a math test.
If we assume that I am "an ordinary Plugh coder", and that it's essential I work in that specific discipline, we go where the jobs are easiest to find and retain.
If, however, we hold a higher self opinion (or as menolly said, we are from Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average), competition doesn't matter.
I, for one, would want to live in Guilder -- if only to avoid the corrupt government of Prince Humperdinck. If I can get a job in Guilder writing apps in Plugh, that's great. If not, I'll run a help desk, or manage an operations team, or flip burgers.
In the words of Robert A. Heinlein, "Specialization is for insects."
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I see 10K jobs in each. I only have to be 1 of 10K. Sounds like pretty good odds to me, as long as I've worked to be the best I can be.
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If Plugh coders make up 2% of the population -- which is unrealistic, but hypotheticals are easier with round numbers -- there are 2K Plugh coders in Florin, and 20K in Guilder.
Given 10K jobs per country, Plugh coders in Florin can name their price; Plugh coders in Guilder have to be in the top half of the field,and may have trouble finding another position if they lose theirs or don't like the conditions. Or they move to Florin, where it'll be easier to get a gig. But without per-capita job data, how are they to know it's easy to find Plugh work in Florin?
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The whole Per Capita issue is a red herring. There is a false underlying assumption when we talk about it.
It doesn't matter if there are 10,000 openings in a city of 1Million or just 20,000. The question is how many people qualify for that job in the city of 1Million vs 20,000 and how many of them are looking for a job. So to make any real sense of per-capita data (and make any conclusions from it), you'd need a lot of meta data that you don't have. What's the unemployment rate. If the city of 20,000 has 15,000 plugh programmers and the city of 1Million has 10,001 then the 'per capita' data will falsely lead you to assume that you are better off in the burg than the city.
I'm with Merlyn on this. Having per-capita data does more harm than good. It's a useless statistic without loads of demographic data.
--
I used to drive a Heisenbergmobile, but every time I looked at the speedometer, I got lost.
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Your presupposition is that I'm dense. Maybe I'm more aware than most. Really, you need only one job. So your goal should be to be ahead of the herd. The only people who need fear that are the people who aren't.
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Frankly, whenever I get a question like this, I find I've a marked yen to duck it. | [reply] |