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#2

This Message was deleted. This empty message preserves the threading when a post with followup(s) is deleted.


#3

J.C.

That is a very admirable thing to do. I hope you are successful in getting these calculators to real students or test takers.

Now, a bit of unsolicited advice (feel free to ignore it if you wish): If you get as wound up every time you run across a regulation with which you disagree as you are about the NCEES, then you have a very tough road ahead in your life and your professional career. I strongly suggest you calm down a bit, and practice making reasonable, rational arguments to make your case. If you lead off all your discussions with personal attacks and vulgar rhetoric, it will almost always result in the people you are trying to convince "digging in their heels" and fighting, no matter how unreasonable their position/regulation/rule is. I say this from personal experience. Politeness, persistence and logic will get you much further than frontal assaults.

Take care.

Wayne

PS - People who sell things on ebay are not scalpers. No one is forced to bid these calculators to the ridiculous prices for which they have been selling. It simply means someone wants it enough to pay that price. This is neither good nor bad; it just IS. In any case, YOU are doing right by your fellow test takers and I commend you for it.


#4

Perhaps J.C. would do well to take an introductory economics course?


#5

Perhaps, but they are his calculators, and if he wants to help others out that is his right. It is a free country (or mostly free anyway... okay, more free than most other countries).

Personally, when I was getting ready to graduate from college, I had $25,000 in student loans that needed to be paid back, so I could not afford to be as altruistic as J.C. I still think it's a nice thing he is trying to do, though.

Take care.

Wayne.


#6

I’m so sick and tired of this injustice. These calculators should not be over priced so, to help the cause and to help my fellow engineers trying to better themselves, I offer 7 free calculators. One per customer please. Proof of student status/copy of test registration will be required. I will also pay for shipping. Along with that I will ship an introductory economics course on DVD.
Got an empty tank?, I’m sick of gas prices too; I can also help you on that as well. Home loans ? Student loans?....


#7

Ahhhh sarcasm.... beautiful, delicious sarcasm... Where would we be without it?

Take care.

Wayne.

PS - Thanks anyway but my student loans were paid off years ago. I will take you up on the free calculator, though.

#8

Wayne --

I concur 100% with your "unsolicited advice".

Quote:

People who sell things on ebay are not scalpers. No one is forced to bid these calculators to the ridiculous prices for which they have been selling. It simply means someone wants it enough to pay that price.

On your second point, I would disagree in that there is such a thing as "scalpers". They are the low-lifes who deliberately hoard a legitimate product with the sole intent of re-selling it, unimproved, at a high profit to those in the same market who have an urgent need for it. Scalping is beyond what is termed speculation (as in real estate) or simple "supply and demand". It is just parasitic profiteering. In many locales, scalping of sports tickets is also illegal.

Those who deny other buyers the direct access to a good, and then, without adding any value, demand a profit by charging a high markup under the pressure of urgency, are not worthy of much respect as I see it.

What if someone "cornered the market" on snow shovels or emergency supplies before a blizzard, and sold the items for a king's ransom? What if medical care could be scalped?

In 2002, I could have bought the last four 32Sii's a main regional retailer had in stock -- knowing that they were to be discontinued -- then re-sold them for high profit at my leisure. But I didn't even consider doing that -- I bought just one for myself instead.

J.C. was right to exclude scaplers and limit the product to one per buyer. I would only hope that he bought three initially to prevent such profiteering.

-- Karl S.


#9

Karl,

I see your point regarding hoarding of items, but I still don't quite understand how anyone has the power to DENY others access to a given product. If they are in fact physically preventing others from purchasing a given commodity, then jacking up the price, then I believe it qualifies as racketeering (which is a crime in and of itself).

My point about ebay is this (and I still stand by it): No one is forcing anyone to bid on anything. It is a self-regulating market. If everyone decides at the same time that an HP 32sii is no longer worth $225+, but is only worth $100, then anyone who recently bought up a bunch at $150 each in hopes of making a killing will be stuck with a bunch of calculators or forced to take a $50 loss on each of them.

I have been trying like heck to get my hands on a reasonably priced HP 41CV for about two months now. But I do not want to pay $150+ for a well used 20 year old calculator without a case. I am waiting, watching and exploring all my options. Perhaps I will have to give up on finding one or reassess my opinion of their value, but I cannot blame the people who are selling them for the fact that more than one person is willing to pay $200 for them. I think the people who offer "Buy It Now"-Only auctions at $389 are insane, and I urge everyone to NOT pay that much for a 41CV. However, if someone does then there is nothing I can do about it.

As far as your snow shovels in a blizzard analogy, it is not valid here. HP calculators, as much as we may wish to believe otherwise, are NOT one of life's necessities, and I sincerely doubt anyone has ever died for want of one.

As for the test takers, if they have to, and it pains me to say this, they can always buy a $15 Casio and practice ALG input to take the test.

Take care.

Wayne.


#10

Wayne --

I think we're talking about different things -- high eBay prices for vintage calc's vs. the snapping-up of limited retail stock of urgently-desired new calc's for undeserved, no-value-added profit.

For me to have bought out the remaining 4 HP-32Sii's at the Fry's store 18 months ago would have denied access to others. To have then re-sold them at high markup would have been scalping.

-- Karl


#11

Karl,

I still think you are missing my point. If you had bought up the 4 remaining HP32sii's at Fry's, and offered them for sale at ridiculously inflated prices, and no one bought them... then what?

Well, then the market has spoken and you can either lower your price, or own 4 identical calculators until the market will bear your price. If they PAY your inflated price, well then the narket has also spoken.

You have not denied anyone access to anything, because anyone else in the country could have done the same thing if they got there before you, or they could pay your price if they want the item badly enough.

In a free market economy you simply cannot stop this from happening. Limits can be placed on exhorbitant mark-ups for necessary items (food, gas, snow shovels in a blizzard, etc) in the name of social stability. It STILL runs counter to a true free market system, but I'm willing to concede on the things people need in order to live.

However, prohibiting what you call scalping on non-essential items is economic/social engineering and has no place in a capitalist society. As I have already said, if the price is too high, do not buy.

Take care. I've enjoyed our little discussion.

Wayne.


#12

A student may have just enough savings for the original price,

but not enough to bid the item at a higher price.

When somebody buys more calcs that he needs and then sells them at great profit

preventing some persons from buying them at retail price and

thus having no RPN calc for the test

THAT IS SCALPING !!!!

[VPN]


#13

Thanks for the inpuit, but I still say they can't sell something at "great profit" if no one is buying.

If people are concerned about exhorbitant prices on used (or new) RPN calcs then they should simply shun these so-called "scalpers". Of course, not everyone will do this; and the prices will stay up. So the only thing to do is let the market regulate itself.

As I already said, even though it pains me to say it again, the test takers can always practice their algabraic (ugh) entry and buy a $15 Casio or Sharp if there are no reasonably priced RPN calcs available. No one has a RIGHT, constitutional or otherwise, to an RPN calculator. If you want to survive in the world, you learn to adapt.

Take care.

Wayne

#14

Some How, the "poor student" always seems to have enough cash to get alcohol, regardless of how "penniless" they are!

#15

Quote:

Karl,

I still think you are missing my point.


Wayne, I still think you are missing my point -- which was that scalping (as I clearly defined it) is generally unethical, and perhaps even immoral in some cases, but not necesarily preventable or something that ought to be criminalized.

Quote:

If you had bought up the 4 remaining HP32sii's at Fry's, and offered them for sale at ridiculously inflated prices, and no one bought them... then what?

"Then what"? I'll tell ya -- I'd demand only modestly inflated prices -- say $150 instead of $250. If I could have sold 'em for that, I'd have still cleared about $90 profit for each. And what value or useful service would I have provided to a local buyer who might have gotten one if only I hadn't beaten him to the store? -- none whatsoever!

Quote:

Well, then the market has spoken and you can either lower your price, or own 4 identical calculators until the market will bear your price. If they PAY your inflated price, well then the narket has also spoken.

Perhaps grudgingly, and questioning my parentage while doing so... ;-)

Quote:

You have not denied anyone access to anything, because anyone else in the country could have done the same thing if they got there before you, or they could pay your price if they want the item badly enough.

Sure, if anyone else in the country had unbounded access to transportation or had ample discretionary income.

Quote:

In a free market economy you simply cannot stop this from happening. Limits can be placed on exhorbitant mark-ups for necessary items (food, gas, snow shovels in a blizzard, etc) in the name of social stability. It STILL runs counter to a true free market system, but I'm willing to concede on the things people need in order to live.

However, prohibiting what you call scalping on non-essential items is economic/social engineering and has no place in a capitalist society. As I have already said, if the price is too high, do not buy.


I never advocated legal prohibition of scalping (yes, that's what it's called, not just my term). I did, however, point out that some municipalities prohibit, by ordinance, the practice of scalping event tickets -- selling them for more than face value. Sure, people can shun the ticket-scalper, and hope that he gets "stuck with the ducats". However, there is an element of duress -- time and opportunity. Once the show or the big game is over, gone forever is a subsequent chance to attend it in person.

There is similar duress associated with getting a compliant RPN calc in time for upcoming NCEES exams, although there are alternatives -- AOS calc, taking the exam later, etc.

I don't believe in the infinite wisdom of the unfettered free market, or that those who pay the most for an item are necessarily the ones who value it most. Ability to pay, and opportunity to acquire, play key roles in the economic calculus.

Quote:

Take care. I've enjoyed our little discussion.
Wayne.

What, did you declare a victorious conclusion? :-)

Karl S.


#16

Karl,

No, I did not intend to declare a victorious conclusion at all; I simply recognize that we will not see eye-to eye on this issue. I could refute each of your statements with more free-market arguments, declaring that I never said those who can afford things value them more (I think in a lot of cases the opposite is true), etc.; then you could make more counter-arguments, and we could have several more postings about it; but that would be a pointless waste of time for both of us. Along with believing in free market economies I also believe in free-market thought and in respecting each other's opinions (perhaps even occasionally "agreeing to disagree").

More importantly, I also recognize that this is a calculator forum, not a world economics forum. I have mentioned this to people before when they get into extended "off-topic" discussions, so it would be hypocritical of me to continue to use up David's WebSite memory with additional arguments about economics.

Besides right now I am trying to perfect a "vertical curve" program for my 41c which I wrote myself this weekend. There is a really nice one on the 41C Survey Module, but it has a bunch of stuff on it that I'd never use, and those things are selling on ebay for more than I am willing to pay. I've got it running very well and am now working on scaling down its size. Fun!

Take care. Let's talk calculators. How many HPs do you own? I've got about 10 plus a few Soviet made RPNs and a 2 Novus RPNs. My favorite is the 41C.

Wayne.

Edited: 12 Apr 2004, 2:30 p.m.


#17

Hello, speaking of 'on topic', is it very hard to find a vertical curve ? Is there more than one ? Do you need a program for that ? This is quite puzzling.


#18

This is civil engineering road design stuff. Vertical curves are used in road designs to smooth out the transition as a section of road switches from one grade (slope) to another.

I do not know if the standard is the same throughout the world, but in the U.S., a vertical curve is described by a parabola which is tangent to the incoming slope at one end, and the outgoing slope at the other. Since there are an infinite number of possible incoming slopes, outgoing slopes, starting elevations and curve lengths (minimum curve length is usually based on the desired sight distance along the curve); and since the elevation at various stations along the road is needed in order to construct it, then a calculator or computer is used to derive the characteristics of the curve.

There is software available now that can automatically compute road designs and draw them in AutoCad, but I still like to be able to spot check road designs. I use an HP calculator for that. I've been using a 48GX, mostly, but I just got a 41C and wanted to have a vertical curve program for it, so I wrote one.

Feel free to email me if you are interested in further information (you probabaly won't be though, it's pretty boring to anyone but a civil engineer).

Take care.

Wayne.


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