In his blog post How Much Do You Cost?, Yegor Bugayenko describes the rules he uses to pay people working remotely for him (emphasis is mine):
It is a common practice to pay higher rates to those who live in more expensive countries. When I'm getting resumes from San Francisco programmers, their rates are $70+ per hour. The same skills and experience cost $15-20 in Karachi. The reason here is the cost of living — it is much higher in the US than in Pakistan.
However, this reason doesn't sound logical to me. If you're driving a more expensive car, we have to pay you a higher salary? The same with the place to stay. You've chosen the country that you live in. You're using all the benefits of a well-developed country and you're paying for them. It's your choice. You decided to spend more money for the quality of your life — what does it have to do with me?
This argument can be reformulated as:
If what I pay you doesn't allow you to live according to the standards accepted by your community, you can always move to a cheaper place or country.
I don't like this argument. Most of us would face various obstacles if we tried to follow this advice.
- We have a spouse who has a job which he can not leave.
- We have children that we can't just take away from their friends.
- We have older family members to care for.
- We are not accustomed to the culture of a country with lower costs and standards.
I think you can all add to this list.
What do you think about Yegors argument? Is it a fair argument? Can we accept it as a valid argument or should we reject it as being cynical?