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You are completely right, Dan. While CEOs are paid to worry about stock values and market dominance, they are usually clueless about the effectiveness of total reward programs.

As the resident Cafe expert on geographic pay and cost of living differentials (entirely separate topics, of course), I am horrified that another fool is prepared to fall into the trap I documented in my second post here. http://www.compensationcafe.com/2010/06/of-course-they-want-cost-of-living-pay-but-do-you-1.html should be revisited and shared with those who actually control pay programs. Hint: they are NOT compensation or HR people.

The Law of Unexpected Consequences applies here. Paying for voluntary personal family lifestyle choices (where to live and how to spend income) is high on the list of worker desires; but it is totally irrelevant to the free market economic realities of employee replacement costs that truly drive total reward strategics and direct pay tactics. Bottom line: to the extent that geographic location (like industry, employer size, etc.) actually affects pay, it is ALREADY faithfully recorded and reported in statistically reliable pay surveys. Distorting pay via a ridiculously inappropriate double-snapshot harks back to the wild and woolly goofy days of double-digit inflation!

Never again, I hope. Speak up loudly, before the lemmings assemble for another frantic blind cliff-charge!

Nice job Dan. A reckoning is coming, and it's coming a lot more quickly, due to the incredibly fast changes in how work gets done occurring during this pandemic.

I fully understand why geography matters with regard to pay for staff at a certain office or manufacturing plant, but that is different than remote work, where geographic lines are completely blurred. We will have to adapt our strategies and advice for this new paradigm.

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