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Fijar o no fijar precios... he ahí el dilema
Thread poster: Dyran Altenburg
Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 15, 2002

En relación con la propuesta de crear un foro donde un número de traductores se pondrán de acuerdo para determinar una tarifa mínima, les copio aquí los lineamientos de la ATA al respecto, los cuales también se aplican en gran medida a los traductores que viven en Estados Unidos:



[quote]

The American Translators Association

Policy Statement

http://www.atanet.org/bin/view.pl?object_id=13626



Antitrust laws make unlawful any agreements among competitors that directly or indirectly restrain competition, including agreements among competitors which directly or indirectly affect prices. Gathering and publishing of information on competitive rates charged by translators must be performed under procedures intended to ensure that the information gathered and published is impartial and objective and does not encourage the setting of rates. ATA intends to comply with such procedures in the dissemination of any rate information.



ATA intends to comply strictly with antitrust laws and all other laws that affect ATA. The Association requires that its Divisions and Chapters comply strictly with those laws. It is essential that ATA, its Divisions and Chapters, and its members ensure that activities comply with antitrust laws. The purpose of this Policy Statement is to focus on the need for antitrust compliance.



- We urge that ATA members follow these guidelines:



- Avoid actions which create a risk of antitrust violations.



- Bear in mind that discussions among members regarding translation rates, methods of calculating translation rates, rate levels, future rate expectations, rate projections, or any other matters which may affect translation rates can create a risk of antitrust violations. Do not circulate written statements, comments, suggestions, or views etc. regarding any matters which may affect translation rates, and do not make public announcements or statements on those matters.



- Matters that affect rates or restrain competition among members should not be discussed at meetings.



- Consult with counsel on any question which might have competitive or antitrust implications.



Finally, this Policy Statement is intended to highlight antitrust issues affecting ATA and its members. It does not answer all questions which may arise under the antitrust laws. ATA urges that members who have antitrust questions consult legal counsel.



As Adopted by ATA Board of Directors March 25, 1990



For more information, contact ATA,

phone: (703) 683-6100; fax: (703) 683-6122;

or e-mail: membership@atanet.org.

[/unquote]


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xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Isn't it ironic...? May 15, 2002

[quote]

On 2002-05-15 12:38, Dyran wrote:

Quote:


Antitrust laws make unlawful any agreements among competitors that directly or indirectly restrain competition, including agreements among competitors which directly or indirectly affect prices. [/unquote]





Then, in this case, perhaps what\'s needed is a good movement to derogate the antitrust laws.



\"Antitrust\" indeed in most cases is a euphemism for \"antiprofessionalism\". Let\'s not get confused: antitrust laws don\'t prevent price fixing: the laws just transfer the deed of price fixing to a 3rd party. This 3rd party is, astoundingly, never elected by the professionals regulated by them. The professionals are after all the ones who epitomize the knowledge or \"know how\" in their field, and who are usually liable for any errors.



These parasite 3rd party entities, justified by both the antitrust laws and an amazing complacency of the common citizen, take upon themselves the matter of fixing prices for the services provided by the true professionals.



How are these parasite entities manned?



Mostly -sometimes entirely- by people who have no professional training in the matters they set out to regulate. Example: in Medicine, health insurance companies often hire employees and administrators who can barely speak English -or any other language. Health Insurance administrators cannot usually distinguish between, say, an ultravascular ultrasound and a colonoscopy, much less understand what set of skills is needed for each. Yet these administrators decide how much a doctor will be compensated / reimbursed for a procedure or consultation.



Such compensations for medical services are often laughable. For ex. a dual-chamber pacemaker implantation, with all the risks and time that it involves, plus all the knowledge it requires (of surgical techniques and of correctly programming a pacemaker by a someone who trained as a doctor + Cardiologist + Electrophysiologist) is reimbursed at an average rate of about 380$. This rate is about the same that a self-paid patient pays to a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon to receive a Botox injection to decrease facial wrinkles -- - a 10-minute procedure. (The Botox is billed separately, at 400$ per vial.) The Plastic Surgeon fee, of course, is rarely -if ever- negotiable. It is paid by patients because the same high price will be charged by the next Plastic Surgeon, and their right to charge the same high price on the grounds that antitrust laws are being infringed is challenged by nobody.



Examples like this abound in all areas of professional life, and I\'m sure that each ProZ member could provide their own example.



Returning to the fee-for-services that US insurance companies pay to doctors, more often than not, the customer -i.e., the patient- has paid for his/her procedure many times over throughout his/her years as an insured employee. Now, where could all that money be going... let\'s think.....



Who do we think medical insurance companies compare to, in the translation world?.



It is true that insurance companies connect doctors with patients, and that agencies connect translators with clients in need of translations. Their middle-man services should certainly be compensated. From there, though, to blindly accept pre-fixed rates which are lower than we think it\'s fair.... rates determined by people who have sometimes not even finished high school....and have no understanding of the services they\'re capping... only because we must abide by antitrust laws that in their zeal to break trusts & monopolies also prevent professionals from establishing their own fair prices....?





My opinion:



Antitrust laws and their peculiar interpretation / enforcement shouldn\'t intimidate us. In many areas of Medical care, primary doctors and specialists are right now spearheading joint efforts to lobby & appeal to Congress to return power to the doctors and nurses when it comes to setting fair reimbursement rates for services. One such example is NASPE (North American Society of Electrophysiology and Pacing), which has been lobbying before Congress for over 2 years.



Let\'s let the US antitrust laws serve the real purpose (that hopefully) they were passed for: to prevent monopolies, to foster free enterprise -but never at the expense of the people who have spent the most years studying and deserve the fair rewards of a job well done, i.e., the professionals of each discipline.



[Note: I hope to see my post published.... I want to believe that Proz is a bastion of free speech. Thanks Henry in advance.]







[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-05-15 22:17 ]

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-05-16 13:35 ]

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xxxxlator61
Spanish to English
Another opinion about antitrust laws May 15, 2002

Aren\'t antitrust laws, like the Sherman Act of 1890, meant to prevent economic entities from dropping prices below reasonable market levels? And isn\'t this just what the professional translators community would like to help prevent? So actually the setting of a kind of minimum rate is in compliance with the reasons the antitrust laws were made for, and a violation.



With the recent case involving Microsoft, this issue has received more attention. It\'s not just a matter of reading the (f)acts and swallow. There might be other options to consider. Here follows (another) quote for consideration.



[quote]

Our antitrust “laws” are truly lawless — as well as un-American. Indeed, they are a form of “legalized” terrorism. As philosopher Ayn Rand observed, “the threat of sudden destruction, of unpredictable retaliation for unnamed offenses leaves men no other policy save one: to please the authorities without standards or principles. Anyone possessing such a stranglehold on businessmen possesses a stranglehold on the wealth and material resources of the country, which means: a stranglehold on the country.”

Americans should recoil in horror at this vast injustice — more, Americans should rectify it, on principle, by repealing all the antitrust “laws” and repudiating the “deuces-wild” legal terrorism they embody.



from:

http://www.aynrand.org/medialink/antitrust.html



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Daniel Alcaine-Rich, M.V., BSc  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
En la granja hubo una rebelión May 15, 2002

Dyran:



Como te dije en privado, sea cual sea el espíritu o el propósito de las leyes anti-trust, los traductores autónomos (freelance) no somos empresas.

Si un profesional autónomo (libre) no puede decidir qué tarifa va a cobrar por el trabajo que realiza, eso está muy, pero que muy mal.



Eso incita a la rebelión, y espero que ya se haya iniciado una gran rebelión, con o sin nombres y apellidos, porque, al fin y al cabo, ¿de qué hay que tener miedo?



Por cierto, ya que este es un debate englobado (al menos de momento) en los \"Spanish postings\", no estaría mal escribir las aportaciones de cada uno en español.



Ya me dijiste que la ATA había intentado luchar contra la aplicación de las leyes anti-trust a los profesionales autónomos, libres, que tienen que pagar sus propios impuestos por el trabajo que se buscan ellos mismos (no obtienen compensaciones de ningún tipo, sea médicas, por antigüedad en ninguna empresa, vacaciones pagadas, etc. etc.),

y que fracasaron.



Entonces, si no pueden decidir sus propias tarifas por su propio trabajo, y no tienen compensaciones de ninguna clase, y tienen que trabajar de forma esclava,



¿para quién trabajan los traductores autónomos (freelance)?



¿son libres o qué son?



Y, por cierto, ¿quién volverá a \"meter en vereda\", o a devolver a los animales a la granja, si éstos deciden ser libres?



Saludos





Saludos

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-05-15 21:57 ]


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Aclaraciones May 15, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-05-15 21:55, dalcaine wrote:

Como te dije en privado, sea cual sea el espíritu o el propósito de las leyes anti-trust, los traductores autónomos (freelance) no somos empresas.





Aquí en Estados Unidos, sí que lo somos. Microempresas de una sola persona, pero empresas al fin.



Quote:


Si un profesional autónomo (libre) no puede decidir qué tarifa va a cobrar por el trabajo que realiza, eso está muy, pero que muy mal.





Las tarifas que se pueden cobrar las determina la oferta y la demanda. Lo ideal es cobra tanto como lo permita el mercado.



Quote:


Eso incita a la rebelión, y espero que ya se haya iniciado una gran rebelión, con o sin nombres y apellidos, porque, al fin y al cabo, ¿de qué hay que tener miedo?





Me parece que no van por ahí los tiros.



Quote:


Ya me dijiste que la ATA había intentado luchar contra la aplicación de las leyes anti-trust a los profesionales autónomos, libres, que tienen que pagar sus propios impuestos por el trabajo que se buscan ellos mismos (no obtienen compensaciones de ningún tipo, sea médicas, por antigüedad en ninguna empresa, vacaciones pagadas, etc. etc.),

y que fracasaron.





No, yo no dije nada parecido.



Lo que dije es que la ATA gastó mucho tiempo, dinero y esfuerzo defendiéndose legalmente cuando se le demandó por supuestas prácticas \"atitrust\".



Esto se dió porque lo único que se necesita para demandar a alguien son pruebas circunstanciales que además se pueden interpretar de mil maneras distintas.



Quote:


Entonces, si no pueden decidir sus propias tarifas por su propio trabajo, y no tienen compensaciones de ninguna clase, y tienen que trabajar de forma esclava,





Pero ¿quién ha dicho semejante cosa?



Quote:


¿para quién trabajan los traductores autónomos (freelance)?





Para uno mismo, claro. Trabajo como traductora desde hace 20 años (12 como autónoma) y una de las razones por las que sigo en esto es porque se gana bastante bien.



Quote:


Y, por cierto, ¿quién volverá a \"meter en vereda\", o a devolver a los animales a la granja, si éstos deciden ser libres?





Me parece que la comparación no es muy afortunada. A excepción de los gatos, los demás animales se la verían de figuritas para conseguir alimento y protección.





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Daniel Alcaine-Rich, M.V., BSc  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
la aportación de Elena May 16, 2002

Hola Dyran:



aclarado el tema de que un moderador te dio permiso para que en un debate en torno a subir precios y las condiciones de trabajo de los traductores incluyeses una opinión en la que decías que México se escribe con X.



Dicho esto, no quiero entrar en más confrontaciones personales contigo (ni con ninguna otra persona).





La aportación de Elena me parece extremadamente interesante, instructiva y constructiva.



De momento, no tengo más que decir y te ruego no enfoques nada de esto (o de aquello) sobre mi persona o lo que haya dicho que te haya podido herir.



Centrémonos en el tema principal, por favor.



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-05-16 06:55 ]


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