generation limbo: 20-somethings today, debt, unemployment, the questionable value of a college education

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Doesn't sound like I would enjoy talking to any of those guys tbh

medium rear (silby), Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:22 (seven years ago) link

did anyone read the new york magazine cover article? there are some good parts tho it does read like a blog post.

iatee, Thursday, 20 October 2011 23:33 (seven years ago) link

All the world's a blog post.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 21 October 2011 00:08 (seven years ago) link

that "are too many people earning college degrees" debate is on the wrong subject, tho the answer is undeniably yes considering the macro picture, for-profit schools etc.

the real debate should be "will we be able to make college affordable / 'a good investment' for the majority of Americans? what are the long-term consequences if that answer is 'no'?"

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 00:21 (seven years ago) link

Are there really a lot of careers that pay a livable wage that don't require a college degree or at least some post-secondary education or training? I feel like those jobs are decreasing but the jobs that do exist on the lower end of the spectrum aren't able to adequately compensate for the cost of education.

avant-garde heterosexuals (mh), Friday, 21 October 2011 00:26 (seven years ago) link

I mean there is a 'bubble' but the prob is entirely in the financial structure. I don't think there's an inherent problem w/ having half of the 18-22 y/o's off studying random shit instead of entering the job market right away. there are lots of social and economic gains from that. the bubble's in the way we pay for it.

if there were no free high school and a similar cost structure we'd prob be having discussions about whether high school was 'worth it'

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 00:28 (seven years ago) link

Right now, most high schools might not be "worth it" which is why college is necessitated

avant-garde heterosexuals (mh), Friday, 21 October 2011 00:33 (seven years ago) link

heh well that depends on if you view education as an end in itself or as being vocational in some way.

the basic problem is, as I understand it, middle-class jobs are being hollowed out. there are low-level jobs, like manual labor and service work, and then there are high level jobs which can't be offshored, like doctors and lawyers, which are gonna require more than a college ed. that leaves a whole bunch of people with bachelor degrees competing for a shrinking pool of jobs.

dayo, Friday, 21 October 2011 00:55 (seven years ago) link

that leaves a whole bunch of people with bachelor degrees competing for a shrinking pool of jobs who want to live in coastal cities

Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas
Monthly Rankings
Not Seasonally Adjusted
Aug. 2011

1 Bismarck, ND Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.0
2 Lincoln, NE Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.6
3 Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.9

163 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.3
253 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 9.7
338 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 11.8

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 01:27 (seven years ago) link

a. there are countless industries that exist in ny/sf/la and do not exist in bismarck or fargo
b. whether or not they want to, an overwhelming majority of people with college degrees actually do not live in ny/sf/la, even most 20-somethings
c. btw 'people should just to north dakota and work on oil rigs' would not actually work, they are tiny cities and the unemployment rate vs. total amount of job openings is misleading in sparsely populated areas.

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 03:09 (seven years ago) link

a. countless industries that evidently aren't hiring!
b. I can't believe that the people on Bones are a couple now! though I guess that's appropriate given the name
c. they wouldn't be so tiny if all you coastal elites would move there! one of my students who is from ND (n.b. I don't live there) says that her friend got a $20 a hour job making food at Taco Bueno because the supply of labor is so low there.

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 03:16 (seven years ago) link

'work in fast food in north dakota' is prob a good idea for some people, like people who don't have ties to where they live + live in an economically depressed area. like if you live in a shitty part of Nevada and just want a job (that seems to be why most people move there), why not?

but again there are limits to small resource extraction economies in isolated parts of the country and if a few thousand people show up that employment gap disappears.

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 03:36 (seven years ago) link

euler i think yr being p naive abt the economics of migration and both the short and long term costs of moving to ND to lay oil pipeline or w/e. like you could probably get a p good paper out of 'the costs of information asymmetry to new migrants'

just too lazy/tired to do the right thing and google a credible study but part of the problem with internal migration is that things like $20/hr fast food jobs only exist bcuz of a temp imbalance and the 'real costs' of working those jobs is often much higher than equivalent jobs elsewhere because the lack of a local support structure and the high cost of things like housing and other primary services blah blah blah

i mean the last time i looked migration patterns do generally reflect the stats yr citing but the reason many ppl dont just move to where there are jobs is less about 'wanting to live somewhere cool' than both ppls 'rational expectations' abt long-term employment prospects and the percieved/real costs of transition?

koyannisquatsi hop (Lamp), Friday, 21 October 2011 06:25 (seven years ago) link

I did the math, for north dakota's (I just went w/ 70% of the population as the work force) 3.5% unemployment rate to turn into a 5% unemployment rate, 6790 unemployed people need to show up in the state. obv it's not that simple and there are economic gains from people showing up (fewer gains if they're all broke, unskilled, unemployed tho) but overall there's really not that much opportunity for geographic arbitrage to begin with - this is before factoring in what lamp said, that even that existence is not clear cut.

information asymmetry - absolutely - most people are not familiar with the local economy of every single metro area in the country, the general awareness is 'the american economy is extremely shitty' - beyond that they're prob familiar w/ the large metro areas near them. I think if "north dakota, economic wonderland!" type things were on TV on a regular basis you'd prob see some people attempt to take advantage of it. there are tons of examples of large scale internal migration for economic reasons (arizona, texas, florida) but in all those cases the information was 'out there'.

here is the nymag article http://nymag.com/news/features/my-generation-2011-10/ which prob will just give euler more ammo for his 'your generation is unemployed because they all moved to brooklyn' hypothesis

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 16:42 (seven years ago) link

yeah I'm sure I'm naive here though at least in my part of the country the last several years (the great plains) there's widespread awareness of the cities regionally that have work; so the informational asymmetry likely reflect regional epistemic diffferences.

yeah iatee capitalism makes living in some places like NYC a luxury good. even if it cost less to live there b/c we figured out how to control real estate prices better, there's only so many jobs there, & apparently the competition for them is cutthroat.

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 16:52 (seven years ago) link

capitalism didn't make living in a dense city w/ public transit a luxury good, gov't planning did

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 16:59 (seven years ago) link

that new york magazine article is horrendous

max, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:01 (seven years ago) link

never speak of it

max, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:01 (seven years ago) link

I think the financial industry had something to do with that, iatee. xp

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:02 (seven years ago) link

the financial industry has nothing to do w/ the zoning policy for greater nyc or our lack of investment in transit for the region over the last 70 years. (well, not directly.)

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:08 (seven years ago) link

yeah the ny mag article had a few paragraphs I liked but I wish someone better had written that article...there's no way it could survive the intro

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:09 (seven years ago) link

the zoning policy for greater NYC isn't the only reason why living in NYC is a luxury good, & I'm dubious that it's the main reason. Housing prices went super high not simply because zoning was bad but because people made such big cash that they could bid the prices of housing & other normal goods of life---good schools, e.g.---way up, out of non-luxurious living levels.

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:10 (seven years ago) link

you are are skeptical that 'supply' has an fairly important effect on the price of a good

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:11 (seven years ago) link

er 'a fairly important'

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:14 (seven years ago) link

not skeptical, but also not ignoring the massive influx of cash that NYC got due to financial deregulation.

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:14 (seven years ago) link

even if you know that there are jobs in north dakota i think were underrating the real costs of relocation. there was a good article about economic migration in canada (where depressed atlantic regions lose large #s of young workers to the west/praries) that talked about the fact that these workers ended up paying more for things like housing and transportation, in addition to the fact that migration drives up the costs of these things for everyone.

i mean there are all sorts of cultural/personal reasons why say a recent college grad w/ no real economic ties doesnt just move to nebraska like i dont know how comfortable id be living somewhere im afraid to touch my bf in public but you do have to consider that ppl arent making decision entirely in a vacuum, i guess?

bongs of a dread redeemer (Lamp), Friday, 21 October 2011 17:15 (seven years ago) link

One note that I'm not hearing here is that if there were more OTHER places with the same urban advantages of dense housing and pretty good public transit and stuff, that more other cities would be more similar to NYC and therefore desirable to some of the people who currently live in/want to live in NYC?

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 21 October 2011 17:16 (seven years ago) link

Like right now NY has the punk mystique or the art scene or East Village mystique or the luxury shopping thing or w/e, you can take it or leave it, but there's a narrative to it, right? Maybe if we hadn't killed off all our other major cities, more of them would have compelling stories, too?

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 21 October 2011 17:18 (seven years ago) link

I don't think it's a non-issue cause the top of the market does affect everyone - nevertheless there have been enormous wealth disparities in nyc since forever - during some eras there was enough construction in urban housing and investment in transit that there were no shortage of opportunities for an urban middle class (jews in the bronx etc.)

xp

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:20 (seven years ago) link

And also over history maybe some/more industries would have relocated to those places, so maybe book publishing would be centered in...Detroit or something, instead of being like 95% in NY (outside of university presses) and I'd be able to live somewhere else.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 21 October 2011 17:20 (seven years ago) link

I'm kind of talking out of my ass here but isn't a large part of why NYC survived and thrived down to the money generated by the success of Wall Street? Like, basically all of the capital was there and that was what drove all of the other industries that sprang up there and provided either a nurturing environment or a backdrop to react against for the subcultures in the city?

do not wake the dragon (DJP), Friday, 21 October 2011 17:23 (seven years ago) link

Lamp don't you live in Toronto? that's still the only place I've ever seen homosexual couples being physically intimate in public; & I lived in the Bay Area (albeit the peninsula) for a couple of years. & this was just walking down Bloor Street, which I gather isn't some countercultural center like the Castro.

this stuff is hard & the fact that I came out here for work & that my father immigrated to the USA from Latin America for work (& moved us around the country looking for work when I was a kid) colors how I look at these things. I don't really "get" being attached to a place & I tend to think most places are pretty interchangeable provided that there's work: after that it's just a luxury of finding a place you like (a luxury I've really yet to have, given my choice of careers, research academia).

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:28 (seven years ago) link

I'm kind of talking out of my ass here but isn't a large part of why NYC survived and thrived down to the money generated by the success of Wall Street? Like, basically all of the capital was there and that was what drove all of the other industries that sprang up there and provided either a nurturing environment or a backdrop to react against for the subcultures in the city?

― do not wake the dragon (DJP), Friday, October 21, 2011 1:23 PM (8 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

the erie canal is really the reason that new york city is new york city, but the finance industry has a lot to do with it too. but as iatee points out, the finance industry isnt the reason that rent is really high.

max, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:34 (seven years ago) link

rich foreigners buying/renting pied-a-terres seems like more of a reason for high rents than wall street bros

max, Friday, 21 October 2011 17:34 (seven years ago) link

lol swedish haute bourgeois film students

i think the study of why certain cities become lodestones for capital/culture/ppl is really interesting & complex - trade is a big part of it & certainly 'shipping' is probably the most impt industry in nyc's development but its also obv a much bigger argument than just that. i do kinda agree that 'living in nyc' is its own kind of luxury in a way

bongs of a dread redeemer (Lamp), Friday, 21 October 2011 17:52 (seven years ago) link

I'm kind of talking out of my ass here but isn't a large part of why NYC survived and thrived down to the money generated by the success of Wall Street? Like, basically all of the capital was there and that was what drove all of the other industries that sprang up there and provided either a nurturing environment or a backdrop to react against for the subcultures in the city?

I think this is a very complicated question to answer because you really have to go into counterfactual zone but:

pros of wall street
a. lotsa local tax $
b. enormous service economy dependent on rich people and their absurdist ny status signaling
c. strong real estate market and the 'good things' that come w/ it

cons
a. expansive local govt dependent on a taxbase that might not always exist
b. 'strong real estate market' also = 'rent sucks up most peoples' income
c. office space rent in manhattan = hurts basically every other industry, start-ups, etc.

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 18:06 (seven years ago) link

I tend to think most places are pretty interchangeable provided that there's work: after that it's just a luxury of finding a place you like

euler i am a little intrigued by this idea and i think i might do a thread on it

Vampyroteuthis Weeks (nakhchivan), Friday, 21 October 2011 18:18 (seven years ago) link

I'm intrigued by it but I have this funny feeling it's going to end up like this: everywhere is p much fine when you're not from anywhere in particular AND you have secure employment there at a reasonable living wage.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 21 October 2011 18:21 (seven years ago) link

ALSO WHEN YOU ARE A ROBOT

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 21 October 2011 18:27 (seven years ago) link

haha I'm prepared to play the bad guy but I think being somewhere w/ a sense of place is prob more important to me than most people?

I have said this in other threads but over the last few decades a lot of small towns or whatever have been drained of the sense of place they did have - if you're moving somewhere and choosing between walmart and subway or walmart and subway, well...(that's isolating city planning and local businesses as the only factor, and they aren't, but that sorta the raw material)

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 18:33 (seven years ago) link

that's sorta*

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 18:33 (seven years ago) link

lincoln, NE is actually quite nice

homosexual II, Friday, 21 October 2011 18:33 (seven years ago) link

okay weird looking link but it works

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 18:40 (seven years ago) link

lincoln, NE is actually quite nice

― homosexual II, Friday, October 21, 2011 4:03 PM (8 minutes ago) Bookmark

otm!

kate78, Friday, 21 October 2011 18:42 (seven years ago) link

guys... we have the internet now

dayo, Friday, 21 October 2011 20:01 (seven years ago) link

it doesn't matter where we are... as long as we're jacked in... to the INTERNET

dayo, Friday, 21 October 2011 20:02 (seven years ago) link

it doesn't matter where we are... as long as we're jackin... to the INTERNET

do not wake the dragon (DJP), Friday, 21 October 2011 20:02 (seven years ago) link

my jackin' just went up 200%

dayo, Friday, 21 October 2011 20:09 (seven years ago) link


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