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

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Yup, she sucks and is dumb.

pass the duchy pon the left hand side (musical duke) (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 20:25 (eight years ago) link

srsly

what's happening to our based god??? (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 20:25 (eight years ago) link

it's worth noting that whatever her definition of meritocracy is, she certainly includes herself in the category

iatee, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 20:48 (eight years ago) link

and yeah the 'went to harvard' = meritocracy pov has a lot of faults w/ it esp since if you look at harvard (etc.)'s student body today you wouldn't think "wow that is a great institution when it comes to turning significant quantities of poor people into rcih people." otoh how do you define 'meritocracy'. it's a word that makes sense as a vague idea but when you try and sketch out a strict definition you run into a lot of problems. is someone who dropped out of hs but started their own successful business part of the 'meritocracy'? is someone who went to harvard but works as a (insert crappy job) part of the meritocracy?

iatee, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 20:55 (eight years ago) link

does she really include herself in it? I get an old money vibe.

pass the duchy pon the left hand side (musical duke) (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 20:59 (eight years ago) link

really what you have is 'successful people are successful people' and maybe our system of credentialism is more 'fair' today than it was 80 years ago and maybe social networks are slightly less important when it comes to moving ahead. but I mean george w. bush was president notsolongago - very old school oligarchy was still on top of the american cheerleader pyramid when things went to shit. maybe it was less prevalent than before, but it's hard to pretend like we've turned into some bizarro society where nothing matters but test scores.

iatee, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 21:00 (eight years ago) link

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/10/the-rage-of-the-almost-elite/247638/


Of course, you might think my outlook was jaundiced because I identified with the bankers; I did go to an Ivy League school, and I eventually went to business school and spent a summer with Merrill Lynch. But I didn't know I was going to business school until shortly before I applied; it was what I did when I realized that I was never going to care as much about the inner workings of a computer as most of the guys I worked with.

And if Orwell (and I) are right, then it is I who should have had the most resentment. I did all the same things they did--went to the right schools, got good test scores--and they ended up in banking, while I ended up making a small fraction of what they did. In fact, this happened to me twice: once after college, and again after business school. My first job at the Economist paid approximately a third of what the management consulting job that I'd originally accepted had promised to pay.

iatee, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 21:02 (eight years ago) link

waht

pass the duchy pon the left hand side (musical duke) (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 21:24 (eight years ago) link

that has to be one of the stupidest things i have read today

so solaris (Lamp), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 21:41 (eight years ago) link

you guys are reading the Atlantic

The Uncanny Frankie Valley (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 21:43 (eight years ago) link

their new cities section is pretty good

iatee, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 21:48 (eight years ago) link

^^

what's happening to our based god??? (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 21:51 (eight years ago) link

also regularly enjoy connor friedersdorfenbergerdorf or whatever

what's happening to our based god??? (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 21:52 (eight years ago) link

Other than pure envy, it's hard to see how I could somehow be made worse off if Bill Gates' income suddenly doubled, but everything else remained the same.

lol behavioural economics, lol any economics

The old WASP bastions democratized or were swept away by nimbler competitors who didn't scruple to sacrifice profits because it might look bad to the boys in the club.

the benefits of an 'elite education' at work here, huh?

Whatever the systemic injustices, it's also quite clear to everyone . . . even parasitic leeches of investment bankers . . . that their salaries only come as the result of frantic effort.

as long as its quite clear to everyone, it certainly has to be true

so solaris (Lamp), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 21:59 (eight years ago) link

Megan McCardle is such a moron.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 22:34 (eight years ago) link

her last name is fun to say

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 22:35 (eight years ago) link

also regularly enjoy connor friedersdorfenbergerdorf or whatever

― what's happening to our based god??? (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Tuesday, November 8, 2011 4:52 PM Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Holy crap, I have had this guy on my gchat buddy list for like two years thinking he was some law school classmate I couldn't remember. Now I realize that I had an e-mail exchange with him a while back in response to something he wrote in the Atlantic -- maybe even an article about Law School.

pass the duchy pon the left hand side (musical duke) (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 8 November 2011 22:43 (eight years ago) link

she goes between 'troll' and 'doesnt know very much about subject she's talking about'

at the end of the day the fact thy people like her and Brooks have jobs as intellectuals is pretty good evidence that we dont have a great meritocracy.

iatee, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 23:08 (eight years ago) link

thy = that

iPhone making me talk all fancy like

iatee, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 23:09 (eight years ago) link

Similarly, in the 1990s, when I worked with a lot of mostly blue-collar and first-generation college grads (with a fair sprinkling of Ivy Leaguers, to be sure), I didn't hear nearly so much about the rich and how greedy they were--even though in the late 1990s, income inequality was almost certainly worse than it is right now.

I thought this was a choice quote - "almost certainly worse" - wait, you are paid to write articles like these and you can't just look this up? income inequality is certainly-certainly worse today.

iatee, Tuesday, 8 November 2011 23:18 (eight years ago) link

Oh god I just read more of that McArdle piece, it's so headsmackingly awful at every turn. She reminds me of the ex-girlfriend who once bragged to me (while we were in college) that of all of the children of clients of her family's tax accountant, she had made the most money (because she worked a full-time summer job). I pointed out to her that that was probably because the kind of person who has to work full-time during school isn't usually the kind of person whose family has a tax accountant. "Oh come on," she replied, "everyone has an accountant." (my parents didn't)

pass the duchy pon the left hand side (musical duke) (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 00:21 (eight years ago) link

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/11/unemployment

iatee, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 00:41 (eight years ago) link

one thing he doesn't point out is that tyler cowen makes his $ as a social-sciences professor at george mason university. there are def worse situations to be in than an econ major from a mid-tier public school but let's not pretend that's a sure ticket to, well, anywhere.

iatee, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 00:44 (eight years ago) link

I mean the dude is teaching at a place where only 64% of students graduate after 6 years and those who do have an average debt load of $22,219. he doesn't have to go very far time find some people who will soon be in pretty shitty employment situations. being able to write a 5 page essay on 'public choice economics' is not actually a valuable skill for the workforce.

iatee, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 01:17 (eight years ago) link

go very far to find*

iatee, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 01:19 (eight years ago) link

64% is a pretty good graduation rate these days, iirc!

the MMMM cult (La Lechera), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 01:23 (eight years ago) link

that's true and if it were a european university it might not even be a tragic statistic, but w/ the american cost structure it is. I mean he's teaching at 'the cheap option' ~20k/y total cost - and fewer than 40% of entering students are actually earning that 80k degree in 4 years. and in the bigger picture of higher ed this still falls under 'not as bad as most places'. if he can't find a current student in a shitty economic situation he's not looking very hard. anyway he probably has weirdo libertarian kids who make 53% signs in his classes.

iatee, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 01:37 (eight years ago) link

that's true and if it were a european university it might not even be a tragic statistic, but w/ the american cost structure it is.

64% would be appalling in most of europe wouldn't it?

caek, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 09:28 (eight years ago) link

idk I was mostly going off my knowledge of the french public uni system where it's pretty easy to fail an entire year / drop out / take forever to graduate. seems like it's easier to justify those things when your only investment is time.

iatee, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 16:07 (eight years ago) link

64% is a pretty good graduation rate these days, iirc!

that's mind-boggling to me

dense macabre (DJP), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 16:12 (eight years ago) link

fucking megan mcardle

horseshoe, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 16:13 (eight years ago) link

no thank you

dense macabre (DJP), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 16:13 (eight years ago) link

otm

horseshoe, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 16:15 (eight years ago) link

Attrition is the American way in education at all levels. The whole Rube Goldberg machine leaks at every valve. Fewer than 70 percent of high school students graduate. Just over 70 percent of those graduates will enter some form of postsecondary education. But barely more than half of those who start BA programs will finish them in six years, and only 30 percent of those who start community college will win an associate degree in three years. After that point, most people don’t manage to graduate.

Source: Our Universities: Why Are They Failing?

o. nate, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 16:39 (eight years ago) link

that's mind-boggling to me

yeah i think the top tier colleges are p much the only exception to the stats o.nate posted e.g. harvard's graduation rate is 97%, stanfords 95%.

so solaris (Lamp), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:03 (eight years ago) link

Cowen responds to Avent:

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/11/and-the-actuaries-shall-eat.html

o. nate, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:04 (eight years ago) link

the expensive little lutheran school i went to has graduation rates in the mid 80s, but it felt like a 4 year summer camp

goole, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:05 (eight years ago) link

er i had a point there...

if it's nice to be in, and the kids there are well supported, healthy, don't have much life stress... kind of like rich high schools, rich grade schools, etc.

goole, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:07 (eight years ago) link

one thing i can't shake when thinking about college, as a historical thing, is that the whole model of higher education, the liberal arts, whatever, wasn't to make good workers or even make more geniuses but to make gentlemen.

that looks kind of forehead-slap dumb now that i write it out tho.

goole, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:10 (eight years ago) link

I think you're right on the history, at least in the past couple of centuries. If you go back even further, I guess it was designed mainly to prepare people for roles in the Church.

o. nate, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:17 (eight years ago) link

to prepare white people

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:22 (eight years ago) link

Is that from a cookbook?

o. nate, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:27 (eight years ago) link

generation mojo de ajo

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:29 (eight years ago) link

that an institution serves a totally different purpose than it did back in the day isn't necessarily a bad thing...you can def argue that our 'best scholars in the world' university system was a competitive advantage for our economy over most of the 20th century despite its 'make gentlemen' origins

it's maybe harder to argue that its a net plus in 2011. lotsa good comparisons w/ health care system.

iatee, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:56 (eight years ago) link

yeah i think the top tier colleges are p much the only exception to the stats o.nate posted e.g. harvard's graduation rate is 97%, stanfords 95%.

― so solaris (Lamp), Wednesday, November 9, 2011 12:03 PM (53 minutes ago) Bookmark

yeah but these places bend over backwards to make sure that nobody fails out

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 17:57 (eight years ago) link

they operate as businesses and it is not in their long-terml financial interest to have people drop out. it's sorta a shame public schools don't have this logic but that would require them to also turn into alumni donation-based corporations

iatee, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 18:11 (eight years ago) link

xp to dayo - yeah, totally, ime the level of institutional support at those places is p fantastic & theres def an emphasis placed on graduating everyone (and everyone getting at least at a b). where i work now im always surprised by how little effort is put into student services or making sure everyone does well &c &c

mostly tho i was sorta echoing dan's surprise at how low the 6 year graduation rate in general is because that was outside my undergrad xp

so solaris (Lamp), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 18:16 (eight years ago) link

yeah, totally, ime the level of institutional support at those places is p fantastic
yeah -- please compare expensive 4-year private schools with qualified therapists available as but one of many varied student services with community colleges that have no therapists and are not anything summer camp like at all. now compare their graduation rates. investment in student support services is directly related to graduation rates/"student success".

the MMMM cult (La Lechera), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 18:36 (eight years ago) link

I remember reading some article about Yale law school investing in a dog that students could rent out when they felt sad

iatee, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 18:37 (eight years ago) link

how novel

the MMMM cult (La Lechera), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 18:38 (eight years ago) link


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