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

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"One, for a small East Bay nonprofit, drew several hundred applications. The other, for the office of the Speaker of the California State Assembly—the second-most-powerful person in the eighth-largest economy on the planet—drew three."

Presumably people rationally calculated that at the small East Bay nonprofit there would be fewer layers between them and decision-makers and that they would get the kind of real-world experience with civic issues that people like WD constantly berate elite college students for not having. And that this was preferable to making coffee for the speaker of the assembly. I'm not sure this calculation is correct, by the way! But I'm sure it doesn't have to do with some kind of narcissistic entitlement on the part of Stanford students.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 31 January 2012 16:16 (seven years ago) link

it's just such a weird thing to take in isolation - like, is your argument that stanford students don't get involved enough in gov't? cause I'm sure that overall they're well represented in the offices of politicians across the country.

iatee, Tuesday, 31 January 2012 16:46 (seven years ago) link

oh man charles murray's 'coming apart: the state of white america' is just... the actual worst. im like 40 pages in and furious

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 07:52 (seven years ago) link

its incredible to me that someone so stupid and gross gets to write op-eds in impt newpapers and magazines instead of being kicked in the spine repeatedly

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 07:54 (seven years ago) link

this is how i feel about Malcolm Gladwell btw

sarahell, Saturday, 4 February 2012 08:38 (seven years ago) link

lamp did you see this

"Is This Racist?" colloquy: the American Enterprise Institute asks "How Thick Is Your Bubble?"

max, Saturday, 4 February 2012 13:35 (seven years ago) link

tyler cowen thinks it's great for some reason

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 16:00 (seven years ago) link

I like the sleight of hand that lets him only talk about white people (the calculations are complicated enough without adding race into the equation!!)

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 16:35 (seven years ago) link

tyler cowen thinks it's great for some reason

because tyler cowen is an idiot, is why he would think this

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 17:43 (seven years ago) link

he posts good links but he is like the ultimate troll, it is sad how many times a day he trolls me

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 17:51 (seven years ago) link

well honestly if you can place yourself within murray's 5% elite this book is tremendously flattering to you. your moral and spiritual superiority to everyone else is never the result of longterm economic trends or technological changes or trade policy or manipulation of institutions on a scale so vast its practically invisible no its because you dont watch nascar and stayed married

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 17:54 (seven years ago) link

example:

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/02/department-of-huh.html

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 17:54 (seven years ago) link

yeah I mean on the one hand I think it's true that we need to look at cultural factors - like, staying married pretty clearly helps you as an economic unit (having few kids too), so that's not *not* a thing, it's just a pretty shitty explanation for why certain people are billionaires

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 17:59 (seven years ago) link

my friend sent me a link to the david brooks op-ed on this dude and on a brief skim it didn't seem that objectionable to me. like he frames it in vaguely OWS 1%/99% language and talks about tribalism & segmentation, which I broadly agree with is a problem (in-so-far as it fosters an us-against-them mentality. like maybe rich people would be more inclined to pay taxes if the thought was 'I am contributing towards a common good' rather than 'I can't believe POOR PEOPLE are attaching themselves like remoras to my veins of flowing money.')

but yeah as max's gawker post points out, the whole enterprise is really gross, but I do think every rich white family should take in at least one poor white child so that the rich family's industrious can ~vibe~ into the poor child, it would make for a good reality show, you could monetize this

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:01 (seven years ago) link

nah see here's brooks: "Democrats claim America is threatened by the financial elite, who hog society’s resources. But that’s a distraction. The real social gap is between the top 20 percent and the lower 30 percent. The liberal members of the upper tribe latch onto this top 1 percent narrative because it excuses them from the central role they themselves are playing in driving inequality and unfairness."

the liberal members of the upper tribe latch onto this top 1 percent narrative because the top 1 percent narrative is the narrative that actually matters. talking about the social gap between the top 20 percent and the lower 30 percent is hiding the ball.

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:09 (seven years ago) link

what if I adopt chinese baby girl instead? x-post

mh, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:10 (seven years ago) link

that depends entirely on whether or not you are a tiger mom

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:10 (seven years ago) link

guess that means you're no longer part of the tribe

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:11 (seven years ago) link

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/04/the-one-percent-versus-the-twenty-percent/

I didn't read this before I said that I swear

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:13 (seven years ago) link

haha yeah I just kind of glossed over that

I do believe that americans should stop being so individualistic though ~love your brothers and sisters~

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:15 (seven years ago) link

maybe I've just been interacting with too many libertarians lately

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:21 (seven years ago) link

i am not reading david brooks take on this book because the idea of it i have in my head is already depressing enough

yeah I mean on the one hand I think it's true that we need to look at cultural factors

i think cultural factors have to be put in proper context though. like its weird to use the gingrichian idea that young working class men 'dont value work' rather than think about the way say, our culture constructs gender roles so that young men are often shut out of low-skill low-wage service jobs like office cleaning, health care &c

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:34 (seven years ago) link

no for sure. or if you want to go one step further start taking apart the phrase 'don't value work', the concept of 'valuing work' is itself very culturally dependent.

anyway I'm thinking about starting a gen limbo blog as a clearinghouse for this sorta stuff outside of ilx.

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 18:42 (seven years ago) link

for some reason you can be an individualist and still make lots of money from other people

makes you think

mh, Saturday, 4 February 2012 19:24 (seven years ago) link

Funniest thing about this stupid book is how all the publications giving it a good review don't publish the subtitle

max, Saturday, 4 February 2012 19:40 (seven years ago) link

seriously though lamp you should take that quiz its hilarious

max, Saturday, 4 February 2012 19:40 (seven years ago) link

haha i think im still much in the shaking with rage stage of my reaction to this whole thing to laugh at it much, even the idea of w/e illiterate nyt review its gotten is making me really mad in a way that suggests i cld use some ~distance~

the whole things is just so grotesque it should be funny but its getting treated so seriously! idk

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:35 (seven years ago) link

just as a fun fact i was given a copy of the book by someone who works in securities at a party at bar specializing in craft and boutique beers i recognize that i am part of the problem

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:36 (seven years ago) link

the american right-wing has shifted so far right that the 'moderate sensible doods' like him and brooks can just say whatever the fuck they want and get a lot of attention for it. I said it somewhere else on ilx but the easiest way to get an inordinate amount of attention is to be a moderate conservative thinker right now. like, if you're not screaming "where's the birth certificate?? where's the birth certificate??' you're already in the zone where your book gets nyt attention.

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:38 (seven years ago) link

(becomes moderate conservative author)

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:38 (seven years ago) link

p embarrassing that Murray didn't get laughed out of town over the bell curve but I guess ppl love scientific proof that their racism is okay

max, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:40 (seven years ago) link

this book is p racist too tbrr

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:42 (seven years ago) link

i know this really should have sunk in by now but it blows my mind that the state of the right wing is such that charles fucking murray can be considered a moderate anything.

horseshoe, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:51 (seven years ago) link

lying w/ numbers = moderate

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:52 (seven years ago) link

the funniest part is how he kinda hints around at the fact that asian people are essentially white, in america (xp to myself)

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:53 (seven years ago) link

lying w/ numbers = moderate

― iatee, Saturday, February 4, 2012 3:52 PM (44 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah, this totally strikes me as right when you point it out it's just !!!

fuck a bunch of charles murray, at any rate

horseshoe, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:54 (seven years ago) link

ugh ive been reading some of the reviews and no one like NO ONE is willing to call out how the fundamental assumptions that govern his book are pernicious attempts to distort the underlying economic reasoning behind the stuffs hes talking abt

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:55 (seven years ago) link

like the fact that its cheaper to have slaves in china build ipads than it would be to have an almost entirely automated factory in california build them might have more to do with stagnating real wages than how often poor whites go to church!

also the idea that the current system was simply such a perfect meritocracy that everyone at the top is just so much BRIGHTER than the poor is horrible and so widespread i dont get it. like the idea that people are just whizzing into harvard business school purely on the strength of their impeccable genetics and not a whole host of societal factors up to and including the way we measure 'intelligence' is so fucked up and disgusting

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:58 (seven years ago) link

lol 'america is a true meritocracy' gets hammered into middle schoolers

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 20:59 (seven years ago) link

i can read like three sentences at a time before i just start fuming abt how this is actually the worst book in the entire world since history

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:02 (seven years ago) link

okay I started a gen limbo blog

http://genlimbo.tumblr.com/

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:08 (seven years ago) link

aw http://generationlimbo.tumblr.com/

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:11 (seven years ago) link

dang http://thelimbogeneration.tumblr.com/

David Dees Weekly Top 40 (crüt), Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:11 (seven years ago) link

ya it was taken in the other make ur own blogs too

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:11 (seven years ago) link

haha :/

okay i will probably stop posting about this book or maybe at least start a proper thread about it elsewhere but ive been thinking about how this book feeds into an idea of the way the individual and society shape each other thats really comforting, that its the personal qualities of a person or a class that determines things and that broad trends are driven by choices individuals make rather than like big somewhat hidden things or unintended or unforeseen consequences or w/e

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:23 (seven years ago) link

iatee I'd register generationlimbo.net for you if you want to make this into a serious thing.

tinker tailor soldier sb (silby), Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:26 (seven years ago) link

that its the personal qualities of a person or a class that determines things and that broad trends are driven by choices individuals make

rich people are all about justifying why they're rich

it's also the impulse behind libertarianism, imo

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:27 (seven years ago) link

or maybe that's ayn randology

idk it all runs together, basically it's like, everything you have, you deserve, because you made all the right choices in life, champ

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:29 (seven years ago) link

hmm that's an idea silby, pm me?

xp

all the libertarians I know are poor as fuck, idgi

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:30 (seven years ago) link


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