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

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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

maybe it's just free-market capitalist libertarianism (so wikipedia tells me)

the idea that everything I earned, I deserve, fuck all those who didn't work as hard as me

dayo, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:36 (seven years ago) link

Getting born to my parents was probably the best choice I ever made, unless maybe it was choosing to be born healthy.

Aimless, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:40 (seven years ago) link

all the libertarians I know are poor as fuck, idgi

Well they've made all the right choices and should be rich & successful but since they aren't, it must be the other people who didn't choose as well, rigging the system to drag them down.

one little aioli (Laurel), Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:43 (seven years ago) link

i think its just a p human need to explain things through clear narratives, the attraction of the anecdotal and personal. i dont think the idea that people shape systems rather than being shaped by them is unique to the libertarian right i guess?

like obv the idea that the elite is simply better - more virtuous, harder working, more intelligent - is a v old conservative idea. but the left has it myths about the elite as well, i think, that are just as rooted in psychodrama. i guess my big overarching problem with this books is that its attempting to bolster a number of myths about the poor and the economy are that deeply harmful to society and the will perpetuate destructive and immoral policies. also the idea that the only reason rich people should help poor ppl - by doing them the great favor of watching nascar and eating kfc - is so that the gov't doesnt have to provide unemployment benefits

Lamp, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:47 (seven years ago) link

reminds me of someone I knew in college. I remember her telling me she had to drop out because her father went to jail and she needed to support her mom and younger brother. I thought, "wow ... I guess I have it pretty lucky."

maybe it's not in some of these peoples' frame of reference that there are factors that are beyond peoples' controls that limit their ability to acquire material wealth and financial stability. and since their voices are the loudest in democracy, it's their views that drive policy.

Spectrum, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:47 (seven years ago) link

well, not in democracy, but our current government.

Spectrum, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:48 (seven years ago) link

like obv the idea that the elite is simply better - more virtuous, harder working, more intelligent - is a v old conservative idea

I think the prob comes in w/ the fuzzy zone in between - there are examples of people who are in the elite because they were virtuous, harder working and intelligent and so it's pretty easy to find anecdotal evidence for either side of the argument (dubya vs. obama pretty much)

iatee, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:52 (seven years ago) link

Laurel is on to something here

mh, Saturday, 4 February 2012 21:55 (seven years ago) link

Wonder if it's our culture driving this narrative. Individualism and the old idea that having a good life is a sign of being chosen by god. Wealth is virtuous because it's a sign that god favors them or some other bullcrap idea.

Individualism in that we each have an individual choice to make something of ourselves, and if we don't do it, then the blame is solely on us... and probably makes it harder to understand other peoples' circumstances. It's a really weird mixture of ideas that put the self above others, and make it seem that social obligations or help is morally wrong, or aren't even on the radar.

Spectrum, Saturday, 4 February 2012 22:03 (seven years ago) link

the old idea that having a good life is a sign of being chosen by god

"prosperity gospel" has been a pretty big part of modern protestantism, especially evangelicism

mh, Saturday, 4 February 2012 22:05 (seven years ago) link

Well they've made all the right choices and should be rich & successful but since they aren't, it must be the other people who didn't choose as well, rigging the system to drag them down.

Laurel is on to something here

truly. this idea that the system could only ever be rigged to help the undeserving poor, rather than the undeserving rich.

lukas, Sunday, 5 February 2012 01:39 (seven years ago) link

Yah, I see it as primarily a resentment narrative that validates an otherwise "inexplicable" lack of singular success.

one little aioli (Laurel), Sunday, 5 February 2012 02:05 (seven years ago) link

all the libertarians I know are poor as fuck, idgi

Wow, this is really far from my experience.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 5 February 2012 02:50 (seven years ago) link

The few I've known have all been highly intelligent upper-middle-class students.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 5 February 2012 02:59 (seven years ago) link

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/study-income-inequality-may-boost-your-ego/2012/02/03/gIQAvcWpnQ_blog.html

A new study finds that countries with more income inequality tend to have more people who believe that they are better than average — a psychological phenomenon known as “self-enhancement.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1tAYmMjLdY (dayo), Sunday, 5 February 2012 12:52 (seven years ago) link

The lame NPR interview with Charles Murray never brought up the points mentioned here:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/06/charles-murray-book-review.html

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 15:02 (seven years ago) link

haha i would give quite a lot to be able to interview c.murray

frum's review gets at the big obvious points but doesnt really go far enough in pointing out how contradictory and pernicious murray's argument is.

BJ O (Lamp), Wednesday, 8 February 2012 17:27 (seven years ago) link

i would give a lot for you to be able to interview charles murray, too!

horseshoe, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 17:30 (seven years ago) link

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/grads-sue-brooklyn-law-school-charging-school-fudged-employment-stats-article-1.1018685?localLinksEnabled=false

could happen w/ a lot of for-profit schools in the future

iatee, Wednesday, 8 February 2012 19:16 (seven years ago) link

Could happen? It happens with EVERY for-profit school. And probably every "non-profit" private school.

elan, Thursday, 9 February 2012 01:43 (seven years ago) link

Or do you mean getting sued? Hopefully that's the case – it will probably raise demand for young lawyers ;)

elan, Thursday, 9 February 2012 01:44 (seven years ago) link

yeah I meant lawsuits

iatee, Thursday, 9 February 2012 01:45 (seven years ago) link

http://www.nacba.org/Legislative/StudentLoanDebt.aspx

I think ppl really underrate how big a thing this is gonna be

iatee, Friday, 10 February 2012 00:46 (seven years ago) link

http://mathbabe.org/2012/02/17/how-harvard-is-failing-its-students/

s.clover, Friday, 17 February 2012 16:42 (seven years ago) link

Harvard fails its students in a lot of ways. Teaching students to be "professional test takers" is only, to my mind, like 1% of the problem. (But a good response, nevertheless).

"renegade" gnome (remy bean), Friday, 17 February 2012 16:45 (seven years ago) link

A different angle on Harvard's shortcomings:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-16/harvard-liberal-arts-failure-is-wall-street-gain-commentary-by-ezra-klein.html

o. nate, Friday, 17 February 2012 16:46 (seven years ago) link

as someone who 'went hard' on his college applications i p much agree with most of the things in those articles

99x (Lamp), Friday, 17 February 2012 16:50 (seven years ago) link

Klein is wrong, though, when he asserts

For many kids, college represents an end goal. Once you get into a good college, you’ve made it, and everyone stops worrying about you. You’re encouraged to take classes in subjects like English literature and history and political science, all of which are fine and interesting, but none of which leave you with marketable skills.

as the fault/problem of the colleges. As iatee and others have said elsewhere, it's more a problem that employers do not value this catholicism and awareness and the breadth of character this can create.

"renegade" gnome (remy bean), Friday, 17 February 2012 16:54 (seven years ago) link

haha well its true that most hiring processes are relentlessly shitty and backwards

99x (Lamp), Friday, 17 February 2012 17:02 (seven years ago) link

I think Klein's main point though is that colleges aren't doing a very good job of helping you to envision what you could do with those skills post-college. Maybe those are the right skills to teach, but they could still be doing more to try and pave the way to a post-college career.

o. nate, Friday, 17 February 2012 17:03 (seven years ago) link

I've said this before but I don't think 'a ton of ivy league ppl go into finance' is actually a big problem. wall st itself is obv a problem, but I'm not convinced that the american economy is really losing that many potential nobel scientists / facebook creators etc. if 30% of princeton's class goes into finance. it's really not that many people and I don't think the difference between the schools that get this type of recruiting and the schools that don't is that huge. (there are a lot more vassars out there than dartmouths.)

the process is interesting and revealing of certain aspects of the job market, prestige, etc. - like it's an interesting thing from a sociological pov but I'm skeptical of 'this is a real problem', considering how few people this really affects.

iatee, Friday, 17 February 2012 17:13 (seven years ago) link

I think Klein maybe underestimates the sociological explanation. Leaving the college bubble is kind of scary, and it's a big reassurance to follow the herd. From an Ivy school, you're pretty much guaranteed that a good chunk of your classmates will end up in NYC. The finance industry is the biggest industry in NYC. So it's not too surprising lots of recent grads end up in finance.

o. nate, Friday, 17 February 2012 17:21 (seven years ago) link


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