How Are the Kids? Unemployed, Underwater, and Sinking

This guest post is contributed by Mark Paul and Anastasia Wilson. Both are members of the class of 2011 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

In some cultures asking how the kids are doing is a colloquial way of asking how the individual is faring, acknowledging that the vitality of the younger generation is a good metric for the well-being of society as a whole. In the United States, the state of the kids should be an important indicator. Young workers bear the significant burden of funding intergenerational transfer programs and maintaining the structure of payments that flow in the economy. Today, the kids’ outlook is almost as bleak as the housing market; they are unemployed, underwater on student debt, and out of luck from a reluctant political system.

Currently, even after a slight boost in jobs growth, unemployment for 18-24 year olds [correction: should be 18-19 year olds] stands at 24.7%. For 20-24 year olds, it hovers at 15.2%. These conservative estimates, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics U3 measure, do not reflect the number of marginally attached or discouraged young workers feeling the lag from a nearly moribund job market.

The U3 measure also does not count underemployment, yet with only 50% of B.A. holders able to find jobs requiring such a degree, underemployment rates are a telling index of the squeezing of the 18-30 year old Millennial generation. While it appears everyone is hurting since the financial collapse, young adults bear a disproportionate burden, constituting just 13.5% of the workforce while accounting for 26.4% of those unemployed. Even with good credentials, it is difficult for young people to find work and keep themselves afloat.

If companies are unwilling to hire bright young college graduates even at a relatively low salary and minimal benefits, will they ever be willing to hire anybody at all?

Jobs aren’t the whole story. Recent college graduates, those in the labor force with the freshest batch of knowledge and skills, are currently underwater and sinking fast with unprecedented student loan and personal debt. Average student debt for the class of 2008 was $23,200, an increase over four years of about 25%, meaning that students are knee deep in negative equity between their educational investment and actual earnings.

Between inflated student debt and the lack of available jobs for qualified graduates, students are defaulting at an all time high level of 7.2%. From 2008 to 2009, student debt defaults jumped about 30% to $50.8 billion. This earning-to-debt gap not only hurts lending institutions, but also may affect students’ future abilities to borrow – a significant hurdle in our credit driven economy.

If student debt and job stagnation continue, younger workers will face real structural unemployment (as opposed to the fake kind that had been suspected by some economists, but was recently debunked by the San Francisco Fed).  The more time these young workers spend unemployed and underemployed, the greater chance for future structural unemployment due to deteriorating human capital.

High debt, high defaults, and low family earnings will prevent many students from finishing college at all. High unemployment for those who do manage to graduate with a degree will create barriers for those unable to start their careers. As economists have shown, most current deficits can actually be attributed to the decrease in tax revenues ­­- a debilitating trend that will continue without well-targeted action.

In order to combat such structural problems, the need for investment in education and jobs is clear. This investment will act as an insurance policy against persisting future structural unemployment and subsequent government revenue declines. This investment can take the form of direct funding for public higher education, increased financial aid to students, and expanded federally guaranteed loan and grant programs. As many states have slashed and burned public higher education budgets, as in Massachusetts, federal attention should be directed towards this crisis. The 2009 stimulus funding provided only two years’ worth of support to sustain public higher education in the Commonwealth, where universities have historically been a top priority. The need for a long-term restructured investment plan in public higher education is obvious, not just in Massachusetts, but the other forty-nine states as well.

At the same time, insurance against the impending doom of climate change could be taken out in the form of a green jobs bill, providing work and an outlet for innovation for recent college graduates. As Robert Pollin and Dean Baker have suggested, long-term investments in rebuilding a green energy industrial base, complete with manufacturing and R&D, could revitalize the entire economy if funded as part of a 10-year plan to the tune of $50-100 billion. Such investment could create 660,000-1.3 million jobs per year – the kind of growth that seems to have escaped our collective memory.

Green collar industry would naturally target the young workers who are up to date on the high-tech nature of green jobs, and much research and development would, as with most budding industries, take place at academic research institutions like public universities – a two-for-one stimulus in both jobs and education.

In order to solve future structural problems in the United States and ensure a future for the sandwich generation, fiscal policy focused on educational and job growth is crucial. While deficit hawks may squawk about the costs, the burden of repayment is on younger people Without adequate education and careers for students, we will never be able to balance the budget. In the long run, it makes more fiscal sense to create jobs and collect tax revenue than to rely on a model that merely waits for the private sector to invest.

While the political feasibility of such a measure is questionable, the incentives are there no matter on what side of the aisle you may sit. Jobs investment will improve employment. Education will increase productivity (and profits too), increasing tax revenues from businesses and personal incomes and helping balance the budget. Crisis is not the time for austerity, and these types of investments in the viability of the U.S. economy should be done when money is at its cheapest.

In a dire job market, facing imminent climate change, and lagging aggregate demand, keeping the younger generation afloat will inevitably be a decision to sink, swim, or at least throw out some life jackets.

279 responses to “How Are the Kids? Unemployed, Underwater, and Sinking

  1. Good analysis, but leaves out important additional fact: where do kids go when they can’t get a job and need money to live? To their often un and underemployed parents. It’s a misery multiplier all around. Not a concern, of course, for the Banksters and Fraudsters, who have got their families covered for generations

  2. “America can be the 21st century clean energy leader by harnessing the power of alternative and renewable energy, ending our addiction to foreign oil, addressing the global climate crisis, and creating millions of new jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.”

    Sound familiar?

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/

    If actions speak louder than words, this says volumes about the current administration’s priorities… The fact that they let 3 Fed seats sit open for over a year says just as much about the administration’s competence.

  3. Maybe the US should reintroduce the draft?

    But in earnest, this is probably the most telling sign that the famous US labor market is functioning poorly. These people are probably living at their parents homes (again, if graduated or dropped out) and are thus as immobile as the redundant workers who cannot sell their houses, or making their parents even more immobile). There may be pockets of job availability in the US, but it is uneconomical for the young un/underemployed to move there, especially if they are both jobless and broke. One would expect that this shows up in a severe slowdown in household formation. Would it also reduce immigration?

    Many other questions here: as the US has one of the lowest minimum wages in the OECD, does this extremely high level of unemployment among young people say anything about the relationship between minimum wages, unemployment and labor-saving bias in investment?

    Another question is why is tertairy education in the US so expensive (maybe for the same reasons why defense, health and lega services are expensive: extensive rent seeking within a regulatory -and- public sector economy where producers dominate) and why are young people, despite that continuing to borrow in order to avail themselves of the often rather ordinary product? Why is the ratio of “college” to “vocational” so different from successful (but diverse) economies like Germany (where people enjoy much more leisure despite a very high standard of living) and Australia (where education is almost free but manual work does not suffer from status bias, maybe even the reverse).

    It may be a wonderful idea to find work for graduates but it may be even better to retrain them for work that tends to be done by immigrants. The “green” sector will need to make things in the US also and for that you need people with relevant skills.

    Finally: structurally it may be a great opportunity to make the US education system leaner and more demand-driven (ie labor market demand) by maintaining the current tight budget constraints for tertiary education, creating state scholarships for areas where shortages exist (medicine, nursing, technical professions).

    As to the policies advocatedib the quoted paper, anyone familiar with intervention in the US (the reference to the Pentagon being the source of most major technical innovations does not prove that gvt intervention was a necessary and sufficient condition for the creation of those technologies, let alone that there was an efficient process there, or that a heavily overfunded military effort produced innovation(and tested it) to such an extent that the private sector simply learned to sit back and wait for the generals’ toys). Anyone familiar with US public sector fund allocation processes knows that the good intentions at the beginning are quickly overwhelmed by uninteded consequences, design flaws, poor implementation and especially predation. The US may not been able to treat all of its citizens well, it tends to be a great sounce of opportunity for a few..

  4. theotherguydidit

    Some thirty five years have past from Mr. Carter’s speech of a similar theme.

    The great undoing continues unabated.

  5. @ “bright young college graduates” – Hey this is an oxymoron. Good one …

    @ “those in the labor force with the freshest batch of knowledge and skills”
    Crucial skills like:
    - Xbox gaming
    - highly qualified in usage of Apple products with emphasis on Ipad
    - capable of updating Facebook acount even up to 5 times per hour
    - teamwork focus – especially in p2p networks
    - highly developed interpersonal skills – following lady gaga on twitter

    http://captaincapitalism.blogspot.com/2010/11/education-bubble-continues.html

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/11/stoller-a-debtcropper-society-2.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

  6. I’ve already heard of a few cases of law students suing their law schools for having fraudulently represented the value of the degree and the jobs that would be available to them, and inducing them to take out student loans on that fraudulent basis.

    Poetic justice (for both parties, in the case of law students) aside, the moral soundness of such a suit is clear. This is a clear-cut case of predatory lending. You fraudulently represent an expensive asset as being an investment which will always appreciate in value, and induce the mark to take out a usurious loan in order to purchase it.

    The parallel with housing is clear, and the fraud is even more direct. In the case of mortgage lending fraud, the seller was usually technically the previous homeowner, with the banks and their flunkeys managing the sale (and the government only propagandizing for it).

    Here the school and the government themselves, along with the banksters, are active participants in the loan fraud.

    It’s even worse in this case because there are no non-recourse student loans. There’s no house collateral to repossess. There aren’t even recourse loans which can be discharged in bankruptcy. Instead the “repossession” on a default can be nothing other than indentured labor. Legally, there’s no walking away from a student loan. Once the distressed student borrower can’t pay, he’s placed in the Hobbesian state of nature vis the indenturing system. The 2005 bankruptcy law has only made this worse.

    Then there’s the fact that many of those who went on to post-graduate study did so expecting to be hired at asset-appreciating rates by the very educational system which was making these promises for these assets. Yet everywhere today we see the schools themselves failing to hire in sufficient numbers, and low-balling those they do hire, and seeking neoliberal structural adjustments for professors and teachers at every level.

    It’s there that the loan fraud is most stark, direct, palpable.

    So I’d love to see class action suits against the universities by the distressed student debtors, and a parallel political campaign unmasking this systematic lending fraud on the part of the schools and the very government which makes it impossible to discharge the debt, but wants to turn it into indentured servitude.

    While here it’s not legally possible to jubilate the debt from the bottom up (the way it is with e.g. mortgage debt), it’s possible to politically demonstrate it to be predatory debt, the victims being the children (and by extension the parents who have to keep financially helping them) of the very middle class who would be the target audience. And this way may lie some kind of political relief, some kind of top-down acquienscence in the demanded jubilee.

    (Meanwhile, I don’t know how legally viable such lawsuits would be. The law is no doubt rigged against them, and even if not it would still depend upon non-corrupt judges, judges who aren’t pro-bankster. But I think the main point of such suits would be political. Money shouldn’t be a problem, if we have all these unemployed lawyers. All you need is enough of them who recognize that the most likely path to relief is political, and that such suits can be part of that political campaign even if they don’t prevail in the proximate legal sense.)

    Beyond that, this is yet another stark lesson in the fact that the government and system institutions have become on the whole enemies of the people. What other conclusion can be drawn from the fact that they’ve taken the education aspiration itself, something which throughout history was the shining emblem of socioeconomic advancement, always right at the core of the work-hard-and-play-by-the-rules propaganda (and let’s recall how just a few years ago the likes of David Brooks were trumpeting the notion that America needed to aspire to universal college attendance), that they’ve taken this and turned it into another malevolent dead end and debt trap.

    We know what Hobbes said the person who has been cast out and placed back in the state of nature should do, what he’s morally entitled to do, if the sovereign unilaterally breaks the social contract. The student debtor, the victim of top-down loan fraud and the target of indenture, should recognize that the existing system first lied to him and then unilaterally declared war upon him. He should regard it in kind.

  7. “This investment can take the form of direct funding for public higher education, increased financial aid to students, and expanded federally guaranteed loan and grant programs.”

    In other words, let’s just do more of the same things that got us here. It is government subsidies to the demand side (parents and students) that allow universities to charge outrageous amounts. The answer is to stop these distortions and let the education market find a correct (unsubsidized) price level. The more the government “helps”, the faster prices will rise.

  8. Am I reading this too quickly, or are you saying we should 1) spend more on a University education system whose graduates on average can neither write nor out-earn a decent plumber, 2) deliberately spend more money on energy in the interest of producing more jobs (c.f., Keynes’ idea about digging up holes and filling them in)?

    Also, can someone please help me with this business about structural and cyclical unemployment? It seems perfectly obvious that the dominance of the FIRE industry, the housing gold rush in places with no natural economic base, a transportation system mismatched to our geography and the likely path of energy costs, a lousy education system, and a large number of essentially unemployable people add up to a structural unemployment issue. Progressives seem eager to cite nonsensical studies (do your own homework, young men!) like the one cited above–presumably to defend Keynesian and Monetarist carpet bombing. However, I believe my list (as an example) provides a better rationale–and a roadmap–for targeted government action. Whether progressivism leads to actual progress given human nature and the structure of government is, of course, another matter.

  9. Thank you Mark and Anastasia was a well-written and argued post If this article is any indication of the education you’ve received at your university, I think all of your readers here should be impressed.

    Unfortunately, as you can see from some of the comments above, we adults can sometimes be as mean and immature as the adolescents you left behind in high school. This will hold true when you enter the workplace as well. But please do not despair because, as the mother of five young adults, all of whom worked hard in college and now are gainfully employed in the sciences, I continue to regard your generation as the source of the “fix” I am seeking as I struggle to understand how we can right our economy and our nation. Despite what some people have written here, those of your generation who are the best and the brightest are lightyears ahead of where my baby boomer generation was when we graduated several decades ago. You are more grounded, more intelligent, more mature, and display a much harder work ethic than my peers back then. Once you graduate, do not lose what makes you soar. And promise yourself that you will shut out the noise, as displayed here, from all of those who fail to see that you are not only our future but our hope. Best of luck!

  10. Thanks so much for posting this, James and Simon!

  11. “The law is no doubt rigged against them, and even if not it would still depend upon non-corrupt judges, judges who aren’t pro-bankster. ”

    Yeah, that is like depending upon non-corrupt politicans who aren’t pro-bankster. Really, there is not much substantive difference between the power elite and organised crime. The cloak of morality and ethics is simply smoke and mirrors.

  12. Seems like we should be discussing lowering the retirement age, not raising it.

    Get the grey-hairs out of the work force; give them a small retirement pension (say, equal to typical unemployment check) and open jobs up for the young.

    those grey hairs also have more disposable income, they’d have more time to shop and reinvigorate the economy.

  13. Joe,

    In case Mark Paul and Anastasia Wilson write too well to be engineers, thus be slightly more employable, they should invest in a passport.

    Get out of whatever comfort family, friends and habit give you, and explore the big world out there! Do it while you are young.

    The other bubble, unacknowledged yet, that awaits bursting, is (higher-)education. Socially disengaged faculty, doing social science while Bush the lesser was putting our heads in the sands afar, will wake up too.

    http://imotion.blogspot.com/2010/08/let-professional-left-eat-cake-symptom.html

  14. Earlier retirement ain’t gonna help. New grads need entry level positions. The best way to do that is for the economy to grow.

  15. In fact, many university departments have for years now been warning students that there are not necessarily jobs in the field. This may be more a graduate than an undergraduate phenomenon, but it would undermine at least some lawsuits. In any case, I thought universities had become more circumspect, and the drivel about higher education being a meal ticket came more from politicians and pundits misrepresenting economic statistics.

  16. It will be impossible for many years to say exactly how much has been spent to avoid the creative destruction process, (so far), but it is safe to say that the number is in the trillions of dollars. It is also impossible to say how much stimulus has gone to supporting ‘skilled workers’, as opposed to ‘unskilled workers’, but, because so much has been spent to bolster the FIRE sector, and because government employees are protected from job loss by deficit spending, it is safe to say that the US job markets have been severely distorted in favor of ‘skilled workers’ as opposed to ‘unskilled workers’.

    Yet now, with the actual value of contributions made by those who are supported by the FIRE sector, many of them lavishly, being spared the very creative destruction that is clearly necessary, to the point that nations all over the world are imposing capital controls to punctuate an inescapable message, a message that essentially says, that untold trillions are being misused, at least in part, to support a workforce that is severely imbalanced, in a nation that is vastly wasteful. Is this not the ‘mother’ of all ‘distortions’?

    But this workforce imbalance is more than that which is made fairly obvious by the FIRE sector. The US economy has also become dependent on crime and wars. For example, 25% of the global prison population is incarcerated in US prisons, and the US is of course only about 4% of the global population. The simple truth is, as the US economy became more reliant on its service sectors, the demand for these services increased as if by magic. And now, if crime could be eliminated by some other sort of magic, the US economy would collapse under the weight of severe unemployment. It is very possible also, without magic, if US incarceration rates were lowered to commensurable levels to those in other developed nations, by whatever means, this would still cause significant unemployment.

    Same trend regarding the imbalance in our workforce can be seen in the advance of militarism as well. Without wars and conflicts, without 800 military bases around the world, without 17 intelligence agencies, and of course without the military industrial complex, where would our unemployment rate be now? Who knows, but it is increasingly clear that the configuration of the US workforce has become dependent on vast amounts of less than productive economic activity, some of which is purely destructive. But much of this destructive economic activity, according to the Theory of Marginal Utility, is applied to GDP as gainful.

    The thing is, Americans, formally educated and otherwise, have been mislead for so long about how so much non-productive economic activity was made possible, that now the reaction to the situation is somewhat delusional.

    For example, the reaction that comes down to: ‘we must end our dependence on foreign oil’, is filled with folly. First, petro-dollar recycling, along with all of the other dollar hegemony, is what has made a service-based economy possible in first place (paradox alert). Second, the primary problem right now, is a shortfall in global AD, and so, a shift in energy production from nations that have little else in the way of natural resources, to a nation that has vast resources otherwise (the US), would only worsen the larger problem regarding global AD. Not to suggest that ‘green’ alternatives are not integral to ‘a’ solution, but instead that the problems must be understood… before a proposed solution is of any value.

    So, any and all worthy recommendations going forward must consider that the US is losing its “exorbitant privlege”. There are those who still argue otherwise, of course, but there is one inescapable fact that makes the ROW’s solidarity impenetrable. The foreign inflows that funded the infamous bubbles and the profligate standard of living, were the very funds that should have supported the very global development that is now instead expressed by the shortfall in global AD.

    In other words, the US has a large excess of ‘skilled labor’, and the stimulus funds are not sustainable.

  17. “For example, the reaction that comes down to: ‘we must end our dependence on foreign oil’, is filled with folly. First, petro-dollar recycling, along with all of the other dollar hegemony, is what has made a service-based economy possible in first place (paradox alert). Second, the primary problem right now, is a shortfall in global AD, and so, a shift in energy production from nations that have little else in the way of natural resources, to a nation that has vast resources otherwise (the US), would only worsen the larger problem regarding global AD. Not to suggest that ‘green’ alternatives are not integral to ‘a’ solution, but instead that the problems must be understood… before a proposed solution is of any value.”

    Gosh, Raydon’luv, why don’t you Texans go ahead and break away from the USA and start your “whole other country” – do us all a favor…

  18. “The thing is, Americans, formally educated and otherwise, have been mislead for so long about how so much non-productive economic activity was made possible, that now the reaction to the situation is somewhat delusional.” It’s hard to argue with a statement like this!

    I don’t know about the creative destruction part. Our economy has left all that behind so long ago that I wonder if it ever existed on a large scale, save for the punctuated equilibrium moments. Now we are indeed approaching such moment as the options are running out fast.

  19. plebeianswillrevolt

    Tough boucacca whiner. Start out tough and grow a pair. Work some maintenance, work some service, you will not be negotiating mergers aquisitions this next decade, and you are not going to die from poverty either. brat.

    Ps – Your dad was the one who nailed the countries coffin anyway, ask him why….. not the Baseline readers.

  20. Personally, I feel it will become pretty clear, very soon, to all, the jobs are gone for good in the US.
    To say we can get them back, in some form or another seems to be very naive. Green jobs sounds
    like a good thing, until you factor in Peak Oil and Peak Credit. In a Peak Oil and Peak Credit world,
    we are not going back to where we came from.

  21. @ justaperson___”And promise yourself that you will shut out the noise, as displayed here”…Sorry, but the noise here is the real world. You should take heed to all positive, or negatively voiced constructive criticsm that will help navigate your virtuous path foward, period! Too become successful in todays’ world – or a mere wimp (capitulate to the easier path of resistance?) when life always gets alittle overbearing…you must having that ability to draw from your well grounded (strong family values being the heart ,and soul) education, thusly overcoming any adversarial (the kind you don’t read about in college texts?) situation. Remember, life is a learning experience…therefore never become complacent ;^))
    PS. Harvard, Wharton School of Business. Penn State, and a litany of other Universities, and Colleges are exporting their educational franchises (setting up shop?) overseas (setting up shop…India, China,etc.,) at an alarming rate to help facilitate the lack of revenue stateside. “University of Massachusetts, Amherst” via “Hampshire College” = Yea Baby!
    I love your post Mark,and Anastasia :-) James is such a “Good Guy”

  22. I’m actually a Californian. I do live in Texas now, but, “Raydon”, as you say, is a satirical character that I use for fun.

    Perhaps you could explain to me, the difference between ‘racism’, nationalism, territorial-ism, and other forms of stereotyping and bigotry.

    Try to keep it simple though, and, support your claims. Unsupported claims are so commonplace in bigotry that you should be careful not to implicate yourself, again. Just make an effort to provide those who you criticize with some ‘why’ so as to give your words some substance.

    Its not difficult to make sound arguments. Just begin with something like: ‘Texans don’t deserve to be Americans because’ (support goes here). When you run out of ‘genuine’ support, start another paragraph.

    And, you would do well to avoid words that you don’t fully understand.

  23. I know that these web sites are all about “the best and the brightest.” But what about everyone else? A lot of young people don’t graduate high school, for example. I would suspect that the job market is much worse for them. But, hey, I guess that’s what prisons and jails are for.

  24. I suppose the department may say something different from the admissions office or the marketing office, or the office of the president.

    Do they still call students “clients” and “consumers”? That was one point I forgot to include – they started explicitly commodifying the relationship in the very language they used.

  25. No difference at all. Neoliberalism is organized crime.

    What we have is exactly as if the Mafia or a cocaine cartel took over and constituted the government, rewrote the law to suit it, and staffed the executive and judicial branches accordingly.

    That’s kleptocracy.

  26. It’s not all about that. What I write sure isn’t.

    And I have no use at all for the corporatist lies espoused in the post, which boil down to: Hey class warriors, we’re on your side! Just please, please, please lower the ladder to us too, and we’ll help you round up the slave class.

    The people need to take back the country, and we sure aren’t going to do that with more trickle-down corporatism, like the “green jobs” scam.

    What we need is land reform toward post-oil food production. America needs millions of small farmers and growers. Tens of millions.

    If there were going to be renewed public investment in education, it should be in organic agriculture.

    What we don’t need more of is a publicly subsidized parasite “creative class” which is just going to constitute the cadre of corporate fascism.

  27. ellis,

    …and the military. You forgot to include the military.

  28. You’re right. Are the growth of the prison population and enlistment in the military leading or lagging economic indicators?

  29. via fCh,

    I hope my use of the term ‘creative destruction’ doesn’t give the impression that I siding with the Tea Party all of a sudden. I’m not, of course.

    And I agree with leaving “all of that behind so long ago”. I am in fact making that point implicitly by my use of Marginal Utility theory as the culprit. It has been deceiving its adherents for more than a century. The value of the occupational contributions made, is vastly out of balance, individually, locally, regionally, nationally, globally.

    But, naturally, you must have understood most of that to have said what you did.

  30. ellis,

    I don’t know? Perhaps they are best described as ‘alarming’ indicators, or something along those lines?

  31. Re: @ Rick___Never ever, say never! In 1875 the director of the Unites States Patent (Trade) Office (USPO/USPTO) sent in his resignation and advised that his department be closed. There was nothing left to “Invent”, he claimed. Currently the Chinese are registering a 5:1 ratio in new patents versus the United States, (this in part because of our military complex machine having the bulk as classified, thus impeding any type of private enterprise getting involved, eg.lithium batteries power source ie. backup state-of-art nuclear mini-subs, polymerization, etc.,) but the United States is excelling in super-conductivity/levitation, nano technology, etc. (tremendous application going foward) with a bright future ahead for all.

  32. I think Katharine is right to say that “the drivel about higher education being a meal ticket came more from politicians and pundits misrepresenting economic statistics”. But, based on this post, and what I have heard from my own college ‘kids’(2), academia has done little if anything to dispel the falsehoods regarding opportunities.

    My kids have found all of the provided guidance to be so poor that my wife has taken charge of the details. My daughter, who is about to finish her undergrad studies, did in fact take some unnecessary courses due to poor guidance.

  33. Nothing wrong with Tea Party people in my book, as long as we all march on under the banner of democracy. I’d love to have a conversation with one… However, I am afraid, there is just about an equal number of equivalents on the Left. I take that back, the US doesn’t have a Left. What was I saying?

    The issue I have with ‘creative destruction,’ as usually employed, is that it renders us helpless, or makes us chase forever some ‘new and improved.’ It’s often a slogan that usually supplants thinking.

    As for the MUT, one would also have to account for increases in productivity…

  34. So if 50% of recent college grads can’t get jobs that require a BA, what is all this baloney about how education is the key to a more productive and competitive society, blah blah blah. The key to a more productive and competitive society is societal investment–not in crappy suburban houses (greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the universe) but in somtething useful, like, yes, energy efficiency/alternative energy.

  35. And when the health care mandates hit…

  36. You can leave home and go abroad, but what happens when you return home? I’m in this age group and just returned from teaching english in South Korea. Teaching is not really my thing but now I’m even less employable then before since teaching english is only good experience for teaching english.

    Employers today want EXTREME specialization and VERY specific skill sets. This idea of getting a job in the mail room and working your way up is quite outdated, that just doesn’t happen today.

  37. via fCh,

    I think with all of technological advances over the past century or so, productivity was a given no matter what. If counter-factual assumptions are to be considered, it could be argued that productivity gains should have, or could have, been much higher than what they have been, or whatever.

    A more empirically based argument could show that the growth rates in China, being twice those ever sustained in the US, suggest that the MUT allowed for inefficiencies that were obscured by the exploitation of other nations. How does China, in other words, have so much higher growth rates than the US, when the US has, to varying degrees throughout its history, benefited so much more from commerce outside of its borders, while some the very gains made in China, add to US gains.

    And of course, other nations are now also providing similar evidence.

  38. Sorry, those job have already been shipped overseas. China is developing their energy infrastructure NOW and universities faster than we are; they have the money and focus to experiment persistently. The energy jobs of the future will be there. US innovators that want to market their inventions have no choice but to ship their intellectual property over there because we will not be replacing our energy infrastructure here for a generation. We’ll wind up just buying their clean energy products. Oh wait, we won’t have any money to do that.

  39. Great post! More state investment in higher education is appropriate, in fact to the extent of reducing direct costs to students to zero. The argument that is not taken up by the authors is that the price of higher education in the US no longer reasonably represents costs. The disproportionate tuition increases of the last 20 years could not be the result of stagnant wages and historically low overhead costs. States have defunded education as starve-the-state interests have won the upper hand politically. Consequently, elite providers have been granted market power. They set prices that above all serve to protect their interests, interests which do not include making their product available to everyone. They have been effective in setting prices that do not undermine their power, in part becasue they compel less fortunate instititions to push their prices up instead of call for investigations.

  40. I think we are in agreement; we went numb, way beyond what productivity gains could justify, into exploiting country differentials. But, when MUT became a neoclassical doctrine, I venture to say, people were looking at pure(r) productivity gains.

  41. I wish the youth vote would’ve showed up in the midterms. The gerontocracy continues. . .

  42. Ugh, dear God, lawyers, lawyers, lawyers. Everyone knows we need fewer lawyers and more engineers. If you’re interested in helping out the employability of the youth, quit whining and stress math and science education.

  43. theotherguydidit

    justaperson
    The mean, immature baby boomers are the parents to said best, brightest, grounded, intelligent, mature hard working young adults.

    I suppose one could consider the flouride in the water supply as the seceret of their children’s sucess?

    As to expectations.

    What I expect of them is to roar! To get into the streets! To march on Washington!

    To form a new political party.

    The one we have now is not working for them. Or for too many of us for that matter.

    Taking off the training wheels is long past due.

  44. viafCh,

    Yep.

    The Labor Theory of Value was accepted widely going back to Aristotle, but, when Marx used it as to show just how exploitative capitalism can be, in general, the ruling-class needed a different theory. The ‘economists’ of the day got busy and obliged and, it is an interesting coincidence that their creation, as an acronym, turned out to be a ‘MUT’. But not a cute mutt, instead, a rather ugly and destructive MUT.

    It is ironic too that now, most folks associate the LTV with Marx.

  45. Well, why not take the overpaid top non-elected gov’t workers (over $120k/year), and put them on a half-pay, half-time work schedule. Then hire more young people in the gov’t.
    If this isn’t enough, lower that border to $80k/yr, still twice what the median taxpayer is making, so a half-time gov’t job is a full salary.
    Use gov’t work to employ more people who really need it.

  46. It sure is nice to read an essay by a near-graduate that is well structured, well researched, and well written.

  47. cccb, I hear you very well. Exposure to different places/cultures/opportunities should make the attentive traveler aware of arbitrage opportunities. And, no, I’m not talking about only the commercial ones, which have been capitalized on by big business anyway, but a myriad others, in both directions.

    Extreme specialization may be jargon for, ‘we don’t want others to out-think us, we are paid to know best,’ which is most unfortunate and ultimately detrimental. I know, you don’t have to prove this wrong, so either acquire some specialty, or think harder about what you can transplant from one place to the other.

  48. Now there’s a model of sanity – California.

  49. Doesn’t the amount of water and the quality of the water used in the production of all your “bright future” gadgets have to be SUPER dooper pure?

    None of that “technology” can be used to stop the cholera epidemic in Haiti? People can’t even FIND the software program that’s running the trickle down numbers in virtual land that are in the “for Haiti to re-build” folder…where’s that “account” with the billions…?

  50. Let me guess, free (taxpayer) Viagra will again be made available to the prisons and military?

  51. 8/6/2010

    MADISON, Wis. — “With the district in a financial crisis and hundreds facing layoffs, the Milwaukee teachers union is taking a peculiar stand: fighting to get its taxpayer-funded Viagra back. The union has asked a judge to order the school board to again include Pfizer Inc.’s erectile dysfunction drug and similar pills in its health insurance plans.

    The filing is the latest in a two-year legal campaign in which the union has argued, so far unsuccessfully, that the board’s policy of excluding erectile dysfunction drugs discriminates against male employees. The union says Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and others are necessary treatment for “an exclusively gender-related condition.

    Board and union negotiators reached a deal in 2002 to cover six tablets per month for erectile dysfunction drugs in health plans that insure 10,000 employees, dependents and retirees. They quickly became popular.

    By 2004, the number of claimants receiving prescriptions skyrocketed to more than 1,000 per year, costing the district $207,000. “

  52. Yes of course. We have too many college graduates unable to find jobs, so let’s start spewing out college grads even faster. And then green jobs and climate hysteria at the end. Excellent. I wonder how high-tech and “sciencey” are the jobs an Amherst BA can handle?

  53. Your post drips with the sarcasm of a Tea Partier who simplifies things down to the soundbite of “government bad. Period.” I doubt there are many federal employees who are greeters like at WalMart, or burger-flippers, hotel maids, etc. When you look at the actual jobs of many federal employees they are lawyers, scientists, engineers, etc. FDA inspectors are more highly skilled than cashiers at Macys, so this is a bogus, partisan argument.

  54. Bruce E. Woych

    BOB DYLAN:

    Subterranean Homesick Blues

    Johnny’s in the basement
    Mixing up the medicine
    I’m on the pavement
    Thinking about the government
    The man in the trench coat
    Badge out, laid off
    Says he’s got a bad cough
    Wants to get it paid off
    Look out kid
    It’s somethin’ you did
    God knows when
    But you’re doin’ it again
    You better duck down the alley way
    Lookin’ for a new friend
    The man in the coon-skin cap
    By the big pen
    Wants eleven dollar bills
    You only got ten

    Maggie comes fleet foot
    Face full of black soot
    Talkin’ that the heat put
    Plants in the bed but
    The phone’s tapped anyway
    Maggie says that many say
    They must bust in early May
    Orders from the D.A.
    Look out kid
    Don’t matter what you did
    Walk on your tiptoes
    Don’t try “No-Doz”
    Better stay away from those
    That carry around a fire hose
    Keep a clean nose
    Watch the plain clothes
    You don’t need a weatherman
    To know which way the wind blows

    Get sick, get well
    Hang around a ink well
    Ring bell, hard to tell
    If anything is goin’ to sell
    Try hard, get barred
    Get back, write braille
    Get jailed, jump bail
    Join the army, if you fail
    Look out kid
    You’re gonna get hit
    But users, cheaters
    Six-time losers
    Hang around the theaters
    Girl by the whirlpool
    Lookin’ for a new fool
    Don’t follow leaders
    Watch the parkin’ meters

    Ah get born, keep warm
    Short pants, romance, learn to dance
    Get dressed, get blessed
    Try to be a success
    Please her, please him, buy gifts
    Don’t steal, don’t lift
    Twenty years of schoolin’
    And they put you on the day shift
    Look out kid
    They keep it all hid
    Better jump down a manhole
    Light yourself a candle
    Don’t wear sandals
    Try to avoid the scandals
    Don’t wanna be a bum
    You better chew gum
    The pump don’t work
    ’Cause the vandals took the handles

    Copyright © 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1993 by Special Rider Music

  55. Bayard Waterbury

    To date, in the last year and a half since I began following this blog/website, this is the singularly sadest article I have read. I have been predicting our national collapse up to this point. Sadly, this makes me even more certain. The solutions given to the incredibly dire problems cited are very good. The most tragic thing is that real solutions are literally spitting into the gale of the plutocratic winds, which blow against all rational solutions which don’t enrich the already rich, or provide assurances of further short-term, short-sighted gains. It is obvious that the politics are so putrid that the best ideas are never mentioned.

    I have heard conservative, well-respected voices like Steve Forbes talk about useful things, only to be ignored by those who subscribe to his magazine. At least Steve sees beyond tomorrow, and understands that the ill-gotten gains of today lead inevitably to a more dire future.

    I am proud of the students who cared and took the time to write a well thought out article and pray that sooner than later, someone with a knack for attracting the kind of public attention currently devoted to “reality” TV, and then, maybe something will happen. Right now, main stream media (a solid part of the oligarchy) is ignoring all comers in favor of distracting blather. It’s almost DDay, and time for salvation. Do I hear a second?

  56. Annie and Anonymous,

    I stand corrected. Yes, your combined positions have convinced me that I was wrong.

    I am an ‘unwanted’ Texan, dumb as dirt, and an ‘insane’ Californian, so the US ‘should’ end its dependence on foreign oil. I have been such a fool, the reasons were there all along.

    It wasn’t just your overwhelming numbers though, I am not one to allow peer pressure alone to sway me. Although, I must admit, that each of you disagreeing with me for what amounts to the same reason, was just too coincidental and compelling.

    Moreover though, it was the depth and the maturity of the combined arguments, that made my opinion regarding oil imports untenable.

    Your insights are greatly appreciated. It is difficult to explain just how much this site is improved, by comments of such high quality and importance.

  57. Yea, I’m with ya’.

    Very nice comment. I was still a little angry when I wrote mine, that implication about the virtues of “fresh skills” and “knowledge” being superior was hard to forget.

    I was much nicer than I can be though.

  58. Poor Little Willie in the bright red sash,
    Fell in the fire, and was burned to an ash.
    After while the room grew chilly,
    I don’t have the heart, to poke poor Willie.

  59. Not engineers, but not music majors either, or they would have titled their piece, The Kids Are Not Alright.

    I agree that new grads should go explore the big world. The Navy is always hiring.

  60. AS I see it, a big part of the problem is that the real estate and credit busts that exacerbated the recession have focused the people on spending cuts, not investment in the future. We have a population that has become ill-informed (one poll showed that 46% of those polled didn’t realize the Republicans took back control of the House). Many of the older, less-educated, white population thinks everything is government’s fault, and somehow keeping taxes low for the wealthiest among us will magically create jobs. Jobs are created by demand for goods or services, and there is little demand for goods when people are unemployed or heavily in debt.

    We are stuck in a very difficult place. Consumers want to buy at the lowest possible price. If we can do it or make it cheap overseas, we can sell it at a lower price point here. Are we willing to pay double for an iPhone “Made in America?” We talk about wanting to bring jobs home, but labor can’t afford to work at wages and benefits that match those in China, India, etc. Why would a German pay more for a U.S.-made product, than a product assembled in Vietnam?

    With our dysfunctional Congress slashing spending everywhere, green technology companies are going to China where labor is cheaper, regulations fewer, and subsidies more plentiful. A company can design here, manufacture there, and reimport, all at a lower total cost than keeping living-wages jobs here.

    I am 66, and a progressive, but if the youth give up on politics instead of getting involved (maybe even in the streets), the older people will insist that as they don’t have kids in school, they shouldn’t have to pay. We have created a monster, and it will take a long time to slay it and make America a better place for ALL, not just the top 5%.

  61. “Without adequate education and careers for students …”

    adequate education in America today means the same thing as that in other countries: the skill set to produce something needed in the global economy.

    I know of a recent Yale English graduate who, despite a lot of effort, can’t find a job. Was that student’s education “adequate”? Of course! Something’s GOT to be wrong with the US economy if Ivy Leaguers aren’t hired right out of school at a salary ten times that of a janitor.

  62. I was hoping to go into the Marginal Utility Theory (MUT) a bit more. It is my contention that it is how ‘contributions’ are valued, regarding occupations, that is at the center of the problem of a ‘type’ of capitalism. (This is not an argument in favor of socialism.)

    Take Bernie Madoff for example, he may be an extreme example, but so long as we are clear on that, his crimes will help to make this point. Now, his contribution to the economy, before he was caught, was greater than that of all of those people who earned less money than crafty ol’ Bernie did, in terms of human capital. Thereafter, once Bernie was caught though, his contribution to the economy may have actually increased; because now, his crimes have created extensive economic activity which involves lawyers, jailers, judges, accountants, and so on.

    The point being, that MUT gives value to contributions made without ever subtracting for related costs to society. The recent losses of the FIRE sector for another example, combined with the governments failure to regulate properly, have cost humanity many trillions of dollars, although the guilty parties had none of these loses subtracted from their contributions to the economy at the individual level. The firms that employed these citizens had losses that were negative in regards to GDP, and those employed by the government were paid with funds that increased the deficit, but when measured in human capital terms, the most detrimental financier was worth no less than he would have been had performed his duties flawlessly and honestly.

    Based on how we value the contributions of high income ‘contributors’ we don’t actually even know, with any certainty, if these ‘contributions’ are in fact contributions or not. In other words, there are cases in which society may benefit from fewer of these ‘skilled workers’ but how would we know that?

    Naturally, we could pretend that supply and demand factors are telling. Unemployment stats for example suggest that ‘skilled workers’ are well more in demand right now than what ‘unskilled workers’ are, but, trillions of dollars ‘more’ have been spent to keep ‘skilled workers’ from losing their jobs, than what has been spent on ‘unskilled workers’.

    Continuing along with supply and demand factors, we could also pretend that illegal and legal immigration has had little or no effect on the value of ‘unskilled labor’. But of course how does one deny, that if there are 3 jobs and 2 workers, that labor values are not the same as when there are only 2 jobs and 3 workers. Of course one doesn’t, deny something so undeniable.

    And so, ultimately, those who decide how the stimulus funds are spent, and what the laws are, and then, which of those laws are enforced, and how penal those laws are in relation to the harm done, are in fact giving themselves value that is entirely based on assumptions. So, it isn’t just as the old phrase suggests: ‘that economists are better at addition than they are subtraction’. There are of course also factors concerning influence and power.

    So over time it was inevitable that CEOs would make hundreds of times more than workers, workers who in most cases make indispensable contributions. Nor should we be surprised that some hedge fund managers make CEOs seem underpaid, relatively speaking of course.

  63. @plebianswillrevolt–
    What on earth is wrong with you?

  64. Practical solutions are always the best

    Public funded colleges should consider tailoring the numbers of students in each department to the projected number of jobs the economy can support. No more English or Philosophy majors. Way more engineers, nurses, teachers. Specialization is absolutely the key. Any college student today ignores that fact at their peril.
    -regretful political science major, now a well-paid tech writer.

  65. Here’s my second. And on top of dreading the impending DDay, if that weren’t enough, I’m really depressed by mean-spirited nature of the responses to this post.

    For months, I’ve been reading baselinescenario mostly for the high quality of the comments. Well, I guess nothing lasts.

    What a disappointment.

    Good luck to all the “Kids.” It doesn’t seem there’s a good example for them here or elsewhere. How bleak.

  66. I think the bigger problem this country has is the propaganda you and other kids are being fed in these universities disguised as an education. Spain has done just what you have proposed with the green jobs and it has been a disaster. Do yourself a favor and research how much money has been made on your impending doom of global warming (oops, I mean “climate change”). Unfortunately, you and others have been taken advantage of by professors, politicians, and dirty business. My one piece of advice is that it’s up to you the individual to make it in this world and not to depend on the govt. or anyone else for that matter. They typically are only after money or power and once you take their hand-out, they will own you!

  67. Lets not get into your generation shall we? Hippies, make love not war, the crack epidemic of the 80s, the most overweight and unhealthiest of all generations, ballooning of a federal deficit approaching $14 trillion U.S., irresponsible individual fiscal responsibility leading to the economic crash of the 2000s, etc. Need I go on?

  68. Ivan Karamazov

    I’ve heard this numerous times, but I’m not sure that it will do anything more than drive down wages in those particular fields. This is already happening in nursing, at least from my worms-eye vantage point. Students are graduating with LPN certifications and no jobs. Hospitals prefer to work their nursing staffs in two twelve-hour shifts for financial reasons (never mind the resultant degradation of care).

    The engineering professions are also ripe for outsourcing, particularly at the entry-level end of things. I live in the Detroit area and work for (get this!) a consulting firm at a large auto manufacturer. GM, Chrysler et al have outsourced much of their lower-level design work to lower-cost foreign and domestic consulting firms. The very specialized, senior, moneymaking stuff is still in-house, of course. Problem is, so are the people doing it. There is no younger talent in the pipeline, at least that doesn’t actually work for Tata and is encumbered by a noncompete.

    Teachers? Getting laid off in droves. State and local governments are broke.

  69. Ivan Karamazov

    * Problem is, the people doing it are seniors themselves; median age is 55-60.

  70. Yes, we need to figure out a way to make the more concrete professions more sexy than they are; like other countries. Just let’s not dump the liberal arts in the process. The liberal arts teach us how to live in society and to think like citizens; the technical arts teach us how to build things in an optimal manner. Engineering (speaking as one) is the profession of translating scientific discovery into societally useful devices and systems. One cannot be a good engineer without understanding the impact that one’s labors have on society. In other words, the utility function includes more than just the proximal effects and costs. The best engineers (and nurses, and teachers) understand what it means to be a critically thinking and responsible citizen. Our universities are hard pressed to squeeze that training into a 4 year engineering degree. Perhaps if we focused more on truly training citizens in high school, rather than workers for the assembly lines that no longer run?

  71. This article started to make sense, but then suddenly advocated more debt and useless schooling. That makes no sense. Educational debt is the problem and there are is a gigantic glut of graduates for whom society has no use for their training. And the solution is more of the same? Huh?

  72. You better read the post again. In case you didn’t notice, it’s not calling for transition to a steady-state economy. It’s all for corporatist “growth” all the way.

    But I guess it’s “mean-spirited” to really seek a steady state economy (which means, among other things, rejecting neoliberal propaganda wherever we encounter it) rather than just utter vaguely positive platitudes about it.

  73. You guys are all breathtakingly sad.

    The reason all these recent college grads don’t have jobs is because their lazy or stupid or both. Success in school doesn’t mean you have any skills. And I’m not even talking about Liberal Arts majors. If you seriously think that a degree in English qualifies you for anything besides teaching English, you’re sadly mistaken.

    This is coming from a FRESHMAN in college majoring in Computer Science who’s got an internship for the summer paying $30/hr.

    The high paying jobs are available NOW but they’re only in sectors that capitalize on human ingenuity.

  74. You guys are all breathtakingly sad.

    The reason all these recent college grads don’t have jobs is because their lazy or stupid or both. Success in school doesn’t mean you have any skills. And I’m not even talking about Liberal Arts majors. If you seriously think that a degree in English qualifies you for anything besides teaching English, you’re sadly mistaken.

    This is coming from a FRESHMAN in college majoring in Computer Science who’s got an internship for the summer paying $30/hr.

    The high paying jobs are available NOW but they’re only in sectors that capitalize on human ingenuity.

  75. You are correct, we’ve horribly allocated the training of American youth. Not enough engineering/science majors. In fact, if you’re willing to learn how to do anything technical, I can guarantee you that people are looking for your talent.

    Did you know Google recently gave 10% raises (and an individual engineer 6m to not go to Facebook). Did you know that New York city startups are dying to get their hands on any talent that is available, including letting people work abroad and at home?

    America is recovering, but not equally or evenly. The age of anyone coming out of an Ivy league school working for a big bank or consulting firm and hoping to make high 5 figures is over – it’s been “creatively destroyed.” It might happen again, but I’d rather retrain myself than sit around waiting for a train that may never come.

  76. The first step in a vote on unemployment in lame duck session:

    http://americaspeaksink.com/2010/11/unemployment-extentions-out-tax-cuts-for-rich-in/

  77. 1. Starve-the-state interests have dismantled the state/private model of higher ed that was the pride of the US for a half century.
    2. The elitest regime that now controls higher ed is deeply anti-democratic (a feature that Eur. social democracies have addressed effectively).
    3. Disproportionate inceases in tuition are the result of the regime feeding on its downed prey: the lower and middle classes.

    Could elite universities actually be undercharging? Chances are that they could get more than 55k from their customer base, the global ultra-rich, and still enjoy overflowing in-boxes in the admissions office.

    Aside from the maneuverability provided by their endowments, I suggest 3 reasons for the elites to undercharge. By doing so they:
    1. disarm anti-democratic criticism (aka: after all, according to USNews&WorldReport, students who actually receive support from elite institutions graduate with relatively modest debt levels, i.e. average about 20k);
    2. distract the public from asking non-profits awkward questions about profits (55k seems reasonable today, doesn’t it?)
    3. allow the elites to control pricing in the higher ed market. By exercising restraint they effectively compel less fortunate institutions to raise tuition rather than ring alarm bells, thereby giving the less fortunates a (cramped) place at the trough.

    Jane Doe, commenting at nakedcapitalism, makes the point that under the current regime, risk has been transfered from society to the individual, i.e. the exact opposite of what has happened in finance. The individual is the big loser. Having bought into the notion that institutions are discounting her future earning potential, she takes on debt, graduates and discovers there are no jobs in her major, or that she in fact can’t stand what she studied.

    The only societal benefit offered by the current regime is that it penalizes individuals who abuse higher ed. Family traditionalists who would use college to find a mate and then let their expensive qualifications gather dust while they take care of the kids are usefully victimized.

  78. Bruce E. Woych

    http://whowhatwhy.com/get-involved/

    Oddly enough one answer is that there is work rooting out the corruption and fraud! Russ Baker has initiated what is being called “forensic journalism” that goes back to the foundations of “seeking truth rather than quotes” in truthful comprehensive reporting. I would call it “about time!”
    The site is soliciting team members, and perhaps someone might just get a career inspiration from:

    http://whowhatwhy.com/get-involved/

  79. Or we could just cut spending to reduce the deficit.

  80. Does a major in CS qualify you for a degree in BS as well? I live in Silicon Valley and have seen many, many tech people lose their jobs or get burned out. These very “technically-smart” people were destroyed in the boom-bust from 95-02.

    Young CS grads took jobs with Yahoo!, CommerceOne (you were plat T-ball at the time), and when the companies went public some of these people were so “rich,” and so arrogant that they thought they could do no wrong. They flew first class to Europe without luggage, buying clothes there so they didn’t need to carry bags, discarding most before returning home.

    The sold stock to buy everything their young hearts desires, but sold only enough to buy, and not enough to pay the taxes. Then reality hit. From January 2000, until late March 2001 (when they needed to sell more stock to pay taxes), Yahoo! dropped 93%. The $5 million stock sale to buy goodies, created a tax liability of over $1.2M, but now the $10M portfolio that remained after the $5M sale was worth only enough to pay the taxes due — and more tax would be owed on that sale.

    We need people who understand history, which, like English is a liberal art. You make speak Java, but it may not serve you in the real world. Just ask the programmers and others who’ve lost their jobs to outsourcing.

    Good luck.

    PS Don’t spend your $30/hr all in one place! And learn to carry your own bags and gain some humility.

  81. What the current crop of college graduates now faces is the bankruptcy of another liberal myth, that “education” (what in fact amounts to credentialing) is a “solution” to marginalization and underemployment. This is another aspect of the mystical belief in “free enterprise”, although a subspecies of mythologizers (those behind the current post) focuses on “government action” as another “solution,” as if a government which is hopelessly corrupt and endlessly for sale could possibly solve more problems than it creates by any action it might stimulate, when its only real purpose is warmaking, which remains the only thing government has ever done to energize economic “progress.” For those who are troubled by all this I recommend the novels of Louis Ferdinand Celine, partaicularly Journal to the End of Night (1932). All faith in “progress” is mystical and ultimately absurd. What we face is entropy exacerbated by two centuries of mindless greed and endless academic bulls**it. Sensible individuals will find individual solutions the best of which will involve remorseless rejection of grand ideas and systems and nonsense, even feel good nonsense like this post. Green energy ultimately means college graduates doing manual labor. Nailing up panels on rooftops, digging geothermal trenches, raising windmills. Not that such useful labor wouldn’t do the graduates considerable good, but don’t hold your breath waiting for them to embrace the prospect. Most of them will prefer churning out business plans lathered in bulls**it and conning savers over the telephone with phony promises of exaggerated returns.

  82. Carla,

    I understand your sentiment, but when you make broad criticisms with unsupported claims, aimed at unspecified ‘offenders’, well, you run the risk of a comment like this one.

    Your claim regarding “the high quality of the comments”, without any evidence, it only says that someone with low standards ‘believes’ that the quality was high. Combine that with an underlying premise that shows a lack of respect for free speech, and you are essentially expressing the very smugness that is the foundation of all things feudal and fascist. You have basically said that those who I disagree with, lack quality.

    By not making an effort to clarify where ‘your’ ‘quality’ line is drawn, you have also expressed a lack of respect for those who have no way of knowing which side of your line they fall on. So, while accusing others of being insensitive, it is you who has shown a disregard for others, and hypocritically so.

    So, all things considered, how much “quality” could there have been if it failed to teach you such a basic lesson as this one.

  83. The Republicans only support a stimulus – when a Republican is President. The Republicans only support unemployment – when a Republican is President. The Republicans only support national security – when a Republican is President. The Republicans only support higher education or education priorities – when a Republican is President. The Republicans only support America – when a Republican is President.

  84. Dave Templeton

    What a shame are existing “social experiment doesn’t realize who he works for – We the People. “Narcissism” is Obama’s personality flaw comprised of acute egotism, vanity, conceit, simple selfishness and elitism. All of these traits are evident in the person now calling himself Barack Hussein Obama (aka Barry Soetoro). Applied to the present President, Obama is indifferent to the plight of others even though he and the first lady like to used the phrase, “I feel your pain” when talking to homeless, jobless, hungry voters. Even as Obama grew older he became a pathologically self-absorbed youth who fell in love with his own reflection in a glass of Party Kool-aid.

  85. I am a college student and I see my friends that have graduated from Ivy Leagues working at Starbucks. I am seriously considering exporting myself to China so that I may make a descent living as an English teacher. America is the new model for a third world country. We come up with ideas, ship them outside of the country in order to have them made, and repay for them again. Third world people, wake up.

  86. The fact is that some do not return “home” (a concept that varies from individual to individual). If a virtuous circle of economic growth and rising middle class occurs in the rest of the world over the next 3 decades and more, there will certainly be demand for knowledge of English.

    The way to meet that demand is not just in teaching positions, for example, in the American schools that dot the world, but everything from tutoring arranged by companies for employees to distance learning solutions.

    I admit to not being an educator, but I have lived and worked overseas. There are days when I wish I had not decided to return to the States, not because I’m unhappy here, but because the prospects overseas seem enormously enticing.

    I’m past the age to go overseas again, but you might consider it.

  87. There seems to be plenty of jobs out there if you don’t let the words graft and corruption bother you. Our kids decided not to got to college. One is now a veterinary tech and the second a florist. Our neighbors on both sides of us sent their kids to college. Out of the five, two are waiting tables at local restaurants, two are unemployed, and one is working as a school janitor. Three have huge student loans to pay back and othe other two their parents borrowed to send them to college. The all took degrees that were hot when they went into college but weren’t when they graduated. Who made the right choice, college or not, only time will tell.

  88. As a 22 year old with a BA in Political Science, in my senior year I went from working full time while doing school full time and managing a non profit program part time to getting a sorry we are outsourcing your job, and the funding has been cut for the program. In a span of six months I went from getting national awards and recognitiion for working my butt off to losing my car, downsizing a one bedroom to a stuido and accelerating a year of school to 5 months to make it to graduation before becoming unable to afford staying and all on debt take out.

    A six month mayhem of moving around Michigan from Kalamazoo to Lansing to Detroit to THEN Texas for a few weeks on friends couches before accepting massive debt and going back to graduate school, I am now studying more then full time and fighting for minimal wage pay on progessional policy writing and community projects at best. Reading that 24.7% of my peers are unemployed is dead on half the graduate school classes are those that got laid off and some multiple times in a 2 year span.

    As I study my double masters to make msyelf more applicable ot job market by statistical factual rational of review of the dept of labor statistics I live in fear every day of being homeless again, and live now in studio, walking or busing, with no health insurance and hoping to never get sick and what will buy food next week. I am a college graduate drowning in debt, and honestly looking to join a international organization or the UN, Peace Corp and flee the US after my masters as I do not see any hope in the US.

    Stories are needed, not one but as many as possible and right now we need to look at the failing market and re-value how this nation is spending 20% Of the budget on military to fund 2 wars over seas and a few percent on education, and training and job development combined. We are not the nation of number 1 anymore we are number 11 in quality of life an falling.

  89. Well written piece with some cogent points. Tough though things are, they will get better. Meanwhile, you could certainly help them along by using your passion to motivate fellow young people to vote, speak out and organize.

    The internet, Facebook, Twitter and MeetUp are perfect tools for bringing people together behind a cause. Harness your generational proclivity for networking to develop a solid voice for one another and let your case be known by voting, writing, protesting, etc., and you will make a difference. If nothing else, it will keep you occupied on a project while the job market improves. Who knows, you might find a career path you never imagined while you’re at it.

  90. I don’t think intergenerational warfare is the answer. There is no such thing as a superior generation. We are pretty much all the same…including our weaknesses. Best of luck to you, James.

  91. Higher education is a liberal myth. If you want a job, move to a different city or a different country.

    Sorry, but this sounds like brainless rats deserting a sinking ship. This country needs an internal revolution to take power back from the corporatists. Without one, the middle and lower classes will keep descending into poverty and serfdom.

    Anyone who believes government statistics or media happy talk belongs in Congress, with the rest of the clowns. What will it take for the masses to wake up or, at the very least, develop reading comprehension? Otherwise death panels, birth certificates, and fears of Socialism/Marxism/Communism (take your pick; people think they are the same thing) will prevail while we disintegrate.

  92. “they’re” not “their” stupid

  93. I’m 21, and i dropped out of college before graduating when my father was diagnosed with Cancer. I have 30 thousand dollars in loans accruing interest at nearly 10%, i unlike so many of my friends live entirely on my own support, but the reality is there are many times where i have considered asking my mother to take me back; working in the service industry making only 1300 my dollars a month i struggle to make ends meet. After paying my rent, utilities, and student loan bill each month i have less then 300 dollars. I have been trying to find a higher paying job for nearly 2 years, one that will allow me to save up enough money to finish school and get my RN. Problem is that even low level corporate positions have astronomical entry requirements: an executive assistant at the local Marriot is required to have a bachelors degree or at least 5 years of secretarial experience, i would have to have been working as a secretary my entire professional life to even be considered. Entry level positions across the board are the same story, tellers must have 4 years in the banking industry or a bachelors, filing clerks at city hall need 6. Of all my friends who have graduated over the past 3 years, only 3 have gotten a job in their actual field if they’re even working at all, 2 went to work as engineers for the military, and the third is a nurse. My story is not unique the barrier for entry is so extremely high for my generation, and for so many of us the ship has already sailed, making college more affordable won’t help those of us saddled with student debt accruing interest faster than we can pay it off, and no degree to show for it. Its a grave new world we live in.

  94. Actually, starvation is a cause of death.
    I know a lot of people that don’t eat every day right now.
    Talk about a brat, you aren’t even aware that there are real dangers to poverty. Obviously it’s something that no one around you has suffered from.
    Good for you, for being so rich and spoiled.

  95. Consider taking an English class. Then you would know that your use of “their” in your second sentence should have “they’re”.

  96. I get so tired of these “boo hoo” pieces. It’s a hard knock life we lead. Just keep going.

  97. ” . . . write too well to be engineers, thus be slightly more employable . . . ”

    This bio-engineering major thinks you need to double-check your grammar.

    My classmates and I have more job offers than we need. Our friends in the College of Arts and Sciences, however, are in a worse situation. Being able to write a lab report will increase one’s odds of being hired MUCH more than being able to write prose.

  98. The liberal arts are a waste of time.

  99. Totally agreed. If you get a job in the mail room you will only be offered jobs in the mail room. It is nearly impossible to find the right experience to get the right job unless you have great connections or luck.My resume has alot of Admin experience as that is what I did while I was in college the only valid experience in the field is through my internship and beleive me I have only been offered Admin work…urghhh!

  100. Welcome to the new reality of excess population and less jobs.

    The fact is you can do any number of economic priming and these individuals will never be absorbed into the job market.

    Why?

    1/ there are just too many individuals for each job opening.

    2/ New technologies make jobs redundant every day. Think of the vast numbers of auto-workers replaced with automated production lines. Now multiply across all sectors of the economy.

    3/ Every new birth is another competitor to yet another job that will soon be automated.

  101. I wonder how many of those unemployed grads understand that their right wing loving parents got them into this mess in the first place? Cut taxes to the bone and pass off 100% of the cost of education to the common man. I say good luck with it.

  102. I’ve got to say the downturn has been a blessing in my life. I entered school expecting to advance far in my field. Along the way I discovered my vain ambitions were incomplete. It’s not about me. It’s not about the title I hold or resources I earn. It’s that I toil and serve and submit to a greater will than my own. I am not in control. With that I mind I came to understand that greater will was drawing me away from my field and into a life of service.

  103. Do what you need to do, to get your RN certification. If you can’t swing that, aim for LPN certification – you’ll dig yourself out a lot faster. There will be no shortage of work. My 2-cents

  104. There Will Be Blood

    November 22, 2010 – NT Times – Paul Krugman – excerpt

    “Former Senator Alan Simpson is a Very Serious Person. He must be — after all, President Obama appointed him as co-chairman of a special commission on deficit reduction.

    So here’s what the very serious Mr. Simpson said on Friday: “I can’t wait for the blood bath in April. When debt limit time comes, they’re going to look around and say, ‘What in the hell do we do now?

    We’ve got guys who will not approve the debt limit extension unless we give ’em a piece of meat, real meat,’ ” meaning spending cuts. And boy, the blood bath will be extraordinary, he continued.

    Think of Mr. Simpson’s blood lust as one more piece of evidence that our nation is in much worse shape, much closer to a political breakdown, than most people realize.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/opinion/22krugman.html?_r=1

  105. UScitizens - not China

    There are TWO primary reasons why the US economy and employment have such a bleak outlook over the next several years:

    #1….our massively huge military spending that is basically NONE productive and a drain on our nation’s resources!

    #2….our Financial sector has become roughly 5 times larger than it should be IF it was to meet its real role in Capitalism….fund (be the financing engine) to the rest of the economy. Instead of financing the economy, the banking and financial sector has gone to making money as gamblers. So the core economy is actually being starved of both talent and capital.

    Cut military spending by at least 50% and restore the financial sector back to its pre-deregulation era, and the US core economy will begin to recover and yes, they will begin to even hire college grads.

  106. One can argue that countries in the Soviet Bloc were not into MUT, hence they produced mountains of widgets of little value other than what the bureaucrats agreed among themselves.

    Without belaboring the subject, you are right to point to what/how the society allocates resources. However, I say, take any system and give people enough time and they’ll figure a way to game it. Our elites have played for too long a socio-economically detrimental game. I find the reason to be more in those differentials we were talking about more than MUT per se, for the former prevented us from learning.

  107. it’s not JUST the potential graduates of 2011, but any of us who have graduated since 2007 when the economy tanked…i finally gave in at 39 and went back to school, got both a bachelors and masters degree graduated in 07 (cum laude, i might add), haven’t been able to find a full time job and can’t go back to my former occupation because i don’t have “recent” (in the last two years) experience…i work part time for the same $$ i made in the mid 90s only now i have the added burden of student loans and credit card debt accumulated pursuing the degrees that were supposed to open up better job opportunities…i also have two adult children in the same boat…

  108. great analysis and sensible solutions…too bad they won’t happen any time soon, if ever…

  109. If you’re unemployed and in debt, how on God’s green earth can they pack up and go abroad?

  110. Employers are seeking professionals with actual experience. If there are seasoned workers out there who are unemployed and looking for a job, employers are more likely to hire them than a recent college grad with little to no work experience.

  111. no they’re not, i’m both a recent college graduate AND have years of real world work experience…three years of underemployment says you are WRONG.

  112. “will they ever be willing to hire anybody at all?” — it’s a little drastic isn’t it? yes, we’re coming out of a recession, and thus things are tough out there, but keep in mind that an overwhelming majority of college grads consider themselves underpaid even in the best of times. That will probably always be the case. Yes, companies will be willing to hire again, when things get better, just don’t get your hopes up about a six figure salary coming out of school. As a young graduate with minimal experience and a college degree, you will always be up against people with even slightly more experience than you, who companies consider better candidates. Just be patient, we all went through that when starting off. As you build your resume over time, your opportunities will increase. Things will get better, they always do.

  113. tpsnow,
    it may not be the answer; however, the truth of the matter is Baby Boomers are headed to leave the country worse off then they had it–the first generation to do so. And their “I got mine so screw you” attitude is the reason. Their overwhelming support for Reagan, a president who dismantled many of the programs and protections that enabled their parents to have the lifestyle and good life in which they benefited from, is case in point. So not all generations are the same.

  114. Parents need to get real when they are frantically trying to figure out how to get John and Jane into colleges like Amherst (with little thought on how to pay for them, of course) and looking down their noses at the kids who head off to nursing programs or automotive technology at their local community colleges.

  115. My son graduated from U-Mass Amherst in 2005. He has been in the “green” sector since then, working as a plumber. He had a period of layoff for 9 months in 2009 but since his specialty is heating, he has been employed part-time with a local contractor recently. His future wife got her Bachelors in Nursing in 2010. She’s getting in line behind thousand upon thousands of new grad nurses who have nowhere to go. Hospitals and nursing homes won’t hire them. It is going on 4 years of non-hiring for new grads, but still the media pumps out “There’s a Nursing Shortage” and still the hospitals refuse to fund new grad programs to train them for 3-6 months. She is working as a “senior helper” for $15/hr. and is darn glad she’s got a full time job. These are Honors graduates, but there is no place to go to use their skills.

  116. I didn’t say everyone with “real world experience” is finding good jobs. But every employer I’ve talked to says experience and the ability to “hit the ground running” is preferred more than anything. A college degree is great, but it won’t matter much when there are a ton of laid off workers who have several years of experience under their belt (college grad or not) to compete with.

  117. See my comment below

  118. Zic, I completely agree. As someone who is underemployed and living a hand to mouth lifestyle, I can say that me and my fellow generation xers I work with are waiting for our turn. However, we’re still waiting for the 62, three 68, five 72 and 84 (no I’m not kidding) year olds to retire so we can move up! And no they are not in need of money, they vacation in their houses in the south of France, and live in the most expensive neighborhood in the country (Park Avenue, NYC).

  119. I feel sorry for kids who are strapped by student loans and mounting debt. With 10% unemployment, employers can afford to be extremely picky of who they hire. If you ran a business – would you rather hire someone who just graduated college and hasn’t worked, or someone with 10 with years practical experience in the field? Think about it. Until hiring ramps up across the board, recent college grads will have a tough time, unfortunately.

  120. I am sad to read this statement, “Recent college graduates, those in the labor force with the freshest batch of knowledge and skills, are currently underwater and sinking fast with unprecedented student loan and personal debt.”

    However, a college education, although it is touted as the ONLY way to make it in this world, is a falsehood. There are many trade schools and entreprenures who would argue with this axiom.

  121. I’m 56, with 30 years of world class experience to offer, and I am still job hunting after 3.5 years. The EXTREME specialization is a huge problem in the job market. Having been an exceptionally successful manager in the past, I can assure you it’s also the stupidest approach to hiring I’ve ever seen. Indeed, it’s a symptom of “we don’t want others to out-think us, we are paid to know best” mentality.

  122. “Canada will be short almost 60,000 full-time equivalent RNs by 2022.”

    http://www.cna-nurses.ca/CNA/issues/hhr/default_e.aspx

  123. Plebian? As if! Spoken like a true plutocrat, with utter disdain and a complete lack of empathy for those caught in the riptide of a floundering economy.

  124. Whereas your skillset might be said to consist of:

    -making unfounded generalizations
    -setting people who should be allies against each other
    -insulting strangers
    -remaining steadfastly ignorant of any facts that contradict your divisive hypotheses

  125. I’m not sure what you are getting at. You seem to feel that I am advocating Communism when I qualified above that I intend no such thing.

    Your argument boils down to ‘why bother’.

    I’m just trying to explore how a theory allowed the current circumstances. Perhaps the MUT, if seen as flawed, could be repaired and then perhaps it would be superior to the LTV. But what you are claiming fails to consider thousands of years of history and many models. The current Chinese regime for example, probably has a good chuckle when the MUT is brought up.

    What matters now though is that people need to understand the lies regarding ‘market forces’. In that regard, I’m ‘giving it my best shot’ instead of assuming that people will always game the system, as if no progress has ever been made, as if we are powerless. If we don’t endeavor to right the wrongs, what is the point otherwise?

  126. CBS from the West

    “Their overwhelming support for Reagan, a president who dismantled many of the programs and protections that enabled their parents to have the lifestyle and good life in which they benefited from, is case in point.”

    Any data to support that? My vague recollection from that era is that the baby boom generation did _not_ support Reagan–it was the generations before and after that gave him his huge margins. Now, I may be totally mis-remembering this. But surely somebody out there can find actual data about this.

  127. I guess everyone is ignoring that the construction trades (going to “trade” school is considered a prerequisite for that) have 26% UNEMPLOYMENT. In Massachusetts they do not need plumbers, electricians, carpenters, builders, you know, the trades. Also they don’t need new nursing BSN’s either as every single ad on Monster.com for Nurses says in capital letters “NO NEW GRADS NEED APPLY”.

  128. I am constantly amazed by those who have no empathy for others. I’m not a young person and I’m not in financial straits at all, but I can certainly feel for those who are. “Growing a pair,” as you suggest, doesn’t change reality and it isn’t a particularly practical or helpful bit of advice. The world is a different place than it was twenty years ago. A lot of avenues have been closed because of jobs being outsourced. Try to have a little compassion for others…or is that asking too much?

  129. I can’t agree more… The kids who are quickly gaining the skills they need through affordable programs, and getting out in the workforce are in no less of a position than those graduating from a top university. The difference is one is willing to take a low salary and work their way up. The other thinks they deserve a high salary right out of the gate, and can’t come to terms with reality. All the while they have massive amounts of debt adding up.

  130. Oh yea, just look at what some of the baby boomers produced. At least I was careful enough to not have kids.

  131. it also says volumes about the ability of secret holds to cripple an elected government’s ability to function!

  132. You’re an English teacher, yet you don’t know when to use “than” rather than “then?”

  133. Agree on the benefits of the draft. Besides, sending soldiers, marines and reservists for tour after tour in Iraq and Afghanistan is unconscionable. We’re a big enough country that we could draft soldiers to serve a single combat tour and then they could get on with their lives.

    I should note that no pacifist is ever forced to carry a gun, the Army always needs medics. As for other Conscientious Objectors there are alternative service options (notice that this Army press release is from April of this year, SOMEBODY is still thinking about the draft).

    http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/04/22/37811-selective-service-expands-alternatives-for-conscientious-objectors/

  134. I’m a 48-year-old editor and cannot imagine retiring until 80 and still surviving as prices go up for housing and food. So kids don’t major in journalism, sociology, anthropolgy, communications, or English! The jobs are scare and the pay sucks.

    I plan to die working.

  135. The Most Selfish Generation is concerned with ONE thing and ONE thing only, and that is “Getting Back to Even.” The quicker younger generations internalize that reality the better. And YES, Reagan did make make selfishness fashionable again, I know because I was there. Generation X was told/sold that “cadillac driving welfare queens” were destroying the country, Martin Luther King=Good, Malcolm X=Bad and “the worst 10 words you could hear were ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help you’.” Took me twenty something years to unlearn the lies that were piled on top of one another to justify the greatest wealth grab in human history and I’m still digging.

  136. who you calling Boomers? I’d really like to know..born in ’48
    I am sure the children who came of age during the depression didn’t think they inherited a world better than their parent’s. The ones who followed the Civil War?
    And Reagan was not supported by a majority of Boomers , a majority of the greatest gen. were cons. who voted for him. We haven’t even retired yet!

  137. Don’t come home at all. The US is a sinking ship and you should make a real life elsewhere like I did. (Montreal).

  138. Energy is a canard. Business is so bad, companies won’t invest in positive cash-flow energy savings with returns in 30 days.

    Gore and the rest have discovered that selling the story is easier than selling the product. Don’t look for energy to pull this crash out of the tailspin.

  139. Followed immediately by waivers. Political theft at it’s finest. Load up the bill with pork, pay out the pork, then junk the bill. Healthcare reform is gone, yet the pork is paid.

    You got to love US politicians. They have honed smoke and mirrors to unprecedented art.

  140. In place of wishing crime would disappear, let’s wish ignorant and lazy disappeared. I watch the Murder-Death-Kill report (news) in Greenville every night. Ignorance stewed to a perfection.

  141. Sally in Chicago

    I agree with the above statement. I worked for a big research university and most of our grad students came from Asia. It was nothing for them to find work in Europe or Asia, or even the U.S. In other words, they were willing to go whereve the opportunity presented itself.
    I know grown educated adults who are teaching in China. A cousin is in Hawaii with an organic farm.

  142. Jobs are a manifestation of productivity. I recall watching Clinton usher in the new service econonmy thinking the value of present services was a joke.

    Clinton never explained how Denny’s was going to serve up something edible.

  143. Horse hockey. Corporations have the resources to “localize” food production with automation. Small growers do not have the resources to build plant factories. Organic or otherwise.

    Got any better ideas?

    Or is this just a rant…

  144. The students, and or recently graduated posting herein forget we emerged from caves. Most of those postings seek to blame, or offer a fix to protect their entitled expectations.

    News flash kids. You don’t deverve diddly. If you are not smart enough to figure out how to survive in this economy or any other, well… you just aren’t smart enough to survive. As Frank Barone says “Man-up Nancy Boy”

  145. Appendum: I forgot to mention the bio-tech industry which is huge…here in the good ole U.S.A.!

  146. Your post drips with the entitlement of a Liberal College Grad that can’t sell any value. Tom did not do far enough.

    Cut the Federal employee rosters to 25% of current levels. Set $6.00 / hour pay ceiling. Federal employees are servants, and should be paid as such.

    Your arguement projects the intelligence of Federal Employees above common laborers, yet their actions don’t support your assertions.

    Eliminate Federal Civil service entitlements, and this economy will start to improve.

  147. “those who have no empathy for others”

    There’s a word for that: Republican.

  148. Larry Langenkamp

    Corporate America has honestly sold every American out and this has been going on for a while. The credit crisis or collapse of the housing and stock market has just exposed the underlying problem. The exportation of jobs to the developing countries as a consequence of “free trade”. We need to revert back to buying American made products and put Americans back to work. Period. So easy even a caveman can do it. Hopefully it won’t take one.

  149. You think these comments lack quality. Take a gander at Huffpost if you really want a view at the bottom of the pit.

  150. Thank you for bringing this up. I can’t stand this privileged assumption that anybody can just pack up and leave. I’m going to graduate (from UMass Amherst, Inc.) with 25k in debt, before interest, and with no help from family, and with a degree in English. I feel completely terrified and discouraged, and I entirely regret going to college in the first place.

  151. LOL.

  152. Rick, you are so right.

  153. “Lower military spending. Use the savings to forgive student loan debt. Initiate educational tracking programs early to even out gaps and overabundances in the job market. Bring back the apprentice system. Tax the super-rich til they’re just rich. Give control of the government to Google.”

    This novel I’m writing is gonna be great.

  154. only if you think the only reason to become educated is to get a job..vitally inportant,I know, but I want more for my children and myself.
    Educated citizens who can understand more than what it takes to preform a job set that may be obsolete/outsourced in the near future.
    Look to history-my heros are Jefferson and Franklin list their achievements-how many job titles did they hold?

  155. @ Anonymous___Is not this ironic? Diversions, diversions, and more damn diversions! The menu of my comment is slighted on the back page corner, but relavant. Years ago (many years) I went to a special town meeting whose only agenda was to lower the communities electric bill which was creating a huge whole in our balance (property taxes) sheet. The board and all local participants elected to shut off every street light, (even on main arteries where a few were left to shine on heavy traffic intersections) school parking lights, all municiple building lights, etc., etc.! But, at the very end of the meeting before adjournment the “Town Elitist Hidden Agenda” voted overwhelming for a Brand New Central A/C, Heating Units that offset the cost of turning all the town’s light-off! I was literally thrown out of the meeting,and town at the outrage of such deception. Nothing changes with human nature except its hypocracy (I’ve been there, so it’s time to get out of the glass house before I throw anymore stones?)?

  156. Maybe universities should stop churning out psychology, philosophy and gender/race studies majors and pretending like these majors are actually in demand.

  157. Cheer up, hilary. You’ll be fine. I was an English major at Umass. I’m in grad school now in a pretty specialized field. Pick a more specialized graduate program (unless you want to teach) and you will be absolutely fine when the job market opens up again. Loans can be deferred if you are unable to handle them. The interest continues to grow during that time, but sometimes that’s a temporary help.

  158. Larry,

    If Americans were to produce more products, that they could then consume, prices would go up, significantly and unquestionably. Wages though can not rise in step because exports must also rise due our trade imbalance, and because exports play a vital role in providing jobs as well.

    The World Bank’s lowest standard for poverty, which is $1.25 per day, equates to $0.16 per hour based on a 40 hour work week. Think of competing with that, and you should begin to understand how impossible your recommendations are. But don’t forget the ‘all-in’ cost of US labor.

    A “caveman” then might suggest that the US isolate its economy from the global economy. But again, your caveman is missing something, the US economy benefits immensely from the very exploitation in question, economists call these benefits the ‘demographic dividend’, and with more than half of all MNCs being based in the US, but doing more and more business overseas, they are global employers. And, with the US stock markets being such a large portion of where the gains come through to US citizens, citizens who are essentially also global employers, US citizens thereby have much to gain, along with additional gains through global lending via US banks, so, you might just tell “caveman” that it is complicated.

    Then, once he is ready, perhaps the 3 of us can talk about dollar hegemony. That though is beyond complicated.

  159. Susana de la Luz

    Many, many years ago, my husband dropped out of college after his sophomore year because he could no longer afford the expenses (his parents owned a small cattle ranch and both took extra jobs to make ends meet). In order to avail himself of the GI Bill, he enlisted in the Army for language school and, after basic training and AIT, spent a year learning Arabic which he thought would get him an assignment to Southwest Asia. However, the Army in all its wisdom sent him to Vietnam where he was wounded and eventually received a medical discharge.

    Following his discharge, my husband completed his education at a state university with degrees in mechanical and civil engineering. At the time, many low-paying entry-level jobs were available, but he chose instead to take a relatively high-paying (with tax benefits) job with an oil company in Saudi Arabia (his knowledge of basic Arabic was a huge plus), thinking that he would return to the States after five years. Long story short: he began as a field engineer and 26 years later left Southwest Asia after completing his final job as the assistant project engineer of a multi-billion-dollar construction project. During those 26 years, he lived very frugally and spent every spare penny enlarging the small ranch on which he had been raised. We now live on that ranch which is now almost twenty times as large as it was when my husband was a boy. Our son manages the daily operations of the ranch and our granddaughters were raised here.

    In my own case, I was born dirt poor on an Indian reservation in the southwest. I left the Rez and my family at 13 and worked for a few years as the equivalent of an indentured servant with a well-to-do family. During the next few years I finished high school, became a widow at twenty when my first husband was killed in Vietnam, received a degree in civil engineering (from a state university) and, while subsisting on a diet of PB&J sandwiches, sleeping on a second-hand mattress on the floor in a cheap apartment and working full time as an engineering techie (read: gofer), started a business (now run by one of my sisters) that grew almost exponentially and has taken me to over thirty countries around the world. Oh, for those who despair, try to imagine what starting a business in the male-dominated field of engineering was like in the seventies for a young woman who also happened to be an American Indian.

    My point? At the risk of sounding banal, take responsibility for your life, set realistic goals, be willing to start at the bottom and be ready to go wherever the jobs are. My husband and I set goals for ourselves and overcame more than a few obstacles. Life was difficult for many years (during my husband’s 26 years in Southwest Asia, we saw each other about twice annually for a total of about six weeks), but we never despaired and we never gave up. And for many years now, we have been reaping the rewards of our personal life choices.

    Oh, and our two granddaughters, ages 22 and 24? The youngest, who received a degree in electronics engineering and math, was offered several very attractive jobs before she was graduated in June and accepted a position with a company located about two hours from here. And the eldest will receive her degree in veterinary medicine in June of next year and already knows where she will be working. Both have known for several years what they wanted to do in life and set the appropriate goals.

  160. I got in a huge argument with my Senior Manager and HR Team over how we recruit and hire people. I look for work ethic, aptitude, and attitude in people; specific experience be damned.

    My SM and HR want people that have 5 years experience with “ABC” software package or “XYZ” processes. Screw that. Give me someone with a brain and they’ll figure it out.

    Personally, I look for people that worked through college, preferably as a waiter or waitress. These are people who can handle stress and think on their feet.

    DJ

  161. Why do people have to get so defensive on labels? I, for one, try as much as I can to stay away from such surrogate for thinking.

    Your latest post in this mini-thread makes indeed your position clear. Moreover, I also find it much better to talk about what we perceive as important these days beyond ideology/labels, or at least to become aware/self-reflected with regard to our own. Indeed, take a look at any of my postings at: http://imotion.blogspot.com/

    To return, the Chinese will have their day, too. Yes, they are probably studying us hard to avoid (some of) our mistakes, but life will present them with other anew.

    Meanwhile, we’ll have to readjust, and a lot of it is “people need to understand the lies regarding ‘market forces’.” I also think that such exercise must be undertaken with the idea of correcting the system, for I do not belong to the a certain type of American elite that thinks we live in a complex world, beyond any hope of understanding/managing/willingly adjustments.

  162. This isn’t really true. Engineering degrees are worthwhile, engineering degrees alone, that’s it. Period. Science and math degrees are as worthless as a BA in Basket Weaving.

  163. Susana de la Luz wrote:

    “My point? At the risk of sounding banal, take responsibility for your life, set realistic goals, be willing to start at the bottom and be ready to go wherever the jobs are. My husband and I set goals for ourselves and overcame more than a few obstacles.”

    Good advice.

  164. In a country with 300 million or more potential customers, start a business – YES, YOU find something to do, create that a minimum of 250 thousand people out of all those millions will pay you just $1 for.

    That means you make 250K in the period of time it takes you to sell that item, skill, idea for $1 to 250 thousand people. If it takes you 10 years, that’s a 25K a year income less expenses.

    Do it in 2 years and you have an income of 125K annually which after expenses may net you 50K- which means you are earning more than the poor employed suckers out there. YOU ARE YOUNG!! Now is the time to take risks…and why come back to the USA? you are a CITIZEN, not a permanent resident! Come home 3 times a year for a month at a time while producing your $1 gizmo in a country that will enable you to produce it and make that $50K profit each year!

  165. Simply put…. why do I feel that I’m being set up for a future argument to bail out those who are facing crushing student debt?

  166. “I was much nicer than I can be though.”

    As I have learned…

  167. Of course that should read Journey to the End of Night. Sorry to anyone who was misled.

  168. In 1980, 54% aged 30-44 voted and 43% aged 22-29 voted for Reagan. The “boomers” (1945-60) would be spit between these two cohorts.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1980#Voter_demographics

  169. “conservative, well-respected voices like Steve Forbes!”

    You’ve got to be kidding. Mr. Flat Tax? Born on third base, thinks he hit a triple? The guy should dress in an ermine robe and dunce cap every time he appears in public. Holy s*it Bayard! Next, you’ll tell us about the well respected Geo W. Bush, the well respected Ronald Reagan, the well respected Louis XIV, the well respected Henry II. Why not get to know your audience? This blog attracts people who think.

  170. The question for you, virtual grammarian, will come soon: “Can you do what you’ve been doing for a fraction?” In the US, one can run but not hide for long.

    Not seeing the bubble in biosciences is a short-lived luxury.

    So, you either found a company and cash out before it’s over, or will have to think seriously of answering the opening question. Good luck to you/us.

  171. In Mexico one can walk, if Canada is (turning out) too much like home.

  172. I am a recent college grad (BS in Marketing) and one thing I learned is I will probably start out in a sh*tty job which is what I tired to avoid by going to college but I am not trying to have a whiney post but I come here to simply ask for some advice on what I am doing wrong so I can correct it so I can get a job. I dress up for the interviews and when I go around and handle out by resumes to local business. I usually get the “well call you back” same old same old but they rarely do and probably throw my resume away as soon as I leave. I sometimes look online for jobs but it just seems that my applications goes into a black whole. Those rare times I do get called in for an interview it seems like the person interviewing me has already made up there mind on who they want and it seems like they rush my out of the office and even when I try to talk about they company they work for they seem uninterested and just what me gone.

  173. I agree with the conclusions of this article but the real crux of the issue was left unexposed. Concentration of wealth is the real villian here. With most of the available income going to only a few at the very top there is little left to go to the rest of us. Increasing top income tax rates and taxing all income sources equally would keep much more capital circulating within our economy which would go along way to creating the number of living wage job opportunies our economy needs to florish once again. Our economy grows the fastest when the concentration of wealth is the lowest because everyone can benefit from the growth of our economy not just a select few at the top.

  174. Rayllove,

    Larry Langenkamp is correct but he needs a solution that will work for the many. The solution is not exports, but an increase in the local community prosperity. You see things from the global viewpoint; I am on record from the grass roots viewpoint. Everyone has the option to choose between the prosperity of another nation, by buying their products, or the prosperity of their own nation, by buying their own nation’s production. Many do not realise why Germany is still a vibrant economy; it is because they buy their own products. You will not see “Made in China” there; instead, you see many much higher quality products made in Germany. They can afford to buy these much higher quality, and higher priced products simply because they have retained their own local prosperity by reinvesting back into their own nation.

    As things stand, here in the UK we need roughly 6 million new private sector jobs. In the US it would seem you need 30 million. Here that will require somewhere in the region of £450 billion of new investment into new companies creating say 5 new jobs each, or 1.2 million new businesses. With the US, the same would require $2,250 Trillion of new investment.

    That is new investment into new job creating businesses right at the grass roots. No, not investment into new “Global” enterprises; but new jobs in each and every local community.

    I have set out my proposals in answer to the UK government’s request for response to the Green paper; Financing a Private Sector Recovery. It has been placed up on the public forum of iTulip here: http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php/16929-The-Capital-Spillway-Trust-response-to-the-Green-Paper-Financing-a-private-sector-recovery

    We all have to recognise that the way out of this mess is to reinvigorate the local prosperity of each and every local community. As Adam Smith tells us in The Wealth of Nations, “The number of useful and productive labourers, it will hereafter appear, is everywhere in proportion to the quantity of capital stock which is employed in setting them to work, and to the particular way in which it is so employed.” (Introduction, I might add written nearly three hundred years ago.

  175. Just in case others are only rereading the last post placed; I am adding this here as well as a direct reply above:

    Rayllove,

    Larry Langenkamp is correct but he needs a solution that will work for the many. The solution is not exports, but an increase in the local community prosperity. You see things from the global viewpoint; I am on record from the grass roots viewpoint. Everyone has the option to choose between the prosperity of another nation, by buying their products, or the prosperity of their own nation, by buying their own nation’s production. Many do not realise why Germany is still a vibrant economy; it is because they buy their own products. You will not see “Made in China” there; instead, you see many much higher quality products made in Germany. They can afford to buy these much higher quality, and higher priced products simply because they have retained their own local prosperity by reinvesting back into their own nation.

    As things stand, here in the UK we need roughly 6 million new private sector jobs. In the US it would seem you need 30 million. Here that will require somewhere in the region of £450 billion of new investment into new companies creating say 5 new jobs each, or 1.2 million new businesses. With the US, the same would require $2,250 Trillion of new investment.

    That is new investment into new job creating businesses right at the grass roots. No, not investment into new “Global” enterprises; but new jobs in each and every local community.

    I have set out my proposals in answer to the UK government’s request for response to the Green paper; Financing a Private Sector Recovery. It has been placed up on the public forum of iTulip here: http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php/16929-The-Capital-Spillway-Trust-response-to-the-Green-Paper-Financing-a-private-sector-recovery

    We all have to recognise that the way out of this mess is to reinvigorate the local prosperity of each and every local community. As Adam Smith tells us in The Wealth of Nations, “The number of useful and productive labourers, it will hereafter appear, is everywhere in proportion to the quantity of capital stock which is employed in setting them to work, and to the particular way in which it is so employed.” (Introduction, I might add written nearly three hundred years ago.

  176. Why Credit Money Fails

    November 15, 2010 by Steve Keen

    Video:

    http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2010/11/15/why-credit-money-fails/

    “I think Steve Keen will be regarded as one of the finest economists in the history of the world. His model showing how the great moderation leads to the great recession is just amazing to see.”

  177. Be patient. In my case it took 10-years.

  178. The liberal arts are not a waste of time. I’m a recent college grad in civil engineering, lucky enough to find a full time job that I love. But the people I come across in my field every day have terrible writing skills, and it makes it very difficult to communicate properly. A few english courses amidst all those math and science classes would be very helpful!

  179. via fCh,

    “Why do people have to get so defensive on labels?”

    How can I be “defensive” about labels here? To begin with, I am the one who used a ‘label’, your thinking got a little twisted around here. You in fact claim to be ‘above’ labels with the very next sentence:

    “I, for one, try as much as I can to stay away from such surrogate for thinking.”

    So, here is the paragraph in total:

    “Why do people have to get so defensive on labels? I, for one, try as much as I can to stay away from such surrogate for thinking.”

    And what about this little gem from above:

    “a slogan that usually supplants thinking.”

    The slogan in question is ‘creative destruction’, how do you get to “slogan” with an indispensable term that is beyond widely accepted in its usage? And to make this all even more insulting, I had used that term a few times in my original comment.

    Then here too, more ‘lofty’ thinking:

    “Moreover, I also find it much better to talk about what we perceive as important these days beyond ideology/labels, or at least to become aware/self-reflected with regard to our own.”

    So where is that which “we perceive as important these days”, (and don’t you realize how presumptuous it is to use “we” in this context). Does it seem likely to you that “we” need you explain the significance of this:

    “…take any system and give people enough time and they’ll figure a way to game it.”

    So ‘that’ is an example what you have decided that “we” should “perceive as important”? I suppose that would explain why you keep reminding me that my thinking just isn’t lofty enough.

    I shall try in future to talk more about how ‘my thinking’ is repeatedly on a higher level than those who respond to. And of course I shall do there ‘perceiving’ for them. But most of all, I shall aspire to: “try as much as I can to stay away from such surrogate for thinking.”

  180. You’re not doing anything wrong. There’s just so much competition for every job that it’s difficult to stand out. My best advice to you is hook up with a well known recruiting/temp agency. Some people hate the idea of a temp job, but what better way to show off your skills and get your foot in the door? Temporary assignments are the new interviews. If they like you, they’ll hire you. Trust me!

  181. I completely agree with Jackie. I am sick to death of the Baby Boomer’s “I got mine” attitude. It’s absolutely infuriates me. I’ve seen it in relation to unemployment, healthcare, social security…”Who cares if they raise the retirement age, our generation will be dead by then!” or “Medicaid won’t fail until long after I’m gone.”
    Unemployment, welfare, foods stamps, student loans, grants, any form of public assistance and you’re a leech. But god forbid you even thinking of taking ‘their’ social security and medicaid.
    My generation is expected to continue funding those programs even though most baby boomers admit we’ll never get to use them ourselves. It’s the biggest ponzi scheme around.
    Then, they go to the polls at election time and claim they’re doing it for their kids and grandkids. Bull.
    You want to do your kids and grandkids, my generation, a favor then give up social security and medicaid so we can invest the money ourselves. And vote for healthcare reform so when we’re your age we can afford to at least get the same healthcare you get.
    I won’t hold my breath though.

  182. Ivan Karamazov

    “Set $6.00 / hour pay ceiling.”

    Good luck with that.

  183. Chris,

    I am all for localized commerce. I have in fact been an advocate of biochar going back a couple of years now, and I was active at the street level of environmentalism going back to my young adulthood when I lived in the Haight/Ashbury District back at the tail-end of the hippy phase.

    However, what I explained to Larry is not disputable within the context of trade constraints. There is an accounting identity involved. Hypothetically, if the global currency stock is divided into two equal parts, put the dollar, the yen, and the yuan on one side for instance, then put the Euro with all of the remaining currencies (pretend that these are equal), then for group A to appreciate, Group B must depreciate in kind, and that is a fact of fiat currencies. So, right now, well more than half of all currency stock would need to depreciate for there to be enough total exports to reach full employment globally. That is of course why there is currently a ‘currency war’.

    The thing is, any proposed solution that makes the global AD shortfall any worse than it already is will be met with fierce resistance , the G-20 meet made that quite clear. And the caveman’s plan causes higher prices in the US and this leaves the US consumer with less purchasing-power and that in turn causes a fall in global AD. It is a Gordian knot. If you think you might be the only person on the planet who can find a way to untie the knot, then lets here your plan. But transitioning into a localized commerce paradigm without causing a full-blown collapse will take a plan beyond anything ever conceived of. The hard part is getting those who have the money to risk that money when they are not willing to do so. And of course they make up the rules.

  184. You remind how hard it was for me to make the decision to leave my country of birth (not as a refugee) to look for greener pastures. I sat on my visa for six months because I knew very well that it was not going to be easy and that experience that I had built (5years) in a developing country would amount to almost nothing in US. I had to start from scratch as if I did not have any skills at all even though I was a junior manager in a 5-star hotel in my previous work life. In US, I decided to focus my studies in degree programs where competition was not high. I noticed that most of international students especially from Asia were focusing on these fields. 10 years down the line I am confident that I made the right decision. I do understand how it feels like having to look for a Job in foreign country that is probably considered a 3rd or 4th world. Nevertheless, I would give it serious consideration instead of sitting around waiting for a near-depression economy to turn around. It may take longer than you think.

  185. “You seem to feel that I am advocating Communism when I qualified above that I intend no such thing. “I hope my use of the term ‘creative destruction’ doesn’t give the impression that I siding with the Tea Party all of a sudden. I’m not, of course.”

    I take these two statements to be defensive relative to labels (Communism, Tea Party) I didn’t apply to you. Unless you are simulating obsequiousness, toward some rhetorical end… Too bad, because your tone can easily distract from your message.

    Yes, if you jump from one posting to the next, you can show twists and turns in my thinking.

    “[A]nd don’t you realize how presumptuous it is to use “we” in this context?” Not really. The “we” in question is made up of all the folks on this board. I learn a thing or two. Each one of us perceives what’s most important these days from their vantage point. If I wasn’t interested in other perspectives, or I knew it all, why bother spending time here?

    rayllove, don’t you think that before we can arrive at some sort of “we,” there is little chance for change, other than accidental?

  186. The Naked Capitalism post is a nice link.

  187. CBS from the West

    True, but the Democrats only pay lip service to having empathy for others. When it comes time for them to make policy or legislate, it’s all about serving their K street paymasters at our expense.

  188. There are twice as many people on the planet than there were when you were born, Ray Don’t Love, and all you care about is getting a penny of the fiat money from all 7 billion into your account by shear force of the high level of your bs.

    “Got Kids” bottom lined it – the biggest theft of all time. Period.

    The man to land ratio is so out of whack, that the dead zones are growing exponentially.

    China needs to slow way the hell down…everyone does.

    And how INSANE can the got-it-all thieves be to think they are SAFE from 6 billion p-ssed off people?

  189. I teach English in Korea and that debt can be worked off in two to three years teaching English. I have more than one job and do some private work as well. Good luck!

  190. Terry, I hope you are not a native English-speaker. If you are, please be sure that someone edits your writing. Your communication skills will be extremely important in marketing, and your post shows a poor command of the language. I don’t mean to be nasty, just constructive.

  191. theotherguydidit

    Go to the nearest FBI office and give them your words of wisdom. And take Tom with you for moral support.

    They all have a great sense of humor. It will be lots of fun.

    Please stay away from the DEA and the Secret Service though. No sense of humor at all. Bad. Very bad.

  192. theotherguydidit

    Does MUT account for: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters.

  193. “No other investment yields as great a return as the investment in education. An educated workforce is the foundation of every community and the future of every economy.”

    Brad Henry

  194. Annie,

    You are absolutely correct. Due to my generation being made-up of people who are all exactly the same, greedy, and planet eaters all, I am a penny grabbing thief who causes dead-zones. How you were able to know all of this about me is amazing, especially when based on only this:”the high level of your bs.”

    I promise you though, I will not try to hide anything from you in the future. Anyone who reads between the lines, as well as what you obviously do, makes anything other than full disclosure FUTILE, indeed.

  195. Yeah, because degreed Calculus tutors get $10 an hour in these parts.

    We need less tools.

  196. yes, and if older people retire, then entry level jobs will open up as currently employed entry level people take more senior positions. Filtering.

  197. those jobs have always paid less, no takes them to get rich..

  198. unfortunately there are a lot of unemployed nurses, and costs are going way.

    It’s smarter to get educated overseas where it is cheap, then come work in America.

  199. I keep remembering those horrible bumperstickers from the last 20 years: We’re spending our children’s inheritance! Thanks jerks.

  200. Your post drips of one who has done absolutely no research, instead drawing inferences from studies on this subject by the Cato Institute, advocating corporate tax cuts, reductions in social services, and laissez-faire environmental policies, all the while drawing heavy funding from Exxon-Mobil and the Koch Brothers.

    Both you and Tom are only proving your opportunity to sling disdain at those you’ve never respected (just propose a ‘solution’ that you never accept on your own), as you seem totally oblivious to the historical disparate relationship between bloated private salaries and benefits and those in the public sector only as little as 10 years ago that have only now come crashing back to reality.

    Former $600k/yr bond traders are now delivering pizzas in Florida with broken down Mercedes-Benz’s in their driveways. My own son received a bonus one year out of undergraduate school at an investment firm that would make the average government employee with 20 years experience drool. Ten years later, his rapid six figure former classmates from prestigious universities are finally coming to grips with their own frailty and true value.

    It has taken several years of the reality of a natural and predictable economic cycle to open your eyes, but, apparently, not of private sector inefficiencies, such as, the average $200k bonus of financial sector employees, or $600k bonuses at Goldman-Sachs, or the $14 billion in total sector bonus set asides, nor the $10 billion lost in thin air in Iraq, or the $800 billion Iraqi adventure launched on phony documents and other peoples reputations.

    Dream on with your recommendations for unrealistically draconian cuts. Keep shooting from the hip with meaningless, self-appeasing one-liners about what will ‘solve’ the problems.

    Just remember, you just reelected the people who depend on these ‘overpaid’ employees and their organizations that have run ‘lean and mean’ for many years already.

  201. @plebianswillrevolt: God I hate that, when self-satisfied know-it-alls say to young people, “Just go out and get a job, you lazy bum.” It shows a complete ignorance and lack of empathy for the plight of young people today.

    And who’s responsible for their plight? We, the profligate boomers. We, who lived beyond our means for a generation and just took and took and took, without giving much back. We, for whom jobs were plentiful and well-paying, social programs were well-funded and readily available, and housing was cheap. We had it all, we had it easy, we were given everything…and now we accuse young people of being spineless, ball-less whiners? Those self-same young people who will never have the opportunities we had? Shame on us.

    Despair not, youngfolk! Your time will come. In another generation you will be our caregivers, our caretakers, and our legislators. You will have in your hands the fates of legions of us boomers, now aged and decrepit and addled. We will be nothing but a burden to you, and you will have to decide what to do with us. Forgive us, and be kind to us. Don’t succumb to the temptation to exact revenge for the hardships we have inflicted upon you.

    As an aging boomer to young people everywhere I say: Have a good life and be happy.

  202. We graduated many engineers in the past generation who rather than design useful devices and systems were hired to facilitate financial complexity that encouraged underestimating real risk; have done great damage to the global financial system and economy.

  203. Green energy ultimately means college graduates doing manual labor.

    Right, and in practice it won’t be any more green than a cap and trade bill. It’ll be the same thing: corporatist greenwashing.

    But I don’t think the flacks of such ideas intend to be the manual laborers themselves. They’re angling for a management job.

  204. Someone earlier commented the following:
    “I’m going to graduate (from UMass Amherst, Inc.) with 25k in debt, before interest, and with no help from family, and with a degree in English. I feel completely terrified and discouraged, and I entirely regret going to college in the first place.”

    Why on earth did you major in English? I know it’s an important field – as all of the arts are – but in an economy like this, you’ve got to be more focused on where the demand is for jobs.

  205. I don’t want to sound mena either, but your post is riddled with mispellings, errors, and poor structure in general. If your resume or cover letter has this number of errors, it’s easy to understand why no one is giving it a second look. Pay more attention to how you write! For example “whole” should be “hole”, “well” should be “we’ll”, “what” should be “want”, etc., etc.

  206. Are you kidding, screwaskew? Can you imagine the quality of employees you will attract to work at the government with that kind of pay?? Our government will be run by people with no qualifications and poor credentials. The government may not be perfect, but with your suggestion, it would be run straight into the ground. Not a smart solution at all, and it just shows that you have a complete lack of understanding on how to develop and retain a strong organizational workforce.

  207. Well put. I’ve read a number of articles about college grads turning DOWN jobs they’re offered because they’re not EXACTLY what they want. Work hard and pull yourself up; don’t expect the world to do it for you.

  208. I am facing just this decision currently…with my aging boomer father. He says he doesn’t want to be a burden to me but he already is. My choice is to forgive an abuser who acted selfishly most of his life and mismanaged vast resources while treating me morally incomprehensibly or feeling guilty for not being there for family. Just this morning I realized I may not have the emotional fortitude to bail him out. I think I may be leaning toward not. It’s not about revenge…it’s more about it’s just not right to treat myself that way.

  209. The TSA is going to need *a lot* more screeners, and once AQ finally does a head-fake – prosthetics! – beyond the airports – shopping amlls! – a lot more Whatever-SA’s are going to be needed. So re-introduce the draft – we will be secure, and the unemployed get job experience in a security-sensitive and absolutely critical industry that simply cannot be outsourced. We are done selling houses to each other, now we can get down to the business of groping each other. Progress unstoppable, Prometheus unchained!

  210. Bruce E. Woych

    The Torch is passed…
    Yesterday November 22, 2010 was the Anniversary for the Assassination of
    John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
    … J.F.K. Inaugural Address …

    “…Let the word go forth from this time
    and place, to friend and foe alike, that the
    torch has been passed to a new generation of
    Americans –born in this century, tempered by war,
    disciplined by a hard and bitter peace,
    proud of our ancient heritage…”

    so now do we think…,

    And this too shall pass!

    …or do we fall back to the thinking of the 20th century Cold War:

    War is peace and peace is war!

    Truth, of course, is the …light of the world…

    “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn 8:32)

    Today this popular statement is often used in a political context…

    a. Referring to freedom from political oppression

    b. Extolling the value of the free press, and freedom of expression

    Discourse after the feast on the Light of the world.

    (2) …from cryptic allegory:
    Satan, the original liar and murderer, and the Satanic brotherhood.

    (elsewhere… Biblical)

    Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.

    You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your
    father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to
    the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his
    native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies

    So this new generation must question what does this mean
    …and on the marble wall of the CIA:

    “…And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

    Galatians:
    You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom
    to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love

    Darkness cannot drive out
    darkness; only light can do that.

    Hate cannot drive out hate; only
    love can do that. Hate multiplies
    hate, violence multiplies
    violence, and toughness multiplies
    toughness in a descending spiral
    of destruction….The chain
    reaction of evil — hate begetting
    hate, wars producing more wars —
    must be broken, or we shall be
    plunged into the dark abyss of
    annihilation.

    –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    (1929-1968)

    November 25, 2010
    In two days we will celebrate THANKSGIVING in America. Many of this generation
    that have not happened to travel the world will believe
    that this is a world celebration…
    …so be informed…it is not.

    THANKSGIVING IS PURE AMERICAN !

    It is not necessarily religious at all,
    but it is certainly a freedom we enjoy
    that is …so far…still guaranteed.
    So let me tell this new generation that
    there are hard roads ahead, and we expect
    them to exceed us while they succeed us, but
    have no fear…you will prevail!
    You are American…but you will need to work
    hard for that truth…
    but the truth WILL set you free!

    http://www.thedubyareport.com/bushbin.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterculture_of_the_1960s

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!!!

  211. Bruce E. Woych

    NOTE. GALATIANS IS ONE STATEMENT ending on,
    “…serve one another in love.”

    It should not be confused with the start of MLK’s statement which follows (and is worth repeating here):

    Darkness cannot drive out
    darkness; only light can do that.

    Hate cannot drive out hate; only
    love can do that. Hate multiplies
    hate, violence multiplies
    violence, and toughness multiplies
    toughness in a descending spiral
    of destruction….The chain
    reaction of evil — hate begetting
    hate, wars producing more wars —
    must be broken, or we shall be
    plunged into the dark abyss of
    annihilation.

    –Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    (1929-1968)

  212. Lots of interesting stuff in both the article and the comments. I’m wondering if there’s a way to contact the guest authors. I’m heading a startup that aims to deal with some of this – getting students to see what’s out there, what it takes, etc. And I’m wondering if the commentors would be willing to give students advice.

  213. Thanks to all those who replied to my post I really appreciate the feedback. I will surly look in a temp agencies King 123. I don’t take offense to the grammar comments Ric H I answered for ways to important and you where honest and not nasty also thank you to Eric I will pay more attention to my writing and try not to rely on spell check so much. Both of you also asked some other questions so here are the answers I did have others check over my resume before handing it in and yes I am a native English speaker.

  214. Bruce E. Woych
  215. Depends on how you defined “waste of time.”

  216. Bruce E. Woych

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/11/23/tett

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/11/23/tett

    A Plea for Engagement
    November 23, 2010
    NEW ORLEANS — A keen grasp of finance or economics was not what first alerted Gillian Tett, of the Financial Times, that danger lurked in the derivatives market well before that sector nearly caused the collapse of the world’s economy. It was her training as an anthropologist.

    (excerpt)
    cultural norms,” … can make it very difficult to report and give proper weight to important stories — especially when they rely on analysis of hidden trends and do not have the benefit of signal events or people willing to speak on the record.
    The hyper-specialization in finance that Tett lamented, and that also has been ridiculed in academe, can exact dangerous consequences if those subjects are left to remain opaque and unexamined — and is all the more reason for scholars to become more engaged in public debate, she said. What might seem to be incomprehensible minutiae can produce outsize effects elsewhere. The inventions hatched in the minds of bankers nearly brought down the economy, just as deep sea drilling and the geology of the sea bed in the Gulf of Mexico affected the rest of the world this summer.
    Tett’s speech to the association also amounted to a rallying cry as anthropology departments nationwide get squeezed amid cost-cutting efforts or attempts to adjust curriculums to better meet student interest. Tett’s implicit argument is that such moves will prove to be a costly mistake for society at large. The hard logic of numbers can never fully explain things; culture also matters deeply. “Money’s fundamentally embedded in culture,” she said. “I think there’s a huge opportunity for anthropologists today.”
    She urged individual anthropologists to move out of their comfort zones and engage in the wider public debate. “There’s so much vibrancy that needs to be inserted elsewhere,” she said. “There are so many fields where anthropology can be beneficial.”
    Anthropologists, said Tett, have the training to dissect the systems that have been put into place, and the human values articulated within them. “The wonderful thing,” she said, “is that it teaches you to look bottom-up, at power structures, at rhetoric, and the unsaid.”
    — Dan Berret

    full article:

    http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/11/23/tett

  217. @ RickK___”No investment yields as great a return…”

    “hunger makes innovation insatiable…propagating priceless education”
    “be it a piece of paper…an intangible great mind still in flux, or a literary savant yet blossomed”
    “intelligence is indestructible – long ago mapped into our genetic code for all welcomers…whomever chooses to follow its path of well defined riches of knowledge”
    “not even the inequality of a prejudiced fulcrum weighted upon self pity cannot admonish mankinds heartfelt lodestone for equanimity” earle :^)

  218. @ Anonymous___Keep em comin…you made my day:-))

  219. @ Erin in DC___Duplicity, Duplicity, and more Duplicity! Dept’s don’t even share info in Nat’l Security, even after “911″! They’ve become so compartmentalized their totally ineffective. This goes for heathcare, social welfare programs, etc., etc.,to infinity. What gives is self preservation over who’s next on the breadline?

  220. Another unintended consequence of the size of student loans is that one practical way to escape them is to leave the country. I know several college grads in “student debt exile” in Russia and China. These economies are growing, and provide jobs. As things get worse here, we may see a brain drain to the emerging markets as graduates take the advice of posters above, and decide to “see the world” to avoid collections.

  221. James, you’ve srambled a lot of accussations, get real.

  222. Great comments, read on.

  223. “There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief,
    “There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.
    Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,
    None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.”

    “No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke,
    “There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
    But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate,
    So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”

    All Along The Watch Tower – Jimi Hendrix

  224. In this day in age, it is not just the younger generation getting into financial troubles. It is just about anyone.

  225. “At the same time, insurance against the impending doom of climate change could be taken out in the form of a green jobs bill, providing work and an outlet for innovation for recent college graduates.”

    And by doing this we would be stealing money from the last few productive sections of the economy in order to waste it away employing people to “innovate” a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. For this to be the conclusion of this article is perhaps the most troubling thing about the information contained herein.

    JFK showed very clearly that tax receipts go up when tax rates go down and regulation is curbed to stimulate growth. Until the government gets out of our way, we will be choking innovation to death in this country.

    This is the same as asking “Why don’t we just pay people to sweep the same street 50 times? At least they would be employed!” Or suggesting that war stimulates an economy, where we build a whole bunch of complicated equipment that we then proceed to blow up so we can build some more (and kill lots of brown people in the process).

    Wealth is defined as the ability to procure and distribute resources cheaper, faster or better. Healthy economies are not predicated on spending. They are ABSOLUTELY defined by their ability to allocate scare resources effectively. The government (and central planning in general) is just about the least efficient way to accomplish this.

    Not that I would expect recent college graduates to understand this concept. I was similarly indoctrinated in this false logic from my time in academia as well. It wasn’t until I started a few companies and had to interface with the Federal government that I found out how utterly ignorant the belief that ‘the government can help people’ really is.

    The Federal government is good at only two things – killing people and stealing from people under the threat of force. And when that doesn’t work they just steal from people by devaluing the money supply without you ever having a say.

    I doubt the authors stopped to think, ‘gee, for every dollar the government steals from us in taxes, it borrows another $1.00 from the Fed, uses $0.60 to kill people around the world, the majority of which goes to big banks and big oil companies. $1.30 goes directly to big banks in the form of bailouts, TARP, QE1, QE2, or soon to be QE3. And the remaining $0.10 is used to do everything else in the government; of which about $0.001 would be spent on actually helping people.’

    Explain to me how this makes sense for government, with all its bloody, sick imperialistic, tyrannical overhead, would be a good conduit to fund so called Green jobs?

    I won’t even begin to mention the fact that the winners in this subsidized ‘Green’ economy won’t be the most innovative, green, or even most efficient products; it will be the most politically connected and those most able to secure the government funds. The end effect will be to eviscerate innovation in the Green sector, eventually making environmental science mimic the catastrophe that is industrialized food production in this country. And let’s not forget that ‘Green’ production of energy solves a problem that doesn’t exist (i.e., global warming), and that implementation of a ‘Green’ economy would increase energy costs almost ten-fold as compared to nuclear or oil-based economies, leading to mass starvation, rationing, and burgeoning unemployment for almost every other sector in the country.

    Yeah, great idea. But at least the new College graduates will have jobs!

  226. Hear, hear!

  227. Earl Forrester

    Don’t confuse Baby Boomers with Tea Baggers. While many baggers are boomers, most boomers are not baggers. It is the Tea Baggers that want their Medicare, but repeal any HCR for everyone else.

  228. How about thinking what can I do for my country instead of what can my country do for me?
    People seem to look down a little on teaching because the salsry is not as high. Forget about the salary, just do something positive with your skills and things will work out.
    I was reading the about the lives of the incorruptible Saints. Wow they they triumph in tough circumstances.
    There was one lady who despite being paraylsed from the waist down set up 65 centres of caring and education in different continents.
    How about that for an achievement.

  229. You forgot to mention most of the jobs like maintenance and landscaping are dominated by new immigrants, so getting a ‘survival’ job is impossible. So those jobs are out too. What is not mentioned is that new immigrants are still coming.

  230. Re: @ David___You must be dating “Debbie Downer” to have such a wonderful epiphany of the future. Tell me please – when is the last time you read a book? Any book…?

  231. @ ZZZZZZZZZ…”fatalist need not apply!” No one is asking for a handout. What one/all want[s] is direction, and a sprinkle of empathy for awareness?

  232. Being a link off of Lew Rockwell, I initially read the article with interest.

    I’m still not so sure on the idea of increasing government and taxpayer money being funneled for higher education. Its debatable.

    The kicker for me is: “the doom of climate change”.

    Who are you kidding? Green jobs? Obama took the green jobs blueprint from Spain, where studies find that each green job costs more than 2 normal jobs and they are mostly temporary! Spain is in economic dire straits and such policy does not help.

    Apart from that massive bumble is the fact that Global Warming – Climate Change – Global Climate Disruption (wonder why they keep changing the name?) is a massive HOAX. Do the research.

    Though the article is not worthless, the situation is bad, but higher education is overrated. I happen to have a graduate degree, but most of what I learned was on my own. Some suggest investing in your own business or traveling as alternative ways to educate yourself and make a living, some of which I have successfully done and others as well.

    Higher education is too rigid in thought, politically correct and is only becoming more inflated (I work in higher ed).

  233. The criticising of obvious grammar mistakes is the lowest form of internet contribution.

  234. So let me get this straight, we have an unemployment problem, and especially for younger people just trying to enter the workforce. This I can agree with and can actual be seen if you just look around and talk to people. Of course, and as noted, this problem goes beyond recent college graduates but seems to be hitting them hardest.
    Alright, so far so good, but after making a factual and truthful statement the authors seem to go all wobbly. My understanding of what they wrote is that they assert that the solution is for the taxpayers to pay for more college for them and their friends. There seems to be a basic lack of attention and/or logic here. It does not follow that the solution to too much government support of higher education is more government support of it. In the history of the planet I don’t know of a society that has thrown as great a sum, and possibly share, of its wealth at higher education (as well as lower education). One would have to show that the marginal benefit of higher education is positive, when in fact it probably currently negative, by definition (e.g., the vast majority of these recent graduates would have been hired otherwise). In addition, it would need to be shown that what is actually being studied is a skill in high demand. What specific field or fields and what schools/universities teach those magical skills that seemed to have eluded our wonderful kids the first time? If I recall correctly that things like real estate brokerage and finance were wonderful growth fields a few years ago and we need not worry ourselves with making widgets anymore. Tell me, what is the magical growth area of tomorrow that we should educate all those youngsters in (i.e., at government expense)? In short, we have already spent more than enough on higher education and government is maybe the last place to ask important question like where we should throw more money.
    Let us at least begin to begin to “get real” and admit that throwing money at a problem is probably not the solution here. For example, I would submit that it might be more helpful to, I don’t know, say deport 10 million plus illegal aliens and stop importing a million or so legal aliens each year to help get supply down and demand up for college graduates. In short, it is both absurd and surreal to discuss spending money the government doesn’t have when a large part of the problem is simply to stop importing slave labor (legal and illegal) for jobs that college kids would happily do. There, I solved about half or so of the issue without costing the taxpayer one cent. This supply and demand stuff is just magic; maybe that is the skill and industry we should throw money at?

  235. I’m currently reading “America’s Great Depression” by Murray Rothbard. It’s very timely. You can download it for free here:

    mises.org/rothbard/agd.pdf

    I too was pointed towards this article from Lew Rockwell.com, so it I guess it is not too surprising that I espouse Austrian/Libertarian views (I feel a tad cliche right now, but bear with me).

    It is true that that site has fostered some of my pessimistic views on the short term prospects for the world, but the fact that I had access to that information and was awoken from the sickening propaganda that permeates academia should be very encouraging. I am not an economist – but through reading Mises, Hayek and Rothbard, I feel much better equipped to understand why our country is rushing headfirst into a new fascist century and what to do about it.

    I had even given money to the Obama campaign a few years back (wow, was I an idiot). After 8 years of neocon fleecing of the country we all needed “change.” Unfortunately all we got was an intensification of the same corrupt corporate/government welfare policy.

    Have we gotten out of Iraq and Afghanistan? Has Obama repealed the Patriot Act? Has Obama stopped the practice of giving trillions of dollars directly to the big banks? Has Obama stopped torture or closed Guantanamo? Has Obama been able to achieve a reduction in the federal deficit? Has Obama stopped selling billions of dollars of weapons to sketchy dictators? Has Obama stopped bombing innocent children for profit?

    No? Why? Because it’s all a lie. The false left/right paradigm is set up to get people to argue about idiotic issues like the “Green” economy while the politically connected fleece the middle class and laugh all the way to the bank.

    Make no mistake about it, the ever deepening connection between big government and corporate interests is the biggest threat in the world right now. There is no faster way to ensure the return of feudalism than to continue to turn a blind eye to the parasite that is statism.

    Heil Obama!

  236. David,

    I agree with you that a ‘green’ solution is not all that it has been made out to be. In fact, I gave a brief explanation as to why in one of the earliest comments on this very thread (November 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm). Here is the key paragraph regarding the ‘green solution’:

    For example, the reaction that comes down to: ‘we must end our dependence on foreign oil’, is filled with folly. First, petro-dollar recycling, along with all of the other dollar hegemony, is what has made a service-based economy possible in first place (paradox alert). Second, the primary problem right now, is a shortfall in global AD, and so, a shift in energy production from nations that have little else in the way of natural resources, to a nation that has vast resources otherwise (the US), would only worsen the larger problem regarding global AD. Not to suggest that ‘green’ alternatives are not integral to ‘a’ solution, but instead that the problems must be understood… before a proposed solution is of any value.

    The point is, you should read that paragraph a couple of times more and notice how the claims are supported and shown in term of cause and effect.

    Your comment on the other hand is nothing more than a litany of unsupported claims. You are welcome to state your opinions if you do so presenting them as opinions but what you have done here is deceitful because you presented ‘facts’ and figures as axiomatic. Your offhand way of stating that climate change is “a problem that doesn’t exist” for instance, is you offering controversial information as otherwise. That may seem clever but it signals a lack of integrity to informed readers.

    You also have your facts wrong throughout the comment but I don’t have time to rectify each and every last thing. What I can do quickly and easily is tell you is that efficiency comparisons between the public and private sectors are put in a ‘multiplier’ context. Robert Barro leads the argument that you are ‘trying’ to make and until you better understand his argument you should refrain from issues you know little about. This paragraph for example is ludicrous:

    “I doubt the authors stopped to think, ‘gee, for every dollar the government steals from us in taxes, it borrows another $1.00 from the Fed, uses $0.60 to kill people around the world, the majority of which goes to big banks and big oil companies. $1.30 goes directly to big banks in the form of bailouts, TARP, QE1, QE2, or soon to be QE3. And the remaining $0.10 is used to do everything else in the government; I doubt the authors stopped to think, ‘gee, for every dollar the government steals from us in taxes, it borrows another $1.00 from the Fed, uses $0.60 to kill people around the world, the majority of which goes to big banks and big oil companies. $1.30 goes directly to big banks in the form of bailouts, TARP, QE1, QE2, or soon to be QE3. And the remaining $0.10 is used to do everything else in the government; of which about $0.001 would be spent on actually helping people.’’”

    To begin with, QE2 operations haven’t even begun yet and they don’t end until next Fall. So “soon to be QE3″ is absurd. But not as absurd as “about $0.001 would be spent on actually helping people”, that remark is ‘very absurd’. The public sector bailing out the private sector ‘is’ “helping people”, FIRE sector ‘people’ perhaps, but people nonetheless.

    Plus, other ‘private sector people’ are unable to provide enough jobs so the public sector makes up that shortfall by funding about 40% of all economic activity. Some of which is through government contracts and subsidies that make it ‘seem’ that the private sector provides more jobs than it actually is able too. And all of that is ‘helping people’ so long as the private sector comes up short in regards to jobs. When there are labor shortages, then the public sector will hinder the private sector.

    Plus, your ridiculous figure of $0.001 excludes the rather obvious fact the government provides almost THE ENTIRE INFRASTRUCTURE OF OUR SOCIETY, you ignore things like research investment and development, and trade management both foreign and domestic, and protection from natural disasters and fires and so on and so on and etc.

    The thing is your comment is not much more than dishonest nonsense. At the very least you could look up the simple things like the definition of ‘wealth’.

  237. @ Bob___Can someone say commodity?

  238. @ Bonus Gift___Have you looked at what the College, and University regents get for salaries (severance packages, retirement, etc.,etc.,?)…not to forget mentioning the layers, upon layers regarding the bureaucratic administrative process eg. duplicty deadbeats? These clowns retire (vested) with upper six figure golden parachutes for life. They’re even getting a million dollars for “Community College” in the, “good ole boy system” of Florida, admonishing the public outcry with “Redneck” hubris! Check it out? They’re literally stealing from the kids,…?

  239. Hyperbole is a common literary technique that can be often spotted by those less well read than you clearly are… And no, your paragraph is not any more supported than mine. I see no footnotes and no unassailable logic and no reason to believe what you are saying other than my own world view. I happen to agree with your statement “Not to suggest that ‘green’ alternatives are not integral to ‘a’ solution, but instead that the problems must be understood… before a proposed solution is of any value.” But, like most economic debates, there is very little provable on either side of that argument.

    For instance, you speculate “it is safe to say that the US job markets have been severely distorted in favor of ‘skilled workers’ as opposed to ‘unskilled workers’.” Really? Perhaps if you checked out the statistics on the types of jobs that have come along in the past few decades you’ll note that the growth is decidedly slanted towards unskilled labor, such as waitresses and home health assistants:

    http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/06/a_lost_decade_f.html

    http://www.infowars.com/american-job-loss-is-permanent/

    We all rely upon our own experiences and insight to claim authority. I noticed in your earlier posts your first hand experience with your children attending college was the authority with which your arguments were derived. And that’s fine. My hyperbole of how the government appropriates funds was simply a means of drawing attention to the fact that government doesn’t create anything of its own without first stealing from productive people, and then to top it off, the vast majority of what the government does is to wage war and be imperialist. And because the exact numbers are not available to the public (remember the $2.1 trillion the Pentagon announced it lost on 9/10/01?), we can’t really be sure just how much of our resources are put to work for the multinational banking interests that promote war and government.

    So for all your fancy acronyms and musings on our wealth being derived by some crazy marginal utility multiplier effect or whatever, the fact remains that we are at a *philosophical* impasse: does the government help people by “making up that shortfall by funding about 40% of all economic activity,” (which is unsupported, by the way, except by your own authority) or is the ever increasing role of government in our society an odious ruse that is really just a way to practice eugenics and to entrench the elite?

    I am of the latter belief, you are of the former.

    In true capitalism, wealth (meaning the efficient distribution of limited resources; I looked it up, by the way, and Wikipedia tells us that “the concept of wealth is of significance in all areas of economics, especially development economics, yet the meaning of wealth is context-dependent and there is no universally agreed upon definition,” so suck my balls) is increased when people innovate and trade. It is a win-win, and free societies always tend towards this practice.

    You introduce government, populated with power-hungry bureaucrats who solve problems by rationing and redistribution, and the solution is always comes down to “there are too many people for not enough resources,” and their only solution is “eliminate people” instead of finding a way to produce resources more efficiently.

    Consistent with that, my experience and world view tells me that government is not “THE ENTIRE INFRASTRUCTURE OF OUR SOCIETY,” (emphasis yours). It is a puss-filled MRSA infection on our society, ONE THAT KILLS PEOPLE AND STEALS FOR PROFIT (emphasis mine). Furthermore, my experience tells me that 99% of all government jobs are a waste of time, in fact they are worse than that – they make it harder for inventive, productive people to efficiently produce new resources.

    You stated:

    “The hard part is getting those who have the money to risk that money when they are not willing to do so. And of course they make up the rules.”

    In capitalism, the role of the private sector is to invest that money towards productive work. Those who have money have to take risk and constantly innovate or they will quickly fall behind to competition and become less wealthy. They are the beholden to the desires of the people and their customers.

    In fascism, they do make up the rules. They then don’t take any risk and rig the game USING THE GOVERNMENT to enforce their competitive advantage. Without the government protection of oligopolies, small, agile and innovative companies create jobs and compete against the largest corporations.

    Finally, it seems that you most bristled at is my contention that climate change is “a problem that doesn’t exist,” more than my contention that people who suck off the government for their livelihood support imperialist murder and fascism. That’s a little odd, no? Especially given that the facts strongly support “climate change” as being a government creation in order to impose a carbon tax, deindustrialize Western society, and reduce a large percentage of the world population:

  240. Well put, but I have mixed feelings for the common refrain that we need “more education”. Yes, at some level certainly we do, but at another level we’ve become a nation of academic whores.

    What I mean is we demand more and more education for jobs when often said education is nothing more than window dressing. For instance, at one time teaching public school kids only required a BA, now more and more people need masters, though there’s little empirical evidence that it’s actually improving outcomes.

    Nursing is similar. While one might not think of it that way, much of nursing is frankly learned “on the job”. Previously nurses needed only an associates degree to get an RN, now mostly a BA is required and the trend toward “masters” is evolving. Again, outcomes don’t seem to have improved (at least in the states) either. Nor for that matter is it clear in any sense that a nurse with a master performs any better or is any more knowledgeable than a nurse with say 10 years experience, though the later will be viewed as less valuable than the former (and certainly the later will be excluded from jobs that the former might not – as a nation we seem to be trending to value paper over ability as it were).

    In short there is a sort of continuing “education creep” where more and more education is demanded, though often in real terms not needed. Education, similar to certifications, becomes instead a very expensive means of simplifying resume selection, but not necessarily any sort of real indicator of ability.

    That is not to say there are not fields where higher education is an absolute necessity – there are plenty. However more and more much more basic positions are requiring degrees that do little more than pad the owner’s resume.

    Now education on a national basis may certainly help in terms of things like innovation, but the unfortunate truth there is as Americans create innovation, much of the bounty of those efforts (particularly in manufacturing) is shipped overseas. We are becoming a nation of bureaucrats and lawyers who produce little in the “real” economy.

    Finally, we have to be honest that there are a very large class of Americans that, as it stands, no amount of education is going to make them vital members of the “new economy” – whether that’s by genetics or the missed opportunities of childhood (ie: lack of education early on does permanent damage). Those Americans are faultless for their plight and deserve good lives as much as the rest of us. Unfortunately the jobs that might have enabled them said good lives, have been outsourced to other countries who do not necessarily offer their people good lives (we can only hope the investment of lost American jobs pays the dividend of good lives for them in the future – though that is hardly guaranteed. It is not clear that one can successfully have free trade with countries that are not “free”).

  241. David,

    I’m sorry but I just don’t have much time for this today.

    As for the paragraph I provided as an example being “assailable”, you ‘believe’ that, because you don’t know enough about the issues in question. Dollar hegemony for example has not been disputed since before you were born. I don’t know of anyone who has ever claimed that it is anything other than an “exorbitant privilege” as de Gaulle put it; and it is at the center of what led to the US becoming a financial services empire so there really isn’t much assailable there.

    As for the shortfall in ‘global AD, that is based in an accounting identity and those are absolutely unassailable (I explain how to reach that conclusion somewhere on this thread by diving all of the global currency stock into 2 equal parts).

    Then too, the provided paragraph connects cause to effect as opposed just making unsupported claims and so what’s to assail?

    As for “footnotes”, that is less about ‘supported claims’ than it is about citing references. That paragraph’s content does not need citations because it is original material. You simply don’t understand what an unsupported claim is, which is evident in your comments.

    While trying to ‘kill 2 birds with 1 stone’, the following statement of yours makes a workable example:(I am also supporting a claim NOW)

    “Finally, it seems that you most bristled at is my contention that climate change is “a problem that doesn’t exist,…”

    The unsupported claim here is this part:”that you most bristled at”, this, had you tried to support your premise, your only way to that, in this particular case, would have been to give an example, but, that would not have fit with your premise because here is all that I said regarding
    climate change:

    “Your offhand way of stating that climate change is “a problem that doesn’t exist” for instance, is you offering controversial information as otherwise. That may seem clever but it signals a lack of integrity to informed readers.”

    How can you get from that statement to my being “bristled at” your views on global warming? I was clearly “bristled” about the same thing we are talking about here:’the lack of integrity in your comments’. And your twisting the context of what I said to suit your needs is yet another example of just how vast the shortfall is when it to issues of discipline in your writing.

    And in your delusion about your first comment you missed the fact that I was avoiding an argument with you about ‘anything’, but especially one about environmental issues. The reason being that I have been at this for decades I know better than to argue with someone who clearly lacks intellectual integrity. But don’t think I am ‘bristled’ at you or that I hold you personally responsible, I am well aware of the problems in this country regarding education, but, please understand that I have only so much time. And you have a ways to go before arguing with the likes of me, and I mean that to be as humble as such a statement can be.

  242. Nor do I have time for this, but to the point:

    “Your offhand way of stating that climate change is “a problem that doesn’t exist” for instance, is you offering controversial information as otherwise. That may seem clever but it signals a lack of integrity to informed readers.”

    There is no difference to me asserting that climate change out of hand is a problem that doesn’t exist, and you claiming that “it signals a lack of integrity to informed readers.” Same technique. Why does it signal a lack of integrity to informed readers when it seems pretty clear to me that informed readers understand that climate change it isn’t a real problem? By you stating the opposite, you are basically calling me disingenuous, although I provided independent support for my viewpoint so that previously uninformed readers who wish to be informed can follow up and make up their own minds. Not that you would ever actually provide support for your ideas beyond your own authority.

    Also note that I didn’t attack your integrity. I told you to suck my balls because you were being condescending about the definition of “wealth.” You continue this trend, asserting that I “don’t know enough about the issues in question,” again in an attempt to establish your authority on a subject, and again without actually giving any real support for your argument outside your own authority. So once again, you can suck my balls.

    But, as an exercise, let’s do what you suggest and “read that paragraph a couple of times more and notice how the claims are supported and shown in term of cause and effect.”

    rayllove: “For example, the reaction that comes down to: ‘we must end our dependence on foreign oil’, is filled with folly.”

    … topic sentence. Good. I understand your viewpoint. I happen to agree. Shall we find out if this claim is supported with cause and effect?

    rayllove: “First, petro-dollar recycling, along with all of the other dollar hegemony, is what has made a service-based economy possible in first place (paradox alert).”

    Huh, I do see unsupported speculation, but no cause and effect. In establishing scientific cause and effect, there must be evidence, theory, and proof that alternative theories can’t adequately explain the same phenomena. Here’s an alternative theory – the rise of the internet and a generation of baby boomers who wasted their youth smoking pot without learning any valuable skills helped spawn the flawed service based economy. Do I offer any direct evidence? No! But neither did you.

    rayllove: “Second, the primary problem right now, is a shortfall in global AD, and so, a shift in energy production from nations that have little else in the way of natural resources, to a nation that has vast resources otherwise (the US), would only worsen the larger problem regarding global AD.”

    Hey look! An authority-based argument you would like your readers to believe is defended by an absolutism “the primary problem right now…” Gee, that sounds like you are offering controversial information as otherwise. That may seem clever but it signals a lack of integrity to informed readers. Perhaps other informed readers who don’t see a problem with aggregate demand may not see this as cause and effect and would like some actual data to back up such a speculation. Oh, I don’t know, maybe perhaps because consumer spending is still at an all time high (beware: actual data ahead):

    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4320348/economist-consumer-spending-at-all-time-high/

    rayllove: “Not to suggest that ‘green’ alternatives are not integral to ‘a’ solution, but instead that the problems must be understood… before a proposed solution is of any value.”

    … and a conclusion sentence that summarizes the paragraph. Good. Looks like you made it through the 3rd grade. Unfortunately, the paragraph made no sense between these two statements.

    Unfortunately for you, I actually do understand the difference between logically supporting claims and footnotes. Most of your original writing lacks any kind of originality, hence the need for citation. And secondly, almost every post I’ve seen you make includes some disparaging comment towards the previous author, as well as a statement of your superiority. It’s very unfriendly.

    Yes, the dollar has enjoyed reserve status since before I was born. Yes, this is a unique privilege that only a few currencies before it have attained. If you had taken the time to actually ponder someone else’s viewpoint for once in your life, my original post was only meant to point out the severe hypocrisy of college graduates hoping to “help people with green jobs” by calling for more government subsidy. I did not once tried to argue about your wacky global AD shortfall nor your odd petrol dollar fascination. These are undoubtedly hugely important things that are way beyond my puny mind to grasp, and since you’ve given no logic or compelling references for me to follow up on, I’m afraid I have to go back to being productive with my time.

    Peace & love to all.

    Remember – the globalists want us to infight about trivia. It’s easier for them to control you that way.

  243. A high school diploma these days is absolutely worthless. All that it shows is that you showed up in school and were not too disruptive. Read high school txtbooks from a century ago and you realize that a college education these days is the equivalent of a high school diploma of a century ago. A graduate degree in this century is the equivalent of a bachelors degree a century ago.

    A bachelors degree is no longer worth the money, at least when comparing the cost against the financial benefits. Having said that, the experience of going to college is a valuable experience. It is very different from high school because it is voluntary. It is the time in life when people find out who they are and think about what they want to do.

    Maybe the solution is to make mandatory education mandatory only up to age 15 instead of age 18. If hgh school is worthless and everyone is going to go college anyway, why not go sooner?

  244. That is admirable. And what is admirable is that you were listening.

  245. Okay, that’s enough. The same people who kept discussing “what is torture” for 2 years, and DEMANDING civility from anyone who called them insanely immoral with their tortured logic in defining – with “data” – what IS torture,

    have taken over this education thread with the same kind of schtick.

    How can you “believe” in economic theories that “believe” in “localized commerce” while at the same time announcing a belief in something called “creative destruction” (AKA “nihilism”) AND ignore both when dazzled by the brilliant math of:

    More misery for others = More money for ME ME ME

    The bottom line is that it is FIAT $$$ distributed through a process called “fractional reserve banking”.

    Which means that unless everyone stops USING that kind of $$$

    nothing will happen to “fix” unemployment,

    nothing will evolve/progress/innovate away from BOLD trashing of Spaceship Earth with increasing amounts of industrial waste that FAR FAR FAR exceed any risk to benefit ratio that a SAME math head can calculate – just how good is an iPod if your great grandkids will be 50% mutant…?

    It’s SO STUPID to have argue about “global warming” – LOOK AT THE GULF OF MEXICO – what has “warming” to do with that MESS?

    It’s too much to tolerate – this MADNESS of self-proclaimed authorities who cherry picked data to EXCLUDE FACTS OF LIFE MAINTENANCE, CIVILIZATION 10,000 years in the making, and RULE OF LAW

    and make up “economic theory” based on stuff that never happened in the first place because the DATA they present is completely FALSE – yes, COMPLETELY FALSE! No prevarication – just FALSE.

    Basically, people who NEVER grew a tomato in NJ (easiest place to grow one) want to be in charge of the growing of a “global” tomato INDUSTRY through the trickling down of FIAT $$$ and fractional reserve banking.

    Time to terrorize them – everyone repeat after me – “You are NOT “powerful”. You are just NUTZ”.

    We the People agreed to vest “power” in the Rule of Law – not in LIARS THIEVES and MURDERERS.

    Government’s ONLY role is to protect the INDIVIDUAL against force and fraud.

    “Industry” is also obviously having a melt-down when it asks itself, “who am I?”.

    SANE people never stop learning something new.

    How many months has the TRUTH been repeated now about FIAT money? Obviously, all debt taken on to get an education should be “forgiven” because it’s clear no one is capable of learning anything.

  246. David,

    Thanks for making this easy for me:

    “There is no difference to me asserting that climate change out of hand is a problem that doesn’t exist, and you claiming that “it signals a lack of integrity to informed readers.” Same technique. Why does it signal a lack of integrity to informed readers when it seems pretty clear to me that informed readers understand that climate change it isn’t a real problem?”

    Because… you are so convinced that “me” matters so much more than it does (see: “clear to ‘me’ and the other “me”),and, that you are missing the rather obvious fact that ‘informed’ people ‘do’ disagree with you. But you incessantly take liberties with what you consider to be axiomatic as if your position is so unquestionable that it needs no support. But of course I ‘may’ have mentioned that!!!

    When you say for example that the government “steals”, that isn’t just hyperbolic, it is dishonest because you don’t provide any evidence whatsoever. You are accusing millions of people of a serious crime as if no standards apply to “me”.

    When you say on the other hand that my “technique”… is the same as yours, well again, you are simply deceiving yourself. When you pretend that every informed person agrees with you on ‘climate change’, how can that possibly be the “[s]ame” as my: “it signals a lack of integrity to informed readers”, it can’t, unless of course we ignore the ‘me’ factor which I hope I made clear already.

    As for you providing “independent support” for your offhand claim regarding climate change, that is not disingenuous, that is someone who is fascinated with ‘ball sucking’ plainly and indefensibly lying (a bit of irony in the fact that I am a male and your ilk are known as ‘tea-baggers’, don’t ya’ think?). The really telling rub though, is that my assertion regarding your “offhand” remark about climate change was in my first reply to you, but… your “independent support” came in your response to THAT REPLY. And that goes well beyond ‘disingenuous’, don’t you think? That is mental!

    Which brings me to my conclusion, I have not read much more than your first and last paragraphs because I didn’t need to, and as I have said, I’ve had a busy day, but I did notice a bit at the end of your last comment about ‘us’ being controlled due to our “trivial” disagreements, and well, I would, on days when I have had more time and energy, said more about ‘presumption’, but I just had that conversation with some other low-integrity type yesterday, and I’m tired of conversations such as these. And, I seriously doubt that you would understand how presumptuous you are, anyway; so, maybe it is best just to say that I don’t want you on my side… no matter what.

  247. Annie,

    Insofar as my opinion matters, which of course you have shown that it matters not, but just the same, if my opinion did matter, in some smaller than tiny way, my opinion would be that the following sentences, (yours of course), put all things in their proper perspective:

    ““Industry” is also obviously having a melt-down when it asks itself, “who am I?”.”

    “How many months has the TRUTH been repeated now about FIAT money?”

    If I understand this wisdom correctly, industry has turned into a very large hippie who may now learn truth about months repeated now about fiat money?

    Or, is it that hippies who now learn truth about fiat money obviously melt-down industry about months.

    Then too, it could be that industries melt-down hippies to fiat money repeated for months.

    In any case though, I think, for what’s it is worth (nothing of course), that you have found the root of the problem with introspective industries. But, naturally, if not for fiat currencies, introspective industries could not exist!

  248. Worried about yourself to the bitter and selfish end.

  249. Sorry, but my comment above was meant for trouserman.

  250. Your philosophical mistake, outside of the personality twist that too much drugs in the hippie days caused

    where the brain’s dopamine balance was depleted – hence always the Nihilist conclusions –

    is that IF you really observe the construction of Spaceship Earth

    you MUST arrive at the conclusion

    that you cannot rule the planet by the “secret” physics you seek to generate infinite profit for a chosen few.

    Spaceship Earth is not a Large Halldron Collider constructed to amuse HIGHER intelligences with an infinite number of ways atoms can smash into each other.

    “God” turns out to be a gardener, not an atomic physicist.

    So I am thankful “someone” grew tomatoes when they had primordial atoms to play games with instead of “economic theories”…

  251. Re: @ David___Obviously you are a well read pessimist…at best frustrated, as all here at the goings on in Washington. Where have you been? This popularized quote by Mark Twain must ring a bell: “lies, damned lies…and then there are statistics” – [(*Quotations about Statistics)(**Out of the air a voice without a face; Proved by statistics that some cause was just; In tones as dry and level as the place"- The Shield of Achilles (1955/Auden)]

    http://www.quotegarden.com/statistics.html

    We (myself) are all quite certain that industry has helped accelerated global (eg. cutting down half the rain forest doesn’t help matters) warming but by how much is an indeterminate at most. Empirical data that climatic cycles occur ~ 10k years is failsafe enough for this chump.
    Your argument is very valid indeed, and heratfelt as I agree wholeheartedly (if that means much?), and there are some goings on I’d think you would find of interest with relavance to this post. Ref: “Architects of Global Warming Conspiracy” (carbon footprint for stomping on emerging markets prosperity?)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Strong

    http://www.investorsiraq.com/showthread.php?138133-Architect-Of-Global-Warming-Conspiracy-Maurice-Strong&p=963906

    Thanks David :-)) PS. If not for education none of us would be here?

  252. All great ideas and it’s terrible what is happening to the children.
    BUT, the rich elites (public code-word Republicans) will never go for any of this. Heck, most of it has been proposed repeatedly at all levels of gov’t. But they, who run things, do not want these changes. They want our ultimate fate to return to lives of serfdom.
    When the rich elites are stripped of their power (how? no one knows) only then will things begin to improve for all mankind.

  253. Those wih English degrees would profit fro certain certificate programs at Community Colleges. Seriously. Many graduates of highly ranked colleges have taken advantage of these programs rather than complicate their unemployment with grad school.

    Some programs require only 4-6 courses (no degree needed, especially if you already have one) and lead directly to well paid jobs.

    I live in a marginally poor, majority immigrant neighborhood. The hard working parents save to buy a triple decker and send their kids to college – community college. Those who have graduated from community college (AA degree in specific areas) have jobs.

  254. “George, I like my beans with ketchup.”

    Workforce mobility, or migrant workers? Time will tell.

  255. Americans,

    We need to stand up for ourselves! Sitting around, and feeling sorry for ourselves do not cut the cake! We need to stop letting these super rich corporate, fascist, scums ruining everyone’s life! We also need to stop feeling “hopeful” that elective officials will fix the problems! We either going to stand up for ourselves and fight …. or…. just continue being apathetic and watching everything crumbles!

  256. Since they don’t have a job, and supposedly are “educated”

    why aren’t they having a Constitutional Convention and BURNING the patriot Act?

    No money?

    Someone is going to give them money to defend themselves against liars thieves and murderers – THE WRECKING CREW?

    That’s when things happen, right? When POVERTY is enforced through “law”…but I guess they’re all too drugged up and drunk to care…?

    That’s how they shut down the “hippies” – they brought in the religious “trip” to “god” via drugs…and it’s been one Jim Jones (Jonestown fiasco) nut job after another being “sold” as the leadership…

    And what do you do with a generation who has no FACTS and no way to collect and analyze DATA?

  257. One used to think “you are part of the problem, or part of the solution”. It seems that we all are part of the problem, even if your specific ideas are valid. Ideals in America are mostly selfish. However abundant our total resources are, taking more than one needs for greed alone can come to no good end. If you are educated you know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. These times we have are just a balancing act. So suck it up, stop whining, and make the best of what you’ve got! One step at a time! Remember there is always someone that has it worse than you!!!

  258. Here’s a FACT – there exists a book that is the most censored book on the planet. Another FACT – these are the people who censored it because they don’t want “we the people” to SEE them:

    “Vanity contribute mightily to the birth of society; but at the time of these revelations the devious strivings of a vainglorious generation threaten to swamp and submerge the whole complicated structure of a highly specialized civilization.”

    This was “prophesized” in the 1930s in Chicago IL, USA.

    Does anyone really believe that HOOLIGANS are smart enough to come up with the “anti” machinations to THIS list from the same book:

    “If men

    (and of course women, but not enough people who have English as a FIRST language realize that when “men” is used in the context of talking about human beings, it include the other half of the species – female)

    would maintain their freedom, the must, after having chosen their charter of liberty, provide for its wise, intelligent and fearless interpretation to the end that that there may be PREVENTED:

    1. Usurpation of unwarranted power by either the executive or the legislative branches.
    2. Machinations of ignorant and superstitious agitators.
    3. Retardation of scientific progress.
    4. Stalemate of the dominance of mediocrity.
    5. Domination by vicious minorities.
    6. Control by ambitious and clever would-be dictators.
    7. Disastrous disruption of panics.
    8. Exploitation by the unscrupulous.
    9. Taxation enslavement of the citizenry by the state.
    10. Failure of social and economic fairness.
    11. Union of church and state.
    12. Loss of personal liberty.”

    The % of taxes taken from those earning 40K a year to bail out “banks” was EXTREME – total THEFT.

    That’s just ONE example – just ONE FACT – of how the hooligans are doing the exact opposite of this list.

    How come you did not learn in college how to collect DATA that is crucial to life-maintenance?

    Where’s the DATA on how many people’s HOMES are sitting empty while they are now stuffed into the concentration camps of SLUM LORDS?

    Do you really believe, as a generation, that not being ALLOWED to progress through the arts of HOME MAINTENANCE because the slum lords WANT to see you live in squalor for 2 grand a month as PROOF of their FACT that you are “stupid”

    is NORMAL AND SANE?

    They managed to throw “industrial” homemaker Martha Stewart into jail for LYING to the FBI, not for “insider trading” – but 41 trillion in “derivatives” is – wha’? – “smart” math…?!

    Austerity sure better be extended to the “industry” that has been burying the FACTS people need to govern themselves as a “middle class” – the only true CLASS there ever was, so far…

    The Wrecking Crew are completely out in the open – and they ARE taking all first shots. Go troll the archives of Lake Havasu City AZ to see what a REPUBLICAN Paradise it is – find that story about how they CHOSE to test the skills of their newly funded ala “patriot act” SWAT Team against a distraught homeowner – “yeeha, we’re good at 10 against one!”.

    They’re PSYCHO, my friends.

    That’s what happened to the hippies – the impulse to solve problems – to HEAL the madness left behind after WWII – was twisted into navel-gazing ME ME ME through DRUGS.

    You got the list – the FACTS – that they have – now everyone take one item and FIGHT BACK against the psychos.

  259. I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of economic quandaries is minimal at best. (I passed my college Economics course by the skin of my teeth.) Therefore, let me preface my comment by saying my opinion is formed through experience, common-sense thought, and perhaps a small bit of wisdom – not through data, statistics, or politically-driven agendas.

    As I read this article and the dire scenario it sets for our young people, one word kept popping up in my head – entrepreneurship. If companies and corporations don’t want what you KNOW you have to offer, then take it straight to the people in the form of YOUR OWN business, built on YOUR OWN innovative ideas. Seriously, why should a Board of Directors profit from YOUR idea, while they keep you in perpetual stagnation in a human resources black hole? Consumers are very often more receptive to unconventional and “new” ideas and possibilities than are corporate suits. So take it straight to the people.

    Although I agree that Liberal Arts studies as a major tend to be somewhat peripheral (especially if you have a specific educational goal in mind), some courses are vital, e.g…

    > ENGLISH – if you can’t convey your vision of what you have to offer verbally or in written context, you’re sunk.
    > PSYCHOLOGY – you need to understand how human thought and processing of information translates to behavior.
    > MARKETING – you need to convince the consumer to, at the very least, notice you.
    > BUSINESS – only take the risks that will yield the largest potential payoff.
    > TECHNOLOGY – sorry, but that’s an obvious given.

    There should be elective courses in all colleges aimed at problem-solving (not in math, but in life and success in general), persistence (okay that didn’t work, let’s try it this way), and idea cultivation (here’s my idea – how can I make it grow and prosper?).

    I have a daughter in her sophomore year of college – already $12,000 in student loan debt. She has her specific major (her passion) and is determined to make it her life’s work. She realizes that, given the economy, she may have to take matters into her own hands upon graduation, i.e. grit and determination as opposed to “someone please give me a job!”

    To Generation Y, I say:

    > Find your passion.
    > Zero in on it.
    > Take elective courses that will enhance your chosen core passion.
    > If companies can’t see your talent, perhaps consumers will.

  260. All of those young college grads are seeing the result of their vote for Obama in 2008.

    Once you realize that, quit defending your vote, figure how you were used by someone who has no intention of helping you, and vote for the other party.

    In the meantime, I wish you all the best in your struggle. You are not alone. Millions who had jobs for years, have lost them…and they are not young.

  261. They sent a SWAT team – just as a test case – to take out “grit and determination”….You need to tell the kids the truth – the party of “NO” is psycho – hey, it rhymes…

    The party of NO
    is psycho

    go ahead – what’s the next line….

  262. Baby-boomer bank regulators’ scared stiff that something would happen while they were around, ordered the banks not to take the risks that are normally required in order to generate the next generation of jobs, like lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs, and gave the banks all the incentives to make huge profits lending with ridiculously low capital requirements to what was perceived as not risky, lie triple-A rated securities, Greece and Irish banks. Well, guess what, the baby-boomers, instead of their “après nous le deluge”, the flood came before they were gone!

  263. American females I mean “Bit****” will suffer the most in this economic depression. Heck there will be no jobs or self employment in even the worlds oldest profession. Just look at Las Vegas. Very soon it will surpass Detroit the Great.

  264. My comment on the current generation (of which I am a member) is this:

    They seem to have either a) a confused definition of “essentials” or b) a skewed perspective of how the true “essentials” should be provided to them.

    I may be 25 with a job, a house, and a new car. However, what I don’t have is more important. I don’t have a nice cell phone, I don’t have a large TV (19″ tube TV with basic cable), I don’t go out to the bars every weekend, I use coupons at the grocery store…and because of all the things I don’t have, I also don’t have the $30K+ in debt that I graduated college with a mere 3.5 years ago. Sure, I chose a good profession, but I don’t make a whole lot more than the median income.

    I see WAY too many people with consumer debt on top of education debt, and their fixed monthly costs are twice what mine are. Paying $150 for cable and $100 for your phone service has somehow become the standard. No wonder you have no idea how to manage your money. The lack of employment is not the root cause. When the paycheck starts flowing again you’re just going to spend it all.

  265. Nicola Matthews

    The political feasibility of investing 50 to 100 billion in green jobs and education rests squarely on the inability of the general population to understand the role of money in the federal government. Because people tend to equate federal budgets with personal household budgets they perceive deficits as detrimental to the economy. However, considering the fact that the federal government is sovereign, can print (or simply change the numbers in the accounts electronically) money at will, they cannot default on their debt. Running a deficit is not “bad.” In fact is it the norm throughout our history. If we want to make it politically feasible to pass legislation that will invest in jobs and education, understanding money and its role in the government must be a priority.

  266. Followers of James Kwak’s blog. A few months ago he mentioned a book that makes Statistics easy to understand for the layman. A book he had read. I’ve gone back over the blogs and can’t find the reference :( Can anyone help me. Thanks. yar

  267. Keillor from time to time has skits on how cool English majors are. I suspect he is making a joke. How did you choose this particular oblivion?

  268. some guy in a cube

    Stop the whining for crissake, this is America! Make something of yourself. Go to where your jobs are…in China and India.

  269. Your passport is your ticket to a better life and higher wages. Explore the world !

  270. We have plenty of engineers in this country. They come from India and Pakistan.

  271. Don’t I wish that would happen. I am a graduate from the Class of 1990 – the last time we had a big economic crisis. I spent six years in a state of underemployment, including a stint in the Army Reserves while I worked toward a Masters Degree. I got a commission as a Signal Officer in 1996 – Reserves again, and after OBC, came home to a slew of IT contracting jobs from 1998 to present. At first it was great – more money that I dreamed I was capable of making, but that referred to matriculation to senior level positions never happened. I am still a writer, and for all the experience I have in the field, I actually find myself treated with less respect by co-workers (engineers from India) than I ever received when my career began.
    We’re talking about all the people without jobs, and I am with you on this because I experienced in the 1990s what you are going through now, but there is another side of the coin – those of us who have jobs are not particularly encouraged to work any harder than we are because there is no real reward for doing so. Raises, bonuses, and recognition is reserved by the full-time employees who were shipped in from India, while contractors who did the work that earned that recognition sit in the sidelines with compensation that cannot even feed their kids.
    Things are messed up all around, and I would urge those of you who are angry about it to take action. Let somebody know that our leaders are selling us out. Do something. You cannot rely on big corporations to take care of you until you retire anymore. IBM took back all the pensions they promised their employees years ago. Other companies are forcing their employees to work at stagnant wages at best, cutting wages more often than not, and they have adopted the practice of hiring disposable employees, contractors for whom they are not responsible for sharing the fruits of their labors.
    And make no mistake, they are not recording losses. They are recording gains that aren’t as good as they expected, so they have gone back to their people asking them to dig deeper, work harder, and win the world for their CEOs, and they’re not even disguising it anymore – there is no promise of a reward for all the effort. Only the CEOs and stockholders prosper. If you work for a living, you might as well face it, you’re a chump.
    If you don’t have a job, don’t bother trying to find it. Come up with a solution all your own. Corporations, politicians, none of them are concerned about you. They’re not concerned about me, either. You have to create your own paradigm of success. The white picket fence is a thing of the past. Pensions are a pipe-dream. Even health care benefits and other “perks” your parents used to tell you about are unattainable. If you’re going to corporations for that. Find a niche and do something with it that keeps it simple: “I give you this piece of merchandise, and you give me enough money to provide a meal for me and my family today. Bless you.” Then, extend the paradigm until you’ve made enough money to keep yourself afloat.
    Good luck and God bless.

  272. Andrew, I am a 42-year-old editor, and I am with you. But, it’s not the major that is the root cause. When you really get down to it, it’s the expenses that have gone up unreasonably while our compensation has not gone with it. That said, I am so bitter at this point about my place in the job market as an underemployed and daily “dissed” technical editor that I am discouraging my children from pursuing any sort of writing career and would prefer that they grow up to become engineers so that they can “spread the love” to a poorly compensated technical editor in turn. (I don’t really mean that last part about disrespecting technical editors – it’s just how I express how incredibly dissatisfied I am with my current employment situation.)

  273. Unfortunately, the way things are going, six figures are about what it’s going to take to get the ends to meet. I make what in 1990 would have been a pretty big salary, but in 2010 going into 2011, I am shining on one bill collector (a different one) each month because my pay doesn’t cover all the living expenses needed to feed my family and keep a roof over my head.

  274. I am one of those “experienced” folks, and the word I get is that employers would rather hire someone straight out of school because they’re cheaper – unless I am willing to take a cut in pay that I cannot afford to take.