Occupy Wall Street

The Only Thing Missing From "The New Declaration of Independence": Any Sense That Adults Are Responsible for Their Choices


Though the costume was great, Pareene

I linked to it yesterday, but there was something about Salon.com's "New Declaration of Independence," something reminiscent of a lot of Occupy Wall Street-inspired commentary, that stuck in my craw. It was the common theme running through these sentences:

What unites the outraged 99 Percent is that we have all "played by the rules," only to learn belatedly that the game was rigged. Having been promised modest rewards for working within the system, by taking on debt or voting the party line, we find ourselves, bluntly, shit out of luck. Let the facts be submitted to a candid world:

For the young, higher education was said to be a ticket to class mobility, or at least a secure career. Instead, middle-class students have taken on billions of dollars of inescapable debt during a prolonged jobs crisis. Lower-income students are blatantly ripped off by usurious scam artists working for educationally dubious for-profit schools. Even those seeking to join the professional class, through medical school or law school, find themselves with mountains of debt and dwindling job prospects. The rapidly rising cost of higher education pushes bright students into lucrative but socially destructive fields, like finance. […]

For millions of middle-class and striving blue-collar American families, the promise of homeownership as the world's safest investment became another money-making bubble for Wall Street that remains Main Street's intractable mess. Those members of the middle class unfortunate enough to do as an industry of wise men counseled them and invest in the stock market and real estate have seen the fruits of a lifetime's worth of labor evaporate in multiple busts and crashes that the wise men always escape from economically intact. […]

It is not in the national interest to force the impoverished to become wage slaves to pay off insurmountable debts owned to payday lenders and hugely profitable bankers. […]

Every other rich nation on earth heavily subsidizes higher education. We force mere kids to mortgage their futures, then ensure that the debt follows them the rest of their lives, regardless of their living circumstances. […]

Even millions of homeowners who "did everything right" find themselves underwater, or illegally foreclosed upon by banks running roughshod over the rights of homeowners by robo-signing fraudulent foreclosure documents by the thousands.

Did Benjamin play by the stinkin' rules? NO, BENJAMIN DID NOT PLAY BY THE STINKIN' RULES.

Who are these wise men, and what are these rules, these promises, this ticket to class mobility, or at least a secure career, this singular notion of the one "right" way to do things? At the risk of going all "Generation X is sick of your bullshit" here, count me as one Gen Xer who does not recognize the world that Alex Pareene and the Salon staff (many of whom are even older than me!) have sketched out here.

Cradle-to-grave employment (at least outside the public sector) has been dead since at least the end of the Cold War. Undergraduate degrees in English and Film and Sociology and Philosophy (and a thousand other subjects) have had debatable workplace utility for as long as I've been alive. There have even been previous housing bubbles and busts in Alex Pareene's lifetime.

I don't recall anything like the promises so cruelly unkept in Salon's list. I do remember my father warning me that an engineering degree would be much more useful in the workplace than English, to which I uttered a phrase available to 18-year-olds everywhere: Thanks, Dad; not your call. Ditto for the legions of well-meaning adults urging me to finish my undergraduate degree, to sign up for the Selective Service, and even (when I finally attained a decent living in the second half of my 30s) to pay a mortgage instead of paying rent. One of the best perks about being a grown-up is that you get to make your own choices, and to own the results, good and ill.

Which is why phrases like "wage slaves," "inescapable debt," and "force" "force" "force" leave me feeling like a brother from another planet. Adult human beings have agency, the ability (even responsibility!) to run their own cost/benefit analyses and choose accordingly. You could go to a state school (or community college) instead of an over-inflated prestige mill. You could pay for a 10-year-old car in cash, instead of a new one on installments. You could try to make it in Minneapolis before living the dream in Williamsburg. You could stare into the face of a no-money-down, adjustable rate 30-year mortgage at the tail end of a housing-price run-up and conclude "Maybe that one's not for me." You could even choose to turn down a bad if high-paying job when you're living below the poverty line. If we indeed live in a "candid world," let us state bluntly that offloading 100% of the blame for your own mountain of debt on a group of Greedy McBanksters who "forced" you to "play by the rules" is more than a little pathetic.

One percent before it wasn't cool

And since when have right-thinking liberals from the creative class bragged about "playing by the rules" anyway? Is it really my imagination that the point used to be something closer to the opposite? I am old enough to remember when the whole aspiration–or at least the defiant self-acknowledgment of status–was to declare yourself a marginalized "one percenter." As Jane's Addiction sang, in a less playing-by-the-rules kinda time:

All the people I know wanna be left alone
Some people! I don't know
They won't leave you alone
You gotta be just, be just like them

Biggest gang I know they call the government
Gang is a weapon
That you trade your mind in for
You gotta be just, be just like them

The gang and the government
no different
The gang and the government
no different
The gang and the government
no different
That makes me 1%
That makes me 1%

I totally understand that it would be frustrating to emerge with a university degree into this lousiest-in-three-decades economy, even though you're still much better off statistically being credentialed than not. And higher education is too often too damned expensive, though some of that is the inevitable result of the federal government trying to make it cheaper (paradoxical, I know!). I even think that exempting student loan debt from bankruptcy protection is both unwise and unlikely to last, given the alarming trends and the political climate. Unemployment and poverty are awful, soul-wrenching experiences.

But. The Organization Man died decades ago, long may he rot. There are no "rules," and even if there were, you don't get an extra pat on the head for playing by them. Your "Debt Jubilee" will not be a party, unless your idea of a wild time is to eliminate consumer credit as we know it. And if you have any intention of building up a political case for bailing out your bad decisions, you might start with taking even one percent responsibility for them.

Reason on Occupy Wall Street here.

NEXT: Breaking: California High-Speed Rail Boondoggle Now Officially Texas-Sized

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  1. Tax the rich? Wow, that’s a good idea. How come they haven’t been paying any taxes all of this time?

    1. I’m down with this, as long as we can eat them after we tax them.

      What could possibly go wrong?

      1. I suggest eating them first. Flight risk, yanno, with all those corporatey jets and limo drivers. Besides, carrying all that booty takes energy, something only the meat of the rich can provide.

        1. And the meat hasn’t been used for any kind of physical labor, since all of their wealth has been handed to them by Lady Luck, so you know it’ll be tender.

          1. Cube farm raised veal. Delicious.

            1. Have to play Krokus during dinner though.

              1. You could play Motorhead, although it’s definitely not one of their better songs.

              2. I actually saw them in concert, opening (along with Jon Butcher Axis) for Def Leppard.

                1. Hey, I saw that tour too!

                  1. I was in high school at the time. Back then, it was mostly general admission. Got pretty close to the stage.

            2. Easy rich 1%-er stew with cubed wealthy parasite, cream of mushroom soup, carrots, rice, and other vegetables.
              Cook Time: 1 hour
              Total Time: 1 hour
              1 pound cubed wealthy parasite
              cooking oil
              1/4 cup chopped onion
              1 can (10 1/2 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
              3/4 cup water
              3/4 cup matchstick carrots
              1 1/2 cups sliced celery, about 1/2 inch slices
              1 cup frozen cut green beans
              1 teaspoon salt
              1/2 teaspoon pepper
              hot cooked rice

              Heat cooking oil in a heavy skillet; brown cubed parasite, turning to brown all sides. Add 1/4 cup chopped onion. Cook until golden brown. Add soup and water; blend well. Simmer for 40 minutes. Add carrot sticks, celery, and green beans. Add salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until meat and vegetables are tender. Serve stew over hot cooked rice, with soy sauce on the side.
              Rich Parasite Stew serves 6.

    2. rich GE sure hasnt paid taxes

      1. Being tight with the Obama administration will get you perks like that, o2.

        1. good to know !

        2. Funny how the stOOpid ones never make that connection, Issac.

          1. calling stupid ppl stupid is a wingnut [MEME]

            1. ^use ur real name sarcasmic

            2. Whose fault is it that GE hasn’t paid taxes lately?

              Hint: It’s “Team Blue”.

          2. /sarcasim much?

            triez moar harder

            yoos can do it fify

            1. Who allows GM to avoid taxes, stOOpid?

              I’m not interested in the other “argument”.

        3. I think the tax laws were there before Obama. Maybe if we hired enough people to audit their 900 page tax returns we can probably get billions more in revenue.

          1. or take away the billions of dollars in subsidies they currently receive.

        4. GE was benefiting from generous federal tax policies well before 2008. This issue transcends party politics.

      2. No they didn’t but no corporation pays taxes anyway. They might be the ones whose names are on the checks each year, but to pretend the money comes from them is to be willfully blind. The added tax gets added to the price of their product or service and it is paid by you and me.

    3. I read that whole article by Pareene. It was stupid for the most part.

    4. Quit whining.

    5. i’ve been involved in higher education, as a student, part-time instructor, and parent, for 25+ years

      the message has been consistent that whole time: if you want a better chance for a good job, do a STEM or business degree, and if you graduate with any degree that ends in “studies” your job search will be much harder

      i did a humanities undergrad, and it was made quite clear to me that if i loved the subject matter then i should do it, but not to expect a job in the field, and if i wanted a good job i’d need another more useful degree later (which i got)

  2. Cradle-to-grave employment (at least outside the public sector) has been dead since at least the end of the Cold War.

    It was dead snce the end of the Civil War. The fact that a few industries kept that fiction can be explained by the destructive efforts of Unions, but job mobility has been the norm for most [non-gov] people.

    1. bull. the greatest gen enjoyed retirement [JOBZ] w good middle-class wages & benefits.

      1. And they were just given those jobs. They didn’t grow up in poverty or go to war or anything or spend any time getting a marketable skill. No they were just given to them after they got their NYU degress in under water wanking.

        1. the greatest gen was WW2 einstein

          1. I know that you idiot. Thus the references to them growing up in poverty (the Depression), going to war (World War II). Sometimes I think you are a troll. But it appears you really are as stupid as you appear to be.

            1. Sometimes I think you are a troll. But it appears you really are as stupid as you appear to be.

              Yes, and yes.

              1. That too.

          2. ok, it didnt occurr to me that john was dumping on old mex as well.

            so we BOTH refuted old mex’s contention that “cradle-to-grave employment” was (sic) “dead since the civil war”.

            >didnt axe for the help but thanks for dumping on old mex. and that makes u actually stupid doesnt it?

            1. Re: Double Asshole,

              ok, it didnt occurr to me that john was dumping on old mex as well.

              No, he wasn’t, you moo-cow. And I was being facetious.

              so we BOTH refuted old mex’s contention that “cradle-to-grave employment” was (sic) “dead since the civil war”.

              YOU, refuting anything? Ha! The only thing you have refuted every single time with 100% success is the idea that you possess intelligence, character, knowledge, common sense and writing skills.

              1. I’ll pretend I know these posters personally.

      2. Liberals kind of need to make up their minds.

        Which is it? Were the fifties some golden age of egalitarian prosperity, peace and security or an era of stifling conformity, racial and sexual discrimination and living in terror of nuclear annihilation?

        Depending on which day of the week it is we have to listen to some tiresome gasbag giving us one or the other of those two versions of what Ameri[c][k]a was during the Eisenhower Administration.

        1. The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

        2. Liberals kind of need to make up their minds.
          but they can’t and won’t, and therein lies the attraction of liberalism. It is ideological junk food, where ideas are measured by the weight of their intentions than the quality of their outcomes. Liberalism also depends on a massively uninformed and/or apathetic populace for its power.

          1. Stealing this. The best, most concise explanation of liberalism.

          2. “Liberals kind of need to make up their minds.”

            Can’t make up what you don’t have.

          3. Sadly, it will never go away, because whenever we get a prolonged spell of reasonably ‘good times’ the populace starts taking it for granted and getting all apathetic on our hides.

        3. One of the things I find fascinating is the current commentary by liberal pundits, economists, etc. on the need for bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. “We need to produce things again and bring jobs back to America!”

          Excuse me but have not progressive “thinkers” spent the last one hundred years and copious amounts of paper, ink, film and paint decrying the mindless, soul killing monotony that is life on an assembly line or in a cubicle at an office?

          Seriously, which of those #OWS protesters would be caught dead tighteing lugs on tires at factory?

        4. Isaac, I’d say my understanding (whatever one might call me, I suppose liberal fits as well as anything) is that economically the 50s and 60s mark the high point of the American middle class. They were also the period of time where a great deal was achieved in the field of equal rights for women and minorities. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. And I think I’d have to be shown a lot of solid data to accept the notion that the growth of civil rights is a cause of the decline of the middle class.

      3. Re: Double Asshole,

        bull. the greatest gen enjoyed retirement [JOBZ] w good middle-class wages & benefits.

        The “greatest generation”? “Middle class” wages? What the FUCK are you talking about, you talking cow?

      4. Just because because Ponzi scheme can continue for sometime, since some costs can be thrown into the future does not necessarily mean they are good. It is just WIMPY philosphy “I will give you…tomorrow for a hamburger today”

    2. Soldier -> Mercenary
      DoD civilian -> DoD Contractor
      Congress Critter -> Lobbyist

      Job mobility exists for gov employees too!

  3. This is what you get for reading something by Alex Pareene. He is hands-down in the top five of “Dumbest Writers the Right Reverend has Read.”

    1. Let me guess the other four

      Dalia Lithwick
      Thomas Friedman
      David Frum
      Pauli Krugnuts.

      1. David Brooks feels slighted by your list.

        1. It was a tough call between him and Frum.

          1. no love for E.J. Dionne ?

            1. Small list and so much stupidity. It is a high bar.

          2. and why does Jonathan Alter get a pass?

            1. Actually, the big missing on the list is Joel Klein. He should be in there over Lithwick. Leaving Klein off a world’s dumbest writer list is like leaving the Beatles off a world’s most successful rock band list.

              1. What about the other Kleins? Like Joe, Ezra, Naomi…?

                1. Ezra doesn’t even rise to the level of being a “writer”. Putting him on this list is like making fun of the retarded kid. This list is for people who might actually be taken seriously by someone.

                  And Naomi could be on the list but over whom?

                  1. Ouch. But funny!

              2. five is too short a list; I believe that is the conclusion here. The left is, as we say in the South, “eat up” with self-proclaimed deep thinkers that it believes its own bullshit.

                1. “Ate up with the dumbass” is how I usually hear it.

        2. What about E.J. Dionne? Eugene Robinson?

          There’s so many to choose from!

      2. Krugman’s not dumb. He’s evil.

        I love that Welch wrote this article, but taking down someone as dumb as Pareene is like shooting a baby in the face.

        1. Ain’t nobody shootin’ no babies ‘less I give the say-so.

        2. “Paul Krugman stopped being a serious economist the day he started writing his column in the Times.” – My thesis adviser dispensing some of the best possible advice for staying abreast of developments in my chosen field of study. This was in 2003.

        3. Nah. Somebody might miss the baby.

  4. Which is why phrases like “wage slaves,” “inescapable debt,” and “force” “force” “force” leave me feeling like a brother from another planet.

    Generation Victim.

    1. Oh, look, everyone! White Idiot posted yet another incomprehensible, pointless screed he found on the interwebs!

      1. Oops. The screed in question is below JW’s post.

        Anyway, it’s easy to spot… it has some shit about the evils of property ownership or eating Wonder Bread or something.

        1. It’s better this way. Directly responding to WI’s posts only makes you dumber. I lost 10 IQ points last month. I’ll never do that again.

          1. I’m only doing it indirectly from now on, with extra gravy where appropriate.

            It just isn’t worth responding to directly.

    2. Ah, so instead of it going: Generation X, Generation Y, Generation Z

      It’s going in reverse alphabetical order: Generation X, Generation Why, Generation Victim

      Wonder what U will be.

      1. Generation Ugly.

        As in “Things are really starting to get ugly.”

      2. Generation Unemployed

      3. Generation Unforgiven

        “We all got it coming kid”

  5. Our system of private property in land forces landless men to work for others; to work in factories, stores, and offices, whether they like it or not. Wherever access to land is free, men work only to provide what they actually need or desire. Wherever the white man has come in contact with savage cultures this fact becomes apparent. There is for savages in their native state no such sharp distinction between “work” and “not working” as clocks and factory whistles have accustomed the white man to accept. They cannot be made to work regularly at repetitive tasks in which they have no direct interest except by some sort of duress. Disestablishment from land, like slavery, is a form of duress. The white man, where slavery cannot be practiced, has found that he must first disestablish the savages from their land before he can force them to work steadily for him. Once they are disestablished, they are in effect starved into working for him and into working as he directs.

    ~Dr. Ralph Borsodi
    This Ugly Civilization
    Simon and Schuster | New York | 1929

    1. Re: White Imbecile,

      Have you ever toiled the land, White Imbecile? If not, then shut the fuck up, you who would cry like a little wussy girl at the first sight of sored hands when trying to plant a few frijoles. Scarlett O’Hara you ain’t.

      1. Please stop feeding it, dude. It profits no one but the troll.

      2. I’d give a weeks’ wages if White Idiot could produce proof of catching, skinning, and eating ANY animal.

        1. I’d give a big donation to the Reason Foundation if they would stop White Idiot from shitting all over every fucking thread.

          1. I’d throw a few shekels that way, too.

            1. Meh, scroll wheel works just fine.

              1. I’m even cheaper than a Jew.

                1. Not when it comes to booze, drugs and women. I just have my priorities in order.

                    1. What are you talking about, Ska? I’M the skinflintiest! I can out-unspend you any day of the week?

        2. but but the officers won’t let him hunt. Seriously if we’re lucky he’d try and then get mauled … by a deer.

          1. You laugh, but I’ve seen people get fucked up by a stunned doe that wakes up and decides to kick the shit out of you.

        3. I’d give a months’ wages if anyone could produce proof of catching, skinning, and eating White Indolent.

          1. I’d match that, Robo.

      3. Let it go man. Let it go. He’s not worth it.

      4. …is the problem.

        Agriculture is the birth of production, complete with its essential features and deformation of life and consciousness. The land itself becomes an instrument of production and the planet’s species its objects.

        …the logic of agriculture, the end of life as mainly sensuous activity, the embodiment and generator of separated life. Artificiality and work have steadily increased since its inception and are known as culture: in domesticating animals and plants man necessarily domesticated himself.

        Agriculture: Demon Engine of Civilization
        by John Zerzan

        1. funny how some alleged hater of domestication has no issue using technology to spread his thoughts OR to have a link on that site where one can buy things. When did the hunter/gatherer label expand to include merchant? That’s the trouble with bullshit; you don’t have to step in it to recognize it.

        2. funny how some alleged hater of domestication has no issue using technology to spread his thoughts OR to have a link on that site where one can buy things. When did the hunter/gatherer label expand to include merchant? That’s the trouble with bullshit; you don’t have to step in it to recognize it.

        3. Agriculture is indeed the engine of Civilization. If you and this author you seem to idolize see civilization is ‘demonic’, well, then we have serious issues from the word ‘Go’.

          Apparently it’s demonic because it’s not ‘tied to the land’ in the author’s eyes.

          Only it is.

          But it’s not tied to the land in real time. Civilization gives us a buffer against the bad times, a delay. It gives us time to wax philosophic when, in simpler times, we might have been scrambling to eat insects found under logs or whatever.

          Might want to decide what you really want out of life before you go taking any of this junk your professors are shoveling at you too seriously.

          They don’t have to really work for a living and never will, so it’s all a game to them. You will not have that luxury once you’re well and truly out on your own and out from under your parents care.

          Honestly, I wish you good luck. Enjoy your ‘radical youth’ while you can.

    2. Let’s see:

      1. Make up personal shit.
      2. Judge person on fictional personal shit.
      3. Totally ignore anything substantial.

      Only at Reason.

      1. is there an example of any of these or are you just providing the lefty talking points of the day.

        1. read nay old mex, sarcasmic, & john posing like they personally know teh [LUB-RAHLZ]…by way of radio entertainment acourse.

          1. I personally know hundreds of liberals. Their politics are full of shit. They’re up to the brim with white suburban college-educated high tax bracket guilt – that’s why they’re liberal. They’re incapabale of enjoying the fruits of their work.

            1. You found a liberal that works?

              1. Some liberals pose at my workplace, yes, although I have yet to note more than homoeopathic amounts of productive output…

    3. ” There is for savages in their native state no such sharp distinction between “work” and “not working”

      Tell that to the tribes that the Aztecs enslaved or the ones enslaved and warred on by the Inca, the Maya, etc.

      One nutjob reference another nutjob – a WI specialty.

    4. There’s truth to all of that, but if you study those ‘simpler times’ more closely, you’ll see that they were so closely tied to the land that a single bad winter, or drought or unexpected disease could wipe out tens of thousands in very short order.

      They were willing to assume that risk, and for that I commend them.

      I, for one, am not. Are you?

  6. Great rant Matt. What makes these people envy more odious is that they didn’t go to that state college or look for that job in Minneapolis because if they had done that they couldn’t look down their noses at those of us who did. And now that it hasn’t worked out for them, we are supposed to come bail them out. And of course do so without depriving them of their smug sense of superiority over the rest of us.

    1. Science H. Logic these people are imbeciles! Sure, I should pay for the 10 years you fucked off in college.


      The one who has a degree in women’s studies and can’t find a job is priceless.

      1. $60k for that shit? We’re DOOOOOOMED.

      2. Holy shit. The women’s studies major is a man. And while she was studying the patriarchy she might have tried some birth control and not had a son out of wedlock without a job.

        But my favorite is this one.

        I am a senior at a top fashion school in New York City. My dream job is to do editorial at a major publication like Vogueor Elle. Even though I am qualified, I can’t afford my dream because it only pays $30,000/yr (or even less starting out). Because girls from very affluent families want to work at magazines, Daddy continues to pay her bills and expenses (even though they aren’t all necessarily qualified for the positions) and magazines don’t need to increase their salaries. My parents have “white collar” jobs, but based on principle, won’t pay for anything after I graduate. Living in new york is expensive: my box (apartment) is $1,700/month and to dress like I belong at Vogue is too. I’d have to waitress to make ends meet (and have no life) or (ironically) date a Wall St guy (the norm), but I’d rather OCCUPY WALL ST than date it.

        I can’t take fun low paying jobs like the rich kids can. And it is all Wall Street’s fault.

        1. Yeah that one actually caused permanent brain damage.

        2. You can’t see it, John, but I’m crying right now. And it’s all YOUR fault!

        3. Fuck this stupid bitch with a ball peen hammer AND a rusty Husqvarna. I would say “She can fuck herself…” but she’s probably too damned lazy to do so and couldn’t be bothered, since the rich kids have servants to do their ball-peening and Husqvarning. Good grief the entitlement mindset is colossal.

          I can’t suffer this shallow, whiny, self-indulgent foolishness. Just can’t. My outrage fuse has blown.

        4. it’s like the days when kids all ran off to Hollywood to be come the next big star.

          Here’s an idea – upscale/specialized jobs are few in number and are hard to get. Hell, I wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger, but the chances of getting into that racket is few and far. The world needs dishwashers, waitresses, factory workers, warehouse workers, drivers, plumbers, electricians, nurses, etc etc – because they make the world go ’round. Everything else is just icing (or maggots) on the capitalist cake.

          1. This.
            Astronaut, Fighter Pilot, etc. Not too many seats to go round.
            Environmental Chemist …. everybody poops.

            1. Hey, I am an environmental chemist!
              Pay is crap, but it’s work.

        5. keep in mind – THIS is the crowd that will be paying into SS when our time to collect comes. Can’t imagine anything going wrong; can you?

          1. Hopefully my fellow youth wake up and cut you leeches off. I doubt that will happen though, they’d rather sit around bitchin about wall street instead of looking at who is really picking our pockets.

        6. ” Living in new york is expensive: my box (apartment) is $1,700/month and to dress like I belong at Vogue is too. I’d have to waitress to make ends meet (and have no life) or (ironically) date a Wall St guy (the norm),”

          I guess its pretty much Somalia over there in NY.

          1. Fuck her. I put myself through an engineering degree while working 25-30 hours a week as programmer. You know what, I didn’t see many of my friends unless they were at school. But those are the choices you make as an adult if you want a particular life instead of the default.

        7. You can live in a seriously PHAT house with land here in KY o $1700 a month.

          But then she’d have to live in flyover country with all those icky people who hunt and drink moonshine, and she just can’t have that.

          Nah, she’s not condescending at all.

      3. Living in new york is expensive: my box (apartment) is $1,700/month and to dress like I belong at Vogue is too.

        *whimper* DOOOOOOMED.

        1. You can’t see her face but what you can see makes you think she is pretty cute. I am quite sure she could make some wall street hedgefund guy a nice little house wife. She just has to use her assets.

          1. Something else about this. When I got my white collar office job, it didn’t pay as much starting out as I liked, so I continued to work part time at my old bartending job. As I’ve gotten raises, I’ve cut back at the old place until I finally quite earlier this year. Now I only occasionally pick up shifts as favors to other people. Heaven forbid you “have no life” for a while in order to achieve anything.

            1. ^This is truth

              Until recently I was working at least 2 jobs continually in order to bump up my families income.

              Waah, I won’t have a life is a pretty shitty excuse…If you want the nice things you are going to have to sacrifice something, either your time or your “dream” job in this case.

            2. I am working my butt off trying to earn my Teaching Credential. I make about $200 a week working at a skatepark and officiating football. My diet consists of whatever is on sale at the time, and rice and beans. I haven’t gone out with friends in God knows how long. Budget wise I net an average of zero. This fall, if I can find a job, I will have an income and be ok. These Occupy Wall Streeters have had an education handed to them, all kind of benefits handed to them… but its not enough. Who is living in poverty? People like me, early 20s just getting into the job market. Give me a decade, I may not make a lot annually as a teacher, but I’ll own a house and land and I’ll have a growing nest egg.

              My generation disgusts.

              1. I may not make a lot annually as a teacher

                Only if you decide to work for a private school. Get into a public school job and you’re set. For life.

            3. I continued to work part time at my old bartending job…Now I only occasionally pick up shifts as favors to other people. Heaven forbid you “have no life” for a while in order to achieve anything.

              Wait a fucking second. Not ragging on Joe here, but is anyone trying to tell me that working at a place where other people pay big money to socialize equates with “having no social life?”

              Shit, the biggest problem for many people is that bartending pays well and they get to socialize while at work – and the problem is they have trouble quitting because it’s so much more fun than office work.

          2. It’s all about getting the MRS degree. She just hasn’t figured it out yet.

          3. Getting a rich Wall Streeter husband isn’t as easy as you might think.


        2. My wife would have killed to get into the fashion industry. Instead she makes $40K a year at a desk at a Fortune 500.

          Fuck this whining cunt.

          1. Everyone I know has a dream job they maybe someday if they are lucky enough to retire take. And I know pretty successful people. But you don’t get your dream job. You get the job that comes along and pays the bills. And you make the best of it. That is how life works.

            This girl really is a living example of the trophy generation. In some ways I feel sorry for her. She spent her whole youth being told she was a princess and would always get what she wanted. Her parents and educators didn’t do her any favors.

            1. We weren’t cruel about it, but we basically told our kids they were on there own once they hit 18.

              At my son’s 13th birthday party I told him he had 5 years left so he better enjoy them while he could. He wasn’t quite old enough to really understand what I was telling him.

              1. Nothing wrong with paying for the college if you can or letting them live at home during it. That is provided they go to an affordable school, work hard, and get a degree in something useful.

                1. My deal basically was that, what my scholarship didn’t cover, would be borrowed.

                  If my grades were good enough and I got into a top-tier grad school, my folks would pay off the debt. If I dicked around so much it hurt my academics, I was on my own.

                  Fucking incentives, etc.

                  1. My parents paid for my undergraduate but it was at a state school and I knew that if I ever had a semester where I dind’t get a 3.0, I was cut off end of discussion.

                    Amazing the wonders incentives will do.

                    But they didn’t pay a dime for grad school. That was all me.

                2. My kids were in grade school when I graduated from college. When they were teens, I told them I was still paying my student loans so they shouldn’t expect any money from me. I told them they could live at home at no cost as long as they were in school. They both gots jobs and moved out.

            2. I have to defend her a little bit–it sounds like in fact her parents have done her some favors by pushing her out of the nest like they should. But she knows there are a lot of people out there whose parents aren’t doing that.

              Yeah, she still needs to get the “life’s not fair” message, and she’s obviously been acculturated to believe, like these upper middle class spoiled kids, that Wall St. is evil and working a lucrative job is somehow immoral. But that’s the real problem?speaking as someone who comes from a lower middle class background (and whose parents came from an upper working class background), all this schooling socializes you with people that come from someplace completely different. And they indoctrinate you, but you can’t actually be like them.

              1. But she knows there are a lot of people out there whose parents aren’t doing that.

                I have not one dollop of sympathy for her; she knows damn well there are plenty of people (or should anyway) that would give their eyeteeth for her opportunities she has enjoyed thus far. The lack of self-awareness is astounding. She is exactly like some goofy guy who feels entitled to a date with a pretty girl just because he’s nice and would treat the girl well as opposed to the square-jawed jock who treats her like shit but the pretty girl prefers the jock. And nice guy gets resentful. The cruel lesson of unrealistic expectation and over-estimation of one’s value is indeed hard to learn.

                And they indoctrinate you, but you can’t actually be like them.

                And that is the cruelest punchline in this comedy of errors that is this delicate snowflake’s tale of woe.

            3. The other thing that’s galling is her assertion that she’s totally qualified for the job.

              High-profile entertainment industry jobs have hundreds of “totally qualified” applicants per open position. Precisely because they’re everyfuckingbody’s dream job.

              “I am willing to take one of 3 or 4 available jobs at 2 or 3 world famous magazines, and I’m totally qualified to do that.”

              Wow, such humility! And such reasonable expectations! I’ll get right on making that happen for you, right after I get the smelly hippie on the cot next to yours a job as a screenwriter for the next Transformers movie, and get the smelly hippie after that a job as a Victoria’s Secret model.

              1. Generalismo Fluffy she also is a good example of the “no man is good enough for me” woman. She wouldn’t have a prayer in the fashion industry unless she was hot. And I gaurentee you she has had plenty of offers from nice guys with good jobs. If she moved in with a boyfriend or (gasp) a husband who had a good job, I bet she could afford to work at Vogue. But she can’t be expected to date Wall Street. She is entitled to Fonzi with a PHD who performs high quality elctro punk and lives in Williamsburg.

                1. I got a college scholarship, but I continued to work weekends because I knew that I was going to need the bucks after I graduated.
                  When I started in journalism, I still worked nights and weekends selling appliances on commission to make ends meet. (I was a kick-ass washer & dryer pusher.)It took a few years before I could drop the second job.
                  Yeah. I don’t have a lot of tears to spare for some of these children.

                  1. One of my roommates from college is a journalist CN. He is a travel writer. He really does have a dream job. I like to kid him about all of his jealous bitter friends hating him now.

                    But I don’t hate him at all. I respect the hell out of him. He sold cameras and appliances for years and lived in poverty to support his journalism habit. And finally after nearly 20 years of hard work, he actually has a job that pays well and he enjoys.

                    These kids expect to get that straight out of college.

                    1. Jesus, John! Are really you my old roommate Gerald? Where you been keeping yourself? I thought you ran your Cessna into a mountain.

                    2. Not unless you are my old roommate Steve.

              2. Reminds me of that dumb bitch from the PBS segment on “malemployment,” who quit her part-time job in Louisiana to move to New York to “be an assistant editor,” and she’s spent the last 2-3 years sleeping on her friends’ couch and walking dogs for actual rich people.

                This moron actually thought her BA from Shit State University and her part-time experience qualified her to get hired in the most competitive job market in the country. There’s only one thing you can say to people like this:


            4. “But you don’t get your dream job. You get the job that comes along and pays the bills. And you make the best of it. That is how life works.”

              I flunked out of college the first time around on my Mum’s dime. After four years spent smoking dope and making pizzas for minimum wage, I realized that I wasn’t going to wake up with a job and a nice car one day- I had to earn it. I needed to go back to college and so spent five years in the Army earning my GI Bill and getting my shit together. I got out and started college. I had to work nights as a security guard to pay my bills and I did so until I graduated. I picked a degree that I thought would prove marketable. I would have loved to get a degree in English, but instead went with Toxicology. Anyway, now I am in grad school getting my PhD so I can make, just possibly, over 40K for once in my life. It’s a hard job but I get a generous stipend, and finding a job will be relatively easy. But I would rather stay home all day and write fiction. But I can’t. Because I need a steady source of income to provide for my family. I have never thought the past sixteen years were unfair, or especially hard. The opposite- all these tools (Army, Grad School) were available to me (and many others) and I simply used them. I just can’t comprehend the mindset of these people.

            5. Everyone I know has a dream job they maybe someday if they are lucky enough to retire take.

              Too true. When I finally hang up the boots/the Army chews me all up and spits out the girstle, my plan is to spend two years teaching at some isolated community in Alaska, then I’m going to do a couple of years supporting medical missions to various hellholes. I figure that 5 years of relative altruism will generate enough karma to pay for my real retirement plan: spend my entire pension and TSP on hookers and cocaine.

              1. Whatever you do SFC B, don’t piss any of that retirement money away after you’ve had your fill of hookers and blow.

            6. My parents tried to steer me toward the state school (San Diego – no thank you! This New England biotch was having none of that), but ultimately they paid for me to go to private university. My parents are of the mindset that college was pretty much a necessity – they would have been very disappointed in me if I hadn’t gone to college (you know the very scary parental Disappointment?).

              At any rate, I don’t have kids, but I feel completely differently than my parents. I would never force a kid o’ mine to go to college, nor would I force them to decide what they wanted for a career at the tender age of 18.

              I would, however, force them out of the house!

              1. You turned down going to school in San Diego? Did your prarents get you tested for Autism? WTF Kristen.

                1. I’m not a fan of San Diego. I worked there one summer and met exactly one person with whom I could hold an intelligent conversation (and she, a native San Diegan, was going to college in upstate NY!).

                  And, believe it or not, some of us love winter. My whole year centers around enjoying winter as much as possible and treating summer as an endurance sport.

                  The 3 bigass storms we had in the winter of aught-9/’10? Time of my fucking life. I swear I was in Valhalla.

                  1. met exactly one person

                    That’s what you get for hanging out in those PB bars.

                    True enough about no winter here though. I learned from my dad – it is better to go to where the snow is when you want it, then to live in it when you don’t.

                  2. “… treating summer as an endurance sport.”

                    I thought I was the only one. I learned to love winter by growing up in Louisiana. We hates summer.

        3. At risk of sounding like I’m taking anything she’s saying seriously, I’ve gotta think that if you take on roommates you can rent for less than 1,700 anyway. Doubly true if you just (gasp) live outside of Manhattan.

      4. Nah. The one at the end that flat-out lied about being jobless wins it for me.

          1. If Cheetara can’t make a living, we’re all doomed!

    2. What’s with all this shitting on Minneapolis? It’s real nice up here. Lotsa arts & stuff.

      1. I agree. If you can stand the winters and the dinosaur sized mosquitos in the summer, it is a really nice place.

        1. Not to mention the 10,000 Manifestations of Passive-Aggressive Behavior.

  7. Kids, wealth envy doesn’t fix your problems.

    Go the fuck home, wipe off the makeup, and deal with life.

    1. and get one of those good overseas [JOBZ] the wealthy exported.

      1. *yawn*

        Come back when you have something to add, stOOpid.

        1. and get one of those good overseas [JOBZ] the wealthy exported becuz the taxes and regulations make the cost of bizness too expensive hier..oops, wut? derp!

          1. cost of business like workers not breathing toxic fumez ! gawd forbid !

            1. If you want to live in a risk-free world, stOOpid… create one for yourself.

              Did you run with scissors as a child?

              1. no i wuz dropped on my hed can’t you tell?

                1. First sensible post you’ve ever made.

                2. ^use ur own name sarcasmic

              2. so controlling toxic fumes makes a “risk-free” world? ur words…

              3. “If you want to live in a risk-free world, stOOpid… create one for yourself.”

                I believe he has, Mr. FIFY.

            2. you geniuses responded to a spoofer ! hahahahahahahaa

              1. Who can tell the difference, stOOpid?

          2. There are a shitload of super-high-paying jobs for Americans overseas. Even manual labor type jobs. These rich bitches would never think about going to Baghdad or Kabul, though!

  8. “You’ll know you’re among the people of your culture if the food is all owned, if it’s all under lock and key. But food was once no more owned than the air or the sunshine are owned. No other culture in history has ever put food under lock and key?and putting it there is the CORNERSTONE OF YOUR ECONOMY, because if the food wasn’t under lock and key, who would work?

    ~Daniel Quinn
    Food Under Lock and Key

    1. Now White, Honey, the food is under lock and key is so you won’t snack all day. Think about your obesity problem, Sweetie. What you get with your EBT card should be more than enough for you to eat. Lord, I can’t even send you to the Food Bank what with you carrying on about about “gamboling” and trying to get them to serve you like it’s a sit down restaurant.

      We need property so you have my basement to live in. I don’t mind that you haven’t had a girlfriend since middle school when that older girl took you into the bushes for God knows what. I understand she frightened you away from real girls. But could you at least replace the carpet where you put my old PC you use? The carpet stain under it is disgusting and Lysol isn’t cutting the smell anymore. Even the cats won’t go in there, just like your room before I kicked you out of the regular part of the house.

      1. That wasn’t a girl who took your son into the bushes, Missus Indian.

    2. But food was once no more owned than the air or the sunshine are owned

      Because in a state of nature, “food” doesn’t exist. Some human has to work to change a substance–seed, deer, berry–into food.

      So if there is no ownership of food, there is no incentive to work to make it. Resulting in no food and everybody starves.

      You naive yutz.

      1. Because in a state of nature, “food” doesn’t exist.

        Yes, it does, or once did, before the agricultural city-State ruined the whole planet. It was easily gathered in two hours per day.

        1. So early humans lived on berries and fruit they could gather, that’s it? They didn’t hunt? They didn’t fish? They didn’t cultivate grains?

          What anthropology books are you reading, the Bible? Because there was no State of Eden.

          1. all that fruit led to some loose change.

    3. Re: ~Daniel Quinn
      Food Under Lock and Key

      That is some stupid shit right there.

        1. ^^And also here^^

  9. Can we stop feeling sorry for people who are “under water” on their houses? I feel bad for people who are sick or lost their jobs. But if you have a job and can afford your mortgage or if you can’t can afford rent after you walk away from your house (that you really don’t own anyway), you are hardly a victim. Oh my God, they can’t retire on their home equity or may have to rent for a few years. Cry me a river.

    1. The solution to being underwater on your mortgage is bankruptcy.

      The system has escape mechanisms in place. Bailing out people that made bad decisions only encourages people that routinely make bad decisions.

      Of course, Congress stripped out the escape mechanism for making bad decisions in regard to student loans. So OWS should be protesting for the right to take bankruptcy to wipe out student loans.

      1. The solution to being underwater on your mortgage is bankruptcy.

        Why is “being underwater” a problem in need of any solution? Almost everything else you buy on credit is “underwater” from the moment you buy it; try selling a used car for more than you paid for it. And yet for some reason people think that houses are supposed to magically increase in value all the time.

        1. Exactly. You’re only “underwater” if you’re trying to sell the place. If you’re living in it and plan to do so for awhile then it doesn’t matter what the place is theoretically worth (except on property taxes, where you benefit from a lower value.)

          1. Like that happens

          2. My house has lost value every year we’ve owned it. Our property taxes have stayed constant or increased due to the county increasing the tax rate. So no, there’s no benefit to owning a house that’s losing value.

            1. I went to a county commissioner meeting a while back, and pointed out that, since property values are down and will remain down for years, that there should be at least a five-year moratorium on raising real-estate taxes.

              I might as well have bitten the head off a live puppy, the way virtually everyone in the room reacted.

        2. regardless of the fact, America has some of the friendliest bankruptcy laws in the world, especially for people with steady income.

          1. It’s generally not a bad time to go bankrupt as the trustees are overloaded and will clear out a case quickly.

    2. Re: John,

      Can we stop feeling sorry for people who are “under water” on their houses?

      I stopped 16 years ago. If a person finds him or herself underwater for buying a house he or she coult not afford, that would be exclusively his or her fault.

      1. I never felt sorry for them. And I never will until the day they start giving me some of the money when their house appreciates in value.

        1. Same here. I don’t feel bad for the 23 year old that takes a $600/month car payment they can’t afford, either.

          1. Clearly you’ve had to deal with the PFC who bought a BMW 7 Series after returning from Afghanistan.

            “Okay, Private, now that you’re back in the states your take-home income just got cut by half.”

      2. That’s not the definition of “underwater” though so you are being disingenuous. There are lots of people who can afford their underwater mortgages and still make their monthly payments. It is not their fault that home prices literally crashed across the country. Being underwater simply means your house is – currently – worth less than the balance of your mortgage.

        I can see where it makes sense to allow them to refinance while we have record low interest rates. I do not agree with writing down the principle; I only think that they maybe should be allowed to mark their interest rates to market.

        1. “I can see where it makes sense to allow them to refinance while we have record low interest rates.”

          They can refinance now. They just have to find someone to lend them the money. If they can’t, it is not my problem. And if they are so concerned about being underwater, walk away from the house. Most states require mortgages to be no recourse. So it is the bank that is stuck with the loss not them.

          Again, they have to rent. Cry me a river.

    3. But but but we need to re-inflate the housing bubble! Otherwise the economy will be in ruin forever!

    4. We are underwater right now. But who cares? We can afford the mortgage, and the purpose of paying for housing is…wait for it…so we have a roof over our heads and a place to call “home.” I don’t get why being underwater is such a big deal. Just wait and your real estate will probably bounce back.

      1. Yup. And even if it doesn’t, you will be ahead some day. It is called paying off your mortgage and owning something.

      2. Stupid and/or greedy people borrowed vast amounts of money against the equity of their home and took ARMs instead of fixed rate mortgages. So rate goes up (and mortgage payment goes up); dipshits can’t pay the new mortgage payment; house prices crash; dipshits can sell the houses.

        Self-destructive behavior should be rewarded with self-destruction.

        1. We went with a 3-year ARM in 2005 and my mortgage is now at 2.375%. Increases are capped at 1% per year, so I’m feeling just fine with my ARM.

          Of course, we could afford the house and all.

          1. You ignored the part about cashing out equity against an ARM?

        2. “Self-destructive behavior should be rewarded with self-destruction.”

          Agree entirely. Bear in mind that not everyone on #OWS protests is a self-entitled brat; some of us just want to destroy the notion of “too big to fail”. Lenders will think twice about inflating bubbles if they themselves have to face up to the consequences.

      3. Nearly everyone who has ever financed a car has been underwater on it. The value drops so much the day you drive it off the lot, that its pretty much a given.

        Of course, that is also a good reason not to finance a car.

        1. Last car I bought, I got 0 down and a low interest rate. The minute I drove off the lot, I was underwater and lovin’ it 😉

          1. Same here. Rates are so low now and inflation is looming. You might as well finance everything you can.

      4. I’m running even right now – my house is pretty much worth what I owe on it. Roughly… when it comes time to sell, I expect to take a hit and pay the difference.

    5. I can’t even feel sorry for myself?! Goddammit John!

    6. Yesterday my Canadian friend was lecturing me on the evils of the US. He said that before the crash banks were forcing zero down APR loans on unsuspecting poor people. I tried to explain the process of buying a house, that lawyers and title companies and extraordinarily long cooling off periods were involved. He didn’t believe it and repeated his story that the poor were rushed into loans with fine print.

      1. banks were forcing zero down APR loans on unsuspecting poor people

        …I was just walking down the street, minding my own business on the way to my minimum wage job, and this banker abducted me and forced me to take out a mortgage on a 3500 sqft 4BR-4BA home at gunpoint!

        Who are the people who believe this shit?!

  10. These are the trophy kids. They grew up thinking in the real world, there are trophies for 9th place. Sorry, you’re not special. You’re hot house flowers wilting at the first hard frost.

    1. like mainer personally knows them

      1. Should I be proud that I waste so much time here, I seem to have my own stalker ?

        1. i agree that mainer’s post was a waste.

      2. When they show their ass all over the internet for everyone to look at, the path to knowledge isn’t a long one.

  11. Does anybody think White Indian might be the Time Cube guy?

    1. “One time, I ate a whole bunch of boiled peanuts, and I liked to got sick.”

    2. No, just a fellow traveler.

  12. Adult human beings have agency,

    this concept is not regularly taught beneath the ivory towers, and neither is the notion of responsibility, accountability, or smart decision-making. The Salon screed reads like a continuation of the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality that has poisoned young skulls and created a false sense of expectations.

    No one tells kids that boutique degrees are useless; learn a skill that has value, one that does something people will pay for. Hell, learn how to be a salesman; every industry needs good ones. But no, too many folks want jobs that sound sexy when discussed with their friends at the trendy martini bar that just opened, and they want to make corner-office salaries on mailroom effort.

    1. No one tells kids that boutique degrees are useless

      I have to call BS there. At college scientists and engineers are constantly teasing their “boutique” degree friends for choosing a worthless field. The “boutiquers” just don’t care.

      1. Non-engineering (“boutique”) degress aren’t worthless. A B.A. is a B.A. – it’s a piece of paper that tells your would-be employer – Look! I can stick with something for four years, and I’m at least smart enough to earn a degree. Very few people actually pursue careers in the subjects in which they major. Let’s see…I know a business major who is an editor, a sociology major who is an English teacher, an economics major who is an editor, a science major who is in law enforcement, a pre-med major who is a language interpreter, an English major who is a lawyer, a History major who is a pastor…I hardly know a single person with a B.A. who actually went into the field he or she majored in. It’s a shame you can’t just take a $20 test instead that will satisfy an employer that you are smart and reliable. But they want to see a B.A….in anything.

        1. but, as your friends’ stories attest, you have to be willing to work in something other than the degree field. Re-read the commentary from the rabble posting on tumblr. They believe a Master’s in Women’s Studies not only translates into a monster job, it also means living in their preferred cities, having the corner office be their first one, being paid Wall St wages by the taxpayer, etc.

          You’re right that a degree has value in and of itself; it’s how the degree is applied that makes the difference, as every one of these whiners makes abundantly clear. They are simply not willing to go teach English in rural GA for a couple of years, for example, in return for some loan forgiveness. Or take an entry-level job at an ad agency or real estate firm, or or or. Your friends made decisions based on reality; these kids are living in fantasy.

  13. If we indeed live in a “candid world,” let us state bluntly that offloading 100% of the blame for your own mountain of debt on a group of Greedy McBanksters who “forced” you to “play by the rules” is more than a little pathetic.

    It’s childish. It’s disgusting. It’s moronic. It’s unintelligent, irrational, hysterical, pitiful…

      1. PWNED BY WIT

  14. I graduated with a supposedly lucrative electrical engineering degree in 1989 and didn’t get anything close to a job offer. I worked as a tech writer and as a techician for 11 years before being internally promoted into an engineering job. A BS or BA has never been an automatic ticket to prosperity.

    These people get their degree in ambidexterous underwater wanking and expect to step into a middle class job. I have no sympathy.

    1. u mean like ur engineering degree ?

  15. Shit, what IS the matter with kids today?

    I’m a Gen Xer, and for all our faults, we figured out that the “rules” were bullshit, and that the Boomers were fucking us, over two decades ago!

    1. …and then we figured out how to deal with it… Yes, even we with the ADD, the piercings and the skateboards, figured it out.

      1. And we did it with Ford, Carter and Ronnie Rayguns, gas lines, 3 Mile Island, Iranian hostages, 8-tracks tapes, disco, unaffordable air fares, rotary-phones, long distance charges, 3 tee-vee channels, no email, no Intenets, no apps, no airbags and the cold steel of V8s.

        Fuck these whiners.

        1. Get offa my lawn!

          1. damn straight

    2. How were Boomers fucking you two decades ago. It’s only been during the last two decades that boomers got to any level of political power.

      Boomers might have been raised with a huge level of self entitlement, but the generation that did that raising was the greatest generation which was probably the most socialistic (between the influences of FDR and the great colective struggle of WWII) in history.

      Boomers may be set to put the biggest burden on public resources collectively, but no boomer is going to individually collect benefits that come close to the ones his Greatest Generation parents did.

      1. Some of us were smart enough to figure out the burden the Boomers would be before they started collecting Social Security.

        But we also noticed that they’d bought inexpensive homes, then pushed through laws that drove prices way up for those who cam along next, in the name of “open space”, and the “environment.” THAT is what a libertarian Xer noticed: the Boomers did their best to be the last frogs in the pond, using government regulation.

        1. Then there was the War on Drugs, that threatened my generation with prison time for what the Boomers did with abandon. Their sexual adventures became our AIDS.

          It never was all about Social Security and Medicare. The “me” generation has long seemed like the “fuck you” generation to many of us.

          But still we have gotten by…

          1. I think you have confused the depression era and the wartime generations for the boomers.

            Today’s welfare state was created by the “Greatest Generation” and enhanced by the depression era generation.

            The first boomer became eligible to vote in 1968 long after the foundation and basic structure of the welfare state had be built. The first boomers did not gain political office in significant numbers for aother ten years.

            As for the WOD, by and large, boomers who wer pro-legalization in the 60s and 70s still are. If they’re uptight prohibitionists now, they probably were then.

            1. Isaac is correct. It is the GI Generation that is responsible for the entitlement and welfare systems we now “enjoy.” They saved the world from Naziism and Communism, and rewarded themselves with generous retirement benefits. The Lost Generation that preceded them got paltry SS benefits and never complained, but as soon as those GIs hit their 60s all of a sudden poverty in dotage was considered an evil scourge that must be wiped out.

              Interesting side note: At the same time that the Greatest Generation was assigning themselves all sorts of new and improved welfare programs, the oldest cohorts became the richest, and the youngest (Gen Xers) became the poorest.

              1. The Greatest Generation didn’t push for “open space” restrictions. The Greatest Generation didn’t push for laws that made businesses flee California.

          2. It never was all about Social Security and Medicare. The “me” generation has long seemed like the “fuck you” generation to many of us.

            The Boomers made “Fuck You Dad!” into a generational philosophy, and when they die, their final send-off will be “Fuck You Kids!”

            1. Actually, for this boomer, it’s “fuck all you assholes who blame everything on the fucking boomers!”

              1. Oh, not everything is your fault–but the very least you folks could do is acknowledge your part in it.

                1. We had no part in it.

                  Your history is off.

                  1. Boomers will never collect the level of individual benefits that the Greatest Generation did.

                    But they kicked Nazi ass man..so they deserved it…or something.

                    The first boomers are only eligible to sign up for medicare this year.

                  2. We had no part in it.

                    Yeah, the boomers played no part whatsoever in turning the ramp-up of massive personal debt into a national pasttime.

                    Talk about someone having their history off.

                    1. And while we’re at it:

                      How were Boomers fucking you two decades ago. It’s only been during the last two decades that boomers got to any level of political power.

                      National debt in 1991: $3.6 trillion
                      Per capita spending in 1991 (inflation-adjusted): $8,760

                      National debt today: Nearly $15 trillion
                      Per capita spending today: $11,563

                      But yeah, keep lying to yourself that the boomers played no part whatsoever in the current toilet drain we’re experiencing. It’s pretty obvious Phil Collins was full of shit.

                    2. Tune in, turn off, cash in.

              2. Fuck you, too. You’ll be cashing in, and when you’re dead, I’ll have to deal with the costs.

                No, you didn’t vote for ALL of it. That doesn’t mean you won’t be cashing in.

                I don’t blame all Boomers for this. But you’re clearly one of the “fuck you” Boomers, so right back atcha.

  16. Thanks, Matt.

    I go to a lot of health law and policy events. There’s lots of talk about “accountable” care and blah, blah.

    I always ask the same question: “Where, in all this, does the notion of individual patient responsibility fit in? How, exactly, are we going to control costs and improve outcomes if the patient has no responsibility at all?”

    I never get an answer.

    1. Food Czar Michelle has an answer…

    2. I never get an answer.

      You never will, RC. It doesn’t fit in with the socialized medicine paradigm.

      You are aware of the latest patient driven accountability software? It’s designed to essentially test the patient before and after the consultation to determine how well the patient understands the DX, TX regimen, and all preventable risk factors and claims are only paid upon the patient’s successful completion of the post consult examination, otherwise, the patient pays OOP. The point is to place the level of accountability on the patient so employers can discharge employees who are non-compliant with a given treatment regimen, like say, losing weight or failure to achieve a certain HDL/LDL through dietary intake and to encourage physicians to prescribe the least expensive TX options or to eschew pharmaco-intervention totally.

      The obese and diabetics are of particular concern, as their conditions tend to be very expensive to treat and have a host of secondary disease processes and ailments when the conditions are not managed effectively.

      Name of the software is called MedIncentive, and was developed in a public/private partnership with OCAST.

  17. Nice rant, though I think you’re missing the point a little regarding “playing by the rules.” The creative class have always been hypocrites about that: they all talk a good game about entrepreneurship and “new business models,” but at the end of the day most of them have no more appetite for hard decisions and responsibility than the rest of us. Ultimately, all this whining boils down to “I thought everything would be easy if I did what I thought others wanted me to do.” And life just isn’t easy.

    More to the point, Gen X (and Y, etc) has very little basis for complaining about being “lied to” or “forced” by the powers-that-be. Try asking the Boomers who got drafted and sent to Vietnam about the “victimization” of today’s 30-year-olds.

    1. Nice rant, though I think you’re missing the point a little regarding “playing by the rules.” The creative class have always been hypocrites about that:

      You missed the point that Welch implied it.

      Try asking the Boomers who got drafted and sent to Vietnam about the “victimization” of today’s 30-year-olds.

      That is one aspect of Boomer life that sucked. Other sucky things, key parties and no fault divorces. At least it sucked for their Gen-X kids who endured their asshole parent’s self indulgence.

  18. The person holding that “Tax the Rich” sign is definitely a victim of our flawed education system.

    1. mmmm, sweet tasty irony.

  19. Metaphorically, what we might be seeing is the playing out of a form of mass narcissism ? perhaps a garbled collective form of narcissistic rage. Probably this has been noted in some intellectual rag some place.

    In any case, reality really does suck, and I’m with the obnoxious kid in the Simpsons who says, “ha, ha!”

  20. It is not in the national interest to force the impoverished to become wage slaves to pay off insurmountable debts owned to payday lenders and hugely profitable bankers. […]


    1. WTF?…I think it means forgiving student loans is the highest form of patriotism.

  21. too many folks want jobs that sound sexy when discussed with their friends at the trendy martini bar that just opened, and they want to make corner-office salaries on mailroom effort.

    We’re all Paris Hilton, now.

    1. Hmmm, where IS Paris Hilton these days?

  22. Your “Debt Jubilee” will not be a party, unless your idea of a wild time is to eliminate consumer credit as we know it.

    No shit; how many of the people bleating about “wiping the slate clean” realize they’ll never, ever get another Visa card if that happens?

    1. Well, in the Worker’s Paradise, they won’t need them. You’ll have your “Living Card” (Ration Card), which you can swipe for absolutely anything you need and have been allotted at “Essentials” (local gov distribution store).

  23. OWS contains certain elements who are upset with the idea of luxury goods at all.

    The public shall only be allowed to consume the goods and services which an all-knowning political bureaucracy shall deem necessary.

    The current lifestyle does not fit that mold and is deplored as glutonous.

    1. Except of course artists and trendy cosmos – who must be indulged in their most expensive metro tastes. You can’t expect them to live like proles you know.

  24. You could pay for a 10-year-old car in cash, instead of a new one on installments.

    And then when you’re in your mid-30s and want to buy a house with a mortgage, you get fucked because of your “insufficient credit history”.

    1. Ah, that strengthens the argument for renting and establishing a credit history that way.

      Also, the savings can be used to for a larger down payment on said house.

      1. Just don’t take out the savings as cash, or the DHStasi will come looking for you.

        1. Are we talking Whoopi “cash-cash” or a Cashier’s check?

          1. Whatever the authorities decide.

    2. There are ways to build credit history other than car payments.

      1. There are, but the Commodore has a point. Not sure what Groovus is referring to above but I’ve never seen any of my renting show up on a credit report, and when the bureaus want to see a “variety” of different types of credit, it’s hard to get that without something like a car loan.

        1. Apartment and condo leases as per the FCRA of 2004 (Fair ISAAC then, FICO now) are supposed include rental histories as part of credit score for the purposes of establishing credit worthiness and a history.


        2. it’s hard to get that without something like a car loan

          Set up auto pay with as many bills as you can so you’re never late.
          Maintain a small balance on a credit card or two and never make late payments.
          If you’ve got student loans, set up auto pay.

          Next thing you know your credit ain’t half bad.

          No car loan required.

          1. Not half bad. But not stellar. And they will tell you you are getting dinged for lack of variety.

            1. A good credit score means someone will make money off of you.
              If you’ve got a “stellar” credit score that means you shell out a lot of interest.

              My goal is a credit score of zero. Zed.

              No student loans, no mortgage, no car payments, no credit cards, no debt, no debt history, and no interest payments.

    3. Get a gas card and pay the balance every month.

      Get a prepaid card and never use the balance.

    4. then buy an inexpensive car on credit. Heck, I bought a $7k Nissan truck the first time I took out a loan after college.

      My credit rating (at the time) was terrible since I had never had a loan before – even though I had a steady job for 2-3 years. My dad actually co-signed for me – *kaff* I had the truck paid off in less than a year.

      Heck, I still buy used cars that cost less than $10k. Mostly because I get really bored with any car and don’t want to hold on to them for more than 2-3 years.

    5. I bought my house in 1986. I had no problem getting a mortgage, even though I didn’t buy my first car on credit until 1988 or 1989.

  25. I still do not see how wall street is the cause of the high student debts, surely the university determines the prices, not the stock markets ?

  26. To repeat what I said yesterday on this subject, the “inescapable debt” is a product of government’s policy of making various things more “affordable” (housing, education), by subsidizing interest rates and making borrowing for those thigns easier.

    This is the contradiction at the heart of the protestors demands with regard to student loan debt. The fact that lower student loan interest rates will only encourange more people to take on more debt.

    Same with “affordable housing”. The government policy is ever-rising housing prices combined with ever lower interest rates. Ultimately , all this results in is a large number of people perpetually chained to very large debts that take decades to pay off.

    This is not the only contradiction at the heart of OWS, but it’s the most glaring.

  27. I even think that exempting student loan debt from bankruptcy protection is both unwise and unlikely to last, given the alarming trends and the political climate.

    In that case you don’t think that the availability of student loans to those who need them is going to last. Despite being excellent unintended consequence detectors on other issues, Reason’s staff continues to be oblivious to this point, from what I can tell.

    1. So? Just what do you think has inflated the bubble in the first place?

      When I was in school, one could easily work part-time and pay tuition and living expenses if one were sane about it. Ideally, nice not to have to work and attend school, but it isn’t impossible to manage. It’s probably still doable today at in-state schools. Even if it isn’t alone, just using loans/grants to supplement the difference should be enough. And there would be loans even without undischargeability and subsidization. There’s a pretty significant market in unsecured debt to subprime, low-income borrowers already.

      1. So? Just what do you think has inflated the bubble in the first place?

        To add to what you already said, the other reason is the marketability of the degree earned. I’m sorry, but I just can’t eke out one iota of sympathy for any of these fucks who got undergrads in unmarketable degrees, then apply to grad school for a Master’s in Unmarketable Skill thus racking up even more debt.

        When this bubble pops…

      2. Another way to pay for college was to enlist in the military at age 18, do your three years, then enroll at a university (and study something marketable) using the GI bill to pay for it.

        Worked for me, and it is currently working for my oldest son.

        1. Sucking military dick does pay for college, if you like sucking military dick.

          1. Live is hard dipshit. You make your choices.

          2. Actually, they discharge you for that.

            Serving in the military beats marching on wall street carrying signs weeping about being $100K in debt, and proclaiming that you are entitled to four years of idle university frivolity and a plum job at the end of it.

            1. Actually, they discharge you for that.

              Uh, not anymore.

          3. it not only pays for college, it often teaches skills that have real private sector value. Totally unlike sucking faculty lounge dick and incurring huge debt for useless knowledge.

            1. that’s how i did it as well wareagle. these “patriots” think military service is slavery.

              1. A draft IS a form of slavery. Joining voluntarily, however is not.

        2. Joining the military for college money is a bit dangerous these days. I got lucky and finished up in 2000, before all the shooting and exploding started.

          1. Lots of things are dangerous. Borrowing $100K to get a degree in women’s studies sounds a lot more dangerous than six years in the military to me, and a LOT less fun.

      3. When the higher education bubble pops, it’s going to be brutal. I know we have already studied ways to fire people with tenure, and are already looking at laying off the entire Physical Plant Department. And the entire university will probably shed a couple of hundred secretaries next July.

        A slaughter of epic portions is coming; you can almost smell the blood.

        1. My wife works at a big college. I am hoping she is spared. She is at a really rich one and works for the medical school, so I think she will be fine. But the blood bath is going to be horrible.

          1. She’ll be fine, John. One area that is not going to go away any time soon is medical. However, I expect the scope of her duties and her job description will probably be expanded.

            1. “Other duties as required” is gonna be a much bigger chunk of the workload, Groovus.

              1. “Other duties as required” is gonna be a much bigger chunk of the workload
                it already is a bigger chunk. Organizations can be as efficient as necessary when paying the bills with their own money.

            2. No, they’ll keep medical school, even after they enslave the doctors. After all, the slaves still will need medical training!

              1. Not this one. I have my escape plan.

                1. Here’s my advice: Disguise yourself as a lawyer. Pre-law, pre-med, what’s the difference?

        2. Just where is all the money going, anyway? Did they really staff up that much in the last twenty years?

            1. I sure don’t see anything superior about the education today, that’s for sure.

        3. Physical Plant as in the electricity/heat/cooling plant for the university? Are they going to automate it or something?

          1. Out-source. They will probably keep the core HVAC/Water Works guys around, but the groundskeepers are done for. I guess it wasn’t a good idea for them to make sleeping under a tree all day and running people over with golf carts a common occurrence.

            But even the maintenance guys are overstaffed. They sent a two-man team over to my building to count all the doors. We have about 50 doors. It took them three-and-a-half days.

            1. three and a half days to count 50 doors. There is a joke somewhere in there.

              1. They came back a month later and spent a week measuring them all.

                This was about 8 months ago. We still have the same doors we always have.

                1. I’m sure the door count and measurements are currently undergoing some quantitative test to determine the appropriate next step. And some folks get upset when people make fun of bureaucracy.

                  1. Our best guess is that is was some sort of ADA compliance survey. Which means they might being doing the entire campus. They should be finished shortly before the sun swells into a red giant and burns the Earth to a cinder.

            2. Oh, OK, I didn’t realize that included groundskeepers and maintenance staff.

              When I moved out of my freshman dorm, we were informed that if your $12 chair was broken, you would be charged $80, because they had to replace the chair as well as pay two men for an hour to carry it outside and dispose of it.

              The things maybe weighed 10 pounds, and it was a six-story building.

            3. My department cut all the paid TA positions rather than fire tenured professors. One consequence of that was ac dramatic decline in the number and quality of graduate students.

              This is how insanely suicidal the tenure based system is. They’d rather lose all the people who actually do research and teach classes (i.e grad students) than lose tenure.

          2. Drones for discipline?

        4. “When the Bubble Breaks”

          If it keeps on gainin’,
          Bubble’s goin’ to break.
          If it keeps on gainin’,
          Bubble’s goin’ to break.
          When the bubble breaks
          I’ll have no place to bray.

          Mean old bubble
          Taught me to weep and moan.
          Mean old bubble
          Taught me to weep and moan.
          Got what it takes
          To make a graduate man leave his home.
          Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well.

          Don’t it make you feel bad,
          When you’re tryin’ to grind to pay loans,
          You don’t know which way to go?
          If you’re a learn’d big mouth
          They got no work to do,
          If you don’t know about espresso.

          Cryin’ won’t help you,
          Prayin’ won’t do you no good.
          Now, cryin’ won’t help you,
          Prayin’ won’t do you no good.
          When the bubble breaks, mama, you got to move.

          All last night
          Frat on the bubble and moaned.
          All last night
          Frat on the bubble and moaned.
          Thinkin’ about me payday and my parents’ home.
          Going, going to espresso…
          Going to espresso…
          Sorry, but I can’t take you.
          Going down.
          Going down now.
          Going down.

          1. Crap. Make “Frat” “Fret.”

        5. Tenure is totally the problem.

          In my department (which I am soon to be leaving, thank god), more than half of the tenured professors do no real work. They bring no research money into the department, have no grad students. If the department is lucky, they might teach a class or two with a minimal degree of competence.

    2. Tulpa, you’re aware, aren’t you, that the original federal guarantee program for student loans did NOT exempt student loans from bankruptcy?

      That was a stupid idea for obvious reasons, and we continue to reap the whirlwind from it even now – but if you’re saying, “It’s impossible for student loans in their current form to exist unless they’re nondischargeable,” that’s just historically inaccurate.

    3. “In that case you don’t think that the availability of student loans to those who need them is going to last.”

      Many students don’t need loans, because they don’t need the degree they’d be spending it on. At least not that particular degree.

      College costs far more than it should because the easy availability of loans has inflated the market prices universities are able to charge. When people are lining up to give you the huge pile of money you insisted they must borrow, you take it. It’s like doing business with a loan shark, except they get to keep the money.

      And there’s nothing at all stopping the person from getting a loan of another type. If they think it’s worth it and can convince someone with money that they’re a good risk.

  28. Notice how alot of the “I am the 99%” people have student debt in the 10’s of thousands ? Sure if your in your 20’s , starting out in life, $60,000 seems like this insurmountable pile of debt. But with some focused effort and a little frugality, you could pay that off in , maybe 5 years…10 at the most. Yeah, discipline sucks, get used to it.

    1. After the Feds inflate their way out of their entitlement obligations, $60K won’t buy very damn much.

      1. Exactly.
        Which is why I have no incentive or desire to pay off either my student loans or mortgage in a hurry.
        Inflation is good for debtors.

        1. Assumeing you have a fixed rate morgage, yes. If it is adjustable your rate will go up with inflation and you will be screwed.

          1. If you’re dumb enough to take an adjustable rate anything then you deserve what you get.

            1. The student loans are tagged to the treasury rate. That is why I have killed off all of mine except the federal one that they promise to pay off in 15 or so years. Why pay that?

              1. I have a little left of my subsidized loan, too, for the same reason. It’s just over 3%.

              2. I refinanced in 2005 and locked everything at 3% or something ridiculous like that.
                I’m in no rush to pay them off.

        2. your faulty assumption there is that your wages will keep up with inflation.

    2. The ones in the hundreds have problems. But 60K is nothing when you amortize it over a life time. Really neither is a 100. But once you get much above that, you have problems.

      But it goes back to the girl from the link above whining about not being able to afford to live in New York and work at Vogue. They won’t want to make sacrifices like taking a job whereever it can be found doing whatever pays the bills. They really expect to live like trust fund babies and only do the things they enjoy.

      This is 30 years of self esteem education coming home to roost.

      1. I wonder how the rate of graduates starting their own businesses compares with such rates in the past?

    3. Wait until they buy a house. $60,000 of debt will sound like a dream.

  29. I stand in awe.

    I followed that gen-X link, and have to, in spite of my vast Gen-X credentials, I have to ask, who the fuck was Elliot Smith? Okay, I’ll google it.

    Stabbed himself twice in the heart, ouch! Reminds me of Meriwether Lewis who shot himself twice in the heart. Should I bother to download his music? How good could it possibly be if he has been dead nearly a decade and I have never heard of him? Probably a proto emo fag given the drama bullshit in his life, anyway.

      1. Good lord. No wonder I missed his work altogether. Twenty seconds of that was quite enough. One tune title on the side panal caught my eye, so I played it. How dare that fuck title a tune after the most excellent Nazareth, Miss Misery!


        Since you came into my life, it’s been the same ol’ situation!

  30. It’s such nonsense, anyway. When I got out of college, the job market was awful for new graduates. I had a Finance degree, which, while not as good as a technical degree, normally is marketable enough. So I sucked it up and did some not-so-exciting retail management (along with a even crappier finance job for my first year) prior to going to law school. Which was my intention all along.

    While the debt isn’t dischargeable, there’s also no debtors’ prison, so these jokers can always tread water until they can get real jobs. Besides, how many of them got excess debt to pay for things other than school? If my kids’ friends are any guide, it’s a considerable number.

    1. In my short acquaintance a few years back with college age children, some are subsidizing a much more extravagant lifestyle with excess student loans.

      1. My wife worked with a woman who was getting a graduate degree at a private university in Tampa–all financed by loans. She used that money for a down payment on a car, clothes, Apple everything, and for her wedding. Granted, private school tuition being what it is, that sort of abuse is more likely there than in a public school, but still. I’m still amazed that’s even possible.

      2. What happened to sharing a roach infested rowhouse in the middle of town?

        Unless I’m missing something, I thought college was a a place where you learned how to live independently and how to deal with perpetual poverty. I got sick of living poor as a student so I got a job instead of getting a PhD. Now i see all of these off-campus dorms that are college owned and have all of the latest amenities and I wonder “Who’s paying for that?”

  31. Credit where due: The comments at the HuffPo “Williamsburg” link are surprisingly sane.

    1. I woke up my kid from laughing at this mendacious self indulgence:

      I spent days trolling around Williamsburg, looking at shitty apartments with cockroaches lining the doorways, fighting neighbors, rats in the ceiling, bedbugs infesting the linoleum floors, fifth-floor walk-ups and cat-pee-soaked carpets. The rent was exorbitant, availability was scarce, and I was turned down by two different landlords for being “freelance.” To be honest, I don’t blame them. Not only am I freelance, but I’m lesbian freelance. Double whammy. What was the reason they turned me down? Because it was easier to rent to a rich, trust-fund, straight-guy banker who wants to live in the coolest borough in the world? Because when he met me he saw a tattooed gender outlaw who makes “queer electronic punk music” and isn’t sure when the next check is going to come in? Yeah, I don’t blame him. He doesn’t give a shit about how kids email me all the time thanking me for keeping them from committing suicide. It’s not part of his capitalist business practice.

      Dear JD, I was on my hands and knees with my head in the oven, just hanging out, waiting for my world to end, when I heard a song of yours on the local college station. How could I possibly kill my self after hearing that? I now have a purpose in life, listening to your music! Thank you so much for giving my life meaning!

      1. Paying bills just isn’t your capitalist business practice. And you can’t make good “queer electronic punk” in fucking Peoria. You have to be in the coolest borough in the world to do that.

      2. The really offensive thing here is this:

        She openly admits that the other person is a better risk.

        So the landlord can rent to two different people, both of whom will pay the same rent, and one of whom is a better risk.

        And she’s angry that the landlord doesn’t choose her.

        Usually people who demand rent control or subsidized rent only will cop to wanting to fuck over the landlord. Here we have an example of unusual honesty: she’s upfront about the fact that she wants to fuck over the other potential tenant.

        ‘Cause fuck him, why should he have any rights? He’s a straight male. He shouldn’t get to rent an apartment in Williamsburg, because he’s not “cool” enough. He’s the better tenant, and will pay the same rent, but he should lose – because this dumb bitch thinks she “belongs” someplace cool.

        1. Now you see why people like this love communism. She has better political consciousness. People should be judged by how they think not what they do. And in a communist system, that banker would be an enemy of the people and not get the apartment or at least she thinks that.

        2. This was a really good response in the thread:

          6 Fans
          10:52 PM on 10/09/2011
          Wait a minute, you’re a single 30-somethi?ng struggling to make ends meet in New York with no health insurance??! Yeah, take a number… OH but I didn’t realize you’re a lesbian! I’m sure NO one in New-frigge?n-York has ever encountere?d someone as unique and terrifying as you! For someone who claims to be “creative” I cannot understand how you couldn’t problem solve your way out of this one. Go get a job at Starbucks. They offer health insurance at 20 hours a week (which would leave you time to do your music) and they are REALLY good at training people. Even YOU could do it.

          1. And sell her art out?!! Fuck that, she’s an artist. That would compromise her values.

            1. If she doesn’t want to compromise her art she could move to suburban Texas and get a clean 2br that actually has appliances in it unlike what passes for an apartment in NY for $550/mo, but she’s probably too cool for that.

          2. Pwn of the day.

        3. Also, LOL at her assumption that the landlord wouldn’t rent to her because she’s a lesbian.

      3. Holy shit…

        That’s some grade A self-absorption right there. Her ego must weigh ten pounds by itself.

        1. And yet it is still only 1/25th of her total weight.

      4. Not only am I freelance, but I’m lesbian freelance.

        Just out of curiosity, how did the landlords know that she’s a lesbian? I mean, the punk part I get, what with the tattoos and no doubt a shitload of piercings to boot. But as far as who she sleeps with? Unless she’s the kind that brings up just to get in your face about it.

        If the landlords can tell just by looking at her, then no doubt they’ve seen a few prior to now and I doubt that she would seem all that unique to them.

    2. The comments give me a little bit more faith in humanity.

      Most of them anyways.

      1. Yeah, I said “surprisingly” sane not “uniformly”.

      2. Here, let me destroy that faith:

        Artists should be able to access individual government grants of about $15K-$35K a year. Why? Because art and music are important for a full life and a thriving, vibrant society.

        Unlike, you know, everyone else.

        1. Because art and music are important for a full life and a thriving, vibrant society.

          And yet, the greatest works of art were mostly commissioned by the Catholic Church, by rich people, or by imperial dynasties.

        2. Yeah, that one filled me with rage. You can’t convince anybody to give you money for your art, so you want armed thugs to take it from somebody else and give it to you. How very sensitive and artistic of you.

          1. Calm down, Joshua. Once the Ministry of Culture is properly funded I’m sure they’ll commission a properly licensed artist to write a ballad on your behalf. Is there no pleasing you people?

            1. (If that wasn’t meant to be carsastic 🙂 I would reply)

              Nossir! a Bellat would not please me. Can your artist fit my pickup with a NOS kit though? Sweet!

  32. Undergraduate degrees in English and Film and Sociology and Philosophy (and a thousand other subjects) have had debatable workplace utility for as long as I’ve been alive.

    Hell, one of the running gags of the early 1970s was all the English Lit Phds driving taxi cabs.

    The postgrad degree glut of the early seventies was largely due to the “education” boom fueled by guys trying to stretch out their draft deferments for as long as they could.

    Cost was not much of an issue as there were still some free state schools (mostly in the west and the south) and post grad at a state school cost next to nothing.

    What the boom got us was a generation of really stupid people with college degrees.

    1. One thing I’ll say – a BA in English isn’t a worthless degree. If I ever had a secretary, I’d prefer that degree over a lot of others.

      1. I know all kinds of people that are making good money doing jobs that have nothing to do with what they got a degree in. There are Harvard grads with fine arts degrees (to metion one “useles” degree) in investment banking and all kinds of other fields.

        Part of the question is, are you looking for vocational training or an education for its own sake.

        An education for its own sake is not worthless in getting a job. The plain fact is that a well educated person is a better candidate for many, probably most, jobs even if the education contained no actual training for the job at hand.

        But if it’s pure vocational training you want, it can be had for a lot less than it costs to go to an expensive private liberal arts school.

        One of the reasons we think engineers need to be college trained is that in addition to all that math and science they get exposed to the humanities so they’re made more cultured. And yet, still, I’m surrounded by graduate engineers who say “irregardless” and use words like “simplistic” in the wrong context.

      2. In truth, it depends on what they concentrated on and the program they attended. I’d give my left arm for someone who read a fair amount of the canon and took advanced rhetoric classes. Unfortunately, at a lot of schools they don’t really teach a rhetoric class and you can go your whole college career without reading more than one Shakespeare comedy and one tragedy. Liberal arts degrees in general would be better if they required 4 rhetoric credits instead of 4 foreign language credits.

    2. who told their kids they should go to college.

      1. Self-perpetuating, ain’t it?

        Still, whenever I hear this talk of “worthless” degrees, all I really see are worthless people.

  33. The rapidly rising cost of higher education pushes bright students into lucrative but socially destructive fields, like finance. […]


    I failed to notice my 401K placing a burden on society? Maybe it was that small business loan… no, it was the credit card that let me buy that fancy computer… damn these people who keep lending me money at fair rates, and building up my credit score!! Next thing you know they might erode my social contribution to society further by offering me insurance products that allow me to leave my family a tax-free estate despite a minimum of savings to leave behind…

    leeches! lampreys! vampires! what good did the free movement of capital ever do for anyone!??

  34. Matt, you’re not young enough to know anything about “unkept promises”. I went to science grad school, for god’s sake, where I actually learned something industrially useful, with the promise of either a lucrative job in industry or a clear path to academic stardom. Instead, I waded knee-deep into a shitstorm where PhD’d rubes were pulling 10 year postdocs (a postdoc wasn’t heard of 40 years ago) and the employment arena was miserable. It’s eminently hard to get a job because there’s a million other PhDs who have diploma mill’d their degrees. Thanks, government, for inflating a huge science bubble.

    1. That’s why I changed my major to engineering from physics in my freshman year. I took one look at all of the post-docs and junior professors in the physics department and said to myself “I’m gonna need a job at some point. These dudes haven’t seen the light of day in twenty years.”

      1. A buddy of mine waited until his junior year before he saw the light. It dawned on him belatedly that an undergrad in physics gets you no job prospects.

        1. An undergrad in physics (when paired with a double in compsci) gets you a nice career in engineering.

          1. When I was looking at majoring in physics in the late 80s, it was made clear to me that more than a bachelor’s in physis was required for gainful employment. It didn’t exactly seem like a secret.

    2. Hmmm. When I started grad school no one promised my anything. Who promised you a job? Department head? Your PI?

      And in those academic stardom jobs are based totally on your performance and productivity as a grad student and a postdoc. If you don’t have it, you don’t have it. I doubt I will be getting one, but I knew those jobs were scarce going in. Couple that with tight times in industry and yes, the science field (molecular biology) is sort of scary looking- but not hopeless. I’ll have a job. It may not be the one I want, but I’ll have one. I just have to work my ass off (which I am currently NOT doing).

      1. totally on your performance and productivity as a grad student and a postdoc

        Bullshit. It depends on the impact factor of the journal you publish in, which is largely either luck or fraud. I worked my ass off. I did careful experiments. I called out other bullshitters, and the mistake I made was in calling out people who were golden children of their PIs.

        I spent years doing solid work, paving over the mistakes that those before me had committed, contributing to the scientific canon, and doing really hard stuff. I learned myself some useful skills like cloning. In my postdoc I even made a drug that will never see the light of day (for complicated reasons).

        1. “It depends on the impact factor of the journal you publish in, which is largely either luck or fraud.”

          Double-Triple-Bullshit. The quality of your data will determine where you can publish. I should have added that “performance and productivity” do not mean simply putting in the hours. You can work 12 hours a day in the lab on low impact research and get published in the WalMart Journal of Food Science. To get published in Nature, your research must be novel, inventive, and significant. This takes brains, in addition to working at the bench. I won’t be publishing in Nature. But I won’t complain about not being awarded a hot shot academic position, either. I won’t blame it on external factors.

        2. One big factor is the lab you join. If you join a mediocre lab with mediocre funding, you’ll publish mediocre work in mediocre journals, at which point you can forget about the rock star academic job. I would agree that this may be a factor out of your control that will affect your employment opportunity.

    3. That’s why my DH dropped out of his graduate science program after his first semester and instead went into a completely different field where he now makes over $110 K a year. The thing about promises is that – as a functioning, thinking human being, you have to at some point look at the promises and decide for yourself – are these BELIEVABLE promises?

      1. are these BELIEVABLE promises

        Hindsight is 20/20. My grad school bridged the severe turn. When I started in 2003 I was very happy to encourage other people into the sciences. When I finished in 2009 I was telling recruits that there was an academic bubble. In ’08, I cold-called the CEO of a startup company in industry and convinced him to let me interview with him. I interviewed in July. The next week, I knew that the market was about to collapse, big time. By the time August rolled around and he had promised me he would call back with a thumbs up/down on the job, it was too late, the market had already shattered.

        There was no way for me to know in 03, when i enterered grad school, that a market crash would be fucking me in 08. So yes, those promises were believable, and the incredibly frustrating thing, was that there was seriously a matter of months that I could have secured myself a job and maybe had a shot at those promises, versus not.

        1. … I should emphasize that the material outcomes of the people who were defending their theses (and thus concluding their postdocs prior to the crash) when I started are vastly vastly different than those who graduated in my cohort.

          Those were the chemists in my grad program – which is exclusively chemistry/biology – It’s a different story for biology, where because of the nature of the research and having an even bigger bubble with a more limited outlet for industry employment – the postdocs are in limbo longer. In biology, almost everyone I encountered is basically in a dismal state.

    4. Aaaaaand that’s exactly why I dropped out of science grad school a decade ago to get a paying job. Which turned out to be an incredibly awesome move.

  35. blatantly ripped off by usurious scam artists

    Racist code words?

    1. Unconciously channelling “JOOOS”.

  36. Since no one else has mentioned it, I would like to point out that Le Tigre is a really sucky band. And no, being a queer female doesn’t mean you make 53 cents to a straight male’s dollar. And if you don’t have any computer skills, get some. I’m sure there is some place in NYC where you can learn how to use basic computing software for little or no cost to the learner. Employment development dept? Goodwill Industries?

    1. I generally concur, but will say that ‘Decepticon’ is actually a pretty rocking jam that has its occasional place.

      I think it fair to say that many *fans* of le tigre are complete morons who think the fact that they’re hardcore lesbian socialists is *exactly what makes them good*.

      Was there actually some connection between the post and this particular observation?

      Is it just that the whiny self-entitlement/economic ignorance/jaw-dropping naivete of Generation Y/Millenials makes a person want to scream, “FUCK LE TIGRE!!”?

      1. My point is something like, stop whining. She’s got her indie-lesbian street cred for being in a shitty band and she worked for it. Now she wants to be rewarded for work she didn’t do as well? Or does she just want to whine? Because there are things she can do to change her circumstances. If she can program a beatbox she can write macros in Excel. It might not get her an apt. in Williamsburg but she can go pioneer a new generation of hipster immigrants to the Bronx or something.

    2. Or, just go to Youtube:


      1. Oh, I see… I didn’t check out all ‘dem linky links…

        Holy shit that huffpo thing is atrociously stupid

        This summer I tried to rent an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The process sent me into an emotional crisis and awakened me into a whole new realization of our economy, the music industry at large and, more specifically, what it means to be a queer artist in 2011.

        What makes me almost vibrate with shoddenfreude, laughing my best *evil capitalist laugh*?

        I’ve been living in Williamsburg since 1999, BITCH!!! RENT CONTROLLED. ON BEDFORD AVENUE. RENOVATED.

        Oh, that just feels so good.

        The sense of entitlement and self-absorption just oozes off the pages of that article. And the commentors are largely giving it a Big YOU GO GIRL@!!!

        Your truth-shar?ing transcends gender and sexual orientatio?n, ethnicity, race and religion

        “Your snotty sense of self importance as a lesbian who programs a beat-box for a shitty punk band moves me to the core of my being in a way that neither religious texts nor the great works of philosophy have ever managed….”

        Group hug!!

        For @(#$*@ sake, the chick could simply move to Bushwich and STFU. Nobody *really* hip wants to live in Williamsburg anymore. We’ve gone all *mainstream* and shit.

  37. “played by the rules”

    Um no, playing by the rules is doing the research to ensure that you can afford the house you are buying (like most of us did), not buying three times the house you can afford and then expecting us to pay off your mortgage for you.

    Playing by the rules is getting the education you can afford in a field that might be worth the money you spent. Not borrowing 90K to get a worthless degree in a field no one will hire you for.

    How is it that having those of us who actually have “played by the rules” bail out those of you who play by your own rules considered “fair” to you assholes.

    Fuck You!

  38. GIS Alex Pareene.

    He’s about a nine on the backpfeifengesicht scale.

      1. Only more effeminate. NTTAWWT.

        1. Who doesn’t look more effeminate than Maddow? She looks like a butch Jon Stewart.

      2. Was this picture taken before or after the “How many beer bottles can you fit in your ass?” contest?

  39. All this “playing by the rules” shit – is just echoing various leftist politicians (including Obama) who have been saying this kind of crap for years.

    In reality, no one every “promised” anything to anybody and no one was ever in any positition to guarantee other people’s outcomes.

    It’s all just a another excuse for wanting to get their paws on somebody else’s property.

    And the bottom line is that’s what it’s all about.

  40. Still catching my breath, but you so made my day.

  41. ….and people like you who prefer to speak in terms that make you feel superior to ‘those people’ are the reason we can’t get the system fixed because instead of acknowledging the blatant fraud and crony capitalism that are gradually destroying our nation you’d rather spend your time trying to convince everyone that you still have a job so things can’t be that bad

    1. Oh, I think if you stick around you’ll see regular rants against both blatant fraud AND crony capitalism. Sometimes in the same post or comment.

    2. Weird, I’m pretty sure we were the ones complaining about bailouts before they actually happened, not three years later when we realized that we weren’t going to get a cut of the loot. And we complain about cronyism all the time, not just when the opposition party is in power, and we don’t give the cronies a free pass because their business is pious and Gaia-fearin’.

  42. and to the one who made the comment about people just trying to get out of mrotgages they can’t afford…..heres an idea, leave the safe little, mainstream media educated bubble you hide in and join the real world where no one that i have ever met is looking to get out of their mortgage, but we do findit ironic that the banks who are running around taking peoples houses because people are too ‘irresponsible’ to pay their mortgages only exist because OUR TAX DOLLARS SAVED THEIR ASSES……if that doesn’t seem wrong to you then there is something wrong with you

    1. Dear Spittle-Flecked Ranter,

      Thank you so much for stumbling onto the Reason website. We are grateful for your near-illegible posts and are happy to provide a blank screen for you to project your biases on.

      Good luck to you in the rest of your ignorance-filled demi-life and please don’t come back anytime soon.


    2. heres an idea, leave the safe little, mainstream media educated bubble you hide in and join the real world . .

      Safe!?! That must be why I identify with the most hated demographic on the political spectrum because of all of those tenured positions they just throw at libertarians in academia and the MSM.

    3. instead of acknowledging the blatant fraud and crony capitalism

      And it is just so convenient that the left is coming around complaining about crony capitalism three years after the fact libertarians were livid about the bank bailouts, and many were involved in creating the tea parties that created an upheaval in the political consensus last year. Just so convenient that you come out protesting now about it, a year before a presidential election. What is your real purpose? To absolve Obama and the more than two thirds of the Democrats who voted for the bail outs?

      Go suck ACORN cock, you whore.

    4. Do you have the first fucking clue where you are on the internet?!?!

  43. Does this mean OWS are a bunch of conservatives struggling to preserve their way of life in a changing world?

  44. It seems as if these protestors want to become a special project for the government, which is a very bad idea. Ask certain communities that end up being corralled into political platforms, well maybe not ask them, but stop for a moment and think about it. Black people are supposed to vote for democrats and expect results for those votes. Gays and Lesbians seem to be caught in the same trap. I guess you could call Native Americans a past special project for the government even though it probably wasn’t partisan. Just like any other problem, though, having legislators try to do something about it only makes it worse. You will probably just end up waiting for results that the each new politician promises, while never getting back even what you end up putting into your efforts.

    But what I really think is the protestors should go home and vote for Ron Paul. Or go join the military and vote for the GOP. The Democrats aren’t bad people, they just don’t seem to have a problem scamming hope from you. And the GOP isn’t much better – it’s just that if you join the military they will fight for some funding for you and you can probably avoid school debt entirely.

    1. “And the GOP isn’t much better – it’s just that if you join the military they will fight for some funding for you and you can probably avoid school debt entirely.”


      1. Me too huh? it was my understanding that military funding is to fund the men and women there the military to do the job the country needs them to do… but I didn’t go to Harvard.

  45. It is fascinating to watch people see what they want to see at #OWS. Our intrepid pundit has taken on the role of Serious Person and sneers at the demands he puts in the mouths of the protesters.

    He has already decided that they are crybabies and whatever they say will be twisted to fit his preconceptions.

    One wonders if he has actually been to a local #OWS site or even a meetup? Not that it would matter. I doubt he could see past his preconceptions even then. But many of you readers could. Why are you all speculating when you can get your info for yourself?

    1. Yeah. I’ll bet you went to the Tea Party rallies with this attitude, too.

    2. Well, Steve, when I read about Phaggot Striver Poors who get degrees from Cal-Berkeley (tuition alone: $13,360 a semester) in nonsense like “sustainable conservation,” then I have very little sympathy for them falling into a tar baby of their own making.

      This same woman, BTW, did “study abroad” in Ghana for five months. Sorry, but how is this relevant to a degree in her career field? Perhaps she should have been less focused on “Project Me” and more focused on “How am I going to put food on the table after I graduate while paying off this debt?”

      I’m sympathetic to the general angst over corporate bailouts, and if you think you’ll find any support of that over that here, well, you really need to find people who actually are libertarians, not take what your neckbearded goon friends tell you at face value. But don’t think for one second that you or anyone else from Generation Trophy deserves a guaranteed living, and don’t expect to work in a non-profit and be able to pay back the equivalent of the cost of a Lexus in debt while simultaneously traveling the world and “finding yourself.”

      Welcome to the real world, son.

    3. “…sneers at the demands he puts in the mouths of the protesters.”

      The demands were straight from the horse’s mouth over at Salon. Or did you miss that tidbit? He’s not ascribing strawman beliefs to the OWS protesters, he’s responding to an explicit list of demands. Geez, learn to read for comprehension and then you may find yourself employable.

  46. And at the very bottom of the page, “Reason needs your support, donate here.” Libertarian panhandlers? How does that fit in the party line. Sorry, I work too hard for my money, and I’d rather give it to the guy with one leg on median strip, at least he’s got a verifiable disability. Welcome to the real world.

    1. It’s voluntary, Dan. No one puts a gun to anyone’s head demanding donations to Reason.


      1. But I thought the market rewarded the virtuous and responsible, and only “bums” and “moochers” asked for donations. Of course Reason has every right to ask too, it just seems to undermine the party line somehow.

        1. Look at the bright side, Dan… Reason doesn’t take taxpayer money.

          That’s all that counts.

        2. Bums and looters don’t ask for donations.

          They expect them. And will use force to get them if possible.

          SWING and a miss.

        3. But I thought the market rewarded the virtuous and responsible, and only “bums” and “moochers” asked for donations. Of course Reason has every right to ask too, it just seems to undermine the party line somehow.

          At least liberals are consistent in their irrepressible envy of other people’s money. So you’ll always have that going for you.

        4. You are the market, Dan.

  47. Where did these whining punks get this sense of entitlement from? I know they have access to news, can’t they see Greece spinning down the crapper? I really don’t care if liberals do not enjoy the reality sandwich that their policies ordered. Bon apetit, bytches

  48. Where did these whining punks get this sense of entitlement from? I know they have access to news, can’t they see Greece spinning down the crapper? I really don’t care if liberals do not enjoy the reality sandwich that their policies ordered. Bon apetit, bytches

  49. Who wants to bet that the sort of people who think of their house not as a long-lasting consumer item, but an “investment” that they can sell for more money later are the sort of people that practically spit when they say the word “speculator”?

  50. Where are the entrance exams?

    I mean, how do people this stupid (OWSers) end up with student loans in the first place?


    Entrance exams. Now.

  51. Isn’t this laissez-faire approach exactly what we tried from 1979 to
    2007, when inequality shot through the roof, according to the CBO?

    NO! What we had is government interference into free markets and when government interferes it distorts the market and bubbles are created and popped. Take Fannie and Freddie with all their just sign here and own a home loans for instance. It created a boom as homes were in demand and put a lot of people to work building them but it was a bubble bound to pop because it was created by government forcing banks out of time tested loan standards the community organizers like Obama called racist. You know its racist for a bank to require good credit, 10-15% down and ability to pay loan with one week’s pay etc…

    Many people want to blame Wall St and the removal of Glass-Steagall but the fact is if that never happened there is still a banking crisis because of sub primes loans banks were forced to come up with by government that were based on the economy.

    And another thing to consider is that if all those loans that were packed and sold were time tested loan standards before the government interfered then the Glass-Steagall thing wouldn’t have mattered much because they would have been responsible loans where mortgages were paid regardless of slowing economy.

    Pols like to have it both ways. For example Democrats are demonizing banks for not making small business loans yet require banks to have more cash on hand before making them. Dodd/Frank did that and did not address the F&F problem. Another example of government interfering into free markets is the Durbin Tax banks are now charging for debit card use. Example: Walmart and banks willfully agreed that Walmart will pay pennies per purchases using debit cards so banks didn’t charge you the customer to cover their processing cost. The Durbin Tax removed that and now banks have to charge you $5.00 a month for your debit card whether you use it or not to cover the cost while Dick Durbin demonizes banks for charging that fee he forced them into charging.

    Pols love to have both ways and its the same thing with the 70,000+ pages of tax code where pols are demonizing companies they tax for raising the cost of their product or service after pols raise their cost through higher taxes. Pols know those cost are always passed onto the consumer but its a win/win for them because they can then demonize the companies.

    Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan gets rid of all those hidden taxes and loopholes within the 70,000+ pages of tax code lobbyist lobby them to change etc… and when implemented 9-9-9 will result in an economic boom with cheaper products because companies will evaluate their bottom line with the money they save and lower cost trying to steal consumers from their competition. Competition is always good for the consumer and this is exactly why big corps lobby for taxes and loopholes that’ll hurt their small business counterparts and exactly the reason we need a Main St President not a Wall St POTUS like Obama has been or Romney will be.

    Basically at the root of the problem with the mortgage crisis is this noble but misguided idea that everyone deserves to own a home. Its not true! You deserve to ow a home when you can meet the free market standards for getting a loan. To pretend as pols do that banks want to loose money on their loans and need a bailout is nonsensical.

  52. You would think SOMEONE at OWS would ask why Michael Moore and these other 1% Liberals fly in, tell them to keep the fight going, and rush out – back to any number of 10,0000 square foot, well-heated homes. And meanwhile, the OWS tools get to shuffle back to their soaking wet, freezing cold tarps and tents – broke, hungry, tired, injured from fights with the police…
    No one is giving them any part of huge donation pool (kept in a non-union bank) for their mortgages or student loans. None of the Big Money Left who tell them to fight the man will come down there and stay for days or weeks – or even overnight. No one is hosting a job fair for them.
    The OWS has been well played by big Leftist money who uses them to fight Big Right money.

  53. You say “Undergraduate degrees in English and Film and Sociology and Philosophy (and a thousand other subjects) have had debatable workplace utility for as long as I’ve been alive.”
    Not having studied Film or Sociology, let me confine my remarks to English and Philosophy – the latter being my major, the former my wife’s, son’s, and children-in-law’s major.
    If we limit it – as you appear to do – to “workplace utility”, and define that as “skills that directly impact the ability to add value to a product to be sold” you may have a point.
    However, if the English major has had a classical education (not the womens- and minority-studies of some institutions) then there are two things that are valuable workplace skills that they have and many others do not – the ability to write clearly and the ability to think in the context of “The Great Conversation.” Anyone who has had to deal with office communications that don’t communicate, or those who have no idea what makes the American culture and society unique, knows what happens when one does not have a good foundation in English.
    As for Philosophy, again the ability to think, to understand nuances of meaning and the topics of the Great Conversation allows one to be a more intelligent employee. And the study of prepositional logic is directly applicable to computer programming – especially as the languages used in that field have their roots in British and American linguistic philosophy.
    Perhaps the situation is not unlike that of the members of our military – those outside have no understanding of the skills they have, and do not know how those skills may be valuable to their enterprise.
    If all you want is vocational training – by all means go for it. But to ignore or discount the value of an education that is not directly applicable to a vocation displays a dangerous ignorance of the value that they may have.
    That said, these brats who are protesting need to go flip burgers or wait tables for a while. It builds character.

  54. My son graduated in Dec 2010. He found a job in early May 2011. He has already been a task lead and is now being fast-tracked for management.

    Of course he got a degree in Civil Engineering . . . and works his rear off. That might be why he has a high-paying job with a future that is interesting and challenging, while his cousins that majored in theater arts, music appreciation and anthropology are working as waitstaff and clerks.

  55. I’m old school and believe that talent, rather than a degree is what makes an employee valuable. Granted I came from a time when a degree was the exception rather than the norm.

    I’ve worked in the goverment arena as either a soldier or a contractor for almost 38 years and I’ve seen an unnatural and frightening trend in the last 5 or 6 years. The trend is importing otherwise unemployable PhDs at a much higher salary than they could possibly earn in private industry into the government. The qualification requirements now for contractors have gone so high that it’s not possible to bid anyone under a salary of $100K+, when in fact a go getting, self educated, self starter could easily do the job “better, cheaper, faster”. The prejudice against non-degreed professionals is blatant, perverse, and incessant. And not not negotiatable – the government PhDs make it a “condition of employment”. I am lucky that more often than not my 38 years of experience is considered an acceptable alternative to 4 years of college.

  56. There’s just one teeny problem with the bootstraps worldview: It’s demonstrably false. Wealth runs in families and ethnic groups. That’s flat fact. So you can explain it in two ways: Either some ethnic groups are smarter, or the game is rigged. Flat, nasty fact. No doubt it’s more fun to dream yourselves Rand protangonists, though, so go ahead, dream on.

  57. It’s a delicious irony to imagine the hordes of Irish-American libertarian ideologues dropped off in Famine Ireland, preaching bootstrap economics. Of course that wasn’t REAL free market, it was rigged, etc. True, absolutely true. But you never seem to realize that every economy ever studied was rigged in favor of one class/tribe/religion or another, and that your free market is as much a fantasy as the Trotskyites pure communism. There are no pure systems, and the Famine dead were sacrificed in the name of the same free-market jargon, backed by the same rigged meanness, you support now.

  58. I’ve noticed that libertarians of the lesser ranks never ask the simplest, most important question of all: Is it TRUE?
    Is it TRUE that individuals control their own destinies and make their own way?
    History offers proof after proof that they do not. If you point to success against the odds to back your theory, you must, if you claim any intellectual rigor at all, give equal weight to the endless examples of failure to overcome dismal odds.
    But it’s easier to slip into the demotic American narrative than to look coldly at the historical picture.
    So let me ask: If one disabled, poor, friendless immigrant does well and 24 others fail or die, what is the moral of the story?

  59. Every graduate should be encouraged to read his and her diploma: nowhere on it will they find the words “job” or “guarantee”.

  60. Taking risk is an inevitable part of life for most individuals and companies.

    There are ways to mitigate risk and reduce and manage risk.

    The idea of bailing out those individuals who took the risk (or even lied about their income) by signing up for the easy money 100% mortgage loan at the top of the market while other taxpayers are struggling, but following all the rules doesn’t seem right.

    But the bailouts by the Bush and Obama admistrations of large financial firms and industrial firms (such as the Auto Companies – GM and Chrysler) is not right either.

    Having some social safety net is important, but not a child-like free for all where everyone is covered for their OWN decisions.

  61. I see your point, and people should be held responsible for their own decisions as adults — but not 100%. Those bankers knew perfectly well that most borrowers would default — and that’s enough to make the loans fraud. (For that matter, the so-called profession of urban planning has always deliberately kept housing prices astronomical because all the planning agencies are owned and operated by the cartel of people who already own homes.)

    Give us a complete free market, with no corporate welfare, tax breaks, or bailouts. Then individuals can negotiate with them on an equal basis.

  62. I can see both sides of it. There aren’t too many “rules” as in “rules of law”, but there are lots of “rules” as in “rules of thumb” that U.S. culture, and especially its education system, so deeply indoctrinates into children that they might as well be “rules of law” in the childrens’ minds. Spend 18 years telling a person “Do X Do X Do X or your life will be a miserable failure” and then they do X and you tell them “Hahahah! It turns out, doing X is what makes your life into a miserable failure! Sucker!”

    I mean, what do you expect? It’s fraud at a cultural level. You have to remember that these kids aren’t adults. They don’t have the decades of experience we do in the real world, making real decisions, realizing 99% of what our parents and teachers told us was bullshit. They have been raised them from birth to be obedient and submissive and always trust adults and follow their advice, then you blame them when the advice turns out to be utter shit. It’s nice to be among those that are doing relatively well, because in childhood we were rebels and never listened to all this nonsense. I do admit I enjoy an occasional laugh at their expense, after all the shit I took for going my own way and not obeying conventional wisdom. But it’s a stretch to say that they knowingly made bad decisions, or that they should have made other decisions, when they chose exactly what they were made to believe was the right choice.

    It’s totally understandable that they’re angry. They’ve been defrauded by the people they trusted most in life. They’re going to pay for the largesse, waste, and willful ignorance of earlier generations whether they like it or not. There will be comeuppance. Unfortunately because those earlier generations so massively failed in their responsibility to impart their offspring with wisdom, reason, and a solid grasp of the facts of life, the comeuppance is going to be in the form of dealing with the irrational and mostly random expressions of perfectly justified anger, instead of proper reform toward a non-fraudulent way of life. So I suppose a “suck it up, you’re getting what you deserve” is more properly aimed at those earlier generations than the present. How’s that for a taste of your own medicine?

  63. It is not in the national interest to force the impoverished to become wage slaves to pay off insurmountable debts owned to payday lenders and hugely profitable bankers. [

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