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Sorry (Poor) Kids: The Road From Rags To Riches No Longer Passes Through College

Tyler Durden's picture


... at least statistically speaking. Yes, outlier cases will always exist and there will always be a rags to Geology 101 to riches story somewhere, but as the following fascinating and very much damning (the entire higher learning industry of the US) diagram from Reuters demonstrates, colleges, in their once vaunted role of a "great equalizer for the classes" as defined over a century ago by Horace Mann, no longer exist.

The chart in question?

What does the above chart imply? Nothing more than that for the vast majority of people, college degrees are the modern-day equivalent of very, very expensive snake oil.

Yes: colleges are sold to you as the critical stepping stone on the path to wealth and prosperity, but sadly the empirical evidence demonstrates that when it comes to an actual, demonstrable income effect, only the wealthiest people actually benefit from a degree! The lowest fifth of household by income see their change in income decline by 10%, while the middle fifth sees an incremental 2.1% drop. Where do incomes rise? When you are already wealthy and belong to the highest fifth of households by income: there, going to college boosts your income by an additional 15.1%

And since for the great majority (excluding the richest of course), a college education is funded by even more implied poverty, i.e. debt, which is merely the opportunity cost of future income and wealth, the simply math works out as follows: college - a tool for making the rich richer, the poor poorer, and virtually everyone (excluding the richest, again, of course) a debt slave into a system that beguiles impressionable youths with dreams of money and power, and cheap low interest private and Federal student loans, only for the illusion to shatter upon graduation and all those wonderful jobs demanding a piece of paper procured in exchange for 4 years of debt-funded classes, turn out to have been a mirage all along...

In short: the only hope for a great many people is nothing but a debt trap.

From Reuters:

Just to stay even, poorer Americans need to obtain better credentials. But that points to another rich-poor divide in the United States. Educators call it the scholastic "achievement gap." It has been around forever, but it's getting wider. Lower-class children are getting better educations than before. But richer kids are outpacing their gains, which in turn is stoking the widening income gap.


"Now, we're in a situation where we need to educate everyone at the level of the elite in the past," said Paul Reville, Massachusetts secretary of education. "We don't have a system to do that."


It's an academic arms race, and it can be seen in the sharply contrasting fortunes of Weston, a booming Boston suburb, and the blue-collar community of Gardner, where a 20-foot-tall chair sits on Elm Street as a monument to the town's past as a furniture-manufacturing hub.


* * *


This correlation between educational attainment and financial fortune is clear statewide. In the bottom fifth of Massachusetts households, the average income dropped 9 percent in the past 20 years to $12,000. They fared worse despite a sizable gain in educational attainment: The share of people 25 and older in the group with a bachelor's degree rose to 18.5 percent from 11 percent.


The same thing happened to the middle fifth. Their average income slipped 2 percent to $63,000. The share of adults with a bachelor's rose to 43 percent from 29 percent.


But the top fifth saw their average income leap 17 percent, to $217,000, as their education levels soared far higher. Three-quarters had a bachelor's, up from half. Fully 50 percent had a post-graduate degree, up from a quarter.


* * *


"All the evidence shows that children born to two highly educated, high-income people tend to obtain the highest level of academic achievement," said Sum. "At the bottom, where the mom is not that well-educated and tends to have lower income, children tend to do worse."


* * *


Curtis Dorval, works at Walmart as well. When he was a senior at Gardner High School, Curtis was class president. He was accepted by Northeastern University, a private school in Boston.


But Northeastern cost $50,000 a year, which Curtis, then 17, felt he couldn't afford. Instead, he enrolled last year at the state-run University of Massachusetts Amherst, studying mechanical engineering. With the help of a scholarship for graduating in the top quarter of his class, Curtis paid $10,200 a year.


He got some help from his father, who had saved up $10,000 in stocks and bonds from his days in the hospital job. This summer, that money ran out and Curtis left UMass to enlist in the Air Force. He will serve as an airman - and hopes to use military benefits to pay for parttime university classes.


"The main reason was I needed a way to pay for college," he said.

Most don't go that route: most opt for cheap, low-rate debt. Debt which as of this moment, merely at the Federal level has by now surpassed $1 trillion, and which, as we reported first, and as subsequently was confirmed by the media, is seeing its delinquency rate explode, now that the clash between hope and the sad jobs reality is front and center for ever more once hopeful students.

Just like with the "gun-control" debate, there is no simple solution.

Tanner Skenderian, president of this year's Weston High graduating class, joked in a speech about her town's hyper-competitive students. "Welcome to Weston, where third graders take AP Physics, middle-school students sleep for 42 minutes a night, and the most competitive race run by the 2012 boys state champion track team was the race to get the cookies in the cafeteria," she said.


Competition in high school was fierce. In one advanced placement physics class, she said, six of the 12 students were the children of professors at MIT, America's premier science university.


But Tanner thrived there. She also found school to be a source of support after her father died while she was in middle school. This fall, she headed to Harvard, after spending the summer interning at the governor's office. Given the job market, she said she may apply to business or law school after graduating.


Weston, in short, gave her an education that raises her odds of joining her mother - who owns a marketing and event-planning company - at the top of America's economic ladder. 


"We're very fortunate that we're rather affluent," she said. "We have more opportunities, more technology, more classes and more teachers."

And that's just it: if you are affluent, if you had opportunities, you will still and always be successful, and college will merely emphasize this. For everyone else, degrees are rapidly converting into an almost instantly amortizing piece of paper paid for with tens of thousands of student debt which, incidentally, is non-dischargeable.

Unfortunately, and just like with "gun-control", the fundamental issue at hand is not education, not even the pursuit of the American Dream (or lack thereof), but the gradual realization that the myth of American exceptionalism is just that. And in a world as globalized and interconnected as ours, breaking from the middle (or, heaven-forbid) lower classes, into the upper strata os society is becoming virtually impossible.

It goes without saying that any society in which class mobility is shunted, and in which classes (already engaged in class warfare based on wealth, sex, race, religion, background, job, or any other vertical that served America so well during its "melting pot" days) are denied even the ability to dream and hope of improving their lives through hard work (either current, or deferred - and prepaid for by student loans) is one whose days are numbered.


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Wed, 12/19/2012 - 18:56 | 3080620 Rainman
Rainman's picture

This is all absolutely true. The only roads to success are luck and treachery.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:03 | 3080634 nope-1004
nope-1004's picture

I wasted 5 years in college.  Taught me how to memorize questions that I thought would be on the test, how to think open mindedly (a bit, anyway), and most importantly taught me how to drink.

Looking back it was a waste of my time.  I could have learned to drink like that on my own.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:04 | 3080649 Oquities
Oquities's picture

i got an advertising degree in 1975 and never worked in advertising.  if i had not gone to college, i would be 4 years richer.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:15 | 3080690 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

The kids today have been totally brainwashed to think that going to college is the key to success. The middle income, and lower income parents just want to brag to their friends that their kid is in college, as if they're wonderful parents or something.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:39 | 3080784 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

It's the parents more than the kids. The kids just do what they are told.  I am 35, I compare notes with my friends who all have kids that are 1-3 years old. They are still completely brainwashed on the 4 year college plan, even if it is Poli Sci or communications. It's amazing.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:47 | 3080798 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

The market will solve this with private side education that is harder, faster, stronger, and teaches the values required to be free and prosperous.  Deviate from the truth at your own peril.  BTW, there is enough to go around. 


I continue to believe those who pursue teaching are altruistic.  Beware of exorbitant pay structures in these area.  Shephards do not seek to fleece their people, for the alumnus happily pamper those providing the truth to them.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:27 | 3080933 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Yep I noticed this years ago when I got my bachelors and nobody cared.  Not family, employers, ex-spouse, no one.  It was “so what” and get back to work.

When you apply for government jobs, your only hope, if you are not a black, female, Muslim, homosexual, liberal, is to be the flavor of the month, if not you are out of there.

Degrees are for the rich to brag and that’s about it.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:32 | 3080956 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

A solid technical degree makes a difference (imho)- engineering, computer science, etc. This is the only real step-up route for the middle and lower class. Medicine is great, too, but you end up with a quarter million or more in debt to get it.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:48 | 3081006 economics9698
economics9698's picture

My kid got a chemical engineering degree and it took him a year to get a job cutting up cadaver arms for the military. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:59 | 3081049 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Is this part of that new GeeWhiz project with autonomous weapons systems that refuel themselves by burning carbon fuel scavenged from the battlefield?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:04 | 3081070 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Who knows but he thinks it's cool.  Don't know how long that will last but at least he has a job.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:30 | 3081144 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Yeah ~ but if they're hot chicks & have some 'TEAM SPIRIT', they can still show us their tits... [& get a job at Hooters until the economy turns around]...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:54 | 3081395 strannick
strannick's picture



College is where you go broke, being indoctrinated in the dogma of Progressives like Obama and Bernanke. Dear Students. Instead of assuming the prejudices of Progressive idiot-snobs, learn to be a farmers, and so value self reliance and freedom.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 09:39 | 3082163 jerry_theking_lawler
jerry_theking_lawler's picture

you can thank the .gov for outcome. high taxes and even higher regulations push chemical manufacturing (along with other manuf) used to be a good profession, however, the .gov took care of this as well......

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:56 | 3081041 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

I could have come straight out of the military 20+ years ago as an Air Traffic Controller without any need for college.  I would be earning $137k per annum now and looking very shortly at a $100k or so in pension benefits.  I went on to B-School and am doing a bit better than that, if you don't do a NPV analysis that would take the original "investments" in time and money that went into the time spent in school ... if you count those, I screwed the pooch.  

The real answer, however, is not so much to skip college, rather it is to get a government job. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:06 | 3081073 economics9698
economics9698's picture

You were a ATC in the military?  Awesome dude.  I got stuck as a weapons controller, booooring.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 05:11 | 3081884 Dugald
Dugald's picture

Make some real money, with potential to lead on to big money.......get your hands dirty......

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:10 | 3080876 August
August's picture

"They are still completely brainwashed on the 4 year college plan, even if it is Poli Sci or communications."

Don't knock it.  One of those kids could be the next Chris Matthews.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:13 | 3080883 nufio
nufio's picture

Ah an apt thread to post this link !!!!

Its all about the field of study i think.


if you look at the table you will find that psychology alone graduates as much as all engineering + computer science combined!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:33 | 3080958 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"but the gradual realization that the myth of American exceptionalism is just that"

During a college summer (1973) I lucked into a union job (Teamsters) driving a fork truck.  I left it at the end of August to go back to college.  I graduated in 1977. It took me until 1990 to earn the cumulative amount of money as a financial engineer with an advanced degree as I would have if I kept driving that fork truck.  I'm not counting the union pension or the real estate I would have bought years earlier.

I worked my way through college, so there was no added debt which would only make the picture worse.  Even then it was a long process to make it all work.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:43 | 3080793 SimplePrinciple
SimplePrinciple's picture

" . . . going to college is the key to success."  You got it.  It's going, not learning.

The colleges sweep in the students off the streets.  The students skip class half the time, only caring about their grades, degrees and such credentials.  The profs are incentivized to sweep them along to avoid too high of a "D-F-W" percentage.  The schools promote the grade inflation so as to receive better rankings and more funding, which is withheld if too many Ds, Fs, and withdrawals.  To bring in standards, some central planners map out what should be taught in a "no child left behind" sort of way.  Creative or cutting edge thinkers on the faculty leave to escape the new high school.  Colleges promote group learning as if there is some collective mind.

Result:  The college degree becomes the new high school degree.  It just costs more.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:53 | 3080824 IllusionOfChoice
IllusionOfChoice's picture

This all rings true to my firsthand experience. +1

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:39 | 3080968 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

I have heard many college educators moaning about the remedial work required to

even bring undergraduate student just to the level they should have been at before attending.

The compromise is always decreasing standards at all levels.

New graduate teachers then exacerbate the situation into a negative feed back loop.

Dumber and dumber students at ever escalating cost.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:59 | 3080847 IllusionOfChoice
IllusionOfChoice's picture

Yeah, as soon as the mothers of the world became the purveyor of college as life necessity, it was bound to be treated as high school 2.0 by the students. While they may previously have viewed college as a time and effort investment worth the money, it has become work to be shirked for the other experiences available around campus.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:01 | 3080852 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

i did not attend college for a degree... i think like always its who you know, not what you know.  its the contacts and coat tails that count.......

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 00:41 | 3081629 brettd
brettd's picture

Graduated Northwestern.

Went to Hollywood.

Started at the bottom, taking out the trash with one friend who graduated from 

Villanova and another who graduated from Harvard.  

Nobody asked about "my education."

They only  cared that i served their needs.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:29 | 3080749 kalasend
kalasend's picture

College didn't teach you how to drink.

You looked for drinks

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:09 | 3080819 tallen
tallen's picture

I'm 3 years into an engineering degree at a top uni, can't agree more. (This is meant to be a degree that is useful too!).

I'm actually mindlessly cramming past papers at the moment. Real useful life skills in the making. At least I've built up close to $30k in investments while at uni with a bit of work, should come out with more than I started even taking into account paying tuition fees. Tho, if I'd actually focused on my business I'd probably have a real living by now and a house. University, what a gigantic waste of time. Better drink all those problems away...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:01 | 3081237 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Good for you.

I think college helps people prioritize, teaches some discipline to sit down and do the work, to show up to class, teaches some organization and to get things done.

A lot of people cannot do these type of tasks that high school kids learned 40 years ago.  I would guess that 45% if the kids in college should not be there.  It is a 4 years baby sitting program now.

Hope and Change.  Kids and their moms voted for this.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 14:15 | 3083422 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Is college even teaching prioritizing, learning some discipline, doing the work, showing up to class, organization and getting things done even being taught in college any more?

I mean for -studies majors, film school, etc., do they have do do those things?  Aren't all those things part of the white, Judeo-Christian patriarchy?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:58 | 3081038 ImReady
ImReady's picture

I skipped college and started a business instead. Kind of  missed out on the slutty college chicks though..(They're all fat and ugly now) 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 23:35 | 3081492 surfersd
surfersd's picture

I came from a decidely middle class family. I was wasted for most of my five years in college at a California beach school, but got a degree in Economics. Then answered an ad in the LA Times and went to work for an oil company, moved to Chicago - NYC to get into energy futures. Rode the elevator at a major white shoe firm got off the elevator before the implosion. Now back to surfing and have a handicap in single digits.

All by buddies who rode the same wave in the eighties and nineties are perfectly aware that the money we made was partly because we were smart. A big part though happened to be the times. A rate of return where your saved capital grew, taxes that were someone reasonable and the markets were not manipulated at every level. Still I used my education continually and while nope - 1004 was memorizing I learned critical thinking. Critical thinking that allowed me to realize that the talking heads on CNBC in the morning who we then drank  beers with at Morans in the afternoon, were pinheads. You have to look within yourself trust your intellect take your best shot (with the appropriate stops) and go for it.

The poor kids getting out of school today be them from low to upper class families will be destroyed by the system as it chokes off any attempt to succeed. The debt, devaluation, taxes on marginal income etc etc will prevent most of them from moving to the next level. Just think Warren Buffett the guru of the last century is for dividend taxes at 40% and high inheritance taxes, all of which he has been dodging forever. I guess his view is pull the ladder up I am on board. Fing Bastard. 

As I tell my college kids learn critical thinking, think outside the box, continually educate yourself about the world and read Zero Hedge. 



Thu, 12/20/2012 - 00:46 | 3081638 brettd
brettd's picture

Critical thinking:

Obama thinks the middle class should pay higher taxes so Warren Buffett can continue to recieve Social Security and Medicare Benefits.

That's the logic you learn at Columbia and Harvard....


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:03 | 3080644 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

for those young men who choose to stay at home (i.e. basement) to get educated by the internet, it's frustrating to watch llyster interview bill murphy only to have mom come down and ask who is that woman and how come she's not wearing anything under her halter top!

if you find yourself in this situation, say something to turn the accusation around. maybe like "don't you think journalists should be free to decide their own dress code". or whatever. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:09 | 3080673 HappyCamper
HappyCamper's picture

I don't have the numbers, but it seems to me that the reason for this depressing story is because so many young people these days are getting degrees that are not really valued by the marketplace; like the social sciences.

I made a big mistake to my children by telling them to get a degree in something they would enjoy.  Looking back, I should have told them to get a degree in something that was in demand and marketable.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:29 | 3080745 spinone
spinone's picture

Exactly.  The lower class students are getting social science degrees, which don't help them get a job.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:44 | 3080795 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

the wealthier students have better connections to the higher paying nepotistic system of employment....nothing else

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:32 | 3081156 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



Advantage: nepotism.

Until of course actual problems have to be solved and during lean times like these, the problem solvers (many who've been able to get by on much less money) are a bargin for the boss and out goes the inbred wunderprick!


Advantage: Skill

The pendulum swings

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:19 | 3080916 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Nah.  If you just want a job or money, don't bother with college.  Just pal around with rich folks.  Suck up to them, compliment them, be their best bud. 

The most effective way to earn a good income in the USA is to have someone with more power give you the opportunity.  This is how it's always been, too.  The guy who really "beats the odds" through hard work and talent is the rarity compared to the guy who just happened to be friendly with someone in the right place who could help.

Anyway, obviously if you don't care about education, you shouldn't be giving advice about it to your kids.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:52 | 3081032 dhengineer
dhengineer's picture

You are right.  I floated the following idea past a nephew of mine, who lives in North Carolina and is now wasting his time at NC State.  I suggested that he hang around Duke where a few of his friends from high school are wasting their time, make friends with some of the richer kids, and then become a kind of valet, working for cash.  He could be a professional designated driver, for $25 apiece on weekends (cash only please), or he could clean their dorm rooms, or pick up books or laundry, or run errands, or even finish their homework for them (this kid is scary smart).  In four years, he could have amassed quite a pile of cash, and could have learned enough embarrassing secrets to be able to call in favors for the rest of his life.

He looked at me as though I were nuts.  His mother, my sister-in-law, won't speak to me any more... oh, well...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:52 | 3081213 Mr.Bigfoot
Mr.Bigfoot's picture

That's right. I know plenty of MD's from poor backgrounds who are doing very well.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:51 | 3080818 ball-and-chain
ball-and-chain's picture

No big surprise.

The only thing I learned how to do in college was get drunk.

Unless you're planning on going into a profession like teaching, medicine, engineering, or law, why not give university a pass?

Then again, what do I know.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:22 | 3081127 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

So, should poor kids go right from high school into crime?

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 14:23 | 3083441 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

They should go into a trade like plumbing, construction, electrical, etc.  What's the point of going $100000 in debt for film school if you don't even know the people you have to suck up to in order to get parts as an extra?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:43 | 3080995 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture

The correlations are only degrees to income. It does not demonstrate what types of degrees or source of degrees correlate to income.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:00 | 3080632 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

Or Hollywood pedophiles.


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:04 | 3080636 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



College still costs about the same as it did 100 years ago, when priced in gold.


I am going to still recommend a college education to the little horsemen.  It is one of the few assets that is portable, and cannot be easily taken away from you.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:11 | 3080674 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

as if college student have gold.

cost of college has skyrocketed, measured in ounces of weed

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:15 | 3080903 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

Maybe the point is that "dad/mom" is stacking to pay for college in fiat when the time comes.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:27 | 3080736 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

But what does college have to do with an education? Cost is one thing, value quite another. They're nothing but adult daycare for tenured faculty, while depending on being a diploma mill to hide that fact. Then there's the insane amount of waste associated with all of them (thanks to the debt trap funding).

I'm teaching my kids to understand value in the form of entrepreneurship, while providing them with book after book after book that they use to educate themselves.

College is where stupid people go to get a piece of paper that says it doesn't matter. For the smart people who go, that fact totally diminishes the value of the degree. Sure, it may be a portable asset, but it is no longer a valuable one. Especially once the only decent jobs left will be in the government sector.

But then again, you may be high enough on the wealth scale that your social connections override this reality (as evidenced by the graph). In that case, well... good luck.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:35 | 3080768 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



I'm teaching my kids to understand value in the form of entrepreneurship, while providing them with book after book after book that they use to educate themselves.

I hope you are around to hire them when the time comes, because other employers and professional licensing boards may not see things your way.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:57 | 3080839 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

I resemble this remark.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:59 | 3080846 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Professional licensing boards have become another money racket, ask any professional who now has to take regular continuing education classes.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:16 | 3080908 Missiondweller
Missiondweller's picture

Tell me about it. I took my CFP courses through the local college but realized it was nothing but a marketing conduit for Kaplan/Schesser.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:28 | 3080941 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

They are going to hire themselves. Besides, those "employers" of which you speak are either going to be either direct government jobs, or indirect government jobs via some contractor, and my kids are well aware of the futility of self-enslavement under the guise of earning a living in this fashion.

As for licensing boards, well, those will be the driver of the real economy, the black market. IMO, the future will look very little like the facade of the past. Rather than "getting ahead" via the rat-race trap, people will prosper by appearing too poor to support the state (or any other robbers).

(Oh, and I did not junk you.)


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:53 | 3080825 Rearranging Dec...
Rearranging Deckchairs's picture

You're right about the only decent jobs being government. I made it to the second round for a county job that only required a bachelor's. Needless to say my professional advanced degree and specific experience with the issues they deal with should have made me a top candidate. Made it to second round interviews final 150. When there are 30 spots for 3,000 applicants though nepotism and preferences for prior gov't workers ( I actually had a prior govt job it just was with my city not my county d'oh) make it tough for anyone without connections.

I might try for it again next year as there don't seem to be a whole lot of other jobs with benefits with an actual career track enabling increased earnings. A buddy of mine who applied with me got a spot and told me that a majority of the people had applied for several years in a row.




Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:10 | 3080870 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

My grandfather told me there was a time not too long ago in the US when Govt jobs were basically for losers that couldn't make it in the real world.  Then again, this is not the real world.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:48 | 3081011 Rearranging Dec...
Rearranging Deckchairs's picture

Yeah well I was raised that they make less money than the private sector. But I have to tell you that if there aren't any private sector professional jobs and there are a few public sector jobs then they make more.

I don't relish having to be a government parasite but the health insurance premiums and care costs only go in one direction. I have freedom and am self employed currently. I don't make tons but I don't commute, have my dog in the office, have my weekends free and only answer to clients who are temporary instead of a constant boss. But with the health insurance increases and the increase in the cost of care in general I can see the writing on the wall best to get myself a good 35 hr a week government job with health insurance included or my standard of living will plummet. 



Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:15 | 3081110 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

I make $500/hr pimping out my mom on the internet

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 23:06 | 3081423 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Sounds great, what's the link?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:52 | 3081217 mercenaryomics
mercenaryomics's picture

My Grandfather told me the dollar used to be - get this - pegged to gold! Bernanke assured us gold is just some silly "tradition."

We've since shipped GPa out to a home after Bernanke said it wouldn't cost anything since he's going to just the print medicare payments next year anyway. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:16 | 3081287 Freddie
Freddie's picture

 ...US when Govt jobs were basically for losers that couldn't make it in the real world. 

Now it is just for corrupt losers.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 00:57 | 3081657 brettd
brettd's picture

"Connections" are highly overrated.  

Your "pal" may get you in the door---maybe even to meet the family....

But they'll remember your good sides...and your bad sides.

No "pal" will go to the mat for you (however funny and charming)

if you're not going to advance their cause.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:50 | 3080815 are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

Puts a whole new twist to the term 'gold diggers' for women who seek a diamond diploma in college.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:02 | 3080639 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

I am still optimistic at earning $125k per annum with my Basket Weaving (graduate) degree from Western Upstate Arkadelphia Junior College to repay my $85,000 'higher education' student loans.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:50 | 3081206 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Hope thats underwater basket weaving.

I hear thats where the money is.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:03 | 3080642 grunk
grunk's picture

Learn to weld.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:03 | 3080645 Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

Learn to think.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:05 | 3080652 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

Learn to think while you're welding.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:17 | 3080694 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Get a two year RN from a community college (low cost).

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:12 | 3080885 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Maybe there was some money in it before they socialized healthcare.  Not so much in the future.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:29 | 3080947 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

Not exactly true, but I don't see wages falling in the field like some others.

I'm a RN, no longer working as one, but do maintain my hours of CE.  I was debating on a masters in mental health/admin or going the self employed practitioner route.  I once met a employee of a state psych ward who was making almost six figures in a area where that buys a nice life, a good benis to boot.


There is a existing shortage of RNs in this country that will only get worse over the next 20 years, with or without dropping wages.  It isn't like they are overpaid now by any means.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:44 | 3080996 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

One day you'll be talking about the good ole days...Ever hear of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission? The wages of all people in the medical arena will become a national budget issue. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:12 | 3080890 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  Obviously since most of the economy is in the shitter, you should just go into a government-subsidized industry.

What could possibly go wrong?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:00 | 3081054 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

The Govt is so indebted, it can't subsidized itself right now but for monopoly money. 

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 00:58 | 3081663 brettd
brettd's picture

And do some plumbing on the weekends (golden time!)

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:06 | 3080657 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

the companies that are clamoring for welders around here are only paying 11 or 12 bucks an hour and they bitch one wants to do it-i've done it and it's not too fun

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:21 | 3080715 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

An eleven dollar an hour welder will give you an eleven dollar an hour weld.

That (in the parlance of our times) gives us twice as many employed welders!- Paul Krugman

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:31 | 3080752 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I'd guess that many companies at this point could care less, as they're merely trying to survive in a world filled with capital destruction.

A.k.a. the "fish rots from the head down."

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:04 | 3080858 knowless
knowless's picture

I'm a welder, i work in that pay range, im in my mid twenties, we compete with china to supply parts to union facilities where assembly jobs probably make twice what i do starting(in the same city that i live in..). trust me, labor that cheap (here or China, only barely gives a shit.

You most definitely get what you pay for.

I would not buy a car made between 2009-now if i was looking for something that wasnt horrible.

Fuck apostrophes.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:10 | 3080878 knowless
knowless's picture

That's not to say i would discourage the path, but jobs are tight, and in right to work states the unions might not let you in, definitely a craps shoot with some companies, it becomes the revolving door temp shtick quick if you can't find a shop you can work with.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:31 | 3080949 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Jobs are tight but there's work out there if you're self employed.  I worked a couple of summers for a local ironworker who basically just had a pickup truck with a welder, a torch and some tools.  He was busy all the time making railings and iron repairs.  I don't know how much he made but I know his wife stayed home with his kids, he had a nice house and he always had a wad of cash on him.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 14:32 | 3083473 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Being paid in cash without invoices or paper trails is always a good way to go.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:27 | 3080940 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

This is the essence of the commoditization of labor or skill-set. 

ANYONE can learn to weld.  Thus your ability to demand a premium for that skill is very limited--there's virtually no barrier to entry to the market for a motivated laborer.

In theory, welders who are highly expert SHOULD be able to demand higher wages, but that's only true when the consumers are prepared to pay more for the labor than they would for the  repair or replacement of unsatisfactory work.

What would have to change in the way most business is conducted to return meaningful long-term future value to QUALITY?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:36 | 3080961 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

As always, unsound money undermines ANY system it infiltrates. The recent article by William Black lays that out completely. An honest business cannot compete, and is either destroyed by the crooks, or has to join in the game in order to survive.

I remember watching the NASDAQ bubble occur at the same time as corporate profits shifted to the financial sector (even for non-financial firms!).  When a company can earn more from selling bonds and front-running Ben with the money than they can from operating their owm core business, well, that's major fucking trouble.

Quality is only valued in a world with scarce captial. Otherwise, it's all about getting in on the flow.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:59 | 3081232 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

Anyone can learn to weld, but not anyone can do it WELL.

You are absolutely correct on long-term QUALITY.

"At the peak of Tool/Die/Moldmaking circa 1999 ish the workload shifted... the "repairs" became more prevalent than the "production" of tooling - and quality materials. (i.e. tooling steel, mold steel) We were repairing tolerances in the tenths on shit made in China with what looked like files and carpenter squares-  for less than what would have been making it right the first time". -The Gooch. ©2001 

Planned obsolescence of craftsmen.

Toolmakers, bitchez.


Thu, 12/20/2012 - 01:09 | 3081678 brettd
brettd's picture

Find people who produce quality and thru them you will find the people who want and will pay for quality.

It might be an artist--- engineering firm---stock car racing team--- with very specific needs.

And "quality" might not mean how pretty your weld may have to do with lots of other things:

Your attitude.  Punctuality. Honesty.  Flexability. Creativity.  Availability (I'll be here in 30 minutes...)

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:18 | 3080700 TuPhat
TuPhat's picture

That's what I did.  Took night classes at the high school after I graduated.  Got a job as a welder that payed my college expenses.  Graduated high school in 1970.  I think it might not work out quite so well now but my son is Working at Walmart and going to Texas A&M in engineering.  I do help him some but he won't be deep in debt when he graduates this spring.  His prospects for getting a job however Don't look that great.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:55 | 3080837 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

When I first went to college, the biggest expense was the income I couldn't earn while I was in class.  Now, it's so damn expensive, it takes multiple years of working a good job to pay back each year of school.

FWIW, I got a LibArts BA, and then went back and got AS at a techical school (A&P lic.).  Allowed me to get ahead of all the book-smart kids, because I could do things with my hands, and put me ahead of all the JC kids because I could I could read and communicate with management.  Worked really well until I went back again for grad school.  Now I'm white-collar (which is good especially as I get older) but the debt burden has made my take-home almost a wash from before.  

I don't envy the dilemma kids face nowadays. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:02 | 3080643 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

more like the road from rags to even more tattered rags

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:04 | 3080650 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

I think the future value of a degree is highly correlated to the major selected.  I tend to think that a baccalaureate in either Central African Rhythmic Studies or Wymyns' Issues of the 21st Century would be harder to monetize.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:05 | 3080651 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

The whole point of college is for the spawn of the elite to learn how to glad hand and pickle puff their way into good 'business deals' through the fraternity system. In my college the frat guys would have whole file cabinets full of old exams taken by their brethren which were available for cannibalization come term paper time. They literally barely showed up to class except to get their barely passing finals cobbled together by plagiarism accepted by the academic 'authorities.'

And people wonder why this country's going down the shitter...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:12 | 3080683 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Didn't by any chance go to Penn, didja ?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:16 | 3080693 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

Nope, Rochester Institute of Technology...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:44 | 3080998 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Same for me , but I learned to be buddies with them and yet never joined. So i didnt have to funnel a keg or jerkoff in a circle. Find the loopholes is the key to getting ahead.

Boy I miss those days of knowing the test before I walked into the class. Hardest thing was to decide how many to get wrong. Second hardest was should I be second or third person finished.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:06 | 3080659 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

It's all by design. Uncle Sam will have plenty of debt serfs to choose from when they gear up for the next war. Have a 30 year college debt? Enlist now and we will forgive it after a four year tour of the desert.  They better be signing up for the Air force now before the only thing left is being a grunt in the infantry.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:29 | 3080750 Sovereignbeing
Sovereignbeing's picture

For the creative mind there are always options. If the debt accrued is too much, the former student can take his diploma to some foreign country and not return to pay the debt back. To sign up as a slave for the military industrial complex would be the last thing I would think of.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:06 | 3080662 Chappy
Chappy's picture

Does this hold true for real degrees?  If you get an engineering degree or other techincal, don 't your income prospects go up?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:23 | 3080725 carlnpa
carlnpa's picture

Real degrees used to pay real good money.

That's gone now, we polluted the workforce with millions of H1B workers from foreign countries.  Supposedly well educated at 1/3 the cost of home grown scientists and engineers.

The whole business class has screwed the middle class for the past 25 years in every position imaginable.

H1B continues today, its illegal, abused and very common.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:34 | 3080761 spinone
spinone's picture

H1B visa holders education is for shit.  They need constant handholding and supervision, and are no match for an educated american.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:04 | 3080859 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

My wife worked intimately with quite a few foreign PhDs, and according to her, they were every bit as sharp as the "homegrown" scientists that she worked with.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:14 | 3080899 IllusionOfChoice
IllusionOfChoice's picture

Gotta agree. The communications barrier for people without full English proficiency is huge.

I have seen lots of flaws with the feedback loop for evaluating this type of worker and there seems to be no analysis of the "advantage" of using cheap offshore workers in terms of dollars, time, or quality of deliverables.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:24 | 3081307 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Many of them do not have degrees in anything.  They lie and bluff there way through.   All the best programmers I ever met were Americans.  A few europeans and Russians too. The Russians/Ukrainians are impossible know it alls.

Thu, 12/20/2012 - 01:12 | 3081692 brettd
brettd's picture

People growing up in American Culture are different:

Most other countries manage problems.

Americans solve them(....Or we used to.)

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:07 | 3080666 miker
miker's picture

Today, the vast majority of college 'graduates' have mediocre degrees and aren't really that smart, truth be told.  That's because colleges and universities set up the 'production line', lowered the requirements (to get in and graduate) and basically dummed down the whole institution of higher learning to make a bunch of money.

So naturally, the kids coming out have pretty worthless degrees, lots of debt and aren't all that smart/resourceful to boot. 

The entire intellectual establishment really ought to be ashamed of themselves for what they've done.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:12 | 3080681 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

"The entire intellectual establishment really ought to be ashamed of themselves for what they've done."

What makes you think that wasn't the plan to begin with? George Carlin said it best:

"Corporations don't want educated people, they want OBEDIENT WORKERS - people just smart enough to run the machines but dumb enough to not figure out how they're being shafted."

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:41 | 3080978 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

It's gonna really suck watching Carlin get redefined via the memory hole (ala Twain). Video might help, but I'll bet YouTube, et al., will have that loose end tied down before too long.

In a hundred years, he'll be known only for "Seven Dirty Words" and his football skit. All of his political musing will just disappear.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:08 | 3080667 IntuitiveAnalyst
IntuitiveAnalyst's picture

Something that would be more telling would be to break down the TYPE of degrees earned within those brackets. Perhaps there is a higher % of Finance, Engineering, Computer Science degrees in the highest bracket while more Liberal Arts type degrees in the lower brackets? 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:42 | 3080984 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Most of those degrees are still superflous in the Dark Ages 2.0.

How many engineers does it take to not build something?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:07 | 3080669 American Sucker
American Sucker's picture

As a STEM grad, I hope this ends the derision of humanities majors.  If every humanities grad got a chemical engineering degree instead, they'd still have nowhere to work.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:20 | 3080924 nufio
nufio's picture

now that you mention it.. a lot of people who take up psychology actually start off in stem fields but then find it too hard to continue with the dorm parties. so they change their major. 

well some never even try the stem majors. Also not all STEM majors provide good career opportunities.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:09 | 3080670 mccoyspace
mccoyspace's picture

Which is why in NYC the educational race begins well before Kindergarten.
A good pre-school increases the chance of getting into a good private school beginning at pre-K. All at upwards of 30k a year. Gotta love that.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:57 | 3081222 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

These are the type of people sending their children to pre-pre-pre-k.  This is for "success"!:

Busy Bee


We met at Starbucks:

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:27 | 3081321 Freddie
Freddie's picture

They all voted for islamic.

I know a few working people in Manhattan.  It is all about covering each others back against management and keeping your job.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:10 | 3080672 kito
kito's picture

Bottom line is if you want a, physician, lawyer, accountant, is well it should be......but if you have no clue what to do with your life and you decide to major in political science......DON'T DO IT IF IT'S GOING TO PUT YOU IN DEBT.......

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:11 | 3080679 FireBrander
FireBrander's picture

Without a college degree, it's hard to get that corporate job where everyone above you gets insanely wealthy while you struggle to survive.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:30 | 3080748 edifice
edifice's picture

Oh, I thought that's what happened with a college degree...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:44 | 3080994 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

That's what they said.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:16 | 3080691 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Unfortunately a bank or the goverment won't loan a high school graduate 40k to start a business without that graduate jumping considerable hurdles. People go where the easy credit takes them.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:18 | 3080701 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

No, but they'll loan out QE infinity to elitist asshats who couldn't properly run a financial business if they paid professionals to do it for them. It's ALL about who gets blown, not who deserves a shot based on merit...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:18 | 3080705 juggalo1
juggalo1's picture

Those statistics don't back your thesis.  There are two critical flaws in your argument:

1)This is snapshot data not longitudinal data.  The chart compares cohorts of current poor / rich people poor with past cohorts of poor / rich people.  That doesn't show anything about who moved where and how education affected that.

2)The data shows that poor people don't get as much education as middle class who don't get as much as upper class.  Education and income are clearly positively correlated.

If your point was educating everyone won't make everyone rich, that seems rather trite.  If your point was getting more education won't help you become rich, the data (which really doesn't address that question) would seem to imply the opposite.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:20 | 3080710 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Listen up sponges.

Spend your student loans on guns. I have it on very good authority that the guns and ammo are almost gone. It's your last chance to feel like you are in control of your own destiny.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:10 | 3080875 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Plus, you'll have a convenient suicide method available if you're not happy with how that pans out, too.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:21 | 3080718 A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

"Education and income are clearly positively correlated"

Tell that to Bill Gates, college dropout extraodinaire, who said he quit college because he didn't need a piece of paper to tell him that he's any good...

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:23 | 3080722 juggalo1
juggalo1's picture

I wasn't talking about every person, I was talking about statistics, and I wasn't talking about all statistics, I was talking about the statistics in the chart in this article that we are commenting on.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:02 | 3081238 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

He wasn't replying to you.  Don't get your clown pants in a bunch.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:36 | 3080771 Midas
Midas's picture

For every Bill Gates there are 1,000 Jeffrey Lebowskis.  It's like Lenin said, you look to who benefits.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:51 | 3081389 Freddie
Freddie's picture

His dad was a big time attorney and gave him money to buy that version of DOS.   Gates was already smart before he got to Harvard.

He and Jobs were 1 in a billion and were at the right place at the right time.

I was at a Chiptole like place for lunch not that far from a 4th tier university.  One kid was the asst mgr and the other was in college.  They were both pretty desparate talking about careers in the Muslim's "economy."  The asst mgr kid said was think about going back for criminal justice and he was not a cop type.

The opportunities are supporting the prison planet and police state.  

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:23 | 3080721 q99x2
q99x2's picture

That may be true but colleges have lots of things that money can't buy.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:25 | 3080733 q99x2
q99x2's picture

A college education is still one of the necessary components of a successful revolution.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:25 | 3080734 Dre4dwolf
Dre4dwolf's picture

The only way to become successful beyond middle class, or upper middle class, is to become a banker and become a money changer / printer/lender yourself or to work in government... or to be a union boss manager type of a thing (so you can rob 100s of workers pay-checks for "benefits").


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:50 | 3081024 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I see a few gang leaders in the hood that do fairly well. Some do so well, they don't even have to get plates on their cars! But hey, I guess everyone can't run drugs out of a city property next to the police parking lot in an unregistered car and get away with it.

Well, it might not be drugs. Maybe they're delivering refreshments in those coolers to the kids playing inside?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:27 | 3080740 centerline
centerline's picture

Geology 101.  We used to call it Rocks for Jocks.  Kind of say because it was a cool class for those of us inclined for science.  Like most things, you get out of something what you put into it.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:38 | 3080778 yabyum
yabyum's picture

I loved "rocks for jocks" also Philosophy 101. Pray we do not undercut the classes that teach us to think

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:29 | 3080744 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Anyone else getting that fat water buffalo looking chick in their online dating ad? I must have pushed a wrong button somewhere.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:54 | 3080765 seek
seek's picture

The brunette one in the white tank top that's not see through? Yes. I'd be DTF the other one with the see-through mesh shirt, though.

No idea why they're using the big one, other than to maybe convince other big girls it's the place to go.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:20 | 3080926 Pareto
Pareto's picture

I'm still laughing!!!! baahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!  +100....."anyone else getting..............AAAAAAAAAhahahahahahahaha!  fuck thats funny!

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 23:19 | 3081461 August
August's picture

You mean Orca-fat?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:32 | 3080755 tooriskytoinvest
tooriskytoinvest's picture

20 Signs That The U.S. Poverty Explosion Is Hitting Children And Young People The Hardest. This Is Easily The Worst Economic Environment That We Have Seen For Young People Since The Great Depression  Of The 1930s


Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:32 | 3080756 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

The US Navy spent a million tax payer dollars and 2 years of training so I could become a Gas Turbine Systems Tech. I then spent another 4 years of on the job training on a Guided Missile Destroyer. At the end on my 6 years in the Navy I converted my Navy training into an engineering degree paid for by the US Army while working for the US Army on M1 Abrams Tank rebuild and upgrade programs. I never set foot on a collage campus until I received my degree. I've made far more money than your typical collage graduate and it cost me nothing but 4 years of hard time on a slave ship.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:34 | 3080764 kalasend
kalasend's picture

What pct of 18-22 yo would be able to find better things to do if they do not go to college?

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:40 | 3080787 Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

Go to a trade school and learn to be a plumber, electrician, HVAC Tech or some other "hands on trade". These jobs pay far more than a typical collage graduate could ever make. Even ASE certified Auto mechanics can make 6 figure incomes.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 21:14 | 3081108 harleyjohn45
harleyjohn45's picture

I agree, learn a trade, but immediately open your own repair business.  If you work for someone else, you will make 14.00-20.00 per hour.  Work for your self and easily double that.  I see it every day.  One or two man operations can really make some serious coin.  

Better if you can open an automotive salvage business, every junk yard owner I know is a millionaire. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:37 | 3080775 are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

All people are not created with equal intelligence genetically, or beauty, or health, or atheletic potential, or eyesight, etc.. Sorry. Very sorry. Wealthy families are more more likely to be intelligent and have intelligent children (although fewer). Sorry again. College does not create intelligence, only help for an intelligent mind to grow. sorry again. So no big surprise to me here, it is just that the truth that not everyone is made for college learning is true. Sorry that that college does not improve the US core of dumbing down of our demographics. Student slave debt loans will not fix this.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:52 | 3080821 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture


All people are not created with equal intelligence genetically, or beauty, or health, or atheletic potential, or eyesight, etc.

This wa sproven last Friday.  Humans, like all organisms (a peach, for example), are not created the same AND yes, you do get a "bad batch".  It's nature way fo telling you, "If you think you know.....well you don't know shit."

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:02 | 3080855 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

     Wealthy families are more more likely to be intelligent and have intelligent children (although fewer).

That'd be worth studying.  Although it sounds plausible, I've never seen data to suggest it's true.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 22:02 | 3081242 notadouche
notadouche's picture

Wealthy families do not have intelligent children at any better rate than any other family on the economic strata.  What they have more of is opportunity.  Intelligence is blind to economics.  Now knowledge is a different story.  However knowledge is out there for the taking regardless of your wealth or lack thereof.  Effort in school and desire to escape poverty can be one helluva motivator to become knowledgeable and create opportunity.  That use to be the american way.  Now we tend to want shield people from poverty and also the feeling of desperation.  We as a society have lost the notion that desperation and perspiration has led to the most creative and amazing outcomes.  Fear of failure and the need to not perpetuate poverty that I endured was the only motivator I needed.  My two brothers on the other hand didn't take the challenge the same way.  They keep reliving the cycle that we so hated as children and they've allowed their children to be exposed the nonsense.  We all came from the same place and had the same opportunities.  We made different choices which led to different outcomes.  Go figure.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 23:29 | 3081477 notadouche
notadouche's picture

Bush. Hilton. Kardashian. Al Gore III. Alex Kelly.  Brandon Davis.  Aimee Walton. Nicole Ritchie.  Joe Biden.  Skakel/Kennedy. Palin offspring.  Houston offspring. These are just a few examples of offspring of the rich that would hardly classify as highly intelligent.  Money can buy a lot of things but it cannot buy an intellect.  It can tend to hide the lack of one though. 

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 19:38 | 3080782 the_cannibal_animal
the_cannibal_animal's picture

Somebody up there mentioned finance as a high-income degree, so I thought I'd chime in:

I was a finance major for three years and I will tell you it's a crap degree.  The only offers I seemed to be running into were for selling insurance and other crap work.  So I switched into accounting and I'm with a Big Four now.  It won't lead to making huge investment banker money, but given that I was at a mid-tier state school (should have applied to way more schools than just mine and UChicago...) that wasn't going to happen anyway.  After all, those jobs are reserved for people from schools that don't even teach finance or accounting *coughHarvardcough*.   I started in the lower 50s in a dirt-cheap part of the country and have a kickass benefits backage.  Relative to most of my peers, I won.  I'm just glad I was lucky enough to discover my poor choice in major while I still had time to change it.

If you're studying finance at a non-target school, the chances you will get that investment management job you're after are effectively zero unless you can leverage frat connections or are willing to put up with cold-calling and glad handing through dozens or hundreds of people to make it happen.  Me, I took all the rejections as a message from the universe that I wasn't wanted, so I went where I was wanted.

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 20:11 | 3080881 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Your story is instructive, but needs exegesis...

you studied finance, but can't find work in top tier financial outfits...except in backwaters peripheral to the economy...those who do indeed get the big prize are not even trained in finance or "took all the rejections as a message from the universe that I wasn't wanted"... you did everything right but you didn't understand one thing - because

like this whole piece, your thinking is legacy, antiquated by the changed circumstances of the society in which you live. That's not your fault, you've been trained to ingnore the evidence in front of you and accept the ceiling imposed upon your caste. The ''financial sector" is a shell game reserved for the scions of the moneychangers, who long ago leveraged their control over the field of education into a selection mechanism whereby goys are shunted out of positions of power and influence(except for carefully selected & pre-manipulated minions who obey orders)to take their place as tax serfs of the kosher mafia ruling over you.

Use of  sociological jargon like "class mobility" merely disguises the reality: a caste of talmudist dual citiizens lords it other the rest of society, and is gradually tightening the screws...and college is now nothing more than another means of extracting earned wealth from the citizen-serfs at the same time as indoctrinating their kids into acceptance of their sorry station and fate.

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