The BLS continues to perpetuate the distraction officially known as the "unemployment rate" to hide the grim reality portrayed by the labor force participation rate, which shows the true decline of employment in America. The labor force participation rate of college graduates has never been lower. In the new normal, McDonald's has a lower acceptance rate than Ivy League schools. Just when you thought you had seen everything, a new story emerges: Alfred Postell has three degrees - accounting, economics, and law - but he is unemployed and homeless.
Postell graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979.
Here he is now.
Postell could possibly be the most educated homeless man in history, and his tragic downfall reflects a great failure of modern society. As The Washington Post reports, he used to work at Shaw Pittman Potts & Trowbridge. One day, Postell started talking about how the police were chasing him. The cops were not there. Then he went through a bad breakup with his girlfriend. Postell lost all sense of reality and spent the next 30 years drifting. Postell had schizophrenia.
Despite having a $35 billion endowment, Harvard has not taken any initiative to assist their former student. However, they gladly sought the attention of hedge fund manager John Paulson, who donated $400 million to the university last month. It seems like Harvard has developed a new theory of one-way reciprocation, a concept even the schizophrenic mind could not imagine.
Genius and schizophrenia have been linked before. The late game theorist John Nash is one example. Ironically, Nash made his greatest mathematical achievements at the height of his mental illness. Schizophrenia involves hyperactivity in the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain that helps people make unusual connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. Perhaps Nash's condition was just an excessive manifestation of some kind of natural asset.
With the right assistance, the potential contributions people like Nash and Postell could make to society are enormous. When a Harvard graduate is on the streets, it's not a result of a schizophrenic mind; it's a symptom of a schizophrenic job market and a schizophrenic society that seeks short-term profit over long-term gain.