Advanced whining at Harvard Law
Few things in the world are more annoying than overprivileged yuppies whining about how miserable things are for them:
[F]actors such as large student loan obligations and high housing costs in the cities where most young adults go to start their careers are making the transition to fully independent adulthood harder for young adults to achieve. The interview gives some interesting insights as to why $200/month student loan payments really can be a heavy burden for 20-somethings.That's from Katy S. McArthur, who had previously blogged:
Statistics show that almost half of students who start a four-year degree program have not graduated in six years. If the debt burden is unmanageable for the students who actually do graduate, what must it be like for the students who give college a try but don't make it to graduation?I'm thinking back to when I was a 25-year-old college graduate driving a forklift in a bearings warehouse on Fulton Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta for $4.50 an hour. My foreman, who was making about $6 an hour, had a business degree from Auburn University and another guy on our crew had a University of Tennessee degree in psychology.
Adult males with some college but no degree earn an average of $37,500 - just a few thousand more than their peers who never even attempted college. When you look at it this way, going to college is suddenly a very risky proposition - for those who don't succeed, you're very likely to be significantly worse off than if you'd never tried at all, since your years out of the work force and the significant debt you've incurred won't be offset by a meaningful income difference unless you graduate.
When I hear this kind of whining about how horrible it is for young people today (when the unemployment rate is under 5%), I've got to wonder who's doing the whining. So I clicked over to the bio of Katy McArthur and discovered she's a second-year Harvard Law student who used to be an investment banker at Lehman Brothers!
Oh, cry me a river, Katy! You're four years out of UT-Austin and your prospects are just so bleak, aren't they? Poor, poor Katy -- walked away from Lehman Brothers and still had to borrow money to go to Harvard Law!
Miss McArthur, I'm guessing you're about 27, right? Sweetheart, when I was your age (in 1987) I was positively overjoyed to get a job as a sports editor at the Calhoun (Ga.) Times at the princely salary of $275 a week ($25 a week more than I'd been making in Marietta at Otis Brumby's Neighbor Newspapers). Woo-hoo! $14,300 a year before taxes!
Miss McArthur, nobody put a gun to your head and forced you go to UT-Austin. Nobody compelled you to quit your investment banking job and enroll at Harvard Law. These are called "choices," and if you can't afford the tuition, you always have other choices. But don't worry: Just another year or so and you'll be a Harvard Law grad who can then spend the rest of her life looking down her pretty little nose at the rest of us dumb slobs.
As for my own kids, I expect the girls to work their way through school (probably not Harvard Law, OK?) and the boys ... well, I'm expecting my sons to enter the University of Parris Island so they can qualify for special scholarships.*
At CPAC this year, I met Thomas Frank, who wonders why liberals can't seem to connect with average red-state voters nowadays. Mr. Frank, I think I've found your answer, and she's a second-year student at Harvard Law.
*Of course, if we sell a million copies of DONKEY CONS (the movie rights are still available, Mr. Clooney -- have your people call my people, OK?), maybe I could afford to send my kids to UT-Austin and Harvard Law, so ...
SNOTTY RIPOSTE: My esteemed co-blogger Stacy writes: "My foreman, who was making about $6 an hour, had a business degree from Auburn University..." No wonder he was making $6 an hour. A business degree from Auburn is like a cattle-ranching degree from the University of Calcutta. Which, come to think of it, might make a good fallback position for Miss McArthur. We hear students there are thrilled with their rupee loans.
Riposte to the snotty riposte: Lynn, it's bad enough you've gotten me involved in your shameless partisanship, but now ... Alabama vs. Auburn? That kind of stuff could cost us some readers down around Opelika. Me, I bleed crimson (Dad was UA '51), but some of my best friends are War Eagles.
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