x
schencka
Good Article, Or: Our 1848s

Here, from the NYTimes.
But “for my generation,” Mr. McCullar said, “lifestyle security comes from financial independence. I’m doing what I want to do and it just so happens that is where the money is.”
I really feel this economic pull, and the accumulation of money does equal security for my generation. Gone are the 40-year careers at big corporations. One can still have the same job for a long time these days. My father, who's been an attorney in my small Iowa hometown since 1978 (I think), and my uncle, who's been an instructor at Metro Community College in Omaha, Nebraska since the early '80s, are exceptions. But my brother Paul is not yet 23 and makes quadruple my income (granted, I am a mere master's student).

And further, my parents have a friend and entrepreneur, for whom my mother works, that is a Harvard MBA who worked for large corporations for years, and then finally came home to rural Iowa and created a burgeoning agribusiness, employing dozens of hardworking folks. Let it be said that he has financial security.

The choices are pretty clear for young people like me. Work teaching, non-profit, do-gooder stuff and barely be able to pay off debt (retirement? forgettaboutit), or become an entrepreneur of sorts, use one's skills to get security instead.

It was always sort of like this, but the ratios have changed. English PhD professor starting salary: $45,000. Marketing/financial analyst: six figures real quick. Entrepreneur: who knows who will be the first to end up trillionaires, a thousand times a billionaire.



I'm very afraid for people that don't get their education these days. No degree? You're in your twenties and plop down people's food in a restaurant? The social net is disappearing; even teachers have difficulty raising kids and sending them to college. For G-d's sake, federal school loans won't even make up half the amount of college tuition soon. And a Democratic takeover can't redress mass global economic change; post-World War II assumptions will be archaic in thirty years. Gone is the Modernism with essential truths; here is the Postmodernism, with rapid multimedia, quick fame and wealth, and truth and untruth on the same qualitative level -- fragmentation, one small world; radically different, but, I hope, much better.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, but sometimes we merely need recognize the subtle 1789s and 1848s and 1968s of our day -- in the individual choices large economic forces lead us to make.


 
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