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  •  Wow. I agree with your three points (0+ / 0-)

    but the framing is not my experience.  Sorry that I am too idealistic for your taste.

    •  i don't quite understand people who don't (0+ / 0-)

      quite understand that the middle class in this country really is disappearing. We are returning to a Dickensian era when white collar admin staff will be socioeconomic Cratchits, and blue collar workers will be utterly impoverished. The middle class aspirations, nevermind assumptions, with which we grew up are a thing of our past, lingering here and there as of course anything always will for a while, but they are the last hangers-on. Everyone pushes for STEM education, but the reality is that an 18-year-old going into any STEM field other than engineering or computer science will never earn as much as her grandfather made on the line at GM, or swinging a hammer on a union construction crew, or for that matter sorting mail at the US Post Office (unless, of course, she's selected for a management path). People with 2-year biotech degrees will earn less than their parents earned waiting tables in college; people with 4-year biotech degrees may earn marginally more, but the truth is, I don't see it. Right now, today, biotech PhDs find themselves doing "second post-docs" -- earning salaries around 40K, despite their 10 years of post-secondary education, followed by a first post-doc of 2 years. The last six years of that education/work history includes a whole lot of 60 or 70 hour weeks and extensive direct technical training. These people are smarter and harder-working than almost everyone in America who earns more money than they do, yet they will be 35 or 40 before they can afford to have children -- if they can ever afford to have children.

      This is one of the things that folks don't seem to appreciate about the New Model Economy: incomes no longer reliably, or even probably, go up as one "puts in one's time". Get a 4-year biotech degree, go to work in a lab somewhere for $15/hour, and that's the end of the line -- 10 years later you'll still be making $15/hour (perhaps with cost-of-living increases), because there's no union negotiating a contract that says older, more experienced workers will be paid more. Or, get a high-demand engineering degree, walk into your first job at $70K per year, do it well, and 20 years later you'll be making $100K per year -- at which point, come the first economic downturn, you'll be out on your butt and you'll never earn real money again.

      That's the America we live in now.

      I have very bright children. I am not at all persuaded that any of them should blow $100K on university education.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat May 11, 2013 at 06:40:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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