Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Overall Structural Changes Will Not Be Televised

Some of you may remember my post on Canadian Woes in the legal market. This story also sounds vaguely familiar:

By the time the parents of Serena Violano were in their early 30s, they had solid jobs, their own home and two small daughters. Today, Serena, a 31-year-old law graduate, is still sharing her teenage bedroom with her older sister in their family home in the small town of Mercogliano, near Naples. Ms. Violano spends her days studying for the exam to qualify as a notary in the hopes of scoring a stable job. The tension over her situation sometimes spills over in arguments with her sister over housework or their shared space. And with her 34-year-old boyfriend subsisting on short-term contracts, Ms. Violano doesn't even dare dream of building the sort of life her parents took for granted.

Serena seems to be [edited per first poster below] doing what she can to get involved in areas such as wills and real estate matters, while her boyfriend appears to be working temporary gigs of some sort. Both are in their early thirties. Both are dealing with a glutted market.   

Well, these damn kids just need to want to work hard and just go get a damn job, amirite? The secret to success is to not be "that guy," you know, the one without a stable job. This is clearly the result of too many participation trophies being handed out when they were young. Can I get a "hell-yeah!" around here?
The Wall Street Journal, strangely, takes a different view from my own analysis of the situation:

Their predicament is exposing a painful truth: The towering cost of labor protections that have provided a comfortable life for Europe's baby boomers is now keeping their children from breaking in. The older generation benefited from decades of rock-solid job protection, union-guaranteed salary increases and the promise of a comfortable retirement. All this has allowed them to weather Europe's longest postwar crisis reasonably well.

By contrast, many younger Europeans can hope for little more than poorly paid, short-term contracts that often open a lifelong earnings gap they may never close. Employers in many countries are reluctant to hire on permanent contracts because of rigid labor rules and sky-high payroll taxes that go to funding the huge pension bill of their parents.


Now some people will say "well, that is unionized Europe, so of course all those lazy socialist cheese-eaters have sweet no-work gigs that cost everyone a fortune." However, as we all know, you don't have to look far to find similar complaints here in the good old capitalist U.S. of A. Boomers working long into retirement years with no savings, some hanging on desperately to underfunded pensions. People getting kicked out of work in their 50s due to RIFs in order to keep costs down. People in their 20s and 30s working multiple gigs, with no career stability, who can never seem to break in to that promised "full-time with benefits" job that keeps being dangled in front of them like a carrot. What to do about the situation?
Enter the Law School Cartel, spinning vacuous tales of "million dollar JDs" and "JD Advantage" jobs and Saving Dolphins and BigLaw outcomes, all for the low, low price of $200k in loans that will follow you for the rest of your life. When facing uncertain economic times, however, who doesn't like to hear about 90% employment rates, satisfying careers, and high-median salaries? That $200k will work itself out, somehow.

The simple fact is that the economic landscape has been changing all over, for everyone, yet the Cartel likes to pretend that it is still 1974. Yes, the Cartel likes to highlight International Space Copyright and Internet Sports Law so as to appear cutting-edge and relevant, but truth-be-told, the basic curriculum has not changed in decades. Yes, back in those days, when JDs had not been pumped out 2-to-1 compared to available jobs for years, tuition was low on a relative percentage basis, and technology and outsourcing had not undercut legal grunt-work, yes, there was probably some opportunity. Most of the Boomer lawyers I have met seemed to have "made it" in some capacity, although they will admit (in confidence) that it is a different game now, and even they are feeling the pinch.

I'm sure Serena thought there was some opportunity there, too, but forty years can certainly change the landscape. Lemmings, pay heed to the "big picture" when contemplating law school. Law does not exist in a vacuum (unlike the Law Schools themselves) and it is you, not the ScamDeans, not the LawProfs, who will be contending with a rugged economic market, trying to make ends meet, paying for CLEs and bar fees, chasing clients with actual assets, while legal market share continues to contract.

For those of you who have the resources to weather the storm, more power to you. Some of you are getting the message, however, as evidenced by declining LSATs and declining applicant counts, but more of you need to realize that the law is no safe harbor for the majority of students. Go do something else where you can possibly make some semblance of a career, or at least carry less debt along the way while you are trying to make it happen.

This is not about "working hard and being the best," this is about survival.


  1. "Notary" in that context refers to a type of lawyer—one that deals with such matters as wills and conveyances of real estate. It emphatically does not mean "notary public"—someone who gets a dollar for confirming a signature.

    1. You're welcome. The notarial profession is an institution from Civil-law jurisdictions (most of the world) that is little known in the US.

      Old Guy

    2. My French Canadian wife's relatives were always asking whether I was an attorney or a notary. My understanding is that Quebec is the only civil law jurisdiction in Canada, it's right to use the Custom of Paris having been guaranteed in the Quebec Act of 1774 by which Britain successfully bribed the people of French North America to not make common cause with its rebellious subjects to the south.

      But in the English speaking provinces do they have barristers and solicitors as in Britain?

    3. The English-speaking jurisdictions in Canada do retain the distinction between barrister and solicitor, but in practice all lawyers are both barristers and solicitors; one cannot be merely one or the other.

      Québec is indeed the only Civil-law jurisdiction in Canada, and it sharply distinguishes advocates from notaries; one cannot be both. As you said, the retention of Civil law—as well as Roman Catholicism and the French language—in Québec was a political compromise.

      Old Guy

  2. Brilliant. I forgot about the dolphins. I still find the lack of shame among law schools surprising.

  3. Many of those who have it good simply don't care. They never understood how tough it is for others because it didn't apply to them. It's when it affects them that they realize there is a problem worthy of their attention.

    1. Exactly. The Boomer attitude is "I got mine so who cares?"

      Where I work we have several boomers who sit in their cars for several hours a day, just reading books or sleeping. They're clocked in so no one knows they're not doing their jobs. This one dude is literally just waiting to hit Medicaid eligibility, and since he ostensibly has 35 years as an attorney, he gets paid well. It doesn't matter that he literally DOES NOT DO HIS JOB. A lot of the employees at this company and even at his old company have commented on this and you can even read the total lack of interest on his face. Yet since he is surrounded by other boomers, nothing has been done.

      And you know what? Us, Generation X and forward, are going to have to work until we're 70+ because of the laziness and destructiveness of the boomers. No Social Security or Medicare for us. I watch these 55 YO + clowns buy toys like guns, cars, 4-wheelers, etc, all happy because they're set. Their life has been one long romp at the playground. They skipped all the wars, got lucky in the big boom market of the 80's-early 2000s, whilst building a future that is a house with a sand foundation.

    2. That "future" is them kicking the can down the road. And the can (full of s**t) landed at our feet. And no, they don't care. And even if they accept there is a problem, it's not their problem, so again, they don't care..

      "Clowns" - exactly the right word. Exactly!

    3. Guns are not toys, moron.

    4. So the law school scam is an excuse to hate an entire generation? I guess it is if you're mentally ill and predisposed to hate someone.

    5. "Us, Generation X and forward, are going to have to work until we're 70+ because of the laziness and destructiveness of the boomers. No Social Security or Medicare for us."

      Um, I've seen imminent predictions of their demise for decades now. They aren't going away.

    6. They may not be going away, but practically every year Congress makes some change to them, either delaying retirement age for new recipients, increasing contribution levels, or in some way making things more difficult financially for the younger generations. They have to, because the economics of these programs are fundamentally unsound, and the rosy economic assumptions underlying them aren't working out. And of course we can never cut benefits being paid to the wealthy seniors.

      I love how the status-quo politicians always talk about SS as being a "sacred compact", when it's constantly being changed unilaterally by the government for the benefit of the politically connected older generation. Here in Pennsylvania, "old" is practically synonymous with "saint"-- the state lottery "Benefits Older Pennsylvanians", we have to have property tax rebates so senior citizens don't have to sell their homes, etc. What about people who are trying to work for a living and do something useful? Sorry, you don't count.

    7. Yea, the boomers screwed us over.

      I have a few friends in the public sector who contribute around 12 percent of their salary to a 'pension fund'. I can't stop laughing at how infantile they are when they say to me, 'I don't make much ... but I have a pension' ... as if that's going to be there when the current cohort or retirees sucks another 20 to 30 years out of the fund. LOL.

      Hey boomers, your pensions were based on projections of 8 percent returns (if I got 8 percent returns I could retire by forty ... how laughable) and you living until you turned 68 (scale average). How is it that you 'deserve' this money, a third of which has been spent, another third of which monetarily doesn't exist, and the other third was based on overly optimistic projections? There is no money to pay for any of this, except by stealing from current employees and tax payers.

      You look at everything from Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security, college tution, the national debt, and public and private pensions; they are all designed to help the old folks by screwing young contributors.

      Any way, don't hate the game, just find a way out.

    8. @ Barry

      Medicare and SS aren't going away? Are you kidding? These programs are totally bankrupt, there is no SS 'fund', only a fake government accounting IOU system.

      The only possible way SS doesn't break the back of the U.S. taxpayer is if inflation eats away at the amount paid out, or we have a global crisis, which strengthens the dollar, allowing the Fed to print more dollars to pay its way out of all the obligations.

      Either way, 200 plus trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities are what's on the books. The lights are working and the markets are full of food ... but so what ... America is bankrupt and the taxpayers will suffer, one way or another.

    9. I don't reallly know how to respond to all the comments I've received except to address them one by one.
      Anon at 10:34 - agree
      Anon at 10:56 - Sure, guns are not toys but many Boomers and Southerners treat them as such. You would be amazed at how much a Semi-gun-nut can spend on ammo alone. Just saying I am a "moron" does not help. For millions of rich boomers, guns ARE TOYS. Maybe you need to visit the area between NYC and LA?.
      Everyone after that, I more or less agree. We're being sold down the road. It's only a matter of time when the shit will really hit the fan.

    10. dont know hwere you people get your figures. 200 trillion dollars is not even the national debt and bank bail outs combined. That's an intuitively false number, shame on you. These social programs were made by our grandparents, not boomers. The debt/rent economy, low marginal income tax rates, etc. made these programs financially strained.

    11. 200 trillion is a real number. Look it up. Unfunded liabilities range from an estimated 100 to 225 trillion dollars.

  4. Excellent post. I wish more of The Great Depression survivors were still around. My grandparents used to give me all sorts of financial advice. I thought they were neurotic and paranoid, but after the last few years, I realize how wise they were. It's smart to listen to people with life experience.

    1. I'll second that ^^^

    2. As a member of Generation X, I have carefully saved money ever since childhood. Instability is all that I have ever known.

      Old Guy

    3. If you're a gen x type, why do you refer to yourself as "Old Guy"?

      Just curious.

    4. A year or two ago, some people at Inside the Law-School Scam started calling me Old Guy when I reported that I, then a law student in my early forties, could not find work in law (other than a federal clerkship). Finishing among the top few in the class at one of the most prestigious law schools doesn't get a middle-aged student anywhere (even interviews were few and far between); nor do an editorial position on the flagship law review, published legal scholarship, multilingualism, experience in engineering and business… Age trumps all that and more in the discriminatory legal "profession".

      The name "Old Guy" stuck. I've been posting here for quite some time but only lately have begun to sign most of my messages that way.

      Old Guy

    5. 11:44 AM @ "Old Guy", your comments perfectly illustrate my point. People should listen to you because you've lived it. That's why this blog matters; there is collective wisdom here.

    6. Thanks, 11:44.

      I should add that the rich kids who made up the vast majority at my law school did get jobs—good ones, too. For me, however, it was all over before it began: at my age, I never had a chance. Wealth and connections (which, of course, tend to go together) are what matter, and age is taken as a proxy for their absence.

      Old Guy

  5. At this point, the "hard work" mantra spit out by certain older individuals - all of whom, curiously, seem to be successful and secure - has grown tiresome.

    Conditions, as noted by the above posting, have changed considerably.

    As far as "old" Gen-X'ers, I'm starting to feel a little old myself - a fellow Gen-Xer. So when that person uses the term, I understand what they mean, both in body and in spirit, especially.

    I too have only ever known financial instability no matter what Game I tried and that was sold to me under promises of success and given hard work, which I have only ever done until recently when I adopted laziness as a new personal mantra.

    Generational and class warfare going on? You bet.

    We're being raided and deprived of our futures and have been for some time. Now that the economy is in Final Phase Meltdown, or whatever, it cannot be masked any longer.

    It's painfully obvious in law but it's everywhere now. It's the general economy as well.

    We're definitely, IMO, in some kind of 4th Turning with no signs of improvement. All the signs only point to things becoming worse. Much worse, in fact.

    1. I think you're right too. A vast and unstable imbalance has been created over the past 35 years. Now we have a massive population of people with a dim to zero prospect of improving their station in life, and a tiny cohort of elites controlling the wealth and policies of the country. In the past, maybe the middle class provided work for other middle class people through our consumer driven (70+ %) economy, but as the middle class has been eroded, so too have the jobs that depended on the middle class. How many Dollar Store shoppers can afford an attorney to do their divorce or Chapter 7?
      And don't think the proles are unaware of the situation they're in. Remember that shooting in Arizona a while back by that husband and wife team? They shot two cops in cold blood and later shot each other in a Walmart. I looked at some of the husband's Youtube videos. I'm certainly not excusing his abhorrent crimes but I have to admit I felt a certain sympathy for some of his views. He had been incarcerated for small-scale marijuana dealing, and was forced to wear a house arrest bracelet. He was effectively shut out of society for a non-violent offence, had to pay a private company for the costs of his parole, could be violated right back into jail for failure to pay fees, etc.

      If you're looking for it, you see examples every day. From the militarization of the police, to the exploding private jail industry, to the "preferential" treatment of elite whites and the 1%, to the wholesale purchase of all three branches of government by large corporations, to the complicit mass media that serves as PR for said government and corporations. It's all being done to exploit us and our resources.

      And our country is certainly not innovating in the areas that will contribute to long-term growth. Take a look at a recent blog posting on PatentlyO, which shows inventorship of US patents by US inventors in critical fields. The Chinese basically own solar technology now. If and when the oil runs out, and I'm not saying it's going to run out for hundreds of years, we will need something to fuel our SUVs.
      Of course, it may not reach that point. Maybe by the time Miami is 7 feet under water we'll think about altering our path, but something tells me we're going to burn every last drop of it!

      You know it's bad when Walmart starts sinking due to competition from Dollar stores.

      Things are getting worse. Better have a plan readers.

  6. Indeed, this whole conversation illustrates that our unemployment mess is structural, unrelated to business cycles or generational laziness.

    Each stage of human development has decreased the need for labor, as industry displaced the farmer, and technology displaced the assembly line worker. Computerization is now eclipsing the service worker as well. Long-term economic trends point only toward greater unemployment.

    Factor in newly-globalized low-wage labor pool, and there is simply not enough income to sustain the current economic paradigm. Profits float to the top while the vast majority sinks lower.

    You can't win an economic game that's rigged against you. Since paycheck-to-paycheck existence is merely subsistence living anyway, you're better off as a small-scale subsistence farmer with a bad-ass backyard garden. At least you'd be working for yourself, exercising, boosting your nutrition, enjoying the outdoors, etc.

    1. generational laziness? What does that even mean? I remember my gramps would talk about farm picking for a candy during summers. I also remember he could barely read and/or do math. He was also upper management of a large manufacturing plant. Different strokes for different eras of market demands...

    2. It means that some try to blame poor economic/employment outcomes for Gen X and Y on laziness, when it is in fact a structural problem.

      Your gramps lived in a time of high labor demand with a small labor pool. Conversely, we now live in a time of low labor demand (due to automation, computerization, outsourcing, and more) with a globalized labor pool. This does not bode well for the average worker.

  7. Obviously, Serena just hasn't been sufficiently focused on her career. She should read some of the musings of US Law Deans and Career Center Directors to truly understand what is required to have a successful career. It really just comes down to being focused and networking.

    Otherwise, it's not "the towering cost if labor protections" that's harming Europe. Germany and Scandinavia have even stronger labor protections than Italy and their economies are fairly robust. The current unemployment rate in Germany is 5.1% (see compared with a US unemployment rate of 6.2% (see The US unemployment rate is higher than Germany's even without all those pesky labor protections.

    Perhaps the Germans are simply more focused and networked.

  8. Those cushy jobs are gone. Those stable jobs are gone.

    It's not just law school. I graduated UG in 2012, and most of my friends with good jobs are engineers/healthcare workers or had a lucky connection into gov't or a corporation. The rest are living by the seat of their pants, in debt, with mommy and daddy, or clinging to a mind numbing entry level job they hope will result in a career. Good luck with that.

    I'm tradesman in high-end construction (my fall back plan to a disappointing post college jobs search)... you should see what these boomers on the top of the corporate ladder do all day (hint: many don't even have to go to work, they hang out with me) and where their money goes (second and third homes, drugs, strippers, organic estrogen modification, Aruba vacations, and expensive, but fattening food). It's hilarious. Ask them what they got their degree in ... I've gotten answers like Poli Sci, English, Business, and Psychology from executives making anywhere from a quarter to half a millions a year.

    There is a complete generational divide, both in terms of career expectations and actual work place experience, between people over 50, and those under 40.

    1. Right, exactly right.

      You couldn't do worse, by and large, than these clowns did. And yet, as they say, a rising tide.. Joke degrees. Mediocre effort and results. And yet..

      And no, these people have not mentally progressed since early adulthood and certainly not of of the 60's / early 70's lifestyle. The "Me Generation" knows they're running - and ruining - the show for everyone else. And, as stated above, as long as they got theirs, they don't care.

      Fast-forward to my generation ("X") and beyond. Try pulling anything like that off today, even with top line grades, pedigree, and perhaps super-strong (and I mean like Crazy Glue strong..) connections and .. I'll give you less than 50/50 odds to impossible as you drop various factors out of the equation.

      A Joke Generation full of themselves who would rather burn down the amusement park as long as they got there first and enjoyed it to the fullest.

    2. "find a way out".

      That's the real trick, now isn't it? At least according to Han Solo.

      You need to avoid those pesky "Imperial entanglements."

      The whole point is that the System is designed to push you through it, education being a perfect example, so that there is no way out.

      The Boomer bastards know someone has to do the real work. Someone else, that is. Someone, i.e. young people, has to pay the Piper.

      I for one completely resent working in their organizations, under their structures, and for their benefit, all the while being sold lies that the same or a similar future awaits if only I keep working hard and jumping through another and another hoop placed in front of me. And yes, they are lying because they know the current economic System (as with the micro-e. system of law schools) is not sustainable.

      In short, our turn will NEVER come. And they don't care.. They got theirs. Or will be dead and gone in which case they still got theirs and are now gone so the mess falls to everyone else to clean up who's left. In other words, classic and perfect Boomer Logic. Selfish to the core..

      The way out is saying no to higher education, as a starting point. The jobs will not be there and are not there in the short or long term. And those who do get the good jobs weren't competing anyway.. They had connections etc. so you were always and forever on Track #2.

      The System is rigged against you. Do not attempt to go through it. Leave it as much as possible and go around. As stated above, there's no winning when you're playing a rigged game.

    3. right, don't go to College . . . so you have no chance of competing for any decent jobs. Spend your time washing dishes and cleaning out garbage disposals. Great advice (rolling eyes)

    4. Ever try developing any critical thinking skills?

      The guy working construction (earlier in this thread..) graduated college in 2012 and washed out of a search. He is now working in construction as his fallback plan. So, excuse me, fool.. What were the 4 years and likely $100+ grand in debt (at the low end estimate..) for again??

      Pay to Play System. Get it now?

      Jingles keys: Are we learning yet?

    5. Also suggest you google "janitors" and "college degrees".

      Like law skule, the degree is now so devalued, the cost so prohibitive, and the debt so entangling that the benefit of the degree is dubious at best. And, thanks to the sterling economy left us by the Boomers, and as the Construction Guy would attest to, the jobs which might justify the time and expense of undergrad and / or law skule simply aren't there.

      I suggest you try thinking critically at least once in your life. Try real, real hard now.. I may be able to smell the smoke from here..

    6. I graduated from notre dame w a chem degree. I was offered two jobs put of college that paid about 45k. In Chicago that's what waiters make.

      No college debt. Luckily

      I make double that in construction. Granted I have a special skill and enjoy my job.

    7. Jon

      I'm am so glad someone like you is posting here. I have been harping for years that the key to social mobility for the unconnected today are high end muni and construction jobs. No one wants to digest that point.

      As a fellow STEM graduate (comp sci), I see my friends in municipal and construction jobs blowing my friends in both law and STEM out of the water. I have a six figure law job and I have minimal student loan debt, but I know the power to be will find a way to outsource or in source me. I know eventually I am going to be let go, whereas my buddies in the trades and the city governments are going to be ok.

      This info won't penetrate through though. The mentality is that it's college or bust. Consequently, we are having risk averse people taking the riskiest decision in terms of succes. Also, when people compare blue collar to white collar they always compare top white collar results to the lowest blue collar outcomes. The fact of the matter is that a good outcome is rare no matter what today, BUT trying to succeed down the blue collar path is less risky In terms of the consequences of debt and opportunity cost (and political protection) than trying to succeed down the white collar path. Also, if you do manage to make decent money in the white collar field, the powers to be are working day and night to destroy you, whereas if you get a good blue collar job, it will be much harder because the politicians have your back.

      My wife and I met a teacher cop couple who have a combined income of over 260k. They went on five vacations this year alone. I haven't been able to go one vacation in 4 years. When they were complaining about money, everybody at the table was telling them they know how underpaid they are and how they deserve more. My wife and I made a comment on how we had to wait to have another child, and everybody at the table got really mad that the big shot lawyer was complaining. I might not have a job next year, and the other couple is going to retire with a six figure pension in 6 years.

      I don't feel a shred of sympathy for myself. I made my bed and I need to sleep in it, but I am going to try and save as many people as I can, and direct as many smart and ambitious young people into the right kids of fields, ie like what you are doing right now.

      Congrats for seeing the light young man.

    8. @ 7:09 (I'm curious why you went from computer science to law?)

      ***Let's also specify that there are some guys and gals in today's age, let's say the top five percent, who have amazing charisma/connections and can make a marketing or business degree work for themselves to become executives in their early thirties. God bless them, but that's not normal.

      Very well articulated points, except most public jobs are gravy jobs for the politically connected. WE THE TAX PAYERS are paying their salaries and benefit/pension plans. However, for young people, they aren't easy to get into or as lucrative anymore. In contrast, trade jobs can be found more abundantly (although I admit you sometimes need a connection) because no one seems to like to get their hands dirty.

      You see the majority reading my post (I'm guessing) assume that I'm a loser who dropped out of college or couldn't hack a tough degree. Neither is the case. If I could do it all over again I would never have even graduated high school, I would have just went straight into the trades. I'm sure some reading this will view that as ridiculous (I went to a private high school and then the University of Notre Dame). And I support what the liberal arts *used to* represent.

      I have estimated that if I took that root of dropping out of HS and entering my current trade, my net worth at 30 would have been close to 600,000 $ (I don't have kids or large expenses). Working in the trades you exposed to all sorts of real estate deals, side projects, and lucrative investment options. Don't get me wrong, blue collar has its down sides, including a lot of low-lifes and drug addicts in the business. You need to take care of your body and know your limitations. You also need to man-up (which helps you in other areas of life actually).

      I would LOVE a high paying, stable, office job. Won't we all? The fact that everyone wants it drives down the wage, stability, and number of jobs that offer such a luxury to the point where these jobs no longer exist.

      If I had a kid (male) today in high school I would tell him here are your real options, in no particular order:

      1) engineering/computers
      2) medicine (although the debt and tech issues are worrying)
      3) trades - plumbing, HVAC, electrical, carpentry, specialties
      4) start your own business
      5) become a waiter / ski bum (don't go to college, stay liquid)

      *There's no shame in number five (some of the happiest people I know do this and still manage to raise kids). It beats wasting your life chasing a dream that will never happen if the above four don't meet your ability/interest level.

      I feel bad for people in law, it's such a losing proposition.

    9. *meant to say 'route'

    10. I know plenty of people who work construction. They tend to get laid off all of the time, rarely have stability in their lives. One good thing about construction though is most companies look the other way when their worker's have felony convictions. Oftentimes it is hard to find a crew that has people not convicted of crimes. But these are also the type of people who live for the day. They drink alot, take drugs alot, don't worry about tomorrow. If you are suggesting this is a good way to go . . . well lets just say we don't agree . . unless of course you are merely of average intellect. There is no reason somebody reasonably intelligent can not get a decent job in our country and a good career going . . in the service if need be, in management, or with their own businesses. All of these careers welcome higher education and that education will help speed the good life along. Listen to people like Jon at your own peril. If you think avoiding higher education is going to be good for you in your future, than truly you are what we would call "special snowflakes". Heck yea, stay away from fields like law. But don't think being uneducated and ignorant is the way to go. Most of you will fall on your faces if you do that.

    11. Yes, I agree a lot of low-lifes are in the trades. Definitely one downside. Unemployment isn't bad if you're good.

      The rest of you post is so out of touch with reality.

    12. I know a guy who did a lot of construction; he hasn't have a real job in over three years. When he does scrounge some work, it's 50-50 whether or not he gets paid.

      Injuries - he's on his own.

    13. It just depends on what type of work you do. I won't suggest general carpentry or iron work, unless you are love it. Welding is an occupation that pays extremely well if you are willing to travel (a good welder can make 100k in his sleep if he moves where the jobs are), but again, I won't suggest that either.

      Avg. union plumber and electrician in my state makes 75k, not including benefits. Union isn't easy to get into, but it provides a sky high wage compared to most office work.

      I personally install copper fittings for houses ... this is a high end skill with very good compensation because it can't be done by anyone without the training (which is near impossible to get) and 'touch' necessary. High end clients ... average bids for installation on these homes is sometimes worth more than half the entire cost of low income houses. If I ran my own business, I the sky would be the limit in terms of income ... but I don't have the experience yet.

      I know pipe fitters and electricians in their fifties who are in very good health and make excellent money. HVAC looks good. Plumbing pays, but I would never do that. I would also say that if you have start up capital, being a machinist (and then essentially building a factory) in a specific area is another path to great wealth. I've seen it up close. Custom orders from big clients.

      There are risks in working with your body no doubt, but if you think you can make that generic accounting or finance B.S. degree earn you 75k consistently, go for it.

  9. If all the whiners who can't find good jobs now had bought American-made goods 15 years ago, then they could have their pick of jobs. But they had to chase that last 20 percent discount when they bought their junk at Wal-Mart, so they blindly accepted the asymmetrical trade practices and inferior consumer goods of the globalization scam.

    What the hell did you think was going to happen? Or did you think at all? While you were busy playing Tomb Raider or some new fantasy league, there were educated people trying to warn you about globalization. But you blew them off, and now you're paying a terrible price for your stupidity.

    1. Most of the whiners who can't find good jobs were in elementary school when those jobs were being outsourced.

  10. This is a good post. There's massive generational wealth transfer going on: THE OLD HAVE ROBBED THE YOUNG.

    The seriously impoverished, working young, have 6.2% of their wages - and they need every penny - robbed from them to pay for SS and Medicare.

    The employer is paying another 6.2% that has to come from workers' productivity.

    That's a 12.4% rip off for programs that are already broke.

    12.4% of a standard 52-week work year is 6.24 WEEKS every year that young people get up, go to work and receive NOTHING for it. All the while paying to exist.

    Do the SS and Medicare recipients do anything similar for the younger generations? Hell no, they do not. Why doesn't my generation wake the F up and realize how badly they are being and have been robbed???

    I just want to shake people: you can't married, you can't have children, you have no health care, you pay everything you earn to a generation that voted for you to be a slave for it before you could vote. And you want to give people 12.4% of your money and productivity FOR WHAT? You want get to rob the next generation as a balm to having been robbed yourself.

    The effective tax rate in my state for a single person earning 40k a year (before sales tax, property tax, vehicle taxes, etc.) is 30%. That's the equivalent of working 15.6 weeks for which you get nothing.

    The law school scam is a BOOMER scam. Just more of the same. Boomer tenure for boomer thieves.

    Consider how you vote if you want any good years before the theft of Boomers and those even older, crashes the finances of this country.

    1. EXACTLY. This is my entire point of posting here. Young people need to wake up.

      And by the way, my calculated tax contribution is 43% (everything included) ... I don't think that a tenth of that actually benefits me by way of public services. DON"T get too excited about making 100k, it really comes out to be like half that, especially if you have student loans.

      Law school is the personification of the boomer rent system. It's feudal serfdom; pay up to your masters, GEN Y and X! SLACKERS!

    2. One nice thing about our country is nothing stops you from leaving. If you think things are better other places, what is keeping you here?

    3. Forget trying to argue Jon. It's obvious this is someone who's a Boomer themselves or their spiritual kin..

      They have been programmed with the Education Mantra. You cannot de-program them even if you were to show them hard evidence.

      Notice that they spout the belief that people who are not *formally* educated are ignorant. That is not true. It is merely a belief which is not backed by evidence. And it is a belief which falls in line with the larger belief in the Education Mantra.

      They spout the rhetoric that [insert Straw Person here] with high IQ, ambition, etc. has no reason not to find a good job after college when we are now seeing article after article of people who blindly followed the vested advice of those in the Education Industrial Complex and obediently trotted off to college, spent money they didn't have, 4 years, and came out on the other side after "doing everything right" with nothing or a job not better in pay than they could've had after high school.

      The System and a whole cast of supporting cottage industries needs their money.

      The last belief is based on assumptions that somehow the economy will magically generate good jobs for all college graduates who meet [insert Straw Criteria here], etc..

      The Law School Scam is a Boomer Scam. And it starts earlier than that. The College Scam is the precursor. And here's a last bit to chew on for our Doubting Thomas: If college was so wonderful in producing the outcomes they claim exist, then why did so many young people, until recently with the efforts of the Scam Blogs, get suckered into it?

      BOTH systems are rigged. Both don't care if more and more fail. It's all about the money. The earlier they get you into the Higher Education Game, the better it is for the operators and promoters of the Scam. For them, of course. Not for their debt-strapped victims.

    4. @ 6:54 PM Yep, there's a big scam in undergraduate too. But, the joke is on these schools, because the good times are over.

      Young people know there aren't enough jobs to go around and that the over-availability of the college credential means you have to have some sort of credential to compete in 99% of the economy. Without that pressure, demand for higher education would plummet. The job losses in 2008 caused the big enrollment spike in law schools in 2009 and 2010. Middle class jobs come back, and colleges can suck it.

      If you bother to talk to anyone of college age, you will see they are no longer willing and eager consumers. They're trying to get away with as little formal education as they can, and they're trying to pay as little for it as they can.

      Higher education is a damaged brand.

      People want skills and jobs, and college degrees are just not the best place to get them most of the time. It's better to get paid to learn to do something. General education can be obtained basically for FREE on the internet now for anyone interested in it. Special skills are obtained on the job, and successful people educate themselves, are good learners.

      Once we break the charm of a mania for degrees in the employment context, higher education will take another hit. It needs to get shite-canned entirely.

    5. Employers love it.

      It sets a bar that they love because the situation that is created gives them what they want: That is, young people who are indebted, can't easily walk away because of the need for money and to service that debt, and are therefore pliant. Alternatively, as we see in the legal field, the unscrupulous employers simply churn and burn because it avoids them having to give raises. There is another interchangeable human widget right around the corner for them to use and repeat the process.

      Note that the Boomers had an entirely different dynamic: Free to very low-cost education (subsidized by the taxpayers, of course.. My, my.. as with SS / healthcare, they do love their handouts..) Of course, welfare is bad - since it goes to others, those "lazy slackers" - dontcha know...

      To add to the first part above, now of course everyone needs money to get along, to survive, but the Boomers had no debt, an expanding economy, and could and did literally walk into jobs and companies that had pensions and that one could spend a career in, 20-30 years, and then retire.

      None of this is true today for young people. Tax rates are higher. The gov't takes much more of what you make as an individual. Whereas tax rates for individuals were low when the Boomers were young and corporations paid the lion's share, today it is the reverse. Couple this, along with a contracting economy, and the debt and the situation for today's young people is very, very different.

      You have Debt Serfs. They can't pay down / off that college debt, so how are they going to recover from the Double Down desperate bet of law school and that debt?

      The simple answer is: They won't. They won't beat the Game.

    6. The only way to beat the game is to think differently. If you have the right degree and/or the right connections, the conventional path will work for you.

      For the rest of us, thinking outside the box is key.

  11. Some of you have it backwards. We want our children to go to college because we know it gives them the best bet associating with quality people and having a better life. We don't give a rats rearend if you don't go to college. We need more people in the trades and less with college degrees. Better you not go to college so our kids have a better chance. I'm happy jon never made it. Less competition for my kid. I would be upset though if my kid after college showed the lack of critical thinking abilities evident by some college graduates here. Hopefully college will open my kid's minds. Not close them

    1. OK, I have given up arguing with pathology; this will be my final comment here. You clearly don't want to listen, you just want to talk.


      I doubt your kids could get into Notre Dame, without connections or affirmative action, as did I.

    2. Oh.. and I forgot to add this last bit to my recent post: Why bother with college anyway? Or law school?

      No matter how much Edukation you acquire, the Boomers - with their 30+ year-old degrees and mediocre grades - feel that your recent superior credentials are inferior and don't matter because education today is essentially just daycare..

      So, again, welcome to the No-Win Scenario: You'll be working under people who are arrogant, mediocre, under-educated, intolerant, and ready to continue what they've been doing so well for the past 40 years: raping the System and cashing out.

      They are in control of the employment structures and all your energy and hard work, which will be bled off for their benefit instead of for your future, will be for nothing. They will do what they do best: Take advantage of you, spinning lies, for their benefit.

  12. If you are concerned about pathology, start with yourself. You are so nonsensical and bitter you have created a fantasy world where "the boomers" are evil and have it in for you
    I am simply pointing out that the boomers don't care whether you go to college. They care only that their kids go to college and have a decent life. The less jobs who go to college, the better off those who do. Does this not make sense to you?

  13. Regarding the "boomers are evil".....

    Quick show of hands here: Of those of us who graduated college in say, the last 8 years or so, How many of us remember having any professors under the age of 40, who weren't slapped with an "adjunct" label?

    I had a few, in STEM. People who in some cases made their millions in some start-up, and decided that academia was more conducive to their lifestyle, though they weren't in it for the money. In my humanities classes, most of the professors were Boomers or older... much older.

    1. It's called free market capitalism. This was the snake oil pushed by academia, politicians, biillionaire think tanks, etc. An ignorant (at least outside of their narrow skill set) population could not discern it, and we don't line in a democracy anyway. Yeah, boomers, no paradignm of virtue rationalized it, and here we go...
      Boomer=ruling class is patently false, as the ruling class is about 7000 families or such.

  14. All one needs to know:

    #1 In 1993, the average student loan debt burden at graduation was $9,320. Today it is $28,720.

    What do you think it was in 1969 when the Boomers were partying it up at Woodstock?

    That generation has successfully managed to rob several generations: Their parents, their children, their children's children in some cases, the X'ers, the taxpayers who footed the bill for them when they were in school providing that free / low-cost education, etc.

    #6 Approximately 65 percent of all student loan debt is owed by those under the age of 40.

    #9 Today, 34.9 percent of all student loan borrowers under the age of 30 are at least 90 days behind on their student loan payments.

    #10 Since 1986, the cost of college tuition has risen by 498 percent.

    #12 The average cost of a four-year college education is projected to soar to $120,000 by the year 2015.

    #15 -”After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change.”

    #20 Real earnings for young college graduates have fallen by 15 percent since the year 2000.

    #21 If you think that you will be able to “beat the odds” and land the job of your dreams once you graduate from college, perhaps you should consider these numbers….

    -In the United States today, approximately 365,000 cashiers have college degrees.

    -In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

    -In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.

    #22 The federal government has begun docking the Social Security payments of elderly Americans that are behind on their student loan payments…


    The End.

    Now go ye forth and beat ye Game - if ye can. Which ye canst.. Ye Suckers!

    1. I'm all for boomer bashing, but these structural problems in the economy are only partially due to their poor planning, debt, and mis-management.

      The world is flat, automation is prevalent, and there is a race to the bottom in terms of skilled wages, especially for white collar work.

      The idea of going into a company, without a specific skill set or exceptional talent, and doing 'paper work' for life to provide for a family is no longer realistic.

  15. Jim Rowe said it best:

    "We are lending money we don't have, to kids who will never be able to pay it back, for jobs that don't exist."

    That sums up the higher ed/law scam.