Why Are Harvard Graduates in the Mailroom?

Discussion in 'Economy' started by hvactec, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. hvactec
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    hvactec VIP Member

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    By ADAM DAVIDSON
    Published: February 22, 2012

    In their book “Freakonomics,” Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt explain, among other things, the odd economic behavior that guides many drug dealers. In one gang they described, the typical street-corner guy made less than minimum wage but still worked extremely hard in hopes of some day becoming one of the few wildly rich kingpins. This behavior isn’t isolated to illegal activity. There are a number of professions in which workers are paid, in part, with a figurative lottery ticket. The worker accepts a lower-paying job in exchange for a slim but real chance of a large, future payday.

    This more or less explains Hollywood. Yes, the Oscars may be an absurd spectacle of remarkably successful people congratulating themselves for work that barely nudges at the borders of meaningful human achievement. But it’s also a celebration of a form of meritocratic capitalism. I’m not talking about the fortunes lavished on extremely good looking people; no, I mean the economic system that compels lots of young people to work extremely hard for little pay so that it’s possible to lavish fortune on the good-looking people. That’s the spirit of meritocratic capitalism!

    read more http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/magazine/why-are-harvard-graduates-in-the-mailroom.html
     
  2. Warrior102
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    Warrior102 Gold Member

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    It's either that or a shovel-ready job
     
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    In 78' I very briefly worked in BU's mailroom after I graduated from university.

    I shared that work with both an MIT grad and a Harvard grad.

    The MIT grad was a theoretical mathamatician so explaining his behavior is beyiond my pay grade.

    He spend an extraordinary amount of time just staring at the ceiling and very occassionally writing down formulas.

    I suppose he took that job since it required so little effort and he could spend time just thinking. He was also a fine chess player incidently.

    Me and my fellow HISTORY MAJOR grad (him with his Harvard degree, me with my BU degree) were both just working to live indoors until we could find some better job or whatever.

    Freakenomics?

    The working class knows no other kind, really.

    Not even if they happened to graduate from very fine schools.
     
  4. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    The engineering major asks, "How does it work?"
    The accounting major asks, "How much does it cost?"
    The liberal arts major asks, "Would you like fries with that?"

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. sparky
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    sparky VIP Member

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    working construction now for almost 3 decades, we tend to be somehwhat a mailroom

    we've seen lots of "just got my sheepskin, doin' time here & looking"

    the last few years it's been "just ran out of unemployment, hangin here 'til it gets better"


    methinks they all should have considered Spanish as a minor.....

    ~S~

     
  6. Katzndogz
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    Katzndogz Diamond Member

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    Everyone starts out with a figurative lottery ticket. No one starts out at the top. Most people just don't choose to work as hard as they need to to do in order to rise above the low paying job.

    Go into a company, offer to work for free for a week. Then ask for a salary commensurate with your ability. How many are willing to take a risk like that?
     
  7. usmcstinger
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    usmcstinger Silver Member

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    I got my 4 year Degree to Teach History in 1972 and couldn't find a teach position(USMC Vietnam 67-68, damn those draft dodges ). I worked nights in a factory which allowed me to be available for substitute Teaching jobs. After that, I took retail jobs until I got a decent job.

    During the Nov 1973–Mar 1975 recession, companies referred to layoffs as "down sizing".

    New York City lay offs included Police Officers and Fire Fighters for the first time.
    IVY League grads were working as carpenters and College Professors were applying for Teaching Positions in both public and private schools
    Even the New York State Dept. of Labor was laying off Employment Interviewers and their Office Managers as well.

    During the July 1981-Nov 1982 recession, Mortgage rates hit a high of 19%.

    On October 19, 1987, known as "Black Monday", The DOW went south to the tune of 508 points at that time in history it equaled a 23% drop.
    However, the recession we are in now is the worst that I have ever experienced.
    Retired in 2001 and life is good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  8. daveman
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    daveman Diamond Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. samjones
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    samjones Member

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    That right there is bull-fucking-shit. Have a nice life on whatever planet it is that you call home.
     
  10. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    College education in the Liberal Arts, or social sciences, is a waste of money and time, expect as a display of leisure and wealth….or as a recognition symbol that might facilitate entrance into some higher class. Higher education is selling an illusion; how many ‘graduates’ survive only through parental or institutional subvention? Gender studies, multiculturalism, semiotics, video art,….who would be surprised to find a the MA’s in English bagging groceries?
    David Mamet, "The Secret Knowledge"
     

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