The Beatings Will Continue

Yesterday I was reading an economist’s blog, when a millennial posted something that made my jaw drop.

I’ll say first that not all millennials are like this and not many (I hope) are this rock bottom stupid and twisted. I have to say that, because otherwise my sons – and Foxfier – will kill me in an unpleasant way. Also, because it’s true. Just because you were born around the same time as someone else, it doesn’t mean you’re just like them. That fallacy is one of the things making public schools hellish. People are not widgets, not even people with the same birth year.

I wouldn’t mention his generational status, except that it’s a matter of “Is this what they’re learning?” and as such is important.

So, I was reading this blog about how people with advanced degrees still can’t find jobs. So far, so good, right?

And then this kid comes on, informs everyone he has an MBA (An MBA!) and that until his phone starts ringing off the hook with job offers, he’s going to take every opportunity possible to vote for higher taxes. It’s not that he believes it will do him personally any good, but if he’s going to die a pauper, then how dare we have any savings, and besides, we’re all h8ers anyway.

I thought he had to be a mobi, but there was no break in his stand, no “haha, fooled you” and slowly, with growing horror, I realized he was saying this seriously.

And I was aghast.

My mind boggles that someone could go through school for a graduate degree and be ignorant of where jobs come from. I mean, everyone by ten is informed of where babies come from, but where jobs come from seemed to be a total mystery to this adult male.

How is this even possible?

And then I realized it’s possible because it’s what our media and our stories and even our text books (in the one economics course younger son took, it was all about social and economic justice, as though, you know, jobs and production were a matter of distributing around so many grams of justice here and there, and the economy were a closed pie) talk about jobs as though they were these things that are dispensed by government and which the wealthy can somehow hoard all to themselves.

Think about it. We talk about job creation as though it were a mysterious thing, somehow connected to the government (which it is.) He probably got the (incorrect) hagiography of FDR in school too, and how good it was for the nation for him to hire people to dig pointless holes.

Add to this what I call the “school mentality” – which is something afflicting writers too, particularly now with indie – in which you’re trained to do a certain number of things, and if you do them well, then you get a reward. Everyone is trained to this at the end of twelve years, much less twenty or however many it took him to get an MBA.

He did everything right. He turned in homework, took tests, got his sheepskin. And yet, the expected reward of a good paying job hasn’t materialized.

Is it any wonder he’s mad at everyone and, in a classical case of projection, thinks everyone are h8ers for ignoring his plight?

Why isn’t the president creating jobs for MBAs, filling pointless papers or something? How can the rest of us, middle aged people, smug in our jobs and in our savings (ah, I wish) not realize he is drowning. Where is our compassion? Why isn’t the country as a whole not demanding that the government do something for our young and unemployed?

The idea of an economy as a natural system, with natural laws, which the government can’t change but only distort would probably be totally alien to him, and he’d accuse us of making up stuff to justify not giving him a good paying job. He can’t understand that the government can no more legislate the economy than it can legislate rain. You can send all the water from Colorado to California (where it does no good, because farmers aren’t allowed to irrigate because delta smelt because with water as with money, the more the government takes the more it pisses away.) but you can’t make rain fall in California, rather than in Colorado.

He certainly can’t understand that by voting higher taxes for people who still have jobs, he’s taking away the excess money of the economy, the money that could be spent on things other than survival and perhaps at some point be saved enough that the person doing the saving can start a new business or invest in a promising one that will create jobs.

In a way the young know-nothing is right. We have failed him. We have failed him as a society, in what we’ve taught him and what we’ve failed to teach him.

Teach children that economics is a finite pie; that wealth can’t be created, it can only be redistributed; that all change and goodness flows from bureaucrats who can only be pressured by righteous activists, and you’ve created the perfect economic lemming who will vote for rope to hang himself and others with.

Make him believe that envy is a virtue and that the fact that he has less than others gives him the right to punish others (if I had a dime for every time I heard “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” as mission statements for everything from politicians to economists in my sons’ textbooks, I’d BE one of the superwealthy.) What you have is a willing puppet of the superwealthy and their politicians, the people who are rigging society with regulations so restrictive that only huge corporations with captive lawyers can compete, and small business, small entrepreneurs need not apply.

Note too that in all this it never occurred to this young man that he could start his own business. That is probably, of course, because “what kind of business can he start that will employ an MBA?”

My sons, trained in STEM are starting businesses while in school. Multiple ones. Writing and art and music and working towards a rapid-prototyping business, and trying to think up other small streams of income. No, it’s not what they want to do for life. It’s what they want to do to pay for school. And if a job doesn’t come calling, they try to create one.

I don’t know how common that spirit is, but if it exists at all, it goes against everything the kids are being taught in school.

What they’re being taught is so profoundly stupid that it takes years of education to make rational people believe it. And it explains many things, but mostly it explains the trouble we’re in.

It reminds me of when Marshall was in the abusive middle school and they were giving him detention for stupid things (like he was supposed to get a paper signed by the teachers at the end of the class, to say he’d behaved. He’d never actually MISSbehaved, but instead of interpreting his asking for clarification as “he’s having trouble hearing” (which he was) they interpreted it as his being rebellious and mouthy. The teachers, who were mostly the parents of the girls who were harassing him with spurious accusations found excuses to delay signing the paper. And then the kid would get detention for being late to the next class. And because he was getting detentions, he was obviously bad and needed more signed papers/supervision) I once found myself on the phone with a chirpy secretary informing me that they were giving him yet another detention. I said “At this point, what good do you even think you’re doing? This sounds like ‘the beatings will continue till morale improves’” To which she chirpily and gratifiedly answered, “Precisely.”

This is when I called my husband and asked him “Is there any reason I shouldn’t go to the school and create the sort of scene in which the news say ‘three heads were found in the toilet and we’re still looking for the others?’” (Hey, look, I’m a Latin woman and they were messing with my younger son. I was being good even asking.)

Dan, who is from New England and a Mathematician, just said, “Let me deal with it.” I am given to understand he called them and was polite at them, which I’m also given to understand, coming from a New Englander is WAY more painful than heads in toilets. All he says is he informed him that they were insane and that the detentions stopped now. As in, right that minute. And they did.

Looking at the mess of what we’ve failed to teach our newly minted MBAs, all I can say is that we need to be polite at them as soon as possible. I suggest the following “No, jobs don’t come from government. No, if you take everyone’s money away you will never have a job. No, taxing others as a form of punishment is not sane, and not only doesn’t help you, but it materially hurts you in the long run. No, you are not entitled to a job because you have a sheepskin. No, your phone isn’t going to ring off the hook, because our president has your understanding of economics and is making it impossible for anyone to accumulate enough capital to create jobs. He’s also chasing jobs off shore with punitive taxation. No, this doesn’t’ mean anyone hates you. No one owes you anything. Want a job? Make it.”

We have to be polite, and firm, and speak in small words. We also need to write this in news, in stories, in blogs. We need to shout it from the rooftops and not be dismayed.

Because what they’re being taught in the schools financed by our taxes (and even some private ones) is a total distortion of reality.

And if we don’t stop this crazy train now, this is all going to end up with everyone starving. And heads in toilets.


ADDENDUM: If you’re interested, I started a “how to write a novel” workshop over at MGC, and I’m also guesting at Jagi Lamplighter’s blog for her Superversive feature.



292 thoughts on “The Beatings Will Continue

  1. I am appalled at the lack of education I see with the college and university graduates. Fortunately I do see a few graduates who actually show some actual education.

  2. How in the rambling ring tailed heck does one graduate with an MBA and NOT have a basic understanding of economics? If you take money away from someone, they can’t spend it. Seems pretty simple. If you take away people’s savings, how do people gain capital to create/expand business?

    Where did Sparky get his MBA? Bob’s Laundrymat and MBA Skool?

    I’m currently reading Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell and I think it should be required reading before one can graduate high school. But who am I?

      1. Maybe it was because I went to a college that believed in Making Money but we didn’t go in big for Social Justice. Granted, that may have changed considering they’re now talking about the “Responsible use of the Earth’s Resources” instead of “Mother Earth! (We’ll rape her first!)”.

        If you want social justice, get a degree in social work. You want to make money (in theory) get an MBA.

        Where have people’s priorities gone? Never mind. These are the people who get degrees in Wymyns Sudies and expect not just a job but a high paying job.

        1. If you have an MBA from a school that doesn’t teach how to make money, come to my home town. Starbucks and Panera are hiring people with that type of “edumacation.”

          1. Your comment caused me to recall reading someone’s essay where they explained that they worked at the original start up Ben and Jerry’s and there they were taught the importance of controlling the portion of each serving.

            There are probably some savvy millennials who are managing their businesses equally well — but I doubt they learned to do so getting an MBA.

    1. Bob’s Laundromat is at least a business. Maybe his degree came from one of those elite institutions of higher indoctrination.

      1. Alas, Bob’s Laundromat is liable to be ransacked by Occupy anarchists, protesting Big Business.

        1. That presumes the Occupiers would be willing to get within fifty yards of a washing machine.

          They’d probably send their moms instead.

              1. My understanding is that body lice and other such consequences of indifferent personal hygiene can linger in laundromat machines, infecting the clothing of subsequent users. Their use of the equipment in the customary manner may inflict greater harm than anything done deliberately to damage.

                1. I used laundromats in sketchy neighborhoods for about 4 years in Chicago.

                  Never had that problem.

                  And by “sketchy” I mean I went out for a pack of smokes early one morning (01:30 early) and the closest shop that sold smokes was further away than 2 crack dealers and a prostitute. And no, I only had enough cash on me for a pack of Camels.

        2. Bob’s laundromat is in the part of town they won’t go.

          Except to buy drugs.

      2. Point. Bob’s Crack House and MBA Skool? Of course your average crack dealer has to know more about basic economics and business than Sparky does. If not, they’d probably end up dead.

        1. Given a choice of employees between the proprietor of a moderately successful crack house and a recent graduate of an American business school…

          Well, if the MBA was an older person who’d gone back to school for the advanced degree after working for a decade or so, and did it because a former employer wanted him to have it and agreed to pay the freight, it _might_ be enough to incline me to prefer him over the drug dealer…but even then, it also might not. It’d depend on how the interview went.

          I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the kid. He’s spent his whole life being consistently and systematically lied to by everyone he thought he could trust, in service of their own combinations of self-serving interests and pathological delusions, and now he’s almost certainly 6-figures in debt (to the most ruthless, heartless, and unrestrained creditors this side of the Mafia…and I’m not even sure about the Mafia) for the privilege, with no means of even servicing the debt, let alone improving himself. His situation sucks because he’s been abused by his society just about as badly as possible, short of execution by torture.

          But I’d still hire the drug dealer first. Drug dealers as ignorant of reality as this kid are more typically referred to as “corpses”, so if the drug dealer’s still got a pulse, he’s a better bet.

          1. Mafia might only kill you. At least the American mob.

            .gov’ll hound your grandkids or worse.

    2. “I’m currently reading Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell and I think it should be required reading before one can graduate high school. But who am I?”
      A very smart person?

          1. Well, given the focus my wife’s school is putting on reading (to the point where she’s teaching it in her science class) shouldn’t they be able to read and read for content (as that is a Tested Area)?

            Ya know, I almost typed that with a straight face.

        1. Who needs to read? If you took all of Walter Williams substituting on Rush’s show and put them on CDs you get the perfect economic education. With Tom Sowell in there too. That’s how I got started being interested in economics.

    3. How in the rambling ring tailed heck does one graduate with an MBA and NOT have a basic understanding of economics?

      Easy. Start with a marketing concentration, which requires much less real-world math. Pass the basic macro/micro courses (which are mechanistically simple and do not get deeply into capital formation, etc.) without ever questioning the assumptions of the basic models or comprehending the implications. Result: an educated moron that thinks if you push/pull on a macro variable in the extremely simplistic basic macro models taught to get your check-box course requirement, you automatically get real-world results. (Well, you do, but probably not the results you expected. And then there’s that little Law of Unintended Consequences … )

      In advanced classes in a decent school, if you pay attention you quickly learn that the theoretical models all have major holes in them and are just as reliable as long-range climate models. 🙂 You become an empiricist because you know how much BS is claimed by theorists, and how much the real world persistently thwarts the high-falutin’ philosophies underlying ALL the models. But most MBA’s avoid advanced econ courses. They require too much work and thinking. You’re lucky if they take enough finance to grasp some applied real-world math. Or even manage to retain ANY of the required very basic “grad statistics” course.

      1. I just took basic macro last spring, and the book regularly talked about how the models has holes and flaws, because the real world was too big and complex to adequately model. On each test, there were at least 2-3 questions about the limits of the model being discussed, and one of the latter chapters dealt with manipulating economic curves that happened in the 1960s and 70s and how it screwed up the US economy, and how Paul Volker fixed the whole stagflation mess.

        Your MBA would have to actively misread his textbook in order to not know how things work.

    4. “If you take away people’s savings, how do people gain capital to create/expand business?” I suppose they believe all businesses are started with SBA loans or crony-capital-startup grants.

      1. But without trained experts* making decisions on which business plans are well-conceived, how can we know which businesses will prove worthy social contributors?

        *Such expertise requires no actual experience; such experience may prove disqualifying as it tends to make the experts doubt the projections of the algorithms approved for evaluation.

  3. It’s all the more frightening because the young up and comings are a significant driver in the economy. They have the relative freedom and flexibility for risky start-ups and innovation.* To the degree we’re squashing that and turning out twits in this poor fool’s mold we’re stagnating the economy.

    I do take heart in the “MBA” portion, though. Looking at the behaviors of so many business executives in the current market, it’s time the MBA was significantly devalued, until the sponsoring schools figure out what’s actually needed in business and return value to the degree.

    *Not saying start-ups and innovation are limited to the demographic, or necessarily initiated by them, just that they are a significant driver. Sometimes they’re the entrepreneurs, sometimes they’re the employee pool allowing the entrepreneurs to take the risks. Either way, without ’em (or with them feeling risk averse) things get harder.

    1. The young are also often the customer of start-ups. But in this economy?

      The whole thing stinks. The young may well have reason to be disgruntled, but they are aiming their animus at the wrong targets.

      1. Oh, I do think they have many reasons to be disgruntled, and frustrated with the results of their work and education.

        But, yeah, wrong targets entirely.

        1. Agreed, on the frustration.

          Currently, at one of my volunteer jobs, I’ve been informed my group has been dubbed “Dan’s Home Ec and Hardware Class.” Most of my people are under the age of 25 but over 16, and run the range from farm boys to spoiled brats. They *know* there’s things they aren’t being told, or are being lied to about. Often they get the idea all turned around backwards, but that’s a start at least.

          They tend to get the biggest grins from the oddest things. Taught them some of how to use power tools safely, how to cook over a fire (not as easy as it sounds, apparently), basic maintenance and car repair, stuff like that. The bafflement when the words “from scratch” are used is priceless- that’s something only a few have experience of these days (even the farm kids!).

          There’s hope, yet. There’s a lot of sand in this lot, but there’s a few gems, too. Maybe even enough that I can retire someday. *chuckle*

          Of course, on bad days the phrase “trying to stiffen a bucket of spit with buckshot” comes to mind, but I’m a pessimist by natural bent, only an optimist by grim determination. I believe we’ll get through this, with a bit of elbow grease and honest persistence. Ain’t worth contemplating if it’s not, and even if in the end it’s so, I’d rather keep on as I am than give up.

          1. Even a bucket of spit has a degree of surface tension. Worse comes, it absorbs the incoming giving the buckshot time to go down hard.

            Whether it takes grim determination or no, I still believe in what those kids can get done. They’re Americans, down under the fluff and BS, though it might take a few more knocks to shake off the dross…

            And I believe you’re a guy handy with the knocking.


            1. Ach, I’m not a patch on Dad or Grandad, or yet many of the fine folks here. *grin* Agreed that there’s some good iron beneath dross (speaking of beatings), good souls not yet irredeemable.

              When I remember the sorry, wisecracking layabout I was, I might allow as how they could turn out alright. We’ll see. *chuckle*

          2. “how to cook over a fire (not as easy as it sounds, apparently),”

            Of course it’s not so easy as it sounds. I’ve done it. Irregular heat at unpredictable temperature, in conditions where it’s extremely easy to burn yourself, or even set yourself on fire. And you have to master the art of how close you put the food to the fire or it’s both burnt and still raw.

            Mind you, it’s a lot easier once the fire has burned down to coals, but even there the heat is less than predictable.

            1. When I was trying to do that in Scouts, patience was the big problem. Patience to set it up right, to position the pan for a lower heat that would cook not burn, patience to wait for it to cook rather than be looked at every 3 minutes. Patience is a quality not much honored in these days of instant gratification, so learning it oft comes late.

              1. I never found cooking on wood fires all that hard, at least when I did it as a Scout. It gets a little trickier when you use a paper bag rather than a metal pan to cook in. That too can be done, and it’s both an interesting exercise and an interesting demonstration of elementary physics.

                1. Much depends on what you cook. Things you can grill are easier. So are things you can boil, since 212 degrees does not depend on the fire for judgement.

                  1. Very true. This is why I start them on coffee, and work up from there as the weather turns cool.

                    It gives them good lessons in paying attention (which they all need- heck, I needed it at that age!) and immediate rewards.

              2. That has always been the hardest part of cooking for me. Just let it cook and stop fiddling with it

    2. I was reading the Wiki on the Harold Shea stories and noted that later tales had him being more careful and less adventurous because he had become married and was en route to being a father. The burden of adding others to your risk pool significantly depresses your willingness to take chances. When you are young you are also more resilient / less encumbered by scar tissue.

      Add in the fact that many of today’s graduates carry significant education debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Factor the increasingly hothouse nature of many a millennial’s upbringing. Adjust for extended adolescence consequent to prolonged schooling. Season with indoctrinated sense of entitlement and believing that such luxuries as wireless service are human rights.

      You get a very risk averse portion of the population right in the center of that group which ought be entrepreneurial.

      1. I don’t see how they will pay off their debts. They don’t have a lot of marketable skills. Entry level jobs don’t pay very much.

        1. That is why they think raising the minimum wage such a good idea.

          No, most of them don’t understand that doing so will constitute looting the savings of granny. They get very angry about conservative efforts to push granny over the cliff even while they are blindly undercutting the cliff.

            1. I’m probably evil, but I have little sympathy for either side of that particular debate. The young can’t get jobs, and when they do, they’re taxed to support hand-outs for the old, who’ve had the entire lives (to date) to save and plan for their old age, but still insist on being subsidized by the young who can’t afford it.

              Bah. A pox on both their houses.

  4. It’s FAR worse than you think, Sarah. What’s being taught (if that’s the word), is not just an incorrect worldview and a profound misunderstanding of economics.

    What’s being done to children today is really closer to brainwashing, in order to make them more compliant subjects for our so-called elites. Students aren’t learning even the most basic mental tools that might enable them to understand how the world works – and, worse, they’re being taught that those very tools are what’s wrong with the world as it is now (to the extent that they’re acknowledged to exist at all).

    Take a look at this blog:
    (she’s written a book, too, which lays out in clear and terrifying terms exactly what’s going on).

  5. Had one at OWS who was whining about her degree not landing her a high-paying jobs on the grounds “aren’t you supposed to follow your dreams?”

        1. If I remember correctly he was too busy exercising his talents (for free) to build protest puppets for the “vacated brain, occupied street” crowd.

          Profit sullies, you know.

      1. Heh, I’d almost be interested in a degree like that. I’d love to be able to introduce myself as a master of puppets.

        1. Ferric
          I know you’re new here, but I’m sorry, you earned this one:
          You are a BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD man. (Flings a carp at Ferric’s had for that atrocious pun.)

  6. As an NCO, I feel like saying to this whelp,
    “As your leadership, we have failed you. We have failed to teach you accountability for yourself. We have failed to teach you to take the initiative and lead from the front. As such, remedial training is now in session. FRONT LEANING REST POSITION, MOVE!”

      1. We always did pushups until the walls wept. And our company commander never cursed or raised his voice. Didn’t matter. He had learned how to motivate us (read: put the fear of God in us), and he did it well.

      2. If he keeps this crap up, we’ll be doing wall-to-wall counseling on his worthless butt. What’s his problem? His daddy not get a good toehold? 😉

        Pardon my vulgarity.

        1. wall-to-wall counseling
          A retired Army Colonel friend of mine gave me a copy of that Army Policy……Highly amusing.

          1. Daddy get a toehold..? Would someone please explain this to me. I’ve never been in service. The only vulgarities I know have four letters.

            1. Believe it has to do with insufficient traction being available to deliver the good part of the payload to the proper destination.

    1. Say, you oughta issue warnings.

      Kicking a guy’s dormant reflexes like that could be problematic…

      1. Sorry, I’ll have to put a trigger warning out next time I have an NCO moment. 😀

        “Leadership happens, so try not to step in it.”
        -Attributed to Confucius

  7. Coincidentally, I’m taking a class right now on how to start a small business. I figure if I can run a business out of my house with next to no overhead, I’ll be able to make a living, even if I have to run five or six small businesses. Maybe junior should get his money back on his master’s degree, because he’s about to get skunked by someone who ALMOST has a Bachelor’s degree! What a turd!

    1. Make a sign “We also walk dogs.” Stick it over the morning coffee pot. I read it in high school and done some of just about everything since. I’ve only been out of work for three weeks once in my life. That was the time I got of the service the first time and wanted to see how long I could stretch out a vacation. You’ll be figuring what to do on your retirement while he’s still waiting for his MBA to come through for him.

    2. I’m with you. I have “no degree,” but was told (by an interviewer). “I’d say that you have the equivalent of a Master’s, based on experience.”
      I’m also in a Nursing Home, with a *$52/month* income, and my first book is now _out_ on Amazon. Four more are in progress. He wants it _handed_ to him/her/it.

      1. On more than one occasion I’ve been offered jobs without an interview. Once was when I met a brother of a guy I knew at church. We were making small talk, and I mentioned that I’d recently replaced an engine on a late model minivan.
        “You mean, you HAD it replaced?”
        “Nope. I did the replacement in my driveway. Fired right up with no problems as soon as I hit the key.”
        “You looking for a job as a mechanic? I’ll give you $25 per hour starting, full benefits.”
        “I’d love to, but I just picked up this cushy position with the Army, so I can’t. Sorry.”

        Most recently, a buddy was telling a friend of his that owns a shop how I do engine rebuilds and do electrical work (including harness rebuilds) on my own late model cars. He told my buddy to contact me about a job immediately, as he was overloaded at work. Again, full-time work, benefits and all.

        First time I’ve ever been offered a job I neither applied nor interviewed for. I guess it pays to have decent work ethic and a serious hobby. 😉

  8. Thank you, Sarah. That was wonderful.

    Too many of our children are being taught the “slices of pizza” theory of economics, making it seem, through specious sophistry, that our economy is this finite “pizza” of opportunity and wealth, and that if one person “takes four slices of pizza” by building a business and becoming wealthy, that means there’s “less pizza for everyone else”. This horrible, statist model is false from the first to the last, and isn’t how things actually, factually work in the world. But some people would rather lie about how things work in order to promulgate their own agenda of redistributive justice and the glories of the state. Next you start hearing about brown shirts being worn and the “glorious Fatherland”.

    My blood ran cold when they started “Homeland Security”. The implication is that the “homeland” will provide for your “security” — rather than it being OUR job to create wealth and BE the security of our homeland.

    I’ve seen your books in my suggestions on Amazon. I’ll take a closer look at them now.

      1. Sarah, I’ve been meaning to ask: is that the chronological order for the books to be read in? I was able to obtain a copy of A Few Good Men, but I got the impression that it’s third in a series, so haven’t read it yet. ^^; It’s sitting on my ‘to read’ bookshelf.

        1. As I recall, that is correct. Darkship Thieves in the first, followed by Darkship Renegades.

          I still need to read A Few Good Men, but the characters are introduced in Renegades.

              1. Not without sitting in front of a computer, I’m afraid – at least at present. ^^; Given my situation, I have to make decisions based off of security / useability / convenience tradeoffs, and I tend to make the decision based on ‘security risk vs access vs problems that result.’ Reader and ‘pad devices are a risk to our local network security that for the time being, too high vs the convenience. This may, hopefully, change as technology advances and we are keeping our eyes open for those advances.

                (To everyone else: Yes, my life problems are insane. Unfortunately. The usual reaction I get RL is “Oh God. I probably would have killed myself if I had half your problems. I wouldn’t know how to deal with them” or “I need to know if these insanely, absurdly complex situations you are in are making you feel suicidal.” – Answer: no.)

        2. A Few Good Men is entirely earthbound and concurrent to the end of Darkship Thieves. In fact there is a lovely overlap. I read the Darkships and then AFGW. I think one could flip the order without too much harm.

          (I also read the short story that is a prequel which is included in a Baen Christmas anthology last of all. Lovely story, if you can find it do so. Sorry, I don’t recall the title right now, and I don’t wish to dig through The Spouse’s waiting to read piles to try and find it as that might take the whole day.)

  9. I think that one problem is that far too many kids don’t have any exposure to work and it’s rewards until after they’ve been graduated from college. instead they get allowances and have no idea where the money comes from and everything else paid for them. How can they relate to things like thrift and such if they’ve never experienced it.

    1. Son can’t find a job locally. The one place that DID look like a possible place was a pizza joint that had an asshole manager who wasn’t willing to tell him what his schedule would be, and when told Son might not be able to make it on a specific date in a couple of weeks was told to leave. (This was after a 2 hour ‘working interview’, where he was running the dishwasher…)

      Think he dodged a bullet there…

    2. the nephew I describe below was like that, though not from having an allowance (his mom has issues and money is always tight for her). He didn’t really get one, and his aunt, my middle sis (his mom is my youngest sis) was pretty good at making him do things to earn her largesses, but once his girlfriend was pregnant and he had some money coming in, My Mom took him shopping for stuff. He has some things he just has to have that are pricey, but he has learned to hunt for deals, and find cheap things that are good enough (or some times, he likes better) to save money on a lot of things, especially groceries. Groceries were a shock to him. I don’t think he ever really went grocery shopping before then.

    3. I was Evil Libertarian Mommy TM — the money didn’t just appear. No allowances. When they were little they were given the opportunity to do little jobs for money. When they got older, there was a job board int he kitchen, and the price I’d pay if it was done. Older son is more… go-getterish and ate younger son’s lunch, but the jobs got done at reasonable prices, and they had money for coffee and lunch out with friends.
      I should resurrect that…

      1. Sounds a lot like Dean Ing’s “responsible child project”. We used that with our daughter. Very pleased with the results so far.

      2. Was just reading Julia’s House For Lost Creatures. Half way through up went the chore board. I think it was for rent, too.

      3. We don’t have set prices. My son has to negotiate what he’ll get. So far I haven’t forced him to deal with collection problems yet, though.

    4. Allowance for my siblings and I was always connected to our chores. You did your chores, and you got your allowance. You didn’t do your chores, and you didn’t get your allowance. If you did a lousy job doing your chores, then the allowance that you received was also lousy.

      1. my dad actually had a chart, and when you did dishes, he inspected them and dinged you for stuff that wasn’t clean…

    5. This kid was probably taught that incentives don’t matter, and after all, the Fed can just print a few more trillions, buy paper or lend the money to its insider friends, and all will be well. I have friends in business who believe that, incredible as it sounds…….

  10. In my experience there are many level headed, practical, sane millennials out there, but there are far more who are mal-educated. I have been serving on the board of a company that runs conventions. One of our duties is to choose the convention chair, and our pool is primarily millennial. One application we had to consider came from a very nice young man who is working on his MBA. It simply rambled all over the place, and, among things, charmingly included the admission that he was probably not really qualified for the responsibility. I expected clearer writing from The Daughter by the time she finished elementary school.

    1. oh, their writing. Yeah. I was Evil Writing Mommy too. With BOTH of them there were painful scenes around the age of eight, where I tore one of their essays to shreds from grammar to meaning.
      They’re learning instruments. They write clearly and effectively.

      1. *undergrad* But it’s not fair! You should only grade us on content, not grammar. This isn’t an English class!”

        *grumpy grad student* If I can’t understand your ideas, I can’t grade them.”

        1. Mother used to grade her students based on their grammar and spelling. “It’s not a correct answer if it’s not written correctly.

          Had a hardass prof who I enjoyed being a cheeky thing to (we gathered he considered me one of the few intelligent people he’s had as a student later on because he would use me as a hammer to … ‘inspire’ other students) who, in one exam, very pedantically took two points off a test paper for using British spelling instead of American (Colour vs Color type). He used the whole thing as a teaching tool, telling people gleefully to read his “little love notes written in bright red ink.” He made a big show of stopping by my desk several times, looking down at me, and saying “You can wait a bit,” or stopping, looking down, and deciding against giving me the test back. When he finally ran out of other tests to hand out – my classmates were by now terrified and worried for me, and puzzled why I was sitting there, idly reading a pocket book – he looked at the exam, looked at me, opened the exam, peered at it, sighed in over-exaggerated disbelief, and flung it down on my desk, saying, “I have no idea how this happened.” My exam made the rounds around the class before I could see what my grade even was, and several of my classmates were grumpy about the spelling bit.

          The dean of my college told me later said prof was proudly grumbling about it to all and sundry, because he’d never handed out a score like that to anyone before. “It’s an impossibility.

          Good fun though, and useful because several students took the lesson to heart and watched their grades improve when they improved their spelling and grammar as well as their presentation of ideas. He was a large ham, but I can’t ever describe any of his classes boring.

      2. My oldest daughter and I have communicated primary via instant messages for since she was about 14 (she has never lived with me, text is better than nothing. yeah, I’m not proud of it).

        Her writting *then*, on IM was better than many adults I deal with.

    2. When #2 Son had a blog (at age 14), his uncle asked us whether we were editing his posts, because the writing was clear, concise and followed a Socratic rhetorical pattern. Of course, we weren’t doing any editing — we read the posts (with considerable enjoyment), but never touched them. Part of giving the kids their own uncensored blogs was to teach them that they had to take responsibility for their work, as they had to do with all their actions. All part of their education, just as much as giving them the skills they needed.

      Anyway, said uncle couldn’t believe that a 14-year-old boy (did I mention that #2 Son is autistic? well, he is) could write with such consummate skill. Sorry, Mike, but it’s true: we’ve never edited anything David wrote, not then or now.

    3. “charmingly included the admission that he was probably not really qualified for the responsibility”

      Humblebrag. Dismissed.

      1. If you had known the yound man it was not humblebrag at all. If he had been a girl and blond he would have been the punch line of many a stereotype.

  11. I’m starting to think that a few “heads in a toilet” episodes are going to be necessary, a.) to get their attention and b.) pour encourager les autres.

    Or people should just start homeschooling. And lest you think that in doing so you’ll screw up your kids’ education, you should ask yourself, “How could we possibly do a worse job than the current education establishment?

    The answer is quite simple: you can’t.

    I’ve made many mistakes in my life, but homeschooling my three kids is not one of them — in fact, I count it as an achievement.

    1. well sir, the neat thing there is those who are going to do a worse job of it are also the ones who would never consider it. So yeah, with very few exceptions, these days, it is almost a crime to send kids to public schools.

      1. We did have a rather strong element of indoctrination to the ‘right’ way of thinking present in education here back when I was a child (and I suppose it may be a lot worse now). So one thing I can say from experience is that growing up with that can make things very thoroughly confusing to a young person. You get told one thing, your gut instinct tells you something else, the longer you live the more practical experiences you probably get that what you were told may not be accurate, but still, everything you were taught and everything you are still being told by media and authority figures tells you that you are wrong, and you keep thinking that maybe it’s just all so complicated that you just don’t understand.

        Under those circumstances it is easy to just give up and fall in line, do and think what it seems you are supposed to do and think. I did, when I was young – as said it always felt kind of wrong, and I did rebel a bit, in a mild way, but in the end I also usually fell back to thinking that maybe I just didn’t have enough knowledge and facts to really understand things.

        If you can home school, do. If you can’t, for heaven’s sake, at least keep track of what your kids are told in school and keep deprogramming them. Don’t leave them on their own with this. My parents were quite strongly anticommunist and some of that I got by osmosis, but they never actually talked to me about any of that stuff, and they left most of my education to professional educators, and that did leave me rather confused for a long time.

        1. in High School (1980 to 1984 for me), I only had two teachers who ever really spoke out politically, and neither really beat us over the head with it. One was our American Gov’t and World History teacher (Civics as well, but I only had him for the other two) and the Spanish teacher I just had her as the monitor in Study Hall … she was usually quite happy to give me a pass to the library or to go sit and watch the Gym Class).
          The Spanish teacher was a Mexican immigrant, and very much NOT a socialist, and even called herself a War Hawk (She thought we should be attacking Iran), but she only ever said anything during Study hall and then when asked what she thought. Never in class, she felt it was not her place, The Gov’t/History teacher was rather to the left, but would argue as a conservative to get the class to think, and would acknowledge those of us who were right thinking had good points and we got slightly better grades for being able to argue convincingly in (his eyes) both sides of a debate. The only part he seemed blind of was his preferred ideas never ever worked anywhere they were tried.
          We had a somewhat conservative Dem teacher who was also elected Sheriff several times, but many of the kids never realized the Name on the political signs was the same as the Teacher. and none of the others ever really said anything one way or another. So I was lucky.

    2. Have you ever tried to remove multiple skulls from plumbing? It isn’t trivial. Won’t SOMEONE think of the plumbers???

      1. Plumbers are well paid, you know. I’d take that job in a heartbeat (do tell me beforehand so I can be there to snatch it up!). *grin*

    3. The biggest hurdles to home schooling are, in order from biggest to smallest:

      1) Giving up on the McMansion and having 2 or 3 cars less than 4 years old.

      2) Accepting the social stigma.

      3) Realizing that you don’t have to know everything, you just have to be about 10 minutes ahead…

      And yes, my wife homeshools our daughter. Our newest car is a 2004, and we’re hoping to have a 5% downpayment saved for a 150k house in Aurora, CO.

      OTOH we have a bright little 7 year old girl who is reading on a 5th or 6th grade reading level, and is well above grade level in history and science, and is at least at grade level in Math.

      Oh, Sarah, it’s the Denver Museum of Science and Industry you guys are big fans of, right?

      1. Yep. We’re huge fans of it, but you should also try Forneys and Wings over the rockies, if she ever gets interested in transportation. (With boys it was a gimme.) We also did dinosaur ridge and one winter (don’t ask) a tour of mines in CO.
        We didn’t homeschool because of my health, ultimately. I SIMPLY couldn’t take it. So we homeschooled after the school.
        Oh, the zoo is also cool and there’s an aquarium.

        1. She’s done Dinosaur Ridge and one of the airplane museums.

          My wife got a personal membership to the Zoo that lets her and the kid in. Since I work I pretty much won’t go.

          The Aquarium is down by REI. I think they’ve gone once or twice.

          1. No, there’s an aquarium INSIDE the zoo. Eh. maybe we can meet them next time we go to the zoo? We spent much time on Saturday watching the baby fossa.
            BTW you can get into dmns for free after 4:30 and they also have free days. Might be a good way to “preview” it for your wife to decide whether your daughter will like it.

                  1. If there is a Chinese restaurant named Three Dragons on top of a hill in town and a seafood restaurant beside the aquarium then I wouldn’t doubt it.

            1. We pay for an annual supporting membership of some kind to the DMNS. The wife and daughter use it a lot, and the membership has other privileges.

              But my wife does track the free days elsewhere.

              Me, when I have time off I wanna go walk up and down the mountains, or go to the range.

      2. I think your estimate of standard income to costs is too high, but otherwise agree.

        I’ve got a four year old that is reading (phonetically, mostly reluctantly) and spelling, does multiplication tables and has a better grasp of science than most second graders, and her siblings are similarly ahead of themselves. Plus I know what they’re learning about interactions, mostly. (I have a temper, but I tend to explain why I’m angry, and they know I love them. Consequences to actions is a big thing, too…as is “sure, why not?” and valid praise.)

        1. I think your estimate of standard income to costs is too high, but otherwise agree.

          Probably not.

          Some folks *can’t* homeschool because they’ve made choices that make that impossible. Other could change their choices, but their values are such that that won’t happen. It’s the latter set that I was talking about.

          If both parents are working a lowest quintile job, or there is only one adult in the household (take that however) then home schooling is not a possibility.

          1. I am a stay at home, and my husband has a rather good job, and we’re actually a bit low on our housing costs– it’s not a matter of McMansions, it’s still tough. I cook from scratch, we don’t have expensive hobbies and aren’t even spending a lot on home schooling yet, but we’re doing good to have ONE car.

            Different areas have different costs– here, it was cheaper to buy a new minivan instead of a used one, between the exhaust restrictions and the “trash a ton of good, used cars” program that Obama did. (Less than $1k difference in initial price, and a major interest rate difference.)

            Unless you’re going to no-true-Scotsman it so that the place that would hire for my husband’s military job being near Seattle instead of Spokane is one of those “choices” that make it hard to home school. Ditto for not having family in the area– hard to force grandparents who live on opposite coasts to move so it’s easier to get child care, although I suppose not divorcing my husband to marry someone with family that’s local is a “value.”
            (We’re trying to get to a less expensive area or near family, but jobs aren’t exactly thick on the ground and it was sheer luck that he got this one. Several jobs fell through before this one, including the one he left the Navy for, and the Air Force one that got us over here in the first place.)

            Yeah, it’s worth it to actually raise my own kids and not be taking public assistance (which we’d qualify for if I had a paying job, and would NEED to afford child care) but waiving off the actual challenges involved will NOT do anybody good.

              1. About the only good thing about the housing bubble is that it’s vaguely possible we might be able to buy a house, once we’re in an area where that’s not begging to be taxed to bits.

                When we renewed our car last time, we found out we qualify for the lowest bracket of car tax for transit– something like $150 to subsidize office workers and sports fans headed to the stadium on “lite rail”. Plus what we’re paying in taxes for the empty buses that don’t go anywhere we need to, and are often too dangerous to be used by a small woman with small kids.

  12. Hoping my nephew does well with his multiple methods for money. A Senior in High School, he is designing clothes, and programing game apps for phones as well as other game design (characters and stuff you can buy as avatars or what ever). He needs this because he is also trying to be a better Dad than his father. So far he and his girlfriend seem batter parents than the average, and not just school aged ones.

  13. Sarah, it sounds like Dan has the same ability as my wife, who is never mean or hysterical, but always gets what she wants, especially from customer service reps (and other petty bureaucrats). She just points out to them how irrational they are being, she says, and how reasonable her request is. And how she will point that out to their supervisor, and to the supervisor’s boss, all the way up to the CEO if necessary. When she’s particularly frustrated, she skips all the underlings and just goes to the top.

    She often gets more than she asked for.

  14. See? If we don’t teach economics in school, kids are just gonna learn it from playground rumors, the pool halls, and back alleys. And they’ll mostly get it wrong.

    Works for sex-ed, eh?


    1. LOL Mark. I could suggest that we might conceivably [sic] have been better off in the bad old days pre-sex ed classes. Some things are just better learned through experience than in classes.

      When I was a consultant, I had only one ironclad rule: Never take on a client, especially a startup, whose CEO had a Harvard MBA. The stuff they learned there was absolute poison to the enterprise. A consultant buddy once said at a conference: “I’d rather work with a Greek restaurateur with a high school diploma than with the average Harvard MBA. Unfortunately, the Greek restaurateurs don’t need my services because they’re too busy making money, so I’m left with the Harvard idiots.”

      1. Remember: “You can always tell a Harvard man, but you can’t tell him much” has been.a standing joke for over 100 years.

        1. How many Harvard men does it take to change a lightbulb?

          One. He stands still and the universe revolves about him to screw it in.

          1. When my father was taking his panel exams to climb to the qualifications that would allow him to rise to the rank of Minister Counselor (and from there, Ambassador), one of the complaints and bitchy whining leveled at him included that he cheerfully accepted second hand clothes, and that he didn’t have a string of letters after his name.

            One of the people in charge of the panel exam, Senator Ople, got annoyed, and snarled “So he’s not going to waste our budget on superficial things, and as for him only having a pre-med degree, why don’t you toss your best and brightest idiots with the strings after their names against his brain, and see if they can beat him!”

            And they tried. Oh, how they tried, and Ople himself threw the hardest questions he could bring up against my dad. Senator Ople knew they couldn’t – because he himself was a reader, and he and my father regularly spent evenings recommending books to each other and arguing about this event or that philosophy. Ople always had a car trunk full of the books he was currently reading, because being stuck in traffic was a great way to catch up. When he died, it was like my father had lost a father all over again.

            When the panel exams were over, the Senator – who was the minister of Foreign Affairs at the time – glowered at the people who bitched and asked if their precious lettered fools would like to be tutored by the man with the pre-med degree. (Needless to say, Dad passed.)

      2. What about guys like me who earned our MBA’s from UoHK?

        What is UoHK? University of Hard Knocks. Lose a business, damn near kill another one, and take an honest look at all the ways you screwed up, you learn a few things you won’t learn in an MBA program. 🙂

      3. Not just Harvard, it’s all of the Ivy Covered Snob Factories. The problem is that the graduates of those places have the connections and access to capital to get the fast track, but no clue what to do once they get there.

    2. The unions get upset at the idea of teaching anything but abstinence, though.

      When a government and a union love each other very much, the stork brings them a job…

      1. As opposed to the sex ed teachers, who get the vapors at the thought of mentioning abstinence?


    3. If we let the schools teach economics we will get what we are already getting, only more so. The powers that be are too wed to an idea of social justice to be bothered by the facts.

  15. I remember that when I graduated from college (with a month of post-college job already under my belt; the opportunity was early), I had a sense of “huh, aren’t there supposed to be wonderful job opportunities now?” I unpacked that assumption pretty quickly—after all, I’d decided NOT to be an engineer—but it’s pretty well engrained into our culture. Go to college, get a degree, PROFIT. There’s an awful lot of intermediate steps missing, but unless you examine your assumptions, you won’t notice. (I’m tail-end Gen X, if that helps.)

    1. Yup. I emerged from grad school that way, and as I enjoyed my research post-doc, I watched the job listings starting to shrivel. Guess what? Everyone now wants someone with a gazillion classroom teaching hours, as well as award winning publications and three research grants in hand. SURPRISE! And the longer you’ve been out of grad school the less they want you. And if you are not traditional-age (mid 20s), they don’t want you that badly unless you are already the Great Dr. So-and-so.

  16. So long as Hayek’s “Human Action” is not the main textbook in Economics 101, Economics will not be a subject of value to the real world.
    (If you haven’t read that book, do so. It’s long. It isn’t light reading (though it doesn’t demand any specialized knowledge). It can be downloaded for free.)

  17. thats von mises human action. hayek wrote the road to serfdom.. von mises Socialism is also very good. i like to say he predicted the fall of the soviet union in 1917

    1. Oops, of course, right you are. Hayek and Von Mises are among the few economists worth reading. (Hazlitt is one more.) offers free downloads for all of these.
      As for the fall of the SU, there’s a wonderful book, not all that easy to find: “The final fall” by Emmanuel Todd, a French historian. He spelled it all out about 20 years before it happened. His analysis carries over to other totalitarian places, too.

      1. Thomas Sowell is an excellent economist and is easy to read. I’d recommend him as an introductory text on economics. Hayek and Von Mises while excellent are more advanced. Did you know that Auburn University has a Von Mises Institute?

        1. The link I mentioned is the Von Mises Institute, which among other things has a lot of real economics and libertarian oriented writing, free for the download. That’s where I found several of the books I mentioned. Take a look.

  18. There seems to be an idea percolating that the “rich” (whomever they may be) would happily kill all of the poor people in one great mass if they thought they could get away with it. I’ve seen it pop up from time to time recently. One instance of it is apparently in a video game that seemed to be popular when it came out a couple of years ago. I haven’t played the game myself, but a summary of it mentioned that a plague afflicting the city the game is set in is the result of one of the city’s leaders deciding that he wanted to exterminate all of the icky poor people.

    Now I’m not going to argue whether the rich and powerful in real life find the poor to be “icky”. Many of them probably do. But they’re also not typically foolish enough to engage in the mass extermination of them outside of unusual conditions (say, a revolution). It’s kind of hard to run a factory or other money-making enterprise if you don’t have anyone to work there.

    I have my suspicions that this incorrect idea is contributing to the class warfare and “I deserve xxxxx” attitudes that seem to be popping up in society these days.

    1. I wonder if it was one of the Bio-Shock games? I can’t recall in detail, but I though that cropped up in one of them.

      1. Hmm. I don’t recall that – not even in the expansions, or Bioshock Infinite.

        I think a lot of ‘Well, they’d like to kill all the poor people!’ is much more a ‘Well, WE would like to kill all the rich people!’ sort of projection. They obviously can’t admit it, so… you transfer the guilt and blame those you hate for what you’d really like to do.

      2. BioShock was entirely about class warfare but the motivation of the rich wasn’t to kill off the poor.

        The agitators, OTOH, certainly were trying to kill off the rich.

        1. That sounds like Dishonored. As much as I liked that game it really did have a lot of hatred for the rich. This is one of those games that rewards finding non-lethal options, yet “non-lethal” when it comes to the rich ringleaders involves the following.


          A) Branding the religious leader a heretic (literally branding mind you) so he dies of starvation/the plague as it is illegal to so much as give him alms.

          B) Deliver a socialite who’s bankrolling the coup (they started by killing the Empress and framing the protagonist for it) to the hands of her abhorrent stalker who promises she’ll never been seen again

          C) Cutting the tongues out of the brothers who run the mines, then selling them as slave labor to said mines.

          D) Making the ringleaders panic and kill each other/commit suicide.

          And yet the assassin hired to actually kill the empress? (who was almost certainly the secret lover of the protagonist and mother of his child the princess) Him you can actually spare out of mercy.

          1. It was indeed Dishonored.

            I played the first Bioshock game, and found it so-so. I’ve occasionally toyed with the idea of playing the second game, but never purchased it. Once I got the gist of what Infinite was about (beyond “You’re trying to rescue this woman, and a mechanical bird is chasing you”), I knew I wasn’t interested. Reading the plot summary post-release only solidified that decision.

            I find it interesting that of the three, the only one that really goes after something associated with modern-day liberalism (i.e. collectivism) is the game that Ken Levine isn’t involved in.

      3. “Dishonored”, I think. Bioshock was Libertarianism Gone Mad, and Bioshock 2 was Collectivism Gone Mad. I am incapable of playing 3 until Gamergate dies down, I think.

          1. *snerk* Noted. Maybe I’ll just play Inquisition twice instead.

            (Who am I kidding? It’s Bioware; I will likely play it once for each class because I am an obsessive fangirl.)

            1. Oh how I miss when I was like that with Bioware. Sadly the ending of Mass Effect 3 broke something for me I’m not sure can be fixed. (As in, I put at least 200 hours into ME1 and ME2 when all was said and done and with ME3 I’ve only done 1 play-through and not even all of the DLC’s then)

              1. Agreed.

                I got every single achievement in ME2. I think it’s the only game where I’ve done that. I played through ME3 once. I have not purchased a single DLC for the game. I have zero interest in it after that horrible excuse for a finale.

                The worst bit of it is when I run into people online who seem to think that it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.

          1. From what I can tell, they think Libertarianism is letting criminals run rampant without lifting a finger to stop them. I’m sure we’ll be getting even worse in years to come, when the SJWs finish their takeover of the gaming industry. For it’s own good, you see.

        1. Might be a long wait, that. Or until the next “Worst Thing Evar!” comes down the pike, which should be *much* sooner…

    2. If a computer game with that idea were developed according to real economics (rather than Krugmanomonics) so that the result of killing off all the poor became a problem the gamer had to resolve it might actually prove a worthwhile exercise.

      1. I looked into doing that in one of my previous bouts of unemployment, but quickly realized that the algorithm and feedback loops would eat up so much computation time that the game would be unplayable. That’s what happens with chaotic math and computers.

  19. Add to this what I call the “school mentality” – which is something afflicting writers too, particularly now with indie – in which you’re trained to do a certain number of things, and if you do them well, then you get a reward. Everyone is trained to this at the end of twelve years, much less twenty or however many it took him to get an MBA.

    Don’t forget that doing things differently, regardless of how it works, is punished– with a few exceptions that have nothing to do with if it works, if it’s correct, etc.

    I’ll say first that not all millennials are like this and not many (I hope) are this rock bottom stupid and twisted. I have to say that, because otherwise my sons – and Foxfier – will kill me in an unpleasant way. Also, because it’s true. Just because you were born around the same time as someone else, it doesn’t mean you’re just like them.


    Honestly, part of it is the mind-bending stupid that is insisting that over a third of Millennials don’t count, and neither do well over 45% of all other ages.
    ( 36%-ish of the under 30 were Romney voters, 45% of the 44 and under, and folks born before ’68 all voted for Obama in the 45% zones.)

    1. Incidentally, yes– there are times when doing stuff differently is wrong because the method doesn’t build the foundation for the next step along. However, lazy or ignorant teachers don’t pay attention to if that is the problem or not, it’s the “show your work” being different than what’s in the book that’s the issue.

    2. At least here when I was in school, and later, university, we were fed information, but never really taught to how to think or figure things ourselves and yes, part of that was that when you solved a set problem, you needed to solve it in the accepted way, using accepted routes, or you didn’t get the reward (good grades or praise from teacher or whatever). And the teacher never told you whether the route you had used – if it was not one of the accepted ones – was valid when you got the right result with it so you were left wondering if you had got that by accident or if the way you had used actually worked. Okay, with some exceptions, I think I once solved some homework geometry problem in a somewhat different way than the one we had been taught, but the math teacher did tell me that that way worked too. 🙂

      1. Back when I was in 7th grade I had a paper route which (among other activities) involved my going downtown every Saturday to pay my fees. Every Saturday I rode the city buss and got out in front of the First Huntington National Bank to walk the couple blocks to the paper’s offices and I would check my watch against that of the impressive clock in front of that bank.

        Somewhere along the line, I don’t recall just when, I decided to assume the bank’s clock, not my watch, was wrong and stopped resetting my watch o getting off the bus.

        I never did quite acquire the brass to walk into the bank and advise them to reset their clock. But I had learned to not assume they were right simply because they were august.

  20. And he’s probably a school MBA with no experience. He competing with people like my friend and fellow engineer who worked for 8 years on a production floor before getting his MBA. Who would you hire? The guy right out of school or the guy who knows everything about his industry with a new MBA?

    1. Well *I*’d hire the “guy who knows everything about his industry with a new MBA”, but evidence suggests that most do not. Especially because he’ll probably be asking for a higher salary

  21. There is a reason when I looked at going back to school, I did not go for a business degree. I have been running a small business for over a decade now. I knew I couldn’t sit in the classroom and keep my mouth shut long enough for a business degree of any kind.

    1. There be good reason this scene is so popular:

      The inability to consider the implications of market alternatives to widgets is crippling.

  22. I’ve noticed this among recent high school grads is that if you correct them in some way they take that as you are calling them stupid and then take dramatic offense.

    This is obviously a bad thing.

    1. Isn’t it the current popular practice in public schools that there is no such thing as a wrong answer, that you can’t tell a student that they’ve made a mistake in their homework, and that any performance is worthy of a prize?
      Given that background, your observations make perfect sense and are exactly what you’d expect. And yes, people who “teach” like that are guilty of child abuse and should be prosecuted.

      1. No kids of my own, but I am an uncle. And the Common Core problems that my outraged sister has been posting on Facebook seems to require both convoluted thinking, and showing your work.

        1. In hindsight, I think Liberals all graduated from the same school as the Mock Turtle from Alice in Wonderland.
          The Mock Turtle called his regular course “Reeling and Writhing and then the different branches of Arithmetic- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification and Derision.”
          Eerie how well this fits your standard Occupier, huh?

            1. Doubtless. There’s nothing like an Occupier who says, “I have a degree in midieval French poetry! Where’s my high-paying job?!?!”

              1. Indeed. Hollywood is missing out comedy gold by ignoring the potential of mocking the Occupy crowd. Because so many of them are part of it, sadly.

                1. Most of the crowd in Hollywood detest and despise the Occutards. It is mostly just the people before the cameras, the folks writing the scripts, the ones sitting in director chairs and the ones getting paid for an associate producer or better credit. The people doing the hard work of setting up cameras, hanging lights, building scenary and the many other necessary tasks work almighty hard for their pay.

                  Next time some Hollywood star rants about low minimum wages you can be sure they would never insist half their fee be paid to the crew as bonus.

                  1. Some people gt it:

                    Listen to the stage manager and get on stage when they tell you to. No one has time for the rock star bullshit. None of the techs backstage care if you’re David Bowie or the milkman. When you act like a jerk, they are completely unimpressed with the infantile display that you might think comes with your dubious status. They were there hours before you building the stage, and they will be there hours after you leave tearing it down. They should get your salary, and you should get theirs.
                    — Henry Rollins

        2. “seems to require both convoluted thinking, and showing your work”

          I could have dealt with the convoluted thinking, but showing my work would have killed me. I think every time I got a new math teacher in high school (and I changed schools every year), I started out being suspected of cheating, because I got all the answers right on the test, but that’s all there was on the paper… the answer.

          1. My mom stopped a lot of problems by explaining to me that I was writing down what I did for the teacher— so if I was using a method that didn’t work, they could see at a glance.

            Looking back, I suspect that they told me to show the steps I NEEDED to find the answer. I didn’t need them, it was in my head, but when I was told they were wanted it so they could tell if someone needed help, well I didn’t mind learning how to write it down to be polite. It is their job, even if most didn’t do it….

            (I had NO sense of irony, or even snark.)

            1. Yes, you need to show them that you are using a method that always works, and not merely on the problem that you’re doing right there (unless you’re using a shortcut specific to that type of problem, and then the shortcut should be explained). It took a while, but I finally got this through my boys’ heads. Pretty much too late to help them in school, though.

    2. And according to a small business owner (and friend), trying to get them to put down the iThing and remove the headphones is a major challenge, once you find teens willing to work. I suspect she ended up telling the guy that when the Health Department fined the business, he’d be the one to pay for it because he would be the cause of the fine (headphones on while working the cold food line). No, she doesn’t want to can him unless he refuses to comply.

      1. Cellphones and music players *will* go in your personal locker during your shift. You can check them during breaks and at lunch.

        In an emergency your family can contact the duty manager at 867 5309

        1. iDevice policy at the farm:

          If I catch you with it during work hours and it is *not* an emergency call from mom (I will be checking), it is mine. You can have it back at the end of the night.

          The second iteration, should there be one, it is Thor’s. Thor is an eighty-pound wolly chammoth dog, who likes crunchy plastics. And I will fire you as icing on that sweet, sweet cupcake of your tears.

          No appeals, this is in your employment contract.

          1. We don’t bother pointing out that the idevice is a potentially fatal distraction when working with 5 tons of equipment, and decreases productivity. We simply state up front unless you can prove you bought it elsewhere (with a receipt), or you have a card on you identifying you as given individual permission for allotted time, then we assume automatically you stole it, and will deal with it and you accordingly.

            They usually get their idevice back, but not their job. And the weeping and wailing, lo, it strongly encourages the rest. It also means that I get kids with severe ADD – not the brain-chemical-balance kind, but the never-learned-impulse-control kind.

            “I can’t smoke, I can’t eat, I can’t drink soda, I can’t listen to music or text friends… WTF do you expect me to do?”
            “Go work!”

            1. Reminds me of a journalist who lost his job, and worked in retail for a while before finding another journalism job. He wrote about the HORROR!!1! that is retail. After all, he had to deal with things like getting to work on time, wearing a designated outfit (that the company didn’t pay for), etc…


            2. That sounds suspiciously familiar. *chuckle* I may have gotten some of your rejects down here in Speck!

              Our never-learned-impulse-control folks are much the same. It kind of makes me sympathetic to the micro-manager type. I like to remind them of a certain clause, that being “not responsible for injury or death during normal operation of an agritourism event.”

              Round little eyes. Tends to thin the herd a bit, there.

        2. How in the world could anyone think that you could listen to music or talk on the phone while at work?

          1. Well, I spend most of the day listening to music. I work in a cube farm, beating on computers far, far away. (3 rows over in the same room, or over 2500 miles away, it doesn’t matter.) A lot of it is, by this point, rote for me.

            Ear buds are a great help, as is instrumental, fast-tempo stuff. It actually keeps me from being distracted. But since I have pretty much NO contact with anyone in the office, or anyone outside of the office, it doesn’t much matter. I can’t think of many jobs where that would be the case.

            Oddly, we have limitations on internet music stations out here. Wastes bandwidth, it seems. But there’s no limitations on Youtube.

            So – I listen to things like Armin Van Buren’s ‘A State Of Trance’ broadcasts. Trance, progressive, 138 – I wish I’d found that genre a long time ago. Tried up-tempo jazz, it didn’t quite work. But a two-hour set makes the time go by a lot faster.

            Talking on the phone? Oh, hell no. That’d be WAY too distracting.

            1. Folks turn them on and leave them. So assume 100 employees, figure on only 48kbps on average (128 for music is not unusual, but a lot of folks prefer talk, which still comes in 32 or even 16 sometimes, and some people won’t use internet radio) and just the internet radio is almost five mbps, and it’s stuff that has to be done steadily. (I notice a lot of ISPs will grant a rush but constant use slows it way down.)

              1. I get your point, but we’re not talking just a T-1 or T-3 here. True, we’ve got lots of people here (thousands…) but we’ve also got BIG pipes. HD videoconferencing tends to suck up bandwidth something terrible.

            2. When I was doing advertising / copywriting work, I needed the music. Armin Van Buuren’s ASOT, certain Two Steps From Hell tracks – they helped me with my work, and I kept the earbuds on from the moment I sat down to start writing. It was a signal to others that 1) do not disturb, working. 2) the sight of my fingers clattering away at 120 wpm meant: DO NOT DISTURB, WORKING VERY MUCH and 3) the volume ensured that anyone trying to disturb me would be ignored, and I could not hear the distraction of people around me.

              It was allowed as long as it was clear you WERE visibly working, and a supervisor could tap you on the shoulder if they needed to speak to you.

              And yes, cube farm. Egh.

              I still use music when I’m working, even when I work on writing or art from home.

          2. When I was a lab tech in the Army, we were allowed to listen to music on evening, night, and weekend shifts. It was a small hospital, so on those shifts we were the only one in the lab.

            The people bring up specimens from the ER learned that if I was listening to the Rocky Horror Picture Show (including audience dialogue) on continuous loop, I was having a bad night.

    3. That’s because they’ve been indoctrinated into believing a set of beliefs makes you smart and one stupid. It has nothing to do with ability to reason, but with getting hold of the “right” (left) “facts.” You’re accusing them of having the wrong side of facts and therefore of being stupid. Get it now?

      1. Off topic, but I’ve become convinced that the accusation that “You” don’t think about your beliefs (said to Conservative Christians) is based on the idea that “If you thought about your beliefs, you’d change them to the Correct (Liberal) beliefs”. [Frown]

        1. Continuing the off-topic, someone talking about the “baptismal font” in a Baptist church doesn’t automatically make me think they actually grew up in one.

          I’d like to be charitable and assume that they did, but it’s just been so long since they were in one that they’ve forgotten the term “baptistry”. However, that same charity is not being returned.

              1. Woodlawn Southern (fried) Baptist Church, Houston, TX. It was tastefully set behind the communion table, with curtains so you didn’t really notice it until someone was baptized. The interior of the church was mostly white-cream with light green (lime sherbert) trim. And in summer the air conditioning, like the Jordan River, “chill[ed] the body but not the soul.”

            1. *Smiles, in memory* When we had my daughter baptized (Catholic, as a baby – what? I think the foundations are good) the font’s water could be warmed. The priest, bless him for his kindness, puzzled us all by making a huge effort over it by starting the ceremony at the entrance to the Church, praying at each doorway we had to pass through, before the baptism itself. The local choir, full of Filipinos, saw what was going on, and sang their hearts out.

      2. It has nothing to do with ability to reason, but with getting hold of the “right” (left) “facts.”

        And since the “facts” are not facts and they don’t know the difference, train wreck looms.

        1. Now my head echos: “Left my wife and seventeen children with nothing but gingerbread left…” Sigh!

    4. I don’t have that problem with them getting defensive like that – but they do learn to fear the “Do you need help with anything?”

      You see, when they start, they say yes, and I help them. When they start to get it and say no, I explain that if there’s nothing I can help them with, then when the boss asks why they’re not accomplishing X, I have nothing to help mitigate the consequences. They learn quickly that the consequences are probation and termination. And when they really do truly get it, if something is actually, truly impacting their work and they haven’t nerved themselves to bring it to me, then I’ll immediately start trying to remedy it and give them updates if they don’t see the results. If they’re just slacking, it’s a “subtle” warning that the hammer is about to come down.

      This does result in having to pull some of the worriers aside and pointing out the time it takes to constantly report things slowing them down actually slows them down worse than the things they’re complaining about, but it also provides a cheerful approach that they cannot argue is discriminating or accusatory, and turns up a number of low-grade problems that otherwise would “take too much time” to report.

  23. Unfortunately, it’s not just kids that have this failure of understanding jobs and money.

    About thirty some years ago, I had a brush with the “New Age” philosophy. Or philosophies I suppose I should say.

    Some of it was fun, and some of the social stuff was ok. Really ok actually.

    But, I began to realize how dangerous it could be when I started hearing the same kind of thing. Hold up one’s hands to the air and think about “manifesting” what you want. Not have positive thoughts about what you want, and working for it, but by “willing it.”

    When my wife decided she wanted a divorce, and took her share and got a degree in “Environmental Science”, she expected that offers of a job would be waiting for her when she graduated. After all, she worked for the degree, and put a lot of “energy” into the desire to have that kind of “feel good” job, that of course would compensate her very well.

    Didn’t happen.

    This kind of ringy thinking about jobs, money, and the economy in general was already old. Its actually related to libprog thinking on money and jobs, and even marxism to some degree.

    1. Not have positive thoughts about what you want, and working for it, but by “willing it.”

      (facepalm) This was the main reason why I drew away from being openly pagan to quietly solitary. You don’t get anything if you sit by the road and wait for the Gods to send you someone, or toss a bit of salt in a circle and say words and get lightning strikes. Most people don’t realize there’s a price of some kind to be paid – and usually that means sweat and hard work and effort.

      And yes, the cargo cult thinking really, really annoys me.

  24. So I think this is another example of “cargocult” thinking. Implement this list of actions and wonderful things will happen. The fact that universities appear to be teaching this is worrying but this is not the only example I’ve seen of it recently.

    Regarding higher taxes etc. The problem is that the young do buy into these myths in bulk and you can only explain the fallacies retail. For example in France youth un(der)employment is massive and most French twentysomethings have endless internships instead of getting a full paying job. Maybe by the time they are 30 someone decides to convert the current internship into a salaried position. The reason for this is simple. It is next to impossible to fire a salaried person (or an hourly worker for that matter) and there are complex rules about the length of contracts, the minimum salries that must be paid etc. There are also complex rules about internships too so that even if you like the kid, unless you are willing to take the risk and offer the full tiem job, you have to get another every 6-9 months anyway. Yet despite this, French students and recent grads protest in favor of more restrictions on the hiring and firing of salaried people and more restrictions on the amount of money you can pay an intern.

    Really only when you walk them through the whole thing from the PoV of the potential employer do they get it. And it takes a while. And then they decamp to London, which is now the city in Europe with the 2nd or 3rd largest French speaking population (after Paris (and Brussels?) ).

    1. Yes, I know. I haven’t talked to my childhood best friend, who married a Frenchman in 9 years because we had an argument over the fact she encouraged her son to demonstrate in favor of restrictions on firing…

      1. Banning firing is for economic policy what raising the drawbridges in the face of Genghis Kahn’s hordes is for defense strategy.

  25. The problem is simple: schools are for fish.

    We know what happens to fish. And this young ‘un with the MBA belongs in school occupied by other gudgeon.

  26. You are surprised by this? University educated Karl Marx didn’t even work for most of his life. This isn’t a generational issue, because like it or not, its always been this way. I haven’t met one person of any age with an advanced degree that didn’t at least in some way expect some sort of windfall, in terms of ‘good-paying’ jobs.

    The only reason why this suddenly seems to be a generational issue is because years of government subsided educational programs has made it easier for more people to get advanced degrees without any hard life experiences to back it up.

    If anything, the only substantive difference between now, the 1960s, or Karl Marx’s generation, is that digital technology has made it too easy for blockheads like him to make their views too well known. And on top of that, its way too easy for him to turn on a computer, do a narrow-minded google search and point the finger at where he perceives jobs going.

    If you really want ‘scary’, just imagine what children of his generation will be saying, 20 years from now. But I digress, can’t be too much worse, V.I Lenin had a pretty international following for a few years.

  27. There have been several studies that showed (or purported to show) that a substantial portion of the population would agree to be miserable, downtrodden, and poor, just so long as anybody better off than they were got dragged down too.

    I have to say that I consider such studies some of the more persuasive evidence for eugenics.


    1. Yeah, and then they graduate college, and actually get a taste of what life can really be like when there’s no safety net. Ask ’em again when they’re responsible for a family, and watch their tune change.

    2. … just so long as anybody better off than they were got dragged down too.

      Apply this to ANYTHING the Left espouses. From the grumbling about the ‘women who have to defend themselves when they shouldn’t have to’ to ‘that person is happy and conservative and shouldn’t be’, it reveals the base reason for anything they do and believe in to be pure envy and laziness.

      And childish whining about how unfair the world is.

      1. “…when they shouldn’t have to” is actually a false flag. What is actually intended by those who say this is “when they should not be able to”. This is “victim disarmament”, often but dishonestly called “gun control”.

    3. It has been said that you can learn everything important you might want to know about someone’s politics by asking them whether they’d live in a world where they own a $150,000 house and everyone else has a $200,000 house, or a world where they own a $100,000 house and everyone else owns a $80,000 house.

      1. Unless, of course, they’re an economist, in which case they’ll take the two scenarios as indicators of two different valuations of the dollar, and make the decision on a PPP basis. (Assuming dollars are equally valued between both hypotheticals, living in a $150K house is better than living in a $100K house. But if they’re not — and a proper economist would assume they weren’t — then a $100K house in a world where the modal house value is $80K is much better than a $150K house in a world where the modal house value is $200K, because the $150K house isn’t 50% better than the $100K house, it’s just priced in a currency with less value per unit. All other things being equal, of course, which of course they never are…but with only two postulated data points per universe, you’ve got to start somewhere.)

        Of course, by the time they’re a quarter of the way through explaining their reasoning and writing equations on the chalkboard, you’ll have wandered off in search of someone whose reaction is more instinctive. 🙂

  28. “They do not want to own your fortune, they want you to lose it; they do not want to succeed, they want you to fail; they do not want to live, they want you to die.” -Ayn Rand

  29. I used to fear getting older believing that my skills would become obsolete. But in recent years, I no longer fear this at all because its clear that we’ve produced at least one if not more generations that largely have no work ethic.

  30. Side note here: Could someone explain what on earth “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” actually means? Because as near as I can tell, it seems to be based on some kind of notion that that affliction=deserves comfort and comfortable=deserves affliction. I have some problems with this line of thinking.

    1. Some? Some? It makes me breathe fire. Half the religious people on the left think this is in the Bible too.
      It was supposed to have been said by a journalist, but I think even that is BS

      1. OTOH, when you want easy amusement start using that phrase in front of liberal friends and acquaintances in reference to Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Stephen Spielberg and any other uber-rich Dem supporter that pops in your mind.

        Insist that before there are any more tax hikes or energy regulations, these comfortable types cut their incomes to five figures and move into 2,500 square foot homes and limit their families to a single vehicle.

        Or just ask why they need accountants, if they aren’t try to keep tax revenue “the people” would otherwise get.

        Or why the charter jets if they are worried about AGW.

      2. Quick search produces the following:

        “Mother” Mary Jones who was once quoted as saying “My business is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

        And further back Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936), a humorist, in the mouth of his character Mr. Dooley:
        “The newspaper does everything for us. It runs the police force and the banks, commands the militia, controls the legislature, baptizes the young, marries the foolish, comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable, buries the dead, and roasts them afterward.”

    2. In practice it means reporting tilted toward some arbitrary and unexpressed standard of social justice, largely premised on Marxist notions of class exploitation with a considerable amount of contortion to pat oneself on the back.

      Theoretically I believe it may derive from the mission of many a church to offer solace to those in need while prodding the indolent toward greater responsibility (we will briefly pause to allow those with actual historical knowledge of how local churches tended to operate time sufficient to mop up spewed beverages.)

      Like so many such self-justifying adages it tends to alleviate its professor from any actual though spent considering just exactly who is comfortable and who is afflicted, why that is so and whether their station is a foreseeable consequence of their own action. It permits its adherents the thrill of a social conscience without any of the inconvenience.

      1. Res, I believe you may be correct about the original meaning/usage.

        Of course, one of the “evilest” things about the Left is that it takes ideas that may be “good ideas” and turns them into incredibly Bad/Evil ideas.

        “It takes a village to raise a child” may be a good idea when done by the people of a village/small town but when you’re talking about the Federal (or even State) government doing it not so great. [Sad Smile]

          1. Being of a certain age, when Hillary came out with her “It Takes A Village” drivel I could not help but recall how much she reminded me of the kids I knew in middle and (esp.) high school who griped about how stifling suburbia was, having all the neighborhood parents monitoring your behaviour and snitching to your parents.

    3. It’s from James 1:9-11. As I understand the verse it’s an admonition not to get too caught up in where you are worldly wise, because God lifts up the poor and humbles the mighty. The modern usage is much more playing God than focusing on him rather than mortal circumstances that change.

      1. Astute reader will notice that it is in the passive voice. It’s not something that they should be implementing on their own, because it’s going to happen with or without them.

        1. Actually, it’s from Mr. Dooley, via his amanuensis, Finley Peter Dunne, talking about the self-importance of newspapers:

          “”Th newspaper does ivrything f’r us. It runs th’ polis foorce an’ th’ banks, commands th’ milishy, controls th’ ligislachure, baptizes th’ young, marries th’ foolish, comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable, buries th’ dead an’ roasts thim aftherward.”

          Mr. Dooley’s joke was apparently picked up by other newspapermen as a joke, and by later generations of liberals and journalists as a serious thing. But it hit the mainstream by being quoted without attribution in the play/movie Inherit the Wind, which has Biblical status among many liberals.

          1. Mind you, Mr. Dooley is written in dialect, and therefore no decent liberal would ever read him. Which is just as well, because he was pretty much sarcastic conservative.

  31. Your little MBA snowflake is a career student who has probably never had a job. Nobody with a nickels worth of sense wants to hire somebody in their mid-twenties who doesn’t know how to work. Part of this is the governments fault, they make it very difficult to hire minors, so people don’t hire kids to do part time work while they are in middle school and high school (unless they do it under the table, and THOSE kids learn early to distrust and despise the government). By the time they are out of high school and of age, they haven’t ever worked, mommy and daddy have always paid for everything, and they have been taught that they shouldn’t settle for any job without a “living wage.” With an attitude like that they won’t even apply at Taco Bell, and with the current screwed up economy there are plenty of overqualified people willing to go to work at minimum wage, which is a lot more than our inexperienced snowflake is worth, anyways.

    So he goes off to college either still being supported by mommy and daddy, or sucking on the government teat, or both. After another half a dozen or dozen years (depending on how indulgent mommy and daddy are/how good he is at filling at student loan forms) he “earns” his MBA, now thoroughly convinced that people will be ringing the phones off the hook to hire his useless but well papered self. Instead those businesses promote the guy who was mowing the secretaries lawn in middle school, while our precious snowflake pedaled by on the new bike mommy and daddy bought him and jeered. Thing is that guy graduated high school only a couple of GPA points behind MBA snowflake, the secretary recommended him to her boss as “a hard worker, who never complains,” and he went to work for what wasn’t really a “living wage,” but he tightened his belt and worked hard, and in a few months he earned a raise and was able to afford to take his girl out to pizza every other Friday. By now he has been working for as many years as he went to school, has a reputation as a hard worker who will get whatever job you want done, and experience actually DOING those jobs that MBA snowflake turns his nose up at.

    In the meanwhile MBA snowflake has been sitting in a classroom and thoroughly ingesting, thoroughly false ideas about business, being indoctrinated by someone else who has never held a real job in the real world, but thinks the papers they have on the wall qualifies them to teach other ignorants about how the economy works.

    Is it any wonder Joe the lawnmower’s phone is ringing off the hook, while MBA snowflakes Obamaphone is eerily silent?

  32. “I have to say that, because otherwise my sons – and Foxfier – will kill me in an unpleasant way.”

    Sarah, when you discover a pleasant way to die, let me know so I can put it in the draft custodial order I’m going to be handing out to my kids.

    Your 00-ial acquaintance has noted, like many budding Hitlers before him, that we could build a paradise if only all six billion of us could agree. Unfortunately, humans are not ants.

    1. Sarah, when you discover a pleasant way to die, let me know so I can put it in the draft custodial order I’m going to be handing out to my kids.

      In bed with a beautiful woman (or two), just after the moment of…extreme excitation…shot by a jealous husband:-D.

        1. Multiple wives are like long hair: don’t have it if you’re not willing to maintain it. 😀

          1. If Uroko had followed the teachings of the Prophet (pooBAH) and limited himself to but four wives he would still be with us and not having to service 77 virgins.

            It’s was the fifth wife that done him in.

  33. CM – more like “Twas beasts killed the beauty…” (Did you see thepictures of his wives?, heh, heh, heh.

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