Monday, November 09, 2020

Deep Resentments

 This report from The Economist is right in line with what we have been saying for years here. People with advanced degrees who are not prospering are often deeply resentful, certain that something must be wrong with "The System"*. I have worked with them for years, MSWs who believe that in a just world they would be entitled to the salaries that other people with their number of years of education get.  Other measurements, such as relative value to society, difficulty of the task, level of risk, and the like do not factor in.  This is my Arts & Humanities Tribe* discussions from the early years of this blog. That they may have been lied to by the educational establishment or their upper-middle-class expectations ("For a good job, get a good education"), that they may have made poor economic decisions due to Following Their Dreams™, or that they may have chosen one of the easiest of Master's degrees to pursue does not occur to them. It is largely political, cultural, and attitude training.  This holds for other Arts and Humanities degrees, with similar resentment. 

I used to number among them.  I resented a system which did not reward me as I thought only made sense. I did not see that I had made trade-offs or that my less-attractive qualities undermined the value of my stellar abilities.  It was all just unfair.

This undercurrent plays strongly in American politics, and I think throughout Western societies. People who fell for the various lies of their tribe that did not mirror in the world at large are certain that there is something wrong with the system. I have described this as one of the driving forces of feminism, that the lies of the educational establishment about what the rules of success are, or at least should be, is infuriating to the women who believed this, succeeded and even dominated at the "school rules," only to emerge into a society that has always played by other rules in terms of money, prestige, and power. That outrage is common to all who went that route, including a few ethnic minorities. 

*Lots of further links at both posts, if you want to go down those roads. I think you should, but then, I am biased in thinking that all these observations are worthwhile because i made them


Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

I did not agree with much of Jimmy Carter's policies or of things he said, but when he boldly told a reporter in a WH press conference that "Life is not fair," he won some respect from me. (The context here was not personal achievement/reward - but the limitation of what the Federal government should do to make things "fair.")

RichardJohnson said...

or that they may have chosen one of the easiest of Master's degrees to pursue does not occur to them. It is largely political, cultural, and attitude training.

Over the years, exit polls indicate that people with Master's degrees vote overwhelmingly Democrat. The only other educational attainment category that Democrats so dominate is high school dropout, which most likely why the "high school dropout" category was dropped from exit polls from 2012 on.

If exit polls were more further delineated by ease of Master's program, I suspect that the easiest Master's programs are Democrat-dominated much more than hardest Master's programs. To get a Master's in Education, about all you have to do is show up for class.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The MBA, another common Masters, trends Republican, though not as much as it did thirty years ago. So also with engineering. The hard sciences are mixed. Social science and humanities are overwhelmingly liberal - and certain they are right.

Eric said...
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David Foster said...

I'm surprised they didn't quote Francis Bacon, who wrote 400 years ago that one cause of mutiny and sedition in any polity is "breeding more scholars than preferment can take off."

Didn't like the title of the Economist piece: 'brainy' and 'credentialed' are not the same thing.

David Foster said...

See also my post TechnoProletarians, including a quote from Peter Drucker

RichardJohnson said...

David Foster
Didn't like the title of the Economist piece: 'brainy' and 'credentialed' are not the same thing.("Can too many brainy people be a dangerous thing?")

Good point. These days, "credentialed" goes along with "indoctrinated," judging from the numerous reports about campus group-think these days. Nor does "credentialed" necessarily go along with "knowledgeable" or "wise." After all, group-think seldom goes along with "knowledgeable" or "wise."

IIRC, Federal stats indicated that about a quarter of Master's degrees are in Education.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Drucker was prescient on that, wasn't he? You list (following others) they have money, they have opportunity, they have like-minded people nearby. What is it that they want? It seems to be status, and respect. They believe they deserve more. It sounds like professional athletes who keep yapping about "respect." It is not hard to see that there is something of a character flaw in this.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Richard Johnson. It's more. Over 30% of advanced degrees are in education, a little less than 25% in Business, as of about five years ago.

Remember, however, that not all of those education degrees are wild-eyed liberals. Some are teachers who are in systems that pay according to degree and years experience, and are making a calculated effort to spend time and money now to make more later. I know a few who think the degree is a crock, but pushed through it anyway. Doing what needs to be done is not incompatible with conservatism.

Still, even those pick up some unfortunate ideas.

Grim said...

Schumpeter predicted this very dynamic in the ‘30s, as I recall.

Sam L. said...

I ain't going' there. I'm retired. I have an MBA, because I got into the Missile biz and the Minute Man Education Program.

PenGun said...

As always reddit is useful. This rather good post, was answered by a game that demonstrates why affinity is so strong. The parable of the polygons shows you why its probably affinity rather than any inherent bias.

Bulldog said...

If only life were "fair".
It is not, it never was, and the reality is I have no idea what "fair" means.

I know what "fair" is for me, but there's no way I know what it is for anyone else. We all have our own definition of "fairness".

I have achieved a fairly high level of success in my industry. It took years of work, as well as at least 2 cumulative years of being laid off. Those lay offs didn't seem "fair" to me. But I got through them and was better off each time.

Today I face a different challenge. Younger people aren't interested in my experience or knowledge - or at least are only interested in it on their own terms. Terms which I tend to not align with easily. So what is currently happening to me is not "fair" because the rules of engagement are changing.

I won't say they are changing for the worse - I can't know that yet. But I know adapting to these rules is difficult in the "OK Boomer" society. I'll muddle through and struggle on. I'll wind up better for it all. I'm not sure I can say the same for some of the younger folks. I hope these experiments work out for them. I just don't think they understand all this has been tried before and failed...

Linda Fox said...

I picked up a Masters of Education in Computers and Educational Technology - a more technocratic type of Ed Masters than most. I'm also a Science teacher (retired), and have never had trouble finding jobs. True, it is a little grating that ANY Social Studies teachers with the same number of years and educational level earns the same, but - so what? When I started, I knew that the pay was limited to years on the job/degree, not competence. I accepted that limitation, given I had 3 young children, and would not be willing to trade surety of hours for extended days of work, travel, and year-round employment.

Advanced degree holders, particularly of the Liberal Arts and Humanities Tribe, are whiny, entitled losers. They just CAN'T believe that their "extraordinary" gifts are not PROPERLY rewarded with lots and lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Those are, perhaps not coincidentally, also those people who cannot believe that their drunken, overfat, vapid, and not that attractive selves aren't pursued rabidly by wealthy, handsome, and adoring men. Even after the bloom is LONG off the rose.

Left by the roadside, by both work and love, these women (and a few men) are Out for Revenge. Angry, angry, angry.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I'm still ahead of them then. At least I'm not vapid.

OBloodyhell said...

Cross-posted to Chicago Boyz.

From the economist piece:

}}} Mr Turchin suggests that though slavery was the proximate cause of the American civil war, a more fundamental one was resentment from up-and-coming Northern capitalists towards stuck-in-their-ways Southerners.

Mrrr, don't let the proggies hear that. They'll have your balls for neck charms for daring to say that the South claiming that it wasn't just about slavery is correct... LOLZ

}}} House prices are so high that only inheritors stand a chance of emulating the living conditions of their parents. The power of a few “superstar” firms means that there are few genuinely prestigious jobs around. Mr Turchin reckons that each year America produces some 25,000 “surplus” lawyers. Over 30% of British graduates are “overeducated” relative to their jobs.

This is just retarded. I just bought my own house. The problem is,
1) Peeps no longer have the skills to build their own. My GF (b. 1905) built his OWN home -- literally from scratch -- in the middle 1950s. This means they cost more and fewer people have the skills to build them, which drives the cost of the labor portion up. There was a time when buying the land, and the goods needed to MAKE the house were the tough part of home ownership. Today it's a matter of hiring the labor to do the job, which starts at $10-20 per hour and goes up from there.

2) Regulations -- for good or bad -- drive up prices significantly. In FL, hurricane codes are making houses much much more expensive than they were decades ago.

3) The actual space and amenities for a house today are vastly greater than they were 50 years ago. 50y ago, the size of the home was almost half, per occupant, than it is now... and dishwashers, garbage disposals, clothes washers, dryers, and so forth are all standard, instead of an added expense. Closet space in the last century has also vastly increased. It's an interesting question how many homeowners today also have a storage unit.
(New US homes today are 1,000 square feet larger than in 1973 and living space per person has nearly doubled -
Carpe Diem -

4) Nobody MOVES. There used to be a large itinerant class -- people who moved where the work was on a regular basis. Go back and look at all those old movies and TV shows where someone lived in a boarding house. Just TRY AND FIND someone even running a boarding house today. No, a B&B does not cater to the same market.


In all, this is just feeding into a lie that the left has been perpetuating as a part of its destructive victimhood promotion process. We're all rich as croesus and so busy whining about what some other guy has, that we're going to destroy the whole system so everyone can be closer to the same level of poverty. As Thatcher said in one of her last appearances as PM, "They'd rather that the poor be poorer, as long as the rich are not so rich."


Yes, the US middle class is shrinking, but it’s because Americans are moving up. And no, Americans are not struggling to afford a home.