Sunday, July 11, 2010

I felt this way, too!

The American dream: Are they letting women and blacks do that too these days?, by Lauren O, The Blog of Champions.

The New York times ran this article yesterday, but they gave it the wrong title. They called it "American Dream Is Elusive for New Generation" when really they should have called it something like "White Man Not Lavished With Rewards Just For Showing Up, Journalistic Establishment Requires Fainting Couch."

The whole article, all four pages of it, focus on one affluent young white man named Scott Nicholson, who is having trouble finding a job, despite the fact that he graduated from Colgate, where he was the "winner of a dean's award in academic excellence." Yes, you read that correctly. He graduated from a decent college and was not automatically given a job! Can you believe it? Despite the fact that he sends out "four or five [resumes] a week, week after week"! He sends out one resume a day, maybe, then takes the weekends off! What more could he possibly do aside from sending out at least twice that many resumes and doing extra work on the weekends, like everyone else in the country looking for a job?

The best part is that he was offered a job at an insurance company, but he turned it down because it only paid $40,000 a year. From this, the article's author, Louis Uchitelle, extrapolates that the American dream is becoming more difficult to achieve for my generation. A college education and $40,000 a year is the American dream! But Scotty didn't want to get stuck in "dead-end work," so he's just been living with his parents (well, technically he's now moved into an apartment with his brother, and his parents pay his half of the rent).

[ . . . ]

At least Scott hasn't yet had to "be a bartender or get work through a temp agency" like the rest of us. "I hope I don’t find myself in that position," he says. Indeed. It would be awful to have actual work experience on your resume. It might make you seem like one of the rabble.

Heaven forbid Scott work as a bartender. Does he know how much a bartender makes? I don't know either. But from my partial viewings of the movie Cocktail and the subsequent success of its star Tom Cruise, I'd say that bartending puts you on the fast track to easy street.


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