The Beginning Of The End
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53 Percent Of All Young College Graduates In America Are Either Unemployed Or Underemployed

If you are in college right now, you will most likely either be unemployed or working a job that only requires a high school degree when you graduate.  The truth is that the U.S. economy is not coming anywhere close to producing enough jobs for the hordes of new college graduates that are entering the workforce every year.  In 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.  Millions upon millions of young college graduates feel like the system has totally failed them.  They worked hard in school all their lives, they went into huge amounts of debt in order to get the college education that they were told they “must have” in order to get a good job, but after graduation they found that there were only a handful of good jobs for the huge waves of college graduates that were entering the “real world”.  All over America, college graduates can be found waiting tables, flipping burgers and working behind the register at retail stores.  Unfortunately, the employment picture in America is not going to get significantly better any time soon.

All over the United States, “middle class jobs” are being replaced by “low income jobs” and young college graduates are being hurt by this transition more than almost anyone else.  Massive numbers of young college graduates are now working jobs that do not even require a high school degree.  Some of the statistics about young college graduates are absolutely astounding.  The following is from a recent CNBC article….

In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000). There were more working in office-related jobs such as receptionist or payroll clerk than in all computer professional jobs (163,000 versus 100,000). More also were employed as cashiers, retail clerks and customer representatives than engineers (125,000 versus 80,000).

Can you imagine working really hard all throughout high school and college and always getting good grades and then ending up as a bartender?

Sadly, many hard working college graduates cannot seem to find a decent job no matter how hard they try.  The following is one example from the CNBC article mentioned above….

“I don’t even know what I’m looking for,” says Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree.

Initially hopeful that his college education would create opportunities, Bledsoe languished for three months before finally taking a job as a barista, a position he has held for the last two years. In the beginning he sent three or four resumes day. But, Bledsoe said, employers questioned his lack of experience or the practical worth of his major. Now he sends a resume once every two weeks or so.

Have you ever been there?

Have you ever sent out resumes week after week, month after month, only to get absolutely nowhere?

Many recent college graduates are being advised by “career counselors” that they should go back and “get more education”.

But is that really the answer?  The truth is that there are lots and lots of unemployed and underemployed Americans with advanced degrees too.  For example, a recent Business Insider article profiled a law school graduate named Erin that is actually on food stamps….

She remains on food stamps so her social life suffers. She can’t afford a car, so she has to rely on the bus to get around Austin, Texas, where she lives. And currently unable to pay back her growing pile of law school debt, Gilmer says she wonders if she will ever be able to pay it back.

“That has been really hard for me,” she says. “I have absolutely no credit anymore. I haven’t been able to pay loans. It’s scary, and it’s a hard thing to think you’re a lawyer but you’re impoverished. People don’t understand that most lawyers actually aren’t making the big money.”

But what “more education” will do is that it will get you into even more debt.  Student loan debt can be one of the cruelest forms of debt, because it cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

As I wrote about a few days ago, total student loan debt in the United States recently surpassed the one trillion dollar mark.  Students keep on racking up student loan debt in the hope that they will find “the American Dream” at the end of the rainbow.

Sadly, many students do everything “right” and still end up in the middle of a nightmare.

But it is not just young college graduates that are suffering in this economy.

As I wrote about a while back, the U.S. economy is not producing enough jobs for anyone at this point.

The mainstream media keeps telling us that unemployment is going down, but the truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that are employed is not increasing.  In March 2010, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  In March 2012, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.

Does that sounds like improvement?

Of course not.

Unlike what we have seen after every other recession in the post-World War II era, the employment to population ratio is not bouncing back, and that is really bad news.

The main reason for this is because of the bad economy, but also it is important to understand that we are transitioning away from an “employment economy”.

Today, most large corporations view employees as very expensive “liabilities”.  The goal for most large corporations is to minimize those “liabilities” as much as possible.  In fact, these days some large corporations lay off huge numbers of workers even while they are making huge profits at the same time.

Once upon a time, Henry Ford made a conscious decision to pay his workers enough money so that they could afford to buy the cars that they were making.

Today, most corporations simply do not care about the living standards of their workers.  They simply want to maximize profits to the fullest extent possible.

Many small businesses would like to hire more workers, but the federal government has made hiring workers so complicated and so expensive that it has become exceedingly difficult to make a profit on a worker.  Most of the time it is simply easier to try to do more with what you already have.

The number of Americans that can work a job (“just over broke”) and still live “the American Dream” is steadily shrinking.  Increasingly, the financial rewards in our economy are being funneled to the very top of organizations and workers are finding that their living standards continue to slowly go down.

At corporations that belong to the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, CEOs earn 380 times what the average worker makes at those companies.  In 1980, CEOs only earned 42 times what the average worker made at those companies.

A fundamental shift is happening in our economy and it is not going to be reversed any time soon.  Workers are not valued at most companies anymore.  No matter how much of yourself you give to your company, when the day comes that you become “disposable”, you will be cast aside as so much rubbish.

That is why I try to encourage people to start their own businesses and to be their own bosses.  There is no job security anymore.  The job that you have today could be gone tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the federal government is actually spending your money to train foreign workers to take our jobs.  The following is from a recent Daily Caller article….

While the president has been urging “insourcing,” the government has been sending money to the Philippines to train foreign workers for jobs in English-speaking call centers.

According to New York Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop and North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, this is unacceptable and “shocking.”

The pair are calling on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to immediately suspend what is known as the Job Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) program.

Can you believe that?

Over and over again, our politicians talk about the need to keep jobs in the United States and then they go out and do things that have the exact opposite effect.

It is truly maddening.

So what are the hordes of American workers that cannot find jobs supposed to do?

Well, one thing we are definitely seeing is a huge rise in the number of Americans that are dependent on the government.

For example, at the end of the Reagan administration the ratio of workers on Social Security disability to active workers was about 2 percent.

Today, it is over 6 percent.

During the first four months of 2012 alone, 539,000 more Americans were added to the Social Security disability rolls and another 725,000 submitted new applications.

Another federal program that is experiencing explosive growth is food stamps.

Last year, one out of every seven Americans was on food stamps, and the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the number of people on food stamps will continue to grow through 2014.

It is so sad to see what is happening to America.  Our economy is being dismantled all around us and the future looks incredibly bleak.

Right now there are millions upon millions of Americans that are sitting at home wallowing in despair.  They don’t understand why nobody will hire them and they are rapidly running out of options.

The following is a comment that a reader left on one of my recent articles about the middle class….

I cannot believe my present situation…

I worked hard in school and college so that I could escape the low income uneducated mess I grew up in.

I made all the correct decisions with my career, finances, etc. I cannot figure out how I got to where I am at now.

In late 2008 I was laid off in the IT field. I was a go-getter, and I didn’t let anyone tell me the economy would make it difficult to find a job. I had another within 4 weeks.

Was laid off from that job last year. I qualified for unemployment, but then my employer decides to bring a bunch of lawyers and fight my eligibility. After I won again, they appealed again. I finally couldn’t afford to keep paying attorney fees. I finally lost the appeal. I had to pay all that money back.

I’m still trying to find a job in my field. Being the go-getting I am, I immediately took a job waiting tables which amounted to a 75% pay-cut.

I had saved 6 months of expenses and that is completely dry. I have completely drained my retirement and savings. Still cannot find a livable wage job after almost a decade in my field.

Things are slowly going into default and it feels utterly hopeless and stressful. My pristine credit rating is gone, my savings and everything I worked for is gone. I haven’t missed a payment on my mortgage, but it is coming. I can’t cut anything more than I already have.

I just can’t figure out how this could have happened to me. I played by the rules and made all the right choices. I skipped vacations and time off to prove I was a good worker and had what it took to be a valuable employee.

I really am just at a loss at this point. I’m single and have no family. This is really make-or-break for me. I have no fallback plan. The feeling of failure is just gut-wrenching.

Please say a prayer for that reader and for all of the other hard working Americans out there that are desperate to find a job.

If you are at the end of your rope, please do not give up.  Even in the darkest moments, there is always a way to turn things around if you will just keep on fighting.

Sadly, way too many people are giving up on life because of the economy.  In Europe, economic conditions have deteriorated so badly that there has been a dramatic increase in suicides.  The following is from a recent article in the New York Times….

The economic downturn that has shaken Europe for the last three years has also swept away the foundations of once-sturdy lives, leading to an alarming spike in suicide rates. Especially in the most fragile nations like Greece, Ireland and Italy, small-business owners and entrepreneurs are increasingly taking their own lives in a phenomenon some European newspapers have started calling “suicide by economic crisis.”

When the next major economic downturn happens in the United States, we will probably see a similar thing happen here too.

But people need to realize that our lives are not about how much stuff we own.

Even if every single thing is taken away from you and you are left with nothing that does not mean that your life is over.

Even if you have not been able to find a job for years, that does not mean that you should give up.

In life, everyone gets knocked down.

But unless you are dead, there is always a way to get things turned around in a more positive direction.

One thing that I have learned in life is that you must never, ever, ever, ever give up.

The years ahead are going to be really hard for the global economy, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be horrible years for you.

The years ahead can be the very best years of your entire life, but that will never happen if you decide to simply give up.

  • TX4Life

    Every college graduate I know that has graduated within the past 3 years has had to move back in with their parents due to not being able to land a job in their field. Most took minimum wage jobs after 6 months and are still in those jobs. Does anyone have advice for a young man who will graduate high school next year?

    • V

      don’t vote for globalists. My sympathies.

      • Paul

        There might be a shortage of American butchers in Chongqing. If you are good, all the expats there will love you.

    • Wake up

      Here is some advice, go to school for an education that will get you a JOB. Creative writing will not put bread on your table. Become a nurse or if college is not for you learn plumbing.

    • nepenthean

      create your own job.

    • Tobrojo

      Get a trade and build something with your hands. I am a master tradesman in hvac and refrigeration but can do plumbing or electrical in a pinch. I may work hard but I am paid very well.

    • Kevin2

      A skilled trade that will be in demand regardless of the loss of manufacturing.

      Some Ideas

      1. Nursing, X ray tech, (college required)
      2. Certified automobile mechanic
      3. Plumber
      4. Electrician

      If willing to relocate to the Natural Gas fields

      1. Pipe welder
      2. Instrument mechanic (pneumatics and electronics)

      • Mary Ann

        I work in radiology in NY. The market is flooded with X-ray techs. They can’t get full-time jobs and have to search all over the country for a job. Employers, even in healthcare, don’t want to pay full-time wages or health insurance, etc. Because of market conditions and greed, they are double and triple booking patients to make a profit and stressing out the techs and sacrificing patient care.

      • CinnamonGirl

        Egads…my senior wants to go to college for Computer networking. A good idea?! Or not?!

    • Nobody Special

      If you’re going to college, get a USEFUL degree (engineering, programming, network administration etc.) rather than one in arts or humanities. That way, you have a marketable skill, not just a piece of paper.

      It’s not an absolute answer, but it can at least improve your chances.

    • Nobody Special

      OH yes – and don’t take out loans to pay for college. It might take longer to pay your way, but you won’t be starting out life in debt.

    • Eric

      Change your focus of study to a deep science and prepare for 8 more years of school at least. Middle jobs are gone. Jobs only exist now at the top and bottom. If you don’t want to wait tables, aim high.

    • Darren

      My advise… join the Air Force. You will get free health care, living expenses paid for, GI Bill, an education, all on top of a monthly income.

      • Paul

        Yeah, they even pay for your body bag when it’s time to go home. But they most likely fire you when you get injured on the job.

        • Darren

          1% of those who died in the Iraq war were in the AF. The chances of coming home in a body bag is extremely low which is why I mentioned Air Force specifically and not just the military in general. But you are right, the military is quick to get rid of you if you become injured and do not heal fast enough.

          • TX4Life

            I believe the AF is about the best deal going right now. It was certainly good to us and we are now enjoying retirement.

    • Uncle Sam

      Yeah. Leave the country.

      That is not a joke. The only way to break the system is to not play the game.

    • Paul

      My advice: find your field.

      And then work hard to achieve your dreams.

      A little sidetrack here and there doesn’t hurt, but stick to your dreams.

    • liberranter

      Does anyone have advice for a young man who will graduate high school next year?

      For starters, forget about going to college right out of high school. It is, with few exceptions, a complete waste of time and money. Better to actually go to work, earn some money, gain practical experience in the real world, and decide what it is that you really want to do with your life. The average high school senior thinks they know what they want to do with their life, but nine times out ten, they don’t really have a clue what the real world is like, or what the work life in their dream career really demands of them. I don’t think I know even a half dozen people I went to high school with all those many years ago who wound up working long-term in their first choice of a career right out of high school.

      I thank God that I didn’t stick around to finish college right after I graduated high school. If I had wasted a full four years of money and time on college then, I would still today be working at a smooge (for SMWJ, or “sh***y minimum wage job”) at the age of fifty and going nowhere fast, albeit the proud owner of a Bachelor of Arts degree in English or German literature. Instead, I dropped out at the end of my freshman year, worked a variety of jobs that were low-paying, but that OFFERED GREAT EXPERIENCE AND EXPOSURE IN MULTIPLE INDUSTRIES before deciding on what I really wanted to do with myself for a livelihood. I ended up focusing on information systems engineering.

      It was then back to school part-time, earning the degree in increments over several years while getting practical experience in my chosen field. An added benefit was that, by having practical work experience in the field of my major, I was able to filter out the academic BS, usually presented by some tenured faculty drone who had never done anything in the real world and who couldn’t spell t-e-c-h-n-o-l-o-g-y, let alone do anything with it. Had I NOT had practical experience and had I swallowed the pseudo-academic BS whole, prospective employers would not have looked at me twice!

      To make a long story short: Having waited to go to college, having worked my way up from the bottom, getting a formal post-secondary education in support of what I was doing rather than in anticipation of it, saved me and made me a success. I’m now enjoying a solid six-figure salary and am about to launch my own specialized consulting firm as a full-time venture (having done it part-time for the last five years). Would I have done it differently if I had it to do over again? In a sense, yes: I would probably not have bothered to get a degree at all. Honestly, there is very little that I learned in a structured college setting that I couldn’t have learned on my own. However, if getting “certified” in order to work for someone else is important to you, than by all means make the leap. Just DON’T do it until you are certain that the cost in money and effort will pay dividends, financially, or, more important, personally.

      High school seniors: Don’t swallow the bait and become a life-long debt serf! Think for yourself, find out what makes YOU happy and successful, and figure out a way for YOU to profit from it. As far as “education” goes, NEVER confuse education with learning. The former stops at a certain point in your life, but the latter NEVER ENDS UNTIL THE DAY YOU TAKE YOUR LAST BREATH. It is also what makes you a success.

      Good luck and God speed!

  • Evie

    But wait ,both the right and left said unemployment was due to lack of education. With all of the over 40 crowd leaving the workforce where are all of the jobs? I did hear a record number of people are quiting_jobs are so terrible and people cannot afford to get to work.

  • Washington

    “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” – President Reagan Aug. 12, 1986

    • V

      yep, he said that. And the derivatives market started during his tenure… first as waivers, then legalized during clinton’s tenure as corruptor-in-chief.

    • Gay Veteran

      tell that to the victims of Katrina

    • HerdChemist89


      “You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie”.

      : )

    • Zedge Hero

      “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.” — Ronald Reagan, 1981

      The 7 most laughable words I have ever heard

  • Focis

    Congratulations, graduates! Guess what, NAFTA wins, you lose. Walmart applications are included with your diploma.

    • Gary3

      (For an additional fee).

      • Rhynn

        Self addressed stamped envelope fee averaged out in equal deductions from first months pay. Glue extra.

  • Washington

    April 20, 2012 Official Ron Paul Campaign blogger Jack Hunter joins Robert with an update on the campaign, the continued media blackout on the huge crowds at the campaign rallies and the future.

  • Game Over

    “Sadly, many students do everything “right” and still end up in the middle of a nightmare.”

    Well, that’s the problem. What used to be “right” is no longer the right thing to do. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of the right thing to do.

    Michael, you report a plethora of statistics in every post. What’s obvious is that every major institution today is an epic and colossal failure. The context for just about every aspect of human existence has shifted and changed. And what is a context? Nothing more than the rules of the right thing to do.

    So, is it right to go into debt for college today? With not too many exceptions, probably not. Is it wise to go into debt to buy a house at this point in history? Probably not. Is it wise to go into debt for *any* reason? With no income security from the permanently changed job market, absolutely not.

    Truth is, the standard of living for the bottom 99% in Amerika is in decline, and will continue to be so.

    What to do?
    1) Live simply (I mean really simply).
    2) Live beneath your means. Do without all of materialism that is fostered by the Ministry of Propaganda (i.e., the media).
    2) Drop out of the formerly “right” thing to do (i.e., get married ((why? it’s expensive), go to college, buy a house, go into debt.
    3) Tune out of all media that is an outlet for the Ministry of Propaganda (used the internet, read blogs like this one, etc.).
    4) Replace any desire to shop with strong and deep relationships.
    5) Think local. All large, complex systems are devolving, Savior State attempts to control things notwithstanding (Katrina, Fukushima, Europe, Arab uprising, BP spill, etc.)

    • Easy Rider

      Nice post, Game Over. I think your second #2 (don’t get married) conflicts with #4 (develop strong and deep relationships), however. :)

      A college degree is an asset. Like any asset the value will fluctuate. Right now, it’s worth very little, if anything, to most graduates. Better to have invested in gold. :)

      • Paul

        Forget the degree, it’s just a piece of paper like a $1 bill.

        Concentrate on knowledge and skills.

        If you know how to fix a leak and do it good (so you don’t have to come back tomorrow), people will fix your lunch.

    • CinnamonGirl

      I wish my 20 y o son in college would read this.

      No school debt (yet) and a fulltime factory job at night paying $10 an hour plus bennies. Yes, fulltime school, fulltime work 4.0 grades and burning the candle at both ends.

      And a marriage on the horizon.

      I hope he doesn’t buy a house right away.

    • K

      Well said Game Over. At least for now, debt must be avoided at all costs. Even if higher education, must be delayed.

  • penny

    Education as a market and the collapse of expectations

    Really good, worth a read

  • James

    The America People have got to get reality check. We are in the middle of what I like to call, “The Reverse Industrial Revolution”. If you recall your American History, you will remember how farmers and small town folks went to the big cities in search of those factory jobs that offered a steady paycheck that allowed them to live the, “American Dream”. This was the Industrial Revolution. Now, with the economy in an unstable mode with no hope of stabilizing unless the jobs come back. The unemployed, middle class, and poor need to find an alternative way to make a living. We need to develop an alternative economy that the Elite and Corporations can’t control. We need to become more local, become farmers and perform services that would benefit the local economy, and agrarian way of life. We need to start the “Reverse Industrial Revolution”. We also need to rebuild our railroad infra-structure, so that the common man will have a way to get around as gasoline prices get so high, that no one is going to be able to use their cars. Hopefully if we could do all of this and more, we can break the back of Corporate America in this country and get our political system under control.

    • DGB

      I’m 62. 20 years ago I would have never said this: we need to reject the status-quo of wage jobs, debt servitude, and neo-fudalism. We need to extricate ourselves from the system that the power elites have put in place. When nobody comes to thier party, this rotting system will finally die.

    • Eric

      I find it entertaining that just when enthusiasm for trains ramps up significantly, there is a train head-on-collision wreck in the US. It seems kindergarten-level intelligence to NOT make two trains run into each other. Conspiracy? Trains are one of the most efficient means of powered transportation. Profiteers can’t have efficiency.

  • Rodster

    I think for the most part College is a complete waste unless your major is based on a hot market. I’m so glad when I went to school I graduated from a Vocational Technical HS in the late 70’s before College was mandatory.

    I learned a valuable skill set working with my hands, thanks to going to a Vocational Tech HS. I worked for major computer mfg, to working with cars. Now I run a small mobile auto repair business in my local area.

    Today I feel more secure being able to earn a small living without the need to go into massive debt with a McDonald’s job or even worse NO job at all.

    I can’t see how we will escape a College debt bubble. At some point students are going to skip on paying back their loans en masse.

    • Easy Rider

      I’m with you Rodster, but I received my training through apprenticeship. Now, closing in on retirement I still don’t know what I would have done with a college degree (although I did go for two years). I have always enjoyed working with my hands, and when I was young there was plenty of opportunity for employment in industry. Unfortunately, those opportunities don’t exist like they did in the 60s and 70s, so we pack off every kid to college whether it’s right for him/her or not.

    • Paul

      What’s the point of starting university on a hot market today, when it will be cold tomorrow?
      The market is like fashion, nothing for life – outdated tomorrow.

      You need to do what you dream of. Then you will really like what you do and see opportunities at every corner, when others only see gloom and doom.
      Be yourself and follow your dreams, make your own rules, make others follow you, do not depend on others, not even the market.

      My dream: becoming an engineer, a scientist, work in foreign countries, travel around, live on a tropical island. Highschool rejected me, because there was limited space and I wasn’t good enough. So I left school at 16 and did an apprenticeship, then went to the army (waste of time but good money), then highschool, then university, then my first job overseas, and at 30 I went to China as a Manager to build up a new branch office and train the local guys.

      South China isn’t tropics, but only a short hop away from Thailand and the Philippines.

      In Manila I once met a guy from the Peace Corps, who taught English in a jungle school in the Philippines.

      Come to think of it, those years during the Asian financial crisis were the best of my life so far, long hours, but good friends and having fun.

  • mark

    A creative writing degree is not where you should invest your time and money today. It is a great hobby and that is it. Unless you are going to start a blog that has a large amount of readers each day or write a book. This country has way to many lawyers. I for one do not feel sorry for unemployed lawyers. If lawyers can’t find work, that is good for the rest of us. The wages for many professions in this country will continue to drop as we try to compete with the rest of the world. If your job can be done for less in another country that’s what will happen until your wage drops closer to the person’s that you compete with. Maybe a skilled blue collar job that can’t be exported might be better than a useless degree that you go into debt for. Choose wisely my young friends, for your future depends on it.

    • Gary3

      We all can’t make a living banging keys on a keyboard. Somebody has to fix the car and nail on the shingles. Too many of us believes the BS about a “high tech, information oriented socity”.

      I made $250 doing electrical work for one recent afternoon(even cut the guy some slack on the price). No cumputer or student debt involved. I have probably invested less in tools for home repair than one semester of college would cost. If I went back to such work full time, My largest investment would be buying a good full sized van for a service truck.

      Note: This is largely a cash business.

    • Kevin2


      We refere it as “educated hands”. From physician to plumber an in demand skill that cannot be exported is what is necessary to make a living today. My son is an electrician and his close friend graduated college with a business degree. He said, “I want to be in an office and tell other people what to do”. A decade ago he was looking down at my son going through his apprenticeship. The business graduate works in the local shopping mall selling shoes. If you never leave your office it’s going to be moved to India before too long.

      A certified automobile mechanic can do pretty well today and has the ability to move as the situation changes.

  • davidmpark

    Yeah, college and university today is pretty much a scam. Left it, not going back, looking back.

  • DaytoDay

    “Like a Ramon Noodle every night budget” All-State

    “I’m going on my lunch”, “Lunch? Those days are over” McDonald’s

    Those are just a few examples of many new commercials, with messages to similar effect.

    So, I think people need to read between the lines, I mean, it’s obvious that a college degree is damn near worthless, unless you go for your Masters or Phd, and with those the competition is fierce.

    It’s a lose, lose, or damned if I do or damned if I don’t type of situation…

    I mean, there is a chance that a college degree may very well pay off and turn out to be a wise investment. Although, if I was a betting man, going up against 50/50 odds, and the kicker is if you bust you owe 25-100k and if you win you still owe that amount, but with a realistic 30-75k income. Honestly, I don’t think I would take those odds, because you have to factor your Net Income; Minus, cost of living, utilities, food etc. PLUS your college loan. So basically, the average college debt per person (25k) would take the average college graduate (Assuming they found a job in their field with a modest salary) 20-40 years to pay their loan off.

    I’m sorry, but if I have to wait tables, I would rather wait tables without having a 50k ball and chain tied to my leg…

    • CinnamonGirl

      “I’m sorry, but if I have to wait tables, I would rather wait tables without having a 50k ball and chain tied to my leg…”


    • John S

      Masters or Phd? Another $40K of debt for a chance to move up to a $500 week assistant manager job at the McDonalds you already work at. The only people advising further education to job seekers are “career counselors” attached to universities.

  • The Squawker

    Good article.

    One wonders how many are going to keep lining up when the pay-offs for the expensive student loans and college educations aren’t there. This began in preceding generation. What is unsaid too, is that when students do not get that “good” job in the first couple years right after graduation gaining the right place on the career trajectory gets that much harder. I would like to tell young people question the “formulas”, because they are not working today. Question the traditional modern American way of life.

  • @Survivecollapse

    Just another example of how college educations are being made irrelevant in the U.S. When education finally does become unaffordable and useless, the average citizenry will spiral down into a uneducated, uninformed, poverty-stricken class that will not even be capable of realizing what has been lost. One can only wonder (and flinch in fear) if the overall purpose of the de-education of America is to enable the government to control the masses more effectively. Yes, it is a conspiracy theory; but how else can one explain the dumbing down of our students? (Sheeple are more controllable and more expendable)

  • Kevin2

    At one time the majority of people going to college had a job in mind upon graduation. Then parents displeased with their own lot often steered their children to do something they like (as opposed to something that just pays the bills). Pre “Free Trade” you might find employment in the more marginal areas with an arts degree or the old standby Political Science. You might go into sales, “Oh he/she has a college education, oh boy”. Post “Free Trade” as everything started shrinking even those with real degrees in engineering were finding jobs but it was getting more difficult. A piece of this is the overall economy and a very big piece is taking up film editing, interior decorating and similar degrees that just soak up money and time.

    The “new economy” is sobering for sure.

  • Adam

    “I don’t even know what I’m looking for,” says Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree.

    Well what do you expect with a creative writing degree? I don’t even know what job you applied for? If you spend 4 years getting a worthless degree, don’t expect a job when you graduate.

    • Gary3

      Wonder how the graduates with a degree in “women’s studies” are making out?

      When making the decision of whether or not to go to college (and ESPECIALLY when deciding whether or not to take out a student loan), a cost/benefit analysis is in order. Sooo many people don’t even CONSIDER working while going to college.

    • Kevin2


      My point exactly. All this gentleman did is postponed growing up by four years reducing his or someones else’s wealth while loosing wages in the meantime.

      The mentality of, “I’m going to do what I like”, as opposed to doing what pays did not work well even in good times.

      Welcome to adulthood Mr. Bledsoe. Oh when your too tired to carry on and overtime is offered drink some coffee and work those added hours.

  • Another Richard

    Very sad and revealing article indeed on the job prospects for so very many in this Nation which was once so productive in manufacturing, mining, engineering, construction, professional fields and job creation of all sorts. All of which provided a bright future those who wanted to roll up their sleeves and go for the dream within their heart.This is now the new America where Government is crushing free enterprise and big corporate elites are greedily enriched at the expense and impoverishment of their workers. Sadder still are the prospects for the immediate economic future of this Nation – which are even bleaker moving forward from all indications. So, what is the solution? As the writer states, this life is not about accumulating stuff. At some point we all die and leave this stuff to others wheather alot or a little. So, look unto Jesus the giver of life eternal unto all who believe upon Him and Nothing can separate you from Him and the life He gives, no matter what. Now, that is hope, for this life here and afterwards forever. Trust Him today for time and eternity and you will be so Glad that you did.

  • Bill

    No wonder so many young people support Ron Paul. If you want to know why just listen to his speech at Cornell last Thursday night. Google works. THERE IS NO OTHER CANDIDATE RECEIVING THE ENTHUSIASTIC RESPONSE THAT THIS MAN RECEIVES FROM SO MANY OF TODAY’S YOUTH. 2+2 still = 4. Think about it.

  • Louise in MO

    This particular article seemed stronger than others regarding the job siutatio here in America. Perhaps it was the personal stories that were included.

    Another thing that hit me was the total lack of concern that large corporations have for their employees. This is, however, not entirely new.

    During my 40 years in the workforce, there were three companies that I worked for that “downsized” just to make more profits. In each of these cases they laid off long time employees two or three weeks BEFORE Christmas.

    These three very large corporations were highly profitable, but wanted even higher profits. This occurred 15, 20, and 25 years ago.

    I cannot help but believe that the current bad job market has been coming for a long time. There is no job security these days. It might get even worse.

    • Mary Ann

      I agree. And the jobs you are offered- many times you have to risk something. My college educated son (graduated in 2010) was just offered a low paying job transporting developmentally delayed adults – but has to use his own car and pay for the extra insurance it might entail! We are probably going to advise him not to risk it- but, meanwhile, he lives on his own (he just quit a part-time job he had for 5 years in a drug store that would not give him a shot at a asst mgr position). He also was offered a job where you have to go into crime-ridden neighborhoods to repo rented items for non-payment- at $10 per hour! We don’t (and he doesn’t either) like that one! This is the way of America and our capitalist system. (PS I am not against capitalism, but it does have some major faults!)We certainly didn’t send him to college for this!

  • Robert

    Of my three post college children, one is working in fast food, one had a job but is now back home looking for another and one moved to Australia and is doing very well. We are blessed that there are no student loans.

    • Rodster

      That’s something that many fail to consider. In today’s job market you should be willing to move where the jobs are even if it means leaving the country.

  • http://Theeconomiccollapse Gregge Johnson

    Is it true ,that 68% of all student loans are defaulting. Were do you go when the BUBBLE bursts????

  • Proftel


    I make more here in Brazil repairing computers in my area (professor of geography graduate – has taught at University Federal and State).

    If the person does not have a hip gets screwed.


  • DOD

    Education was corrupted by the Rockefellers ages ago to make docile debt-sheeple slaves. We are just starting to see the true effects more clearly now.

    Can’t slave em with a house mortgage? Just tell them continuously from age 6 to go to college in order to receive a fine wife and job, no matter what.

  • Washington

    If I wanted America to FAIL…….  BUT  If you don’t,  WATCH

  • V

    The common denominator between the political parties has been BOTH have been big supporters of globalization/free trade and deregulation. My sympathies go to young people trying to make their way in this corrupted nation. I work with older people (being not-so-young myself) and young people and by far I find the young more in tune with the realities in this country. The older workers still think things are going to ‘turn the corner’ because they have been thru downturns before and the US came out of it… they think it is going to happen again.
    I think the currency will collapse and a new currency will have to be issued based on something other than the ‘full no-faith and no-credit’ of the US government. I urge young people to not hate older workers and/or retirees because they are the most likely to be completely destroyed by a currency collapse and, if they aren’t already suffering (many millions are) the ones that haven’t due to job stability will be when their pensions and retirement savings are trashed. I believe many of them will commit suicide when this occurs.
    The system was corrupted by big money infiltrating politics pervasively but in slow increments. Prepare for a currency collapse however you can and try to help people you care about to you to do the same. Perhaps we can sweep out the trash in politics when this event occurs. Ron Paul is the only one that makes sense to me regarding the issue of money and war but I am leery of his libertarian bent. I think we have a libertarian utopia right now with the big companies while small companies are strangled by regulation. His son sounds like he’s out to lunch.

  • bringonthecollapse

    I am curious. I would like to see the breakdown of unemployment by degree/field. One friend has a daughter that has a college degree and can’t find a job. Another person has a son with a degree and has had multiple offers. Hmmm difference. One has a BA in recreational therapy. One has a BS in mechanical engineering. You tell me which one can’t find a job.

  • David H

    Unfortunatley, education has become a for profit institution. I am a manager and hire occasionally. What I see is kids coming out of college not realizing they have to actually work hard and start at the bottom to move up.

    Of course, some would argue that in a democracy and free market system this is the best possible system and direction for this country and education is our saviour.

    I disagree. Sadly, I do not have an answer on how to make things better but can say this is one subject that re-inforces my belief in God. We as a people will all ways fall short without God. As for the times ahead. Be prepared, live simply, work hard, stay out of debt, remain faithful to God, help others less fortunate, and enjoy the life you have been given.

  • Bernie

    I am laughing about this. I earned my college degree in my mid thirties while in the military. I also expected more earning power in my future. It never happened. All of the “jobs” I had did not even require a high school education in regards to skill level. Only one paid a living wage…but that job is gone. I finally found the key…my own business…screw jobs!!

  • nowwthen

    Even what used to be considered prestigious jobs are not what they used to be. Airline pilots used to be considered upper middle class. Sully Sullenberger the skilled pilot who safely landed his Airbus A320 on the Hudson river said he needed to work a second job to pay the bills.

  • Pat

    I do not know what this means but in Europe college is not an option for most people. Half the working age population are in training or retraining. The other half have to work to pay for them to learn how to be street performers, hip hop dancers, clowns, dish washers, cooks and street cleaners. Kids are told in Spain that they have 3 job options, 1. working with nature which means trash collection, fishing or grape picking; 2. working with technology which means driving truck, mining, working with machines; 3. working with people which means waiter, tourism, desk jobs.


  • Chicago Nick

    “Can you imagine working really hard all throughout high school and college and always getting good grades and then ending up as a bartender?”

    I went to college, UVA, 100 thou in debt graduating in 87 and then 6 months later I had a brain tumor, had that taken out, held me up for a year, then got in the work force, and spent 15 years in printing and then out of nowhere in 98 I became crippled from Multiple Sclerosis overnight.

    I can’t walk anymore but still work. Shiiite happens in life, there are no guarantees, and if they care about jobs, then they elected the wrong man president.

    Want jobs,then elect the Investment Banker Romney who knows how to create wealth and jobs. Vote Obama, then don’t complain and no one paid my bills when I got sick, so deal with em like your parents and my parents and grandparents and what not did. Boo hoo. :(

    • Pat

      HI MS Nick, I disagree with you that Romney an investment banker would create jobs. It will not matter who is elected, the powers that be want you ill with “mysterious diseases”, jobless and hungry. Romney is no difference from Obama. Just look at the banks who backed Obama. Now we know why. Can you say QE1, 2, 3, 4? What about Paul?

  • ken nohe

    What about unemployable?
    In our company we are firing in the US and hiring in China.
    Abstractly, I think it is wrong. Practically, I support it 100%.
    The Chinese are better educated, work harder, ask for less (for now)… Eventually, they will come for my job too so I need to run faster. Still a few more years to go but I don’t think there will be many well paying jobs left for young American or European graduates left in a few years.
    This is a deep trend. It is difficult to see how this could be reversed.

  • chiller

    Driven by the stock market and its criminals:

    “Today, most corporations simply do not care about the living standards of their workers. They simply want to maximize profits to the fullest extent possible.”

  • FrankyFreedom

    “Many recent college graduates are being advised by “career counselors” that they should go back and “get more education”.”

    Yeah, so that they can fall into EVEN MORE debt and then get further used up by the graduate school system which exploits graduate students in their slave labor system (which serves the purpose of increasing the bottom line by using contingent workers (graduate students and adjuncts instead of tenured faculty) and the kicked to the curb with little leverage to land a decent job EITHER in academia or the private sector?!?!


  • Rodster

    Michael makes an excellent point that for the most part goes unnoticed. In today’s job market starting a small business should be the top priority. It’s not as hard as you think and depending on your choice it doesn’t have to require a major investment.

    I started a small mobile auto repair business for under $1K.

    Michael, you should write an article on that ! :)

    • Michael

      You are right. There are many, many small businesses that can be started for a small amount of money.

      In this economy if you can have a business to call your own I think that is a very good thing.


      • mondobeyondo

        For many people – it depends.

        What business option do you want to pursue?
        Will you have enough capital/startup cash to cover the losses?
        How much can you afford to lose?
        How many people will buy the stuff you’re offering them?

        There are a lot of things to consider.
        My advice: Find an undiscovered niche.

        Computers/IT: Been there, done that.
        Website links, apps and so forth? Yawn. See above.
        But – what about an app for an Ipad?
        Or something else, that someone else hasn’t come up with? (A plug-in for Grand Theft Auto Singapore or something…?!)

        That’s where the gold mine is at these days.
        Think outside the cubicle.

    • CinnamonGirl

      “Michael, you should write an article on that !”

      I second that!

      What i found is you can’t start and succeed in a home based business if you have a mortgage or other debt.

      • Rodster

        I started a business with only 2 months worth of rent and that was it. Did you know that some print advertisers offer free advertising? :)

      • Benjik

        Very good point regarding starting a home/small business with outstanding debt. As a small business entrepreneur your “paydays” usually are not regular, whereas the bills are due on an extremely regular basis.

        The most important rule in home/small businesses is to diversify. My biggest safety net has been diversity in how I earn a living. (I’m currently a carpenter, logger and a freight broker.)

        People often comment on how great it must be to be self-employed, but like I always tell them, “It’s chicken one week and feathers the next!”



  • William

    While voting is certainly suspect in America after massive voting fraud returned the Chimp to the WH in 2004, voting is still the only avenue for change, excluding insurrection. Young people between 18 and 35 will form about a quarter of the voting public in the Nov 2012 elections. This is a HUGE amount. The worthless Congresscritters who have brought America to this point must be defeated. Maybe young people should put down the smart phone, stop the text messages, and register to vote, and then VOTE!

  • Dave

    Sorry to be blunt……but this what a failing Empire looks like under capitalism. We have reached the “cancer stage”……..eating our own so to speak. It was inevitable the the “Hustler Nation” called Amerika…….complete with John Wayne and Ronald Reagan mythology.

    Down the tubes….over and out.

  • Mr. G

    A lot of this is loser talk. I know people with degrees in Communications who are millionaires. Hey, Clinton said everybody needed to go to college – and so, they did. Idiots are idiots. Smart people are still doing fine with college, since they were meant to be there. You can’t tell if someone is smart by the degree field – people get through so long as they show up.

    And if you have a good degree and you are in poverty then that’s what I call “your fault.” I can only dream of a law degree and you can bet if I had one I’d be bringing in the bucks even if it meant chasing ambulances!

  • karen

    88 million people are unemployed, that is one out of three, you could say the size of three major cities. People in Chicago are being warned of civil war looming, I live in Northern Fl and I could tell you some things that would make your hair stand up on your head, I know someone whom deals with many different people in their job, and some people open-up and tell this person certain things like the prison camps waiting for civil unrest. Police officer moving his family to Col to the moutains because he knows what is about to happen, police having their own survival camp in another state, getting ready for what is to come. It’s just around the corner, and it will take most by surprize, fast and furious, you will have no chance to prepare if you don’t do it now.

    • Benjik

      Excellent point. Our neighbor/friend is a retired county sheriff, (one of the good ones!), and has told us countless tales of publicly unknown evacuation drills, drills for civil unrest, extremely well-stocked local emergency centers, public surveillance systems, etc. He states the majority of this has been implemented in just the last few years. And this is in a very sparsely populated low-crime rural area, I can only imagine what’s going on behind the scenes in major cities.

  • Eric

    Well, what does it take to create jobs?

    You don’t get to be fruit pickers without planting trees.

    I hate to be blunt, but the current liberal-progressive education is worthless. All take and no give.

    The end result of years of public education:

    You better figure out real quick how you support private employers BEFORE you even send out your first resume. Ask employers what they need. Did you support a business lately, or do you want to redistribute “wealth”?

    manure spreader:

    There are a lot of things wrong with America, lack of people who can think tops the list.

  • Jodi

    This article is the reason why I don’t want to go back to school. I want no reason to add extra debt in my life and there is no guarantee I will find a job faster. I have plenty of experience in my field and hopefully something to come up soon.

    There is no reason why somebody should take their life or I’ve even heard of people thinking about leaving our country. I believe we have a responsibility in our country to stand up for the Constitution and our freedom. We will be great again, but we must be here to defend it.

    • Jodi

      I would also like to add, my neighbor has been raising her nephew for a few years and before he left for college he was looking for a summer job. Last year he wanted to work at the Wendy’s up the street and he couldn’t get a job there. The only good explanation she had was that he wasn’t Mexican. Every single employee in that Wendy’s is Latino. More proof why our children can’t get a job.

  • Syrin

    Everyone here who is surprised, please, raise their hands. Thanks for the showing GARY!

    This is what happens when ypu have an administration that wages the War on Prosperity.

    Hey GARY, did you see GM is moving their Cadillac business to China? Care to explain why the fascist GM entity won’t even do business in America GARY ?!?!?! How about this GARY ?

    Our list of regulations is 186,000 PAGES long, and our tax code is another 100,0000 PAGES long. Until we trim those down SUBSTANTIALLY, this will continue. You’d be INSANE to open a business in America now. Steve JObs said as much a year before he died, he even told Obamugabe, the Clown Prince himself.

  • Ivan

    I manage at a call center, and we get tons of educated, young people “just taking this job until something better comes along”
    when most of them leave, its for another call center for 25 cents more per hour, not for whatever field they went to college for.

    It seems for years the answer was “go back to school” but the question I ask these kids is “what happens afterwards, when you are 30K in debt?”

  • esprague

    New graduate RNs cannot get jobs. There is no nursing shortage anymore. So do not think becoming a nurse will save you.

  • Mal R.

    Everyone needs to keep in mind that “Black Woman Studies” isn’t education and liberal arts degrees are the norm for all these unemployed people. Those degrees are nothing more than fist pumper (community organizer/activist) primers.

    Go peruse those ‘I am the 99%’ websites, where they post pics of themselves holding up the paper of their grievances. There’s a theme running through them. Liberal arts indocrination degrees and massive debt.

    Hard science degrees in this country are as rare as hen’s teeth. I’m in a hard science field unsurprisingly have absolutely NO trouble finding a job.

  • MichaelR

    I sent this article to my son who is a recent business graduate. He has a job that pays $16/hr but he is frustated because he says he needs more. The company likes him and sounds like his chances of promotion are good. I tell him to be thankfull, work hard (he does) and live within your means (he doesn’t do so good on that account). Thankfully he doesn’t have any student loans to pay back because he “served” 16 months in Iraq with the National Guard, in a war he didn’t agree with.

  • bcs2k

    There are jobs out there. Unfortunately most kids turned a blind eye to STEM and chose to pay to educated themselves in flowery subjects with little to no real job growth prospect. Many kids major in subjects that previous generations would minor in. End result: “Would you like fries with that burger”. If enough of youngsters studied STEM, perhaps they can help develop new technologies that can, in turn, produce more jobs. If you are graduating from high school, here’s some good advice. Study a field that is in demand and has the ability to pay a decent salary. Leave liberal arts and humanities to the rich kids and get real about life. Major in some field that is difficult and has high demand. If you can’t contain your urge for flowery majors, please choose it as a minor….NOT a major.

  • Alasha

    And it creates a delusional effect on them too. Poor babies. Very sad – my heart just breaks because as a youth – one is very optimistic…when someone seriously tries to make sense of the craziness we call a life, here. its crazeee!!!
    (Matthew 6:10) Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.

  • Snoopy_The_Economist

    There are jobs in engineering and science – my son just graduated with BS in Computer eng and 3 major companies made him offers before he even graduated. Liberal arts degrees are useless and I agree there are way too many lawyers already.

    The future job market will continue to become more difficult but engineering degrees are probably the best bet if you can get through the math.

    • Mary Ann

      True. But not everyone is an engineer or can become one. Some people do not have the aptitude- we are all born different – some are creative, both in mind and craft. Everyone is put on earth for different reasons and with different abilities. It’s just that the world does not want to pay for them! Even Steve Jobs did not go to college. He was a creative, intuitive and was lucky enough to hook up with his buddy, who created actually the MAC; Jobs marketed it and came up with the ideas, but he wasn’t the engineer who constructed it and the other Apple products. He was also lucky enough to be born in Palo Alto, Calif. and from what I read, he got a lot of passes in life. That said, he certainly had a lot of ambition, which our young people should learn from.

  • US Marines For America

    What this article REALLY confirms is:

    The International Banksters are fully succeeding in destroying this country,.. and we are fully failing to stop them.

    JD – US Marines – Defender of America, Americans and the US Constitution

  • Economics Teacher

    I’m surprised it’s that low. The only jobs paying big money are “con jobs”. Wall Street conmen or Congressional conmen. Everyone in DC (except Ron Paul) is a convict, shyster, & traitor to our Constitution.

  • jsmith

    Well Michael, it looks like time finally caught up with the rest of the United States. Finally unemployed and devastated Detroit is putting the rest of America on the unemployment lines. Yeah, go to any unemployment agency and you’ll see the parking lot full of Japanese, Korean, German cars. Unemployed? Hungry? Eat your foreign car!

    • Bernie

      I find your post very amusing. Where did you drop out of high school? Michigan, Ohio, or Indiana? Did you ever think as to why people are buying foreign cars? Could it be that the “big 3″ car makers were not making products that were considered desirable to the American public? I’ll drive my Nissan built in Tennessee, you can drive your Ford built in Mexico.

      • Benjik

        Sadly, you are absolutely correct. Most people would be surprised on how many of their “American” vehicles are actually manufactured south of the border, while Nissan, Toyota and BMW among other “foreign” cars are built right here in the lower 48, by U.S. workers.

  • WASP

    And the number is increasing. One of the reasons why is foreign workers take more than half of all new job growth currently in the U.S. and the government assists with that through it’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification.

  • Matt R in MN

    I want to thank Michael for all the good posts. I especially like how you ended this article, with an encouraging word for those struggling. I’m blessed to have a job right now, but feel for all those struggling to find work. Sagacious advice!

    • Michael

      I have been told that I need to be more encouraging :)


  • Washington
  • tappedops

    You say you want a job…how bad— heres the rule of thumb: Go after a job no-one else wants like its the last job on earth, and stick with it…
    I sent out well over 400 electronic resumes to land the job of my nightmares…and its been 4 years of living hell. The good news is with 3 raises im almost making what i did on unimployment…

  • Fred Dupont

    An inspirational video clip…Congressman Ron Paul running on an independent platform for the Presidency of the United States:

    On 05/25/2012, Ron Paul Supporters across America should gather together to discuss the idea of Dr. Paul running on an independent platform and brainstorm a clever strategy on how to launch a parallel campaign in the event he is denied the opportunity of becoming the Republican presidential candidate. The end goal is witnessing Congressman Ron Paul announcing his presidential bid as an independent the same day America celebrates Constitution day: September 17th, 2012.

  • Evie

    I believe there is no money as it has been overprinted and most is overseas. Politicans, ceos, etc. do not seem to have a problem getting the billions their top talent generates. No pay or benefit cuts for them wow what goods or services are they providing? We live in a den of thieves. Talk about entitlement reform_these people forced everyone on to welfare. Sorry misinformed taking all the ss and foodstamps in the world will not pay down the debt. The elite want more and more.

  • Antonio Gonzalez

    Why Is It Necessary For The Federal Government To Turn The United States Into A Prison Camp?


    53 Percent Of All Young College Graduates In America Are Either Unemployed Or Underemployed

  • Judy Cox

    A creative writing degree and no job. AWWWWW. Creative writing talent (with or without a degree) can bring in quite a comfortable income as a self-employed freelance writer. Life is about CHOICES. The major you choose may well determine the value of your degree in finding employment. My daughter (the RN) and my son (the IT guy) both graduated at the top of their class and had no problem finding jobs.

    As for people unable to pay student loan debt due to minimum wage employment, you can apply for income contingent repayment. Yes, the interest adds up, but at least your credit rating won’t suffer from past due payments.

    No, it isn’t as easy as it used to be. Yes, “the system: has let “the people” down. But it’s STILL possible to earn a living–even my grandson, the high-school dropout, has a decent job in construction. (He has an excellent work ethic, which I believe is key to his success).

    We don’t have to like what’s happening with the economy. But we don’t have to wallow in it, either. Self-employment and cottage industry are always an option. Think “marketable skills” not “degree”. Try to choose wisely. And if that doesn’t work, choose to try again.

    • Beth

      I wish there was a “like” button to hit for some of these posts!:)

  • puzzled

    Sending out resumes. Online applications. You have to get off your ass, put on decent clothes, do your hair and present YOU. I blame technology. T.V., computers, cell phones. We are NOT advanced due to these mind numbing gadgets. Before them, people WENT to get a job. Hence we now have tons of older folks in the best positions. I blame education. A joke in itself. You are NOT entitled to anything because you are American, but the schools say “get good grades and go to college”, buy a home, a car. Get into the wage/slave trap ASAP. I blame the ‘parents’. Give the kids everything, and make them think they too can “have it all”. Make sure they have no clue about the real world or how it really works. I blame sports. Get them interested early so the coaches can make millions and the sports bars flourish. Get the Big Picture? Follow the masses without one critical/independent thought……

    • mondobeyondo

      Oh how well I know that routine.

  • puzzled

    P.S.: What a great friggin article.

  • Jimbo

    Q: Does anyone have advice for a young man who will graduate high school next year?

    A: Yes, keep a good relationship going with your parents, looks like you may be there for a while.

    • 007

      Rent a gun and buy a bullet

    • Pauly

      Become an electrician, or chose some trade.

      • Rhynn

        Listen to this guy. Hard.

        My dad drilled this into me form the late 70’s onward. You have to have some ironclad way of turning a profit even when the best laid plans and preparations fail. He used to say learn how to shovel the sh–, because when push comes to shove nobody ever learns that job but it will always be a job that needs doing.

        I started on computers when I was 6 years old. Bought my TRS-80 with bonds given by family. Taught myself how to program it, tear it apart and rebuild it. By the time I was out of Jr. High School I had more hands on experience with computers than the average college graduate entering the workforce. Combine that with a tech rate in the Navy at 17, and I was actually sitting around with the experience everyone demands waiting until I was old enough to legally hire.

        I was disinterested in all of the undergraduate and non-major crap I’d have been wasting my time and money with just to get to computers, and the only concrete loss people could point to for not going through it was somehow appearing to be a person who was not a conversationalist and who didn’t appear to be a completion oriented person. Both assumptions were bogus.

        24 years later, I have no shortage of conversational ability due to voracious reading and research habits, plus English and writing historically coming naturally for me, and have spent a grand total of 1 year not employed by a company for IT. I freelanced that year, and had a very hard time letting go of those clients when I decided to go back to the predictability of a full time job. I’ve lost count of the number of college grads I’ve fired or demoted because they brought nothing but theory and by rote book smarts to a hands on position.

        I still don’t have a college degree. Nobody who has seen my resume has ever cared. And I have yet to starve. Do it yourself. Get the experience in something hands on and let your results do your talking. Save the degree for when you run out of Charmin.

    • Ajax Obono

      good advice? – Get an associates degree in a high demand field while working part time. It only takes 2 years and assciates degrees are cheap,

  • erheault

    Years ago when I got out of high school I went to a machine repair shop and took a low job of cleaning castings. and started learning machinist trade which has made me a great income all of my life and a good retirement. My sujestion forget colege unless you have the ability to master Math or Engineering or computer science maybe the medical degree, Learn a trade that can help feed and house yourself first, then later if so inclined take college courses in the field you like,

    • Moonflower

      Completely agree…and I work in higher education! Thank god I am getting ready to retire…I work with engineering students and a lot of them will get jobs, but then when I see contract students who can’t make the grades but still want to be in school and are racking up huge debt, my stomach turns. I probably could lose my job if the administration knew I told these kids NOT to borrow money, to go to a Junior College for their pre-requisite courses, and to consider trade school.

  • ab

    Robert – You mention that one of your kids moved to Australia and is doing very well. What sort of work are they doing in Australia ? What does he tell you about living in Australia? Good? Bad?

    • Peter E

      As an Australian let me say that things for employemnt are not great.

      For the people in permanent positions, you have a lot of benefits if you are let go. In the public service some of the people get 2 weeks pay for each year of service, 4 weeks notice + extras . They wont sack them becuause it woul;d cost too much. As a new employee, you will get one weeks notice. That is all. Age and race descrimination are at epidemic levels. My ex boss refused to hire anyone over 50, black , pregnant, etc regularly abused older staff and would use lawyers to intimidate and destroy anyone (including staff). The laboutr laws are a joke. I can say (having run an analytical lab) that phony test results are issued REGULARLY. I ended up leaving when I refused to work “as directed” by my boss. He screamed at me “Where in my contract was it written that the demands had to be legal!”

      I know of one instance where a scientist was headhunted (from europe) and while her household goods were being shipped out, they closed the department she was going to head and simply cancelled the contract.

      If you decide to come out here – be prepared for death threats, be expected to work unpaid overtime. Just about everything is expected to be done on your own time. If you plan a trip back home, expect your boss to demand it be cancelled at the last minute for some flimsy demand. I have seen it all….

  • Nostradamus

    The poor job picture is the symptom. One of many.

    The root cause is the culture of extreme for-profit and extreme hypocrisy.

    The extreme for-profit American culture is by now world renowned. It reached the zenith when financial services rose to dominate the economy during the past 2 decades, with Wall Street fascists in charge of the entire private sector. They demanded maximum quarterly financial return on investment – no exception – and they have the power to punish severely by using their vast power to control stock prices and investment financing. Business CEOs comply to Wall Street wish by milking every last dollar out of the business every month, every hour. The human resource department became human liability or outsource department. To do their blood work without remorse, CEO demanded and got obscene compensation. CEOs like ‘Chainsaw’ Al Dunlap can be found only in such American culture of extreme.

    Extreme money-dogma became pervasive and corrupted the minds of millions. So great is the brainwashing as that even the most timid proposal to mellow the dogma the tiniest bit was accused by the money-man as socialist, even communist and evil.

    The second extreme is that of hypocrisy. This is a phenomenon where people hates government like it’s some kind of evil empire, yet demand endless benefits from it without putting in more tax. It is a group-mind that goes beyond stupid. It is in fact a cultural definition of insanity.

    Every time people are asked to pay into the government, there is a knee-jerk repulsive, negative attitude. But every time time they got themselves into trouble, like being laid off, unemployed, got injured, ate badly produced food, etc, they jump ever so fast to demand entitled payment, or to blame the government for their mess. The healthy individualist American culture has transformed into extreme selfish me-only society bordering on mass-insanity.

    The result of this cultural hypocrisy is the emergence of extreme ideological and political polarization we now see. In turn, it locked everything into an insolvable convoluted blackhole.

    The result, also, is today’s America economy – young people left out in the cold and future generations would wish they’d never been born.

    The solution is simple, but of course impossibly hard. People must decide – do you want to maintain the 2 cultures I described going forward, or do you what to abandon them?

    • 007

      Wrong, it is not basic free market capitalism that has hurt the economy. It is the creeping socialist taxes and regulation strangling the economy. Free market capitalism has created more prosperity and raised more people out of poverty than any economic system in history.

      Make no mistake, crushing taxes, over regulation, unfair trade, anti business laws and the welfare state are killing the economy. Gee at least the people on the Titanic knew what was causing the ship to sink.

      Your post is just wrong.

      • Nostradamus

        The kind of so-called free market capitalism America practiced since 1985 is called trickle-down capitalism. Where the idea is: we tune the entire system of governance, finance, trade, consumption, production and education so that the rich and successful is permanently and unquestionably enriched, magic will trickle down to the rest of the population and the wealth of everybody else will rise.

        This unique brand of capitalism was developed by America in the early 80’s, and was applied without restraint for more than 25 years and only in America. No other country copied or adopted even in the mildest form of the trickle-down ideology. Maybe it’s something rotten they smelled from day one.

        Trickle-down is free-market capitalism in America, but not in anywhere else. Not in any other G8 country, or G20 for that matter.

        How’s this trickled-down capitalism working out for you? If you like it, shall we apply the ultimate example of this trickle-down ‘success’ – namely the ‘privatize profit and socialize loss’ for the masters-of-the-universe in you-know-where – to every business and everybody in the country? Perhaps the unfettered expansion of this most amazing and extreme form of ‘capitalism’ might even wipe out the two-dozen trillion dollar of debt? And deliver the magic of full employment?

        But perhaps it’s time to unwash unfettered nonsense from the brain?

        • Gary2

          good reply to a dumb post by 007. I am sure your logic will elude him/her.

          Only a extremly dumb person wouyld ever even think trickle down would work.. It never has before.

  • AffinityNetNews

    This is the result of the American Sheep not wanting to get involved over the many decades and allowing criminal ruling elitists to infiltrate every level of banking, finance, media, military, state and federal government.

    I held a seminar this weekend in Colorado on the criminality of false foreclosures to people who were being foreclosed on and were losing their homes trying to get them to unite and support each other thru the stressful and unjust process and create a social movement…

    You would think that these people would have been eager to unite and be supportive of each and combine efforts and knowledge…

    It was a complete waste of time, money and effort on my part. Not one person offered to help or get something going.

    This is hardly the first time I’ve given high-quality seminars (free) with tons of important and vital vetted knowledge. I put many hours into preparing these presentations and they are very professional.

    This is the attitude each time I give a seminar: people care just enough to show-up but, not enough to actually do anything except pat me on the back and wish me well.

    Then, they go back home and sit on their fat worthless butts in front of the TV, and complain “why doesn’t someone do something !!!?”

    Nothing will change until we unite … wishful thinking from what I’ve seen at least here in Colorado.

    • Ian

      probably because things arent too bad in colorado. Economy seems fine here.

    • BeenThere

      Interesting comment. Americans have always put emphasis on individualism and up to a point this has made America great. But taken beyond a certain point, individulism becomes destructive.

    • 007

      A social movement. Now that sounds very stilish.

    • Klean

      Unite? What does that even mean and what are people going to actually do? The power forces in the world know exactly what they are doing, otherwise something else would be happening. Unite is just another empty gesture like this world has grown so fond of using.

    • FLeflore

      To AffinityNetNews — I agree with you that “nothing will change until we unite.”
      Would you mind touching base with me through email:

      • Carl

        People need to unite and protest for change but as already happened with the 99% movement, the cities/government will not tolerate it very long. You think it was bloody in Egypt, Lybia or Syria? It will be very deadly here to ******************!

  • http://TheEconomicCollapse Dave in OK

    What has bugged me for years is that there seems to be no connection between any survey of available jobs out there and institutions of higher education adjusting their department course availability and graduation numbers to fit the reality of the working world. Everything is politically and academically motivated on the college scene, so it is a buyer beware situation. Is a college education the answer?

  • Eric

    Creative degrees are not in high demand right now. There is a literal flood of people trying to enter the creative workforce often for little pay and varying levels of education. Only the luckiest and most talented make it. The point here is that people need to stop looking at glam jobs and money and start looking at jobs to help humanity.

    Getting out of college and expecting to make lots of money has never been the case. Chasing a career because of its profit potential has never been a good idea.

  • oleguy

    While the politicians tell you the only way to be financially secure in your future is with a college education, you better start investigating your options. Politicans want you on the debt train almost one trillion dollars right now are student loans. As parents and young adults you must get a degree in a field that is hiring. Even then your degree will not mean much.

    I know alot of trades people that make more then college grads. LOL my plumber makes alot more and lives next door and tells me your shit is his bread and butter.

    Our government and MSM will continue to sell the people down the river. College is indeed expensive and over rated if you get the wrong degree. Recently my neice started college and was majoring in of all things Spanish. Her parents got upset with me telling her she would be starving with that degree. One year later she is now majoring in Farsi (spelling not sure).

    Expectations are now hitting the fan as more and more useless degrees are out there. But the bottom line to me is there are just not alot of jobs out there and older people are working longer because of this recession. Plus people thought they could just keep on spending and spending without thinking.

    • http://theeconomiccollapse theresa

      I like the Spanish Degree. I have four worthless college degrees and I think I would be better off learning Spanish. Then I can compete with the non-English speakers for a job.

  • Chris

    ‘They went into huge amounts of debt’

    And in so doing they played their part in a credit expansion that created an artificial level of economic activity. I doubt the politicians care whether they get good jobs at the end of their studies.

  • Darren

    I have to say I am thankful I didn’t go to college when I graduated High School. My family pressured me to go for a long time and I refused. I have a decent paying job earning 25-30k year with good benefits, absolutely NO debt, my truck is payed off and I always have some extra money saved up to go on a road trip every year and this is without a college education.

  • A.S.

    College Students of the world: If we ALL stop paying our student loans, we will crumble this college scam. If we ALL declare bankruptcy even though such loans can’t be relieved, then this will force the IRS to be nullified. What are they going to do: send the cops on ALL OF US? If yes, then we will be have been right in saying that the DHS bought those 450 million bullets to be used against us!

    • Rancher

      To bad A.S. is NOT a man of his word. You asked for a loan. You gave your word and also signed a legal document. You owe the coin now chump. Or are you suffering from entitlement mental illness disorder? I think so.

      • Moonflower

        Rancher, these are 18 year old kids that are being ENCOURAGED to sign on these loans and TOLD that they will be able to pay them off. I know. I work at a University. I hear the crap that Arts and Sciences majors are told about how they just have to use career services to get a good job. These are the same universities that had credit card companies on campus encouraging 18 year olds to sign up! That have corporations and big businesses buying up entire Colleges on campus. So much for academic freedom, which used to be worth something. Now you can’t teach anything that is out of line with the fat cat that bought your College of Business, and who has their name on one of the big buildings on campus. And yes, the institution profits from this arrangement. I get to keep my job and I feel sick about being part of this system. Thank god I’m getting ready to retire from this god forsaken higher education culture that profits at the expense of our young people. No wonder these kids are committing suicide and getting high on whatever drugs they can get their hands on. WE HAVE LET THEM DOWN RANCHER. WE HAVE LIED TO THEM, AND SUCKED THE LIFE OUT OF THEM. Once they have their degree, the University doesn’t want to hear from them unless they are one of the few who got a plum job and can say something nice about the university. It’s disgusting. Please understand I’m all about accepting personal responsibility, AND that equation has to include all the wolves in sheeps clothing who have twisted the truth to get students to sign on the dotted line. We are ALL caught up in this web my friend. No one is an island. Thank you for reading. I wish you the best.

        • Rhynn

          I agree with your post but the arrogance and over-entitlement of these grads? I take a dim view on that. Along with having to follow around behind them and redo everything they’ve screwed up on the networks because nobody could tell them anything and listening to the tripe about how anybody who looks old enough to buy a pack of cigs without being carded is “a behind the curve dinosaur the company needs to leave in the Cretaceous with T-Rex.”.

          There was a decision made come time to choose a respectful way to approach the job market. Time to live with that decision. As to being jobbed (see what I did there) by college admissions and financial aid counselors about college degrees being some sort of E-Z button students could hit and bypass hard work and ladder climbing well. Common sense ain’t common, is it?

          I fault many of the idiots in the HR departments and whatnot for putting degrees, and I do mean ANY degrees whether relevant or not, in front of experience for years. But they paid for that boom behavior the very next bust cycle. Those who didn’t return to the tried and true are sleeping in cars behind their former headquarters right now, and never in the same place twice lest the repo man find them. And that’s the way it should be. Short term gain for long term pain. That’s why so many are where they are.

          Maybe it would be different if I had had fewer experiences with Gen Y making nauseous faces at the very mention of the word “book”. Or perhaps if they would pull their faces out of their cellphones and FaceBroke profiles long enough to hit the brakes rather than the brick wall they’ve been heading towards. But I didn’t, so now there’s nothing for it but to go back to that prehistoric pastime of cashing a paycheck and failing to find a need to ask for handouts or spare couches in guest bedrooms.

  • Chemgal

    In all seriousness, I would suggest that many of these young people with degrees expatriate, especially to areas such as China or Mongolia, at least temporarily. Any Westerner with a heartbeat can teach English there. For those poor souls who majored in English and creative writing, it might restore their sense of self worth.
    At the ripe old age of 51, I began teaching English in Japan for a year. I have an MA in Modern European History, and a BA, Phi Beta Kappa, in Classics. I was able to get a job and develop private clientele immediately.

    • DL

      That is EXACTLY what my daughter plans on doing: get a teaching certification in elementary as well as online/offline courses in Japanese (and hopefully Chinese as well), get into the JET program or other, head to Japan (as long as it doesn’t get totally Fukushima’d), and teach there. She’s learned some Japanese (by our pastor, who worked there in the 80s) and loves Japanese anime and culture.

      There is almost NO reason why young Americans can’t learn a foreign language and teach English in those countries. But that is the problem: we Americans have been somehow “brainwashed” or something to ignore learning foreign languages, especially Asian languages.

      Heck, you don’t even need a teaching degree, but you do need TESOL or something similar.

      The US dollar might collapse one day, but worldwide need to learn English never will.

  • Chemgal

    I might add that I made enough, easily, to live on,
    although it was my husband’s sabbatical that brought me there. I had a prior career running a chemical company in the US, and in marketing in France.
    My advice is to go where the jobs are in the world.
    They may not be where you want them to be, but they
    do exist. It took me a year to get a job again in DC. I’d have preferred to stay in Japan!

  • El Pollo de Oro

    “Hey kiddies, keep spending that money in college. Get that degree as an MBA. You too can have a job at Wal-Mart. You too can become a cashier or a clerk.”—Gerald Celente

    Last summer, a young woman I know here in Philly moved to Bogotá, Colombia because she was unable to find a decent job here in The Banana Republic of America (formerly Los Estados Unidos). Despite having an MBA from Temple University, she was still working crappy, dead-end, low-pay service jobs. And she was buried in student loan debt. So when an international company offered her a high-paying position in Bogotá that required someone who was fluent in both English and Spanish, she jumped at it. Nonetheless, she was nervous about moving to Colombia. But I told her that truth be told, she was already living in a Third World banana republic (which is what the former USA has become). All the problems one associates with banana republics (widespread poverty, shantytown slums, violent crime galore, kidnappings left and right) are becoming worse and worse in the BRA. So why not move to Bogotá if she could make decent money there? Just watch out for kidnappers, and try to avoid having to pay The Desperate People Doing Desperate Things Tax (DPDDTT).

    “I don’t think people realize just how evil and what an abomination our country has become.”—Alex Jones

    “There’s a class war, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”—Warren Buffett

    “The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is the widest of any of the industrialized nations. And it means more than just income disparity. It means education disparity as well. So what do you have when you have a society where very few are educated and you have masses of uneducated and undereducated? You have social unrest. You have rises in crime.” —Gerald Celente

    “America’s not the same place it used to be. And when you look at the decline going on in this country, how anybody can believe that the dollar is going to be a reserve currency is beyond me.”—Gerald Celente

    When I was growing up, it was unheard of for college graduates to be flipping burgers or waiting tables—and a lot of blue-collar workers did well by going to trade school. But those days are gone, and now, you have unemployed MBAs competing with unemployed construction workers for jobs at the dollar store. You can try starting your own business; I run a small business myself. But be warned that the high cost of having to buy your own health insurance will eat you alive.

    What a pathetic joke this country has become, and things will only get worse……..and worse, and worse. God help The Banana Republic of America, collapsing empire of the Third World.

  • Gay Veteran

    “…At corporations that belong to the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, CEOs earn 380 times what the average worker makes at those companies. In 1980, CEOs only earned 42 times what the average worker made at those companies….”

    What we are seeing is a merger of corporate and state power. And Gerald Celente correctly notes that this is fascism.

  • Paranoid

    Another thing to consider; Taxes. The Gov expects to get money from all these people. No Job, no taxes. Every job that goes to China, the tax money goes also. This “Free” trade, cheap illegals, issue is killing us

    • Anna

      They still take in corporate taxes, property taxes and sales taxes. What about cigarette tax, gas tax…They know how to collect!

      With all the other taxes they’ve created, I don’t think that theory will go over too well. I even recall one writer mentioning the fact that although there might be a very big immigration problem, the way to tax that demographic is to raise the sales tax. This way whenever they purchase something, they will be able to contribute. I just recently received my property taxes as well. I know I’m helping out the schools, fire dept., police department, the court systems. You need to understand the way the tax system runs. The government gives BILLIONS to corporations in the form of corporate subsidizes! Then, people go out and purchase items from these corporations such as Walmart, their businesses generate sales tax . . . I think you see how it works. They sent it to their state government and so on, and so on . . .

      • Anna

        I should have added that the writer was quoting our local politicians who were trying to generate more money for our area! Now you know how they think.

  • Washington

    “I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.”
    – Alexis de Tocqueville

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