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Jobs Are for Suckers: How to Be the Boss of You

Don't do 20th century stuff to get a 21st century life.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

April 16, 2013 - 7:00 am

At the risk of sounding pretentious, cynical, or both:

I don’t shock easily.

Zombie cannibal killers? What, again?

Another new “ism” added to the “hate speech” list? So last Tuesday.

So when I made my daily visit to the blog SmallDeadAnimals.com, I figured I was staring at a typo:

[I]t costs $84k a year to go to Columbia Journalism School…

“Surely that should read ‘$8,400 a year,’” I thought.

“Or maybe that $84,000 is the entire cost of a three-year degree.

“Ha! Pretty funny that there’s a typo in an article about journalism school…”

Except there wasn’t.

That’s the correct figure.

I thought back to my early twenties, when I was starting out as a writer.

Multiply $84,000 times three and you get just over a quarter of a million dollars.

Given the 17% interest rates of the 1980s, I could have stuck that amount in a 5-year term deposit and lived off the interest, by which time I’d have been well established in my career anyhow, thanks to diligent freelancing and whatnot.

What are kids these days thinking?

Look: if you absolutely positively need a degree — to do all those doctorin’ jobs and lawyerin’ jobs — I get it.

(Well, not the “lawyerin’ jobs” so much. We’ve had too many lawyers for a very long time.)

But as I’ve been saying long before the phrase “college bubble” was coined:

If you’re a budding entrepreneur, college is a waste of time and money, because unless you want a “straight” job, you don’t need a B.A.

And I question that “need.” It’s just lazy H.R. nonsense.

As it occurs to society at large that most bachelor’s degrees are useless, very slowly this asinine requirement will be phased out.

My parents probably never made a quarter of a million bucks across their entire lifetimes, but if your folks have that kind of cash stashed, talk them into giving it to you as business capital instead.

Not in a lump sum, because you might just party it away. (OK, maybe that woulda been just me…)

But think of some way to get it and then do something with it besides making some commie professor rich, just so you can become a wage slave — or, God help me, a professor yourself.

Oh, wait, you probably can’t get tenure unless you’re a convicted felon anyhow.

You probably already know the names Angela Davis and Ron Karenga, so allow me to introduce you to a new one.

Paul Rose was a Canadian professor (although I think he’d prefer the adjective “Quebecois”.) But he wasn’t always…

Rose was boss of the FLQ terrorist cell that kidnapped and strangled Quebec labour minister Pierre Laporte in 1970s’ October Crisis. He spent barely 10 years in jail for that despicable crime. (…)

The Chenier Cell never even confessed who actually garroted Laporte with his own crucifix chain.

Isn’t that delightful?

Why do you want to spend time with people like this, and the rest of academia who, by the thousands, hire and support them?

Do you want to sound like this when you grow up?

Read this story then try to convince me that the entire North American educational system is a charade.

Stay as far away from it as possible.

“But if I don’t get a degree, I can’t get a job,” you say.

That’s the idea.

No one can get a job anyhow.

What if the “high unemployment rate” is a good sign, an indication that more and more people are dropping out of the traditional job market and starting their own businesses and/or working off the books?

Why do 20th century stuff to try to make a 21st century living?

I will live to see the New York Times, about half the current Fortune 500 companies, and at least one of the big Ivy League colleges shut their doors permanently.

While we’re all waiting for that, here’s how to stay informed and motivated as I make my way through what I’ll call “the present future”:

All those people are a lot smarter and more successful than I am.

(KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 15th year. She's been called "one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time," by MARK STEYN. Her NEW book is Confessions of A Failed Slut (Thought Catalog, 2014).

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I was married with two babies by the time I was 20. When both my kids were in school I started working in sales and that's what I've done for the last thirty years in various industries. I love sales because you can make as much as you want and if you're a top producer your boss treats you well and stays out of your way.

The most college I've had is a desultory semester or two of the JC variety. I realized long ago that avid curiosity and a voracious appetite for reading literature and history cost nothing and would serve me better than indoctrination by leftist professors. My lack of a degree has never prevented me from getting any job I've ever applied for.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
The primary purpose of high tuitions at prestige universities is to keep the "undesirables" out - that is, people who aren't from the power elite and who might harbor ideas the ruling elite dislike.

University is where the power elite credential their children, alongside a handful of cherry-picked, politically acceptable, ambitious outsiders (see: Barack Obama) for street cred and who could provide coattails for the rich kids to ride on. Degrees from these places are modern titles of nobility.

The best proof is the fact that all of these elite universities have HUGE endowment funds. They could easily charge minimal tuition, or even $0.00 tuition out if the endowment profits alone. But they don't. They don't pay taxes on it either. It's just for empire building.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I learned a great deal more about economics while wearing the chicken hat (KFC) than I learned in many classroooms.

I can't imagine where an important portion of my moral growth and comprehension of civic and cultural life would have come from without a series of fast food and other so-called menial labor jobs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
and what exactly is that person getting for indoctrination???????

How about internship and apprentice programs, and then at least the journalistic source would know what they are getting or would cut the person and cut the losses early
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's strange how many jobs require a BA/BS in ANYTHING just to get hired. Our local law enforcement agency is a case in point. If you don't have military service, you must have a degree--it doesn't matter the subject. It's the new high school diploma.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These days a BA or BS is more like a high school diploma. It shows that you are literate, numerate, have a degree or persistence, and have some basic problem solving skill - about what a high school diploma used to demonstrate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have a friend who graduated High School despite the fact that he was barely literate (2nd to 3rd grade reading level), couldn't do basic math, and had little to no understanding of science, history, etc. With graduates like that, it reduces a high school degree to little more than a "participation award".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Participation award" describes most of what happens at California's state universities and community colleges outside of the STEM courses.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
well participation reward is what libs/dems/low information people are about, and that Pee-C BS of wanting to give self esteem and demand nothing in the way of people earning it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There are many smaller colleges and universities that have good financial aid and scholarship programs that even not very academic or not very sporty students can qualify for. Many smaller schools still teach traditional values and curricula untarnished by progressive agendas and political correctness. If someone wants a formal education, it will still be expensive to go to smaller schools, but not prohibitively so. If you want a university name for a resumé, that you'll have to pay for. Everything that a university teaches can be found in libraries and on the internet—with drive and ambition, you can skip college and still be successful.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The line said that it was a link to amputee related sites, per the Wounded Warrior Project, of which I am a contributor. Please fix this.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I was married with two babies by the time I was 20. When both my kids were in school I started working in sales and that's what I've done for the last thirty years in various industries. I love sales because you can make as much as you want and if you're a top producer your boss treats you well and stays out of your way.

The most college I've had is a desultory semester or two of the JC variety. I realized long ago that avid curiosity and a voracious appetite for reading literature and history cost nothing and would serve me better than indoctrination by leftist professors. My lack of a degree has never prevented me from getting any job I've ever applied for.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
From one Sheridan College flunkie to another....great column. We already know that everything cool that was ever made was created by nonconformists. Prime example: Ford Mustang. Another example, Sheridan dropout John Kricfalusi was the creator of the iconic Ren & Stimpy.

The author of open letter to the Ivy League universities is going to have a rough road ahead of her. She's way too smart for her own good.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"everything cool that was ever made was created by nonconformists"

Counterexample: The US Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Seriously, that is what my daughter (2-hitch Marine veteran and college drop-out) and her best friend from high school are doing. The friend is an artist (and a very skilled one, too) and they are starting a tiny business together, starting small at fairs and street festivals. They hope to grow it, with the aid and assistance of family members, and eventually parlay it into a full-time business with their own permanent gallery venue. Meanwhile, they pick up part-time jobs here and there. Neither of them relish working for other people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Multiply $84,000 times three and you get just over a quarter of a million dollars.

Given the 17% interest rates of the 1980s, I could have stuck that amount in a 5-year term deposit and lived off the interest, by which time I’d have been well established in my career anyhow, thanks to diligent freelancing and whatnot.

What are kids these days thinking?

They are not thinking, and that is the problem. You could not sell a piece of paper for that sum of money to anyone with a functioning brain. That is why they need them young.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They've been told that this is how it is done and are never explained any viable alternatives.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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