Millions on food stamps facing benefits cuts

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In two years, you are on your way. In the state you're in, I think you can do more harm than good by mangling people into pigeon-holes that cut off significant pieces of their functionality. That is when Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits are set to fall for more than 47 million lower-income people -- 1 in 7 Americans -- most of whom live in households with children, seniors or people with disabilities. Featured in MoneyWatch How much did the financial crisis cost you in dollars? But I'm definitely not sane, and very ok with that. The amount people get could sink even more if Congress makes deeper cuts later this year when House and Senate lawmakers try to hammer out a farm bill.

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Hipsters On Food Stamps, Part 1

Another group with lots of members in SNAP: Census Bureau data show that, in , some , former U. Benefits are means-tested, meaning that poorer households receive larger benefits The formula used to calculate payments assumes that families will spend 30 percent of their net income on food.

With the vast majority of SNAP beneficiaries already destitute, the diminished assistance would hurt in the best of times. But the Great Recession has thrown millions more people into poverty, including a growing segment of working poor.

Experts say the food stamp cuts will spread hunger in the U. And it will make life harder and worse for millions of children, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. Another possible casualty -- everyone else. The left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington think-tank, says that the November benefit cuts will curtail the flow of money into every U. The USDA has calculated that food stamps generate an even bigger bang for the buck.

So pinching food stamp recipients also will squeeze the broader U. Among other effects, that could dent revenues for the nearly , groceries and supermarkets around the country that accept SNAP payments, potentially affecting everyone from store workers and truck drivers delivering food to consumers, as food sellers raise prices to offset the loss of revenue. Meanwhile, research suggests that reducing food aid could not only increase hunger, but also undermine public health.

In a six-year study, Children's HealthWatch, a nonpartisan pediatric research center, recently found that young children in families that got SNAP benefits were at significantly lower risk of being underweight, which is linked with poor nutrition, and of developmental delays.

She has found that since food stamps were introduced in the s, women in the program have seen a reduction in low-weight births and a decrease in infant mortality. Families that get food stamps are also able to eat more healthfully and are less likely to skip doctor's visits to pay for food, housing and other basic needs.

It is paid for entirely by the federal government, although administrative costs are shared by states. Congress reauthorizes funding for the program every five years. Payments are scheduled to decline this week because Congress three years ago voted to reverse a temporary increase in benefits made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a law passed to bolster the sagging economy.

Economists say this is an effective way to stimulate growth because the poor must spend almost all of their money just to get by. That, in turn, funnels money into the economy, creating a "multiplier" effect as food benefits spent in a grocery store generate revenue for other businesses.

The size of SNAP cuts will vary by state. Some states have already sought to trim the rolls by imposing new eligibility requirements for food stamps. In Ohio, for example, able-bodied people must work or get job training at least 20 hours a week to qualify for SNAP. For critics of food stamps, including those who express concern about certain kinds of government spending, such measures are necessary to shrink the federal deficit and encourage SNAP beneficiaries to work.

Hostility to the program, especially among some conservatives, has long made it a target. In the early s, for example, Congress moved to slim down SNAP costs by basing benefits on people's gross, not net, income and by limiting income tax deductions for people, among other measures. The reality, however, is that many people who get food stamps are working. More than 80 percent of beneficiaries find employment within a year of starting to collect payments.

With the economy no longer in free-fall and SNAP participation leveling off, analysts also do not expect the program to drive up the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office projects federal spending on food stamps to fall over the next five years as the economy strengthens. Parents often skip meals to ensure children are fed and use other means to make ends meet. People are looking for something they can feed their children right now.

Families, particularly single mothers, rely heavily on food kitchens, mobile food pantries, faith-based organizations and other charitable groups when their food stamps run out. Flowers leans on her church and Bread for the City, a Washington, D.

But that, too, worries, anti-hunger specialists. People in the field say food banks across the country are already at their limit in the help they can offer people. There are a lot of hipsters near where I live.

I don't begrudge the ones I see working much, they actually produce really good food and some pretty aesthetically pleasing watering holes. There is one thing that set me off though. I went on a date with a hipster chick and asked her about all this hipster stuff because I was unfamiliar.

Specifically I asked her about a guy at the bar that had stretched his ear lops way down to below his neck. I couldn't understand thing. It was ugly and it looked like he mutilated himself. When I asked her why he had done it she said, "why not?

Posted by Anonymous November 10, 8: People with BAs had more opportunities in the past 50ss and getting a BA costs an order of magnitude greater than it did then. I've forgone attending university because I'm allergic to the notion of taking out a large portion of credit.

If you adhere to some kind of political economy consisting rational self-interested actors with perfect information, I'm all ears. The only people I know who are willing to acknowledge that attending college is a shitty deal and that the system is set up to bilk you are the recent grads with service sector jobs.

None of them collect food stamps. Consequently, the entire political leadership and every last person in this society over the age of 35 is sincerely and quite fervently committed to the notion that we're still living in economically mobile boom years and that the recession amounts to an aberration. In light of this, what's the difference between aiming low in the job market construction LOL and exploiting the system that has no use for you anyway?

You have to be joking. While I can't say that you aren't completely wrong, that there are a certain number of people who don't want to work, or go to college with the express purpose of finding a paycheck to marry, the large majority do not. This type of stereotyping is, or should be, beyond your accreditation: No offense, but you should lose your license to practice.

In the state you're in, I think you can do more harm than good by mangling people into pigeon-holes that cut off significant pieces of their functionality. You sir, should get your head straight then get your butt back to school before you ruin anyone else's life in the same way you did your own.

The vast majority of BAs are a financially shitty deal. I'm not sure what rock you crawled out from under, but the facts of the past half decade or so bear this out.

And of course -- You're off track: Posted by Naw November 10, 8: Posted by tornpapernapkin November 10, 8: A PhD in philosophy is expected to look back with resentment on the mistake, but to understand why.

Posted by HippyLongStockings November 10, 9: November 10, 9: College, often, leads to better things. I agree that people should be practical about college and not get into outrageous amounts of debt over it simply for the sake of an interesting major that has no practical use in the job market. But college is how people become doctors, lawyers, etc.

Even if hipsters are broke right now, they may use that degree to become gasp! It is a very tough economy. There are people who were science majors who are working two jobs and I mean minimum wage ones in order to make ends meet.

Believe it or not, a college degree can actually hurt you if you are over qualified for what it available. Posted by thestage November 10, 9: I'm not trying to invalidate what you're saying, but your message is the same as everyone else's. Fall in line, give the system a nice long blowjob and hope you do a good enough job for it to throw some cash at you after blowing on your face.

And if you're lucky, maybe you won't even be 65 and ready to die when that time comes. The difference is the audience, you're not writing for Johnny Business Grad, you're writing for Gerry the hipster though I become less and less inclined to think your ideal reader is your actual reader. His dad is either a wallflower or the guy who calls him a fucking hippie; you're calling him a fucking hippie and then dropping DFW or Nietzsche to code him into not tuning you out.

Maybe it's not worth throwing your life away to spite daddy society and mommy education the coddling liar , but remember, both daddy and mommy have failsafes, they anticipate you reacting how you react, they code it into their message, the countersign, the blowback.

And if I take Daddy TLP's advice which I can't, which you know, which you've directly written about , the best I can hope to become is a fake version of screaming Alec Baldwin. There is no difference, except inside, where you do it for ten years and then come back to Daddy TLP when it suddenly dawns on you that you are miserable. This post is a drug, it serves the same end as the pills you will shove down my throat if I stop the pretense and swallow the cum.

It is very, very hard for me to not want to be a failure, because it is very, very hard to see anything worth winning. Posted by weare November 10, 9: Posted by Anonymous November 10, November 10, If you are hopeless, but pacified by the illusion that this person could "understand" you then you are not an agent of any kind of change. Not even in your own small life.

Posted by MackyTrajan November 10, I'm not really in the position to answer this specifically, but advertising jobs are probably given to people who show aptitude for advertising; i. I don't think advertising companies even care if someone has a B. It may be that the English grad has an aptitude for advertising, but trust me, it isn't because of the degree.

It is a rocky, unpredictable road out there for ALL grads, but if you know that advertising is your passion, why not do something advertising related right now? It's just nebulous as to where to start.

I'm studying a hard science degree not because I wouldn't rather do anything else, but because the uncertainty of the future has admittedly got me worrying about money. Posted by TheUnderwearBandit November 10, I have wondered whether if he had written more about life and death, would he have offed himself?

If you are having suicidal ideations perhaps focusing thousands of pages on irony is not the way to go. Posted by Clarissa November 10, This is ridiculous, I live in Texas and I am on food stamps but in order to even qualify for them you have to WORK a minimum of 20 hours a week and you have to provide enough evidence about your moneyary situation to prove you need assistance. Maybe you should look at the provisions of food stamps required by states before cashing us college students as freeloaders.

Posted by thestage November 10, Posted by Larry November 10, Posted by Gary November 10, Posted by Anonymous November 11, November 11, He is not polishing the system's pole in any way, nor is he necessarily suggesting to fall in line.

This whole post reads like a kneejerk reaction. I certainly realize what a contentious issue this is. You could call this a strawman -- or shadowboxing with a figure from pop culture -- and I'd partly agree with you. It's the inauthenticity of the posture and the massive sense of entitlement it takes that makes them loathsome. These are not interesting people by and large, but consumers of interesting things.

Posted by Ot November 11, 1: November 11, 1: They're not black, after all. Hell, one of the two in the article is even Asian. Posted by Anonymous November 11, 2: November 11, 2: On the contrary, I am much more skilled at what I do than other people because of my liberal arts education. Can everyone be a copy editor? If everyone could be a copy editor or a proofreader, they wouldn't exist.

How many science students could read through an ad and make the writing better or correct flow an style in an article? Everything that's written needs to be proofread, and people get paid to do it.

That's just ONE career that an English major can have. A medical student can't do my job. And I'm sure you understand that there is lot more writing done in the world than writing novels.

Technical writing, for example. Two pretty worthless degrees, right? But I have a skillset and a career path just the same, it's just taken me longer to get to it because when I was an undergrad the message I got from my professors was that if you love what you study, money will find you.

Navigating the job market is a skill in itself, and it should be a part of higher education But liberal arts students aren't taught this skill set, so it's not that their education is worthless, it's that they start out with a handicap.

A medical student who doesn't get shown by his supervisors when and how to apply for residencies or what have you is probably going to commit career suicide, employable skills or not.

You have to know how to play the game. No one is going to come to your house and offer you a job as a doctor--they're not in that much demand. And it's possible to get an affordable and decent college education. State schools are perfectly adequate. Posted by Anonymous November 11, 3: November 11, 3: Posted by qerplonk November 11, 4: November 11, 4: Posted by Anonymous November 11, 4: Before everyone has a a cow, I just want to point out that single mothers on FS have a much easier time being out and about job hunting or taking their kid to the doctor if there is the possibility that they can stop and get a meal or a drink.

Poor people are often using mass transit too, so it can take them a lot longer to go from place to place. So they might get hungry. It also helps to be able to soothe a cranky kid who is being dragged all over running errands or whatever since his mom can't afford a babysitter.

In some cities, there are restaurants for the homeless that accept FS, giving a thoroughly disfranchised person the change to take a break and have a nice meal and get out just like anyone else. If a lot of poor people are on disability, which they are, and can't afford much in the way of social activities, especially if they are mentally ill where socializing can help their mental health, I don't see why this should not be so.

Soapboxes always lead me to these long winded run on sentences, sorry. I also do not see why any person shouldn't be able to shop wherever they want, including whole foods, with FS.

It's not like these people even have the choice of eating, I don''t know, coq au vin even four times a month. And finally, if anyone is curious what people get on FS, how much when factors like kids and rent is figured in, Illinois has a SNAP calculator online.

Posted by Anonymous November 11, 5: November 11, 5: James Richardson presumably learned something about poetry while at college studying writing.

I thought perhaps you meant New Yorker writers or something because that at least narrows things a bit. Posted by isomorphismes November 11, 6: November 11, 6: I think there's a very obvious answer why kids major in P or Q instead of R or S like they "should". It's a three-part obvious answer. Adults are lying to them, because education is a profitable business that relies on getting young people to work away for a lot of money later, paid for a long time, on promises made now, that generate super-super-senior debt.

It's too profitable to throw up a chaff screen that says, e. Nobody gives good career advice. What are the qualifications to become a guidance counselor or career advisor?

As far as I can tell the people who do these things couldn't get any job that I would want. Given a nebulous understanding, actually a non-understanding, of the causes of career success which everybody possesses--economists and business professors included--who is going to effectively argue that A will cause B? It all reduces to a "values" question -- and I mean values in the abstract, irrelevant, theoretical, useless sense, not values as they're discovered in the fog of war.

Do you "follow your dreams" and where did those dreams come from? All of which is of course poppycock. The solution is pretty obvious to me as well. Indoctrination needs to change in two ways. First, "learning" is not valuable any more it was for the ancient Mandarins: Second, homogeneity is not your friend and specialisation is. Whether Baldwin's character is an inspiration for the Boiler Room idiots or an affront to the softies or a rehearsed speech, it is true in the story that third prize is you're fired.

I think the message is that sales sucks and there are greater forces pushing salesmen to push on you, and, work sucks, and sales sucks. As other people besides me have argued: Show me someone who doesn't judge what others buy with food stamps and I'll show you someone who's been on food stamps.

The choices are constrained in ridiculous ways, like it's possible to buy candy or Pringles but not toothpaste or shampoo or toilet paper. You can't buy hot prepared food that would be like getting to eat out but can by cold prepared food.

You can buy shrimp or caviar if the store carries it and you can expect the eye from the cashier. You can't buy alcohol, obviously. I think the reason it is this way is: Here's a question that's appropriate to this blog: Posted by sunny day November 11, 8: November 11, 8: The money for food stamps comes out of a big pool of tax money.

You don't get to decide who gets food stamps--whoever meets certain eligibility levels gets paid. The point of reading articles about "x group on food stamps" is to get you feeling emotional about something that you can't control.

There's always going to be somebody out there that you feel doesn't deserve what they have, and if it wasn't people on food stamps it would be somebody else. Posted by Anonymous November 11, 9: November 11, 9: Also, I get the feeling that the author is in academia and dislikes the current system because it's a ripoff.

However, a lot of "useless" fields are already being eliminated, and the ones that are left are generally career-oriented, so there will be fewer people out there getting degrees in the humanities and more esoteric hard sciences. The change is already coming, partly due to the attitude that "an English degree is only good for castrating men and getting women married, so fuck it.

Posted by tornpapernapkin November 11, 9: He can't be an academic. In academia the pain is that the University is dead or dying. It's now just job training. And the loss of language and history is the dissolution of culture. We're becoming a nation of worker drones with classification papers who have never learned to think.

Or I guess if he is an academic as opposed say to some one who is employed tangentially by an academic institution he's quite cynical. Was the role of the University ever to be a trade school? It was based on class, and it was a part of what separated "us" from "them" and now "they're" here.

Also, who are these brats who don't work in college or get scholarships? My useless BA was achieved with 0 debt. It took time and effort. I've always thought the private sector should foot the bill for its worker drones. Draft people out of college.

It's clear college can't offer what these people actually need in terms of soft skills. That way colleges can 1. Posted by HP November 11, They do, they're called private universities. And they cost more, not less, because they're not subsidized.

And it's almost impossible to completely get rid of the subsidies, because there's significant federal interest in keeping their fingers in education. Interesting that TLP makes multiple references in this article that would cast TLP as a woman, despite numerous references in other articles that very much cast TLP as a man. Posted by Donny November 11, That's another trend I've noticed for the last 2 decades: Posted by tornpapernapkin November 11, I guess the gender doesn't matter.

TLP or "Alone" or whoever could also be multiple people. Any time you are reading an author's work you're reading a character and a story. So it's up to the author to create that for you. The cost of attending a state university has not kept pace with inflation this means mommy and daddy's money does not go very far, and working your way through means 2 jobs, not one , and the job market is absolutely abysmal for new grads.

If you believe that there's any social mobility or job security to be had for someone fresh out of college with a BA now, you live in a bubble, end of story. The best you can hope for is to end up creeping your way up in the service sector.

That's assuming I still qualify for a Pell Grant and low interest Stafford loans. I mean, for fucks sake, you have to be quite literally prescient if you plan to study in a university, because the demand for specific fields fluctuates on a year to year basis. Law is an absolutely terrible field to get into now without being well connected. If you plan to teach college at all, enjoy being kept in an adjunct position, never getting tenure, having no benefits whatsoever, commuting hrs a day, and getting paid peanuts relative to your faculty brethren.

In other words, anyone suggesting pursuing "any college degree" in general is not just naive, but a dangerous idiot that will ruin you. Posted by sunny day November 11, I noticed the gender, too--and I was like, "Man, this author is whiny!

Says more about me, the reader, than the author. Posted by Phil A. The different then is between those who just do it, and those who are waiting for things to just happen for them. In that case, the election doesn't matter because you can't vote in a society with more pro-social attitudes. You can't vote for people to be "doers" and not "wait-ers".

You can't vote for people to know how to make something of themselves, from themselves. So inevitably, the system will be broken no matter how close to perfect it ever manages to get.

Socialism and capitalism both cannot work unless the people who hold them up make it work. That sounds about right. I would think that the only consolation is that at least those who have it figured out will have an easier time making something of their lives because most other people aren't trying, but the fact is is that when EVERYONE is a doer, all the other doers are better off. The system flourishes, and the competition leads to greater gains for everyone.

Unfortunately there is no silver lining except that perhaps the next generation can learn from the prior's mistakes. This is why, I think, if you are, or plan to become, a parent, it's so important to get your life in order. Pay off all of your debt first, either start climbing that ladder towards a higher salary, or start working to create your own business. As long as it's something.

Because any child who is raised by someone who "doesn't get it" has a severe handicap in life, and they're almost certainly not going to figure it out themselves because there's no impetus or means yet for that to happen.

Posted by b-nasty November 11, I think that's the wrong question. The question hinted at by this blog post is rather: The moral hazard created from assistance programs is that those jobs may be out there, but they are a less desirable choice compared to doing nothing and collecting SNAP.

Posted by Anonymous November 11, 1: And under-employment is only meaningless to the ruling class who want you to swallow shit and ask for seconds even after playing by their rules and doing everything everyone told you was right. Do you actually think you can earn your way out of student debt working 35hrs at Wal-Mart or Starbucks less than 40 to deny you benefits, of course, and so that you qualify for public benefits.

You have no clue what you're talking about. Posted by b-nasty November 11, 1: The student loan debt is a red herring. I'm not saying it isn't a factor in your quality of life, but who incurred the debt to earn a degree with low employment prospects?

Under-employment is as meaningless a term as dating someone 'below your league. If you, the seller, can't entice buyers, your product is priced to high relative to its value. You are rich enough to live a life that most of the world can only dream about.

Perspective is important; not everyone is making 6-figures. That said, I agree with your point about the college scam. I thought the ideology favorable to this globalized capitalism and free trade was banking on it to uplift everyone's standard of living? And not turn us into pious market Calvinists thanking the lord that we sure do have it better than someone living in an entirely different socioeconomic context experiencing work and suffering in ways we can't understand?

Even when we recognize that it was better in the past, and could easily be better if the political leadership of this country wasn't so god damn stupid? Posted by DensityDuck November 11, 3: Don't forget the need for social shaming to get people to pay back those student loans. If it's okay to get a loan for two hundred thousand dollars, graduate with a degree in Film Studies, and then just blow off the loan because "hey man I can't find a job", then the world will burn down.

Despite everyone's slick modern attitude that we've totally moved beyond Puritan morality, the credit system is dependent on it. Posted by anon November 11, 3: What he's saying is that it is NOT "very tough out there right now. All these jobs that have been deleted since are never coming back, because they're not needed today or ever. Many of these jobs are ones that used to be performed by the newly undergraduated. Maybe what we're seeing is that the war on poverty is over and we won.

The people who are in miserable sleep-on-the-street poverty are, increasingly, those who made specific choices to live that way--the guy who goes on a three-day drunk when he gets his welfare check and spends the rest of the month bumming for change, the woman who "feels confined" when she stays in the halfway house that won't let her smoke meth.

The goods of comfortable happy life are available in abudance, nearly free, to the point where someone can have all of them and still think "man, I'm fuckin' poor ". Posted by tornpapernapkin November 11, 3: Are those people you mention really "choosing" poverty or failing to choose and failing to change the behavior that screws them?

Posted by isomorphismes November 11, 3: I don't think it's "wrong", just on a totally different internal axis than the "justice" external angle you're taking. Not arguing with what you said, just orthogonal. Not sure I agree. You're assuming these people are making a rational and realistic assessment of actions and consequences. If you don't know what you're choosing, or why, or how it will effect you You're not improving, you're not changing, and you're not doing anything useful And you definitely can't be said to be choosing consequences you don't know.

You're simply following the status quo. Furthermore, you're simply following the status quo just like everyone else I see it as a red herring for another reason. These two people have equal incomes but probably very different lives in terms of social class, borrowing ability, future "breakout" potential, and how engaging their work is.

TV dinners are a weird example because they're for the lazy. Cabbage, potatoes, legumes, and eggs would be my example for cheap food. It might take another economic collapse for the writing on the wall to become clearer to the white suburbanites posting here. Please do not partake of the loathsome socialism of "Obamacare" when you decide that it's time to pull your head up and have the sand flushed out of your ears.

Posted by Lucas Gray November 11, 4: Posted by tornpapernapkin November 11, 4: Believe it or not they don't let just anyone teach these days. In fact, a lot of teachers now have a Master's degree, and often they want you to have majored in education. Posted by thestage November 11, 4: Posted by Lucas Gray November 11, 5: As far as I can tell, what you're communicating in this post is this: I know there's meant to be a Part 2 coming, and I'm hoping it resolves this, but pointing out that English majors have bleak futures, while failing to mention that this is the case for basically everyone, is perniciously dishonest, not to mention useless.

Posted by DensityDuck November 11, 6: Posted by tornpapernapkin November 11, 6: You are missing the point. Which is what you imply when you suggest they would be choosing homelessness or poverty. If the meth addict was a former pop star worth billions she wouldn't be in poverty, or if the halfway house for some reason accommodated meth use. Or if she had a co-dependent sister to live with.

She'd be making the same choice: But the consequences would be different every time. Or the people who leave the house before six AM for their first part-time job and get home from their second after nine PM. Or the same thing two months in a row "how come it's chicken cacciatore again? If you go into a room, even a room where you know something bad might happen because you've been warned about there being something horrible about the room. You made a choice.

No assume some one is in the room. When you enter it, this person has been waiting. In their game of choice they have entered the room with a purpose. Their purpose here is to shoot anyone who comes into this room at this time.

They did not choose to kill YOU. They chose to kill whoever entered the room. That just happened to be you. You did not choose to get shot, even if you knew there might be a horrible thing that happened when you entered it.

You didn't know what. You didn't choose to get shot then. Knowing you might get shot might make you change your mind. But remember, you didn't know you would get shot when you made the choice.

You didn't choose the consequence, only the action. You can't be blamed rationally for getting shot because you didn't know what "horrible" meant exactly and you certainly didn't know it meant getting shot. The person who shot you can be blamed for murder, but it can't be said they chose to shoot you for you.

Only that they shot some one in cold blood. The consequences can only be predicted within a margin of error and rely on rational insight and actual knowledge to infer.

The action always has unknown consequences to some degree. Some times we anticipate the consequences, some times we don't. But we never truly choose them because we don't control them. Posted by Narcinonymous November 11, 7: November 11, 7: This shit is just way too cynical. Cynicism is a crutch. That is another crutch. Posted by Thomas Belnap November 11, Sorry, lost me right there. Racism voids your legitimacy because you're taking an effect and trying to make it the cause which is needless to say irrational.

I dislike self entitled holier than thou hipsters just as much as the next guy, but it isn't hipsters that are exploiting a much needed social safety net, it's people. People do bad things not styles, colors, money, or any other inanimate object or physical quality. There are unethical people and ethical people, unethical people exploit systems and ethical people support systems. In the same way that people do good or bad things, people make things worthwhile or worthless.

Which is the primary error you make in you're rhetoric here's what I mean -. On your main thesis that college is worthless. The value of any given thing is whatever it is that a person places in it. College can be worthless if you decide that it is and behave in a manner that reflects such an attitude. The people you refer to in the article behave in a manner that reflects their beliefs. No one gets a college degree and then is handed a lifelong successful career.

That kind of reasoning is analogous to assuming a hammer is all that is required to put a nail in a wall. You have to swing the hammer into the nail. The hammer, in itself, is useless. Same story with a degree, I'm a philosophy major which has no specialized job application in the real world as there aren't any job postings for philosophers on any career site or job board I've ever seen. Is it a waste of time then?

It is a tool that I am using to train my mind to see a wider range of possibilities in ordinary circumstances. That is what education is. But like the hammer potential itself does nothing without an agent to act upon it.

I believe in education so much that I left a cushy career that paid me 6 figures a year which took me 5 years to achieve. I slowly built my skill set up to qualify for and secure a business consulting position at the largest internet technology company in the world an experience that enabled me to start two of my own businesses which I also gave up to pursue a degree.

Education is the same story, it is a stepping stone, just like my first job selling newspapers. Sometimes you have to shovel shit before you can rake in success.

I didn't leave my job because I thought that a degree would end up making me more money, but because it would afford the opportunity for greater experience, and open doors that would otherwise be closed, which it already has.

I am better off now than I ever was before and I still have 1 semester left. Because I have more "hammers" now than I did before which I'm already using to build a better me and therefore a better life. You have no idea how much luck played a role in what you've accomplished. Of course you can go study philosophy - you're quite wealthy. I suggest you divert some of your efforts away from studying philosophy toward sociology or at least political philosophy.

You're terribly under-informed or perhaps deliberately ignorant of macroeconomics and the relationship people have to "the support system", a product of The System, capital-S. You seem to selectively emphasize that it consists of individuals making judgement about the utility of things in this case, education. Their agenda begins and ends with "fuck you, got mine", a refrain you're probably familiar with if you've made six figures, put with less vulgarity.

I mean really, are you some kind of rube? Were you born yesterday? As if "deserving" were the primary operative concern the system adopts in making that determination on YOUR behalf. Posted by Lucas Gray November 12, November 12, Posted by indigomind November 12, I have somewhat the opposite experience as the hipsters. I majored in Chemistry despite having more of an aptitude in English and I think it was a bad strategy. As far as career advice, I still think the book "What Color is your Parachute?

The author's attitude is a great combination of idealism and practicality. I know that the US worships capitalism but remember it is also the reason that people come out of college unskilled. It is not profitable for colleges to teach students sufficiently. Posted by medsvstherapy November 12, 9: November 12, 9: The intellectuals, since Aristotle laid it all down, have always been upset that we are smarter, but those with economic power end up as rulers. Most of us are more subtle.

We are requiring hiring quotas and otherwise using the law to develop a world where we are necessary, and will be in control ove the developers of wealth. The end results is: Healthcare reform is a leading example. As would a planetary cap-and-trade dealio.

Wow, we came this close. We actually had a 'carbon market' there for a while. The challenge is to convice everyone that we need to be in charge. So, we have to promote the idea of enemies, and problems. Yes, if you nswer a poll saying you have any level of concern about buying groceries if you happened to lose your job, we count you among the planet's populance suffering 'food insecurity.

Identify an enemy, and put us in charge to regulate them. It is our BA strategy of developing problems so we are necessary to solve the problems thru legislation and regulation. Now, we get anyone and their dog into BA, then everyone thinks like us, and we get control over the producers of wealth.

Well, the ones with the BAs now are both the believers in the Intelligensia being the rulers, and are the poor. Posted by Dovahkiin November 12, I think there are a lot of reasons for this kind of thing. First off, colleges are NOT sorting mechanisms as one guy here said. It's no more of a sorting mechanism than kindergarden is. Grade inflation in HS and the SAT ACT courses that pretty much tell you the answers to the test guarentee that any semiliterate person can get into college.

I've graduated courses in my major even though I never bought the book and BS'ed my way through "research papers" in a day mostly with wikipedia. All of this is why "college education" is valueless. Then people cry because a diploma that you literally purchased doesn't get you hired. What did you think when you got in with a C- average? Everyone has something, it's useless. If everyone looks like brad pitt, why do we need brat pitt? Posted by Antigone November 12, 3: November 12, 3: I would have been a hipster in my youth, if the phenomenon had existed 10 years ago in Europe I wore the clothes, the hair and the attitude.

Not because of foodstamps, which do not exist here, but because of the irony and the not taking yourself in your mind and the culture you lucked into seriously. And I still think, this is a valid defence for people, who suck at sports and being "ethnic".

But this is totally irrelevant. What isn't a valid position to take is, that everybody should be coerced to spend 12 years in school only to incorporate the message, that you can only be successful, if you go to college and become the same looser your high-school teacher and your parents are If you are lucky.

What isn't a valid position to take is, that the labour theory of value holds true. Nobody wants to know about the reason you think your professor wrote about why his professor wrote, why Anna Karenina died in a dress and how many hours you spent thinking about it.

Nobody is gonna pay you for words of this blabla. And yes, the amount of your footnotes is irrelevant. What isn't a valid position to take is, that there is a tough economy right now, and therefore everybody has difficulties to find a job. Are you useful or are you reading Salon. Oh my god, Capitalism has won, we are only bees to be educated on how to produce maximal value for the others, the bosses.

And we won't be able to rewrite Hamlet while urinating on stage with a college degree and earning Dollars a week. I am so so sorry. I'd really love to see your limp dick. But the real problem is, that it is still to valuable for businesses to rely on a college degree in everything else than "make up for a dead body thingy" as a signal for intelligence.

I do know not why, I guess the reason is, that HR departments consists of zombies, that went to college. Posted by Antigone November 12, 4: November 12, 4: Let me clarify, I know why: Because they work in Zombie Industries.

They won't be here after sunlight. Posted by skipper November 12, 4: Why does Salon want you to hate Hipsters on food stamps? This even though there is some evidence suggesting we should rethink our attitude toward college. But that's like, maybe, two paragraphs of this thing. Not sure what was going on in the rest.

Aside from the fact that TLP is awesome and hardworking and very much not a member of the class that she's criticizing here, despite satisfying all the criteria. Anyways, the crude idea that a B. Louis Menand has a nice piece on two theories of higher education. College is either 1. The point is that you can fulfill the goals of theory 2 no matter what people study. Unless you want to go in for a third view: Well then, yeah, don't study English.

But the bigger problem here is that the reason why we need to rethink college has nothing to do with English degrees and everything to do with debt. Posted by Mike Burnett November 12, 5: November 12, 5: Sure college is bullshit, but the hipster-welfare queen chimera you've created is not something to drag out from under your bed and call insight.

Posted by Tom White November 12, 6: November 12, 6: I would like to confess that I was once of these idiots. I made the mistake of getting a useless degree based on bad advice and no life experience. I have never had a job because of that degree. Instead I have taken whatever work I could get and swallowed my pride. In my defense, and I guess defense of all those studying idiotic degrees, we were lied to.

All my high school teachers through to the career counsellor, my parents and grand parents etc said go to college. My parents were uneducated middle class; their advice was based on the advice of what is best for the upper class with money [follow your dream etc]. I did start off in a field that I thought would guarantee me a job [Come graduation I would have been wrong about that had I kept it up] but I was talked into changing my focus by the academic staff with the intent of going into academia.

I lacked the drive or the interest and ended up unemployed and unemployable. I was too young and naive to know what I wanted to do and truthfully I should never have gone to college. It was a major trap and I made the mistake of taking well meaning advice from others. I have a debt I can't shake and four wasted years. I spent my time as a welfare queen but I regained my pride and refuse to be dependent the nanny state.

I work shit jobs now but at least I am answerable to no one but my boss and I am no longer a parasite. That is where I deviate from the hipster in your article.

I made the choice to turn my life around. Unfortunately, I am starting from so far below the average that its hard. I unknowingly dug a massive hole and now I have to get the hell back out of it. Right now I work construction but it has no future.

I am told, frequently, that studying STEM will get me places, but now I am wiser and far more cautious since every dollar I spend is one I spent a shit day earning.

At the age of eighteen you don't know the value of a dollar, the meaning of debt [it is slavery], or what work really means. A mandatory two year gap between high school and college where you have to earn your own way would knock many silly notions from young people's heads.

Posted by The Last Client November 12, 7: November 12, 7: Nice to see TLP admitting she's a woman and acknowledging she's not a psychiatrist and not "well-educated" in the modern yup-pwog sense. Bored housewife who married a guy she hates, and has spent at least 5 years in psychotherapy, and is writing from a fictional psychiatrist's perspective because of having spent time in psychotherapy to great disappointment?

And, more obviously, clearly in need of reinforcement that she's "brilliant" or whatever her better-of-two-parents used to tell her in those moments of poor self-esteem. Posted by isomorphismes November 12, 7: Why is it that people identify so strongly with their college degree--either as a primal cause in what follows in their lives or as a valid descriptor of one's "true self"?

I know retired Americans who still self-identify as "I was a journalism major" or "My life began with my chemistry engineering degree". Here are a few possibilities: First big self-identifying choice these people made. And for those who didn't go to college? Posted by tornpapernapkin November 12, 7: I'm curious what makes people so sure of the gender at all.

At best this post reads to me as gender ambiguous. For me at least. My degree was something I poured my life into. I really loved and dreamed, and I just knew I'd do something good and I find it sad to think about it. Just one more thing in my past. And a box to tick. The second was the end of my belief. Posted by Anonymous November 12, 8: November 12, 8: The system works by giving them a set, one-time dollar amount for food each month.

If they waste it on over-priced food, that's less food for them. Posted by Thomas Belnap November 13, November 13, Looks like I touched a nerve. Your comment shows the difference between you and I. I believe I have control over my actions and you seem to believe that life is simply a matter of chance. Posted by Anonymous November 13, Posted by Anonymous November 13, 1: November 13, 1: And also, asshole, five years in psychotherapy is valuable and is also a hell of a lot of hard work.

Posted by Ryan November 13, 1: They were literally part of the royal bloodline,that was not just a symbol though the importance attached to it by society was.

There were millions of White Russian supporters, and so a very real threat that one of the children could later return and start another war to regain their throne. Look at the Carlists in Spain, for how longlasting this could be. And why the problem with bored housewives?

Is that sexism- women can be anything they want as long as it is not a housewife I have no idea why being bored as opposed to, I don't know, wildly entertained matters to you either, but I digress. Seriously- is that the best you've got? Posted by Pirran November 13, 2: November 13, 2: Oooh, what a racist. How can you make such a baseless, bigoted projection? And everyone else whoever they may be has the DUTY to pay for it. I'm not entirely sure how these things work, but I believe it involves planting many more Magic Money Trees.

Posted by Anonymous November 13, 2: TLP is cool with you as long as 'she' is a psychiatrist, but not cool if she is an analysand. They are navigating the same basic territory but for some reason the psychiatrist is better to you. Although the analysand is largely operating from an emotionally and mentally difficult position, that of navigating raw, original experience Kind of flip sides, same coin. With these other posts, the basic premise is that poor people artistic hipsters shouldn't get uppity and want things they aren't really entitled to And finally, the artistic hipsters, in my imagination, are happy and making the most of their poverty, cooking something nice, which is all anyone can do, ever.

But everyone writing in with any sense of entitlement is for the most part, pretty unhappy. So what makes you better? I know it is great fun to feel superior to someone, nobody knows that more than me I am super into that.

Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.