Thursday, May 22, 2008

The once-comfortable center cannot hold

(Not) Keeping Up with Our Parents: Just Being Middle Class Is Becoming out of Reach - Beacon Press

The most conspicuous part of the Great Education Myth and yet, to all the blathering, clueless commentators, the most invisible (here Upton Sinclair's famous observation seems to pertain: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it"):
Alongside our schooling in philosophy and economics, today's college-educated professionals have been conditioned to see ourselves as among the financially stable, mainstream haves. Many of us attended what are considered strong academic institutions. Others come from families with comfortable financial backgrounds. Our childhood friends, our college roommates, the couple we met at that holiday party are those same lawyers and financiers who've hit the financial jackpot, driving multiple Mercedeses and buying $2 million starter homes. We know we aren't like them. We've aspired to different career and financial goals, those more rooted in education, the arts or public service. But, given our often-similar backgrounds and educations, it's clear we aren't entirely unlike them either. This rising and dramatic economic inequality among college-educated professionals, leaving so many of us to struggle while a select few enter the strata of the "super rich," was not supposed to be part of the package.

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