Students and Parents – Why Should Everyone Else Pay for Other People’s Dumb (and Hedonistic) Education Choices – Choose Wisely

I’ve recently made the acquaintance of a young man who has a problem. He is 28 years old; smart, of good moral character, and willing to work hard at part-time jobs. He does not expect anyone else, including the government, to support him. Yet he is puzzled and increasingly bitter that he cannot make a good living.

What’s his difficulty? It’s not the economy (in this specific case) but the fact that he has a degree in linguistics and is now studying Oriental philosophy at a fine university. His case is not altogether typical, but is immensely revealing.

Here’s the secret: He cannot make a living because the market for people with degrees in linguistics and in Oriental philosophy is limited. He should have known that. Someone should have told him that. The calculation of practicality should have been made. It wasn’t.

As I said, this individual does not want handouts and he has not taken student loans. Many others have. A large proportion of the Occupy Wall Street-and-other-places movement seems to consist of those who have made similar “career” (or non-career) decisions but want others to pay for their pastimes and mistakes.

Being unable to find a job is quite understandable in the current economy. Being unable to find a job because you have made decisions resulting in your having no qualification for a job and making no attempt to do so is something else entirely.