Monday, June 04, 2007

More Advice Graduates Don't Want to Hear

This is an interesting article.

7 comments:

Suze said...

it IS a good article, though the preachy tone of the author gets on my nerves.

it feels like it will be a LONG time before i ever have a job that even offers a 401K plan, though. argh.

Jake said...

Yeah, what gets me is the assumption that you don't have college loans, and that you can get a job that makes 40k right out of college. If anything, that article (and others of its ilk) are so dispiriting to me, since it's so foreign to my experience.

As Suze said, argh.

Steph said...

Another argh here! Every time I read an article like this for young people on saving money I realize how different I am from the intended audience. I figured out ages ago to not eat out and buy things second-hand and not to pay for other people to make my coffee. And still, if I diverted 10 percent of our household income to savings, we wouldn't make our bills. Articles like this one make me depressed that my education seems to have offered me no discernable means of finding a job that will help me save for retirement, and make feel guilty and chastened for it, as well.

pamigelsrud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pamigelsrud said...

I hear you guys. I really do. My whole life I have been hearing musicians complain about how they work so hard and get paid next to nothing and how it isn't fair. It's true. Very true. I totally understand. I am now a second generation musician who feels the same way. But... we are all choosing to live in a society that doesn't value classical music. We are all intelligent people. We are choosing our incomes and in a sense really are choosing our poverty. I think we have to take more responsibility for our finances and stop feeling so powerless. That said - I welcome your complaints - I hope this discussion can continue.

Jake said...

I think part of the point is that we musicians don't feel that we have a choice, or that the choice is a false one. After all, we could have joined the hordes of musician wannabes years ago who have gone on to prosperous other lives, but we didn't. When it came down to it, there was no choice, and here we are.

But the really dangerous, insidious, hateful thing about that article, much as we musicians lament (and I confess, I'm now working prosperously in a job that offers a 401(k)), is the deeply embedded classism of our society. Musicians and artists are one type of class, a product of the society as much as we are participants. But what of the working poor? Those for whom three full time jobs still doesn't bring in enough for rent and expenses, let alone health care, and so on. For them, the choices are much more limited, and much starker. I feel the bite as an intelligent, educated, son of middle-classians; how much more so without those distinctions?

To your point, Pam, I agree that we chose a career that leads to poverty, but the financial ramifications were not in our control. I'd wager even money that the author of that article goes to concerts, enjoys art and so on, without a thought to the children those musicians are trying to raise and how they're going to pay rent or eat. We're the servants, after all, surely someone else is taking care of us, right?

pamigelsrud said...

So... the reason I posted this article is because I have a hard time managing money and I need to be reminded that I ought to think about saving for the future - for retirement. My parents' 30 years+ working full-time in the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra has left them with virtually no retirement money and that has been a painful reminder of what's ahead... or what could be ahead. I posted the article with positive intentions, but I definitely see your point about how the author makes an arrogant assumption that all of us are exiting college with a $40K salary. That's ridiculous. I do have very strong feelings about all this and hope I haven't offended anyone.