December 26, 2012

The jobs Americans just will do

The NYT is worried that the energy boom in eastern Montana has created too many high-paying jobs for Americans. This time, instead of the natural gas rotting in the ground, the problem is that some local teens are passing up junior college to make $40,000 or $50,000 per year:
Pay in Oil Fields Is Luring Youths in Montana 
SIDNEY, Mont. — For most high school seniors, a college degree is the surest path to a decent job and a stable future. But here in oil country, some teenagers are choosing the oil fields over universities, forgoing higher education for jobs with salaries that can start at $50,000 a year.

It is a lucrative but risky decision for any 18-year-old to make, one that could foreclose on his future if the frenzied pace of oil and gas drilling from here to North Dakota to Texas falters and work dries up. But with unemployment at more than 12 percent nationwide for young adults and college tuition soaring, students here on the snow-glazed plains of eastern Montana said they were ready to take their chances. 
... Even gas stations are enticing students away from college. Katorina Pippenger, a high school senior in the tiny town of Bainville, Mont., said she makes $24 an hour as a cashier in nearby Williston, N.D., the epicenter of the boom. Her plan is to work for a few years after she graduates this spring, save up and flee. She likes the look of Denver. “I just want to make money and get out,” she said. 
But school officials in eastern Montana said more and more students were interested in working for at least a year after graduation and getting technical training instead of a four-year degree. 
Last year, one-third of the graduating seniors at Sidney High School headed off to work instead of going to college or joining the military, a record percentage.

Uh-oh ... One out of three high school graduates gets a job.
... Meanwhile, enrollment at Dawson Community College in Glendive, about an hour from Sidney, has fallen to 225 students from 446 just a few years ago, as fewer local students pursue two-year degrees. 

Obviously, the solution is to get undocumented workers to do the jobs Americans just will do. Remember, cheap labor and diversity are the solutions for whatever problems you've got, even if they aren't problems.

98 comments:

BEN TILLMAN said...

It is a lucrative but risky decision for any 18-year-old to make, one that could foreclose on his future if the frenzied pace of oil and gas drilling from here to North Dakota to Texas falters and work dries up.

Is the Times implying that colleges engage in age discrimination? With the
NYT's blessing?

Gilbert Ratchet said...

A friend of mine wrote about this:

As a college professor, I heartily endorse these developments. There are few things more unpleasant than trying to deal with a student with no real aptitude for college but who has no other sense of options. More importantly, a lot of these kids will eventually be going to college and I guaran-effing-tee that someone who's had to be out at work in an oil field at five in the morning to start a shift isn't going to be asking for an extension on a paper because "he's been going through a lot of stuff right now." More young people need to get the responsibilities of being working adults rather than just delaying childhood for four to six years in college.

Anonymous said...

What an absolute joke! Avoid taking up any real world responsibility and go into debt for a degree that won't even be worth the paper it's printed on. Our country needs to take a good, long look in the mirror and assess what's truly important.

Maybe these "kids", if you want to call them that, will get enough real world experience that they can skip college all together. They'd be better off.

HAR said...

It seems like you're reading your ideological biases and hatred for the Times into this piece. It doesn't indicate that this is a terrible development. It's maybe a little tilted to the pro-education side, but mentions soaring college tuition and the decent pay kids can make. Also, if kids are dropping out of high school for these jobs, that may be a bad thing.

And I didn't see anything about immigrants being a solution to anything or diversity, but perhaps I need to read the article again.

Average Joe said...

I guess this helps to explain why so many people who work in universities are pro-immigration.

Anonymous said...

"It seems like you're reading your ideological biases ..."

Have you spent much time reading the US news in the last 40 years? Are we supposed to completely forget the past with each new story we read?

Matthew said...

If you have any conflict in your mind between going to college or working in the oil fields, then you should be working in the oil fields. College is for people committed to academics or the learning of some set of skills. The NYT is just pissed that Montana and North Dakota are missing out on their chance to get Hispanified.

Anonymous said...

"And I didn't see anything about immigrants being a solution to anything or diversity, but perhaps I need to read the article again."

And get a clue while you're at it...

Anonymous said...

COULD FORECLOSE HIS FUTURE!!!!11!!1!!!




*Eye roll* College will still be there.

Anonymous said...

Just notice that Montana and North Dakota are the oppose of many Southern states and Texas that want to keep wages lower. Texas Republicans favored a guestworker program where hispanics get paid between 8 to 10 to do fastfood and so forth. Notice in Montana 24 an hr for a cashir. Its a model that is ignored by the right.

countenance said...

It is a lucrative but risky decision for any 18-year-old to make, one that could foreclose on his future if the frenzied pace of oil and gas drilling from here to North Dakota to Texas falters and work dries up.

Translation: If Obama finds some excuse to shut it all down.

As for the rest of the tone of this article, I think HAR is a little bit right. This might not be much of an immigration power play, but pure jealousy. I have found that people who went to college and have a degree think they automatically deserve to make more money than someone who didn't. Mainly because college marketing material implicitly makes those promises. So when 18-year old goes straight from rural high school to $40,000 a year, and a graduate of the local junior college isn't making that much, he or she is going to be fuming with jealousy, and complain about it it to the New York Times.

Even if oil/gas goes bust, the colleges will always be there.

bluegrass said...

HAR:

If you read enough Isteve, you'll eventually garner that all left-wing media writing is usually highly elaborate and sugar-coated elite propaganda for one simple message:

"Fuck you Whitey. Pay tuition, pay taxes, watch football, and then die."

It seems strange that the more elaborate arguments I read on both sides, the more simplistic my hate becomes against my ideological enemies.

Makes me understand Noel Ignatiev a little better I guess.

Anonymous said...

What Steve is referring if we didn't have those 11 million illegal immirgants most jobs at the bottom would rise between 1 to 3 an hr. This is an example of a labor shortage.

Matthew Wolfinbarger said...

I have a degree in physics from a well-respected UC school and I have been unemployed for the last two years. Certainly, unemployment/underemployment for recent hard science majors is far rarer than for bulls**t majors, but it is still high to a disturbing extent, I'd say around or above 20 per cent (vs. 54% for recent college grads overall).

Anonymous said...

HAR,

You being purposely obtuse is no longer amusing. You see the elite classes of the US, let's say Big Education and Big Business with the help of the Times, don't want American youth making a nice living as a cashier or working in an oil field.

They want these jobs done on the cheap by immigrants so the Americans are funneled into college to get a degree so they can make a nice living after they've become indebted and thoroughly brainwashed.

This oil boom leads to the skipping of the brainwashing and the debt. Also, younger people can start a family, own property and become responsible, contributing adults at 25 instead of 35.

They'll have happier and healthier children and hopefully more of them. Less diversity, less brainwashing, less debt, less of the problems diversity creates such as a pittance for a wage and rising property costs due to unnatural population growth.

Are your questions answered now? Think of it as America prior to 1965.

Anonymous said...

I guaran-effing-tee that someone who's had to be out at work in an oil field at five in the morning to start a shift isn't going to be asking for an extension on a paper because "he's been going through a lot of stuff right now."

I'm afraid the professor is being rather naive. I worked on fishing boats before going off to college, and there was certainly no opportunity to take a "personal day" or shirk the duties of the day once there was nothing but sea in every direction.

Nonetheless, I was just as lazy as I could get away with all throughout college. Sure, I'd ask for term paper extensions. Why not? What's the professor going to do - throw me overboard?

There is a general misapprehension that a demonstration of constancy in one field or during one period of time can be generally applied to other areas of that person's life, but I assure you, no.

HAR said...

"If you read enough Isteve, you'll eventually garner that all left-wing media writing is usually highly elaborate and sugar-coated elite propaganda for one simple message:

'Fuck you Whitey. Pay tuition, pay taxes, watch football, and then die.'"

Oh I figured that out a long time ago. But when you start seeing every mention of jobs and education as really about diversity and immigration, you start becoming like that guy in Texas who complained because he thought "black hole" was a racist term.

Anyway, this was still a pretty stupid piece, as it seems like if you like that kind of work and are not too academically inclined then the choice is pretty easy. There's no diversity or immigration angle, but there's a lot of quotes from the educrat lobby that thinks that the longer someone sits in a class room, the smarter and more productive they automatically become.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The difference between Montana and Texas is that the retail job might be done by an immirgant in Texas while in Montana its done by a kid. Both states would use native born for the oil jobs but who knows maybe in Midland Texas where Bush comes from illegal immirgants are helping out with the lower skilled jobs in the oil fields. Only the Bushes would know for sure.

Anonymous said...

Also, the left is made since people are making money from dirty oil which has a boom-bust cycle.

Shouting Thomas said...

I admit to general puzzlement after reading this article. Why, I wondered, the general tone of gloom and foreboding about young people finding good jobs near home?

Thanks for deciphering the puzzle for me, Steve!

Anonymous said...

Well, Obama green energy didn't cause a labor boom and one of the requirements of green jobs was to get further training at a community college.

Snapperhead Soup said...

Brown energy boom under Obama is the big unreported story of our times. Obama's various plans to create jobs--public works, green energy, bailouts, etc--haven't done much, and so, it's back to Old Energy of gas and oil.

The 'left' doesn't want to report it because their guy has approved tons of drilling and fracking that the green movement has been attacking and fuming about for yrs.
The 'left' doesn't wanna admit the last card up Obie's sleeve is more gas and oil, industries generally associated with conservatives.

The 'right' doesn't wanna make a big deal of it cuz conservatives have pushed the narrative that climate-change-fanatic Obie is hostile to the tried-and-true energy industries. 'Right' doesn't wanna admit that Obama has pretty much thrown the greens under the bus as part of his economic policy. Obie cares about the success of his term than the environment. Of course, Obama gives more money to the EPA and pays lip service to its concerns like he's engaged with green issues, but the fact is obie has pretty much embraced brown energy to bring energy prices down and increase employment to make his presidency a success. So, he will be saved by pro-red state energy policies. But then, the 'socialist' bailed out Wall Street big time.

He cares more about greens in the bank than greens in the fields.

Anonymous said...

Oh, it's a problem. You try to avoid it Steve, but this is what really worries progressives/Marxists: not enough drones in higher ed, lapping up Frankfurt School truths.

Diversity is strength. As long as that doesn't mean diversity of opportunity, vis a vis payscale, or diversity of thought.

Anonymous said...

Obama should act immediately!

Anonymous said...

The best- and worst-run States:

The Best:
ND, WY, NE, UT, IA

The Worst:
CA, RI, IL, AZ, NJ

Diversity is Strength! Even RI, with all of its self-selected Irish and Italians, makes the case.

Anonymous said...

What happens when the oil runs out?

Anonymous said...

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/dec/19/tolkien-vs-technology/

Anonymous said...

"What happens when the oil runs out?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6ZAktYiumc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uco5Ed-5y2U

Dr Van Nostrand said...

It seems that this Tillman fellow and his ilk are resentful that high school graduates are able make some decent money($50k..what is it after taxes.isnt too shabby for an 18 year old) while probably half these NYT reporters are still struggling with their college debt.

But is this something really new? I mean when I was in college I was aghast to learn that an electrician or a plumber was able to make more than me.The difference was that I wasnt sour against them, I was upset that I didnt have this info at my disposal before I decided to head for college.

Even now there is still a deficit of tradespeople in the economy-handymen,carpenters,plumbers,landscapers,electricians,mechanics-jobs which dont require college.

At the white collar end,there are salesman and traders who often make more than those with masters and doctorates in their company/investment house.

There may be even more to it than simple economics- a type of sneering contempt for those who didnt pursue higher education in the proper school(if not private ,then atleast one of the "public Ivys")
Hitchens once said the best kept secret about America was class and empire because Americans prefer not to dwell on the fact that they have both.
This type of rampant credentialist society which promoted the simple minded imperialism in Iraq,Afghanistan (and now Libya) ensures that it is no longer a secret.Much less a well kept one!

Anonymous said...

http://takimag.com/article/the_neocowardice_of_rich_lowry_gilbert_cavanaugh/print#axzz2GEy4rC2w

Hagel no like bagel?

Fun said...

The wages in Montana's energy sector are so high because there is a temporary labor shortage. There is a labor shortage said companies are striking oil in a state that nobody lives in; Montana is the third-least densely populated U.S. state, with an average of 6.8 people per square mile (Compare to the national average of 88 people). Immigration does play a role in depressing wages; but be real here. Montana's post-Black Death level of depopulation isn't the norm. 50k-a-year starting wages for high school drop-outs is a huge aberration.

Also these kids are better off going to college because at least they'll have a backup plan when the local wells run dry and the industry skips town.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

What happens when the oil runs out?"

Also popular with liberals-
We cant drill our way out of this energy crisis.


If we drill now, it will take 5 years(or 10 or 15) before we get the oil, so that options a go!


Each argument against drilling is just as coherent,logical and well thought out as the other.

Robert said...

"Last year, one-third of the graduating seniors at Sidney High School headed off to work instead of going to college or joining the military, a record percentage."

We call it DISGRACEFUL.

Jeronimus said...

1. Go to North Dakota.

2. Get job.

3. Save money.

4. Purchase rental property in walkable community of the sort James Howard Kunstler describes.

5. Live in the rental property and manage it and live off the rent.

Anonymous said...

As the late, revered North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms said, "Son, just so you understand, I don't care what The New York Times says about me. And nobody I care about cares what The New York Times says about me."

Jeronimus said...

1. Got to North Dakota,

2, Get job.

3. Save money.

4. Purchase rental properties and/or a convenience store in walkable, SWPL, implicit towns of the sort described by James Howard Kunstler.

5. Live in and manage your rental properties, and live off the income, and maybe get a job fixing bicycles or something interesting but not necessarily high paying.

The biggest drawback in the USA is the cost of living, and it relates directly to the obesity epidemic, but the cost of living is a problem because everyone is dependent on cars. If you can arrange your life to be car-free, you can have a much higher quality of life -- more money in your wallet, less fat around your middle, and less stress in you overall.

I was car-free for several years in my 20's and it was great. I lived in Boston on 9 bucks an hour in 1995 and was budgeted to the penny. But I was also quite care free and able to think clearly and had free time to breathe and live.

And it's not necessarily a "drop out" life style. You may do something great with your free time, invent something or write a great book. If you are working a zillion hours a week to support auto related industries, you are less likely to do something great.

The North Dakota thing sounds like an adventure though. Go there and save up for a few years, and then own working assets such as apt bldgs. and c-stores.

CJ said...

The attitude expressed in the NYT piece isn't exclusive to the U.S. Since I moved back to Canada I've noticed that left opinion is now unremittingly hostile to any activity that would allow a hard-working Joe Average to make good money. Mining, logging, construction, oil and gas drilling, pipelines -- if it's something where an ordinary guy can make enough to support a Leave it to Beaver family, they're against it. They may find different reasons to be against it -- global warming, pollution, oppression of aboriginals, degradation of "greenbelt" -- but they're always against it. They simply don't want anyone unlike themselves doing well, and the older ones are still angry about the failure of workers to support socialist politics.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

To the NYT, high paying jobs for young working class Americans that will also lower energy costs and lessen our dreaded "dependence on foreign oil" is a BAD thing.

Tells you all you need to know right there.

Dahinda said...

You can always go back to school later, especially if you now have the money to do so!

Conatus said...

The fact that the cashier is making 24 an hour contradicts the mainstream's media's most important recent discovery in the field of economics, that when it comes to and jobs-Americans-won't-do, the law of supply and demand has been repealed. I don't know if it is a discovery or simply a decree issued by by a committee of Newyorktimers and Washposties. 24 an hour is like paying the lawn mower guy 15 an hour(the minimum wage in Australia).
The Committee of the Knowers at the NYTs proclaims, "Hearye, Hearye we the KNOWING hearby decree that the law of supply and demand has been abolished but only when it comes to jobs-Americans-will-not-do."
The new law of economics is "No matter what the pay, lazy white Americans still won't do it." shall be assumed by all and thus the NYT's disgust at the obvious breaking of this law in the upper midwest.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

HAR -

There's no diversity or immigration angle, but there's a lot of quotes from the educrat lobby that thinks that the longer someone sits in a class room, the smarter and more productive they automatically become.

If you asked those educrats who is going to do that work if not native-born young people, what do you think their answer would be?

NOTA said...

Snapperhead:

This also demonstrates how little presidents control things they take credit or blame for. As far as I can tell, Obama's involvement in the oil and natural gas boom is entirely in not trying too hard to stop it. Like Clinton with the dot com bubble. Probably also like W with the housing bubble--he gave it some friendly rhetoric and maybe some friendly regulation around the edges, but mainly it just happened while he was occupied with other stuff in the white house.

jeanne said...

"while in Montana its done by a WHITE kid."

FIFY

yes, in montana we still have white construction crews, roofers, drywallers, c-store workers, coders, you name it. exept on the rez of course.

Anonymous said...

Well,hydro is the best of the green energy yet they always promote solar and wind.

Anonymous said...

But back in New York City, skipping college to repair boilers is a path to Dartmouth.

Homework assignment: Compare and contrast the these two similar articles one occurring in that center of all things civilized, New York City, and one occurring in the provinces.

From Boilers to Dartmouth: ‘I Got Lucky’

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/nyregion/a-queens-college-student-goes-from-boilers-to-dartmouth-medical-school.html?_r=0

peterike said...

Of course the Times is upset at anything that even slightly upsets the higher Ed apple-cart, since academics are probably their number one constituency. Unemployed college hacks means fewer Times readers.

Anonymous said...

Well, Obama is a contradictoin, hitting against the laws of Arizona and Montana to protect hispanics but he has made it tougher to get into the US, they have to take a boat all the way up the Californnia Coast and get off at San Luis Obispo- and some then are transported to Texas and back east.

Paul Mendez said...

Yeah, those stupid 18-year-old cowboys in Montana and North Dakota don't have a clue.

If they were smart they'd do like my niece and go $100K into debt for a Masters in International Relations. Now she can converse quite intelligently with the guests at the country club where she's a waitress.

Anonymous said...

Rhode Island has a lot of portugaese and later Brazilians. Its not white as much in the traditonal sense as people believe.

Anonymous said...

"The Worst:
CA, RI, IL, AZ, NJ"

Living in Arizona, I don't see it. Especially considering the league that it is placed in, and the weaksauce "reasons" given for its placing.

Smells like sour grapes because Arizona took a hard line against illegals.

Anonymous said...

"It is a lucrative but risky decision for any 18-year-old to make, one that could foreclose on his future"

The author does not understand the word risk. Risk implies uncertainty in outcome. What these young men are doing is exchanging a certain and lucrative outcome for college. College is clearly the more expense and less certain, and therefore more risky choice.

Hey college chicks, tired of all the gays and losers you are surrounded by in your big city liberal arts university? Apparently there are places available at local institutions of higher ed. Montana is a half day drive to Burning Man, and way cheaper than Cali. Your new oilfield hubby can help rig a flaming art object to the bed of his F-350.

Anonymous said...

Is the Times losing it's faith?

For Poor, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html?hp&_r=1&pagewanted=all&#commentsContainer

Anonymous said...

Well, there was a big oil boom in the 1970's and many of the same states benefited but when Reagan deregulated oil there was a glut and small towns that were doing the oil suffered.

DPG said...

One mantra I used to hear in school is that "Learning is a lifelong process."

But that conflicts with the academia-media-government belief that our kids MUST go to college in order for us to prosper-- even if we have to dumb down the classes and subsidize the diploma mills-- while immigrants fill the manual labor jobs. Therefore, a degree is too high an opportunity cost relative to a good paying job, regardless of the individual kid's lot in life. (The most absurd application of this belief is in college basketball and football, when young men with IQs of 75 have to forego million-dollar signing bonuses so that old white people can feel good about being educated educators.) The problem is that a 17 year old high school senior is now pressured into believing that he MUST go to college in order to have a life. Then, when those kids become employets, they think anyone who didn't go straight to college must have something wrong with his medulla oblongata; it becomes self-reinforcing.

The NYT could provide a valuable service: by supporting the notion that learning really is lifelong; that a kid's future shouldn't be determined by grades earned at the age of 14 (kids with late birthdays are 13 when they enter freshman year); that people who head back to school after they pull themselves together out in the real world can turn into middle class stalwarts. Alas.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this. If the oil/gas thing dries up and the kids are left without any work options, can't they just go to college when that happens?

I don't understand the urgency that the NYT is putting on getting these kids to go to college immediately. When I was a young student in college, we had our share of 40-50-60 year old guys going back to school to get their degrees along side us young guys fresh out of high school.

Anonymous said...

aren't student loans the biggest asset on government books?
no no college degrees for you!

NOTA said...

It is truly sobering to think of all the people who are passing up 30K of debt and an English degree that qualifies them to work as a barista at Starbucks, in favor of making a good income doing demanding and interesting work now. Why, some of these poor confused people will probably marry their girlfriend, buy a house, and start raising kids, instead of waiting till their mid-40s to drop another 30K on fertility treatments so they can have their one lavishly raised child. They'll probably live someplace with decent public schools and safe streets, where they can afford a reasonably nice house with a yard. What the hell is wrong with these people? Can't they see what they're throwing away?

Years from now, when they're retired, surrounded by their grandchildren and living in their paid-off homes, they'll see what an error they made. "I could have lived in a massive soulless suburb, had one child and no grandkids, and made partner," they'll think. Ah, but by then, it will be too late.

Anonymous said...

Immigration Reform and Guest Worker Programs are not about providing cheap labor to employers. It is about providing workers who are willing to do the work. I remember hearing President Bush, in a State of the Union speech, say that we need immigrant workers to do the jobs American's won't do. I was angry - very angry. I thought that was a lie. But as I have studied this problem and talked with employers who want and can't find legal workers in adequate supply, I have learned that it really is true. Groups like FAIR, the Center for Immigration Studies, and NumbersUSA claim that a guest worker program would create a slave-labor class of workers. The exact opposite is true. Our current broken system has already created a slave labor pool of unindentified workers who cannot compete in the open marketplace and who are afraid to report substandard wages and wage theft.
Texas GOP WEBSITE.

Anonymous said...

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement audited more companies for illegal immigrants on their payrolls in the 2012 fiscal year than in previous years. Audits of employer I-9 forms increased to more than 3,000 in 2012 from 250 in the 2007 fiscal year. From fiscal 2009 to 2012, the total amount of fines grew to nearly $13 million from $1 million, ICE data showed. Employers are required to have workers fill out an I-9 form that declares them authorized to work in the country. An employer needs only to verify that identifying documents look real. The audits rely on ICE officers scouring payroll records to find names that do not match Social Security numbers and other identification databases. In the 2011 fiscal year, the most recent year reviewed by The Associated Press, the median fine was $11,000. The state with the most workplaces fined was Texas with 63, followed by New Jersey with 37. A problem of both red and blue states, employers want the immirgant labor.

Dan Kurt said...

Get a MS in some Engineering field.

Dan Kurt

Heh said...

What happens when the oil runs out?

Who cares? That will take decades. Those kids need jobs NOW.

Dan Kurt said...

Oil will never run out.

It might be replaced but then again pigs might some day fly.

Read Thomas Gold.

Dan Kurt

Anonymous said...

Why should everyone have to go to college anyway?

Mr. Anon said...

"HAR said...

Oh I figured that out a long time ago. But when you start seeing every mention of jobs and education as really about diversity and immigration, you start becoming like that guy in Texas who complained because he thought "black hole" was a racist term."

No, Steve's interpertation was perfectly reasonable. One needs to take into account the entire body of the Time's reporting when considering any one article. That and the fact that Carlos Slim, the Mexican wire-transfer and Obama-phone magnate, owns a sizeable stake in the NYT.

Anonymous said...

Whats' wrong with being 18 years old and working and making pretty darn good money for a couple of years in a nice and scenic part of the country? If the oil work "dries up" in a few years, (and why would it?) why can't they just go to college at 20 or 21? They will have a fair bit of money and owe less student loans when they graduate. The Times makes this scenario sound like some kind of nightmare.

Aporia said...

test

2Degrees said...

I am an ex-academic and I always despised the ideology espoused by the great majority of my colleagues.

Now I have my own business and I have learned to love the PC claptrap shoved into students at university.

It makes people who are smarter than me into complete idiots and cuts down the competition.

Michael Ryan said...

i have a 130 IQ and do construction i can work a 30-35 hour week for six months in nyc and then take 6 months off and go up to my ranch in idaho, yes i own a ranch and a brownstone i consider going back to school every so often then realize i would never have the freedom of coming and going as i please. yes its a union job and yes there are abuses but public sector unions which we should re outlaw aside, i cant think of another way to keep the income gap from growing. unfortunately immigration and affirmative action are destroying unions as quality and productivity decreases to say little of the wage pressure from immigration the argument for higher wages collapses. its a lie that these are jobs whites don't want courts have wrested them from the people that developed the skills and founded the guilds and turn them over not to American blacks but Caribbean blacks and to Hispanics who for god knows what reason are owed restitution from Americans. in fairness eastern European Asian Irish etc are all taking these and other jobs as well too. the quality in my career has gone from American to third world. elevators are beginning to devour people alive building collapse etc

Michael Ryan said...

so if you spend time typing one fingered comments they get erased if you haven't figured out to log in first we Luddites will revolt one day

Anonymous said...

HAR--you can easily correlate the loss of America's industrial base (and the jobs that went along with it) with the increase in college attendance.

As high-paying manufacturing jobs went away, more mediocre high school grads were encouraged to go to junior colleges or 4-year colleges to pursue crap degrees. They went into debt while doing so, and allowed colleges to increase tuition year after year.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is "wrong" with being 18 years old and earning 50K a year? Usually your expenses are pretty low at this time of life. I think its a great deal. Sign me up.

Cyrus Triste said...

Thanks for deciphering the puzzle for me, Steve!

Steve rarely ties it all together! Because he desperately wants to avoid being labeled a conspiracy theorist. Steve constantly analyzes the NYT but never mentions the UN or the CFR etc.

NYT writers are mouthpieces for the NWO bankster mafia. These crooks want white guys with pickup trucks to be impoverished and disarmed. NOT given jobs that will support a family!

Jefferson said...

" The NYT is just pissed that Montana and North Dakota are missing out on their chance to get Hispanified."

I hope the racial demographics of North Dakota and Montana do not turn into another Los Angeles.

Montana and North Dakota are one of the few states left that still resembles the America of yesteryear.

CK said...

Montana and N.Dak you could find a very few whiter places in the USA but those places don't have oil or nat.gas.
Eastern Montana and North Dakota have some of the most challenging
environments in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Obama, being reelected, is poised to kill kill kill brown energy with a vengeance. He's from Chicago, so all he cares about is the FIRE industries (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate). His cronies Soros and Buffett, the Carlos Slims of America, are not invested. So they benefit. And Green fantasies are more opportunities for him to make (even richer) guys like Buffett and Soros and the California VC crowd that backed him. Brown energy in places like Montana just benefit wildcat oil companies which are political enemies of Obama who in turn is a creature of the liberal coastal elites.

Look at the handgun ban working its way through the Senate, sponsored by Feinstein. Its revolvers only. It will fail (the House won't pass it), piss off White gun owners, but Dems don't care. Because Obama will just enact it by fiat like everything else he does, such as the coming Amnesty for 20 million Mexicans, to media / NYT approval.

Obama "won" and does not need or want to take into consideration White middle/working class voters. Just Buffett, Soros, and the Sandhill Road guys.

Truth said...

"I have a degree in physics from a well-respected UC school and I have been unemployed for the last two years. Certainly, unemployment/underemployment for recent hard science majors is far rarer than for bulls**t majors, but it is still high to a disturbing extent, I'd say around or above 20 per cent (vs. 54% for recent college grads overall)."

Well hell, Son, take a job selling cars or something until JPL comes a'callin'.

anony-mouse said...

If Americans were willing to work as a cashier in Williston no one would be paid $24/hour to do it.

In fact the huge labor shortage in the entire state of ND shows the unwillingness of most unemployed Americans to work.

And its not just ND. KY and neighboring VA, CO and neighboring NE, RI and (almost) neighboring NH/VT have such different unemployment rates that the laziness of able-bodied unemployed Americans is obvious.

My favorite example is HI, and the many states with higher unemployment rate. Just think, people would rather not work in Feb in Chicago than work that same month in Honolulu.

Carol said...

"the huge labor shortage in the entire state of ND shows the unwillingness of most unemployed Americans to work."

Now be fair; the lack of housing is the big problem. A lot of people don't want to live in huge man-camp trailer cities in BFE. At least the North Slope had dorms for these guys, but I don't know if they've tried that in the Bakken yet.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

What exactly is "wrong" with being 18 years old and earning 50K a year? Usually your expenses are pretty low at this time of life. I think its a great deal. Sign me up.

Hell. Just sign me up for the 18 part.

Please.

I'm not greedy.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

What exactly is "wrong" with being 18 years old and earning 50K a year? Usually your expenses are pretty low at this time of life. I think its a great deal. Sign me up.

Hell. Just sign me up for the 18 part.

Please.

I'm not greedy.

Anonymous said...

Of course the NYT is upset. Some white people are catching a break. They are doing well for themselves. And EVEN WORSE they are doing well without any diversity.

And we can't have that now, can we?

Cail Corishev said...

The Times makes this scenario sound like some kind of nightmare.

Because to the kind of person who writes for the Times, it does sound like a nightmare. Hard work? Outdoors? Plundering the earth for fossil fuels? Living around people who have never seen a Broadway show or spent a summer backpacking across Europe, who drive pickup trucks and go hunting for food and fun?

To a Times writer, that's not just a nightmare, it's like all his nightmares run together in a montage.

JSM said...

"Also these kids are better off going to college because at least they'll have a backup plan when the local wells run dry and the industry skips town."

Ijit.
Work the oil fields now, save money; when the oil runs dry THEN go to school, on the funds you saved working, so NO DEBT.

*No debt.*
White folks getting a college degree without debt.
Aha! That's it. There's the rub among the piper-payers who call the NY Times' tune.

David Davenport said...

I was car-free for several years in my 20's and it was great. I lived in Boston on 9 bucks an hour in 1995 and was budgeted to the penny. But I was also quite care free and able to think clearly and had free time to breathe and live.

Try living without a car in Middle America. Thinking clearly? No, thinking like a sanctimonious East Coast big city yokel.

ben tillman said...

No, Steve's interpertation was perfectly reasonable. One needs to take into account the entire body of the Time's reporting when considering any one article.

Not only the "entire body of the Time's reporting" but also the body of Steve's work. He's previously mentioned that immigration deprives Americans of the benefits of boomtowns.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:02, Brazilians aren't Portuguese, they're just former colonials that speak the language.

Cape Verdeans, on the other hand, self-identify as Portuguese when they want to be accepted by whites and Cape Verdean when they're being black, and Rhode Island has plenty, as does Massachusetts.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island essentially have the same demographic profile for the top 7 ethnicities in each state. After that, though, Massachusetts lists Polish, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, Indian and Swedish. Rhode Island has Puerto Rican, Dominican, Chinese and Guatemalan.

The bottom 15% of your population defines your state as much as the top 15%.

Mr. Anon said...

"JSM said...

White folks getting a college degree without debt.

Aha! That's it. There's the rub among the piper-payers who call the NY Times' tune."

Yes, that has become an obvious theme in the conventional wisdom as spread by the media: whatever you do, make sure that you're always in debt. Why being in debt is such a good thing is never explained. Obviously, us being in debt is good for someone.

jody said...

this is how most of australia and canada is as well. white guys with only a high school education, making 80,000 australian or canadian dollars a year to do an honest day's work of skilled blue collar labor in the mines or the oil fields. do people "not want to live" in canada or australia either? seems to be, half the world would move to canada or australia if they could.

so much for the idea that this phenomenon is localized to north dakota and the bakken because nobody wants to live there. what about texas and the eagle ford? same thing happening there, yet it's omitted from the discussion because...people want to live in texas.

as other people have said, this is a nightmare scenario for our year 2012 liberals.

and yeah, obama was dead wrong about the green energy stuff. but what isn't he dead wrong about? he mocked "drill baby drill", but isn't that EXACTLY what is actually working?

and contrary to some posters here, obama is definitely impeding the US energy sector. it's growing despite him, not because of him. he's blocking plenty of projects.

the energy industry is the only industry even growing. if there's any real growth in that 1% GDP growth in the US, it's almost exclusively from oil and natural gas.

stupid, evil, dumb, conservative white guys, figuring out how to get more oil and natural gas from tight rock formations. what idiots. what backwards relics. america could use a lot less of them and a lot more harvard lawyers.

the great irony of america is that it could not be built today. lawyers would block everything, and the great american industrialists of 150 to 100 years ago, and huge scale infrastruture projects of 60 to 50 years ago, would never be allowed to happen.

MaMu1977 said...

@Mr. Anime

Debt is bondage. When you are in debt to a person, that person can convince (if not order) you to do things that are against your best interests. This isn't rocket science or brain surgery.

It's like this: if you own a business, your unmarried employees aren't going to have as much invested into the business as your married employees (with kids.) If you're a guy who's looking for sex in the back of a limo, you're more likely to convince the girl who *doesn't* have access to a limo to fool around in the back of the limo, than you would be able to convince a girl who goes yachting on a monthly basis. The guy who's worried about paying tuition for his kids is going to accept more overtime than the guy who has no attachments. The girl who's unaccustomed to *eating* properly handled meat (never mind Grade A Prime Rib in a Michelin-level restaurant) is far easier to convince to give a little sucky-sucky in the back of a limo, than the affluent girl who critiques your choice in wine and blithely mentions the time she traded bon mots with Gore Vidal at the Met.

It's all about turning us into slaves. It's *always* been about that one thing. It's about consolidating money/value in as few hands as possible. Shut down factories in America, rebuild then in cheaper areas and put the savings in the hands of the (far less numerous) stockholders. Remove pension plans, give bonuses to the top 5% of business executives. Take advantage of illegal immigrant labour and give them primers on how to abuse the system (welfare, Section 8, SIC, ER usage, etc.), then re-offer the jobs to Americans at a 20+% salary cut if they're caught using the scabs (best example-Tyson Foods used to pay $15/hour for chicken deboners. In the early 90's, their Georgia plants began to use illegals. When the media caught wind during the first GWB term, Tyson got rid of the illegals and offered the jobs to American citizens at $10/hour. Interestingly enough, those jobs were swamped with applicants, even at the reduced pay, because the unemployment rates in the area were so high that the people were desperate for any source of money.)

It's the old joke, "A million here, a million there, and soon you're talking about some real money!", on a macro scale. A factory here, a factory there, and now America only produces components and food. A bonus here, a bonus there, and what was a set of $10K bonuses for the most profitable workers in the Sixties are now $100+K bonuses for any guy who has the right connections (school, experience, family) even if the recipient is a failure (Golden Parachutes, anyone?) Can't use IQ tests because of "racial bias", so universities become billion dollar entities to provide a proxy (and has made the mid 5-figure corporate earner with a degree in English Lit or Gender Studies a stereotype.) It's turtles all the way down, getting smaller and smaller as the top turtles continue to get fat.

Anonymous said...

Anony-mouse, I can't speak to the Midwest, but I can to my native New England.

Vermont: Unemployment rate is 5.4, foreign born population is 3.9%.

New Hampshire: Unemployment rate is 5.7, foreign born population is 5.2%.

Rhode Island: Unemployment rate is 10.5, foreign born population is 12.9%.

As we can see here, your thesis falls to pieces.

But the real monkey wrench in the works?

Massachusetts: 6.5% unemployment rate, 14.7% foreign born.

My metric is education:
Percentage of Massachusetts residents with bachelors degree or better is 38.7%.
New Hampshire's is 33.1%.
Vermont's is 33.8%.
Rhode Island's is 30.6%.

As I've pointed out before on this site, Massachusetts is the honors course program that drives the New England economy; Rhode Island is the short bus.

Truth said...

"this is how most of australia and canada is as well. white guys with only a high school education, making 80,000 australian or canadian dollars a year to do an honest day's work of skilled blue collar labor in the mines or the oil fields. do people "not want to live" in canada or australia either? seems to be, half the world would move to canada or australia if they could.

so much for the idea that this phenomenon is localized to north dakota and the bakken because nobody wants to live there."

Great, they pay more money than you make now, and white guys love this type of physical labor, so when are you moving, jody?

Vince R said...

I'm a liberal, one that many of you would probably dispise because of real differences in the way we see the world, but also due to preconceived notions about how a liberal thinks. I must admit that I also have preconceived notions about right-wing conservatives. And I'll have to say that some of those notions are borne out by the quality of thinking displayed in this piece by Mr. Sailer and the comments that follow.

The NYT piece in question does make a couple of assertions that one might possibly take exception to: certainly the first line about college being "the surest path to a decent job", etc., is one (though all studies show that the jobless rate right now is much higher among non-college grads than those with a degree). Another assertion one might question (though I don't) is that the choice to leave school and work in the oil fields is a "risky decision". But nowhere does the reporter himself claim that it is a "wrong" decision. As much weight is given to the statements of some of the young people making that choice as to the school administrators who do "worry" about it. However, in this article, neither the reporter nor, by association, the N.Y. Times themselves express "worry" about the situation. Sailer has read his own prejudices into his understanding (or lack, thereof) of the article.

I'm sure you can all do better than that. But when I see the level of discussion displayed here, it's easy for me to dismiss conservatives as unable to conduct thoughtful, perceptive discourse, prefering to rant wildly than read (and think) deliberately. Come on! Give me a reason to take you seriously.

Jeronimus said...

Vince R.

I don't care about persuading you or people like you. It is good to make extreme interpretations of liberal writings, and finding as much fault with liberals as possible. this is MindWar, it's not reasonable discourse with reasonable gentlemen who have some common ground about what is good and what is evil.

I don't care to persuade you; I care to defeat you. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting, Vince R! Yours is the same elite view that said Americans had nothing to fear from Dems re Second Amendment rights.

For years the gun nut stockpilers have been mocked as irrational paranoids. The nuanced, perceptive view from genius liberal land was that there was no future attack coming on gun rights.

Now the leftists have dropped the charade of tolerance for the Second Amendment and the gun nuts were right all along.

The same dynamic is playing out re Obama's faux Christianity by the way.

indyjonesouthere said...

The times should worry far more about the EBT, Tanf, or medicaid running out. They are far less sustainable than oil. One look at Sandy or Katrina should give them nightmares as it appears that the educated elite can't deal with emergencies or the Corzine crowd on wall street. That 50,000 dollar income youth in the redoubt is better off than the ivy league toadies blowing up the economy in DC or NYC.

NOTA said...

Vince:

It may be that you simply won't agree with a lot of what you read here. But there are a couple background assumptions that might make a lot of the comments make more sense:

a. A lot of us strongly suspect that the pressure for almost everyone to go to college is a bad thing, both for the whole society, and for the marginal students.

b. A lot of us also have come to see some media sources, particularly the New York Times, as being captured by the worldview of a particular social class of people. Call them the class of successful, smart, urban and suburban East Coast professionals. And this worldview has some consistent blind spots.

As far as (a) goes, I went to a respectable large state university. I know people who got liberal arts degrees, and found that these basically qualified them for jobs as clerks or salesmen. Many of those people went seriously into debt to get those degrees. In the intervening years, the cost of tuition has gone up, but also the fraction of people going to college has gone up, and more and more employers are usnig a college degree to filter out the stupid and nonfunctional applicants. The result is that to get even a minimally decent job, it is more or less necessary to get a college degree, for which you must go tens of thousands of dollars into debt even if you go to a perfectly normal state university. Overall. this is a horrible change in the world--a guy can get the same job his dad had, but where his dad got it at 18 with no debt, he gets it at 21 with 30K of debt--which has helpfully been made impossible to discharge in bankruptcy, so even if he loses his job and house and ends up living in his dad's basement, he still will owe it forever.

My guess is that many of the people going to midrange and lower universities for liberal arts degrees (I'm not sure a BA in English from Yale isn't helpful in finding a good job, but a BA in English from the University of Illinois isn't all that helpful.) would do a lot better to look for blue-collar skilled sorts of jobs that paid well, and that as a society, we'd do better to try to keep those jobs around. I'm very much in favor of everyone getting what education they can benefit from and enjoy--I'm a working scientist, so it's not like I undervalue education or learning or knowledge--but I don't think it's so great to go deeply into debt to become qualified to work as a barista at Starbucks or stocking shelves at Barnes and Noble.

The numbers on unemployment for college degree holders vs non degree holders tells us something about their prospects, but not exactly what we want to know. I'm pretty sure a BA in English from the University of Illinois helps you a little getting a job and having a better life. But so does being smart and literate and functional enough to get that degree. And on the other side, four years of foregone income and a big pile of student loan debt have some costs. And the people who really get screwed are the ones who go to college, run up some debts, but then don't finish. If you are marginally capable of getting through college--you were an okay but not great student in high school, your intro classes are quite challenging but with a lot of work you can manage them--then it's likely you will eventually flunk out or drop out, taking your debt with you.

If most of the people tempted to forgo college for a good job now are drawn from the marginal college students, then my guess is that it's a win. Those jobs may not stick around forever, but those guys may still come out ahead by not going. And if you're a marginal student becasue of being irresponsible at 18, you may not be so marginal at 22, going to college after having worked four years in the oil fields.

Vince R said...

NOTA,

Thank you for your excellent reply. As a matter of fact, on the topic of universal college education, we agree more than disagree. I, myself, was a high school dropout. I left school and joined the Navy. After the service, I got my GED and eventually went to college (at 30 years old) and did very well. I became an English teacher, but later got into I.T. and am now the I.T. director for the local school system. Not rushing off to college after high school is hardly a death sentence.

My daughter is a college graduate. Her brother, on the other hand, chose not to go to college. I fully supported that decision. He wants to be out working with his hands. He's done farm work and construction and seems to be living a very satisfying life.

In fact, I wrote an op-ed piece for our local paper some years ago about the folly of our society requiring college degrees for jobs where they aren't really needed. And I've been very supportive of school-to-work programs in our district that get kids out working in the community in areas of interest. Some of these kids leave high school and go to work for the folks they've interned with. I think that's great.

Your points are all well taken. Thanks again.



Jeronimus,

Thank you also for your reply. Seriously. Your honesty is appreciated. In light of your remarks, I would say my original post was not helpful. I see now that the posts I read here were not, for the most part, responding to that particular article, but rather were driven by a tremendous antipathy for the views typically expressed on the editorial pages of liberal publications like the Times. And I share many of those views. So you and I are, alas, enemies. But at least we can be honest about it.

Anonymous said...

when they're retired, surrounded by their grandchildren and living in their paid-off homes, they'll see what an error they made. "I could have lived in a massive soulless suburb, had one child and no grandkids, and made partner," they'll think. Ah, but by then, it will be too late.

But there is a cost. They will be proles. If they had made it to partnership in a biglaw firm, they would have been upper middle class.