23 June 2014

No More Average Workers

The New York Times Magazine published a really interesting essay by Adam Davidson about "the boomerang kids" who won't leave home. To me one of the most remarkable phrases he writes is, "emblematic of a generation in which there are no more average workers and even less certainty."

This might get worse.

Average is going to be less defining in an entrepreneurial economy. Those who are successful are going to have more money than they'll ever spend. (Unless they are in the habit of buying expensive companies.) Those who are unsuccessful may easily lose a decade of their prime years and not easily find employment after a failed enterprise. Knowing that the average entrepreneur creates, say, $2 million in equity doesn't mean much if that works out to 1 in a 100 who create $200 million in equity and 99 who have nothing.

And speaking of average and its wild distribution, here is a chart that shows the wild disparity in average wages across 820 professions. 


Bill Abendroth said...

...especially in Lake Woebegon, where every kid is above average....

One quick comment about the Boomerang kids who "won't leave."

I worked and put myself through two years at a private liberal arts college, then three years at a private law school. Then I bought my own house.

While I am a hell of guy, I also graduated from law school in 1990, with a grand total of $20k in student loans. I also bought my house in 1996, for $70k.

Kids coming out of my law school now, virtually all of them have student loan debts larger than my mortgage--without the tax advantages.

My point is, some of those kids who won't leave, they're not leaving because they're already paying the equivalent of a 30 year mortgage, sans the house.

Ron Davison said...

Bill - I totally agree.
I still think that one of the more damning pieces of evidence of just how committed Cheney was to evil was his flying back from the Middle East specifically to cast the deciding Senate vote to raise interest rates on student loans.