Monday, April 12, 2010

Big Lies


I had actually already read this article once before and took another look at it when Dr. Gould suggested it. I have to admit that my first instinct is repulsion, for multiple reasons. On the one hand, I find the whiny tone of the piece irritating. It seems to sound like the bellyaching of every lazy undergrad I've ever heard from combined with the bellyaching of every frustrated mid-career entertainment professional I've ever heard from--who incidentally, seem to be the same people, just a few years down the road. That may seem harsh--but that's my honest first instinct. On the other hand, however, I'm sensitive to the pragmatics of a labor market situation where there's a surplus of qualified, (sometimes even overqualified), applicants for the current number of available jobs. This type of brutally competitive labor market situation invariably creates unfortunate and unfair scenarios. The author is onto something and it's important that he's expressing this frustration clearly, though as an employed professor, he seems to be doing it vicariously, perhaps as some exercise in therapeutic empathizing. Bottom line, I think it's critical that insiders blow the whistle on an unfair labor market to bring awareness to a potentially unethical situation--schools churning out students with expensive, hard to get degrees for which there are no jobs. However, it's important to take an entrepreneurial, competitive attitude toward things rather than an aww shucks, defeatist, victimized approach. In this day and age, 'big lies,' simply shouldn't be perpetrated when individuals have the ability to do so much research on the web.