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October 30, 2012

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rjmadden

Why don’t degrees and vocabulary always translate into big money? Why does sophisticated pontificating at Starbucks earn less than mindlessly doing accounting behind a desk?

Er, because my accountant does something valuable to me (saving me having to do it instead). A professor of gender studies or critical theory, not so much. Pontificating is cheap.

Stuck-Record

Sums up my brand-new-Audi-driving leftist neighbour. He rages at other cars on the road, "Why do all these people need to drive?"

David

rjmadden,

“Er, because my accountant does something valuable to me (saving me having to do it instead). A professor of gender studies or critical theory, not so much.”

And yet it’s surprising just how often professed egalitarianism coincides with assumptions of superiority and hierarchical entitlement. As if having an above average IQ should in and of itself entail great financial rewards regardless of how that intelligence is used. The fact that an engineer or bricklayer may be more valuable is, for some, almost offensive. As with Professor Surber, who seems to believe that his nuanced and complex thinking – his words – entitles him to much more than his customers wish to pay. And I’ve had several exchanges with people who acted as if they ought to somehow be reimbursed by society essentially for having the right political views.

Tim Newman

Ah, sometimes it is very satisfying to be an engineer working for big oil, knowing I am detested by all the right people. :)

rjmadden

As if having an above average IQ should in and of itself entail great financial rewards regardless of how that intelligence is used.

A socialist caste system.

David

“A socialist caste system.”

Some kind of caste system generally seems implicit in socialist bloviating. Maybe that’s why George Monbiot flies around the world to promote his own books while insisting that other, less enlightened, less important people shouldn’t. (Monbiot is also annoyed by the fact that some people can afford to buy jet skis, and therefore go jet skiing. So much so that in 2007 he prayed for a recession to teach us all a lesson and put us in our place. Beneath him, obviously.) And maybe that’s why Polly Toynbee grumbles about non-leftwing people earning almost as much as she does. Perhaps, like George, she imagines herself as part of the impending nomenklatura, and therefore entitled, unlike those boorish nobodies who just run businesses.

Stevie of Europe

Regarding the Michelle Obama part:

Does anyone center or right-of-center actually like that woman? The Democrats/leftists seem to think that a lot of people may dislike President Obama, but at least all Americans love the First Lady. Am I missing somethings? What's to like about her?

Eurymachus

I am sure Victor Davis Hanson, a fellow Classicist, appreciates that these attitudes have a long history in Western thought going all the way back to Roman and Greek precursors if not beyond. From Plato's fantasy of a city run by a class of people just like himself onwards: it has been an important strain of western thought. That the world can be set aright if only the pontificators are given the power and rewards they deserve.

I think a big part of their feelings of superiority comes from the implication of what being more valuable means. A person's value is defined to the extent that they please and satisfy other people. Even someone like Bill Gates is only rewarded so well because he and his contributions are of a lot of value to a lot of people.

The leftist mindset equates this to corruption. A service is selfish interest and as such less valuable and worthwhile than "pure", "uninfluenced" thought.

dicentra

Does anyone center or right-of-center actually like that woman?

In a recent gathering with some right-of-center women, I heard them express their liking for Michelle Obama. I was visibly astounded, and they were visibly astounded back.

"How could you not like her?" they exclaimed. I couldn't understand how they could.

They added a few things about her push for good nutrition (a wonderful cause, of course). I realized that their entire exposure to her was on the chatty morning shows, where she would say a few anodyne things here and there and be all bubbly and LOVE THE SHOES and stuff. They were apparently unaware that she's every bit as corrupt and left-wing as Obama, that she's a modern-day Marie Antoinette, what with spending $10 million of taxpayer money for lavish vacations (Bush I and Bush II, in contrast, always retreated to their own property for a holiday), not to mention hiring as many people as possible on her staff, holding regular celebrity-studded blasts at the White House, and generally living it up on our dime.

Low-information people tend to have the strongest opinions sometimes. It's very frustrating to me that they think their opinion is as valid as that of someone who has been exposed to the nasty, behind-the-scenes details.

dicentra

I’ve had several exchanges with people who acted as if they ought to somehow be reimbursed by society essentially for having the right political views.

Or merely for gracing society with their august presence. The little people ought to be tossing money at their feet in tearful gratitude.

Ah, sometimes it is very satisfying to be an engineer working for big oil, knowing I am detested by all the right people. :)

Until they get into the White House or on Downing Street, in which case you WILL be forced to concede their superiority.

cf. Narcissistic Personality Disorder

David

dicentra,

“The little people ought to be tossing money at their feet in tearful gratitude.”

There are dozens of examples in the archives. Among them, John Jordan, an “artist and activist” and co-editor of We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism. Writing in the Guardian, Mr Jordan demanded taxpayer subsidy on the basis that he is “showing us how to live differently.” You see, talentless, recidivist anti-capitalists are our teachers - messiahs, in fact - and so we should be forced to hand over our earnings. It may be your money, the money you had to work for, but he, being so special, is more deserving.

rjmadden

With capitalism “in retreat,” we’ve been “unchained,” you see.

Message from the Occupy scumbags: "No subways. No electricity. No chains."

The scumbags tweeted this with an electronic device -probably from somewhere warm and dry.

Not so much with the brains, these people.

David

“Not so much with the brains, these people.”

Tsk. You take that back this minute. They’re leading us to the light.

David Gillies

Michelle Obama's senior thesis is online for your edification and delight. This is an important piece of work for a final grade from supposedly one of the most august institutions of higher learning in the world. It is, not to put too fine a point on it, crap. Even if one sets aside the utter meretriciousness of its content (apparently un-ironic sub-Marxoid bleating about how tough it is to be black at Princeton, as opposed to, I suppose, a white child of privilege at Tallahassee Community College) then one is still struck by how poorly written it is. It is meandering, vacuous and littered with grammatical solecisms and punctuation howlers. If I had received such a piece of work to mark from a student it would not have fared well. And I was teaching electronic engineering.

Before the Deluge

“Not so much with the brains, these people.”

Au contraire, they are all about the brains, Brainz, BRAINZZZ !! nom, nom, nom

;-)

David

David Gillies,

“…un-ironic sub-Marxoid bleating about how tough it is to be black at Princeton, as opposed to, I suppose, a white child of privilege at Tallahassee Community College…”

Heh. As I’ve said before, it takes remarkable unrealism and self-preoccupation to write a degree thesis that’s in effect about yourself and how difficult it is to be a middle-class black woman in one of the most comfortable, privileged and racially coddling environments in human history. To write it so badly (and get away with it) is just icing on the cake. But then, self-preoccupation and unrealism are very much in vogue, and in that sense alone maybe she was the perfect educational product – i.e., resentful, conformist and utterly narcissistic.

Karen M

resentful, conformist and utterly narcissistic.

Wow. Is Penny Dreadful on medication?

"Learning to eat ourselves"? Er...

David

Karen,

Don’t laugh. She’s chiselling heroically at the intellectual coalface. Or “destabilising complex architectures of money and power.” It’s odd, though, how so many self-declared radicals regurgitate wholesale the same old generic, self-flattering flimflam.

the wolf

Does anyone center or right-of-center actually like that woman?

What's to like? I grew up in the same city at the same time as Michelle. I'd gladly put my academic record up against hers, yet she was able to attend a Chicago magnet school and skate through a prestigious university (I also attempted to read her thesis--good grief). Then she had the nerve to announce that she was not proud of her country until her husband was elected president. That, my friends, is the definition of 'chutzpah.'

Zeppo Shemp

>The unread coal plant manager, the crass car dealer, or the clueless mind who farms 1000 acres of almonds should not make more than the sociology professor, the kindergarten teacher, the writer, the artist, or the foundation officer.

An acquaintance was recently in the local news here in the mountain west of the USA. He'd attended hallowed Yale University, earning a double-major in (drum roll, please) forestry and divinity. Upon returning to the hinterlands towing over $100,000 in student loans behind him, he discovered, to his profound shock, that he was apparently unqualified for any work other than as a low-paid adjunct professor at a community college. He's earning substantially lower wages the custodians and groundskeepers at the college. Given his Marxist leanings, one might reasonably assume he'd be pleased rather than irritated about the blue-collar working class earning more than a bourgeois intellectual.

svh

Given his Marxist leanings, one might reasonably assume he'd be pleased rather than irritated about the blue-collar working class earning more than a bourgeois intellectual.

Marxists aren't allowed to be pleased. It's in the rules or something.

David

Cue Marxist party guy.

Though this young woman seems happy enough. I’m just not sure she grasps the connotations of her own sign.

Sanity Inspector

Unrewarded genius and educated failures are proverbial, not a violation of the natural order of things at all. A students work for B students, and C students work for the government, as a forthcoming book asserts.

Rafi

Know your place, peasants. Our betters have big plans.

"One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century."

Thomas Friedman, New York Times.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/186782/firm-hand-benign-strongman/mark-steyn

David

Rafi,

Mr Friedman is of a mind with Matt Frei, another ‘progressive’ commentator who quite likes the idea of totalitarianism – for the Greater Good, of course. As defined by him. And you’ve got to love the euphemism “politically difficult.” If only the electorate would just do as it’s told.

Steve

David,

Is that the same Matt Frei who presented that awful 'American Road Trip' documentary last weekend? I couldn't stomach watching it after seeing a trailer in which Frei boldly demanded to know whether a man who, evidently, was going to vote Republican would not be voting Obama because he was racist.

How can he get away with this?

David

Steve,

Yes, that’s him. I didn’t see the programme but that’s pretty much his attitude. We’ve discussed Mr Frei’s smug, often bizarre approach to political reporting before, more than once. See, for instance, this. As to how he gets away with it – and became chief Washington correspondent for the BBC and Channel 4 – I guess you’d have to ask his employers. Presumably they think in much the same way.

Col. Milquetoast

Though this young woman seems happy enough. I’m just not sure she grasps the connotations of her own sign.

That is a generous assumption but I'm stuck on the possibility that she is smiling because she is confident she'll enjoy the sound of other people singing the "I am a cow-headed monster" song.

Lovernios

I just voted for Romney. And I didn't vote for Obama precisely because he is a racist.

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