Some Advice for Eliza

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There is an article on Substack making the rounds about a young woman named Eliza who – per the headline of the article – apparently believes that “work harder just doesn’t cut it.”

The problem is she’s not working all that much – and she’s spending way too much on the one thing a young person her age need not spend that much money on. She works a 40-hour week, which is nice work, if you can get it. She says she takes home $2,000 per month. She could take home more, if she were willing to work longer. When you’re young and single you’re free to do that because you haven’t got the responsibilities that people who have kids, for instance, have. You’re are also able to work longer and – yes, harder – because you’re young and your body can take it.

So take advantage of it.

Leverage your assets – your youth and energy and your freedom from the responsibilities, including the expenses that most older people are saddled with.

Let’s get into that.

Eliza says she spends $1,600 to rent a two bedroom apartment. Why does a single young woman need a two bedroom apartment? Who is the other bedroom for? Why not get a roommate and cut the rent in half? Eliza could be paying $800 per month rather than $1,600 per month for the luxury of having an extra bedroom no one is sleeping in. Having roommates or housemates is how you cut down living expenses when you’re young and single and just need a place to crash after work. This is how you save the money you work for, so as to be able to afford a place to live when you’re older.

If you’re a young guy, you can crash in a van – which is even cheaper living than renting a room. Once again, you are young – and this can be fun. You’re not tied down to a place – or a lease. You can follow the work without the hassle that attends having a lease. Find the local YMCA or join a cheap gym to have a place to shower. Is it worth paying essentially zero rent for a year, say? How much could you save during those 12 months? If you’re not paying  $800 per month to share an apartment with Eliza, you’d have almost $10,000 in your pocket after just one year. After two, you’d have almost $20k – and that’s enough cash to put a down payment on a first house. Your own place – with no roommates, unless you felt like having them.

Now let’s get into what the writer of the article has to say.

He says  people Eliza’s age ” . . . who don’t come from well to do households better be prepared to take out a six figure loan to make a future degree a reality. If they want to buy a vehicle, they better be ready to take out another loan on their car.” 

Why buy the degree? Unless it’s a degree in something valuable, that is. One of the great opportunities people Eliza’s age have today that people in prior ages did not have is the opportunity to pursue careers that used to require a degree to even be considered for. As an example, I’ll cite myself. I did not need the degree I have to practice journalism – in that I could write competently when I was in high school. But I had to have the college degree to be considered for employment as a journalist, back in the late ’80s.

That is no longer true. Today, you can just do it – and not just journalism.

It has also never been necessary to get a degree – and six figure debt – to learn a trade. And these pay very well.

Electricians and plumbers and competent framers, welders and so on make more than most liberal arts college grads – and are not encumbered by six figure debt. Going to college may make sense if you are pursuing a course of study that justifies the expense.

A degree in Gender Studies does not.

As far as the car: Buy one you can pay for – in cash. Do not take out a loan to get a car. Even though the cost of car ownership has gone up, there are still serviceable used cars available for $3,500 or so. They will have high miles, of course. And they may not be “nice.” But “nice” is for when you can afford it. If you have to finance it, then you can’t afford it.

Don’t be fear-addled about whether the old beater car is “reliable.” Or “safe.” If it works, it’s good. Maybe it won’t always work. Then you deal with it. Having to spend some money out of pocket for a repair that comes up is infinitely preferable than the certainly of a monthly payment. You’ll actually have money for the repair – if you’re not constantly making payments.

You don’t need a $2,000 iPhone. A $50 track phone texts and calls just as well. Eat cheap food – which is still available. Avoid eating out. Make coffee at home. Don’t buy $8 drinks at Starbucks.

Find fun that’s free, such as going for hikes.

One of the things people Eliza’s age did get a raw deal on is government-mandated health care – which isn’t that. Your are not paying to get health care. You are being forced to pay money to the insurance mafia, which may pay for some of your care, if you ever need it. If you don’t you will still pay the mafia.

People my age and older had the freedom to not pay the mafia – and this enabled us to save money and so to have money.

But people Eliza’s age can still choose to have as little money extracted from their paychecks as possible, by choosing the least “coverage” allowable. If you work for yourself – as for example as a construction worker – and get paid in cash, don’t spend any of it on “coverage.” Reduce your visible income enough and you do not have to buy “coverage.” There are exemptions from the “mandate” for those who cannot afford it.

Remember: You are young and (presumably) healthy and so it is unlikely you will need “coverage.”

Live as cheaply as you can while you are young – so you won’t be forced to live harder, when you’re older.

While the author of the article about Eliza is right that times are harder, it’s also true they’ve never been easy. Back in the late 1980s, when I got out of college, I wasn’t earning much money, either. But I wasn’t spending what little I earned on a two bedroom apartment – nor did I have a car payment. I lived with a bunch of dudes in a crappy townhouse and drove a beat-up old VW I paid for in cash, because it only cost about $700 and so I could pay for it in cash and thus had no car debt. It had rusty floorpans and when it rained, I had to use an old sock to keep the windshield clear enough for me to see out of.  It did not have a Bluetooth stereo. It barely had heat.

But I didn’t have a car payment.

And I paid very little rent, because all I needed when I was Eliza’s age was a place to crash.

That is all anyone her age needs – at her age.

And there’s something else, which Eliza herself touches on in her teary monologue. She is “not made for this,” she says. Indeed. Feminism has pushed young women into careers – that is, into jobs. Into competing for jobs, against men and and avoiding becoming moms, which is sneered upon as something other than a career. So that both can work harder – and longer – and pay more taxes.

And who pays for that?

If only she could see that.

. . .

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  1. A good sign….Gen-Z is fed up with the leftist/marxists….

    A New York Times-Siena poll conducted from July 23 to 27 revealed that only 4% of individuals aged 18-30 hold a very favorable view of the president,

    compared to 17% among the general population. This outcome, stemming from what is perceived as Biden’s failures in the economy, indicates a significant shift in support among the younger working-class demographic, posing a potential crisis for the Democratic Party in next year’s presidential election cycle……who supports the marxists?….LGBQT and 50 yr old karens….

    Also, Gen-Zers are making it clear they will not fight any wars for the military-industrial complex…….another good sign….

    Gen-Zers Melt Down Over 9-5 Jobs Amid Criticism About ‘Bidenomics’
    Some Gen-Zers are having an emotional meltdown on social media about the world of work and struggles of surviving in the era of ‘Bidenomics.’

    America’s youth appears to be done with President Biden, who could be their ‘great-great-grandfather,’ as a recent New York Times-Siena poll conducted over the summer showed the president’s approval rating with the youth is in the dumps……they hate these old bastards….who they think destroyed the country….

    Let’s begin with one Gen-Zer who describes the horrors of working a 9-5 job……
    “I don’t have time for anything, and I’m, like, so stressed out,” she said near the end of the video.

    In a separate video, this Gen-Zer was fired up. She said, “Working a 9-5 is the biggest f*cking scam out there.” She said her numerous jobs “could not pay her f*cking bills.”

    • With any luck a slave revolt is coming…..

      Gen-Zers Give Up On Tiny Homes As ‘Car Living’ Takes Off

      Bidenomics has been disastrous for America’s youth, who are coming to age in an era marked by worthless college degrees, accumulating insurmountable debts, and finding jobs that barely cover essential living costs, such as food, rent, and insurance.

      The education system screwed with their minds….now the reality of living in this marxist slave plantation is being realized…..waking up as a slave who owns nothing….

      The younger generation (millennials), having long abandoned the dream of homeownership, turned to tiny houses and camper vans as alternatives after the Great Recession.

      Yet, these options, for the newest generation (Gen-Zers) coming to age – are also becoming expensive……..Gen-Zers have to live in cars….

      One Gen-Zer, living out of his car, showering at a network of Planet Fitness gyms, cooking meals in parking lots, and working random gig jobs from town to town, reveals an emerging trend of the systematic implosion of America’s youth.

      YouTuber Michael Hickey – likely kicked out of his parent’s basement – built a bed in his 2009 Kia Rio. He said this option allows him to “live rent-free” and travel the country.

      Gen-Zers hates the leftist/marxists running the government today…this is fertile ground to convert them to conservatives…..or what is really needed…a slave revolt….

      • All true, Anon –

        In the DC area, where I used to live, it was possible as recently as the mid-1990s to find a modest single family home such as the one I bought for about $150k at the time. Which was doable because all I needed to swing the loan was 10 percent down, which was about $15k. That was doable for a young, single guy. Today, my old house would sell for $600k, if you can imagine that. I can’t. And you’d need 10 percent of that- $60k – to get the loan. Good luck with that.

  2. So she should live like shit for 2 years so she can qualify for a mortgage and be a debt slave for most of her life. Most people would sleep in a tent for 2 years if that could get them land and housing as it was the case in the past. Government ruined peoples life with inflation zoning and permits so they lost will to try. Currently as it stands pioneers that built houses out of chopped trees had better life. At least they could have some sort of a home in a space of 2 years and could see their work provide something meaningful for them.

    • Hi Pupet,

      That’s not what I suggested. What I did suggest was that it is an unnecessary expense for a young, single woman to rent a two-bedroom apartment when she could have a roommate and rent would be $800 (and her utility bills would be cut in half). If a person is earning $15/hour and works a 40 hour week, they’d be earning $2,400/month. That’s a sum sufficient for a person in their 20s to afford an $800 room plus the rest of the necessary things.

      And when you’re in your 20s and building your career, who works a 40 hour week? I didn’t, at that age. I worked all the time. Still do. That’s what you do – because no one else owes you a living. Or housing. Or health care. You work to earn it. If you do, you can have it.

      I agree with you about zoning and inflation. No question, these have made home ownership much more expensive. I would like to see zoning laws changed (or no zoning laws at all) so that more affordable (small/basic) single family homes could be built. But it is still possible to live inexpensively – and so avoid the debt albatross. But this requires not wasting money, in your single 20s, on $1,600/month two bedroom apartments just for yourself. Or $1,000 iPhones and $8 drinks at Starbucks.

      Or a car payment. Save up and buy (in cash) a car you can afford to buy. It’s remarkable how much better your finances are when you don’t have a monthly car payment. Debt is what owns you. Avoid debt and you’re not owned.

      • In Houston TX there are no zoning laws. I don’t know if they have construction codes or not, but they are equally destructive of affordable housing.

      • Hi Eric,
        read The price of Tomorrow by Jeff Booth It is a great book about deflation and how governments steal productivity from technological advancement and create worse living standard for population.(BTW real inflation is like 10% a year when we factor in how much technology cheapened production) If a person could work minimum wage job in 1960 and afford a house in few years of normal hours labor. There is no reason for us now to have to work industrial revolution levels of labor to provide the same.

        No one owes you housing but we do not live in free market. If you put severe restrictions on my life in form of permits and mandatory inflationary currency you cant blame me for difficulties I will certainly have.

        Im also pretty sure most people are aware that they can save money by giving up certain small luxuries. Here is the kicker If you are aware it will take you 30 years or even more to achieve your goal (depending on future inflation) you loose motivation to save completely.
        As a person who never went to star-bucks and never bought an iPhone (and never will due to different reasons) I understand people who as a cope spend their little excess money on this.
        after all your hypothetical person without 1000 dollar yearly iPhone and without star-bucks could save 3920 in a year. Thats 39200 in 10 years of their life. Not exactly some big achievement and a huge motivating factor.
        I would rather suggest working on oil rig in a middle of the sea and similar jobs like that. At least you get better money and your accommodation and food is paid. But even though I do it thats not a normal job and average person shouldn’t have to do something like that to achieve boomer McDonalds worker lifestyle.

  3. Eliza’s problem might be traced back to her parents…

    quite often they will tell their children…”you are special”…that is the worst thing you can tell a child….they will go through life thinking the world owes them something, or they are part of the parasitic/nobility that doesn’t have to work…..

    Eliza should realize that she is just another slave, who in reality has no rights….she is going to have to work for everything and compete with all the other slaves, for small scraps in the real world….hunger games 2024….

    part of the nobility that doesn’t have to work…..she can forget about marrying into that gang….they see themselves as a different species then the slaves/useless eaters/animals…..they only marry within their own species/gang/nobility bloodlines…..

  4. Working harder is not a guarantee you will have success but doing the baseline minimum or less is an assurance that you won’t. A number of people at my daughter’s work were engaging in “quiet quitting” over 30% of her office has been laid off. She however is one who tries to outperform herself on a regular basis and has dodged three layoff bullets in the last 10 months despite being one of the newer hires.

    I’m not sure where the lack of adversity and constant comfort became expected. Life was hard in my younger years I lived at one point in a dome tent while going to work every day to stack cash for a place to rent. Currently I own a nice house on decent acreage, make good money am able to have everything I need and more.
    If people spent the same time fabricating solutions for their problems as they did posting online cry-ins they’d be better off.

    Yes we get it. We dont have the world and opportunities the boomers had. in many ways its better in others not so much. Play the hand that you’ve been dealt Eliza because most people don’t care they have their own problems.

    • Poor management has everything to do with those employees who have utilized “quiet quitting”. I can easily see why employees would partake in such behavior.
      In my work world, I was the “go-to” guy when troubleshooting difficult problems. I could solve problems “on the fly” despite not having the proper documentation or schematics for the malfunctioning equipment. As such, I was pretty much always busy. I had no problem with keeping busy, but the inequality in the way employees were treated was a problem, especially in my situation.
      That being said, I was singled out for harassment from management, a case in point, when attempting to solve a problem, going through the available documentation in my shop, my immediate supervisor would always ask “what I was doing in the shop”. He never bothered the 5 other guys who were reading newspapers, magazines, or whatever. Being a stellar performer only resulted in one thing–more work piled on me while my fellow employees “skated” along.
      Many times, I would take a “late lunch” rather than leave a problem, being able to complete the repair in less time. Managers would always ask why I was in the cafeteria at that time. Eventually, I got tired of the BS and slowed myself down.
      Poor management is almost always the problem…

      • Piss poor management is definitely a problem. I was always more inclined to actual quitting. Other slackers and hosers performance was of little concern. Being one of the top performers just about anywhere I worked I’d approach management with raise requests etc. If results weren’t in my favor I usually had an exit strategy which eventually led to me being self employed doing better, but working harder than I ever would have as somebody’s employee. There’s seldom such a thing as easy money. At least not in my personal experience. So I really don’t understand why anyone would think that there is.

    • I too lived in a tent for the 6 months of not freezing temperatures here.
      The problem with “management” is that they are paid more than they’re worth, and this makes them feel special. Every “good” idea is theirs, and they are never wrong.
      I have always been a “company man” until the company gave me a reason not to be. Problem is, all but one I ever worked for managed to do just that. The one that did not, I worked for until I retired.

  5. Eric, I read your articles every day, but stopped reading this one and decided to post my first comment ever when I read that she could rent a 1-bedroom for $800. What country are you talking about? Lol

    • Seems like, perhaps, maybe, you need to re-read the article, Giusjc.

      Eric clearly wrote, “Eliza could be paying $800 per month rather than $1,600 per month for the luxury of having an extra bedroom no one is sleeping in. Having roommates or housemates is how you cut down living expenses…”

      She gets a roommate to live with her in her 2-bedroom apartment, charges them $800, and Presto! her rent is cut in half to $800.

    • Hi Giusjc,

      I never said anything about finding a one-bedroom apartment; I pointed out that the girl rented a two bedroom and so could rent one out to a roommate and cut her rent (and utilities) in half. This is what people in their early-mid-20s used to do, in order to cut expenses. I suggested in the article that Eliza do exactly this in order to greatly reduce her living expenses.

      Do you think it’s an unreasonable suggestion?

  6. I have a bachelors degree, because I bought into the lie that you needed a four year degree to get a job. Any job. That’s ironic, because not many people were hiring after the 2008 crash. I am very fortunate to not have any student loan or college debt, because my grandparents bought a 529 type plan when I was a toddler.
    I made a career change several year later, and got an associates degree in electronics. The two year degree is earning me so much more than the four ever could. The trades should always be an option for kids graduating high school.
    Oh, and life’s tough, Eliza. It’s never fair, and can kick you in the head at a moment’s notice. Suck it up buttercup.

    • Young men are very wise to not do anything with Eliza. Poison to a young man, Eliza is. She is looking for a money man to pay her way through life. After all, she is a strong and independent woman, or so millions of women have told her such lies.

  7. Eliza has it made, lots of jobs open to her….she should be glad she isn’t a straight white male….

    More DEI In The Sky

    Matt Walsh has acquired internal footage showing FAA officials strategizing ways to reduce the number of white men in aviation as a whole (except, perhaps, if that white man is a transsexual).

    War on the patriarchy….by the slave owners…helped by the LBGQT and leftist women…..targeting straight white males….

    White men have been slaves longer then anyone….where are their reparations?

  8. Which group of women make more then men?

    ………according to a new analysis of 2,000 communities by a market research company, in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the U.S., the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher than those of the guys in their peer group.

    In two cities, Atlanta and Memphis, those women are making about 20% more.

    This squares with earlier research from Queens College, New York, that had suggested that this was happening in major metropolises.

    But the new study suggests that the gap is bigger than previously thought, with young women in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego making 17%, 12% and 15% more than their male peers, respectively.

    And it also holds true even in reasonably small areas like the Raleigh-Durham region and Charlotte in North Carolina (both 14% more), and Jacksonville, Fla. (6%).

    Here’s the slightly deflating caveat: this reverse gender gap, as it’s known, applies only to unmarried, childless women under 30 who live in cities.,8599,2015274,00.html

    • Those numbers of women doing well are lies. Why are millions of young women panicking about not finding a money man to fuel their profligate spending habits? Young men are forsaking college and becoming trades persons. Far more money, far less interference in the workplace from women and their petty quarrels and all the unnecessary drama that women bring to a workplace. Been there, seen all that. Retired 3 years ago so I no longer have to put up with the women crap. Never believe these market research companies. They are WEF offspring, there to promulgate the lies of feminists.

  9. This is a fantastic article and the comments are even better. It should be a booklet distributed to young people everywhere, from teens, to Thirty-somethings.

    Our Overlords are trying to, paraphrasing the words of Chief Dan George in the film, ‘Little Big Man’… “rub us all out!”.

    Eliza, and millions like her, have likely Never heard the words of wisdom spoken of (written) here in this tiny enclave at EricPetersAutos. It’s possible that, they (the younger generations, many of them) just don’t freaking know. No one taught them. Simple as that. Hard to believe, but imho, It’s purposely hidden knowledge.

    Much like Sutton’s Daze talking about on her YouTube video about directions on oatmeal. ‘Why Today’s Society Needs Instructions for Basic Food Items’.

    Our culture failed the younger generations, or, more likely, our culture was thwarted. You guys all did your best to convey American culture in the direction of this girl. Bravo.

    Naomi Wolfe touches on our culture, here, and how it’s being diffused & overwhelmed from one direction… and yet, it’s from many directions, like an ocean tide coming towards shore… This is but one direction from which the waves come:

    ‘What Is a Culture?’

    “…Western cultural expectation”…

    I’d try to tie in Patara’s latest about The Trail of Tears and how it might apply to today, but I’ve run out of steam for the day.
    …Carry on. May the odds be forever in your favor.

    • Thanks, Helot!

      If I’d had a son, I’d have begun teaching him and encouraging him to handle things for himself from an early age. To take reasonable risks and not to be afraid. He’d have known how to do basic maintenance/fix-’em-up before he was old enough to drive, so that when he he was old enough, he could deal with a beater car he could afford to buy with his own money (earned by cutting lawns and working construction, etc.). I’d have taken him backpacking so he’d feel confident that he could deal with being on his own. I’d have tried the same with a daughter.

      Is it harder today? Yes, in some ways. In others, it’s also easier – in that for kids willing to work hard, there are jobs. Because so many kids don’t want them. I have mentioned (and this is just one example) my college buddy’s 17-year-old son. This kid currently operates heavy equipment at a job site, makes adult money doing it. He can weld. He has gumption – like his dad and I had at his age. Hard work is how you make it. Expecting to make it just working – and complaining about it – is how you don’t.

  10. Life is about choices, and sometimes, you have to take the hard path early on to ensure a better path later. There are many economic sectors where a young woman fresh out of school could make a very good living, but if she studied something like political science, or gender studies, or history of art or semiotics or whatever, there is no market for that useless skill set. Being a woman, she’d have a leg up on men going into tech or engineering jobs. I’ve worked at two of the notorious big-tech companies and interviewed young people who get hired fresh out of college, earning $120k/year in salary, and $250k+ in stock over 4 years. All it takes is working your ass off in college, instead of taking easy classes and enjoying yourserlf.

  11. The advice I give to young people is
    #1 stay out of debt
    #2 save money

    It has served me well. I never had the best of most stuff, but it was paid for and I have plenty of cash that emergencies don’t scare me.

  12. My first job in my chosen career was about $4.50/hr which was minimum wage at the time. Gas was $1 gal and my rent was $350/month. In terms of hours required to have a roof over my head, I had to work about 70 hours a month and about the same for gas. Taxes took a lot more. Not much leftover for expensive music and movies. And telephone bill was always much high than anticipated too.

    But having student loans to pay off would have been a huge problem. I’m grateful for my parent’s ability to pay for my secondary education. Even if it didn’t make much difference in my earning power (at least at first).

  13. It’s windy here in Tulsa today. There’s a grown man across the street in the park flying a kite. By himself, no kids or girl around. Maybe I’m just getting old and the last vestiges of childhood are dissipating, but all I can think to myself is “what a waste of f*cking time”.

    Isn’t there anything you need to be doing? Modern life in 1st world countries sure does supply a good amount of leisurely time. What’s there to complain about if you’re here? Very little if you posses even a modicum of brain power and will.

  14. Eliza needs to adopt ‘voluntary adversity’, save some money by not spending so much on stupid stuff.

    Louis W. Menk worked the railroad back in his day, a Union Pacific employee. Worked his way through the ranks, became president of the Burlington Northern before the BN became the BNSF. Made successful efforts to join rail lines like the Sante Fe to the Burlington Northern rail lines.

    I remember it well, Louis Menk held a safety meeting at a meeting place when I worked as a gandy dancer.

    Nobody gives credit to the organizer and eventual president of the BNSF, the railroad executive who did do the job of making the Burlington Northern Santa Fe a big dog on the block.

    What did Warren Buffet do other than buy BNSF for a song and a dance, never worked a day on any railroad, but enjoys the profits of the commerce.

    Life is not fair. When you see a BNSF train on the tracks, think of Louis W. Menk, not Warren Buffet.

    Think of William Durant, not Mary Barra.

    Beer time!

  15. A major part of the problem is that skilled-trades is looked down upon by “college types” and those who aspire to go to college. These “college types” regard skilled trades as jobs for “those with lesser intelligence”.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.
    In the trades, one is required to not only work with his hands, but with his mind, to THINK and problem solve.
    I have personally known mechanical and electrical engineers who could not change a tire or troubleshoot a basic electrical circuit. They had “book smarts” but little else and could not solve simple problems. Such ability to think was beyond them.
    On the other hand, engineers who “came up through the trades” were much more capable of not only designing systems, but able to troubleshoot systems and solve problems.
    I keep trying to encourage young people to consider the trades (which are begging for apprentices).
    I have even offered my industry “connections” to assure the young persons a “slot” (guaranteed placement) in apprenticeship programs, but they weren’t interested.
    I tried to explain to them that within 4 years, they would be capable of a near six-figure income without any college debt.
    My efforts fell on deaf ears.
    It’s their loss…

    • As far as “everybody needs to go to college” crap. I recommend skilled trades as often as I recommend college. It depends on the person involved and what they want as a career. As far as college recommendation goes, when available, I always recommend trying to find a co-op arrangement. Probably not many of them available for Ethnic Studies or PoliSci (maybe some that are government funded, for all I know, though). I finished school, married and with one child, with no debt and a $9000 job (1962). That was pretty close to nirvana. With great acumen, I encouraged both my daughters to go co-op. Many schools were offering co-op programs. We were in Huntsville at the time, and UAH had a program. My eldest became a Finance/CS major, and after a rocky start with PPG, wound up with United Space Boosters. She essentially was “sold with the contract” multiple times and her “seniority” and benefits are based on the the USB date of hire 42 years ago. The younger hired on with NASA as a freshman engineer. She retired from that job after 39 years, having had to wait that many years to reach retirement age. Since their school and co-op jobs were no more than 25 miles away, our total costs for their degrees was by providing their old bedrooms and feeding them until they finished.

      The main complaint I hear is “I don’t want to spend the extra time or carry as heavy a load to co-op.” But they don’t seem to mind carrying the heavy load of debt for much more time.

    • My brother spent his career as an A&P mechanic. Joined the USAF at 17 to do so. Made a good career of it. He went to college at 56 and was a college grad at 60 with a degree in business. Personally, I thought it was a waste of money but when I realized he did it for himself it made sense.

      Unlike my brother I failed miserable at hands-on work. So, ended up with a bachelors and masters in engineering. Made a good career of it. It takes all types to make the world go around I reckon.

  16. You can cut your college living expenses to near gas money if you live at home while commuting to college. I did that, my wife’s kid did that, and most parents are OK with that if the kid is getting a useful degree. It also keeps the kid from living the college party life rather than just visiting it now and then.

    During college get good grades (especially in your major) and get an intern job. You’ll earn enough to pay for one or two semesters’ tuition and you’ll also find it easier to get a full time job once you graduate, whether or not its with the company you interned with. Having a resume with zero work experience is NOT a good thing.

    I’ve seen huge signs looking for metal working apprentices; I’m sure there are other professions like this. Come out of an apprenticeship with money and a highly desirable skill. Also near impossible to outsource, especially if you live in a place that needs metal working (e.g. farming).

    Plan just a little bit in high school. College not for you? Most schools have a vocational school option. My cousin’s kid took that route through a diesel mechanic’s vocation and got a well paying job right out of high school. Or if you are college bound, bust your rear academically, go to some academic competitions (which help even if you don’t place), get a partial scholarship or two to help pay tuition.

    Work the shale fields. From what I read you can earn six figures there ( The hours are horrible but you can work there a few years and do well.

  17. I lived for 3 years as a college student renting rooms in homes that were advertised on the college bulletin boards. My main criteria was to live in a single family home in a good area. I wanted to avoid the “college lifestyle”, since I also worked and didn’t drink or party. One was a rented home and the other was a bedroom in a family home in a gorgeous town in the bay area (where I could never afford to live even today) being rented out by the grown children. The mother returned to the home soon after and proved to be one of the most delightful, unique and wise women I ever met. I learned a lot about life from her and really enjoyed living with this family. So there are options out there even today if kids look hard and are flexible. They need to understand this is only going to be a temporary situation until they meet their life partner (hopefully spouse) and that they can still live well if they just do a little research.

  18. I’ve worked fully remote for the last four years.

    I cringe when I look back at how much I spent on gas, parking, car maintenance, work clothes, lunches, happy hours, birthday and retirement parties, and whatnot when I worked in an office.

    I spend A LOT less on things like that now.

    • It’s a trade-off for sure. I did it for a couple of years and did well, but found myself craving the office setting again. Back to the office I went, and I don’t regret it. There’s a dynamic of comradery and collaboration you can’t get working remotely, at least in my line of work.

      The wife went remote and she loves it. I like having someone at the house at all times for security reasons. Still have kids at home, so she gets to be with them more too. It’s a win-win.

  19. I agree with all of the economic suggestions but the situation cannot be looked at in a vacuum. The notion that “times” are hard like they always were isn’t really fair. The people, youth in particular, just suffered through almost 3 years of sustained societal attack, the reverberations from which are still being felt. It is beyond rich to think “just work harder” or “live with less because you’re young” would register as anything other than contempt to such people. To ask the question “why do millennials lean left” in this context is to answer it. These people need hope, to know that the possibility of an alternative, something “systemically” better, like liberty exists. Otherwise, get ready to be Zhivago’d.

    • I agree, Funk –

      And that’s why I wrote the article. It is absolutely possible to live cheaply, work hard – and succeed. If I were 20 again, I’d be working construction (great money there, if you’re willing to work) and crash in the absolute cheapest place I could find. It might be a van. Screw the iPhone and the other money-wasting gadgets no one needs. Bust ass for five years – and after that, you have it made. I unloaded UPS semis while I was in college – at night, before I went to class in the morning. I was 20 and strong as an ox and had the endurance of one, too. Any healthy young guy can do the same if he wants to – and has the gumption to do it.

      PS: This twenty-something is complaining about working a 40 hour week? I’m at my desk around 4 in the morning seven days a week – and working until late afternoon, usually. My heart does not bleed for her.

      • I suspect this whole story was put out there to engender contempt in non-Left types who reflexively dismiss any notion of victimhood as a form of weakness. This is then used as evidence of how the non-Left doesn’t care about people while the Left does. I see it as a political opportunity rather than a purely didactic economic exercise in hedonically adjusting eating ground beef for dog food to save money.

        My message to Eliza:

        1. In 2020, the flu was rebranded so the gov’t could run a mentally damaging psy-op (a whole other story in and of itself but I’ll stick to economics) in order to print trillions of dollars for itself and its cronies while destroying small business to the benefit of big business and handing you a nickel in so-called “stimulus.”

        2. This scam disrupted supply chains and was the impetus for an unprecedented increase in the money supply that devalued every dollar in circulation thus creating “affordability” crises in everything you need, food, housing, transportation, while private sector wages have barely kept up.

        3. To “solve” this crisis the gov’t raised interest rates, further decreasing affordability, the proposed solution to which is to lower interest rates, which will… further decrease affordability.

        4. Be aware that, now the gov’t at all levels is forming “task forces” to solve to problems it continues to exacerbate, the logical conclusion of which is nothing at any price and full gov’t control of both the means of production and consumption, a.k.a full blown communism where everyone except a small group of politicians is equally poor and starving.

        5. As a libertarian and despite what may appear to be contempt for you and your plight from some other libertarians, I wish to advise you that there is an alternative to this madness. It starts with a question. Who created the macroeconomic conditions you are faced with? I think I made that clear in items 1-4 above. Now, what is to be done? First, stop believing their provable falsehoods, particularly that they care about you and are anything other than parasites. Next, stop supporting and voluntarily complying with aspects of the system you can control. After that, seek to remove by all peaceable means those who oversee the current paradigm and the systems that empower them. Be aware that many, even some seemingly liberty oriented people, benefit from that system and will fight you ferociously, even at the idea level, to maintain their status and station. Understand that this political fight is worth it even if things get worse in the short term before they get better.

        6. While it’s true nobody owes you anything and others have had it hard at times back in their day, you and young people generally have been victimized severely over the past 3-4 years particularly as noted in #1 above. I sympathize with you as I will admit I’ve seen it in my own life and the lives of young people I know as well. Working smarter not just harder will not change the past that you hopefully now understand better but it can help you move forward.

        • Funk Doctor Spidock: My message to Eliza:

          I fear she would understand none of the 6 points you make. Thirteen years of government schools and thousands of hours of TV media and entertainment make it impossible, even if she tried her best to understand. “That just can’t be!”

          • Maybe so, maybe not. Based on my own experiences in life, it’s possible for a person to have an a-ha moment. So, I bang on. To quote Wayne Gretzky, 100% of the shots you don’t take don’t go in.

            • Always hard to say. Preacher commented last week that if you aim for nothing you will hit it every time. I have have about stopped aiming at anything. Most of the ammunition is wasted. I sometime wish I didn’t know where all this was heading. But I might even be lucky enough to check out before TSHTF, or be so old I won’t know if it is just Shinola flying around my bowl of Pablum.

      • Hey Eric,
        I had a similar routine, worked nights as a janitor while going to college during the day. Looking back after all these years I think that was one of the best jobs I ever had; could work at my own pace as long as the work got done so sometimes I could really hustle and have time to do some schoolwork or take a nap, worked alone once the last stragglers left the office so nobody around to annoy me, and way less stressful pushing a broom than dealing with the crap in the jobs I had after graduation. Take a backache over a headache anytime.

        • Same drill for me, I was a substitute night janitor for the local K-12 district while in community college. Great job, like you I appreciated the night work no one around to bug me. Turn a classroom of chaos into neat and orderly for the next day set of crumb crunchers. Done a bit early then knock out some schoolwork of my own. One shift was at my old elementary school, where back in 2nd grade the custodian took us on a tour of the boiler room, thought that oil burner boiler was the coolest thing, wouldn’t that be a kick to operate! Got my wish 13 years on, part of my duties as the sub that night was to shut down the burner, let it cool, then swing it open and wipe down the burner nozzle so it wouldn’t gum up overnight.

      • Hi, Eric,
        My youngest brother worked his way through university as an automotive paint & body mechanic.
        First stop: Community college
        Learn a skilled trade at very low cost.
        Second stop: Work at your skilled trade
        Pay your own way through university making decent wages at a skilled trade while building your resume with real world experience.
        Third stop: Seek employment which requires a university degree.
        Opportunity is where you find it, not necessarily where you *expect* to find it.
        In my brother’s case, that turned out to be a career as an insurance claims adjuster. State Farm required a university degree (any degree) for consideration, but provided all industry specific education free of charge to those hired. Having actual experience “beating fenders” was not a requirement, but a big plus when paying automotive claims. Or as he put it, “have checkbook, will travel,” which he did. Nationwide, in fact, in a company van kitted out as a mobile office. He was not required to sleep in the van (office) but got a per diem for food and lodging, from which he saved as much as possible.

        Frugality is at least a good habit, if not an inborn character trait. Our parents, born in the 1920s, grew up during the Great Depression, and lived by “waste not, want not.” Then again, our family heritage is German and Dutch, so perhaps frugality is a character trait. When the world presented my Grandma Gretchen with a lawn full of dandelions, she made dandelion wine. Pretty good stuff, as I recall.

        My own story in a separate post…

        • I attended university straight out of high school, went to school on a combination of scholarships and student loans, graduated with a B.S. from a “prestigious” school in June 1970, three months before my 21st birthday. I found employment which required the (STEM) degree, but didn’t pay worth crap, and actually used only a fraction of what I had learned in school.

          Tried grad school (a different “prestigious” university”) but didn’t like it there and left without completing a degree. My dad, a journeyman carpenter and construction supervisor, offered me a job working for him, and I spent the rest of my working life in the construction industry.

          I had no construction skills, so my first job in the construction industry was as an unskilled laborer. My Dad said, “Son, if you work in this industry, you will start at the bottom. Here’s your shovel.” Which I did, and earned the respect of my fellow employees, both skilled and unskilled. I earned about as much as an unskilled (non union) laborer, digging ditches and being a brick mason’s tender in New Mexico, a notoriously low wage state, as I had working in an office/lab doing chemical analyses and writing FORTRAN, wearing a coat and tie, with the job title “junior scientist,” at a consulting firm in Bedford, MA. I still have my brass rat, but I do not wear it.

          In due course, I became a skilled carpenter, and following the advice of a subsequent employer, moved to Southern California, where the economy was booming and wages were very good, for those willing to work. The key to making money was piecework, IOW getting paid for what you produced, not how many hours you clocked.

          I worked for a top notch employer, and became part of an “elite” group of framing carpenters known internally as the “fire brigade,” who were frequently rotated among projects to get them back on schedule. We were all highly intelligent, highly skilled, athletic, aggressive, and mostly well educated young men (20s & 30s) at the top of our game, who were known to be “greedy,” i.e. willing to work long hours if the money was good enough, and also ready to “roll ’em up” (power cords) if it was not.

          But, it all came to an end with the Reagan recession of 1982-1983, and I decided to go back to school at CSU Fullerton to study civil & structural engineering. As a skilled tradesman, it was easy for me to pay my own way by working full time while going to school evenings. CSUF is *designed* for working adults, and nearly all my classmates had at least a part time job *in* *their* *chosen* *field,* even those just out of high school. No “working at McDonalds.” Everything had a purpose.

          While I never completed a degree at CSUF, and have never worked at a design firm, the knowledge I gained allowed me to progress in the construction end of the AEC industry. Eventually, I found my way into heavy construction in the petrochemical industry, building parts of oil refineries and similar plants. So, instead of doing chemistry (my original degree), I was building chemistry sets, first as a journeyman carpenter, later as a field supervisor and project manager.

          I can state categorically that, in all my years in the construction industry, those who excelled used both mind and hands (mens et manus). Only idiots like high school guidance counselors believe that “getting your hands dirty is for inferior people.” That is pure bullshit.

          • Hi Adi,

            That is a great story. I love reading success stories and you are definitely one of them. I won’t lie I have a fondness for the trades since I come from a blue collar background. My great grandfather, grandfather, father, uncle, and husband all specialize in them (sheetmetal, HVAC/refrigeration, gas piping, welding, etc.). Getting your hands dirty is respectable work and pays pretty damn well, too.

            I wish more women would wake up to this fact. They all seem to want Tom Brady when they should want a guy who knows how to install recessed lighting in the kitchen over the weekend. 🙂

            • Hi, RG,
              I don’ t know about “success.” Depends on your definition. It really would not surprise me to find out that I have the lowest lifetime earnings (speculation) of any of my classmates who graduated with a STEM degree (not poly sci, literature, or history). But at least, “I did it my way.” (Not a Sinatra fan.)

              My maternal grandfather had only a sixth grade education,
              but was very clever both mechanically and musically. He could sit down with any musical instrument and within a short time figure out how to play it, by ear of course.

              GDI, aka DFWM, plus low tolerance for idiots, seems to run in my family, and choice of occupations reflects that. I really wish I had a talent for welding (I passed a basic arc welding class, but I had to work really hard at it, unlike a few “naturals” I have known). Main reason: when you have your hood down, no one is allowed to F* with you. I like that. 🙂

              > install recessed lighting in the kitchen
              Now that you mention it, converting the existing fluorescents to LED, and changing out the existing ho hum plastic T-bar in my own kitchen is on my agenda (to do list).

              I plan to engage this talented local artist:
              to make six 2’x2′ decorative glass panels to replace three 2’x4′ plastic ones, which means fabricating a new hardwood frame to accommodate the new ceiling panels.

              The rectangular panel with the two red roses on her website is what she made for the upper cabinet doors, so the ceiling panels will likely use the same colors. Caryn really does nice work, and I appreciate skilled craftsmanship. We worked together to finalize the design.

              • Hi Adi,

                Success just isn’t about money. They can be friendships, partnerships, free time, flexibility, and personal fulfillment. If you did it “your way” that is all that matters.

                Caryn does beautiful work. I am sure the kitchen will be stunning.

                • >If you did it “your way” that is all that matters.
                  I agree.
                  For me, money is like air, only important if you don’t have enough of it, and I don’t need that much to do what I might want to do.

                  >Caryn does beautiful work.
                  Yes, she does. Twenty years experience pays off, big time. Makes her qualified to teach her craft, which she does.

            • “(sheetmetal, HVAC/refrigeration, gas piping, welding, etc.). Getting your hands dirty is respectable work and pays pretty damn well, too.“

              Yes indeed, plus these trades require both physical and mental sharpness. You can’t be a moron and survive these jobs. Reading prints, understanding the specs and getting the work correct is vital! I worked manufacturing engineering in aerospace for 35 years there are super talented people out on the shop floor that really deserve better respect. Some of our best rotated into M.E. from the factory their knowledge base was invaluable.

  20. If you cook for yourself it could cost $8.00 to $10.00 per day total for three meals .

    Eating in restaurants can cost $45.00 to $60.00 per day, $1050 to $1500 per month more then your own cooking, just for pretty much fast food, no wonder people are broke…..

    If I save $35.00 per day cooking my own food, for 3 meals it takes 1 hour total, so I am making $35.00 per hour, tax free……. (I am a fast cook), a good part time job.

    You also save on health care costs by avoiding fast food/low quality food.
    Fast food is poison, will ruin your health…to get a proper diet you will have to almost always cook for yourself…growing your own food would be the best situation….or fishing and hunting for high quality food.

    this doesn’t include $5.00 starbucks drinks or rip off $2.00 crappy coffees…note: coffee can be made for 5 cents to 10 cents a cup….lol…after I did the math on this i am reluctant to even buy coffee…lol

    If you invest $1,000 every month for 40 years at a 6% return, it will be worth $1,991,545.25

    $1.99 million dollars just from one person…..the restaurants took your money….

    people go to expensive restaurants for the experience…cool decor, trendy…

    • I’ve always carried lunch from home. At my last place of employment before I retired, co-workers frequently invited me to go to lunch with them at some fast food joint. Usually explained why I would not go. “I can buy lunch for a week for what you are about to spend on high fat, high sugar, high salt fast food for one meal.”

  21. I found this article very interesting on this very topic of which generation had it toughest.

    I tried to convince my daughter to go to community college and get her first 2-years done on the cheap, then transfer to a university. Take the 2-years to figure out what you want to do? She went for the 4-year university and is paying a debt on her back which didn’t get her an education worth a job. She had to get master’s to get any job worth a small salary (still low pay).

    On the other hand, I encouraged my stepson to get into the electrical union. He is scheduled to be a full journeyman in less that 2 years and will have great pay and pension after 20 years. I sure he will retire in his 50’s.

    • Hi Hans,

      Yup. My college buddy’s son – 17 now – is operating heavy equipment at a construction site. The kid – an unfair term – is making very good money and I doubt he’ll ever have a problem earning plenty. He can weld, too.

  22. I watched that chick. I have mixed ideas on that. Eric is absolutely 100 percent on living harder when you are younger. That’s something I didn’t do and I regret not doing that at a young age. Youth is wasted on the young. I wish I would have saved up money for housing and taken a much longer view.

    Now I am old and while I am physically okay, I think that I could have done a lot more when I was younger. The difference is that I have th want to in most cases to do a lot.

    I have maybe 20 more, probably less left. Just going to do what I can do.

    That chick needs to go to church and find a decent boyfriend, later husband. Do it while she is young. Problem is, I don’t know who could put up with her. At my age I can’t.

    • Two words…firing squad.

      If one hurts babies and little kids they are a piece of shit and society is better off without them.

        • I agree, Adi –

          A soldier’s death this one does not deserve. That he was not even seriously punished for what he did to a child is indicative of just how deep the rot goes. There are still people in jail over the Jan. 6 “insurrection” who hurt no one. But they affronted the authority of the regime.

    • Hi Jim,

      I’d be shocked – if that were still possible. This Childers cretin needs to be put out of our misery. I agree with RG. Such people are garbage and ought to be taken out, so to speak.

    • No court or Judge would be needed if that was my baby. A message would be sent far and wide for all of the mentally ill to feel.

      I can’t comprehend the thinking process of anyone who would release a creature such as this thing back into society to do it again or worse.

    • Feet first into the wood chipper!

      Much too cruel. Good karma though!

      Get a long rope, string Childers up by his balls and let him hang there until the rope breaks. Can’t really do anything more.

      Justice ain’t good enough, severe punishment is necessary.

      The death sentence isn’t a severe enough penalty.

      Have to make it a hell on earth for such insane foul despicable behavior.

      The wheels of justice grind a very fine grist.

      Today, Ford fed EV’s into the wood chipper.

  23. We need to stop forcing kids to go to college. This is the biggest yoke around young adults necks and is holding them back. True, some industries and careers require additional education (e.g. dentistry, a chemist, etc). I am not dogging all education. I realize some is needed, but we need to stop thinking that the more degrees one has the “smarter” they are.

    A recent study showed that only 40% of young men are applying for college, while 51% of young women are. Per the study, we should be up in arms because women will steer clear from men who aren’t “educated” and this will affect generational growth, aka, reproduction. It must be wonderful to be a delusional Lib. This has already been occurring for a generation now even as the same amount of young men and young women were applying to “higher institutions”.

    The problem is men and women do not want to marry. Period. It is the destruction of the nuclear family. Feminists can scream in the streets that they are empowering women, but are they? Is Eliza, Girl Boss, empowered? It doesn’t look like she is.

    We need to address the elephant in the room and on a point that Eric made…women are taking jobs from men. Not in the blue collar trades as much, but definitely in the white collar industry. Men who may have better credentials, more experience, etc. are being passed over to fill the DIE requirements at large corporations. Merit should be the only consideration.

    • ‘Women are taking jobs from men.’ — Raider Girl

      If not for the brazen interloper EeeVee Mary, I could be pacing around that capacious corner office, a towering captain of industry, producing big thumping V8s and silky straight sixes, and installing them into all manner of vehicles, great and small.

      ‘Barra started working for General Motors in 1980 as a co-op student when she was 18 years old. Her job was checking fender panels and inspecting hoods.’ — Wikipedia

      One day Mary opened the hood. A photographer caught her horrified reaction to all that ugly, greasy, disgusting stuff concealed beneath it.

      Today, Mary likes the nice, clean frunks of EeeVees so much better! 🙂

      • Jim H:

        I attended the same building Mary attended but not the same school. When I was there it was all male, all engineers, all GM. One of the first signs I saw that GM was in its death throes was when it divested itself of GMI in 1982. How does that fit the timeline of the declineline of GM? True, there were guys there who couldn’t understand how a planetary gear set worked (they likely became managers). But there were plenty of us there whose primary love was machinery, particularly cars. Ford employed the second highest number of GMI graduates. Back then, “Car Guys” were in demand in Dearborn, too.

    • RG, we sure as heck don’t need any more marketing, public administration or poli-sci degree holders shoved into society.

      This trend, however, has been in the making for nearly 4 decades. In 1988 I was a regional sales manager for a foodservice manufacturer. Much was being made of “women only make 64 cents for every dollar a man makes in the same job”. At a trade show I encountered a woman working a booth that bragged that it was only part-time for her, her husband was a dentist and this gave her something to do. I knew then that the corporate bean counters would axe me and my company car in a heartbeat and replace me with a chick with a computer.

      I wish I’d been wrong.

      • It is actually worse, especially for White males…
        The “college degree” has been the “gatekeeper” regardless of qualifications due to two “supreme court” decisions that legalized discrimination against Whites, (especially White males). Since employers could no longer hire on merit, the college degree has been the “standard”. In many situations, the area of study doesn’t matter.
        Here it it, the most important sentence in the ruling on Griggs vs Duke Power 1973:
        “Disproportionate representation is in and of itself clear and present evidence of discrimination.”
        One sentence in one Supreme Court ruling by one justice Brennan made discrimination against Whites not just legal but mandatory in all aspects of American life and if any person or entity does not discriminate against Whites in favor of non-Whites they are subject to investigation and extensive fines by the federal and state justice departments.
        Most people have never heard of affirmative action for non-Whites, something that became a federal law in 1968 and affirmed by Griggs vs Weber 1973 and Kaiser vs Weber 1979.
        The Kaiser case was much much worse than the Griggs case.
        Griggs applied for a power company entry level trainee laborer job. There are plenty of power company laborer jobs for people who can’t perform more skilled jobs.
        The Kaiser case was about steel mill foreman jobs. Now that’s a job that requires basic knowledge of making steel, applying the highest safety standards, the ability to read mail in those days, respond to memos write correspondence, schedule shifts and workers etc.
        A steel mill foreman needs normal intelligence ability to figure out advanced math problems. Such as “ I need 12 guys in the crew but only 9 showed up. How many guys should I tell HR to send me?”
        Kaiser was far far worse in terms of forcing companies and agencies to hire absolute dysfunctional types than Griggs.
        Large corporations can afford to have “affirmative action” types as “managers” while hiring additional truly “qualified” employees that can “get the job done”.
        This discrimination against White males is ongoing, and will only get worse.
        I don’t want an “affirmative action” hired doctor or airline pilot…
        I want the BEST, regardless of race, creed , religion, etc.

      • Hi Mark,

        I am sorry to hear that and I agree with you that we do not need anymore Bachelor of Art degrees.

        I have an issue with the Left’s approach on “women make less than men” argument. I love numbers, because I find the outcome to be more factual than any other alternative, but I am aware that they can be easily distorted, too.

        To resort to the outcome that men make more than women all factors must be the same. This, in itself, is nearly impossible to obtain. Do they have the exact education? Do they work the exact same hours weekly? Do they have the same experience? It is multifaceted and futile to drill into.

        Today’s argument is women only make $.75 per the same dollar that men make. We have tossed out such dynamics such as “is it even the same job”? Yes, men usually make more than women. Why? Because, their jobs are usually more dangerous. A electrical lineman/linewoman should be making more than an administrative assistant. A roofer should be making more than a retail clerk. A welder should be making more than a restaurant server. Their jobs are more dangerous. They should be compensated for it. I have no issue with someone who sits behind a desk making six (or even seven) figures. Are they the best at what they do? Do they run an entire company or department? Have they brought in new clients and increased sales? Then they should be compensated to what they bring to the table. Their gender should be irrelevant.

        Unfortunately, we cannot continue to divide society by biology and diversity if we propose merit instead of mediocrity.

        • Walter E. Williams did magnificent work, as did Thomas Sowell, on the fraud of women making less than men. In the case of sales reps, chicks in heels get a lot more biz than a guy in a Brooks Brothers suit.

          This is particularly true in the pharmaceutical industrial complex. It used to be guy with chem/bio degrees that couldn’t get into med school repping drugs. Not any more. Marketing degree and big boobs trumps a 3.8 gpa
          every time.

        • >Because, their jobs are usually more dangerous.
          And the way to determine that, as we, and everyone here, knows, is to look at worker’ comp insurance rates. Actuaries are not, and cannot afford to be, social justice warriors.

          Which, BTW, I have never seen “Police Officer” make the top 20.
          Usually, it is something like:
          1. Commercial fisherman
          2. Logger
          3. Structural iron worker
          4. Roofer
          or something close to that.
          Apologies to any occupation I have overlooked.

          And also more physically demanding.
          Are there any female defensive tackles in the NFL?
          No, not now and not ever, and not because of “discriminatory hiring practices.” My work partner in the late 1970s had played defensive tackle at Mankato State in Minnesota. At 6’5″ and 240 lb of pure muscle, he was considered “small,” for a defensive tackle. Did well as a framing carpenter, and later a building contractor, in SoCal, though.

          No woman I have ever seen would have been able to “make breakdown” (do enough work to earn union scale) doing piecework as a framing carpenter in SoCal in the 1970s & 1980s.. Not all men can do it, for that matter. But for the men, inability to cut the mustard is usually due to lack of cleverness and ingenuity, or else sheer laziness and unwillingness to take physical risks, whereas women are simply physically incapable of doing the job.

          That is the truth as I see it, and if saying so makes me a “sexist,” so be it.
          Which is ridiculous, because I grew up with the idea of equal opportunity for women. My own mother was a degreed professional, and I had the privilege of going to school with some highly intelligent and talented women. I cannot relate to men who feel “threatened” by capable women, or to the “keep the broads down, preferably down on their knees” mentality.

          • Im happily retired. My aerospace electronics field had ZERO physical demand. Technical work required real, measurable, no BS results. I heard rumors like “they’re good with their hands” etc etc. . . In four decades not one to deal with outside HR cubicles. Why might that be ?

            Sexist for good reason. Why I would go for master electrician if doing it over.

    • Hi Rg,
      Couldn’t agree more about college being mostly useless these days, especially if you rack up a six figure bill and get a degree in something useless like “gender studies”. My degree was in electrical engineering, but after a few years at my job with the local power company I realized I could have started as a low level station operator and worked my way up through the ranks by seniority and taking some night classes. Would have had more years towards retirement and four extra years of a decent salary. If only I knew back then……

      • Hi Mike,

        A degree in electrical engineering is nothing to sneeze at. Those are the careers where additional education is needed. My opposition for many going to college is the institutions waste so many hours on unnecessary classes and topics. Some will disagree with me that a well rounded education is needed…is it? I would like colleges/universities to focus more on the major rather than a versatile experience.

        My freshmen and sophomore year at GMU had absolutely nothing to do with my major in Management, minor in Accounting. Not one damn class. I was stuck with Literature, Sociology, Philosophy, etc. before finally addressing my focus in my Junior year which was still a mixture of Astronomy and Geology thrown in. Fun classes…didn’t help me worth a quack in the Accounting field. The sad thing is I learned more from my experience in the workplace than from anything taught in college. I made it a point to hang out with smart people who were the best in my field. They taught me to be better. I would have been behind the eight ball if I relied on college providing me my experience. One hundred and twenty three credit hours later and I still didn’t know how to prepare a tax return. I dropped out during my last semester when we bought a house and a local CPA firm was hiring subcontractors to assist them during tax season. I learned more in four months than I did in four years.

        • I couldn’t agree more, RG.
          I was “studying” EE and for 2 years I saw nothing relevant to my so-called area of study. I aced all my classes including taking again the same Calculus that I aced in high school.
          When I finally got a class in EE Physics I couldn’t understand the text and went to the professor for some help. He said ‘just read the text’. I said ‘I did, and I don’t understand it.’ He said, ‘just read the text.’ How helpful and what dedication to his students.
          I was also taking a 4th class of Calculus then and asked my prof to please give me some practical application for what we were studying. He had no applications. What?
          That was it for me at the ‘prestigious’ engineering school. I transferred the next semester to a nearby university to study business. I took a day job running a small tax office where I alone was preparing returns for low income people while taking a full day school load at the university. I had to fight with one professor who was teaching tax accounting. She wanted me to drop the class because I couldn’t attend the first 2 weeks – which was April 1 to 15, the busiest time of tax preparation season. She already knew about my job and I asked ‘just let me take the test and then decide.’ I made the highest grade in the class. After that experience I switched to night school and found an ‘entry-level’ day job at a CPA. I learned MUCH more at that job (including that writing software was my real calling) than 90% of my classes (and graduated summa cum laude while working full time.)
          Note that both the EE prof and the tax Accounting prof were the heads of their departments. I wouldn’t hire either of them to walk a dog. Overpaid incompetents who were never judged on merit and wouldn’t be fired because of ‘tenure.’
          Universities are filled with incompetents who can’t produce anything yet are relied on to educate and prepare young people for life in a competitive world.
          I will say that my experience with incompetence did help prepare me, and working full time and taking a full course load did help me to near constantly work 80 hour to 100 hour weeks after graduation.

          • I attended a proprietary “electronics school” in the 1960s, (RETS). This Detroit-based school was not a degree-granting institution, but was able to turn out fully competent electrical engineers in TWO YEARS. There were no college “fluff courses” or extras–only 6 hours per day of electrical engineering principles. This school was so respected that ads seeking engineers in the local newspapers would specify college degree or RETS (the name of the school) as a requirement. Engineers who graduated from this school easily procured employment as they could “hit the ground running” and needed very little coaching, unlike many of the internships of today.
            It turns out that this school (now defunct) was actually ahead of its time…

            • USAF electronics tech schools operated the same way until 31 Dec 76. In 77 they began turning out what THEY referred to as “black box dummies”. The military is where I thus learned to deal with incompetence as infrastructure.

        • >One hundred and twenty three credit hours later and I still didn’t know how to prepare a tax return
          I had a college classmate who carried a near perfect GPA as a physics major, but was afraid to change the tires on his car. He was all set to pay the (likely) high school dropout a the local service station to mount his snow tires, because he thought they knew more than he did. i took pit yuan mounted his snow tires for him, and no, he was not “Tom Sawyering” me. He was genuinely grateful to me for saving him money.

          Dave ended up going to medical school. Book smart, yes. Practical knowledge, and ability to apply theory to the real world? Not so much.

      • Hi, Mike,
        One of my co-workers in the 1970s earned his BSEE through Northeastern U. co-op program. He got married, and had a comfortable job as an EE designing medical instrumentation for a company in metropolitan Boston.

        Then one day, Ken
        a) quit his job
        b) divorced his wife
        c) sold all his possessions
        d) bought a train ticket to the west coast
        e) spent six months hiking around the Sierras, living off cached food and whatever trout he could catch using his trusty collapsible fishing rod.

        After six months in the high Sierra, he walked out of the mountains into the small town of Sanger, CA, and, needing money, took a job stripping composition shingles off roofs, which is one of the most physically demanding jobs I know.

        He became a competent journeyman carpenter, and that is how I made his acquaintance. No idea if he eventually went back to earning his living as an engineer. Quite possible he might have done something entirely different.

        They say most people change careers (careers, not jobs) several times throughout their lives. That includes professionals, such as my former, and very excellent, dentist, who one day just said “eff it,” sold his practice and quit practicing dentistry. Enough is enough, I guess.

        in my years working as a carpenter, I met many more men who had other qualifications, and options for earning a living, than most people might imagine.
        The “other qualification” was usually a STEM degree of some kind, and very employable, but they chose to earn a living at a skilled construction trade (carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc.).

        “There are more things in heaven, and Earth, than are dreampt of in your philosophy, Horatio.”

        • Hi Adi,
          I graduated Northeastern U. also, wonder if I ever bumped into your friend; co-op didn’t lead to any good job prospects but did pay the bills, along with my night job as a janitor that I kept until graduation. Started out at a desk job that bored me to tears but after a couple years they were looking for people to implement radio operated pole-top switches and reclosers. Guess that was the beginning of the “smart grid” but turned out to be a great assignment; got my own bucket truck and a list of locations to set up/maintain/repair and was out for the day. Started going downhill when they installed GPS trackers in all the trucks but by then I was able to retire so I had many good years there before Big Brother came along.

          • Hi, Mike,
            >I graduated Northeastern U.
            That is what I had guessed. 🙂
            NU being *huge*, the chances of knowing anyone might be someone small, even if you were in the same class (unknown).
            Out of curiosity, what utility did you work for?

            My first job was with GCA Corp. in Bedford, MA, formerly known as Geophysical Corporation of America. GCA had been heavily involved in CBW, and still had an office at Dugway when I was hired in Sept. 1970, but was moving towards “peacetime” (EPA) consulting. Clients included New England Electric and NEGEA (New England Gas and Electric Association).

            >Incorporated in 1926, NEGEA was a company with gas and electric holdings in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
            >Through a series of mergers and reorganizations, various companies such as Provincetown Electric, New Bedford Gas and Edison Light Company, Cambridge Electric Light Company, Plymouth County Electric and others became Commonwealth Electric and Commonwealth Gas. These companies merged with Boston Edison and became NSTAR.

            One of my primary work assignments was crunching the numbers from an ambient air quality (SO2) study for Canal Electric, a NEGEA member. I spent a lot of time @ NEGEA Service Corp HQ in Central Square, Cambridge, writing software for their IBM S360 Model 30.

            People I knew at NEGEA Service Corp. included Dick Velte, who was chief engineer, and Tom McCabe, who was a supervisor in IT. My boss at GCA was Dick Dennis, who I believe had also done his undergrad at NU, then went to Harvard School of Public Health for graduate work.

            The first computer video display terminal I ever saw was at New England electric in 1971, and I though it was REALLY COOL™. Even my roommate who worked at IBM Cambridge Scientific Center did not have access to one of those. 🙂

            IBM did have timesharing. though, and Paul brought home a terminal for his two roomies to use, complete with modem and acoustic coupler. Wide carriage, tractor feed, fan fold paper, reams and reams of it. Large segments of industry were still using punched cards and batch processing, so software development was glacially slow, by today’s standards.

            • Hi Adi,
              I worked for Boston Edison, which became NStar, and is now Eversource. Same company, just shuffling executives at the top; doesn’t matter to me as long as the pension checks keep coming.

    • I have 2 college degrees, a 4 and a 2 year. Worked most of my life in chemical labs. Went to college to avoid Vietnam. I do car repairs, fix my own house problems, and love getting hands dirty repairing stuff. In my mid 30s I moved overseas to marry. Have 3 sons, all now in their 30s. On at least one thing they listened to me. I advised them not to go to uni. Get a job or go to trade school. None of the 3 went to trade school. Left school after secondary. All 3 have hands on jobs, making good money. I now have 4 grandchildren. Youngest has his own business with a cousin, who is a ferrier. I am so proud they avoided all the bullshit going on at Aussie unis.

  24. I realize TeeVee is not reality. However, I was watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show the other day. It began its run in 1970. Mary, ~30 years old, was an Associate Producer at a tv station and rented a studio apartment in an old house. Rhoda, her upstairs neighbor, had a smaller unit and at one point mentioned she made more money than Mary. Their budgeting to get by was a recurring topic.

    The “two bedroom apartment” mentality seems pervasive now. The idea of renting part of an old house is an idea that is unthinkable today. (A buddy of mine did that when he got married) Maybe it was due to the Eliza post but, a local news program did a segment on “affordable housing” using the 2 bed apt as a basis point. As you point out, why is this now Rock Bottom?

    Another aspect to this “affordable housing” mania is that GovCo 25 years ago outlawed cheap basic housing in many forms (at least here in the Carolinas). This came from absurd building codes and requirements (e.g. 80% brick exteriors) to an outright ban on single-wide mobile homes and MH parks. Now the leadership that led that charge bemoans the lack of “affordable housing”. Hell, Stevie Wonder could have seen that coming but, these “visionaries” could not.

    GovCo creates a problem and then steps in claiming it can solve it. How about get the hell out of the way? Will Grigg stated that calling the cops only makes a bad situation worse. That applies to all of GovCo, it’s a self-inflicted plague on humanity.


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