Thursday, November 17, 2011

Overeducated and Underemployed: Does That Make You a Philanthropist?

I know I haven't blogged for a long time, so maybe I'll get started again with a softball post. While listening to a YouTube video of Barbara Ehrenreich, I came across a great quote. I've contemplated this notion before, that the upper classes are living off the backs of the lower classes, but not in these terms:

"The real philanthropists in our society are the people who work for less than they can actually live on because they are giving of their time and their energy and their talents all the time so that people like you can be dressed well and fed cheaply and so on. They're giving to you."

Likewise, those who are overeducated and underemployed might arguably be philanthropists in that they could be providing additional value at the workplace over employees who meet the bare minimum requirements for the job. Also, it could be argued that they have essentially donated their money to colleges and universities if they are not obtaining a proper return on their investment.

You can find Ehrenreich's quote at around 5:00 in this YouTube video:

I hope to post about another great video of hers that resonates deeply with me soon.


Anonymous said...

Interesting video, and you make some good points. I don't think you are a philanthropist until you at least start paying it back. And I'm sure most of us resent giving it back, more angry and bitter that we chased that rainbow only to end in debt.

Anonymous said...

She wrote the book Nickel and Dimed, I think. The book is based upon her experiences working these jobs. A very scary read.

Nando said...

Ehrenreich also wrote "Bright-Sided," another excellent read. Student debt - combined with a fundamenTTTally restructered economy - serves to keep the workers in place. People don't rock the boat, as potential employers are now checking digital "footprints."

Isn't it great to live in such a dystopia?!

Anonymous said...

Three words in response to that video: Earned Income Credit.

Frank the Underemployed Professional said...

The Earned Income Credit is nice, but does it really help that much, and does it ensure that people are actually receiving the income they deserve for their efforts?

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