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McArdleism

[ 167 ] September 17, 2013 |

Megan McArdle gives some really useful advice to young people who find themselves out of work. Among that advice is take jobs for free, don’t complain about the current economic climate and your lack of a job you whiny privileged brat because you didn’t grow up in the middle of an Angolan civil war so you don’t know how lucky you have it*, realize that your poverty is going to open up life opportunities like starting hobbies, and avoid your friends.

While Adam Weinstein is actually responding to a different post where a rich person complains about young people whining because they are poor, I think his response works pretty well for McArdle:

2) Go f**k yourselves.

You have no idea about student debt, underemployment, life-long renting. “Stop feeling special” is some shitty advice. I don’t feel special or entitled, just poor. The only thing that makes me special is I have more ballooning debt than you. I’ve tempered the hell out of my expectations of work, and I’ve exceeded those expectations crazily to have one interesting, exciting damned career that’s culminated in some leadership roles for national publications. And I’m still poor and in debt and worked beyond the point where it can be managed with my health and my desire to actually see the son I’m helping to raise.

Younger journos see me as a success story and ask my advice, and I feel like a fraud, because I’m doing what I love, and it makes me completely miserable and exhausts me.

Last weekend my baby had a fever, and we contemplated taking him to the ER, and my first thought was – had to be – “Oh God, that could wipe out our bank account! Maybe he can just ride it out?” Our status in this Big Financial Game had sucked my basic humanity towards my child away for a minute. If I wish for something better, is that me simply being entitled and delusional?

*Shorter McArdle in 1935–”Stop complaining about your poverty. The Salvation Army gives you a free meal once a day if you listen to their sermon. You think people who lived in the Black Death had bowls of soup from the Salvation Army? Landon ’36!”

Comments (167)

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  1. mark f says:

    we contemplated taking him to the ER, and my first thought was – had to be – “Oh God, that could wipe out our bank account!["]

    Who’s this guy to complain? He’s got a bank account that can cover a ten dollar co-pay. OK, back to figuring out which bills can be delayed two more weeks.

    • Chet Manly says:

      He’s got a bank account that can cover a ten dollar co-pay.

      I’m a federal employee with the highest-premium, lowest-copay version of FEHB because my wife is disabled. She also has Medicare as secondary insurance. Out of pocket for us for her ER visit last year was around $300. I don’t even want to imagine what it costs people who don’t have our fantastic insurance options.

    • scott mc says:

      Have reasonably ok health insurance ($900/mo premium for the family). Had to take the baby to the children’s hospital b/c it was a weekend and fever had persisted for a couple days and her breathing was becoming labored. All turned out well, but the total bill was well over $500, probably over $700 at this point as the bills just slowly trickle in ad infinitum.

      • mark f says:

        Jeez. Sorry to both of you. My last two family ER visits were free. But I wasn’t joking about my bills, or my bank account, if that’s any consolation.

        • Chet Manly says:

          No worries, just wanted to point out that even with excellent insurance an ER visit can be a budget buster for most most people. In my case, the wife and I can easily cover an unexpected $300 bill, but I know we’re damn lucky in that regard. Ten years ago that bill would have been an absolute disaster for us.

    • Linnaeus says:

      Health insurance? What’s that?

  2. Rigby Reardon says:

    Bloomberg.com is really the perfect place for her.

  3. With imbeciles like her writing, I’m amazed that The Onion is still around.

  4. Shakezula says:

    This is the same “person” who pitched a fit because D.C. laws prevented her from barging into renter’s homes at will.

    I think she’s staring to sense that Something is Wrong and it can’t be explained by a calculator with gastritis. So people like McCashmerecardigan think everyone should just stop talking about it!

  5. JKTHs says:

    I think it goes without saying, but the “Millennials are just a bunch of lazy whiners who should just shut the fuck up and eat their shit sandwich” is obviously just a meme perpetuated by rich people who want to keep enjoying the economic structure that gives them an outsized share of income and wealth.

    • Joshua says:

      And it’s working, because part of being old is finding kids on your lawn.

      I wonder what will happen in 20-30 years. The people you refer to will mostly be dead (although they do have kids) and the people getting screwed today will be tomorrow’s primary voting bloc.

    • Even as a millennial who thinks that meme has a point to it – mind you, I’m pretty sure I was born decrepit – this explanation is coming to make more and more sense to me as time passes.

    • sharculese says:

      Daniel D’Addario’s review of Meghan McCain’s new show absolutely nailed this awful narrative:

      http://www.salon.com/2013/09/13/meghan_mccain_the_worst_of_millennial_culture/

      • James E. Powell says:

        Meghan McCain is one of those “adds nothing to the discourse” people who I expect will be on TV, in one role or another, for the rest of her life. She’s the millennials’ Cokie Roberts.

        • And why is she on TV? Because she is Cranky McSame’s kid!!

          • Aimai says:

            Yah. I’m not sure that anything about Meghan McCain is an indictment specifically of millenials. She would have been an air headed right wing bimbo at any period of human history. She is also the child of a Senator who is a noted attention hound. And she grew up in a household which didn’t value anything like academia, learning, or public service–isn’t she a combo Beer Money and Military Nepotism?

            Chelsea Clinton is the daughter of two Yale Graduates, one of whom was a Rhodes Scholar and one of whom was the first First Lady in history to go on to the Senate on her own merits and served as the Secretary of State after running a “non novelty” Presidential campagin. She is EXACTLY who you think she’d be coming from Arkansas–serious, academically motivated, part of the financial and other elite in this country. I’m not discounting luck and I’m not praising C. Clinton because she’s the daughter of dems. I’m just pointing out that her class and social position derive from the interests and connections of her parents and so do Megan McCain’s. Chelsea’s parents valued intellect, study, and public service (thats the only part she hasn’t done yet) while Megan’s parents valued–nothing.

            • sharculese says:

              That’s sort of the point of the article I linked- that Meghan McCain is on tv because she perfectly fits the narrative of millennials as spoiled, selfish, and ignorant of the world around them, even if she’s actually a terrible representative of non-rich people her age.

              • GoDeep says:

                And she grew up in a household which didn’t value anything like academia, learning, or public service–isn’t she a combo Beer Money and Military Nepotism?

                I can get disagreeing w/ McCain’s policies, Lord knows I do, but are we really saying that he didn’t believe in public service??? This is a guy who voluntarily enlisted in Annapolis, during wartime, and when offered an early release from the Hanoi Hilton he refused it. And then he went on to serve in the US Senate. In addition, Meghan’s brother, grandfather, and great-grandfather all served in the Navy as well.

                Unless you’re making the contention that military service is not public service, I don’t see how that stands. Ergo, suggesting that Megan McCain grew up in a family that didn’t value public service doesn’t wash.

          • FMguru says:

            McCain is on teevee because:
            1) Conservatives see the numbers coming in for younger voters and they’re (rightly) concerned
            2) They are convinced that the problem is “messaging” and “branding” and “outreach” and not their terrible, unpopular, destructive policies
            3) So the hunt is on for conservative Millenial-cohort personalities to reach out and appeal to those twitterin’, twerkin’, snapchattin’ post-gen-Y yoofs of today
            4) Wow. That’s…that’s a pretty empty cupboard, isn’t it?

            That’s why she has a show, and why she’ll have another show after this one fails, and then another one after that. As awful as she is, the alternatives are even worse – they’re all off-putting True Believers like Ben Shaprio and his ilk.

            • KadeKo says:

              Didn’t you forget “Sarah Palin’s starburstiness is fading”?

            • Gabriel Ratchet says:

              Even if the Media Powers That Be decide she can’t carry her own show, I’m sure there’ll still be a place for her somewhere on the airwaves. Second chair from the end on Fox and Friends, maybe. Or “token conservative” on The View.

              Yeah, we’re gonna be stuck with her for a good long while.

            • Lit3Bolt says:

              Sadly, Conserva-punch is the only political brand on the market, because while demographically, conservatives are outnumbered, liberals live in those smelly, dirty cities, which only give like 3 counties per for every 15 conservative counties, because something something Founding Fathers and land.

              Liberalism will message better once that message travels beyond local city limits. Anything else is choir preaching.

    • brady says:

      There is a small segment of GenY that is insufferable.
      It gets overblown since it is a big cohort and they are more noticeable than all those angst ridden slackers from GenX

    • Jeremy says:

      And then the same people that tell Baby Boomers that Millenials are lazy whiners who could get a job if they were more like the Boomers were back in the day turn around and tell the Millenials that the Boomers are bankrupting the government with their too-generous Social Security and Medicare payments. Just pit the generations against each other, hoping to distract them from noticing the people who are plundering the nation’s wealth.

    • Mike G says:

      Shorter McMegan:
      Can’t they just do what I did, and become journalistic whores and have their careers subsidized and promoted by planet-raping right-wing billionaires?

  6. The Dark Avenger says:

    Food insecurity for McBargle is when she runs out of pink Himalayan salt.

  7. TRP says:

    So Mother Jones doesn’t offer health benefits?
    That is fucked up.

  8. Nick says:

    Come to Canada — it was the best choice I ever made. In 2007 my foreign wife and I were living in Asia, broke, with a newborn child, and no prospects. I could have sponsored her for a green card, or we both could apply to immigrate to Canada; I chose the latter, because I’d gone to college in Toronto, and for my wife, one North American ex-British colony was the same as another. It’s not perfect here, but the government helps her with English classes to assimilate, going to the doctor is a wonderful exercise in health promotion totally divorced from financial issues, I’ve got a good job, and the different levels of society don’t hate each other. Most everyone believes in funding public schools and cops who use excessive force sometimes go on trial. Honestly, I mostly read American blogs now for the gnawing digust they give me at the state of American public and civil life.

    • J. Otto Pohl says:

      My understanding is that it is much harder for a US citizen to get the right to work in Canada long term than most countries in the world. You have to prove that no current Canadian citizens or landed immigrants can do your job. This is much harder to do than for a place like Ghana where most of the indigenous history PhDs already immigrated to Canada a decade ago.

      • Rigby Reardon says:

        I’ve looked into it. It’s not easy.

        • Nick says:

          There’s a difference between working here and immigrating; to get work is hard, but to immigrate is easy, if you meet certain conditions. When we came there was a 15 month window when the skilled worker category included my profession, AND they were processing applications quickly. Before that, it was easy to qualify but the process took 4-5 years if you were lucky; after that, they removed my profession and then put a yearly cap on applications. So now it’s harder; but still easier than getting a temporary work permit.

      • John Dolan wrote about his experience with that in Vancouver for NSFWCORP magazine. A tough read, to be sure.

    • Newishlawyer says:

      I think it is very hard for U.S. citizens to get jobs in other countries. The people I’ve known to do it:

      1. Were very smart and got into foreign PhD/post-doc programs; and/or

      2. Already had citizenship through one parent; or

      3. Were Jewish and did right of Return to Israel.

      I know one person without any of these connections who managed to relocate to Australia and was given a job for an international NGO.

      • J. Otto Pohl says:

        No, it is easy to get a job in poor countries that is the former second and third world countries in Asia and Africa if you have a degree. I worked in Kyrgyzstan from 2007-2010 on three one year contracts. I have worked in Ghana since 2011 and currently have a five year contract. But, it is much harder to get work in Europe or the White Commonwealth including Canada and South Africa. My father got a job in Australia for a while as a university professor, but it was late in his career and he had established very good contacts with the industry endowing his chair. The thing is decades of brain drain has left a lot of countries with severe shortages of highly educated people. Whereas in the US there is a huge glut of unemployed PhDs.

        • Newishlawyer says:

          As a Jewish person, I generally like to stick around countries or areas with decent sized Jewish populations.

          They don’t have to be New York or Israel or LA sized Jewish populations but a good amount of support a decent amount of congregations and I don’t get asked borderline-offensive questions (Where is your little hat?) or worse about my Judaism.

          Ghana could be an interesting country to live in. Kyrhyzshan not so much.

          • J. Otto Pohl says:

            Kyrgyzstan has about 1,000 Jews left last census I checked. There are almost no Ghanaian Jews, but there are hundreds of thousands of Ghanaian Arabs. There are also some Ghanaian Hindus and not only among those people of Indian descent. The Ghanaians are about 78-79% Christian (mostly evangelical churches) and 20% Muslim. There are some Israelis here since they just built a new hospital for the university. But, I think they all hangout in expat places with other White people. I make it a point never to go to expat places.

            • Newishlawyer says:

              I was thinking more in the 10,000 plus range. Not the thousand range.

              The San Francisco Bay Area (my current abode) has slightly under 230,000 Jews. That is a good number.

              Seattle has slightly under 38,000. That is about as low as I would want to go.

            • Lee Rudolph says:

              My work abroad (Geneva, Toulouse, Dijon, Mexico City, Zaragoza) has obviously not been nearly as expatriated as yours (which I do not envy, being basically a stick-in-the-mud, bump-on-a-log sort), but I certainly never hung out in expat places—though I made good use of the American Library in Geneva (while not neglecting to use the municipal library), which was, however, largely run (as far as I could tell) by nice British ladies.

        • Chatham says:

          From what I’ve seen, it’s easy to get a teaching job in such countries. The other work that I’ve seen is sales (expats being telemarketers for garbage salaries) and web design (if the country you’re in has a number of foreign companies that speak your language). Sometimes work writing articles for expat magazines too, I guess.

          Other than that, I’ve seen people start their own business (I guess web design could fall here) or get sent over for stints for multinationals they’ve been working for. But there don’t seem to be many great opportunities for just going over and doing a 9-5 with room for growth. From my experience, of course.

          • NewishLawyer says:

            I think it depends on the teaching job. It is probably easy to get a job teaching ESL but not academic subjects. Though almost every nation probably has one or more K-12 “American/International schools” that need teachers. I have no idea how easy or hard it is to be hired by these places.

            Getting a law job is probably among the most difficult.

            Though there was a foreign clinic in Tokyo and it did have English and American doctors and probably doctors from other non-Japanese countries.

            The whole expat scene in Tokyo was very interesting. There were some businesses including restaurants and bars that exclusively catered to an expat population. There was an weekly expat magazine/event listing type organization. One Indian restaurant with english language TV ads (on SKY), and even one guy who ran a used book shop with english-language books. I always thought that could be an interesting job.

            I’m guessing this expat kind of world exists in many places.

            I wish I studied it more especially the people who worked in non-ESL jobs like the people who worked at the expat magazine. I can’t remember the name but it was like a Time Out New York: reviews, event listings, concerts, some articles, movies shown in English instead of dubbed and showtimes, etc.

    • Newishlawyer says:

      I read part of the John Dolan article (before needing to subscribe) and it seems like a lot of his issues with moving to Canada was not having a family-friends support structure.

      One of the many reasons people don’t move for new jobs (hence a ton of articles by people like Matt Y about moving to Kansas or North Dakota) is that family and friends support structures are nice. Moving to an area where you know no one requires a lot of bravery and could end in disaster. It can also be hard to create a support structure:

      http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/08/dangers_of_loneliness_social_isolation_is_deadlier_than_obesity.html

      You had a partner/mate. Many other people might not.

      • That was part of it, though Dolan did bring his wife along. He himself doesn’t deny that his problem was being unwilling to accept help from family and friends when he could – he also wrote an article for AlterNet that I keep a link to of pieces of advice to people who suddenly find themselves very poor – but he believes that that’s part of the reaction of the newly poor as “temporarily embarrassed millionaires,” though he doesn’t use that term.

        According to Dolan, the reason he was fired (and thus led to his problems) was supposedly for doing his own thing in a writing course rather than following the established syllabus (which was apparently “copy the style of the essays in the anthology”) and allowing his students to challenge essays by George Monbiot.

    • Murc says:

      Come to Canada — it was the best choice I ever made.

      I would if I could, but it’s literally impossible.

      Which kind of pisses me off.

    • Major Kong says:

      Come to Canada — it was the best choice I ever made.

      I’m 51 years old. It’s pretty much impossible for me.

      I wish it weren’t. I love Canada.

  9. somethingblue says:

    You lost me at “Megan McArdle.”

  10. politicalfootball says:

    Everything McArdle writes is odious, and I’m not going to sift through that shit myself, so I insist that the blogs I read point me only toward those McArdle pieces that really stand out as being particularly repugnant.

    Sorry Erik, but you’ve failed me here. Sure, McArdle is once again showing her boundless capacity for self-congratulation and for stoic endurance of the suffering of other people. And, as always, she manages to completely ignore the fact that the current macroeconomic climate is going to result in workers being tossed overboard regardless of their efforts. But there’s a fair amount of good advice in there, too.

    The words-to-idiocy ratio on this one is fairly high by McArdle standards, making it really not worth my time. Yeah, sure, she manages to compare herself to people who grew up during the Depression. And yes, holy Jesus, she really does suggest that because “my classmates” got out of their parents’ basements in a much better economy, you will, too. But I could throw a dart at her blog and find a worse piece than this.

  11. djw says:

    Her blurb now contains a truly terrifying sentence:

    Her book, “The Up Side of Down,” will be published by Viking in February 2014

    That immediately brought to mind a line from Tiabbi’s classic Friedman review:

    I think it was about five months ago that Press editor Alex Zaitchik whispered to me in the office hallway that Thomas Friedman had a new book coming out. All he knew about it was the title, but that was enough; he approached me with the chilled demeanor of a British spy who has just discovered that Hitler was secretly buying up the world’s manganese supply. Who knew what it meant but one had to assume the worst.

    “It’s going to be called The Flattening,” he whispered. Then he stood there, eyebrows raised, staring at me, waiting to see the effect of the news when it landed. I said nothing.

  12. Aaron B. says:

    It’s like when your parent gives you advice, and you know they’re really, really trying to help, but it’s so obvious and stupid and oblivious that you can’t help feeling completely patronized.

  13. Sly says:

    She forgot Tip #14: Have your father, who cashed in on his public service contacts for a cushy gig as the head lobbyist for the General Contractors Association of New York, get you a job as an “executive copy girl” for a 9/11 clean-up firm while you pen trite libertarian nonsense on-line.

  14. Ed K says:

    I sincerely hope shit like this comes back to haunt the McArdles of the world in the form of large, radicalized generations who cease to give a flying fuck about what she and her oligarchic ilk think are reasonable compromises when the reckoning for all this finally arrives. Let them eat cake and so on…

  15. Walter says:

    Just have the state sieze everyone’s shit. All of it, damn the consequences. Property is arbitrary anyway. I just don’t care to be high-minded about it anymore.

    /me on a bad day

    • James E. Powell says:

      Me too, on some days. I recently watched The Battleship Potemkin and I was thinking, yeah, let’s do it. I got over it because as miserable as things are or I am, this is not Tsarist Russia or anything remotely like it.

      How many of America’s right-wingers do you suppose think like that all the time?

      • Walter says:

        I usually come to my senses whenever Virginia closes another ABC liquor store and forces me to go across the bridge to DC, which, even with higher taxes, sells liquor for less because of competition and the relative freedom to open a store as long as you’re willing to take the risk.

        For the most part though, anytime I hear the word “liberty” or “freedom,” I just cringe. And that’s a really sucky feeling. But those with means are so selfish that I’m getting dangerously sympathetic to the idea that we should regulate stuff just to regulate it, whether or not it does any good.

  16. Gary K says:

    Maybe she meant “1.3 Tips for Jobless Grads.”

  17. cdg says:

    I have to say, I read McCardle’s article and I’m not typically a fan of hers, but this seems a grossly unfair characterization of it. It’s basically got a “keep your chin up, things will get better” type of vibe rather than a “stop whining” type of vibe.In fact, the only reference to whining at all is when she talks about when she was jobless and uncertain and whiny.

    You might not agree with her 13 suggestions, but I believe you’ve certainly missed her intent.

    • GoDeep says:

      +1

      I’m actually not a big fan of McArdle–I think her business analysis is frequently off–but its hard to criticize her “stiff upper lip” routine here. She may come across as tone deaf a bit, but she’s hardly giving the finger to the unemployed.

      • Erik Loomis says:

        Is it hard to criticize that routine? Wouldn’t it be more productive to say that the system needs reform? But of course she doesn’t believe that at all. The argument of this piece is that the system is fine and everything will work out for you in the end. No it’s not fine and no it’s not going to work out for a lot of people.

        • cdg says:

          Except “the system needs reform” is a separate argument that actually doesn’t help someone in the currently unreformed system. She’s attempting to give those folks advice. You can beat her up all you want over not seeing systemic problems in our current economy, I agree with you! But this article attempts, rightly or wrongly, to help individuals navigate the system we got. You can impugn the advice, but not the motives here.

          • Erik Loomis says:

            Yeah, what has McArdle possibly written in the past that would make one question her motives?

          • Joshua says:

            She’s attempting to give those folks advice.

            So later on she can say anyone who didn’t succeed isn’t made up of enough pure Randite stock.

            I don’t need to hear bootstrap folk tales from libertarian jerks like McArdle.

            • blech says:

              Take the semingly harmless “move back in with your parents.” That only works if a)your parents
              are still alive b)can afford to have you mooch off them for a year or two c)live in an area with decent job prospects

              Its “advice” for the McArdles of the world and is likely not to benefit anyone else.

            • UserGoogol says:

              You should always assume that people are basically sincere. The world is full of people who have odious beliefs but who have no particular benefit to gain from them; it’s simply that human beings make mistakes and often they make mistakes which lead them to believe cruel things. When people who are privileged and do have self-interested reasons to support a certain system believe something, all that means is that the deck is even more stacked against them believing the right thing.

            • Major Kong says:

              Bootstrap? Heck, they all think they invented boots before they pulled themselves up by the straps!

        • Jay B. says:

          I’m more amazed that two “not typically fans” of McArdle decided to parachute in and talk about how her intent. It’s almost as if they are completely unfamiliar with her schtick, to say nothing of her dishonesty and her overall awfulness. Her “off” business analysis merely scrapes the top of the crust of the bottom of the barrel that she’s dug herself beneath.

          • Erik Loomis says:

            Yeah, either it’s posturing or some people need to work on reading things in context.

            • Aimai says:

              With a few notable exceptions, Megan McCardle is the kindest, gentlest, best, person I know.

              • GoDeep says:

                In fairness the handful of items I’ve read of McCardle’s have been focused on business analysis, not labor or economic issues, so I have no basis on which to critique her broader world view.

                The criticism leveled in this post tho was specific, and the link was to a specific article, not her entire canon. So we’re only commenting on what’s been linked to. Aimai has already called this approach “absurdly reductionist” but linking assertions to evidence is the only way I know to be fair.

                Its like w/ serial criminals. Sure maybe its true that the guy on trial has pulled a string of crimes, but unless he’s on trial for that string of crimes the jury only reviews the evidence for the crime at hand.

                • brad says:

                  So in defense of McMegan, you compare her to a serial criminal.

                  Seems about right.

                • sharculese says:

                  Being a serial criminal requires more effort than McMegan would ever put into anything.

                • BarrY says:

                  “Its like w/ serial criminals. Sure maybe its true that the guy on trial has pulled a string of crimes, but unless he’s on trial for that string of crimes the jury only reviews the evidence for the crime at hand.”

                  This isn’t a court of law, just in case you didn’t notice :)

                • Origami Isopod says:

                  Aimai has already called this approach “absurdly reductionist” but linking assertions to evidence is the only way I know to be fair.

                  So you take pride in not seeing the forest for the trees, in other words.

              • Aimai says:

                We’re not a jury of her peers, thats for sure. She, mercifully, doesn’t have many peers. But its really no defense of her to cite your own ignorance of her ouevre. I’ve been reading McCardle since she was Jane Galt and the one thing you can say for her is that she is consistent, or maintains a consistent false persona as a writer and thinker. She has been quite firm about building a recognizable brand McCardle which, however stupid and stunted, is as carefully nurtured as if it were a Bansai. It is perfectly formed and even produces the very kind of fruit you’d expect from a full sized tree. So you absolutely can read back from the fruit to the root and be correct about her motivations and her goals (to mix my metaphor beyond repair).

      • Timurid says:

        Concern trolling is still trolling.

    • James E. Powell says:

      You’re right, it isn’t a “stop whining” article at all. It’s more like “How to stay slim and fashionable” by Gwyneth Paltrow.

      Items 1 through 12 are sound but banal. Item 13 may or may not be true, but it is primarily survivorship bias. For an unknown but non-zero number of people, everything is not going to be okay.

    • Pooh says:

      Her intent, as always, is to comfort the comfortable.

    • Ed K says:

      ‘Keep your chin up, it’ll get better is pure bullshit,’ though.

      Most of them are losing so much systemic ground they’re never going to catch up, period — not given the current system.

      She’s refusing to take them seriously, as the OP says.

    • sharculese says:

      It’s basically got a “keep your chin up, things will get better” type of vibe rather than a “stop whining” type of vibe.

      How are those different things?

      • Manta says:

        The intended beneficiaries.
        When you have somebody in distress, you say “keep your chin up” if you want to help/console him; you say “stop whining” if you want to help/console yourself and people who are not in distress.

        Thus, the “reaL” question is: who are the intended readers of this piece? The unemployed or people like McArdle and her classmates?

        • James E. Powell says:

          Thus, the “real” question is: who are the intended readers of this piece? The unemployed or people like McArdle and her classmates?

          Your kidding, right? The big message of the article is “Nothing wrong here. It’s a temporary lull. Everything will be fine.” Who delights at reading that message? The unemployed or the comfortable?

  18. Manta says:

    Her optimism is fully granted: if Megan McArdle can find a decent job, anybody can.

    • Lurker says:

      We should not think like this. McArdle is a performance artist, and doing the stuff she does requires real skill and certain mentality:
      a) She is really stupid and completely lacking self-awareness, yet a decent writer. This would be a surprising combination.
      b) She is intelligent and able to write consistently things that you know to be false and immoral. This requires certain level of sociopathy that most people, fortunately, don’t have.
      c) She honestly believes Randian Republicanism and is able to engage in complete doublethink. This is also pretty difficult and very close to a).

      Anyhow, these combinations are not easily found.

  19. Dude w/o Qualities says:

    Cdg and GoDeep +1 each. Seriously folks, do you snark at your therapists too? McA offers standard chin-up stuff and she means well here. Y’all are mean for real.

  20. anthrofred says:

    You know how I found the job at the Economist? I met a woman who worked there at a cocktail party for bloggers, and told her that if they ever had a job opening, to please please please pretty please e-mail me.

    Awareness of privilege? Nahhhhhh.

    • anthrofred says:

      Damn, my quote tags broke. Only the snark was me; I have never been at a “cocktail party for bloggers”, and probably never will be, because I can’t afford cocktails on zero income.

  21. brad says:

    McMegan is, sadly, the quiet but probably leading contender to take over for Peggy Noonan as lead Village concern troll when the time comes.
    But I did my time in that gulag, no clicky.

  22. McArdle had good advice on caring for curly hair. But I decided that if after weeks of looking in on her blog, the only thing that interested me was a post about hair care, it was time to give up on it.

    • Rugosa says:

      McArdle wrote about caring for curly hair? I’ve seen pictures of her, and the only advice she could offer for curly hair is how to straighten it. Making her beauty advice about as useful as her cooking advice.

      Let’s face it – we’re all just jealous of the inane twit who, due to life circumstances she sees as her own personal virtue, fails ever upward. Yeah, it pisses me off, but it would be better for all our blood pressure if we just ignored her.

      • A fair amount of it was about how if you want to appear on TV, you SHALL have straight, smooth hair (which I think is probably true). If you click the link in the OP I think her hair is a little wavier than in other pictures I’ve seen.

        • Rugosa says:

          You’re not getting me to click on a McArdle link. I have seen clips of her on TV – I think it was with Matt Taibbi, where she admitted that she hadn’t read the report they were discussing, and he informed her that he had read it, and it did not say what she imagined it said. Her hair was a mess, looked uncombed and was falling over her face. So what I said above still stands – her beauty advice is suspect.

  23. Ronan says:

    McArdles advice *is* good though, for the people its aimed at (out of work college grads without obligations or a significant amount of debt, with strong family networks etc)
    How do you extend it to everyone? Invest in retraining, expanding those work networks for all, investing in childcare, increase social welfare payments, remove the stigma of being on welfare, start writing off debt..etc etc ie make unemployment ‘an opportunity’ for all
    Thats what she was getting at, surely

  24. Denverite says:

    Am I the only one who thinks like half of these are all just riffs on “yeah, you’re going to have to work a crappy, low-paying (or no-paying), dead-end job that you hate, but look on the bright side of things, like — hey, isn’t that an awesome food processor?”

    I mean, maybe her point really is that millenials shouldn’t sweat their miserable existences because things eventually tended to turn out well for Megan and her cohort of upper-middle-class elite B-school classmates who graduated in a time that was worse than the periods immediately before and after it (but which still was better than the 2008-2010 period). But that doesn’t sound very comforting to me. (Well, actually it does, since I’m pretty close to her cohort. But it wouldn’t if I wasn’t.)

  25. JustinV says:

    Injustice anywhere is a reason not to complain about injustice everywhere.

  26. Dude w/o Qualities says:

    I get it, this is the cool kid table.

  27. MacK says:

    Ms. McArdle’s comments about the basement years are interesting since her basement was a large Manhattan appartment owned by her quite well connected parents.

  28. Origami Isopod says:

    Not to mention the “GYPSY” acronym. Uhhhh, it’s a racist slur.

  29. [...] bit of a scam, a way to imply if you’re not getting ahead it must be your own fault. Case in point, a new post by Megan McArdle telling unemployed 20somethings to take any job they can get, even if [...]

  30. Tristan says:

    “You know how I found the job at the Economist? I met a woman who worked there at a cocktail party for bloggers”

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

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