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McArdleism

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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!”

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