Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Best of Captain Capitalism - Support Your Local Cynic

This was sent to me by a reader and reminded me not of the playboy post, but this one, support your local cynic. I caught a lot of flak for this post from women, but (as is many of the times) they don't realize my main aim in this post was to save future women (and men as well) from wasting their precious time and money on such worthless degrees. Oh well, tough fatherly love is out of fashion in today's DesperatehousewivesDawsonsCreekTeenIdol America.

Often I have been accused of being a cynic. And not necessarily in a positive light either. No, usually it is followed by some commentary that I should “let go” or “loosen up” otherwise I shall “blow a gasket” and my “blood pressure will skyrocket” and “do I really want to live life this way?”

So to disprove the doubting Thomases and to help us once again advance our understanding about economics I shall demonstrate why cynicism and those that participate in it, cynics, are necessary and right in their insistence on being cynical.

First off, the majority of people you view to be “cynics” are not really cynics at all. No, those of us who seem to have a negative outlook on life and pummel those that come up to us with their brainwashed ignorant smiles saying, “Hey, don’t worry be happy” are in reality REALISTS.

The reason for this is instead of being placated by Desperate Housewives or Teen Idol and satiated by marrying and having the 2.2 kids in the suburbs as our cookie-cutter American counterparts have done, we think ahead. We survey the land. We ask ourselves questions, “what do we want in life and what will happen in the future and what action should be taken to best navigate that future.” This leads any independent-thinking individual to study and take note of various sociological and economic factors, some of which will certainly be; the pathetic savings rates we have, the impending social security crisis that is looming, not to mention the Medicare/Medicaid crisis, all under the shadow of a property market bubble, and an increasing parasite class nudging the US ever closer towards socialism.

And no, don’t tell me to loosen up.

However, the deteriorating economic fundamentals of the future US is not the reason for my bringing up cynicism. The reason is a talking point that I have heard now one too many times in the talk radio world and that is somehow that men, or rather, boys, are being neglected in schools and this results in (ready for the sound byte???) women earning the majority of college degrees.

Usually this is set in the context of reverse discrimination where boys are forced out of their traditional male role models at school and then usually an accusation of some leftist policy that heralds girls over boys, and then the ensuing “woe are we poor men/boys being discriminated against by the leftist educational machine.”

I have two major points of contention with this;

One, we on the right are not whiners. It’s one of the key things that separates us from the left. You want to call us names? Fine. You want to make the playing field unfair? Fine. But we are not going to bitch and whine and feel sorry for ourselves. That’s the job of the left, liberals, and their bevy of political allies. We on the right get up off the ground and go back into the fight, regardless of the odds. So cut as many men jokes as you want. Post as many oafish, tail-behing-the-legs Ray Romanos on TV as you want. We don’t care, because frankly men know better and we are actually secure with ourselves and needn’t any pity or affirmative action hand out and can let whatever unfair practices in the schools roll off our backs for that is what makes us men. And radio talk show hosts should know better.

My second point of contention was started when a little voice in the back of my head said, “something ain’t right about that” when I heard Michael Medved complaining about how men were trailing women in earning college degrees. Certainly he was right, women do earn the majority of college degrees, but something was amiss. Something didn’t add up. Something I couldn’t put my finger on.

Fortunately, I have that trait that all people seemingly are hell-bent on hating and beating out of me, cynicism. And whilst many of you want to just “let go” and be blissfully happy, ignorant to the realities around you whilst you hold hands around the camp fire singing Kumbya and participate in candle-light vigils, some of us were being vigilant.

For as a cynic I remember college and I remember the majority of the women I dated were frankly, morons. Now one could make the argument, this was a sample bias since only morons would go out with me, but I contend another theory. That the majority of girls I dated in college were morons not because only morons would go out with me, but rather because the majority of women majored in what I call “crap studies.” Fields such as “sociology,” “communications” and my all-time favorite, because you’ve only been speaking it for 18 years, “english.”

In other words, the reason why more women are earning more degrees than men is because they major in subjects that are easier.


Yeah, well, like I said, the majority of cynics aren’t pessimistic, but realists. For you see, to test my theory I called up the University of Minnesota with its some 50,000 students and asked them if they could send me a breakdown between the types of degrees awarded and gender. And after a little number crunching it seems my theory was not a theory at all, but reality.

When broken down the majority graduate degrees that are awarded to women are in “fluff” or since I’m subsidizing their education, I call them “crap” fields such as psychology, women’s studies, urban studies, etc., while the majority of real degrees in fields such as engineering, medicine, accounting, etc., with practical applications to the real world are awarded to men.

Similar statistics are shown in undergraduate degrees, where again the majority of “crap” degrees are earned by women and the majority of real degrees are earned by men.

As an economist I have a particular respect for engineers since they compose not only the majority of my friends, but I deem it the field most productive to society (and the labor market agrees with me based on their starting salaries). Alas, men outdo women 5 to 1 in these fields.

Now you can go ahead can contest that I’ve tainted the data. That somehow the University of Minnesota is not a representative sample of an American college, and who am I to say degrees in Chicano Studies are not as warranted as chemical engineering (you racist cynic you!). All I can say is that if you are offended, well you should be, because it’s not the falsities of life that are truly insulting, but rather the truth. The question is whether you want to deal with it, or go watch some more Desperate Housewives.

"Your are a cynical person, Rick, if you forgive me for saying so."
"Oh, I forgive you."


Anonymous said...

Except for civil engineers, they are all a bunch of girly-men.

TimR said...

When I went to university in the 70s, I remember a female friend of mine telling me that many of the women she knew were there because they were looking for husbands. I wonder if maybe that hasn't changed much over the years. That could explain why they gravitate towards the "easier" courses of study while biding their time in search of a husband.

What has changed is that more marriages are occurring later in life. Perhaps women have had to stay in college longer and finish degrees that previous cohorts would have abandoned.

Has the proportion of intake of students changed over the years? And has the proportion of females who complete degrees changed as well?

J West said...

Thanks for posting these truths.

I am of the same cut as you. While reading your words I thought I was reading my own.

Ever vigilantly,


Al said...

Every position has some truth to it, and your's is no exception. But for someone who likes to look at facts I think you kind of missed it.
When I graduated in medicine in 1962 there were three females in a class of 55. Now, over half of our graduating classes in medicine are female.
One could argue your position on "value in society" as well. Areas like medicine education, etc. keep the engineer types functional.
My experience in my medical practice is that the young women of today seem more grounded at an earlier age and the young men seem to be at loose ends. This would lend itself to better "future" planning of which you seemingly are a proponent.
You have done a better job of analysing situations in the past----maybe take another crack at it.

Dale said...

I'm curious about the basis on which you say "soft" sciences are easy. I'm doing quantitative stuff myself (biology and economics), but many of my friends are studying "easy" stuff, i.e., qualitative sciences and humanities. They work their ASSES off, at least as much as the economists, engineers and others that I know.

Say what you want about who will be employable, will make more money, or whatever -- I won't argue with you on that. But I wonder how many of the people who crap on "soft" sciences have ever actually tried to do any of it at anything beyond a high school or first-year level? Maybe they tried, couldn't hack it, and went back to the "easy" quantitative stuff. Or better yet, maybe it's easier to criticize without even having tried.

Captain Capitalism said...


I'm sure they do work hard. It's called "spinning your wheels."

I don't pursue it because I don't care to waste time.

Anonymous said...

You're not cyncial, you're a philistine. And anyone who thinks that "english" (seemingly, you hard-nosed cynics find a simply matter like correct capitalization beyond you, so your views on the ease of majoring in "English" have to be discounted) is easy "because you've only been speaking it for 18 years" obviously hasn't the least idea of what academic study means. I've come across uncultured idiots like you on numerous occasions in my life. You think that the only thing that matters is money, and anyone who is interested in any thing else is "wasting time." It may well be that certain fields of study can be made fun of, but I'd much rather live in a world where it is possible (and considered worthwhile) to study something other than engineering than in one that is run by narrow-minded barbarians like you who see no value in anything that can't be quantified or profited from. I suppose it's good to have myopic people like you around to build bridges, but there's more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your numbers, and thank God someone other than you is interested in making the world someplace that is livable. So keep all your "cynicism" (read "uncouth materialism") under that rock you live under, and leave the rest of us to enjoy the sunshine in peace. No doubt you'll mock this post, but guess what? Your self-satisfied and self-imposed ignorance is of no consequence to people with more refined sensitivities than a termite. I actually pity people like you. You take the transient gift that is life and try to make the least possible you can out of it. Who in the hell are you to tell other people that what they choose to find intersting is "crap." Oh, and for what it's worth, your misogynism is contemptible. If you think women are inherently stupider than men, you're an idiot, and even someone in the hard sciences should be able to grasp the notion that if someone has the choice of dating anyone they can and the people that they date are by their own idiots, then then the only one in this situation who is truly the idiot is the one that dates idiots.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous;

Kindly look up the concept of a "paragraph" the next time you pass an English class on campus. Your readers might find it easier to understand the organization of your thoughts if you were to make use of such an instrument.

Alex Doll, P.Eng (Mining, UBC 92)

Captain Capitalism said...

I wasn't going to say anything, because she more or less mocks herself. And I flunked 7th grade English! That being said (and if you'll permit me the hubris) more people will read what I write in a week that what everybody will read what she writes in her entire lifetime.

That cold harsh market strikes again.

Anonymous said...

You might think English is a crap major, yet I advocate mandatory English classes for morons like you who don't seem to realize that "you are" is "you're" (see the bottom of this post)

Anonymous said...

You might think English is a crap major, yet I advocate mandatory English classes for morons like you who don't seem to realize that "you are" is "you're" (see the bottom of this post)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'll get around to responding to you're post in a second after I repsond to there's.

Dee said...

Anonymous 10:21's comment is very ironic, in the current social climate. I'll bet she's one of those filthy Occupy Wall Street fleabags complaining about how she couldn't get a job after her fancy worthless degree and hiding her face behind a "We are the 99%" banner.

Recently found your blog and am very amused/impressed by your writing/links/charty goodness. Keep up the great work! :)