Friday, September 16, 2011

No, We WON'T Invest in the Children

I read this on OneStdv via Dalrock, and thought the comment had enough merit it was worthy of its own post. it is in reference to men "not growing up" or "manning up;"

Also, jobs are far less stable, which makes guys less stable. The days of working for the same company for 30 years are over. Finally, there are fewer prospects for advancement these days. The Boomers have all of the senior jobs, and don't want to leave them, which means that young guys can't move up as easily.

Also, and this is harder to explain but I am sure there is something to it, I think there is an intangible component to all of this. Back in the day, the institutions of our society actually reached out to young guys. Big companies had "executive training programs," the unions had apprenticeship programs, etc. The institutions of our society were actually reaching out to young men, saying "come work with us," and "we need you."

That stuff really doesn't exist today. Instead of going into an "executive training program" for IBM or GM, most people who finish college do temp office work for a few years until they eventually find something permanent, and then they change jobs every couple of years because they have to.

I am 40, but this is basically what it has been like for me. When I started out doing temp work, it wasn't because I was a slacker who wasn't "interested" in a real job with real responsibilities. I desperately wanted a permanent job. but there just wasn't one to be had. Similarly, no one wants to still be clubbing at 30 or 35. Most guys are a little leery of the responsibility of having kids, but they still want to get married.

It's almost hilarious to think at one point in time there were recruiters approaching college campuses and looking to incorporate young people into the workforce. I, like the commenter, am more or less the same age and now with enough distance between graduating from college and now, I'm actually a little appalled at the blatant indifference of employers and industry had towards employing youth.

Admittedly Gen X was not known for its reliability, but the amount of scrutiny, let alone political and outright corrupt BS I, and I assume others, in my generation had to tolerate was just not justified. Tell me if you haven't had to deal with this type of behavior in your 20's?

1. Misleading job descriptions and titles. "Analysts" "Interns" "researchers." And all you did was file and fax and do meaningless data entry.

2. Psychotic bosses. One 42 year old woman would keep me hostage in her office complaining about work. A conman and a liar who damn well knew what he was doing just to make commission. And an outright megalomaniac who specialized in getting naive Asian investors to invest in his "dotcom" company, as he just took the proceeds and bought cars and flights with it. This one runs the gambit I'm sure, but a disproportionate percent of my bosses had genuine psychological problems or just completely lacked a moral compass.

3. Lack of training. "Must hit the ground running" means "we're too damn lazy to train you and we'll blame your guaranteed future mishaps not on the lack of training, but you." Did ANYBODY out there EVER had ANYONE train them in adequately? I'm not talking an abundance of hand holding, I'm just talking showing people the ropes to the point they're functional on their own.

4. Suffering the inanity of HR. I could go on for pages, but you know precisely what I'm talking about.

5. The BS of "if you work hard and put your time in, you will be rewarded." No, they'll just give you more work, and that's if you're lucky enough to have an employer that is managed well enough to be around and not file for bankruptcy.

Of course at the time, I thought I was a failure. I couldn't find a job, I couldn't find a job that would use my skills, heck, most of the time I couldn't get past the 23 year old girl asking me stupid questions. But then I had an epiphany much like when I was 23 about dating 20 something women. It wasn't me, it was the system.

When I was about 30 I noticed the sheer corruption infecting the banking industry, and how incompetent corporate America had become. I was able to step back and maybe grant myself some credit, and noticed how poorly managed corporate American was by its stewards. I realized just what a psychotic, sick and twisted game our elders were playing on us. There was never any intention of "helping out" the next generation get their feet wet and incorporate us into the working world. There was never any "grooming" or "preparation" for us to inevitably get the experience needed to take the helm as they retired off into the night. And there was never any desire on their part to mentor or train. It was just "forget long term planning and forget long term consequences. Just use them and get rid of them if they aren't a "self-starter." Or they can't handle the "steep learning curve." And, just like men in the manosphere started waking up to the systematic problems in American courtship, people are waking up to this systematic problem too.

There will be a consequence. Heck, there already is. A stale and increasingly ineffective managerial and executive class that can't get this country out of a recession. Additionally a managerial and executive class, that as far as I can tell, can only increase the bottom line through rent seeking, lobbying and graft. None of which will lead to genuine economic growth or a boost in standards of living. They are what the Japanese referred to as "dinosaurs," and is yet another parallel between the US economy today and that of Japan in the 1990's-2000's. Economic decay will be one thing, generational resentment and indifference will be another.

But still, I'd like to think that back in the day, there was a time where such outreach programs did exist to help bring aboard the best talent. I'd like to think back in the day companies wanted you to join their team and would deal with you honestly and directly. Of course, I know those days are gone. To quote a friend of mine whose brother recently graduated with a Harvard MBA;

"So, did he learn anything that common sense wouldn't have told him?"

"Oh, no, of course not. But he didn't go there for that. He went there for the connections. He's got a digital Rolodex of all the children of east coast billionaires who went to school with him."

Surely there is no consequence to cronyism.


Unpretentious_Diva said...

Every second nation suffers the same story, the story of fiat money and fractional banking.

the funny thing is, they all try to copy the same beaten path to get rid of recession. The situation of today’s America is no different than the economic conditions of Japan of 1998.

In 1998, Japan was also suffering similar economic turmoil and the administration of Japan was also talking in similar fashion about how to control and resuscitate the declining economy of Japan. Ben Bernanke is also facing the same pressure to inflate currency by printing money out of thin air.

Even then, Paul Krugman the Noble Laureate happened to suggest Masaru Hayami, the then Governor of Bank of Japan to provide a huge stimulus which may bring the Japanese economy back on track, and the administration of Japan did the same.

Now again when the US is in troubles, Paul Krugman suggests the same mantra without acknowledging that Japanese failed while working on his Mantra. If someone will point out his failure, he will say that Japanese administration failed to provide the actual amount of stimulus which was needed.

I believe the current administrators and economists are immoral and they are involved in robbing the current and future generation. Oh by the way, here's a Story about money. and here is a nice video

Jose said...

Invest in the who?

I remember reading in a book (you may have heard of it, it's title is "Behind the Housing Crash" -- look into it) that this is a "Thin Skinned Economy," and getting worse with each passing generation.

So, why invest in these ninnies when I can invest in hard-working foreigners?

BTW, far be it from me to defend Halberd BS, but the notion that MBAs teach common sense is a marker of ignorance. Perhaps some MBA students don't learn anything (as many other students in other areas), but there's no common sense way to

- Price an option
- Brief an advertising agency
- Run a test market for a new product
- Reschedule preventative maintenance in a flow process

(All things taught in good MBA programs.)

I wrote about the functions of the MBA here:

This is not to say that many MBA grads aren't arrogant beyond their limited knowledge, but then again so are STEM graduates (when physicists talk about economics, oh boy that's funny).


Bobby said...

hey Captain,

Some interesting thoughts.

Honestly, I don´t know what to think about the situation you wrote about. But, I think the generational skirmishes will come back to bite the soon to be retiring baby booomers.

One of the reasons that I don´t think that the situation for the U.S. is soo dire is this:

Do you think that when the rubber hits the road, these generation xers and younger are going to worry about fullfilling the promises of all these unfunded entitlements to the boomer retirees?

You can talk all you want about third rails, but come on. I am early 40s and don´t expect much from the government pension and health programs.

So I have no problem with taking a machete to them.

How about you or any other xers out there; do any of you want to continue with this shit?

I think these programs will eventually decline into assistance to only the neediest of elders.

I hope it is through cutting, I don´t think we are likely to see the worrisome inflation that everyone seems to think. Again, the xers are going to realize the folly of all this:

It´s not just going to be houses that are to be ¨sub-sized¨( opposite of ¨super-sized¨) in the future.

It took families to expand this country of ours, but we are quickly becoming a country of singles or maybe 2, maximum 3 people households. So where is the future growth( inflation) going to come from?

And, the housing bubble wrung-out alot of what was the vestiges of the old America. What will be comming to dominate are ??? men-children and women-children.

Poor boomers, few children to care for them so hopefully they invested additionally in retirement in place of children.

Bobby said...

oh crap, excuse me cap. I just got around to reading well that trite that i posted a link to(

I was looking for something that would prove how people are better assessing their personal needs in housing and I posted an example of local governments shooting themselves in the foot.

I think the cities in the link had better try to fight for all the growth they can get in a ¨down-sizing¨ new world.

Paul said...

Well, I would say this. Having previously worked for a federal regulator in Canada for over seven years, it became quite obvious to me that a great many companies (private and public) found it much easier to get concessions and favours from the regulator than the marketplace, and in particular to use the regulator as an anti-competitive club. It's much easier to convince a few appointed decision-makers in a regulatory body (who usually have industry experience, aka fox in the henhouse) than thousands of consumers.

And since there are massive amounts of regulation that affect all companies of just about any size, from employment equity to environmental to taxes, all companies are effectively regulated, even if they don't have an official regulatory body for their industry. Thus the granting of public favours, or avoiding of penalties (I mean a lof of these regulations have force of law, they're not optional), becomes an increasing if not top priority, with a higher ROI than actually running a successful business.

And more directly to the topic of your post, because so many of the regs that have the weight of the law behind them affect HR issues, your typical HR department is far busier championing 'diversity' and other government imposed mandates than to actually do things like have a youth outreach program.

Anonymous said...

Depending on who ya talk to, I am either a first wave Gen X or a tail end Boomer.

Regardless, I am pissed right off with our elders and don't care who knows it. My father has a grade 10 education and trades ticket. He and his pals are much the same: they have the big trucks hauling massive 5th wheel trailers, they have the palatial homes, they have summer vacation properties in Arizona. He worked 40 hour work weeks all his life.

He says I am lazy. I went to college (Instrumentation Engineering), worked temp oilpatch jobs that average 240 hour work months, and I will have my first home paid off 4 years from now (on accelerated payments).

My daughter and her friends are much the same: she has a university education, she can't afford to drive, she pays more in rent than I do on mortgage payments, and my idiot parents call her lazy and shiftless too.

Don't take a machete to our elders guys.

Let me loan you a gun...

kurt9 said...

I've lived in several East Asian countries and have been involved in technology start-ups on both sides of the Pacific. To suggest that I am any less of an adult because I don't do the family thing is offensive in the extreme.

I have always lived life on my own terms. The notion that I should have to live by the standards and dictates of other people, especially those I have nothing in common with, is also offensive in the extreme.

I find social conservatives to be as irritating as liberal-left types.