Thursday, March 10, 2011

Law School Lament

This is a raging screed from a law school graduate that I found on a peak oil forum that I visit.  While I can somewhat relate to what he is talking about (I graduated from a paralegal program nearly 2 years ago and cannot find a job in that field; not even a return call for an interview), he is in a far worse hole than me.  While I do owe significant amounts in student loans, it is not in the six figures, thankfully.  I am very thankful that I did not go to law school, despite being recommended to by a relative and a few people in my program, including a professor/lawyer.  However, my family is starting to give me a hard time (I have been working at a big-box store for three years, and my brother is starting to ask me, "do you want to work in ------ for the rest of your life?").  Like this man, I have no illusions about the value of my Bachelor's Degree and my paralegal certificate.  They are worthless.  A lot of people still think that this American economy is viable in the long-term.  I don't.  I talk to people about it, and they think that the economy will be coming back, albeit a while, like 10 or even 20 years.  Never mind that a recovery (I mean, a real recovery, not the bullshit, jobless "recovery" that the media keeps talking about) in 10 or 20 years will be far too late for many people, including yours truly, but what new industries will grow in that time, that would enable the employment of large masses of people?  I don't see any on the horizon. 

Warning:  the following post contains very strong language. 

I am sick to fucking death hearing that idiotic "only 4% of college grads are unemployed" hogwash spouted by buffoons like Thomas Friedmen & others in bed with the education racket. Sure they may be employed: in dead end temp jobs sans health bennies, in retail, waiting tables, etc. Hell, why wouldn't the temp agencies want college grads when you can get 'em for $9 an hour?

Of course, the college grads have to deduct 4 years of lost earnings AND student loans from the shitpay they're making, so in reality most are doing far worse than their uneducated counterparts. I hold what's supposed to be one of the most "elite" degrees out there and got an email alert this morning for a WHOPPING $25 an hour temp job (of course with no benefits) and also no overtime since lawyers are exempt from the overtime regs. Think about that: 4 years of college, the LSAT, the late nights studying until your eyes bleed, the expensive books, the bar exam, and 120 K in debt all to get offered jobs at a rate most high school dropouts would be ashamed to earn in their mid-30s. And from that $25 an hour I have to pay (with after tax income mind you) $865 a month in student loans. After taxes are deducted, I'd have to work 50 hours at $25/hr just to pay my loans. Think about that: 50 fucking hours in a grungy, windowless basement staring at corporate legal docs until my eyes bleed JUST TO HAND IT ALL TO THE BANKERS! Pathetic, isn't it? Hence my name: Lawis4Losers.

Most everyone in my family who recently graduated college is/are working shitjobs at restaurants or temping in cubicle farms for $9 an hour. I inquired about a job as an SAT tutor yesterday and was told the pay is $20 an hour non-negotiable. And feature this: one needs a score in the 90% percentile to even be eligible for the job! That's well south of what a waiter, truck driver or garbageman makes. How anyone can argue for education's "benefits" with a straight face anymore is beyond me. Unlike most, I'm not in denial that my degrees are valuable or that they serve any purpose whatsoever, and I'm the first to admit I was a giant sucker and loser for falling prey to the edu-scam. Sad to say that I'd be in 1000% better shape right now if I'd quit high school in 9th grade. Student loans are not dischargable in bankruptcy, not subject to fair debt laws, usury laws, or any laws whatsoever. It's a lifelong death sentence unless (as me & my lady are now working hard at) you plan to say bon voyage forever to the open sewer called the United States.

The post about the H1-B visa serfs is exactly right. Whatever decent professional jobs can't be outsourced will be filled by immigrant visa slaves.I've seen this in law for years- the temp jobs are packed with Nigerians, Indians, and anyone else who will work for peanuts and not "rock the boat." I'm forever blacklisted from working in law thanks to my blogging and rabble rousing, and couldn't care less. Our legal system is the laughingstock of the world and I feel sorry for anyone who spends their life pushing bales of makework, nonsensical cut n' pasted shitpaper across a table as a lifelong career. Like Bartleby the Screivener, I simply "prefer not to."

Worst of all is the humiliation of being educated yet earning a shitty non-living that would embarrass a fucking homeless person. Knowing that nearly every miserable dime you earn goes to the bankster pigs who loan-sharked the $$$ for this scam. Don't even get me started on the lavish salaries of the deans, admins and other pigs who feast at the bottomless troughs of student loan cash. Some of these pricks earn north of 7 figures. I had the pleasure of exposing my law school dean as the lowlife scumbag he is on the front page of NJ's flagship newspaper. The edu-scammers grin and lie thru their teeth telling the lemmings how "precious an education is" and "how lucky you all are to be here" blah blah etc. Education was yesterday's tomorrow, folks. The idea of Dad leaving for work in a suit & tie, owning a home, having a family: all of that is long past. Understand that a "global economy" like that of which Tom Friedman praises drags us down to 3rd world standards. It guts our country, lowers our wages, and enriches a select few while royally screwing everyone else. Outsourcing and H1-B are the NAFTA of the professional class. Really, how dare anyone with an advanced degree ask for health benefits, a permanent job, and a penny over $25 an hour! Funniest of all is how "education" was the cure for NAFTA: the brown people would do the factory work while we all got "educated" and pushed shitpaper around all day with our degrees. Now those jobs too are being sucked offshore never to return. Hell, I dated a girl a few months ago who graduated with honors from Georgetown Law (a top school) and was/is working as a paralegal for $17 an hour & no benefits. Never in history have the youth of a country been buried alive before their lives even begin. It's truly unprecedented. There's no escape and no "do-overs": the debts are NEVER going away, and penalties and interest accrue FOREVER. Those who try to better themselves literally get their teeth kicked down their throat and then handed a few bones to gnaw on.

As George Carlin said, they call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. Again, if anyone on this board has teenage kids, please BEG them not to go to college. Once you sign that loan paperwork you may as well stick a gun in your mouth or start packing your bags for the expat life. Thankfully I have re-united with a college GF and we are gonna stick together and get the FUCK out of the US as soon as possible. Her family are insane and she has nothing holding her here either, so we might start a cafe/restaurant in some other land. She's even willing to work as a stripper if need be to get us the $$$ to get the hell outta the US. More & more friends I talk to feel the same way- there is no incentive to remain in country that literally has no future. To wake up each day with the jackboot of debt on your throat, slaving away to pay back these lowlife loan sharks. It just ain't worth it. Sadder still is that it is the educated who are being driven out the door, so the future of the US will be one of an even more violent & ignorant populace (if that's possible LOL). Perhaps some other country will actually appreciate our skills, contributions, and talents because God knows this ruthless banker-cartel shithole never will.

edit: It sounds like you're signing (or already signed) the loans for your daughter's vet school Grower. I really wish we could've talked you out of it. I hope you don't end up like my folks stuck with a fucking embarrassment of a child who can't earn anything close to a decent living and is now going to give them the surprise of their life when I vanish overseas and stick them with the bill for my education mistake. As the others on here have said, I have no choice. Either all 3 of us go down or one of us leaves the country (me) and tries to rebuild their life elsewhere. There simply are no other options besides suicide. Those loans are NEVER going away. Ever. I hope you don't find this out the hard way, but it seems likely you will. Kiss your home, your preps, and everything else you've worked for goodbye once your name's on those Sallie Mae and Access Group loans. You made a deal with the devil, and the devil always wins.

Don't think it can't happen to you. If anyone told me when I was 19 years old how bad my life would've turned out, I would've laughed in their face. When I think about law school graduation, walking down the aisle and how proud everyone was.....all to end up piss broke, structurally unemployed, and stuck with "bills that no honest man can pay." It makes me physically fucking sick.

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