by Ben Cohen
Many of my friends are stuck doing jobs they hate. I can think of only a handful doing something they actually like, while the majority took the first semi decent job available after college in order to pay of debt and get their foot on the property ladder. And even then, the majority are still in the red and renting with friends rather than settling into their own abode.
The competition for high paying, interesting jobs is extremely fierce, and in the modern economy, virtually impossible to get. But not, according to the NY Times, if you can pay for it.
Companies are springing up that guarantee graduates non paying placements in top companies for a hefty fee, walling off entrance to the best jobs for the super rich. The new breed of elite will have not only gone to the best universities, but paid for the privilege of getting their job.
What does this mean?
In basic terms, the idea of a meritocratic society is now dead. The American Dream – the idea that anyone can make it, can no longer be true. It is simply too expensive to obtain.
This has long been studied by social scienctists who have measured social mobility in western democracies. It turns out, the more capitalistic the country, the least likely you are to improve your economic status. In the United States and Britain, your families wealth is the best indication of how well you will do, not your inherent talent or desire to work. You have a far better chance of improving your economic well being in Social Democracies (like Sweden and Denmark), despite the fact that free market doctrine states that capitalist economies work best.
So, if you find yourself unhappy with your current situation, depressed at your inability to get a better job and unable to move up the property ladder, don’t worry. It’s not your fault. You’re not supposed to.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.