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Why Working-Class Men Are Falling Behind
Family Studies Blog ^ | January 2, 2014 | Michael Jindra

Posted on 01/04/2014 4:59:57 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

In my work as an anthropologist, I’ve become convinced that American lifestyles are increasingly diverging between “hyper-achievers” trained early on to succeed, and those often labeled “slackers” whose lives revolve around entertainments of various sorts. You won’t be surprised to learn that a disproportionate percentage of “slackers” are men. Males, particularly in the working class, are working less, earning less, and are increasingly disconnected from families and from society as a whole. The future prospects for many working-class men seem very dim.

In analyzing these trends, many point to the effects of economic restructuring, with its loss of well-paying working-class jobs that resulted in a bifurcation of high-paying jobs for the educated and low-paying jobs for the uneducated. But men are struggling even when well-paying working-class jobs are available, and many have problems just graduating from high school or getting needed technical training. Early on, they fall behind females in school, and they never catch up: women earn a growing majority of college and graduate degrees, as the below chart shows. Some colleges even resort to a type of male affirmative action in order to keep gender proportionality somewhat equal. Women are getting more education, whereas men are not, at a time when it is economically imperative. What is going on?

Dr. Leonard Sax’s Boys Adrift lists video games among the causes of boys’ school struggles, not because they drive boys to violence, but because they create a need for stimulation, crowd out reading, and lessen boys’ focus in school and other activities. (Boys play console games, commonly used for sports and violent games, at four times the rate of girls.) Rates of ADHD have skyrocketed, and the causes of this are unclear, but overstimulation may play a role. These patterns can also lead later in life to heavy television viewing, often of sports (witness the domination ESPN has over the male gaze), and heavy online activity, such as viewing porn.

After we go to school, we need to look at family. One explanation for poor and working-class men’s instability points to the fact that so many were raised with single parents, as economists David Autor and Melanie Wasserman report. This has created a vicious cycle contributing to generational poverty, since education lags in these homes and children often fall behind their peers from two-parent families. With low rates of marriage and high rates of divorce among less-educated Americans, men raised by single parents are unlikely to reap the gains of a lasting marriage themselves. “What happens to a lot of guys who become unmoored from family life, they become unmoored from everything…they are just living without attachments and by the time they are 40 or 50 years old, the things that kept these men from falling away—family and community life—are gone,” according to Kathryn Edin.

These unstable family dynamics lead individuals to seek connections and groups where they can fit in, and contemporary society offers a plethora of subcultures that supply this need. In the inner city, gangs are often a family substitute, a way to connect with other males. White working-class males are prone to take on a “southern rebel identity” that rejects middle-class roles and education, career and family. This particular form of masculinity opposes authority, promotes drinking and using drugs, and can be misogynistic, as ethnographer Jason Eastman describes.

The origins of various subgroups can sometimes be found in high school cliques, such as “cowboys,” “skaters,” “burnouts,” “stoners,” or others. They are tied together by common activities, music or other symbols and forms of popular culture. Men also tend to be attracted to more risk-taking activities, whether in leisure or crime, which sociologist Stephen Lyng describes as “edgework.” Once men get criminal records, as many in gangs and other marginal groups do, it’s much harder for them to obtain jobs—which reinforces their place on the edge of society.

All of these things mentioned above—early reliance on stimulating entertainment, lower educational attainment, disconnection from families and role models, and the attractions of different, “edgy” subcultures—contribute to a widening gulf between those more connected to family, work, and society, and those without these commitments. While men are losing connections, women continue to participate in the labor force, attend religious services more often, and belong to other community and civic organizations. This is partly because many have dependent children and need to support them, whereas men can to a large extent avoid this responsibility.

Men who are not committed to families enjoy all the options that a consumer culture gives them, have more independence and freedom, and thus are found in a wider array of subcultural activities that take men away from consistent work and commitment to families. At the same time that non–college-educated men have fewer economic opportunities, they have more opportunities to indulge in various consumerist activities. That’s a recipe for ever-widening gaps between these men and the rest of society.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Society; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: college; economy; jobs; unemployment
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Does that ring true to you?
1 posted on 01/04/2014 4:59:57 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The only place I see younger men now is the gym. They walk around lost in their headphones and playing on their phones. Those I’ve talked to simply do no read. These are mostly college kids as the school is next door. So, they’re getting an education but although I have two degrees, I poured books down. They’re getting a degree, but with the absolute minimum of extra curricular reading.

These kids have the impression they have lots of friends, but they often don’t know their sir names, what they do for a living or anything about their families. They remind me of a cartoon I saw. A woman and a man are standing in front of an open coffin in a room full of empty chairs. The woman says, “I don’t understand this. He had 6,000 friends on Facebook.”


2 posted on 01/04/2014 5:09:11 AM PST by Gen.Blather
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Does this ring true?

Guess this guy has never met Dalrock.

This phenomenon is by now quite far advanced, and has been dissected expertly by "Dalrock", and many others.

In brief, struggling in your teens and early twenties to get somewhere, and then competing to be the best, only makes sense if you get the girl at the end. Since getting a (real) wife is proving quite difficult these days, and since if you do get one there's a very significant chance that after baby #2 she gets a restraining order and cashes out, leaving you with 18-25 years of support for children who are taught to hate you, a lot of guys are electing not to play.

3 posted on 01/04/2014 5:19:15 AM PST by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Rates of ADHD haven’t skyrocketed just the hand out of drugs at the request of the parents who are to stupid to know the difference or want to deal with their kids.

Working “MEN” usually have family and that’s why they’re working.

Having a degree is way over rated and you can do exceptionally well without a degree if you find your “niche” and want to excel at it.

Some folks don’t care about getting ahead or doing better in life and are content on just getting by paying their bills.

Then you have the chronically “want-to-be” unemployed who are useless members of society by choice.

Then you you have the low end of the spectrum.. democrats that f—k up everything they touch and make things worse for everyone.

We’re all born equal, what you choose to do with that is up to you.


4 posted on 01/04/2014 5:26:12 AM PST by maddog55
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To: Jim Noble
I'd put the problem way back to when high school changed. Guys and gals used to take shop and other practical classes which prepared them for life and for productivity. Except for the occasional nerd or real scholar, the only ones who went to college had a purpose attached to the experience, and we did it without debt. We had skills before leaving HS.

People who stayed in the hometown got jobs, started businesses, often settling down with the HS sweetheart. They kept the community strong and raised families. There was a sense of decency and inclusion, and problems were usually solved from the sidelines by concerned adults and reasonable peers.

We felt secure in our futures. Ike warned us and our parents about the military-industrial complex, but the threat seemed far away.

It seems as if the globalist adventure in VietNam is what irreversibly changed all of that.

Just had my 50th HS reunion last summer. It's our culture's version of a pilgimmage to Mecca once in a lifetime. You know what? Those who settled into that promised life of 50 years ago have had good lives.

How could things have irreversibly and horribly changed over the last 50 years? I would call our class, the HS Class of 1963, the last of the post baby boomers, as perhaps the last group to fully live the American Dream.

5 posted on 01/04/2014 5:32:40 AM PST by grania
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well paying working class jobs are available ...

WHERE?????


6 posted on 01/04/2014 5:33:05 AM PST by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I think it all starts in kindergarten. The girls are way more ready to sit still and color, and so they are taught to and encouraged more. They learn to like school right away.

My girl is 6. I started her late on purpose (mama giving her a competitive edge:) She feels at least two years older than the poor little guys in her class that can’t write their names.

It’s so unfair from the start.


7 posted on 01/04/2014 5:36:12 AM PST by ToastedHead
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To: autumnraine

http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=warehouse&l=76208

http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=assembly&l=76208

http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=sales&l=76208

http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=construction&l=76208

http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=technician&l=76208


8 posted on 01/04/2014 5:38:16 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (A courageous man finds a way, an ordinary man finds an excuse.)
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To: Jim Noble; All
In my previous post I should've said "pre-"baby boomers to refer to those of us who are older than baby boomers. Baby boomers are usually defined as those who were born after WW2 ended or from 1946 through the next several years.

Sorry about that

9 posted on 01/04/2014 5:38:18 AM PST by grania
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To: grania; Jim Noble

Exhibit A

10 posted on 01/04/2014 5:41:01 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (A courageous man finds a way, an ordinary man finds an excuse.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No, it doesn’t. To me, middle-class and upper middle class kids seem just as slackery as poor and working-class kids. They read bad books based on movies, play video games and behave just as rudely in the malls as do the working class boys. I just finished “The Book of Matt,” the new true crime story of Matthew Shephard and he was the very illustration of an upper middle class slacker. But he had wealthy parents who pulled him out of one incident after another - arson, perhaps, and certainly car theft.
The working class kids are left rot.


11 posted on 01/04/2014 5:54:51 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Falling Behind” how? I’ve got WAY more ammo than most of the girls I know!


12 posted on 01/04/2014 5:59:28 AM PST by The Toll
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To: Jim Noble

The only winning move is not to play


13 posted on 01/04/2014 6:09:29 AM PST by NonValueAdded (It's not the penalty, it's the lack of coverage on 1 Jan. Think about it.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This part rings true:

After we go to school, we need to look at family. One explanation for poor and working-class men’s instability points to the fact that so many were raised with single parents, as economists David Autor and Melanie Wasserman report. This has created a vicious cycle contributing to generational poverty, since education lags in these homes and children often fall behind their peers from two-parent families.

I would venture a guess that it also applies to middle- and upper-class men, perhaps not to the point of poverty, but earning less than the previous generation.

The other consequences of being raised by a single parent are more damaging than lower income. Males are not learning how to be men; an example is pajama boy. Conversely, women are not allowed to be feminine due raising families, working, etc. There are so few women that I can tolerate these days. They need to be strong in the work place and they carry that into their personal lives. It almost seems like there is a gender reversal, with feminine, weak girly boys and bitchy, dikish women. Fortunately, my wife's family and my family, all come from two parent homes. This is also true of my few closest friends now that I think about it.

14 posted on 01/04/2014 6:14:30 AM PST by ConservativeInPA (We need to fundamentally transform RATs lives for their lies.)
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To: Jim Noble

I agree.....I have 2 grandsons, both good looking young men in their 20s....but that is where it ends, hopelessly lost in the real world....I suggested to one, when he finished high school...go and join the marines, reply: grandpa, they make me cut my hair...he, at 27, still lives in mom’s basement...the second grandson, 21, stills lives at mom’s home, can’t hold a job, watches porn on the computer...both are in single family situations....

Women have been taught over last 30 years, they can do it all, and there is need for men....well, they can’t.


15 posted on 01/04/2014 6:20:22 AM PST by B212
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To: autumnraine

‘Where?’ I used to arrange speakers to come to the high school and talk to kids about Real Jobs. The HVAC guys, and guys in any kind of construction and trades, CADCAM/drafting - were DYING for help. These are services everyone needs, there is always work, it pays well.

With no shop classes, kids aren’t learning to work with their hands. Those who are gifted in that are funneled into academics instead. Does every student really need to learn Algebra 2? Go to college? Not everyone is cut out for that.


16 posted on 01/04/2014 6:20:34 AM PST by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
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To: NonValueAdded

> The only winning move is not to play

I agree. So much of these types are reports are propaganda drawn on data
(or even completely false data) sets that support a premise or opinion that the author wants to project anyway. The progressives have been so busy trying to mold others thoughts lately you just “change the channel”. Of course we know what they’re up to but they’re like 0’s flies. They just won’t leave you alone.


17 posted on 01/04/2014 6:25:06 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: B212

If you take a look at the source of the information, The Institute for Family Studies, you will find that their staff is comprised of professors with heavy MSM connections; suspect to say the least. I’m guessing they recieve government funding for their research and are probably also involved in “gender studies” and promoting anything that has to do with the destruction of the American Family. The progressives are busy pulling shennanigans once again.

http://ifstudies.org/people/


18 posted on 01/04/2014 6:33:39 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Interesting that master's degrees for wominfolk are higher as a percentage than bachelor's.

Still, I'd say the reason blue collar men are falling behind is:

1) Automation continues to render physical labor obsolete.

2) Mexicans can do whatever physical labor is required domestically for much cheaper.

3) Chinese/Globalization provides a cheap labor pool for anything that doesn't require onsite physical labor.

4) Blacks continue to be ill served by public schools and race pimping politicians, and by their own embrace of the government plantation culture.

Go ahead and ban me for saying it.

19 posted on 01/04/2014 6:35:31 AM PST by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: bboop

Around here, “Real Jobs” are performed by illegals.

And in my school, slackers don’t last a semester.

I’ve failed more than a few.


20 posted on 01/04/2014 6:38:06 AM PST by warchild9
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To: Sirius Lee

hear hear


21 posted on 01/04/2014 6:39:03 AM PST by warchild9
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Apples don’t fall far from the tree.If you bring them up RIGHT, most of them turn out alright!


22 posted on 01/04/2014 6:54:12 AM PST by Renegade
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To: bboop

Yes, yes, yes. Bring back the trade school; bring back Home Ec and Shop. Won’t happen but it needs to happen.


23 posted on 01/04/2014 7:15:29 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Sirius Lee

What master’s degrees are these women getting? Science? Mathematics? Or more likely American Studies?


24 posted on 01/04/2014 7:16:35 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

“Trade in Goods with China “

Just saying.


25 posted on 01/04/2014 7:20:55 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, bring him back...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“This particular form of masculinity opposes authority, promotes drinking and using drugs, and can be misogynistic, as ethnographer Jason Eastman describes.”

The male need to BE a MAN is hardwired and is a force that Judeo/Christian civilization has used to advance itself. Feminists don’t like such a definition as it NECCESSARILY excludes all others. When civilization abandons the definition males will invent their own and THAT definition can literally be anything and will serve ONLY the individual. Sound chaotic? Just wait.


26 posted on 01/04/2014 7:21:21 AM PST by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: bboop

My 17 yr old grandson has just announced that he doesn’t want to go to college. He wants to work in the family business. I suggested that he get a trade degree in something that would be beneficial in our business, he wants to do welding, I suggested electrician. His parents are fit to be tied, I think it is great that he knows what he wants to do.


27 posted on 01/04/2014 7:30:38 AM PST by tiki
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To: ConservativeInPA

And the breakup of the family and the rise of higher educational attainment for women directly correlates to the start of welfare without strings in the 1960s and feminist preferences for college admissions and scholarships.


28 posted on 01/04/2014 7:34:28 AM PST by tbw2
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To: tiki

The notion of at least a four year university degree being the mark of success and the ticket to upward mobility is very deep-seated, even if increasingly incorrect under modern circumstances of very high cost and very limited opportunities post-graduation. His parents probably see it as their son limiting himself and dooming himself to blue-collar work for the rest of his life, rather than wisely choosing a path that leads to reasonably decent pay now as well as a means of eventually owning his own business. Educate them. There is more unfilled need for skilled trades than there is for office professional work. You do the best you can with the hand you’re dealt, and that’s what he’s doing, in my opinion.


29 posted on 01/04/2014 7:40:44 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: miss marmelstein

“Bring back ... Shop”

Hear, hear!

Other than the last two years of medical school, the most useful classes I took were basic shop(9) wood shop(10), and electrical shop(12). Metal shop(11) wasn’t bad either, but I hated welding.


30 posted on 01/04/2014 8:03:19 AM PST by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

An alpha male will always try to dominate his surroundings, lol.
I went for an interview 3 years ago to a top notch company in my area and the interview consisted of one female from human resources, two females in the department, their pajama boy, and one female department manager. I had a juvenile moment where I thought I was a chimp and wanted to throw some poo. It wasn’t such a top notch company after all.
I shat the door on the way out.


31 posted on 01/04/2014 8:09:48 AM PST by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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To: maddog55

I just paid a plumber (I know him too) $260 for the hour it took him to come pull my toilet and look for the ring I accidentally flushed down it. He makes a really good living and his office is his truck.


32 posted on 01/04/2014 8:20:01 AM PST by sheana
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To: Jim Noble

I wish they had given the girls shop. I’d now know how to fix my plugged-up sink!


33 posted on 01/04/2014 8:28:06 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: autumnraine
when looking to earn a living you have a few options:

1. work for someone else
2. work for yourself

if you're looking for a job, the assumption is you have skills. if those skills are good enough, shouldn't you be able to attract your own customers?

34 posted on 01/04/2014 8:29:29 AM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: OftheOhio
I went for an interview 3 years ago to a top notch company in my area and the interview consisted of one female from human resources, two females in the department, their pajama boy, and one female department manager. I had a juvenile moment where I thought I was a chimp and wanted to throw some poo. It wasn’t such a top notch company after all. I shat the door on the way out.

+1

35 posted on 01/04/2014 8:31:02 AM PST by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: RegulatorCountry

I love blue-collar workers. And I generally can’t stand many men and women who have advanced degrees. I have a friend who attained a doctorate in American Studies about two years ago. She is now unlistenable. She talks about the Lanape Indians all day long (oh, excuse me, Native Americans) and turns purple if I mention my favorite tv show is F Troop. She also believes Indians influenced (if not secretly wrote) the Constitution of the United States. She went from being a relatively intelligent person to a humorless zombie. Give me a plumber with a plunger anyday of the week!


36 posted on 01/04/2014 8:34:52 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: tiki

He’s one of those lucky kids who knows what he wants to do at a young age. Hope he gets to follow his dream.


37 posted on 01/04/2014 8:36:33 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: OftheOhio
>> ... It wasn’t such a top notch company after all. I shat the door on the way out.

Freudian slip, or did you literally defecate on the portal as you departed?

38 posted on 01/04/2014 8:38:56 AM PST by NorthMountain
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To: ToastedHead

Girls are more mature (and smarter) than boys, on average, growing up. But just when ya think they are so smart, they get pregnant, and hopefully, married, to a good responsible man, thereby tossing that all way (or at least on a long hold). Yes, it is a biological function, but still...


39 posted on 01/04/2014 9:41:10 AM PST by SgtHooper (If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.)
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To: warchild9

Good for you, and the rest of America!!


40 posted on 01/04/2014 9:43:26 AM PST by SgtHooper (If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.)
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To: tiki

Absolutely!! I hope he eventually gets the support he needs.


41 posted on 01/04/2014 9:45:27 AM PST by SgtHooper (If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.)
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To: miss marmelstein

There were a variety of influences upon the Founders, the Iroquois Confederation among them. It’s not entirely wrong to say that there was native influence but it was more of a very basic idea of organizational structure than anything else. Individuals prone to PC proselytizing greatly overstate the reality of the matter, as always when attempting to eradicate the historical import of old, dead white men.


42 posted on 01/04/2014 9:45:53 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry

I’d google the Confederation but I’m afraid I’ll have to read more about how James Madison really was a Mohawk. (Sorry, I’m one of the few Americans left who doesn’t think Indian culture is all it’s cracked up to be.)


43 posted on 01/04/2014 9:49:52 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein

There were the so-called civilized tribes less prone to savagery with somewhat advanced notions of intertribal organization. The glorified image isn’t really at all about the natives, it’s about discrediting the Founders. I say that having Cherokee ancestry several different ways. Life was different in the frontier south along the Blue Ridge. Indian wives were not uncommon. There were raiding parties and periodic broader outbreak of hostilities but the people largely got along individually, English and European settlers and indian alike. A lot of genetic swamping, really. The smaller tribes were either absorbed into larger ones or slowly were absorbed into the white population by intermarriage.


44 posted on 01/04/2014 9:56:56 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: OftheOhio
It wasn’t such a top notch company after all.

So few are. Dilbert and Office Space are highly realistic documentaries, not comedies. :)

45 posted on 01/04/2014 10:21:23 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: stylecouncilor

ping


46 posted on 01/04/2014 11:07:22 AM PST by windcliff
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To: NorthMountain

I’m surprised there’s not more people going berserk at these “just for appearance’s sake” interviews. I’m sure some human resources personnel consider what might happen if their boss starts asking questions when someone’s resume fits the job like a glove and is not interviewed. In my opinion many are practicing age discrimination, you will not even get an interview if you don’t give a chronological resume. Why are companies allowed to ask you when you graduated high school on a job application, get my point. That practice should have ceased years ago.

Shop and home ec classes should definitely be stressed more. My shop teacher was missing one finger, we all were paying close attention. :)


47 posted on 01/04/2014 2:26:05 PM PST by OftheOhio (never could dance but always could kata - Romeo company)
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To: tiki

His parents should be proud; working in a craft is nothing to be ashamed of and living a debt free life is ten times better than being a debt ridden pampered academic bureaucrat.


48 posted on 01/05/2014 12:01:55 AM PST by CorporateStepsister (I am NOT going to force a man to make my dreams come true)
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To: grania

Things changed when we adopted the Victorian idea of being ‘in trade’ as something to be ashamed of. As if working in a defined skill and working with your hands was ‘lower class’ and ‘common’ and go figure, we’ve been nothing but a bunch of pampered spoiled intellectuals since. College used to be for someone with a real talent that could only be nurtured in a university classroom, but now it’s just a place for overgrown kids with no real focus.

In the past, by the time you got to university, you had already figured out what you wanted and who you were and you were ready for four years of real studying and THEN after graduation, making a living. Now university is a requirement, uprooting people from their homes and in Occupy Wall Street, it was a gathering of a bunch of morons from around the country, getting together to throw a collective temper tantrum and desecrate New York.


49 posted on 01/05/2014 12:03:41 AM PST by CorporateStepsister (I am NOT going to force a man to make my dreams come true)
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To: OftheOhio

I’m sick of jobs being determined by how well someone does an interview. If they have the skills and such on the resume, there is no need for an interview at all.

As for Human Resources, I think this sort of thing needs to be retired. Few of them are realistically sending the right people and I don’t know how people with a degree in Women’s Studies is able to get an executive position in a business.


50 posted on 01/05/2014 12:04:04 AM PST by CorporateStepsister (I am NOT going to force a man to make my dreams come true)
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