Well, yes, sorta, well, maybe

I am a fiction writer, an Ivy League adjunct professor, a mother to two kids. I was meant to write about all the ways there was no longer space for people like me to make a stable living; all the ways this country’s lack of safety net – it’s merciless adherence to late capitalism, the gig economy, the broken healthcare system – were grinding so many of us down. I wrote, both before and after Covid-19, about my lack of health insurance. I might also have written about our lack of dental insurance, the pain I feel and have for years, each time I chew.

Well, yes. Although having a look around:

To be clear, I believe that to be poor and broke are different – and my husband and I are not poor. Poor implies generational precariousness and instability, and though our lives are filled with financial uncertainty, we also have educations, credit cards and people we could call in dire circumstances.

What we are is people who were brought up to believe that wealth is intrinsically connected to one’s inherent worth, only to find, with two kids and in our late 30s, that, if that’s the case, we’re not worth much.

Well, ya know, sorta.

Two kids, stay at home father – who works on his novel at times apparently. Living in New York City, even if it is Brooklyn. Two literary novels to her name, one not even released yet (the average sale of a first novel is 300 copies).

What’s the surprise about poverty here? And, other than the idea that self-proclaimed artists get to live off the rest of us, what is to be done about it?

I’d love to write more non-fiction books. I’ve notes lying around for several of them in fact. My non-fiction books sell perhaps 500 copies a time. Thus something else has to be done to pay the bills. Shrug.

What other solution is there?

63 thoughts on “Well, yes, sorta, well, maybe”

  1. That people like her are unable to make a stable living is reassuring, isn’t ? Gives one hope for society. A little ray of sunshine amongst much gloom

  2. What we are is people who were brought up to believe that wealth is intrinsically connected to one’s inherent worth

    Oh aye?

    There are two Ivy League degrees between us, as well as some of the debt that comes with that. Neither of us gets benefits from our jobs

    Sounds like they fell for the higher education scam.

  3. A data question. Are there in fact more of these self-proclaimed “writers” be “artists” than ever before? A lot of the barriers to entry have come down – self-publishing is easier, artsy types can do freelance graphics work or sell work directly to the public without ever having qualified for a gallery exhibition, musicians can be streamed without a record deal.

    I wonder if the issue is there’s “no longer space for people like me to make a stable living” because there are now so many “people like me” trying to make a grind from their creative side that the market is overcrowded if you want your artistic endeavour to be your sole source of income. Or whether the issue is one of false expectations here, the “no longer” part is rubbish, and early career literary novelists have almost always and everywhere been starving creatures unless they possess some independent income.

  4. Typo, meant “writers” AND “artists”.

    @Steve – they do seem to be judging their worth by the brand name of their degree, which suggests a kind of intellectual snobbery no less unattractive than the idea of judging someone’s worth by their wealth…

  5. “We have made some lifestyle choices which have not resulted in the lifestyle we want”.
    Tough.

  6. Seems fair enough to me that a fiction writer and professor whose written English is so piss poor should be broke. I’m assuming she proofed her article so should hang her head in shame and apply for a job helping out greengrocer’s.

    this country’s lack of safety net – it’s merciless adherence

  7. The reference to “one’s inherent worth” speaks volumes.

    The world owes me a well above average living because………….

  8. As I may just possibly have said before, if there was no upper-case I they couldn’t write at all.

  9. Surely someone who is as clever and deserving as she is not, ought not to be, in need of a safety net? In the progressive mind, shouldn;t she get a fucking job and help support those of lesser ability? Or is it MY job to support her? If it is, I’d have liked to be consulted.

  10. “What we are is people who were brought up to believe that wealth is intrinsically connected to one’s inherent worth”

    Well, that’s a ridiculous idea. Wealth is not related to your subjective worth as a person, but to the objective worth of the work you do.

    Perhaps it’s the parents’ fault if that’s what they were brought up to believe.

  11. Some one tell her about Onlyfans! Whiny leftie feminists will clean up, the Guardian told me.

  12. MBE – Narrative failure, in’tit?

    They were led to expect that getting expensive Ivy League liberal arts degrees meant joining the clever rich people. This is a foolish but not unreasonable mistake if you base your life choices on the things you see on television.

    Sebastian Flyte could afford to fanny about with liberal arts and teddies and implied homosexuality because he was already rich. Working and middle class kids are better off learning a trade.

  13. Even in the UK, dental treatment is not cheap, and for many people its full cost. Early in the NHS it became obvious that free dental care would bankrupt the system quickly. Some of us pay the full price at the optician as well.

  14. @Arthur the Cat

    Indeed if it didn’t and the chikdren of the rich hogged the good jobs and high wages forever then inequality would be permanently entrenched. In relative terms, thinking of the income quantiles as rungs on the social ladder, is it not laudable that some of the children of privilege should descend below both where their parents positioned themselves and had the ambition to position their children? The children of the rich do tend to have the kind of powerful social network that makes climbing the greasy managerial pole rather easier than for the average Joe, if they decide to take their privilege and use it as a launching point for a non-career as a literary novelist that is sadly one of the few ways they can blow their advantage in a single generation.

  15. Lee Child, Michael Connolly, John Connolly, Joe R. Lansdale are all fiction writers. They seem to be doing alright. Perhaps the difference is they are writing novels people actually want to read.

  16. Rule of thumb: stop reading anything which says “late capitalism”.

    John,

    “The world owes me a well above average living because…”

    It’s the higher education variant on Underpants Gnomes:

    Phase 1: Collect degrees
    Phase 2: ?
    Phase 3: Cosy middle-class existence

  17. You only have to look at the lives of people such as George Gissing and Edward Thomas, who wanted to live by writing, to see that it has always been a tough lifestyle choice. Unremitting toil and poverty. Thomas churned out journalism to make ends meet and ended up having done bugger all writing of which he was proud. The rich writers, eg Harold Robbins, worked in other fields before hitting paydirt. Walter Scott was a lawyer. Unless you manage to write a book that sells big or cops a film deal, you have to work bloody hard to make a living as a writer and such has always been the case

  18. Henry Crun

    Lee Child, Michael Connolly, John Connolly, Joe R. Lansdale are all fiction writers. They seem to be doing alright

    Case in point about how hard the writing for profit gig can be. I read a fair few books including the likes of Lee Child, but I’ve never even heard of Lansdale. He looks to be v successful and prolific. Still, got one on the kindle now to try him.

  19. “What we are is people who were brought up to believe that wealth is intrinsically connected to one’s inherent worth”

    Americans learn the oddest things in their madrassas.

  20. Diogenes

    Well, indeed.

    What is it about our modern creatives that makes them think they should be financially secure whilst ‘expressing’ their creativity full time?

    Earlier, and vastly better, writers didn’t give up the day job: T.S Eliot still worked at the BoE, Larkin as a librarian, Conrad as a merchant seaman, etc., etc..

  21. Steve,

    “They were led to expect that getting expensive Ivy League liberal arts degrees meant joining the clever rich people. This is a foolish but not unreasonable mistake if you base your life choices on the things you see on television.

    Sebastian Flyte could afford to fanny about with liberal arts and teddies and implied homosexuality because he was already rich. Working and middle class kids are better off learning a trade.”

    There was an era where having a degree opened doors, but it was actually rather short. From around the mid-1980s to around the late 1990s. Fast-track degree programs. Brought in, elevated almost immediately to supervisor level, lots of money spent on training.

    Most businesses realised that it just didn’t work, though. You need management that understands the thing it is managing, so better to promote people who had been working in the call centre for a few years to be supervisor. We had all sorts of people through these programmes into software teams with degrees in English literature or geography and most of them were useless. Kids with good GCSE maths are a better fit. They’ve got math/problem solving brains.

  22. “There are two Ivy League degrees between us”: is that bad writing or a deliberate attempt to disguise something?

    “There are, some years, as few as three or four full-time positions across the country in my field to apply for”: a cousin of mine took similar stock of his academic prospects when he finished his PhD. So he went off to do something else. He did have the advantage of being a genuinely bright boy.

    “he worked weekends when I could watch the children to make ends meet”: Christ, she really is a slovenly writer isn’t she?

  23. Bloke in North Dorset

    Jimmers,

    If you like Lee Childs’ genre check out Jack Carr. I enjoyed his first book and they’re really well researched. I’ve heard him on a couple of podcasts and he’s an interesting guy who does a lot of research. He’s in a much higher league than the average SEAL/SF who fancy themselves as authors.

  24. Edward –


    I am an adjunct professor who teaches five classes. I earn less than a pet-sitter

    Hearts of stone, etc. 😀 😀 😀

  25. BoM4 – getting in on the earlier part of the HE hyperinflation curve was probably also better for career prospects. Seems like a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away anyone was impressed with someone having a history degree or whatever.

  26. @BiND, thanks for the recommendation. I’ll certainly check him out.

    @Jimmers, Lansdale is not bound to any one genre. He writes horror, westerns and thrillers. His Hap & Leonard books were serialized (very well, i might add) on Amazon Prime. I’m not a horror fan at all so have only read a couple but the rest are proper good reads.

  27. Diogenes
    And Anthony Trollope got up early every morning and wrote 800 words before going to work as a Post Office Surveyor. He made, he says, £68,000 in total from his writing, which was a King’s ransom given £100 then was worth about £12000 now. His dedication and professionalism were admirable.

  28. ‘no longer space for people like me to make a stable living’

    There never was. Begging the question fallacy.

    It is clear: she should never have left home. She grew up with the expectation that Daddy would take care of everything. I don’t know how old she is, but this is classic millennial syndrome.

    I am reminded of interviews of Hollywood people decades ago, when asked, “What do you do?”

    “I’m a screen writer and waiter.”

    “I’m an actress and secretary.”

    Always a second job because their stated first job wasn’t making it for them.

    Reality bites. She can’t make it as a writer. So she writes for the Guardian. [rimshot]

  29. My husband and I made choices to get us to the position that we’re in. We had the extraordinary privilege, both of us, of finding and choosing to do the things we want to do . . .

    . . . It’s not my fault, though, that I’m afraid to seek out emergency care for my children when they’re injured. It’s my country’s fault . . .

    earlier

    . . . so we took her to the emergency room. Four hours later we left with a clean bill of health, a perfect CT scan, and a $5,500 (£4,250) bill. All but $900 (£695) of that ended up being covered by the state Medicaid the children are on.

    Medicaid is Federal and State funded, with Federal laws ensuring that children in poor families get care cover. The country (US taxpayers) just paid for 84% of a fast and thorough medical check.

    The UK has free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare. How likely is it that if a kid bumped their head their parents would have a paediatrician to call and could be in and out of a hospital with a CT scan in four hours?

  30. Pjf from bitter experience, it took about 5 hours which included scans, much sitting around in A and E, and a lot of interviews with suspicious, stony-faced “care professionals”

  31. She was brought up to think that wealth is inherently connected to one’s intrinsic worth – well, maybe it is in her case!

  32. @Recusant

    “T.S Eliot still worked at the BoE” – did he? Wasn’t my recollection, checking Wikipedia (ahem, yes I know…) suggests a couple of years at Lloyds Bank, between careers as a schoolteacher and in publishing with Faber. Are you thinking of Kenneth Grahame who spent a long career at the BoE while also publishing his pre-Wind In The Willows work?

    “Conrad as a merchant seaman” – yes, until he got a bequest in 1894! At which point he did opt for writing full-time – he had started to write while still at sea, but all his publications came later. So I don’t think he was ever quite a “jobbing writer” reliant on the day-job.

  33. Steve,

    “I am an adjunct professor who teaches five classes. I earn less than a pet-sitter”

    She has a degree in law. Can’t she go out and become a lawyer?

    There was a time when teaching subjects was about bringing in people with age and experience. It was a good fit. They had the experience to share, but perhaps college suited their lifestyle better (like being older, wanting to work around children).

    Most of the people teaching computer science have never been out of college. They teach a ton of stuff that is about as useful to most programmers as cooperage, knowing cursive, or how to farm worms to make silk stockings. Which is the most efficient sort algorithm? It doesn’t matter. Modern CPUs make mincemeat of sorting. They teach it because it’s entirely abstract. They’ve never had to be efficient programmers.

  34. Gak, Tim, that article is six months old. How did you dig that up?

    BTW, looking through stuff on her website she does go out and get real jobs to support her family. So, yup, whiney leftie but not all bad.

  35. Dennis, He Who Remains Unpublished

    Ms. Strong, like most others who fancy themselves to be more intelligent than average, clings to the mistaken belief that a slight advantage in intelligence is enough to overcome a lack of skills and/or judgment. Academia and writing are not fields that offer much in the way of opportunity or financial security, and had Ms. Strong set aside her arrogance and taken courses that gave her a skill set that was in demand, she’d have adjusted her education to allow her to pursue academia or writing while making a decent living selling skills that are actually in demand. She just assumed she was good enough to get tenure track (she wasn’t) and publish something that sold (she didn’t). Both high-risk assumptions that didn’t pan out.

    What I’d say to Ms. Strong is this: When you were in college, did you think all those kids taking engineering and accounting did so because they found engineering and accounting so inherently fascinating that the study thereof what a pleasurable and satisfying experience? The answer is “No, they didn’t”. They took those courses and degrees because they recognized that were a path to a stable career and long-term financial stability. And no doubt Ms. Strong felt (and probably still feels) superior to those folks.

    There are four determinants to achievement: Native intelligence, skill set, work ethic and judgment. And like a lot of people who fancy themselves are Very Intelligent, Ms. Strong made the mistake of assuming that a surplus in intelligence alone can overcome deficits in skill set and judgment.

    All this without even addressing her unwarranted sense of entitlement.

  36. Dennis, He Who Once Waited Tables

    Another question for Ms. Strong: If being an adjunct professor pays less than being a pet sitter, and if financial stability is now a critical concern, why aren’t you sitting pets?

  37. Dennis, He Who Writes Very Blank Verse

    Here’s another reason Lynn Strong is broke:

    https://themillions.com/2017/07/the-mourners.html

    The opening sentence is one for the ages:

    The summer that we lived in Florida accidentally, my husband’s mother’s friend’s son hanged himself in his Montana art studio.

    I’ve written some bad stuff in my day, but this… this sentence is epic.

  38. Dennis, you might be missing the fact that the 2015 article I linked to, and the article Tom linked to, are written by two different people.

  39. @Dennis

    In fairness the answer to “If being an adjunct professor pays less than being a pet sitter, and if financial stability is now a critical concern, why aren’t you sitting pets?” may well be that the prospects of future pay (possibly in a different job entirely) are better for adjunct professors than pet-sitters, probably looks more impressive on the resume at least.

    Winds me up when junior doctors moan about their pay and grouch “why am I even in this job when I’m being paid less than a graduate-entrant [whatever alternative profession is renowned for relatively low pay and academic entry criteria and is politically convenient to diss at this point in time]?” Because in a couple of decades time they know things will have turned around, and indeed, they know full well this is part of why they are doing the doctoring and not their purported alternative.

  40. Dennis, He Who Has Been Deemed Essential (Who Knew?)

    Ed Lud –

    No, I understood Lee Hall wasn’t Lynn Strong. I was using the pet sitting thing as a “for example”… but I can see where I’d create confusion with that. My point is that Strong is pissing in the wind. Neither her nor her husband actually want to do what is obviously necessary to go from “broke but not poor” to financial stable. They’d rather bitch about how the world is unjust because they consider themselves undervalued by the market (“late Capitalism”). Strong would rather be broke than sit pets, because sitting pets is beneath her. To actually do what she needs to do, she’d have to lose her sense of entitlement… which means she’d have to do a bit of honest re-appraisal on a personal level. I don’t see that happening.

    MyBurningEars –

    There is no avenue from adjunct making nothing to adjunct making something. ‘Merican academia is divided into tenured/tenure-track (where money can be made) and adjunct (where money is never made), and they do not mix. If Strong wanted to earn a living as a college professor she’d have to leave her adjunct job at Columbia and start looking for a professorship at small, private college. But small, private colleges have been closing at a high rate for close to a decade now, so chances of finding a job would be slim. Perhaps she could find a tenure-track position at a land grant state school somewhere, but those positions are coveted and don’t come open often… and when they do the competition for them is fierce.

  41. I’ve written some bad stuff in my day, but this… this sentence is epic.

    It’s deliberately quirky, Dennis. It was enough to make me go read the piece, which I enjoyed. I like how her children are dragging her out of herself.

  42. @Dennis

    Yes once you’re off the tenure track, American academia especially in the arts and humanities isn’t a great career option in its own right. But there are plenty of ways in which being able to say “I was an adjunct prof at Prestigious College” can come in handier than saying “I used to look after pets” – if it gives you a bit more social status, a bit more voice, then perhaps it helps sneak a foot through the door when you’re looking for other work. Sure it lands some freelance writing, would be handy for upper-crust private tutoring too. Even with the transition into corporate work or to gain admission to a second professional career.

    (As an aside, I had a friend who day-jobbed as a teacher while building up his work in creative writing – pretty successfully, no publisher bought his novel but he had books of his poetry published, won awards, appeared on national radio and so on. In the end he hated the day-job and the creative writing wouldn’t fund a lifestyle – even as a young up-and-coming poet with a developing national profile, you’re looking at book sales in the hundreds, same order of magnitude as Timmy – but he was able to leverage that into getting writing work within financial institutions, after a brief spell report-writing in a media monitoring service IIRC. Basically rewriting product information and key communication to customers. Think he gave up on the creative writing altogether. Having a top-notch academic background as well as a literary demi-career helped land him a berth in the corporate world, so such a transition is possible if rare. Had that not come off he might have aimed for something more conventional like trying for a second career in Law or similar.)

  43. Dennis, Yet Again

    PJF –

    Well, I hate deliberately quirky: Heavy on the self conscious and light on the truly creative. And while I agree that the story shows how her children were forcing her to engage the real world, I’m not too sure she meant to reveal exactly what she did reveal about herself.

  44. Dennis, Tiresome Denizen of Central Ohio

    MyBurningEars –

    Everything you say is true. What is also true is that Strong is singing the same song of lamentations in 2020 that she was singing in 2016. No attempts to adjust to reality, just doing what she’s been doing because that’s what she wants to do.

    Strong isn’t interested in earning more, she’s interested in being given more. There is a difference, and that difference is important.

    No wonder she hates capitalism… She’s Karl Marx to the core: Others should be compelled to give me money so I can live well while doing whatever I want… not because it is either necessary or just, but because I’m special and they aren’t. Isn’t that what “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” really means? I don’t want to earn a living. Gimme!

  45. I dunno Dennis, I get the impression she doesn’t like everything she sees when she writes about herself (which is a lot).

  46. Dennis, Literary Critic to the Gods

    PJF –

    Affectation… Just like the deliberate quirkiness. It’s humblebrag: “See how self-aware I am?”

  47. @Dennis

    Not a direct answer to your point but there’s an awful lot of chance involved in success in the arts in general and I don’t think the distribution of the rewards is particularly well-correlated with either the talent or the effort. Some people who put in the hours have everything it takes to succeed except luck. So if people in the field start thinking the fault is in their luck to date, rather than either their skills or their marketing strategy, it’s understandable (though unhelpful) if they feel the world owes them something at their next attempt.

    I suspect one problem that literary novelists face which most people struggling along in hourly-wage-paying jobs don’t, is that possibility the next novel will be The Big One that changes their life and financial situation forever. Especially if they’re not a complete “outsider” – if you already have an agent, have a bit of a name, get yourself regularly into print, hang out with literary and academic establishment types. Struggling musicians and lower-league sportspeople get the message eventually that they’re never going to “make it” because age catches up with them. But you could be mid-40s with a string of forgotten novels behind you, and still strike it lucky if someone you met at a dinner party or worked in the same faculty as you sneaks a favourable review into a well-read newspaper. How do you know when to quit, when to focus on and even radically rethink the day job, if hope springs eternal? And worse so if you think you “deserve” that big break?

  48. Dennis, Legend of the Parish

    Let’s put this into perspective. Take Lynn Strong, a writer, and Carrie Marshall, a writer.

    Compare.

    Which of the two has taken the necessary steps to make a living writing? Which of the two has shown more common sense when dealing with making a living using the skills you have?

    (And let’s note that Carrie Marshall writes novels as well.)

    If you’re Lynn Strong (or her type), and the idea of Carrie Marshall having more sense than you do doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, then you are truly a lost soul.

  49. MBE,

    “I suspect one problem that literary novelists face which most people struggling along in hourly-wage-paying jobs don’t, is that possibility the next novel will be The Big One that changes their life and financial situation forever. Especially if they’re not a complete “outsider” – if you already have an agent, have a bit of a name, get yourself regularly into print, hang out with literary and academic establishment types. Struggling musicians and lower-league sportspeople get the message eventually that they’re never going to “make it” because age catches up with them. But you could be mid-40s with a string of forgotten novels behind you, and still strike it lucky if someone you met at a dinner party or worked in the same faculty as you sneaks a favourable review into a well-read newspaper. How do you know when to quit, when to focus on and even radically rethink the day job, if hope springs eternal? And worse so if you think you “deserve” that big break?”

    One of the problems with this is that the value of that “mate at a national newspaper” (or in the case of music, someone from a record company who knows a guy at Radio 1) is declining. There’s still people who trust in it, but most people under 40 are getting their information from social media, Amazon, sites like Goodreads. Even publishers are much more about things like picking up on self-published books that catch on (like The Martian).

    We’re friend of a friend of someone who has sold a million Kindle books. She’s not a household name, left school at 16, doesn’t have any connections. Most of her media is local radio. People just really seem to like her books on Amazon, so others buy them too.

  50. @BoM4

    Good post – part of that is why I included “marketing strategy” in that short list of things prospective creative types need to think whether they’re getting right. Your friend of a friend is in mass market fiction though which is a very different market sector. “Literary” fiction is very much prestige-based so will continue to have its army of professional gatekeepers for some time to come, I think. (It’s one thing to say you want to write, quite another to say you want to be a “serious writer” and a great leap from there to “I want to be a serious writer and get paid a good living for it”. There are ways of making a living from writing with far greater chances of success…)

  51. an Ivy League adjunct professor

    In other words, not a professor.

    The rest of her complaints seem to boil down to ‘I did what they told me to do in graduate school and I don’t understand why I didn’t get my golden ticket’.

    She could try stepping away from the adjunct work and taking a job in industry – she has a doctorate, after all. Oh, no, wait, she got an Masters of Fine Arts degree. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, my god. Like, could she even try to be a graphic designer? Taking jobs on the side? I’m sure there are small businesses that need signs and menus and brochures done up. Genuinely creative people don’t need degrees to show them how to write fiction or paint or whatever.

    To be clear, I believe that to be poor and broke are different – and my husband and I are not poor. Poor implies generational precariousness and instability, and though our lives are filled with financial uncertainty, we also have educations, credit cards and people we could call in dire circumstances.

    No dear, you are poor. And the worst part? The part that is probably chewing on your arse all night long? You made yourself that way. You, through your own choices, took a middle class launch point and saddled yourself with a decade’s worth of debt that got you what is basically a part-time job. So that’s your education then.

    And your credit cards? Seriously? If you’re using your credit cards then not only are you poor – you’re broke too.

  52. Grikath, He who actually got Published

    NO! Please,….. NO!

    If there’s one example of “when can you absolutely make sure to not make a live of…..” it’s this attitude.

    And it’s not as if there’s not a veritable host of advice available within Margins/forewords/afterwords/editors’ notes/intro’s in existing actual dead-tree format by people wo “Made The Grade” to go on…
    And the first thing they warn you of is to never expect to make a living from Writing.
    And that’s from the people who made multi-millionaire/made a living off writing.. ( Heinlein, Niven.,Clemens, MZB and her protegés, and theirs.. lots of others, still 1% of the Slush Pile…Fuck, Rowling was unholy lucky…. She won the Lottery… And that’s just the ones who published in *english*…)

    The NYC scene the …..ahem… Lady is part of is in and of itself a source of ridicule… to the point where real bestsellers made a point to…address it… in some of their “destined to fail” outlets, usually under pseudonym.
    You never piss in your own stall, but……

    As to my claim… Yes, and it was a “bodice-ripper” , and the publisher was kind enough to send me my “10 copies” , even after signing away all my rights ( and the post-editing that left nothing of the original story, but *did* fit in with what they usually published) . I did get 200 quid up-front out of the deal, which is better than I have encountered since.

    So mmmmmhh… yeah…. Bitch be complaining about World Being Unfair?

  53. BoM4 “There was an era where having a degree opened doors, but it was actually rather short. From around the mid-1980s to around the late 1990s. Fast-track degree programs. Brought in, elevated almost immediately to supervisor level, lots of money spent on training.”
    I would put it much earlier than that, beginning with the nineteenth century reforms of the Civil Service that favoured those with an Oxbridge education. Over expansion of higher education was already killing fast track programmes in the late 70s. The eighties brought a scarcity of ‘graduate jobs’, the problem of too many applicants for all jobs solved by ignoring any without a degree.

  54. Yes, I think the 1980s were the close of the “don’t care what your degree is” employment scene. I was an uni in 1987-1990 and one of my friends was a lady doing Computing Science (just on the cusp of being bastardised into “office admin”) and freely admitted she had no interest in it, but knew she was good enough at it to get a decent grade at the end which would let her into the job of her choice. She went straight into a graduate entry acturary job.

    One of my uncles did History at Cambridge, went straight into local government finance, is now Chief Financial Officer. Mum did Archeaology & Anthopology, went into radiography. Another uncle did Maths, went into an economics job in The Gulf. Grandma did French, went into teaching after “government service”. Granddad did Maths, also went into teaching after being thrown out of aeroplanes in the Far East.

  55. A pair of useless cunts who expect others to bail them out, using their children as emotional blackmail.

    Cunts.

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