Everything has its cost

Today I read a post on Naked Capitalism that commented on a recent New York Times article on how even those in American with jobs are facing pay cuts. Yves Smith (the blogger behind Naked Capitalism) used that article as a spring board to argue that Americans put to much focus on careers at the expense of other human relationships.

As much as I agree with the thrust of her argument, I have to say that the post was not well done.

For one thing, it was based off of a New York Times article about one American family. And the wife of that family was not facing any income cuts as a school teacher. Instead, all of the angst was coming from the man of the family who was an airline pilot.

Now airline pilots would not be my first pick to represent working class Americans for a number of reasons. But even more objectionable to me was the fact that Ms. Smith seems to make some unwarranted assumptions about the wife of the family that are not supported in any way by the New York Times article. Ms. Smith’s determination to make her points sometimes leads her to do ugly things.

Having said all that, Ms. Smith’s post caused me to reflect on my own situation. Having long ago made the choice not pursue higher earning opportunities if they would take me out of the area, I have a pretty good idea of the costs of not pursuing the job of your dreams so that one can maintain other social ties that are more important to you (in my case, the close relationship with my family).

I don’t regret my choice at all. But going by her past posts I don’t think Ms. Smith has much of an idea of what it would take to change America’s view of their careers or what the consequences of such a change would be.

But exploring that idea would put me way over my word limit.

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