Sunday, November 26, 2006

Spoiled Idiots

If you've ever wondered what happens to extremely spoiled, rich, uneducated, lazy high school students who graduate from extremely expensive private schools and go on to attend expensive, privileged universities, look no further than this article from Newsweek 11/13/06:

In a nutshell, this girl wasted thousands of dollars on a useless degree (philosophy) and doesn't have the intelligence to ask her parents or look on the internet how to fill out a W-4 or start a Roth IRA. Below is a summary of everything that is wrong with the article published. (Note: Because this was submitted to Newsweek for publication, the tone in it is rather civil. A normal posting on here would have been much more sarcastic and harsh).

I have to say that I feel no sympathy whatsoever for Caitlin Petre and her whining diatribe ("My Turn", 11/13/06) about how she didn't learn anything useful in college. For starters, she was the one that chose a completely useless major (not my words, but the words of one of my high friend's dad's who majored in Philosophy), rather than taking a finance class where she could have learned what a Roth IRA was and how to fill out a W-4 or an intro computers class where she could have learned how to use a spreadsheet program. Second, its quite sad that people who attend prestigious universities and apparently do quite well academically, don't have the common sense to be able to figure out a W-4 form by reading it, the courage to ask their boss how to properly fill it out, the intuition to ask their parents about the form or a Roth IRA, or the creativity to do a little research on the internet regarding those topics. Thirdly, how truly spoiled this girl (and many others today) are became very obvious when she claimed "I couldn't imagine myself in an entry-level administrative position staring at a spreadsheet for eight hours a day.." There are people all over this country who would kill to have an entry level administrative position as a steady job with full benefits. Yet, apparently, she would feel too bored and thus, the job isn't for her. Finally, she asks, "when I spent a ton of time and money on my fancy degree, what exactly was I buying? The ability to think, some might say. OK, fine, that's important." Maybe for others, but not for herself. If she did actually buy/earn the ability to think, then she might have been able to use that ability to think of where to ask or find out information regarding W-4's, Roth IRA's, or spreadsheets (boss, fellow employees, parents, internet). It's very sad that overprivileged spoiled kids are spending 4 years and many thousands of dollars of their parents money only memorizing and repeating what is taught to them in class and still can not figure out how to learn about a new topic or idea when they come across it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As whiny as the article is, part of your analysis is off base. You don't go to a liberal arts college to learn finance or basic computer skills. You don't go to acquire a "useful" degree. There is a tremendous value in thinking, and if you think college is about learning Excel, then you must also believe that a degree from Harvard is no more valuable than a degree from a vocational school or community college. For the record, I doubt there are any classes in filling out tax forms at Harvard. But I am guessing most people graduating from Harvard or Wesleyan or any decent liberal arts college - with the possible exception of Caitlin here - are resourceful enough to figure it out without formal instruction.

If she can't figure out how to do a tax form or learn to use Microsoft Excel or god forbid rent an apartment, then clearly she's failed in that single, valuable goal: learning to think. But I don't really believe she's that stupid or that unresourceful. She's just spoiled and whiny, and for the first time in her life having to deal with challenges more difficult than making it to a 9:00 AM class with a hangover.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous YoureAWanker said...

Looks like your sad little blog has been forgotten. Boo Fucking Hoo For You.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

Here's the thing. I've been called a spoiled, privileged kid, overly shielded by the private school, upper east side I lead. But just because I live this way, and just because a lot of kids around here don't learn a lot of useful skills that are really necessary in life, doesn't mean that anyone (including you) has the right to categorize us like this. We were born into prestigious families--by no means did we go seek this out. So before you write another whiny article about the way my family and friends live, just consider the fact that Gossip Girl, Academy X, The Ivy Chronicles, etc--they're all just books and TV shows. There's no harm in them when they're just watched for entertaining, and they are indeed entertaining. But taking them seriously is incredibly unfair to everyone who is on the opposite side of this article.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Truth Matters said...


This isn't a criticism of all privileged, affluent families. This is a criticism of a girl from that type of family given every advantage & opportunity in the world, yet who manages to completely squander those opportunities. Thus, she leaves college with a completely useless major, no plan for her life after college, and without the ability to research and educate herself on things (W-4, Spreadsheet usage) to which she is not familiar. My point is that if you choose to major in a useless subject (Philosophy), you don't have the right to complain later on that you didn't learn real-world skills, and if there is something that you don't know and you want/need to know it, then either educate yourself, take a class on it, or get someone you know to explain it to you. Wasting time writing articles to major news publications about how you can't get a job b/c of the major you chose and that you don't know how to fill out a tax form b/c your parents never made you work a day in your life is NOT an acceptable option.

Regarding Gossip Girls/Academy X/The Ivy Chronicles, feel free to watch them if you want. I personally think they are garbage, but there's nothing wrong with watching them. The problem lies in the fact that people place much more importance on watching/enjoying those shows then they should. For example, we have people who will be voting in the upcoming election who will have spent more time watching those shows than learning about the issues/candidates. Which is a disgrace.

11:22 AM  

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