Tuesday, December 14, 2010

“College essentially provided them with nothing”...

Sound familiar?  Well, given the difficulty of finding a job as a college or professional school grad--it should be.  Except this statement was made by a Chinese man, Zhang Ming, in China. Yes, the world's biggest super power, China, took a pass-go card through middle class prosperity to over-education and under-stimulation. And you thought this was an American problem.  Think again!
In a kind of cruel reversal, China’s old migrant class — uneducated villagers who flocked to factory towns to make goods for export — are now in high demand, with spot labor shortages and tighter government oversight driving up blue-collar wages.
But the supply of those trained in accounting, finance and computer programming now seems limitless, and their value has plunged. Between 2003 and 2009, the average starting salary for migrant laborers grew by nearly 80 percent; during the same period, starting pay for college graduates stayed the same, although their wages actually decreased if inflation is taken into account.
The latter paragraph sounds much like what we have going on in the good ol' U.S.A.  Of course, we shipped our factory jobs to China--so there is no comparison in that respect.  Arguably, the college grads in China have it worse though.  Since their parents are farmers and factory workers, they can't take their children in when they fall on their over-educated faces.  Instead, they are living in a modern day ghetto of intelligencia:

Liu Yang, a coal miner’s daughter, arrived in the capital this past summer with a freshly printed diploma from Datong University, $140 in her wallet and an air of invincibility. 
Her first taste of reality came later the same day, as she lugged her bags through a ramshackle neighborhood, not far from the Olympic Village, where tens of thousands of other young strivers cram four to a room.
Unable to find a bed and unimpressed by the rabbit warren of slapdash buildings, Ms. Liu scowled as the smell of trash wafted up around her. “Beijing isn’t like this in the movies,” she said.
Wow.  That makes your momma's basement sound lovely, doesn't it.  In china, they call their unemployed graduates "ants":
Chinese sociologists have come up with a new term for educated young people who move in search of work like Ms. Liu: the ant tribe. It is a reference to their immense numbers — at least 100,000 in Beijing alone — and to the fact that they often settle into crowded neighborhoods, toiling for wages that would give even low-paid factory workers pause.
We call educated people "poor." It's easier and requires no sociology report.

It's nice to know that we're not alone.  China took our factory jobs, but is suffering nonetheless.  I said it before and I'll say it again--an education is a luxury that many can't afford, especially when it results in lesser earning power.  It's the possibly the worst investment out there.  Connections will get you farther.

Thanks tipster!


  1. Society is blocked and all the paths are obstructed by a mass of young people who have read that they could do everything, and see that they cannot do anything.

    - Viscount Louis de Bonald

  2. Amazing the number of parallels between America's and China's Higher Ed Bubble.

    1. Grossly overpriced TTT degrees.

    2. Blue collars having better jobs than college grads.

    3. First-generation students who were fed, and ate, The Dream.

    4. Parents who just can't understand.

    5. Even after all that education, it's still Not What You Know, But Who You Know.

  3. There are some strong parallels between the two nations. Both have a large over-educated, financially unstable working class. I am sure Chinese education administrators are doing well for themselves, as well.

  4. It's really not accurate to say that we shipped our manufacturing jobs to China. There is actually declining employment in China related to manufacturing. Manufacturing is so much more automated - it is the machines more than the wages.

  5. Just think of all the overeducated cannon-fodder now residing on both sides of the Pacific.

    Korea goes hot and all those underemployed Chinese storming south just like in the 1950's. HOT DAMN!

  6. Are there any articles about unemployed MBA grads?

  7. Google is your friend:




  8. Yes it is fair to say manufacturing jobs are shipped to china. Unless you have been living in a cave us companies are investing in buildings in china that yes have automated machines but also require the employment of numerous workers. Beyond product manufacturing there are is a lot of logistics jobs which the manufacturing boom has created for both exporting and centralizing supplier parts that also require lots of people to be employed, and guess where yes china. And yes all that shipping then creates more jobs as workers spend, extra tax on shipments are received, and the worlds money comes in to buy the goods. I didn't read in this blog that like in us that student loans where such a big deal.



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