Thursday, May 29, 2008

EASY MONEY. At National Review, Jim Manzi is outraged that Obama would ask college graduates to heed a call to service. He also doesn't think much of Obama's decision to blow off a traditional career track and instead become a lowly community organizer, because he was just going to wind up a U.S. Senator and best-selling author anyway:
What's funny about his sacrifice is that when Obama took this job, $14,000 was about the average salary for somebody getting out of college. Of course, Obama wasn't just a run-of-the-mill college graduate; he was an Ivy-Leaguer, who graduated from Columbia with a BA in political science. A corporate career would almost certainly have been more lucrative — for a while. Last year, his family income was about $4,200,000. I don't have the data, but I bet that compares reasonably favorably with the average household income of 1983 Columbia political science and 1991 Harvard Law School graduates. Nonetheless, Obama did sacrifice some of his expected credential-based wage premium for a number of years.
Similarly, any well-educated person who decides to pursue a career as an actor can expect to become a Hollywood star, so it's really not that much different from joining Goldman Sachs.

I hope this gets around. A widespread delusion that community organization is a sure path to riches will do wonders for urban blight. Even our worst neighborhoods will be as full of eager volunteers as soup kitchens at Thanksgiving.

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