Stevieslaw: My Voices of PA Nov. Article

Don’t Ask: Career Recommendations for the Next Millennium

My friend Joel Levine wanted to be a doctor, Arnie Slansky a lawyer and Crazy Eddie an Indian Chief. I wanted to be a mailman—still do. Down the block we had our share of Teachers, Scientists, Librarians and Nurses. We had Einsteins, Salks, Nightingales and Mantles. That’s why I was shocked to learn that my niece’s 8 year old son, Marrs, wants to be a hedge fund manager. Times have changed, and mentioning Jonas Salk to an eight year old today will only get you a blank stare.

We are faced with dramatically new times, new heroes, and new careers. How then do you help your 37 year old nephew, who has been living in your basement since 9/11, find a career? Here at Stevieslaw we are proud to publish “Don’t Ask: Careers for the New Millennium,” as part of our Less-Intelligent-than-Average American Guides series. With the help of the guide, you will learn just how likely it is that your career choice will be rewarded sufficiently for you to make it into a tax bracket, any tax bracket. While many of you might be depressed about what your college degree has gotten you: a job at McDonalds, Walmart or Kohl’s, LAG will show you that things can certainly get worse. As a sample, consider the year 2024,

In the Professions:

1. Doctors will vanish, as enlightened Insurance Companies finally realize they can do without the middle men. Nurses will handle the everyday business of medicine as they do now—in 23 hour shifts eight days a week. Sadly, it will be Jewish mothers who suffer most.

2. One out of every three Americans over the age of 6 will have a law degree. Fourteen, if we count the Supreme Court Justices, are working. And with no doctors to sue…

3. Scientists will reap the rewards of a $3.42 research budget in this fiscal year. Those not getting a piece of the research pie will still be able to conduct “thought” experiments, provided the topic has been approved by President Santorum.

4. University Professors will teach by referring to the results of public opinion polls, much as they do today.

In the Arts (where nothing much has changed):

1. Remember when your little rock and roller performed in your basement for the neighborhood kids? He will remember that as his high earning years. Other musicians will not do quite that well. For the purpose of discussion, dancers are musicians with funny shoes and large health care bills, while actors are dancers that don’t. The good news—waiting tables.

2. The Fine Arts are, of course entirely different. One can make a good living in the Fine Arts, as evidenced by the four or five fine artists, who since 1603, have.

3. Write. For Money? You Nuts? In 2024, the Nobel Prize in Literature went to a Japanese computer code named Murakami.

In the Trades:

1. Remember bookstores, record shops and affordable restaurants other than pizza joints and fast food dives. Your five year old won’t. Is your name Amazon? No. Then don’t try to revive them.

2. Remember building things? Won’t in 2024. Back in the day, my uncles all worked construction as plumbers and electricians. They built this country. Often, they were called in to build homes for people or to fix problems in privately owned homes. The concept of owning the place you lived in was called home ownership. Look it up on Wikipedia if you don’t believe it ever existed.

In Local and State Government:

1. Teachers will be hunted during the summer months in 48 states. By 2024, they have been hunted to extinction in Alabama and Mississippi, where the locals claim to have no need of them anyway. And as they say right here in PA, it is the only way to keep thems varmints down.

2. Post offices, having been betrayed by Netflix and the Credit Card companies through their on-line features, have closed. Mailmen hang out at what used to be libraries. They use their cool leather bags to carry their lunches.

3. No one knows what happened to all the other government employees. Some cynics suspect they wandered off after not being paid for a decade or so.

In LAG we will show there are still high-paying careers out there and that their rewards are likely to grow. Finding careers as superstar athletes or performers, ponzi schemers, natural resource manipulators, talking heads, evangelists and political hacks will still be possible—as will those most lucrative careers as elected officials in local, State or Federal government. It just requires good genes. No, not brilliance, just good genes, as in a mom or dad with money or pull. As Ogden Nash might have said (see, I yield to my learned brother…): Well Connected men, they have no cares/ Whatever happens, they get theirs.

As for the nephew in the basement, who so obviously lacks parents with money or pull, have you talked to him about marrying money? He’s in love you say with a girl as poor as he is. Move him out. Basements must be reserved for the next generation of performing artists. You might as well remind him of some other words by Ogden Nash (see, Love under the Republicans (or Democrats)) who did predict the future for your nephew and a billion others in the new millennium: We’ll live in a dear little walk up flat/with practically room to swing a cat.

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