Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Why credentials are unattractive

It's not the only reason, but even the most skeptical woman should be able to wrap her overeducated mind around the concept:
Between the ages of 18 and 22, Jodi Romine took out $74,000 in student loans to help finance her business-management degree at Kent State University in Ohio. What seemed like a good investment will delay her career, her marriage and decision to have children. Ms. Romine's $900-a-month loan payments eat up 60% of the paycheck she earns as a bank teller in Beaufort, S.C., the best job she could get after graduating in 2008. Her fiancé Dean Hawkins, 31, spends 40% of his paycheck on student loans. They each work more than 60 hours a week. He teaches as well as coaches high-school baseball and football teams, studies in a full-time master's degree program, and moonlights weekends as a server at a restaurant. Ms. Romine, now 26, also works a second job, as a waitress. She is making all her loan payments on time. They can't buy a house, visit their families in Ohio as often as they would like or spend money on dates. Plans to marry or have children are on hold, says Ms. Romine. "I'm just looking for some way to manage my finances."
In other words, the possession of education credentials is increasingly likely to come hand-in-hand with debt, older marriage, and a reduced likelihood of having children. Since men primarily value youth, beauty, and fertility in a mate, and because people seldom advertise the extent to which they are in debt, it shouldn't be too hard to understand why a woman waving around her degree(s) is not merely a turn-off, but a material strike against her. Of course, there is an easy solution for a woman with a degree to neutralize this red flag, and that is by always being careful to point out her lack of student loans whenever her education is discussed.

82 comments:

mmaier2112@work said...

A modest women with self-enforced austerity measuresm, leaving within or below her means that is not whooping it up like a cheap drunken slut on weekends would help too.

AverageMarriedGuy said...

With two kids, the educational bubble is very much in my mind as they get older and have to bear at least some of the costs for college assuming they go. Flat out, they'll need to choose a major that will be marketable and provide substance to society or they'll be indentured slaves like the example above.

Anonymous said...

There's a reason slutting is so tempting for us women. Sex is GOOD.

Ariane said...

A younger friend of mine (attractive, modest, from a traditional family of Indian background) got accepted to several colleges. Her parents had set aside money to pay for her education, but it would not cover the cost of an expensive private college to which she'd been accepted. Her response, "I'll just get loans," was quickly shut down by her mother. Young friend was somewhat annoyed by this, until I told her that at my age (35-ish at the time), not having loans made the difference between friends who'd "made it" (house, kids, etc) and those who were still struggling years after graduation.

Don't know what the final decision was-- I think she went state-- but she was recently engaged to a wonderful young man, and her mom couldn't be happier.

Just A Girl said...

It seems like both people in the example are poor and busy. At least they're on the same page. If the woman weren't working on her own debt, she would be helping with his, and vice versa.

Daniel said...

But they didn't have to be. She could have gotten a job at a bank and a restaurant in high school, debt-free. He should have gotten his teaching degree on a subsidized payback program and transferred the debt to the taxpayer of a "progressive" state.

She could have married a college teacher by the time she was 22, debt-free, and started to have children while having ample time to visit family, etc. They still wouldn't "own" a house, but they really don't want to do that right now anyway.

Things would be tight, sure, but not as crippling as they will be for the next X years as their debt drags on.

Holy smoke. 40%. That's bad. $80,000 for a "business" degree is horrible. First rule of business: make money, don't spend it. She would have been better off 74 business ideas at $1000 a pop. Surely one of them would have turned a profit.

A said...

Unfortunately, one cannot walk away from a student loan if it doesn't give you the job you're "supposed" to have with it.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the stress caused by the debt. Which takes an ugly toll in itself to ones health, appearance and outlook on life.

Josh said...

a thousand dollars a month is a freaking house payment...

Scott said...

The only thing about these stories that makes me smile a little bit is I'm almost positive she's a liberal. I'd prefer to get rid of their stupid policies altogether but watching them burn themselves does give me some satisfaction.

Southern Man said...

A sad consequence of divorce is that the children of divorced couples don't get much help from parents with college. My teen daughter is in this trap - she wants to go to college, I can't afford to chip in much (still paying heavy child support on the youngest), and I urge her to NOT take on too much debt as a teen. She feels betrayed, trapped between the choces of staggering debt and no education. What's a dad to do?

SarahsDaughter said...

We won't contribute to our children's college. The oldest is working on advanced placement for his Senior year so he can take advantage of the IP courses that give college credit. He’ll work for the rest. The college here in town costs $4000/year. He can live here so long as he works for us adequately and respects our property. We were concerned this local college wouldn't be academically sufficient until we learned the physics graduates are being heavily recruited by companies all over the country. One of the graduates this year will earn $70K/year in the entry level position he’s accepted.

SarahsDaughter said...

To add, the position he's taken has nothing to do with physics. This company, among others, are looking for applicants with hard science degrees merely because it indicates they can be trained in a technical field. The number of physics degrees per year in this country have remained stagnant for 50 some years. The high demand equates to very nice salaries.

Giraffe said...

The only thing about these stories that makes me smile a little bit is I'm almost positive she's a liberal. I'd prefer to get rid of their stupid policies altogether but watching them burn themselves does give me some satisfaction.

They would have found a way to make you pay for it if they hadn't already broke the wealth transfer machine.

Giraffe said...

She feels betrayed, trapped between the choces of staggering debt and no education. What's a dad to do?

Just look at the example above. A $74,000+ dollar education yielded a job paying $1500 per month. That would be less than $9 an hour assuming it is full time. If she can't figure out the cost/benefit on that she isn't college material anyway.

A less sarcastic answer would be for her to figure out if she wants to be a mother or a career woman. It is possible to do both, but why? If motherhood is the priority, college is a waste. She needs to focus on finding a husband she can trust to support her and a family, and get a job in the mean time. The point of the this post is she will be way ahead in finding a man if she doesn't come with a student load debt bigger than my house payment. If she wants to be a career woman, she must pick a degree that will pay for itself. That is pretty difficult when many college grads aren't finding work.

Daniel said...

Just say "no" to education. Unless she knows right now that she wants to work in a credentialed field (medicine, law, teaching) or in engineering, and is going to commit to it, there is absolutely no reason for her to go to school.

She can beat the hell out of her peers just by getting the jobs that college grads are competing for right now. She'll also have major advantages on the marital front - she won't be surrounded by broke-ass student peers, but by employed, older (low 20s) men ready for commitment.

After a year or two, if she wants to go to college, she'll have cash on hand, a nice proposal or two to consider, and no relationship/emotional/economically crippling debt.

Rushing to college isn't a choice - it is a sentence. And right now, it is way overpriced at that.

It is very simple: a college education (generic) is worth, maybe $200,000 over someone's lifetime. That's a big maybe. The average student takes out, what $40,000 in student loans? (It is probably more than that, but let's say your daughter is "prudent" - and keeps her undergrad at that.)

If she takes no deferments and stays on a strict 10 year payback (yeah, right) - she's looking at almost $100,000 to pay back - at the start of her working life.

Oh and guess what that early debt did to her future "college graduate earning potential?"

It punched it right in the balls. Because now, with her overpriced "green card" degree, she's having to work crap jobs to start the process of digging out of debt she didn't need to take on, instead of actually being free to seek lower wage employment, internships and volunteer opportunities that leapfrog to more lucrative work.

Because she's in debt, in other words, she needs to work for tips instead of accepting a stipend at better opportunities. Then what is she going to do? Work her way up the corporate ladder at Applebees?

The best thing you can do for her is help her to navigate an economical and relational route around the 10,000 pound student loan shithammer that is poised above her head right now.

Again, if she's actually motivated by a tangible, known objective, that is a different matter. But if she just wants to go to college to have "done college," she shouldn't mortgage her prospects and children to do it.

SarahsDaughter said...

It amuses me how accidental it was that I met the criteria my husband was looking for (whether consciously or not): I was 19, he was 23, I had no debt. The two years of college I had were paid for by scholarship and cash from a small inheritance from my mother's passing. I had worked to support myself from 13 and had lived on my own from 17. I readily welcomed his parents' traditional example of marriage and was clueless enough to submit. I knew the opposite of whatever my parents did couldn't turn out worse than the mess they had made.
Now we tell our son to look for these things. Hopefully his future wife will have better parents than I did and a less storied past, regardless it worked out well for us.

Anonymous said...

The best thing to do for any young person is as follows:

1.) Whatever the degree, start off at a community college for two years and go to a state college for the final two years. Consult the state university to ensure that your credits from community college transfer.

2.) Work as a teen/student. It's necessary to learn a good work ethic, and the goal should be to land a paying internship in your field. I worked as an intern for my company starting my junior year. After I graduated they hired me.

I went to a private university and graduated with 23k in debt. Through a mixture of student loans, paying out of pocket, and grants/scholarships that was my debt load. My degree was 70k. It was NOT worth it. I could have gotten the same education at community/state college for less than 15k. I was young, ignorant, and not prepared. It all worked out in the end as I payed off my debt 4 years out of college by living frugally.

In summary:

Community college -> state college -> keep a job and look for internships in your field.

Anonymous said...

ROTC. If you have young kids, remember that word.

Pip said...

"Why credentials are unattractive" (following blather snipped)

Gosh! It's a good thing I got my graduate degree for me and my future instead of thinking about what somebody else thought of it.

Giraffe said...

My sister got a degree in nursing. She makes more than I as an engineer, and her employer paid her student loans.

But, she's not married yet, and she hears the clock tick.

Stickwick said...

Agreed. Unless you're independently wealthy, don't bother with an expensive private university.

I went to an el-cheapo middle-of-the-road state college and still managed to get into a tier-1 graduate program. Hard sciences pay you to get your graduate degree, so if you're careful you can come out of the whole experience with little to no debt.

BUT ... think long and hard about whether that degree will get you where you want to go and where you're capable of going. For my chosen "career" (such as it is), a degree was an absolute must. For some high-paying tech jobs, it's not necessary unless you want to advance. A friend of mine has a good-paying job as a developer, but he's hit the ceiling as far as promotions go because he has no bachelors degree. He's decided to finish his degree while continuing to work, because it will mean more $$ and better positions over the next 20 years. OTOH, spending four years and a lot of money just to be a bank teller / waitress? Insanity.

If most universities weren't degree mills, they would have counselors standing at the university gates asking students where they want to be in 4-5 years, and how they think the degree will get them there. I wager a good 30% wouldn't bother to enroll after such a discussion.

Daniel said...

That's a great example.

Sure enough, it does make a person sound in debt, self-important, old and ugly.

Anonymous said...

In my junior year of high school(1969), my dad asked me 2 questions. Which college are you going to? and How are YOU going to pay for it? Notice he didn't say "we"! When I graduated from college in 1974, I was debt free and had about $400 in the bank. With my 2 kids I was in better finanicial than my Dad at the time but I continued the trend. I told them I would pay for half and they paid the other half. I based my half on a state school and living at home. Their half was based on part-time jobs and avoiding debt at all costs. They bitched to high heaven about those conditions. But when they graduated from college with a useful degree and NO debt, they did admit I was right.

mmaier2112@work said...

Don't you have to sell your services for a few years to the military to get them to pay for your schooling?

Not a good trade.

Pip said...

"Sure enough, it does make a person sound (1) in debt, (2) self-important, (3) old and (4) ugly."

(1) Taking debt on in prudent measure early in one's working lifetime to help pay for in-demand training and credentials necessary to make one's career plan work out later in life is the proverbial no-brainer.
(2) You'll have to speak up; I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.
(3) Age makes people sound old.
(4) This doesn't even parse. How does one 'sound' ugly? One can certainly "sound" ignorant, as you have pointed out.

Anonymous said...

The fastest way to the top these days is to go outlaw style. Just put on yer hippie hat and grow lotsa weed. But first find a master grower to teach you all the shortcuts.

Anonymous said...

A good grower can be in and out of the game in five years...

Pip said...

And that's because of the (useful) degree? At least she meets doctors. What would you have recommended instead? Who would she meet with a degree in Feminist Dance Therapy? Some softball-catcher-shaped gym teacher named Pat, maybe.

modernguy said...

This is not why credentials are unattractive. In fact, they aren't unattractive in themselves. Being markers of status, they delimit the lower bound on the subset of men that have a chance with the bitch. That's why women like credentials, it makes them more exclusive. The mistake they make is in conflating that with increased attractiveness, which is not at all the case because that's based on physical appearance and a feminine demeanor (and for some, character, based on how one might define attractiveness).

Women think that by getting degrees they can price themselves out of the blue collar market and into the white collar one where all the men they really want are. All the ugly ones end up doing is pricing themselves right out of any market and into spinsterdom.

SarahsDaughter said...

(4) - simple, they write like you do.

Yohami said...

I bet she didnt need the business-management degree to get a job at a bank.

Why isnt she managing a business? if she doesnt find a job, why not start her own business and manage it? what was the "credential" for?

Yohami said...

"She would have been better off 74 business ideas at $1000 a pop. Surely one of them would have turned a profit."

Yes. Or 7 business with 10K each.

A said...

What you're saying makes sense but it leaves out the rate of inflation for education in comparison to CPI inflation (which I understand is goosed anyway, but the charts still show both increasing dramatically). Did you kids graduate from college somewhere around 2000? I think prudent and hardworking kids will always be able to afford college, but things just seem to be more difficult for "average" folk who attend.

Acksiom said...

http://www.violentacres.com/archives/32/drastic-measures/

"When your boss asks you to work a few extra hours, you don’t hem and haw because you’re dying to get home and hang out in your car. I actually ended up picking up a second job at the buffet across the street just to fill the time. I’d work my primary job from 7am-4:30pm, walk across the street to my second job and work from 5-midnight, and then offer to do the nightly cleaning and lock up later so that I wouldn’t finish until 2 in the morning or so. After that, I’d drive to the gym and sleep in my car until it opened. I’d go in and pretend to exercise for 5 minutes so I could shower and start the whole cycle over again. My only bill was the membership to the gym and a few dollars in gas a week. I didn’t even pay for food; I just ate for free at the buffet. Since I had previously pretended that the credit cards companies didn’t exist for four months, a lot of them let me ‘settle’ my debt for slightly less than I owed or at least cut me some slack on miscellaneous fees and interest."

Daniel said...

1) No brainer indeed. Anyone with one would understand the fairly simple math that -$100,000 in exchange for a shot at waitressing is not prudent early debt.
2) Agree.
3) Age by definition is old.
4) Words don't parse: people do. Some people.

Daniel said...

You are missing the point about opportunity cost: A woman who thinks that finding a life partner to build a family with is something incidental that will "take care of itself" while focusing a lot of time and attention on the far more transitory prospect of launching a lifelong career via debt-fueled, inflated educational credentials will discover something:

She had it backwards.

Now, for that rare woman who, over the course of her life really wanted, most of all, an important (to her) career of some sort, well, then, obviously going to school to get credentials (where necessary - if her career is to be an entrepreneur or computer programmer, then her time and money is wasted at college) is the way to go.

Where any woman screws up is in thinking that education makes her attractive. It doesn't. In fact, the only way she can scrape the outright repulsion any potential mates feel in hearing a woman brag about her degree is if she makes it clear that she's not a walking bag of debt. But it is like telling a room full of strangers that you were acquitted of murder: the specter is out of the bag.

Everyone has their reasons for going to college, most of them bad. But it is better to keep them to yourself for the purposes of potential relationships.

TLM said...

Most people talk a good game about wanting to be in business, especially as independent small business owners. What rarely happens is that they actually take the risk. I'm talking about using your own resources and having real skin in the game. I'm on my third now, and the last one damn near cost me everything I had. It requires tremendous intestinal fortitude and hard work to pull it off. Most people are content in safe litlle low risk W2 world. That includes 90 % of those useless middle managers in corporate America who believe they're actually "business men". A business degree is right up there with a journalism one.

Daniel said...

No they won't. I don't know anyone who can "afford" a $40,000 expenditure coming out of high school, no matter how hard they work.

Tuition in 1974 has inflated more than 1400% in today's dollars. State schools are grabbing the student loan money, and increasing tuition, accordingly. The math is horrible.

End Federal student loans - allow banks to credit score applicants, and you'll see tuition plummet to what the (still sadly debt-fueled) market will bear.

Debt financing college is such a spectacularly unintelligent economic model that only college administrators and government think tanks could have come up with such a demon.

Daniel said...

People with good business sense know that the only business in business degrees is in the selling of them to other people.

Giraffe said...

And that's because of the (useful) degree? At least she meets doctors. What would you have recommended instead? Who would she meet with a degree in Feminist Dance Therapy? Some softball-catcher-shaped gym teacher named Pat, maybe.

My point was that even though she choose a good career and got a good job, now she wants to quit and be a mom. She went to school, got the degree and debt, and no she is getting out from under in time to quit and have kids. What was the point? She's ten years older and only a little better off financially. But her appeal to men is not improved with the degree or the ten years of age.

As for other degrees, they are even worse. My wife got a degree in social work. Totally useless. If a degree was needed for a job, you needed an advanced degree. Otherwise they hired people off the street. She had no debt, but she wasted her parents money and 4 years of her life.

Where did you get the stupid idea that you need a degree to meet people? There were girls who went to Engineering School for an Mrs degree. Didn't work too well for them either.

David said...

"What's a dad to do?"

Go to www.garynorth.com and purchase his how to guide on completing college for less than $15K. The short of it is studying at home while working part time and taking AP and CLEP tests to earn at least two years of college credit at 10 cents on the dollar.

Wendy said...

There were girls who went to Engineering School for an Mrs degree

It still beats a degree in Women's Studies. It's not a terrible strategy as long as she has the mental power to get the degree (depending on how much debt she accrues, of course).

Giraffe said...

It still beats a degree in Women's Studies. It's not a terrible strategy as long as she has the mental power to get the degree (depending on how much debt she accrues, of course).

Mrs degree = she went to engineering school to marry an engineer.

Didn't work, most engineers aren't alpha enough for these women, and the ones that were preferred an attractive woman.

Joe A. said...

Just curious, but what majors constitute being marketable and substantive, in your opinion?

stg58 said...

Can you get a job with it? Supply and demand. My wife and I have some friends of ours, a married couple, who are both moving back home to Houston to pursue MBA's. My wife wants me to call them and warn them off of that. They are smart people, but I don't think they have sat down and talked about whether they will be able to get jobs, and what kind of jobs those would be.

There are MBA's flooding the market. I see signs all over Houston for the various university MBA programs, ones you can do at night as well. In my opinion, these companies are flooding the market, and most MBA's I have met are idiots when it comes to business anyways.

As for majors that are in demand, the majors that offer the most diversity in employment opportunity in a specific market are the best. I advise young Eagle Scouts who are on their way to college to get Chem.E degrees. You can fill almost any job in any oil and gas company on the planet, from upstream to downstream and supplier/vendor to midstream to end user. A truly flexible and capable degree.

Joe A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe A. said...

I feel like I get along fine with a mere associate's degree. I owe absolutely nothing on it, and the only direct costs were books and gas from traveling. Meanwhile, old friends from high school with bachelor's degrees are returning to town, working at places we all worked at in high school. Heck, a female friend went back to work at the burger joint she and I worked at when we were 15 years old...

Athor Pel said...

It depends on what kind of deal you get. If you go into it with both eyes open and negotiate for everything you can get it can be a pretty good deal.

I did four years in the Air Force. For that I got the Montgomery GI Bill which was worth $11,800 back then. I used it all up once I started going to college. It helped me get three degrees.

I got to do some traveling on the government's dime, Texas California, Korea. Monterey, California was the best of that lot.

I got training in a foreign language that I turned into university credit once I got out, 22 hours of credit to be precise. Which was worth about $1,500 at the time, that's 1990 and at a state school.

Lastly I got to put off the full assumption of adult responsibility for a time. Being in the military is easy in one way at least. You never have to make certain decisions for yourself, they are made for you. For a kid that doesn't really know what he wants to do with his life that little bit of certainty is nice to have.

SouthTX said...

My oldest son got a full academic ride to a good engineering school The school actually refunds us because his books and food plan aren't the most expensive. He's too busy during the week to fill up, he does it at home on weekends. Studying chemical engineering. I work at the 2nd largest chemical company in the world. I have connections, he has started making them. He realizes the value of getting the inside track. For him, college is good. Over 20 years ago I saw a friend from high school who got a bachelors in business stocking shelves. I was already breaking 50K at the time. Early 20's. College makes sense for my son. But I told him to find a useful major early on. Daddy wasn't going to pay for him to find himself. He will graduate with no student debt.

SouthTX said...

His younger gf originally wanted to be a Doctor. Now she just wants an A.S. so she can graduate when he does. I think her Dad is glad. Best guess, coming out of a traditional family, she just want's a MRS. No problem with it. He's been the only boy she dated. She is very sweet at my house and my son says she never brings any drama. Although I see it better than my oldest son, her working her feminene charms on him. Being a alpha girl, she should thank her parents for her upbringing and genes.

SouthTX said...

Best advice for girl's. Find a guy who Love's you. Get him to commit. Be willing to fight over you. If you get a guy who does so, you better pay it back.

traumaboyy said...

or Gallons of Tequila!!

SouthTX said...

Meaning good sex. Good breakfest also counts. I like the egg's over medium.

traumaboyy said...

My Daughter is 17, graduating HS in a month. I am a nurse and she said that's what she wants to do. I gave her two options:
1. I pay for her prerequisite courses at a Jr. College to get into ADN program. She does the work, then Signs contract with hospital here to pay her way through ADN program. She works two years for hospital amd at 23 years of age is free to go back to school (on her own dime) or travel or whatever!
2. Go pick up some student loans, live it up, have fun, play hard, and yes, you can move back home afterward because you can't afford to pay rent for the student loan payments!!

I really hope she chooses option 1!!

Kyle In Japan said...

I recently got a whiff of how credentials lower SMV. There was a girl I met a few months ago at my friend's church a few prefectures over. Very sweet, lively, fairly good looking. But she wants to be a full-blown doctor through a six-year medical degree program. Given how Japanese in most professions work themselves into the dirt and doctors don't even make good money in Japan, this almost immediately disqualified her and I decided not to date her. Debt didn't even play into this, since her parents are paying for everything.

And then a little after that, at my own church I met an extremely pretty, younger girl just starting at big, local public college, studying animal care and agriculture*. So far, seems like homemaker material raised in a traditional family. And I decided to ask her out on a date instead. The first girl could have gotten me before that happened if she wasn't pursuing a big career. The marketplace at work, folks. By all means, ladies, pursue the career you want... but don't be surprised at the natural consequences that eventually result.

*great skills to have when the world economy collapses, by the way!

Punk said...

Male- Takes out large loans for school, gets shitty job, can't have kids or a home for a long time.

Conclusion: Let's talk about how he's stupid.

Female- Takes out large loans for school, gets shitty job, can't have kids or a home for a long time.

Conclusion: Let's talk about her gender and how she's stupid.


Since most people primarily value health, attractiveness, and fertility in a mate, there's no reason to talk about women and their useless degrees, because there's plenty of useless degrees to go around.

SouthTX said...

Kyle in Japan. You hit the nail on the head. My son's other gf was a daughter of Chinese immigrants.(Quite hot) Number one of her large high school. Wants to be a Doctor. My son and her were the only two National Merit scholars. Doesn't say much for our schools but football games are great. He dumped her ass for his current one. Her parents call her Elly May. She may be a little dingy, but she could be in SI. On their 1st ann. of dating, she gave him a jar of notes of the 100 reasons she loves him. Wishing the best for my son, I respect his decision.

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

Pick up the books by Dr. John Bear. Go for an external degree program. Self study and take CLEP, D.S.S.T (DANTES) & subject GREs. Not counting the CS GRE that I took and scored well on, my best week of test taking was 12 credit hours. I used an online study site that cost $20/month and ran me through flashcards for the subject.

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

The cost of living has also skyrocketed. When I was in college in the mid-1970s, I knew a guy who worked weekends as a stocker in a grocery store and made plenty of money for school and living expenses. That's not an option today, living expenses have increased dramatically while wages have not.

SouthTX said...

My Wife thought it was cruel when he dumped the prior gf. I told her it was in His best interest.

LP 999/Eliza said...

Great post. So true.

College debt like bad credit is just as bad at racking up unpayable credit cards for shopping sprees. A great example of this (although debatable) is the rush for mortgage banking certification, medical coding and nursing. Only nursing had a future.

A woman can have another kind of debt, a 4closure...Recently, a few locals and I applied to our respective alumni's for employment. I did this for the expressed purpose to proving they'd not hire me and they did not. We are waiting with glee to hear back for the final person's rejection letter.

Daniel said...

What attracts women to men and men to women are two different things. A man has a much longer-delayed "age penalty" for attractiveness. Since degree is code for two major strikes: age and debt, the penalty for bragging about it is much higher for a woman.

In fact the debt penalty is slightly less for a man's attractiveness, as well. Since a woman will not likely be saddled with his debt should he leave the marriage, it is not the double whammy risk that it is for a man. Since he likely will be saddled with at least half of her debt should she leave, it is another factor why "credentials" are a much stronger man repellent than they are a woman repellent.

Daniel said...

Yep. A four-year (again, generally) doesn't even improve your chances.

The best and brightest really are those who realize that the best and brightest will find little practical utility in a general four year degree. If they go to school with a measurable purpose, that's one thing.

But mass-herding stunted children from a failed public school system into a debt-fueled college system produces bloat and inefficiency. Successful people succeed in spite of the shackles, not because of them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, things were a lot cheaper back in the early 70's, i.e. tuition, gas, housing, etc. but I think what was important is the thinking my dad had. He was a product of World War 2 as being a teen ager in occupied Holland. We was also in the Dutch Resistance as a runner and doing his part in fighting the Gestapo.He learned very quickly that if you want to be treated as an adult, then be an adult and accept what happens. I wanted to be treated as an adult at 18....Ok then...pay your own way.

Josh said...

If you don't have a good job, there's no reason why you shouldn't be in north dakota or south texas right now.

Daniel said...

The strategic problem with a Mrs. degree is that the candidates are too close in age to their targets. Unless they are able to grab a senior before he graduates, by their sophomore year, their hypergamy is directing them to a pool of people who are no longer in school.

If a woman wants to marry well to an established guy, she might find a sapling in the senior class that could pay off, but the hazard is that the guy will wash out our flounder for a while, and by the time she realizes he isn't "The One," she's four years older and settling for less than what she might have had if she had used her resources on surer (older) men when she was younger.

On average, a woman is going to marry a man 3-5 years older than herself. On average, the pool of collegiate men is, at most (and only during the freshman year) just a little over 3 years older than her. By the time she is a sophomore, the deck is well stacked against her, and by junior year, her future husband is long gone from school.

When college girls wonder where the good men are at, it is fairly obvious why they can't be found on campus - the men all way too young. She has only about as much chance of finding the love of her life as a young man does by trolling the retirement village.

As far as long term relationships go, college is a holding cell that, as a practical matter, only devalues a woman by the time she is released into an environment that naturally increases her odds of matchmaking by bringing her into contact with men 3+ years her senior.

There are many reasons to choose to go to college, but choosing to go is choosing an environment that limits relational opportunity. That handicap can obviously be overcome (by dating professors, going to non-college bars, online services, etc.) but campus provably provides a restraint, not an opportunity, in that department.

SouthTX said...

No doubt. I live in the Eagle Ford shale region. The extra traffic is a pain. But the altruistic part of me is very glad we are in an economic boom. Basically, if you want a good job, you can have one. Every day the paper is advertising for truck drivers, starting 50K w/ benefits. Just need a six week course at the local juco.

SouthTX said...

Smart girl's capture their prey in HS. Help's if her Parent's help her.

Punk said...

No doubt that what attracts men and women to each other are different. Your ideas would sound good but for a few reasons,

1 "A man has a much longer-delayed "age penalty" for attractiveness."

Power and signs of it are what are attractive in men. Joe Blow who has a useless degree, is a waiter, sends all his money to the loan sharks is highly unlikely to be viewed as attractive when he gets into his 40s still has a useless degree, is the head waiter at a restaurant, and is still sending his money to the loan sharks. I've known more than a few of these types, and they scrapped the bottom of the barrel even into their 50s (if they were still trying).

2 "[...] two major strikes: [...] and debt"

Both a male and female would possess the same amount of debt in our situation: a lot of it.

3 "Since a woman will not likely be saddled with his debt should he leave the marriage"

I'm not lawyer, but my understanding, please correct me if I'm wrong, is that loans accumulated before marriage in one spouse's name remain that spouse's responsibility after divorce. The only way one would have to pick up their spouse's tab is if the loan was accumulated during the marriage or if they consolidated both their student loans after they were married (which would be incredibly stupid in my opinion)


It's not that credentials are unattractive. How many men would say so? Vox would have us believe that we should view them as unattractive. But as a man and though I view them as a red flag for the possibly of debt and poor financial discipline, credentials are just that, the symbol of a red flag. Neither attractive nor unattractive, just one more possible problem to deal with. What's attractive to most men are tits and ass, some good cooking and supportiveness after a long day.

I'd like to ask Vox, why do you feel the need to convince us of an additional criteria?

Anonymous said...

I'm also in the oil and gas business. Midland/Odessa is the same way, North Dakota, Northern Colorado, and it's getting to be that way in Ohio. I remember when you could buy land down towards Carrizo Springs/Bracketteville/Uvalde for $500-$1000/acre including minerals.

OT but see the attached link. IMHO there could be a manufacturing boom in the US. "American Know How" is great and all that, but nothing beats cheap raw materials.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/business/energy-environment/ohio-steel-mills-expand-to-meet-demand-in-energy-and-auto-industries.html?_r=2

Anonymous said...

Engineering and accounting.

Probably the STM part of "STEM". MAYBE finance. POSSIBLY (Long shot) economics, though an ACCT degree with a minor in econ or finance is much better. probably some of the hybrid science/business degrees they offer at State schools like "Building Construction," "Industrial Distribution," or "Agricultural Science".

Frankly, unless your kid is very academic, you're better off getting him a diesel mechanic's certification. Or a truck driving license.

I graduated in 1993 and I think I was in the last few years you could get away with studying something you found interesting.

Anonymous said...

One of my divorced colleagues worked it into the divorce decree that 15% of child support/alimony (I can't recall which) would go towards the child's college fund, and that the mother would pay the same amount. She had to agree...to do otherwise would have been admitting she was a golddigger.

Anonymous said...

@Athor - the Defense Language Institute in Monterey is better than many undergrad languages programs.

Other worthwhile programs include the Navy nuke school, maintenance squadrons/units, even logistics outfits. Study for your ASVAB and know what to ask for going in. (FWIW a friend of mine learned the hard way that "Combat Engineer" =/= "Army Corps of Engineers").

SouthTX said...

We have the cheapest feedstock ouside the ME, and in spite of our goverment we are still a more stable business enviroment. We are sold out and exporting to Asia and Europe.

modernguy said...

Shut the fuck up already.

Daniel said...

You're practical understanding is wrong. Loans accumulated before marriage are supposed to be the spouse's responsibility.

In practice, they very rarely are. Except in exceptionally amicable (childless) divorces, debt is transferred to the husband, sometimes by writ and always via child support. In other words, if she doesn't pawn off her debt on him by decree, she does so by virtue of claiming reduced income via debt, thereby increasing the support demand. Under current divorce, the man bears the economic burden of his wife in total.

And a woman waving a red flag is by definition, unattractive. Neutral flags are white.

Finally, age is not unattractive in a man at the same rate as a woman (i.e. The attraction penalty for a 30-year old woman is higher than her same-aged male counterpart. She can probably attract men nearing forty, while a comparable 30 year old man can still attract women in their mid 20s,) thus the age-suggestive degree matters for a woman, but not for a man, regardless of a degrees quality.

Punk said...

"In practice, they very rarely are."

I hadn't considered these points and was unaware that a woman can claim reduced income in such a way. Is it like this in every state?

"And a woman waving a red flag is by definition, unattractive. Neutral flags are white."

A red flag isn't unattractive, it's just a flag that you may have to deal with something. I'm never sure who the intended audience is for Vox's posts, but it sometimes feels like the Gamma moving to Deltas category. Assuming this is the case, such a man would want to stay away from the red flag of high student loan debt. However, if a woman met all my criteria, but had high student loan debt, I wouldn't care. Again, tits and ass, home cooked meal and supportiveness. Given my finances, I'd pay her debt down without a second thought and quickly, but I'd also guess the chances of her leaving me are slim. A woman's degree and debt neither attract nor unattract me, but if she was a braggart without end, that certainly would.

"The attraction penalty for a 30-year old woman is higher than her same-aged male counterpart. She can probably attract men nearing forty, while a comparable 30 year old man can still attract women in their mid 20s"

This seems to be a common error. As we've noted, what attracts men and women to each other is different. An aged man without power will attract low caliber woman; An aged woman with multiple red flags will attract a low caliber man. My experience has been that they find each other. If anything a woman has a lot of tools to make up for her red flags even as she ages, but a man without power, no matter how old, has considerably less tools. Age can be a symbol of attraction in men, but only in that it is a sign for their increase power in the first place.

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