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I'd probably want to be posted abroad though as an FSO vs. say, working at the UN in NYC - I've got the adventure gene and being posted to some middle east place with no running water or electricity is the kind of thing that makes me feel alive. If you've seen the movie Syriana, I'm like George Clooney - I want the field work, and I'm not sure what the trajectory is there, probably not as great as a desk job.
I've seen plenty of engineers check the "I want to travel" box and get moved easily. When/if they did decide to come back "home" it was always with better opportunity for their future.
 

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I've seen plenty of engineers check the "I want to travel" box and get moved easily. When/if they did decide to come back "home" it was always with better opportunity for their future.
I was an engineer for the first few years of my career. That was an awesome time for me, but my ability to lead pulled me into management; which includes lots of travel (150k+ miles flown yearly) to meet customers/collaborators/resellers/etc., and more benefits. For me it's a mixed bag--I genuinely miss tinkering with stuff--but I think 99% of outside observers would say it was an upgrade. Definitely miss the travel though I've been grounded since late Feb.
 

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Graduated and gradual have two different meanings. 😀
You beat me to it. Between not knowing the terms of a large loan he signed for and not knowing the difference between gradual and graduated, or caring to know what the terms within the loan document meant kinda says it all. I am not even saying it is his fault, I am saying that this is what you get when you have 18 year old idiots (every 18 year old is an idiot) signing 30 year loan documents.

I personally think whittling down an economy to total GDP growth (which includes funny money govt deficit spending) and market indices is idiotic, but those are the metrics "marketists" sprint to in defense of the current status quo. I was just speaking to the fact that their strategies don't even perform well in the context of their limited and meaningless cherrypicked metrics.
If those are the metrics we are going to use than the US economy has vastly outperformed our peers over the last ~70 years. I would also point out that it has outperformed in things like disposable income, wage growth, median household income, job creation, and tax revenue growth.

I will happily concede that I am not as big of a wonk or market historian as you, so I'm not really interested in diving into those details. My only point in the context of how different indices perform compared to one another is that our system's laser focus on shareholder value over absolutely everything doesn't seem to have the outsize performance marketists assume to be a given.
Well, take a step back from the economist point of view for a moment and don't look at the system as a whole. When you invest your money, do you want the best return or a lesser return that might make you feel better in certain aspects? This is a real thing, I know lots of people who refuse to invest in things like alcohol, tobacco, fossil fuels, and defense companies. There are entire funds devoted to that idea and they are becoming more popular recently, called ESG funds. Environmental, Social, and Governance based.

It's very simple if we accept that it will come with gasp some pain for the markets. Companies will have to stop operating like the Fed will bail them out of absolutely everything, and markets will actually have to price risk back in like the old days.
You don't think 2008-2009 or Spring of 2020 was pain for the markets? In the financial crisis market was down ~67% from peak to trough, this year I believe it was ~41%. That's pain no matter how you cut it. We can argue all day about what caused 08-09 in terms of behavior and how the government impacted that, let's just agree for this purpose that it is a lot more complicated and not as one sided as anyone wants to believe. However this year I can't say any of the companies did anything wrong, can you? The airlines (and related) are the ones that got loans, not a bailout, but loans just like all their peers around the world. You can't really expect them to see this coming, nor should the government let all the airlines implode, right? Moreover, I would wager the government will have a 90-110% recover on those funds.

Again I just don't have the energy to dig into detailed wonky back and forth. My view on the US relationship with the markets is summarized as follows: we are in an uncharted territory of shameless moral hazard, as well as the FRB openly picking winners and losers. Small business accounts for half of US private sector employment (or at least it did before COVID), but doesn't get anywhere near the ongoing and direct support from the Fed that big corporations on market indices do. This kind of **** is the direct cause of the K shaped recovery, and reflection of perveted America's value of corporations has become.
The FRB isn't in the game for small businesses, that isn't their bag honestly. Their job is to monitor and promote monetary policy and not fiscal policy. Their job is to protect the system and not aspects of the economy as much. Meaning, they focus on businesses and sectors which can disrupt the global economy. That's why they intervened with the financial system in 08 and why they intervened in the credit markets this year. They aren't trying to spur economic growth nearly as much as they are stability.

If I had a billion dollars, after buying some annuities and setting up trusts I'd probably never think about money again.......

But again this is an unrealistic A/B "all things equal" textbook scenario that's not relevant to my point. Sure, a hypothetical billionaire with no ties to any geography can claim residency in a low tax jurisdiction. Businesses are nowhere near as flexible. If they were no business would exist in Silicon Valley.

Plus even billionaires don't act completely rationally. They don't have to work, yet so many of them continue to. They are not stupid (well most of them). They obviously know California's taxes are high, and they don't care. This may shock you, but there are things that are more important than money to billionaires. Or at the minumum, having their capital taxed.
Businesses are arguably more flexible than people. I can move my businesses between jurisdictions a lot faster than I can my physical residence. A classic example is just look at how many businesses are located in Ireland, do you think that is real or do you think that is a PO Box for tax purposes? It's the latter. You can incorporate and locate your headquarters pretty easily. A classic example is Apple. Their global HQ is in Cupertino, yet they don't really pay any California taxes. Most of their executives are not California residents. None of that is accidental.

You might think that there are things more important than taxes to billionaires, but generally taxes are very high on that list. Another great example of this? Eduardo Saverin or Ingvar Kamprad. The respective founders of Facebook and Ikea. Both of them relocated specifically because of taxes, leaving their nations. It happens at the individual and business level.

Look, you asked if I thought California's corporate taxes were materially meaningful to corporations, I answered with an explanation. Me not thinking California's corporate taxes are significant aren't a full throated endorsement of any and every single thing happening in the state. This is some shameless goalpost moving.
It's part of the overall thought. You don't think people put money first, I am showing you examples of where you are wrong. People make decisions based on taxes, cost of living, and regulations every day. This is why California has gutted their middle class. California now has the rich and the poor and not much in between, while doubling down on the policies that got them there.

There is a sharp irony in you responding to my concerns of America's focus and deifying of the shareholder by.......... answering with a response focused on shareholders. No matter what Facebook shareholders do, Mark Zuckerberg will retain huge control over a company that is basically its own country with its own laws and outsized influence on global politics and economics. I only mentioned his special shares as an example of the kind of power he weilds.
Facebook is de-facto controlled by El Presidente Zuckerberg. He was the founded, he set it up that way, and the shareholders who bought stock evidently agreed to the terms. This is the same argument as people complaining about loan documents they agreed to and signed. Now, do I agree that Facebook should continue to operate with the lack of regulation and influence? No, but that is a separate question from shareholders complaints about voting rights.


I don't know what your background is or what you do but you sound like someone who studied economics, graduated and immediately moved to spend their life in front of a Bloomberg terminal. There is more to the economy than equities and capital. Hell there is more to life than that.
Fair enough. My bio in short is that I was a NYC finance guy, retiring last from private equity and now in my mid-ish 40's living in Nashville area. I sit on the board of a handful of companies, own a few businesses (healthcare and real estate related). I give you this background info because yes, I am a numbers and money guy and I do place an outsized value on capital and money. Not because of greed, at least in my view, but because I view money as the ability to buy time and options for my family along with being raised with a strong entrepreneurial drive.
 

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Turning down entrance into an Ivy is questionable, the payback is almost always there.
That's not necessarily true, unless you are talking marrying for money, then there is value there :)

I will give you the best example, medical school. Generally speaking, physicians who work in more vaunted positions with prestige make less money than their peers out in the burbs or even rural locations. There is zero reimbursement different if you went to Harvard or a medical school in Granada. The same is true when you start talking about people going to great and expensive schools for fields that just don't pay.

Now, law school, business school, etc that is a wholly different animal. If you are going into finance, tech, or law and you get into MIT, Penn, Harvard, or Stanford.... go.
 

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A few insights - as a mid 30s but just now got first fun car.

Social Problems:

1. Young (<25) people dont care about cars. This was bolded early. (new) Cars are expensive and sterile now. You dont need to work on them and cant tinker at home. They're already really fast too. Theres just not an emotional connection
2. The freedom aspect. I got my license in 2002 and remember driving around all day just because I could. My kids learned how to use facetime before they were a year old.
3. Gas is more expensive. In 02, gas was about $1.20-40 a gallon. I made 6/6.50 at Subway. I remember by 2005-6 it was 3-4 a gallon. Its levelled off, but its just easier to uber because of 1-2.
4. The car scene (FF, professional racing) is just not cool anymore.

Economic problems (for the 22-30 crowd)

1. cost of living has sky rocketed - probably a good thing once you can lock in property, but sucks if you're a chronic renter or have to be in a big city
2. tuition - this is the big one. costs of everything are up. Medical school doubled at my state school from 2005-2015 (from 17/yr to 34/yr). Dont listen to anyone who tells you that it was like that back in the day. Overnight in the early 2000s govt loans went from 1.9% interest to 6.8%. Game changer.
3. forced college - everyone feels like they have to go to college and its for the 'enlightenment/experience' - they waste time and get worthless degrees. My college house had 2 doctors, an engineer and a philosopher. Guess which one has the most debt and was picketing the lines for march against wall street and the loudest shouting bernie bro... people need to wise up and get a good degree or go to trade school.
4. the rat race - new TVs, new tech all the time. my wife and I spend $160 a month on cell now, $60 on hulu, 40 on internet. My 65 year old parents were paying almost $300 a month for cable TV without realizing it. It balloons. When I got a iPhone in 2011, $400 of the cost was rolled into the device plan, and it was 70-80$ a month. Now its over 100 and the device is a separate cost. I can afford these things. But most cant and they're spending thousands
5. living in the city - young people want to live in the big cities. You cant get ahead paying $3k a month in rent.

This is not easily fixed. Credit is too easy to obtain and assets are difficult. You must be disciplined. I come from a wealthy family but still lived well below my means for 16 years while college and residency, and now life looks good. And someone on page 6 said that the top .1% yadda yadda, Musk made 100b this year, that will skew the graph. It affects me zero if the billionaires are becoming more billionaires.
 

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That's not necessarily true, unless you are talking marrying for money, then there is value there :)

I will give you the best example, medical school. Generally speaking, physicians who work in more vaunted positions with prestige make less money than their peers out in the burbs or even rural locations. There is zero reimbursement different if you went to Harvard or a medical school in Granada. The same is true when you start talking about people going to great and expensive schools for fields that just don't pay.

Now, law school, business school, etc that is a wholly different animal. If you are going into finance, tech, or law and you get into MIT, Penn, Harvard, or Stanford.... go.

Where you went to medical school only matters for the top of academia. Where you went to residency matters. Academia pays less because its less busy. But the 'vaunted' positions (dept chair, section chief) make boatloads of money, even more than any private doc would ever make. So thats incorrect. Working out in the burbs, you work more and get paid more. And if you've met criteria for board certification, why does it matter where you went? Academic trained physicians usually have less hands on experience anyways. I did 2x the board requirements in residency at a non-academic hospital. And med school in Granada ironically is more expensive than Harvard. This would all change if the supply of physicians is not artificially controlled. If there was an oversaturation (IE law, finance), then it would correct like the others.
 

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Where you went to medical school only matters for the top of academia. Where you went to residency matters. Academia pays less because its less busy. But the 'vaunted' positions (dept chair, section chief) make boatloads of money, even more than any private doc would ever make. So thats incorrect. Working out in the burbs, you work more and get paid more. And if you've met criteria for board certification, why does it matter where you went?
Where you did your residency matters marginally at best. If you matched to MGH as a general surgeon, as your avatar looks like, it means you will be more likely to get an academic job at a more prestigious facility post training, albeit with lower pay. The compensation is almost inversely related, if you are extremely well trained you will be more likely to be able to get a lower paid academic job, if you want it. If you are less trained, but still respectable, you can get all the same high paying jobs since they are likely to be away from Meccas. The only thing that really matters in medical compensation is the specialty you match to more than anything else. A great example, the lowest performing derm in a given match is going to make far more money the the best trained MGH pediatrician.

Reimbursement favors rural/suburban locations because the reimbursement is higher relative to the costs of operating a clinic. Department chairs, Chief of Surgery/Medicine, they don't make the money you think they do, unless you are talking about top 20 institutions. Those are political jobs at that point anyway.
 

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Where you went to medical school only matters for the top of academia. Where you went to residency matters. Academia pays less because its less busy. But the 'vaunted' positions (dept chair, section chief) make boatloads of money, even more than any private doc would ever make. So thats incorrect. Working out in the burbs, you work more and get paid more. And if you've met criteria for board certification, why does it matter where you went? Academic trained physicians usually have less hands on experience anyways. I did 2x the board requirements in residency at a non-academic hospital. And med school in Granada ironically is more expensive than Harvard. This would all change if the supply of physicians is not artificially controlled. If there was an oversaturation (IE law, finance), then it would correct like the others.
Out of curiosity does where you get accepted for residency (particularly as it relates to top level residency programs in competitive specialties) have any bearing on where you went to medical school or is it 100% based on your board scores and how you interview at various programs?
 

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3. forced college - everyone feels like they have to go to college and its for the 'enlightenment/experience' - they waste time and get worthless degrees. My college house had 2 doctors, an engineer and a philosopher. Guess which one has the most debt and was picketing the lines for march against wall street and the loudest shouting bernie bro... people need to wise up and get a good degree or go to trade school.
As a philosophy major, I feel like I need to defend the honor of the philosophy degree. No, you probably aren't going to graduate with a degree in philosophy and immediately get a high buck job with nothing else (unless you go to an elite school and set yourself up for banking or management consulting), but philosophy can be a perfectly good foundation if you were always planning on graduate school or have ambitions that don't necessarily require a degree in anything specific. I know people in my philosophy programs who are lawyers, physicians, and leading development teams at FAANG. None I know of are "Bernie bros", deeply in debt, or participating in picketing lines.
 

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As a philosophy major, I feel like I need to defend the honor of the philosophy degree. No, you probably aren't going to graduate with a degree in philosophy and immediately get a high buck job with nothing else (unless you go to an elite school and set yourself up for banking or management consulting), but philosophy can be a perfectly good foundation if you were always planning on graduate school or have ambitions that don't necessarily require a degree in anything specific. I know people in my philosophy programs who are lawyers, physicians, and leading development teams at FAANG. None I know of are "Bernie bros", deeply in debt, today, or participating in picketing lines.
yeah that’s fair, my sister got her undergrad in sociology because she was going to law school and just needed good grades. Her undergrad was paid for through scholarships and my parents, but she’s got high 5/low 6 figures of debt from law school. She works for the feds though so those will be forgiven in a few more years. So all works out for her, but she’d be the first to say none of that is guaranteed; don’t make it into law school and you’ve got a degree that’s basically worthless. I hate the idea of planning a degree at age 18 that requires grad school because that’s an awful lot of assumptions that need to lineup and life may change dramatically over that 7-8 year period while executing that plan.
 

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Fair enough. My bio in short is that I was a NYC finance guy, retiring last from private equity and now in my mid-ish 40's living in Nashville area. I sit on the board of a handful of companies, own a few businesses (healthcare and real estate related).
bave, with all due respect, your stated background, from where you began, to where you are now, is not accessible to most people. not in the slightest.

your viewpoints are colored by your own experience, as everyone’s are. i see where you’re coming from and agree, yes, the world as we know it is a numbers game, and you have to know the rules to play it. only then can you even have a chance at ‘winning’.

the problem I have with your viewpoints is you project them as universal, true, and absolute. the rules of the game you learned, played, and continue to play have historically been written to exclude entire demographics (from religion, to class, to birthright, to country of origin, gender, sexual identity, race, disabilities, pre-existing health conditions, etc). that exclusive rulemaking was designed to benefit a very specific type of person, at the cost of nearly everyone else (including people who perfectly meet the preferred demographic, but are dragged down by the externalities of exclusion & repression).

have empathy. the world is not 8 billion individuals with 8 billion examples of individual autonomy and sovereignty and agency.
 

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Now, law school, business school, etc that is a wholly different animal. If you are going into finance, tech, or law and you get into MIT, Penn, Harvard, or Stanford.... go.
I'd have to assume this is particularly important if you plan for a career in politics.
 

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A few insights - as a mid 30s but just now got first fun car.

Social Problems:

1. Young (<25) people dont care about cars. This was bolded early. (new) Cars are expensive and sterile now. You dont need to work on them and cant tinker at home. They're already really fast too. Theres just not an emotional connection
2. The freedom aspect. I got my license in 2002 and remember driving around all day just because I could. My kids learned how to use facetime before they were a year old.
3. Gas is more expensive. In 02, gas was about $1.20-40 a gallon. I made 6/6.50 at Subway. I remember by 2005-6 it was 3-4 a gallon. Its levelled off, but its just easier to uber because of 1-2.
4. The car scene (FF, professional racing) is just not cool anymore.
This is why Fisker, Inc has developed the "Flexee" lease for their 2022 Fisker Ocean. They see the desires of young drivers. So they offer:
1) all electric car
2) a lease offering 30K miles a year (no worries)
3) You can turn in the car any time you want and the lease is over (no term)
4) $379 a month
5) Insurance and service included (freedom)
5) Recycled materials, for example: the carpets are made from plastic pulled out of the ocean. (emotional connection)

So it is basically a subscription. The only factor that keeps the lessee in the deal is that there is a $3000 down payment, so you have no incentive to just turn it in after a few months or a year. But still, take it for as long as you want
 

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bave, with all due respect, your stated background, from where you began, to where you are now, is not accessible to most people. not in the slightest.

your viewpoints are colored by your own experience, as everyone’s are. i see where you’re coming from and agree, yes, the world as we know it is a numbers game, and you have to know the rules to play it. only then can you even have a chance at ‘winning’.

the problem I have with your viewpoints is you project them as universal, true, and absolute. the rules of the game you learned, played, and continue to play have historically been written to exclude entire demographics (from religion, to class, to birthright, to country of origin, gender, sexual identity, race, disabilities, pre-existing health conditions, etc). that exclusive rulemaking was designed to benefit a very specific type of person, at the cost of nearly everyone else (including people who perfectly meet the preferred demographic, but are dragged down by the externalities of exclusion & repression).

have empathy. the world is not 8 billion individuals with 8 billion examples of individual autonomy and sovereignty and agency.
 

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yeah that’s fair, my sister got her undergrad in sociology because she was going to law school and just needed good grades. Her undergrad was paid for through scholarships and my parents, but she’s got high 5/low 6 figures of debt from law school. She works for the feds though so those will be forgiven in a few more years. So all works out for her, but she’d be the first to say none of that is guaranteed; don’t make it into law school and you’ve got a degree that’s basically worthless. I hate the idea of planning a degree at age 18 that requires grad school because that’s an awful lot of assumptions that need to lineup and life may change dramatically over that 7-8 year period while executing that plan.
A friend's ex was in law school with six figure debt but her plan was to do low paying, altruistic work on graduation. It didn't make any sense to me. Around here the starting salary for lawyers is bad enough as it is without doing that, and you have to grind for a few years to make six figures.
 

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A friend's ex was in law school with six figure debt but her plan was to do low paying, altruistic work on graduation. It didn't make any sense to me. Around here the starting salary for lawyers is bad enough as it is without doing that, and you have to grind for a few years to make six figures.
My sister did biglaw for ~1 year and hated it. She isn’t driven by money so she didn’t really need the prestige or salary. She found out real fast when you make $175k/yr right out of law school they own your ass 24/7.
So now she’s a Fed, probably makes +/- $150k 10 years later in HCOL DC, but she works closer to 40-50 hrs/wk than 100, and doesn’t hate life. She does point out every year that her BigLaw class is getting their bonus and it’s some multiple of her salary though.
 

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A friend's ex was in law school with six figure debt but her plan was to do low paying, altruistic work on graduation. It didn't make any sense to me. Around here the starting salary for lawyers is bad enough as it is without doing that, and you have to grind for a few years to make six figures.
There are pretty decent loan forgiveness programs available to graduates who do altruistic work (some schools supplement government programs). But it's hardly a road to riches.

Starting salary for lawyers outside the public sector are very bimodal. You either make 190k to start or less than 60k, with not a lot of jobs paying in between those extremes. Most graduates end up in the lower mode if they did not attend a top 14-20ish law school. As the real stack mentioned, those biglaw jobs paying 190k are generally brutal on 24/7 gigs, but most grads treat it like a residency. They do it for a few years and then jump ship to a more sane job that pays reasonably well, but generally less than biglaw. Also worth mentioning that Canadian salaries are generally lower, even at the big firms.

I was lucky enough to find a gig in-house at a company that really wasn't much of a paycut at all from biglaw after taxes taken into account (went from NYC state/city income taxes to none with much better access to tax advantaged retirement accounts).
 

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bave, with all due respect, your stated background, from where you began, to where you are now, is not accessible to most people. not in the slightest.

your viewpoints are colored by your own experience, as everyone’s are. i see where you’re coming from and agree, yes, the world as we know it is a numbers game, and you have to know the rules to play it. only then can you even have a chance at ‘winning’.

the problem I have with your viewpoints is you project them as universal, true, and absolute. the rules of the game you learned, played, and continue to play have historically been written to exclude entire demographics (from religion, to class, to birthright, to country of origin, gender, sexual identity, race, disabilities, pre-existing health conditions, etc). that exclusive rulemaking was designed to benefit a very specific type of person, at the cost of nearly everyone else (including people who perfectly meet the preferred demographic, but are dragged down by the externalities of exclusion & repression).

have empathy. the world is not 8 billion individuals with 8 billion examples of individual autonomy and sovereignty and agency.
Which demographics have been excluded?
 

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bave, with all due respect, your stated background, from where you began, to where you are now, is not accessible to most people. not in the slightest.

your viewpoints are colored by your own experience, as everyone’s are. i see where you’re coming from and agree, yes, the world as we know it is a numbers game, and you have to know the rules to play it. only then can you even have a chance at ‘winning’.

the problem I have with your viewpoints is you project them as universal, true, and absolute. the rules of the game you learned, played, and continue to play have historically been written to exclude entire demographics (from religion, to class, to birthright, to country of origin, gender, sexual identity, race, disabilities, pre-existing health conditions, etc). that exclusive rulemaking was designed to benefit a very specific type of person, at the cost of nearly everyone else (including people who perfectly meet the preferred demographic, but are dragged down by the externalities of exclusion & repression).

have empathy. the world is not 8 billion individuals with 8 billion examples of individual autonomy and sovereignty and agency.
I agree that everyone comes at things from a different set of experiences, that doesn't however change the rules to success. Some of your prerequisites did exist in previous times, but today I don't see many of the things you reference as impediments to success as being applicable by and large. Now, granted, if you grow up poor with bad role models in a bad environment yes that is a major problem and a major disadvantage. My wife is a first generation, non-white immigrant who came to this country knowing zero english and to a poor family. She went on to become a sub-specialist physician with many of the disadvantages you reference. One of my best friends had a similar story as a cuban refugee, grew up in the projects of Harlem and is now a triple-ivy trained neurosurgeon. Are certain paths easier? Absolutely. I understand and accept the fact that some people have easier roads and success comes easier because of a lack or lesser degree of obstacles, but a lot of that just isn't there any more.

However that doesn't change my point that you can be perfectly successful in a very solidly middle class life by following a pretty basic plan and not particularly exclusionary. Now, if you want to show up to an interview with purple hair, face tattoos, and a set of non-binary pronouns, then you are going to have a hard time in life as a whole.


I'd have to assume this is particularly important if you plan for a career in politics.
I really couldn't say honestly. I think often having an exceptional pedigree hurts with a large voter segment. A lot of people look down on someone who is remarkably successful or well educated. Ben Carson comes to mind. I think being a politician is more about appearing to be a person of the people and convincing people that you share their values and vision while caring for them. True? Who knows, but that's the game. A solid military record gets you a lot of votes. Bush the 1st, Dole, McCain, Kerry, Duckworth, Crenshaw etc.
 

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Starting salary for lawyers outside the public sector are very bimodal. You either make 190k to start or less than 60k, with not a lot of jobs paying in between those extremes. Most graduates end up in the lower mode if they did not attend a top 14-20ish law school. As the real stack mentioned, those biglaw jobs paying 190k are generally brutal on 24/7 gigs, but most grads treat it like a residency.
^This.

A lot of people think lawyers make tons of money. The best ones do, like anything else. The average lawyer is sitting around arguing DUIs and writing wills for 70k a year. Law is a classic example of a situation where if you don't have a connection (ie: dad's firm) or going to a top-25 program, you should probably reconsider.
 
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