Sunday, April 29, 2018

The view from flyover country

The view from flyover country: dispatches from the forgotten America / Sarah Kendzior, 239 pgs.

A series of essays written by home town journalist and expert on authoritarian states.  Here we read about the shifting economy and the shifting political landscape that resulted in the election of Donald Trump.  When the fruits of your labor is a wage that makes it impossible to pay rent and often those in that situation are highly educated, there is little to keep people from looking for a way out.  In a section "The Post-Employment Economy" Kendzior details how employment has become a rich persons game.  After completing your degree that is historically more expensive than ever before, you can only gain employment by working several unpaid or ridiculously low paid internships.  Only the rich can afford to pursue these "opportunities" that include traveling to interviews and then staying in some of the most expensive places in the world.  One internship at the United Nations ended up in a charity auction and garnered a bid of $22,000.  Yes, paying for the opportunity to work for free in hopes that it will lead to something that pays some day.  In academia, tenure track jobs are being replaced with "adjuncts" that get paid several thousand dollars a class.  Their total pay is often below $20,000 a year but it is the only way to have a chance at a tenure job.

Once I started, I could not stop reading this book but I recommend having something light on hand for your next read because this is nothing but heavy.

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