by Mary Strayhorne
To be clear, I grew up within a solid middle class family. My father was a lawyer who spent most of his career as a workers’ compensation attorney for hard working, often blue collar clients. My mother was a high school educated real estate paralegal–with a few college credits under her belt–who worked her tail off for over 20 years for attorneys until she went out on her own to form a title company. My parents worked their butts off. I know, my brother and I were latchkey kids in the 80’s and 90’s, born and raised in the DC suburbs. Never rich, sometimes well off, sometimes not so well off and at the mercy of market forces we could not control ourselves. We make good Marx ideology candidates. Keep reading.
I spent the first 15 years of my post-public high school life working and earning four degrees: an associates, a bachelors, a Juris Doctor, and, finally, a Master of Laws. I also have over $300,000 in student loan debt. Yes, it is blood curdling. So, you bet your ass, I paid attention in class and worked my tail off too.
I emerged ready and willing to hit the ground running, only to find that my education no longer holds the same market value it did when I was sold the idea of more degrees. I had educated myself out of the market entirely.
After all that hard work, with crippling student loans to pay back, and not one response to a single resume in 6 months (not one in dozens of applications), to say I was livid would be an understatement. What has become the ultimate equalizer now? Technology. In my case, likely a poorly designed job applicant algorithm.
So, I did what any over-educated and underemployed person would do, I sat and thought, tried to figure out where it all went wrong. I spent months thinking I did something wrong, that I used poor judgment, that I was wrong somehow. I played through all scenarios and kept landing on the same question mark: ‘wait, so when did life become fair enough so that everyone gets a trophy for just showing up?’
No. You dear sweet idealistic people brought up with privilege and self-esteem, life is not fair. If you disagree, then I point you to the ISIS crisis. Do you think they or their victims find life fair? But I digress.
For now, I point my critical finger at Karl Marx and I begin my analysis on him. If you don’t know who he is, I’m sure you are well-versed in Wikipedia, though I urge you to spend time to review multiple credible sources. What’s a credible source? If you are college educated, shame on your teachers or shame on you for not paying attention in class that day. If you are high school educated or otherwise, it isn’t typically found on a standardized exam and I would be happy to explain. Read More