Maplewood homeowner sees tax bill rise $9000 in error

From the Star Ledger:

Bamboozled: Property taxes soar after appraiser adds non-existent features to Maplewood home

Jerry Auriemma was born and bred in Maplewood.

In 1988, before he married, he bought a newly built home in town. The four-bedroom, 2.5 bath colonial cost $295,000, and had property taxes of about $11,000.

After his marriage, he and his wife Annette decided to raise their family in that same home.

Property taxes rose slowly over the years, and by 2010, the home was valued at $394,000 with property taxes of $18,365.

But that year, the town conducted a reassessment.

“Our house goes from a value of $394,00 to $784,000. Keep in mind, we are in the midst of the biggest financial collapse since the Depression, and my house doubles in value,” Auriemma said. “Our taxes went crazy.”

In three years, his property tax bill went up nearly $9,000 to $27,246 in 2013. That was a monthly increase of about $750.

And money was already tight.

“The town outgrew us financially, we thought, but we didn’t want to uproot our kids,” he said, so they struggled to stay in their home with a non-amortizing mortgage. Fees were expensive, but the loan lowered their monthly payments enough that they could stay put.

Such is life in New Jersey, one might think.

But it wasn’t just general rising prices that challenged the couple’s financial situation.

It was a mistake. A big mistake.

The appraiser hired by the town in 2010 added 660 square feet and an extra top-of-the-line bathroom with two sinks to the home. The Auriemmas had been priced out of their own home — on a mistake.

“I never caught on that something was wrong,” said Auriemma, 60, who lost his job a week after contacting Bamboozled. “Call it ignorance, but it’s now insanity”

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144 Responses to Maplewood homeowner sees tax bill rise $9000 in error

  1. anon (the good one) says:

    unions and teachers are destroying this country

    @ianbremmer: Share of income going to Top 1% in US
    1975 – 9%
    2014 – 22%

  2. grim says:

    1 – Show that to the 8,300 kids that drop out of high school … every single day. You really expect them to be competitive in the global market?

    Income inequality isn’t only about the rich getting richer, it’s about the poor getting poorer, and in the case of the 8,300 kids a day dropping out, they are making a conscious decision to become poor. It is by no fault of anyone else’s actions that they are doing so. The fact is, many are making a conscious decision to be, and remain, poor. The kid that shoots junk? The girl who thought it would be cool to get pregnant in 11th grade? Kid that things the gang bangers are dope? Idiot parent in hicksville (not LI) who home schools their kid because they think teaching evolution will send their kid to hell? Meth heads out in the midwest? Girl who runs away to become an “actress” in LA, because her parents just don’t get it?

    Perhaps we should spend less time handing out gold stars, and more time educating our kids that if they can’t keep up, they’ll get eaten alive, and nobody will be there to save them. America is no longer on top, we’re no longer in control.

  3. Street Justice says:

    The lead article is an extreme case but a good reminder to head down to the assessor’s office once in a while to get a copy of your property tax record card and make sure everything is in good order. Especially after a reassesment.

  4. anon (the good one) says:

    exactly. and legislation and social policy is designed to enhance the wealth of rich, but not in decreasing the poverty of the poor.

    “Income inequality isn’t only about the rich getting richer, it’s about the poor getting poorer,”

  5. grim says:

    4 – I’m sorry, what?

  6. grim says:

    I believe the full list contains 70 discrete assistance programs focused specifically on decreasing the poverty of the poor.

    Welfare
    Medicaid
    Food Stamps (SNAP)
    Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
    Supplemental Security
    Social Security
    Housing Assistance
    Section 8
    HUD
    School Lunch Programs
    School Breakfast Programs
    CHIP/Child Nutrition
    WIC
    Low Income Energy Assistance
    TANF – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    Pell Grants
    LEAP
    Headstart
    Unemployment
    Child and Dependent Care Credits

  7. Street Justice says:

    People who make the choice to study, work hard or do whatever they endeavor is to give it the max on themselves to reach to the top level. And you have the people who get envy and jealous, yet are not willing to put that work in, and they want to get the same praise.

    – Evander Holyfield

    1.anon (the good one) says:
    January 27, 2014 at 7:29 am
    unions and teachers are destroying this country

    @ianbremmer: Share of income going to Top 1% in US
    1975 – 9%
    2014 – 22%

  8. grim says:

    Are you actually able to post a reply crafted from your own thought, or do I need to wait for someone else to post an acceptable response on twitter so that you can cut and paste it in here?

  9. Essex says:

    Socio economics mean more to a kids’ chances in school than nearly any other factor.
    As for American competitiveness? That’s kind of complicated now isn’t it?

  10. nwnj says:

    Teachers unions holding school districts hostage and wall st capturing the political process have done both damage. I personally thing the latter has done much more damage though we’re more likely to rid ourselves of the former in the short term.

  11. Essex says:

    10. Destabilizing the labor force won’t improve student achievement.

  12. Outofstater says:

    Involved parents make the difference. Parents, plural, as in a mom and a dad. The value of fathers in children’s lives has been diminished over the years. Gloria Steinem was dead wrong when she said “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” when the woman in question wants to raise children. Children need men as well as women in their lives. A boy without a good man in his life is headed for trouble.
    As for education, the parents set the tone. When a child has a bedtime story every night, when getting his first library card is a cause for celebration with an ice cream cone, when 100’s on spelling tests are displayed on the refrigerator, the child understands that knowledge and accomplishment are important and rewarded. These things can happen in financially struggling households as well as in comfortable ones.

  13. Bystander says:

    #7,

    Nice sentiment but wealth is this area is firmly owned by old money, not new. Lots of “born on third” types. Capitalism would fare much better if we stopped providing accounting tricks to grow great grandads fortune for his lazy ass heirs.

  14. nwnj says:

    No one said it would, though ridding school districts of dead wood and being able to pay teachers who provide useful knowlege more would be a huge step forward.

    10. Destabilizing the labor force won’t improve student achievement.

  15. 1987 Condo says:

    #12..agree although it seems politically incorrect among the masses…look at income inequality issues by normalizing for 1 parent vs 2 parent households. Standards of living continue to improve for 2 parent households but their numbers are significantly less than say, in 1975.

  16. Juice Box says:

    Grim – I don’t think Anon would rather be dead than red. Don’t bother making points, ANON’S mind is long since made up that we need to go full on Communist to fix things.

  17. xolepa says:

    #13. So, what do you suggest we do with granddads money? redistribute it?

    Now, walk a mile in granddad’s shoes. If you busted your entire life to make your fortune, would you not make arrangements to have your own blood retain it? OTOH, if you knew the state would take it all away at your death, would you work so hard in the first place. If that was the case for me, I would give all the money away to worthy causes. That’s if I had any money left at the end. The accountants would make sure all the rich folks would be dead broke by death. No money to the state.

    Ha, ha.

  18. Michael says:

    17- Well you hit the nail on the head. That is what people have a problem with. The older a capitalist economy becomes, the harder it is to rise from the bottom to the top in it.

    Basically, a bunch of granddads have given their grandchildren a complete advantage over the poor part of the population. No matter how hard this poor kid from newark works, chances are he will never get to the same level as someone born into a family in short hills. It’s not always about how hard you work to become wealthy. It’s all about the opportunities, and unfortunately, poor kids have almost no opportunities as compared to their rich counter-parts. This is a major point that a lot of you miss when you bring up the work ethic debate to getting wealthy.

  19. joyce says:

    The monetary/fiscal policy of this country for decades has encouraged borrowing and discouraged capital formation…. which makes it easier for people already with money to make money. Reversing this policy would be a start.

    xolepa says:
    January 27, 2014 at 10:07 am
    #13. So, what do you suggest we do with granddads money? redistribute it?

    Now, walk a mile in granddad’s shoes. If you busted your entire life to make your fortune, would you not make arrangements to have your own blood retain it? OTOH, if you knew the state would take it all away at your death, would you work so hard in the first place. If that was the case for me, I would give all the money away to worthy causes. That’s if I had any money left at the end. The accountants would make sure all the rich folks would be dead broke by death. No money to the state.

    Ha, ha.

  20. grim says:

    That’s if I had any money left at the end. The accountants would make sure all the rich folks would be dead broke by death. No money to the state.

    Dying broke isn’t a new concept, but I agree that it would become the rally cry for the wealthy (and probably moreso the middle class) if inheritance taxes are ratcheted up to a level commensurate with the kind of redistribution anon is looking for.

  21. grim says:

    poor kids have almost no opportunities as compared to their rich counter-parts

    Opportunity #1 – Get An Education For Free

    Yet 8,300 kids drop out of high school every day. That’s the most basic opportunity. Piss on that, what chance do you have? You have none, zero, zip. Drop out and you are guaranteed a life of poverty with no chance of escape.

    These are not victims, these are not the oppressed masses, these are folks that made a conscious decision to squander the most basic opportunity they had.

  22. joyce says:

    18
    Yes, people can be given a leg up at the onset; there is no denying that. However, people would be able to compete with already established businesses if the bought and paid for .gov wasn’t subsisizing failure (with the “assistance programs” and corporate welfare) nor creating regulatory advantages for them using the tax code and other beauracracies.

  23. Phoenix says:

    The competition. Train your kids to compete.

    bit.ly/1lgUBSo

  24. Ben says:

    I wouldn’t say that a kid from inner city Newark has the opportunity for a free education. Most likely, that poor kid has about 15 other classmates who are hell bent on being a distraction and they prevent any learning from taking place. The real solution is, let the kid who wants to learn attend another district where this doesn’t happen. There’s a lot of opposition to that idea.

  25. AG says:

    This winter is really getting to me. Would welcome a discussion on the pros and cons of a life in Florida.

  26. joyce says:

    “I think probably most significantly from the case we found via testimony from a (Transportation Security Administration) representative and from an Albuquerque police officer, they both testified that, in no uncertain terms, you do not have to show ID in order to fly and that you can use cameras in public areas of the airport,” Mocek said.
    http://www.abqjournal.com/news/metro/22234431metro01-22-11.htm#ixzz2rYxX0MnB

    Good luck with that in EWR

  27. Libturd in the City says:

    As someone who spent a month each Summer in Florida as a kid and who goes down at least once a year, I would say that it’s fine based on what you value and where you choose to live. I know the Orlando area and Miami to West Palm, extremely well. There are lots of old people who can’t drive and tons of traffic. It’s hot as balls during the Summer and there’s a lot less mom&pop shops/restaurants. The beaches are nice, but they don’t have waves and the water is as warm as a bathtub. I heard the tax treatment is pretty good down there, but then again, it’s newer, less infrastructure and government hasn’t had the time to grow down there like it has up here.

  28. Essex says:

    Revamping education into more meaningful tracks including apprenticeships for trades would be workable.

  29. joyce says:

    Absolutely, I think that should be part of the solution. But the economy needs a huge rebalancing, including but not limited to writing off bad debt and making them eat it (and not the rest of the public)… but also we should be spending/subsidizing the FIRE + HC industries to no end. They are at best zero-sum gains and most often negative.

    Essex says:
    January 27, 2014 at 11:21 am
    Revamping education into more meaningful tracks including apprenticeships for trades would be workable.

  30. joyce says:

    should NOT be

  31. Bystander says:

    #17,

    Copyrights and patents have 50 year expirations. The government saw a need to limit their times to enhance competition. Why can’t a trust or other investment vehicle not have an expiration for tax treatments? Gramps would probably work hard for himself and the three generations to follow…but why continue the hoarding of non-earned capital but twitty heirs. Over time, it creates a monetary monarchy rather than supports a capitalist democracy.

  32. Libturd in the City says:

    Montclair, the modern bastion of liberal thought and supposed successful educational integration is solidly opposed to tracking. EVERYONE MUST GET A TROPHY!

    It’s a sad state, but I tell my son nearly every day, that life is not fair and that nice guys tends to lose now, but win in the end. He is starting to get it. I remind him that the world needs garbage men too periodically. I hate to do it, but he’s such a hard working, good kid, like his parents. It pains me to see him screwed, but so many of his friends are either coddled to the point where they will have a hard time surviving independent of their folks. Which will be a problem as parents are having kids much later in life than they used to. His most coddled friend is 9 and had to be driven home in the middle of the night at the last two sleepovers. Pathetic.

  33. The only solutions that are still available will be delivered at the business end of long guns and pitchforks.

    Much blood will be shed should we even decide to pull ourselves out of the Third World morass.

  34. Look at the bloated, fat turds who occupy all sorts of positions in your local gubmint.

    Now, multiply that by all the same kinds of blobs that inhabit state and federal jobs.

    Do you think ANY of them will sacrifice as much as a penny to begin turning things around?

    What will it take to rid us of these black holes?

  35. Watch stuff like the brain-numbing awards show last night, and you realize we have been too strongly n@rcoticized to ever take control of our destiny.

    Life imitates Wall-E.

  36. Statler Waldorf says:

    The “top 1%” earners pay almost 40% of all income tax sent to the Federal govt, the top 10% earners pay over 70% of all income tax sent to the Federal govt.

    Now go home and get your shine box.

  37. grim says:

    Why worry about inheritance taxes?

    Usually by the second generation removed from the actual earner of said funds, the children are such inbred idiots that they blow ever last dollar on coke and fast cars.

    The reckless spending associated with these idiots is actually stimulative to the economy.

  38. xolepa says:

    #18 – full BS. My brother was dirt poor when he started his business. OK, his parents still had a house and some money, but he was completely on his own living in a $195 per month apartment. He is now a multi millionaire. So what opportunity are we talking about here? Maybe in someone’s brains, perhaps?

    People of our kind – children and grandchildren post WWII refugees who were persecuted by Stalin and Hitler have no sympathy whatsoever to the ‘poor people’. We did it on our own. Our parents and grandparents were humiliated and discriminated against after coming into this country. And the worst offenders were the ‘poor’ minorities.

    What sympathy do you want from me?

  39. xolepa, the argument and proof that intellectual capital and hard work trump fiat paper are lost on those who are too pea-brained to get it.

  40. That’s why the dumb-ass robber draws down on you and tells you to give him all your money.

  41. xolepa says:

    The ‘poor’ minorities in Newark with whom my grandfather worked with at Seton Leather company called him ‘dodo’ because he never learned English. Little did they realize that within two years of coming into this country, he saved enough to buy a three family. And he came in on a boat with only a chest full of clothes and family pictures. That was it. 10 years later he sold that building for a profit and built an all-brick two family in Somerset County.

    Do you still want sympathy from me?

  42. grim says:

    If it is so easy, go out and create a job.

  43. bojangles thinks his gubmint’s created millions of jobs.

  44. Michael says:

    42- You are so biased and you don’t even know it. Your grandparents came at a time when it made complete sense to come to this country as a poor immigrant. There were “opportunities” for your grandfather. I would love to see your grandfather do that today. Guarantee that he would not even come close, esp not speaking the language. There are almost no more jobs left that pay a decent wage if you work really hard but have no education. Those factory jobs are gone. I really wish it was as simple as just work hard and you will get rich. Doesn’t work like that anymore. If it was only about working hard then we would have so many millionaires walking around, cause I assure you, there are plenty of people working hard out there and going nowhere.

  45. Phoenix says:

    43.
    I am currently trying to create a job, actually I have created the job just by owning the house.
    Wanted to get some things rehabbed in the place.
    Contractor comes over, talks about how is going to use this wonderful stuff called “rejuvenate” on my floors, countertops , etc. and it going to make my house look wonderful.
    This, with a splash of paint here and there will only cost me 3000.00.
    Dealing with contractors is like buying a fish on Canal Street.
    No wonder the only houses selling are the ones already repaired.
    I think Eddie knows this which is why he is only interested in a creampuff.

  46. grim says:

    45 -I know a number of recent immigrants that came here with relatively little that have already established their own businesses and are doing well. One in particular, no doubt that in a few years he’ll be very successful, wealthy even.

    Amazing the difference in the perception of opportunity when you were not educated in the United States.

    Folks from abroad have very little sense of entitlement. The gentleman above? He possesses no family wealth, no special social status, he relies on no hand outs. Quite simply, he busts his balls.

    Like I said, in 10 or 15 years I firmly expect him to be wealthy, living in a fancy house, with a good number of employees working for him.

    American: Where’s my job?
    Foreigner: I made my own job.

  47. chicagofinance says:

    As a professional who works with individuals and has seen many situations, the discussion here is focused on the extremes…..yes there are the “Born on third base and think they have hit a triple” types….but in practice, what you have is more “born on first base and then subsequently given a running start.” It is really about young people leaving college without debt, newlyweds given the downpayment on the house, grandparents giving children money for their grandchildren’s education, grandparents paying for vacations…….so you take an otherwise average middle manager type, and you turbocharge their life……

    grim says:
    January 27, 2014 at 11:45 am
    Why worry about inheritance taxes?
    Usually by the second generation removed from the actual earner of said funds, the children are such inbred idiots that they blow ever last dollar on coke and fast cars.
    The reckless spending associated with these idiots is actually stimulative to the economy.

  48. xolepa says:

    Michael, I did forget to mention that my grandfather worked at minimum wage throughout his working years here.

    Now, say again, what was the big difference between today and back then?

    Keep trying, I know you will dig something up.

  49. xolepa says:

    OH YEAH, the big difference is that I’m biased.

    This is how I am biased: I went to a high school that was about 40% minority (Franklin HS, Somerset County). Saw black trash, white trash types. Saw how blacks without fathers made out poorly. Blacks with fathers made out quite well.

    To you sympathetic ones out there – what was the percentage of minorities in your high school? Can you come close?

  50. 1987 Condo says:

    #47…my wife teaches HS Math, couple of kids came over from Syria, can’t speak English but are already at top of the class!

  51. chicagofinance says:

    My aunt and uncle from Albania came to the U.S. in 1996. No English. When they arrived, he was 44 and my aunt was 35. Two kids, including a 6 month old. They did not even know enough to contact me until 2004 when we met at a family funeral. He was a large animal vet in Albania. He did not have the command of English enough to continue his work here and get recredentialed. He had a family to support. He works at Walmart. My aunt was a CPA. Same thing she did not have the command of English enough to continue her work here and get recredentialed. She is essentially a glorified bookkeeper. They use her benefits. Both kids super smart and seriously bust their humps. One is an equity analyst and the other is a senior at a private girl’s school in NE on a full ride because of her grades and scores…..

    Michael says:
    January 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm
    42- You are so biased and you don’t even know it. Your grandparents came at a time when it made complete sense to come to this country as a poor immigrant. There were “opportunities” for your grandfather. I would love to see your grandfather do that today. Guarantee that he would not even come close, esp not speaking the language. There are almost no more jobs left that pay a decent wage if you work really hard but have no education. Those factory jobs are gone. I really wish it was as simple as just work hard and you will get rich. Doesn’t work like that anymore. If it was only about working hard then we would have so many millionaires walking around, cause I assure you, there are plenty of people working hard out there and going nowhere.

  52. JJ says:

    All you need is good looks, gift of gab and a big schlong to get ahead in American.

    Problem is 99% of the new imigrants have none of the above.

    If you look at old shows where they were servants, butlers, landscapers, handiman, you will notice the men were six foot two inch type, good looking, in shape, spoke perfect English and were intelligent. The rich folk had to keep their daughters away from them.

    Fast forward to 2014 and “servants” so to speak. Are short pudgy mexicans who dont speak english, poorly dressed and dirty doing landscaping, middle aged chain smoking chinese or indian guys with bad teeth doing handiman work and Fat Beer Belly crack of butt Low class blue collar Italian guys who service oil furnace and deliver oil and maybe work in service dept of car dealership. Rich men dont have to fear daughters runing off with todays servants

    back in day the only thing that separated the laborer from the well to do was their lot in life when they were born.

    Also even with education new immigrants cant always be what they want to be. Heck my two grand uncles came over here without a pot to pee in. Then they had sons, the uncles of mine were six foot two strong good looking born leaders, war heros in WWII and one went to work for FBI and one a cop. One ended in charge of a whole big FBI division and one the captain with his own percent.

    Today not all immigrants are the same as 50 years ago. I had a few MBA graduate students approach me for work. One girl straight As. But she was like five foot one inch, cooked teeth, glasses, spoke broken english, needed a visa sponsor and sent out than you emails to everyone at the networking reception with numerous spelling errors. I had my 11 year old count at least five on one email.

    What am I supposed to do with these people. I used to say send me people who look like they know what they are doing or people who know what they are doing.

    But never send me someone who looks like he does not know what he is doing and does not know what he is doing.

  53. JJ says:

    RE 53 Equity Analyst, big deal. You tell half the suckas to buy and half the suckas to sell.

  54. Phoenix says:

    51 .
    The ability to speak English is not a requirement to live here.
    Speaking in a foreign language while in public used to be frowned upon.
    It is now encouraged.
    Bankers do the same thing when they communicate now, they call it encryption.
    It keeps the fed from knowing their business.
    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/05/spies-dont-like-us-phone-encryption-enjoys-the-spotlight/

  55. Michael says:

    21- Grim, even if they get an education, it still might not work out for the poor individual. The main reason for getting an ivy league education is to network. You hope to make friends with another student whose dad is a ceo and can get you that dream job you have been working hard to get. It’s not what you know, but who you know. That’s the reality of the world we live in. If you think working hard and being smart is the only thing it takes to get wealthy, you are blind to how our society works. It’s much more about the network connections. Sure you need to bust your butt in school and get that education in order to create the opportunity,but in the end, if you don’t know someone, you will never get that job.

    This is why the majority of the poor stay poor in our country (and in every country)…… The poor only know other poor people. If you don’t know wealthy people, chances are you are poor and will stay poor.

  56. chicagofinance says:

    This comment is where you go off the rails…..NEVER is WRONG….you will do well, it just takes more effort and fortune than others who have the connections. Connections help you onto the dance floor, but you have to be able to dance.

    Michael says:
    January 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm
    Sure you need to bust your butt in school and get that education in order to create the opportunity,but in the end, if you don’t know someone, you will never get that job.

  57. chicagofinance says:

    NOTHING is black & white…..and if that is how you think…you are an idiot….

  58. Phoenix says:

    Smart and hardworking does not always make you rich……This one hits close to home. Alpine, NJ, the Alpine Tower.
    Edwin Armstrong.
    The inventor of FM radio transmission.
    “the most prolific and influential inventor in radio history”

    “Financially broken and mentally beaten after years of legal tussles with RCA,
    Armstrong removed the air conditioner from the window and jumped to his death from the thirteenth floor of his New York City apartment.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Armstrong

  59. Phoenix says:

    chifi,
    You brought up an important point– What would you prefer for yourself or your child, an online degree from an ivy league school or the same degree from the same school except you attended at the campus? Question based on the assumption of same cost, same testing, and same actual knowledge acquired.

  60. joyce says:

    58-59
    I was writing the same thing, was even going to use the ‘off the rails’ phrase.

  61. joyce says:

    Statler W,

    Blah blah. I do not favor progressive taxation. how much of the income of high earners is due directly / in directly to the FED, government, et al??

  62. joyce says:

    They used to come him spit shine Tommy, used to make your shoes look like mirrors.

  63. grim says:

    Other point I’ll make is that it typically takes more than one generation to make a significant move in socioeconomic standing. Perhaps that’s something we should consider in more depth. You don’t go from the bottom to the top, you go from the bottom to the middle, and only then do you have a chance at the top.

    While rags to riches is a nice thought, when you’ve got two generations that both work hard, you’ve got a much different story.

    Perhaps it is no longer possible to do it in one generation? Imagine the implications of that. Perhaps some would make different life decisions if they knew that those choices would limit the potential of their children.

  64. Phoenix says:

    58,
    Not always true.
    Some never know how to dance, have their connections get them on the dance floor, and they are still dancing up there collecting a check.
    Have you ever heard of AutoTune?
    No talent, a computer program and a connection in the biz and you are a superstar.

  65. Nicholas says:

    I think that too often people equate a “piece of paper” with “knowledge”. It is entirely possible to complete four years of a college education and know how to do relatively little. Perhaps we shouldn’t make generalizations about people with college degrees and instead focus on those who went to college to learn how to do things.

    We had a running joke in our electrical engineering program. “I went home for the holiday break and mom asked me to fix the broken plug in the bathroom. I had to tell her that I wasn’t an electrician and that I didn’t know how to fix the broken plug. She seemed generally confused.”

    The joke is that Electrical Engineer >> Electrician and mom is actually right in thinking that you should have the knowledge to fix the broken plug except that College doesn’t teach you how to actually “do” those things. The real person confused is the college student who is now coming to grips that they spent too much time learning how to do nothing.

  66. grim says:

    From Slate:

    Family Matters

    What are the factors preventing poor children from getting ahead? An important new Harvard study that looks at the best community data on mobility in America—released this past weekend—suggests a cause progressives may find discomforting, especially if they are interested in reviving the American Dream for the 21st century.

    The study, “Where is the Land of Opportunity?: The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States,” authored by Harvard economist Raj Chetty and colleagues from Harvard and Berkeley, explores the community characteristics most likely to predict mobility for lower-income children. The study specifically focuses on two outcomes: absolute mobility for lower-income children—that is, how far up the income ladder they move as adults; and relative mobility—that is, how far apart children who grew up rich and poor in the same community end up on the economic ladder as adults. When it comes to these measures of upward mobility in America, the new Harvard study asks: Which “factors are the strongest predictors of upward mobility in multiple variable regressions”?

    1) Family structure. Of all the factors most predictive of economic mobility in America, one factor clearly stands out in their study: family structure. By their reckoning, when it comes to mobility, “the strongest and most robust predictor is the fraction of children with single parents.” They find that children raised in communities with high percentages of single mothers are significantly less likely to experience absolute and relative mobility. Moreover, “[c]hildren of married parents also have higher rates of upward mobility if they live in communities with fewer single parents.” In other words, as the figure below indicates, it looks like a married village is more likely to raise the economic prospects of a poor child.

    2) Racial and economic segregation. According to this new study, economic and racial segregation are also important characteristics of communities that do not foster economic mobility. Children growing up in communities that are racially segregated, or cluster lots of poor kids together, do not have a great shot at the American Dream. In fact, in their study, racial segregation is one of only two key factors—the other is family structure—that is consistently associated with both absolute and relative mobility in America. The figure below illustrates the bivariate association between racial segregation and economic mobility.

    3) School quality. Another powerful predictor of absolute mobility for lower-income children is the quality of schools in their communities. Chetty, et al. measure this in the study by looking at high-school dropout rates. Their takeaway: Poor kids are more likely to make it in America when they have access to schools that do a good job of educating them.

    4) Social capital. In a finding that is bound to warm the heart of their colleague, Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, Chetty and his team find that communities with more social capital enjoy significantly higher levels of absolute mobility for poor children. That is, communities across America that have high levels of religiosity, civic engagement, and voter involvement are more likely to lift the fortunes of their poorest members.

    5) Income inequality. Finally, consistent with the diagnosis of Messrs. Obama and Krugman, Chetty and his team note that income inequality within communities is correlated with lower levels of mobility. However, its predictive power—measured in their study by a Gini coefficient—is comparatively weak: According to their results, in statistical models with all of the five factors they designated as most important, economic inequality was not a statistically significant predictor of absolute or relative mobility.

  67. 1987 Condo says:

    #56…My point was that either:
    1. Before their school was literally blown up, their math skills were equal to or greater than ours

    2. Despite tremendous upheaval and communication challenges, they have thrived.

    3. My wife is just that good

  68. grim says:

    That paper is pretty damning:

    The fraction of children living in single-parent households is the strongest correlate of upward income mobility among all the variables we explored, with a raw unweighted correlation of -0.76

    Single mothers and deadbeat fathers – you are the problem…

  69. Michael says:

    58- Isn’t this saying the same thing but in different words?

    “Connections help you onto the dance floor, but you have to be able to dance.”

    “Sure you need to bust your butt in school and get that education in order to create the opportunity,but in the end, if you don’t know someone, you will never get that job.”

  70. Phoenix says:

    68
    #1 Family Structure.- Two leading causes of divorce are less income and less education.
    Not the only reasons, yet statistically significant.
    So more education and more income would decrease the chance of divorce, which would protect the family structure.
    Many wealthy people stay together as it is “cheaper to keep her.”

  71. Phoenix says:

    71.
    So what would happen if Roe vs Wade were overturned?
    Is making free birth control available a good or bad thing?

  72. Michael says:

    58- Off the rails because I said never? Ok, I should not speak in absolutes by saying never, but if someone has not recommended you for the job, chances are you won’t be getting it unless you know someone. You think the good jobs are in newspaper or website ads? NO WAY!!! Getting a good job is all about having the educational background for the job and knowing someone. I don’t know too many people that have a good job and got it without knowing someone. Sure, sometimes a random person gets lucky and get a good job without knowing someone, but for the most part, if you don’t know someone, it’s almost impossible to get that job.

    “This comment is where you go off the rails…..NEVER is WRONG….you will do well, it just takes more effort and fortune than others who have the connections. Connections help you onto the dance floor, but you have to be able to dance”

  73. Phoenix says:

    Immigrants to this country have no idea what hard work is, let them try this……

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2014/01/in-philippines-workers-toil-among-hazards-in-compressor-mining.html

  74. Statler Waldorf says:

    JJ in # 54 complaining about spelling errors is a hoot – there must be thirty in that post alone.

  75. Michael says:

    61- Chifi, answer the man. I already know the answer.

    Anyone that sends their kids to an ivy league school knows its for the network connections they will build. You get into the right fraternity at an ivy league school and you are set. Plain and simple.

    Ask George W Bush how that worked out for him. If his father was not George Bush, do you think he would ever had a chance to become president? It’s all about the networks and family you came from. If you come from a poor ghetto family in newark, you can bet that no one wants anything to do with you. You have no chance to be poor and become president this day and age. Don’t know why this is so hard for you guys to understand. It’s all about opportunities, it’s not about how hard you work. Sure you can’t be lazy, but it all doesn’t come down to how hard you work.

    “chifi, You brought up an important point– What would you prefer for yourself or your child, an online degree from an ivy league school or the same degree from the same school except you attended at the campus? Question based on the assumption of same cost, same testing, and same actual knowledge acquired.”

  76. 1987 Condo says:

    #71..I am glad you found the source doc, I know I had heard about it recently. This is another case of something that you “can” do….and have the “right” (being a single parent)..but you should consider the consequences, to yourself and society…and perhaps avoid this.

    To me, it’s like the bible…you don’t have to follow the main rules, but perhaps your life is less complex if you do….

  77. grim says:

    So what would happen if Roe vs Wade were overturned?

    There would be significantly more poor children, and poor single mothers.

    Is making free birth control available a good or bad thing

    Good thing, both in reducing the number of children born to unwed or young parents, and to reduce the number of abortions.

  78. Let’s control the population by capping anyone who works for the gubmint.

  79. Then, chemically c@stra@te liberal wankers like michael.

  80. This should turn out well:

    “The mayor of Sochi, Russia, says there are no gays in his city, which will host the Winter Olympics next month.

    “We don’t have them in our town,” Anatoly Pakhomov told the BBC in an interview that aired Monday.”

    http://espn.go.com/olympics/winter/2014/story/_/id/10358250/2014-winter-olympics-mayor-anatoly-pakhomov-says-there-no-gay-people-sochi

  81. Libturd at home now that son has a fever. says:

    Michael.

    I wasn’t raised poor. More solid middle class. Shared a room with my two brothers until they got older and moved out. My four sisters shared two other rooms. Parents paid (well technically I did as my folks put every gift I ever received over $5 from birth through high school graduation into CDs) for my freshman year of college and I partied like JJ. I was on my own after that. I had no connections whatsoever at the non-ivy Montclair State College which I attended. Through hard work I ended up doing pretty darn well for myself. The only advantage I really had were parents who valued hard work and education. Dad drove to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 5 or 6 days per week. Left the house at 5:15am and got home at 6pm if we were lucky. No one ate dinner until he got home. My family valued eating together greatly. My parents raised seven very successful kids on a pretty meager salary too. The real advantage I had was that my parents valued education and moved us all into a town with an excellent school system (East Brunswick). It wasn’t a cakewalk not having fancy clothes, or a car, or all of those other rites of passage of being raised in an upper middle-class town, but it made me value things with intrinsic value, not perceived value. It’s funny, because in the ghetto, it’s the complete opposite. Designer clothes, Air J’s, fancy cars are what matters to kids there. It’s no surprise their upward mobility is stunned. No amount of government handouts is going to change this. Education and parenting is the key.

    So are the schools in the inner city still that bad? Or is it that parents that are just clueless are really the cause of the lack of upward mobility.

    I will tell you this. If a kid has the proper guidance, I don’t care where he is raised. Hard work and education can still take you far. It’s too bad that the ent1tlement mentality gets in the way. I had a lot of EOF friends as freshman. They had every opportunity to succeed. Tutors, free room and board, and even decent work study jobs on campus. I only know a couple that worked as hard as I did. They know are all very successful. Why? Because they were raised right. So what the heck did their parents do differently? I’m guessing they kicked their kids @sses when they didn’t put in the necessary effort or when they got into trouble. So how do you propose we fix this? Certainly taxing the cr@p outta the rich to create more ent1tlement programs doesn’t work.

  82. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Chicagofinance [48] That’s what “opportunity” really is…graduating from college with no debt, given a car for graduation, being given a dp for your first house. Not everyone has that available to them. Opportunity is getting a free education opportunity in Millburn as compared to a free education opportunity in Newark. Or you getting a good summer internship at a Fortune 500 company because of family relationships vs a summer job at the Y.

    Not sure how (definitely not by the govt) you equal it out but to think that everyone has the same “opportunities” in life is rather asinine.

    Not directed at you chicagofinance btw.

  83. grim says:

    I got the buckle end of the belt if I came home with a “C” on a report card. How’s that for motivation?

  84. grim says:

    That’s what “opportunity” really is…graduating from college with no debt, given a car for graduation, being given a dp for your first house. Not everyone has that available to them

    Seems like more and more, having a shot at success is a multi-generational affair. If you were unlucky enough to be born to deadbeat parents, shouldn’t it be those parents who are to blame? Perhaps instead of bitching, you should work hard and give your kids the shot your parents didn’t give you?

  85. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    Times have not changed and the same opportunities that were available back in the day is still available. Seriously, I don’t understand what is wrong with the kids in Detroit (or any large manufacturing towns). I love hearing the stories of how their parents were C or D students, even drop out of HS and get an entry level job working in the plant and was able earn a decent living. I tell them the same opportunities exist today, go out there and make it happen but they don’t want to listen.

  86. xolepa says:

    Michael,
    There you go again.

    My two oldest graduated Ivy league. Oldest one is finishing med school. Interviewing for anesthesiology residency past several weeks. The second got better grades but is having a tougher time as it is very difficult to get in med schools nowadays. Average chances: 1 in 25. I also have a nephew finishing Princeton this year.
    Let’s just say I’ve been there, done that. You, on the other hand, are from the outside looking in.
    You are dead wrong about networks in the Ivies. There is not much networking going on as the Ivy population has been sliced and diced into Asian, Jewish, Black, Korean , you name it communities. There just isn’t that legacy lifestyle anymore. Only a few from each graduating class make it based upon the direct involvement of their parents within university affairs.
    Sure, you will meet sons and daughters of the big cheeses. But they usually don’t want to follow in their parents footsteps. Can’t blame them. Different priorities.

    Your statements are so generalized that I would consider, you sir, to be the biased one.

  87. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    I was raised under the guidance that I would have a better life than my parents. They gave me the framework, education, and opportunities to do and it their dream came true. And that’s what I plan on doing for my kids. I cut my grass but I do it myself to show my son what hard work is and seeing a nice lawn (the results of your hard work). I could easily pay someone to do it but I would be robbing him of a life lesson (wax on, wax off).

    However, I know that there are people who want that for their children but don’t know how to do that, let alone have the means to do that. I know some could care less about their kids but I feel for the ones that do but don’t know how to help them because they can’t even help themselves.

  88. grim says:

    Fully intend to pay for my daughter’s education, car, down payment, etc – know full well that I might need sacrifice in order to do so. Parents did it for me, I’ll do it for her. Hopefully, she’ll get the same opportunity that I did … to be one rung higher.

    I paid my way through two back to back masters degrees ($100k+, no loans, worked full time while carrying a full course load) – but if I’ve got the means, I’ll pay it for her (god I hope she never finds this).

  89. jj says:

    How is your son watching you mow the lawn teaching him life lessons? I guess if your son is under the age of five maybe.

    My daughter had the neve this weekend to mouth off to me. She said last five tests she took she got an aveage of 103 and anyone of her friends who had that many tests at that average would have go a gift or at least a cake or something. I said you did get something, I have not used the belt on you once in the last few weeks. Now get back to work before I find a reason to put my belt to good use.

    Kids today.

    FKA 2010 Buyer says:
    January 27, 2014 at 2:44 pm
    I was raised under the guidance that I would have a better life than my parents. They gave me the framework, education, and opportunities to do and it their dream came true. And that’s what I plan on doing for my kids. I cut my grass but I do it myself to show my son what hard work is and seeing a nice lawn (the results of your hard work). I could easily pay someone to do it but I would be robbing him of a life lesson (wax on, wax off).

    However, I know that there are people who want that for their children but don’t know how to do that, let alone have the means to do that. I know some could care less about their kids but I feel for the ones that do but don’t know how to help them because they can’t even help themselves.

  90. Westjester says:

    Re 67

    That is more of a statement about you than about engineering school. Frankly, it is hard to imagine a competent engineering student not capable of handling such a trivial task.

  91. Skool’s out. Just look at these monkeys jamming up the sidewalk.

  92. Anyone alive in Amerika under the age of 25 is being jammed up the arse with the massive, unpayable debt of the worst generation ever to be born.

  93. joyce says:

    Not surprisingly, we have JJ to thank for post of the day filled with the most bull. The day you lay a finger on your daughter, let me know. All your past posts about how you value CUNY schools and make fun of out of state ones… you know you’re going to pay for your kids college’s don’t lie.

    jj says:
    January 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm
    How is your son watching you mow the lawn teaching him life lessons? I guess if your son is under the age of five maybe.

    My daughter had the neve this weekend to mouth off to me. She said last five tests she took she got an aveage of 103 and anyone of her friends who had that many tests at that average would have go a gift or at least a cake or something. I said you did get something, I have not used the belt on you once in the last few weeks. Now get back to work before I find a reason to put my belt to good use.

  94. xolepa says:

    My greatest days of fear in grammar school were the evenings my parents set out to see my teacher and review my progress for the year. An annual thing, person to person(s), teacher and parents discussing the kid. My father would invariable hit me after coming home from these meetings. Even if I had excellent grades, he would still find a reason to do so. Something like me snickering at the teacher or acting as if I was bored on any given school day.
    My fathers typical punishment: being on my knees half naked for two hours on a hardwood floor. no breaks.
    Darn truth.

  95. jj says:

    Why? Make her work. I dated a few really rich girls in my day. Most were spoil brats who would make terrible wifes. But one girl I dated, she worked as a maid scrubbing toliets 40 hours a week to pay for college even though at the time and we are talking the 1980s her Mom lived in a three million dollar house and drove a brand new caddie and had full leght fur coats.

    That girl was great. Funny when I broke up with her the next guy married her in less than 90 days. I painted an apartment with her. We fixed her car ourselfs. She cooked. Heck for my birthday she threw a party in my apt for 30 people. Helped me clean it day before and cooked every bit of food herself. She actually was very suprising to me Third generation filthy rich. Her Grandma was still alive and did not give a nickle to her mother so her mother made all those million of millions of dollars from scratch. Her Grandmother was actually a down to earth lady. Well kinda of. After just a few weeks of dating there is a party at the girls Moms Mansion in Cove Neck, it is starting to snow a bit and is dark and I am still living at home. Anyhow girl calls me up and says her Mom wants to speak to me. So anyhow she says her mother is afraid to drive so can I pick her up on the way since I live nearby. Talk about embarsing. I hvae a dented 1969 Plymouth , mind you this is 1991. So what the heck I drive to the address and is is a huge mansion and I pick up this 86 year old women. She goes we could take my car if you want. I lloked it is a brand new full size SL Mercedes worth even back then like 80K and I am like no thank you. My car is outside it is a little older but runs fine. She looks out window and goes my goodness I wish my late husband was her he loved those cars back in the day. So off we go and I tell you that lady was cool. Half way there she tells me she is happy she downsized to the smaller house in Kings Point, her old house on the water would need so many servants this new one she only needs one person on staff.

    grim says:
    January 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm
    Fully intend to pay for my daughter’s education, car, down payment, etc – know full well that I might need sacrifice in order to do so. Parents did it for me, I’ll do it for her. Hopefully, she’ll get the same opportunity that I did … to be one rung higher.

  96. joyce says:

    xolepa,
    Wow, back to back posts without mentioning how your grandparents were persecuted. I always value your posts, but I find it very (something) whenever you feel the need to mention that. It’s like when a black person says something to me about their father’s grandfather being a slave. It’s true, but what do you want me to do about it now?

  97. grim says:

    98 – because it can be done without creating a sense of entitlement.

  98. grim says:

    So how, exactly, do we re-engineer social policy to eliminate the advantages associated with a parent wanting their kids to have a better life than they did, and making the sacrifices necessary to make it so? From the discussions above, this appears to be one of the (perceived?) primary factors associated with income and economic inequality in the US.

  99. xolepa says:

    Joyce,
    One set of grandparents had to escape from Ukraine to Kazakhstan and beyond in the 1930’s because of the mass starvation. Stalin and his henchman eventually starved 6 million to death in one winter. That was my father’s side. My grandfather also fought against the Red Army during the Communist revolution. He was knifed twice, thrown in jail twice and escaped twice. Was a marked man.
    My other grandfather, mother’s side, was sent to Siberia for 5 years for speaking against the communists in same time frame. When he came back, he found that his wife and 3 children starved to death. He remarried and started a second family. He had to change names, did whatever it took to escape USSR.

  100. joyce says:

    I don’t doubt your family history.

  101. grim says:

    New Home Sales Avg/Median prices set new national records? What bubble?

  102. FKA 2010 Buyer says:

    LOL yes, he’s 4. When he gets old enough, he will be out there mowing the lawn….with a push lawnmover!

    To me that’s the hard part, you worked hard so you can give your kids anything they want and have a better life but at the same time, you want them to know the values of hard work.

    I’m sure the life lessons Bush Jr received from running an oil company and the Tx Rangers into the group because he had the opportunity to do so was invaluable in working in a dysfunctional operation (Fed govt).

  103. Libturd at home now that son has a fever. says:

    xolepa,

    We have more in common than you know.

  104. Nicholas says:

    Westjester,

    I wish it was just a joke or some anecdotal story just about myself. The reality is that my college was graduating students that didn’t know how to do much of anything. It would have been better if they had gone to vocational school.

    I was an electricians apprentice before I decided to get my EE degree. I know how to wire out houses and have done so on many occasions. Zero of my classmates had done anything remotely like that. All of them had studied circuit theory but most could not rewire a common household plug.

    It is hard to imagine competent engineering students not knowing how to do something like that… until you come to the realization that we are not graduating competent engineering students.

    Think what you want but I have felt for some time that I think our education system is failing our engineers.

    Westjester says:
    January 27, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Re 67

    That is more of a statement about you than about engineering school. Frankly, it is hard to imagine a competent engineering student not capable of handling such a trivial task.

  105. chicagofinance says:

    BTW Michael:
    My parents divorced when I was a kid. We lived in squalor with roaches and the LIRR running behind the apartment building. My mom was a secretary. My dad is mentally impaired. When my brother graduated 3 out of 726 from Stuyvesant and was admitted to Princeton early with full ride except $1,000 a year, my dad’s reaction was “let him go to night school at Queen’s College”………he then cut off all financial support from my mom. Deadbeat…..

  106. Funny how no one posts here about making it big by getting some slackard gubmint job.

  107. grim says:

    Snowden leaks more classified information – NSA working with mobile app providers to capture user data. Google Maps specifically named.

  108. Does the NSA get my info when I Google for Katy Perry n#de pics?

  109. xolepa says:

    Lib,
    What this all means is this: How does one go about claiming bias this and bias that when it pales in comparison to what has gone around the world the past century. How many Americans alive today were part of the segregationist past? Why should I, or my parents, or my grandparents be held responsible for what happened in this country prior to us stepping foot or being born here? Does anyone know history? All of the tsar’s subjects, except nobility, were considered slaves of the empire until 1863. 1863. That year ring a bell? Shall my enslaved ancestors be responsible for America’s slaves?
    If anyone tells me that I am biased, I will admit that I am probably judgmental. And it’s not against any one culture, color or religion. As a landlord, I’ve seen it all. The worst are not the minorities.

    I believe that many of today’s commentators do not share my history but hold shared sentiments.

  110. grim says:

    Surprised Obama didn’t come clean on the fact that the NSA is using Angry Birds to spy on people. I thought after the cell phone metadata scandal, he’d just clear the air, put everything out on the table.

    Wonder if Snowden specifically waited until after the presidential statements on the NSA cell phone program to release this new information.

  111. grim says:

    From the Guardian:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/27/nsa-gchq-smartphone-app-angry-birds-personal-data

    The National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have been developing capabilities to take advantage of “leaky” smartphone apps, such as the wildly popular Angry Birds game, that transmit users’ private information across the internet, according to top secret documents.

    The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users’ most sensitive information such as sexual orientation – and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.

    Many smartphone owners will be unaware of the full extent this information is being shared across the internet, and even the most sophisticated would be unlikely to realise that all of it is available for the spy agencies to collect.

    Dozens of classified documents, provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden and reported in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica, detail the NSA and GCHQ efforts to piggyback on this commercial data collection for their own purposes.

    Scooping up information the apps are sending about their users allows the agencies to collect large quantities of mobile phone data from their existing mass surveillance tools – such as cable taps, or from international mobile networks – rather than solely from hacking into individual mobile handsets.

    One slide from a May 2010 NSA presentation on getting data from smartphones – breathlessly titled “Golden Nugget!” – sets out the agency’s “perfect scenario”: “Target uploading photo to a social media site taken with a mobile device. What can we get?”

    The question is answered in the notes to the slide: from that event alone, the agency said it could obtain a “possible image”, email selector, phone, buddy lists, and “a host of other social working data as well as location”.

    The agencies also made use of their mobile interception capabilities to collect location information in bulk, from Google and other mapping apps. One basic effort by GCHQ and the NSA was to build a database geolocating every mobile phone mast in the world – meaning that just by taking tower ID from a handset, location information could be gleaned.

    A more sophisticated effort, though, relied on intercepting Google Maps queries made on smartphones, and using them to collect large volumes of location information.

    So successful was this effort that one 2008 document noted that “[i]t effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system.”

  112. Juice Box says:

    re # 105 – Might as well buy now or be priced out forever.

    QE3 is ending time for QE4 aka “employment rate targeting” How exactly does the Fed create a few million new jobs by the way?

  113. Juice Box says:

    re#115 – Grim all he did really was tell the masses things that some of us knew already and it still won’t change a damn thing. Congress won’t act and there is no going back, the boogeman will always win in your nightmares.

  114. jj says:

    And dont buy him the push mower. I recall me and my brother found and old broken push mower in house when we bought it. Dad had a scicle type thing you swing for fields to cut hay. Well we sharpened that old pusher mower and used that instead of scickle. Later on we got a hold of a broken lawnmower with no bag and rebuilt it

    I recommend you get a milk crate, a wife beater t-shirt, can a of Reinhold beer with a pull top and a nice Belt. Maybe a bottle of whiskey. Snap that belt every ten minutes till the yard is all nice. Soon enough you just look at belt and kids get moving.

    Eventually the smell of leather get them moving. Even your grandkids will be born with this skill like genetics.

    Even in manhattan go to any coop building and look for folks named goldberg, goldstein etc. You will see they dont use the oven, they just get take out, they just wont turn the oven on.

    In no time your grandkids will be mowing that lawn for free!!!

    FKA 2010 Buyer says:
    January 27, 2014 at 3:52 pm
    LOL yes, he’s 4. When he gets old enough, he will be out there mowing the lawn….with a push lawnmover!

    To me that’s the hard part, you worked hard so you can give your kids anything they want and have a better life but at the same time, you want them to know the values of hard work.

    I’m sure the life lessons Bush Jr received from running an oil company and the Tx Rangers into the group because he had the opportunity to do so was invaluable in working in a dysfunctional operation (Fed govt).

  115. jj says:

    Big deal I graduated 3 out of 726 from my high school and I dont think having only two kids with a lower GPA is anything to brag about.

    chicagofinance says:
    January 27, 2014 at 4:03 pm
    BTW Michael:
    My parents divorced when I was a kid. We lived in squalor with roaches and the LIRR running behind the apartment building. My mom was a secretary. My dad is mentally impaired. When my brother graduated 3 out of 726 from Stuyvesant and was admitted to Princeton early with full ride except $1,000 a year, my dad’s reaction was “let him go to night school at Queen’s College”………he then cut off all financial support from my mom. Deadbeat…..

  116. I feel you, xolepa.

  117. Westjester says:

    Re 108
    I guess I misread the post as applying to you personally. I too had experience prior to college, starting experimenting with appliances at 7 and wiring a cottage with my dad at 12.
    I do find stunning the lack of curiosity exhibited by any engineering student amused by that joke when a basic wiring book costs $5 at the hardware store.

  118. Michael says:

    89- When your son goes on his medical interview, who did he use as references or better yet, who got him the interview? I’m sure it has nothing to do with anyone he met in college. Nope, not at all.

    Life is all about networking. 9 out of 10 times a person gets a job from knowing someone. If you think otherwise, you are lying to yourself. The jobs that nobody wants to do go to people with no connections…apply this to any field or occupation.

    “My two oldest graduated Ivy league. Oldest one is finishing med school. Interviewing for anesthesiology residency past several weeks. The second got better grades but is having a tougher time as it is very difficult to get in med schools nowadays. Average chances: 1 in 25. I also have a nephew finishing Princeton this year.
    Let’s just say I’ve been there, done that. You, on the other hand, are from the outside looking in.
    You are dead wrong about networks in the Ivies. There is not much networking going on as the Ivy population has been sliced and diced into Asian, Jewish, Black, Korean , you name it communities. There just isn’t that legacy lifestyle anymore. Only a few from each graduating class make it based upon the direct involvement of their parents within university affairs.
    Sure, you will meet sons and daughters of the big cheeses. But they usually don’t want to follow in their parents footsteps. Can’t blame them. Different priorities.”

  119. Comrade Nom Deplume, Guardian of the Realm says:

    [2] grim,

    In addition to the inner city problems, do you ever remember a time when kids were this psycho?
    http://news.yahoo.com/colorado-high-school-student-sets-self-fire-cafeteria-204719560–abc-news-topstories.html

  120. xolepa says:

    Damn, Michael, you have issues.
    None, absolutely none of his interviews were based on prior contacts. He researched his butt off to find locations that would accommodate himself and his wife. She is a government meteorologist. It does help, btw, if you are first in your medical class. FYI, the medical school acceptances are by a wide margin granted to sons and daughters of current practicing physicians. THEY have all the contacts. He, in this case, is on the outside looking in. Same for my other son. We have no doctors in the family.

  121. xolepa, this douche is nothing but a troll. Answering him is like mother’s milk to his diseased brain.

  122. grim says:

    123 – Those who are high up in the illicit drug business got there through networking as well.

  123. Ben says:

    Honestly xolepa, it ain’t that hard to get into med school. 4 subjects and MCATs. GPA above 3.6 and a score above 30 on MCAT nearly assures you get in somewhere. A little volunteer work or scientific research, and you seal the deal.

  124. xolepa says:

    128
    Aint so easy, pal. My middle one has a 3.8 in Chemistry and 31 on the MCAT.
    50% of the med school openings are taken by the sons and daughters of current doctors. 25% more for minorities. The rest fight for the remaining spots.
    Also, that ‘volunteer work’ is difficult to get. You can attempt to shadow doctors, but that means you need a connection. And it takes several years of volunteering, too.
    My son’s best friend graduated from John Hopkins and is also having trouble getting in. He is resorting to interviews with foreign schools.

  125. joyce says:

    129
    Maybe the short list of school he’s applying to… but there are others that will willingly take him.

  126. Ben says:

    xolepa,

    I’ve been through the process. I did chem too, but whatever. I wasn’t coming from an Ivy. This is my suggestion for your son to make himself more marketable. Tell him to go do some undergraduate research for a professor involved in some sort of medicinal development or study. All the typical applicants shadow doctors and look the same. Very few actually do something to make themselves standout. Besides, they like research better. If he does research, this separates him from the pack. And, when he goes on interviews, he can actually say “I want to cure a disease” instead of the standard “I want to help people” that the rest of the robots regurgitate. And from my experience, professors are always willing to take on an undergraduate assistant in their lab.

  127. Michael says:

    Your post supports exactly what I was saying about the importance of networks.

    “Aint so easy, pal. My middle one has a 3.8 in Chemistry and 31 on the MCAT.
    50% of the med school openings are taken by the sons and daughters of current doctors. 25% more for minorities. The rest fight for the remaining spots.
    Also, that ‘volunteer work’ is difficult to get. You can attempt to shadow doctors, but that means you need a connection. And it takes several years of volunteering, too.”

  128. BearsFan says:

    Def don’t want to dive into this conversation…but wanted to share an observation, drawing no conclusions after quickly skimming this thread.

    I’m a Ivy grad (CU), econ. The “network” opportunities were definitely exaggerated, there wasn’t a room full of alumni waiting to hand out jobs after games. In fact, some of my closest friends had trouble landing anything for awhile (maybe a year), 1998-1999. I found my gig at JPM on my own interviewing for a Management Trainee program.

    What I do find interesting is that last night I happened to be scanning LinkedIn checking out some of the guys I was closest with in my major that I played ball with, seeing what people ended up doing, etc. Of 12 people listed, 11 of them are in finance in some way (private equity, wealth advisors, financial advisors etc), all at big firms. I was expecting to see a few of them having done some things that were…not sure of the right word here (so relax)…just not the big firm/climb ladder track, but rather (entrepreneurs, maybe started their own businesses, etc). None, none of them. (I know half of you on here are the above.)

    Nothing wrong with this at all, like I said, just an observation. None of these guys were finance/econ gurus, they were all just like me (hard workers, looking for an opportunity). We all had similar backgrounds, and in fact, most of us came from blue collar families. But Joyce’s comment above is what spurred me to post this.

    Not sure if this means anything, I’m gonna chew on it some more. Since I always read the threads at night, my occasional post usually gets missed anyway :)

    Chi – time for that beer soon?

  129. Bears, a guy has to be out of his goddam mind to start his own business in this shitpile of a country.

    I should know, having just regained my sanity.

  130. Lay low, and stick it to the man every chance you get.

    That is as good as it will get for the nexxt 50-100 years.

  131. Grim says:

    134 – such is the wisdom of owning a distillery. When I’m driven to drink…

  132. Distilling a nice glass of usquebach is exempt from the current self-employment madness, grim. There will always be a market.

  133. Libturd at home now that son has a fever. says:

    My dad owned his own business. He always steered me away from it. I think it was the health care costs, believe it or not, that pushed him to form that opinion.

  134. Your dad is smart, stu. When I finally folded my RE company, a POS HMO policy with massive deductibles for a family of four was around 18K/year. I had more than one agent who couldn’t hope to produce that in commissions in a decade thinking I was a fcuktard for not picking up their insurance tab.

  135. Fabius Maximus says:

    #139 Clot

    So what’s the quote under OCare? I’m sure you ran the numbers.

  136. Njescapee says:

    Your lead story’s subject I think I recall he was a district mgr at ATT in Basking Ridge. Back about 20 years ago. Hmm 28k real estate taxes and that guy is clueless. Sad.

  137. Fabius Maximus says:

    So the natives are restless in here today.

    The single parent/ Deadbeat dad is all BS. In the republican He11 were I live (aka Northern Bergen County) there are plenty of single parents and deadbeat dads. The difference is the dads still pay the kids tutor bill while banging the trophy wife.
    In the end it does come down to money on so many levels. My sister in law teaches in a public school in Far Rockaway were they don’t have basic text books. While there may a Harvard grad coming out of that school once in a generation, even then they are fighting an uphill battle.

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