It has been far too long since I've posted anything real here for which I profoundly apologize. I'm touched by those of you who emailed, expressing concern that the government has finally hauled my ass away, but thankfully that's not the case. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I've been going through some life transitions, namely graduating, moving from Pittsburgh to New York, buying a house, moving it (and my wife) into the new place, and starting a new job, so rest assured I am quite safe and well.
In that time, however, I've done something far scarier - according to the New York Times, I've gone and joined the establishment. Just two years ago, according to the Times, I was ranked in the 50th percentile of Americans in terms of my class. I now rank in the 77th percentile.
Most of that mobility is the result of my master's degree, which places me in the 97th percentile, and my new job which also boosted me up considerably from my old line of work. Also, by getting married, I can now count my wife's assets as my own.
Of course, while I agree with the Times' analysis that these factors contribute considerably to one's class, I'm not sure whether the numbers really mean anything. It's not like I'm hobnobbing with Donald Trump and I'm sure the Establishment really doesn't want to have anything to do with me. It's only a matter of time before someone complains to the FBI that I'm some kind of terrorist for no good reason.
Moreover, in terms of upwards economic mobility, I still rank below my parents so they've only been able to take me so far. The entire Times series on this has been excellent - especially since it's unusual to see a mainstream media organization take on an issue that deals so strongly with social inequity. Too bad it doesn't seem to be trickling down to other media.
The greater lesson appears to be the value of education - most of my mobility is a direct result of my education, which opened greater doors for me economically.
That said, I should also be clear that I've taken a job within corporate America - not a small company, but a household name. I know I'll get a lot of flack for it from my detractors, so I should be upfront and clear. I am not against corporations as I do not think that they are inherently evil or corrupt. Just as there are corrupt and evil nonprofits, corporations themselves are neutral entities whose nature is determined by how they are led. Unfortunately, the structure of capitalism rewards short-term orientation and anti-social behavior on the part of corporations. For an excellent analysis of this, pick up William Greider's The Soul of Capitalism.
I am by nature a reformer and I think capitalism and corporations themselves can be reformed by making structural changes to the reward/incentive system and also through strong moral leadership.
That said, I want to make clear that the transitions in my life have demanded that I also change how I run this blog. It doesn't appear that I will have regular access to the Web, which was my primary access to my blog. Fortunately, it looks like Typepad allows mobile blogging, so I'll be blogging more using email in the future. (This post is being written through email as a test.)
Second, I think that my schedule will no longer allow the multiple-day postings that I had been accustomed to. I'm still transitioning - it's only my first week at work and I still don't have a concrete idea of what my schedule is like. I'm hoping to return to at least one daily post. We'll see how things go...
Again, thanks for your concern and support. I really appreciate it.