Opinion

Finances dire for working class college grads

I’ve known for a while that the United States’ distribution of wealth was one of the worst in the world, but coming from an upper-middle class family, I always assumed that I wouldn’t be affected by this crisis. My parents both have very good jobs, and we’ve always been solvent. I grew up in an affluent neighborhood, where financial woes simply were not a part of the community’s consciousness.

As a senior, our bleak reality is looming. I’m still hoping that the depressing results of my Internet job searches are a result of my searching skills and not the city’s reality, but it does beg the question: does our generation understand the impact that the economy we’re inheriting will have on us? As up-and-coming members of the working class, will we understand the challenges faced by our peers and our fellow citizens, or will we simply inherit the apathy of preceding generations?

For all of you up-and-coming corporate hopefuls, let me break it down for you. You remember your romanticized dreams of starting out in the mailroom, and slowly but surely moving your way up the corporate ladder through hard work, dedication, and sheer mental prowess?

I hate to burst your bubble, but they’re sawing off the middle rungs.

That’s what a gap in the distribution of wealth means.

The poverty line? You know that thing your parents either hoped you’d avoid or dreaded you’d hit? The formula of which, coincidentally, was conceived and last updated in the 1950s, and is therefore severely outdated? Last I checked, the line was at $18,000 per year. Working full time at 40 hours per week for a year, or about 52 weeks, you’ll have to earn $8.65 per hour to hit the poverty line. Although if you want to survive, you’ll have to at least earn a living wage. The living wage in Miami-Dade County is $10.56 with benefits, and it’s over $12 without benefits. And entry-level positions simply do not pay that much.

Financial solvency is becoming a distant memory of the working class in Miami, and given that most of us will be part of the working class within the next few years, maybe we should take heed. Per capita, Miami is at the poverty line-and that’s using census data, which basically means that that statistic assumes that there are no undocumented immigrants in the city -ha! Miami is quickly becoming one of the least-livable cities in the country, which is terrible, because I love the city and it’d be nice to be able to live here after graduation. Thanks a lot, business community.

Quite frankly, here in Miami, something’s got to give, and my hope is that it will be more than just a free hot meal. Most of Miami’s powerful don’t seem to get it. Their Nash-equilibrium approach (remember “A Beautiful Mind”-the “pretty blond in the group at the bar” theory) to wages and prices has imprisoned not just their employees, but the city itself, and as we near graduation, the soap’s about to drop.

Bethany Quinn is a senior majoring in Latin American studies and photography. She may be contacted at b.quinn2@umiami.edu

March 6, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

If he hasn’t made it already, Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt has a defining decision to ponder in ...

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

The N’Kosi Perry era is here. Whether it’s here to stay is yet to be seen. The fans got what they wa ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s 31-17 win against FIU on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium: ▪ Credit Mark Richt ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

A year after UPup’s founding father met his match, the service club is realizing its goal of becomin ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

The Miami Hurricanes were one of the biggest risers in both major polls released Sunday, jumping to ...

The University of Miami volleyball program defeated Duke, 3-1, winning its fourth straight match and ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned one of the most prestigious coll ...

The season-opening, three-day Miami Fall Invite wrapped up Sunday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center a ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.