Ellen Rupel Shell's new "Jobs" book is my nomination for the worst book of the year.
1.It is wrong factually.
2.It is morally unsupportable.
3.It is racist.
Looking back and supposedly using data from the last century age of factories when a high school degree got one into the middle class, Shell makes an astounding and awful conclusion: "a college degree is worth less to people who most need a boost: those born poor."
Even The New York Times, the disseminator of this misinformation, was compelled to have the two experts she cites write a refutation about the misuse of their research. Tim Bartik and Brad Hershbein correctly state,
"For the average college graduate from a low-income background (those who grow up with family earnings below 185 percent of the poverty line), lifetime earnings are about $810,000. But for the average person from a low-income background with just a high school diploma, average lifetime earnings are about $475,000."
-Ms. Shell compares those born poor to those born rich, suggesting that those born poor should be as rich as the rich with a college degree.
-She discourages those born poor from getting a college degree, which supposedly is part of, or all of, the whole mission of Boston University and all of higher education.
-As any president of a black institution will point out, the main targets of Shell's discouragement are proportionally more black and Latino. Shell admits that HER children and grandchildren will get a college education, too bad for African-Americans.
Thank you to Tim Bartik and Brad Hershbein for refuting this abominable factually incorrect book whose purpose, apparently, is to keep the poor poor and do away with the whole notion of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Boston University should be ashamed to have this caliber of professor teaching.
Baby hummingbirds, photo taken this weekend, born poor.