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Michelle Obama - do as I say ...
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, March 01, 2008

Byron York at NRO brings us an interesting bit of advice from Michelle Obama given in Zanesville, OH.

First some background:
According to the U.S. Census, Muskingum County, where Zanesville is located, had a median household income of $37,192 in 2004, below both the Ohio and national averages. Just 12.2 percent of adults in the county have a bachelor's degree or higher, also well below the state and national averages. About 20 percent don't have a high school degree.
Got that? Blue-collar, below the national average in both household income and education.

Ms. Obama's advice?
As she has many times in the past, Mrs. Obama complains about the lasting burden of student loans dating from her days at Princeton and Harvard Law School. She talks about people who end up taking years and years, until middle age, to pay off their debts. “The salaries don’t keep up with the cost of paying off the debt, so you’re in your 40s, still paying off your debt at a time when you have to save for your kids,” she says.

“Barack and I were in that position,” she continues. “The only reason we’re not in that position is that Barack wrote two best-selling books… It was like Jack and his magic beans. But up until a few years ago, we were struggling to figure out how we would save for our kids.” A former attorney with the white-shoe Chicago firm of Sidley & Austin, Obama explains that she and her husband made the choice to give up lucrative jobs in favor of community service. “We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do,” she tells the women. “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond.” Faced with that reality, she adds, “many of our bright stars are going into corporate law or hedge-fund management.”
First, the seeming out-of-touch discussion in an apparently depressed economic area about corporate jobs. Then the warning not to go there (as if most have that opportunity in the first place). And last, the claim that the jobs which are "needed" aren't the lucrative jobs that might be found in the corporate world (and the engine which drives the economy - believe it or not "corporate law or hedge-fund management" does not define the "corporate world"), but instead in service to the community in typically low paying jobs. That all on top of the complaining about not being able to pay of student loans (as if low paying service jobs would speed that process up).

Talk about a barrel of mixed and inconsistent messages.

And, of course, despite her claims that both she and her husband left lucrative corporate jobs in favor of lower paying community service jobs (saved by the fact that Barack wrote a couple of books which did well), she fails to mention her "community service" job wasn't exactly the typical sort that "teachers, nurses and social workers" can expect, nor was the pay. She also forgot to mention some other income streams:
What she doesn’t mention is that the helping industry has treated her pretty well. In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office. And that does not count the money Mrs. Obama receives from serving on corporate boards.
Obviously that sort of work is reserved for her, not for Zanesville. For them, sacrifice is the word, service is the credo, and that will put them in great shape to become further dependent on government to 'do' something for them.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I have said it too many times, but it’s been a few months, so...

The left in this country is out of touch with reality!

We see the evidence everywhere around us. They advocate healthcare plans that have never worked anywhere they’ve been tried, and cannot be made to work because they’re contrary to the laws of economics. They advocate energy policies that would make a large portion of the citizenry paupers, and they are oblivious to those effects.

The real proof is in the ones that go just a bit further. They tell us the 9/11 was an inside job. That Ohio was stolen in 2004. That corporations with whom we voluntarily associate are a much bigger threat to us than government which can put us in jail if we don’t do what it says.

These are just degrees of detachment from reality. And it’s the reason it’s so fruitless to argue with today’s left, because they live in a magical world that doesn’t really exist, but they insist that we accept their magical world as the place in which the argument takes place.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
It is frustrating.

Elsewhere I’m debating some Obama supporters who won’t believe that Obama is a leftist or that Left/Right distinctions even exist anymore. There’s been a "paradigm shift," don’t you know.

I assumed that the Obama campaign would be supervising Michelle more carefully, but apparently not.
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
huxley, I once read that the most dangerous four words in financial forecasting are "this time it’s different". Somehow, your "paradigm shift" reference made me think of that.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Shorter Michelle Obama: "Don’t go into the career you want, go into the career I think you need to be in. Don’t try to make money; money is for the Special People. Go out and do what we tell you to do."

Someone will have to explain why her salary jumped over 150% when her husband took office. Maybe there’s nothing there, but it’s a very curious coincidence.
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Actually, she’s doing them a huge favor by advising against corporate jobs. Once the Obama team gets done, those corporations will just have to lay them off anyway
Written By: shark
URL: http://
One of the many things which amaze me about these quotes is her seeming assumption that either of her husband’s books would be best-sellers on their own merits, apart from his status as a rock-star candidate.
Written By: Beldar
I find it amusing that all these folks who advocate public service never seem to have anything to do with the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, or any other organization where they might come into actual contact with the ’clients’. Unless it is a seat on the Board of Directors. If they can’t go to fund raising dinners or get involved in some sort of political action they don’t seem to have much interest.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Sooo, if Michelle and Barack were struggling so much to get by before the big books hit the stand, how on earth did this struggling, young, public-service oriented family afford their grand Tudor mansion? That surely took more than a "pair o’ dimes" to buy...
Written By: Dr Bob
Hilarious. She doesn’t know what constitutes a corporation.
Written By: Is
URL: http://
jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962
And she was having trouble paying off her student loans???? Gimme a break! I think when I turned 30 I was just starting to break the 40K mark. And just before my 31st birthday I paid off my last student loan. What the hell has she been doing with that kind of cash?
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Reason is lost on Michelle Obama, " Don’t argue with idiots, they drag you down to thier level and beat you with experience."
Written By: Harvey Beaver
URL: http://
everyone is full of inconsistencies. and everyone would take an opportunity to make more money for themselves and to invest in themselves and their children’s futures. who knows. after Michelle’s debt is paid she will teach or nurse or do some social work. these are some heady times for the Obama’s, but you have got to suspend your cynicism to believe that this is an historic time for race, gender and national resuscitation of our values. if what the Obama’s preach, on many fronts, health, race, education, economy et al does not come to fruition, I fear our national morale will retreat to an all time low-perhaps never to be "recalled to life". I believe the Obama’s understand full well how precariously the nation’s morale and THEIR reputations are perched. this is a momentous leap of faith we all have to take into change. Ultimately, when we analyze our alternatives, we do not have many viable choices. Let’s move forth in complete faith with the goodness that the Obama’s will manifest.
Written By: jonathon livingston seagull
URL: http://
Let’s move forth in complete faith with the goodness that the Obama’s will manifest.
I’m sorry, but that sounds a little too "religious" to me for a political race.
Written By: McQ

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