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Is The Great Recession Forcing Graduates Of Elite Colleges Into A Desperate Life Of Rockstardom?

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Is The Great Recession Forcing Graduates Of Elite Colleges Into A Desperate Life Of Rockstardom?"

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As we saw yesterday, the recession’s bite has been broad, including on the earnings of recent college graduates. But this seems to be going a bit far:

Likewise, Amy Klein, who graduated from Harvard in 2007 with a degree in English literature, couldn’t find a job in publishing. At one point, she had applied for an editorial-assistant job at Gourmet magazine. Less than two weeks later, Condé Nast shut down that 68- year-old magazine. “So much for that job application,” said Ms. Klein, now 26.

One night she bumped into a friend, who asked her to join a punk rock band, Titus Andronicus, as a guitarist. Once, that might have been considered professional suicide. But weighed against a dreary day job, music suddenly held considerable appeal. So last spring, she sublet her room in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn and toured the country in an old Chevy minivan.

“I’m fulfilling my artistic goals,” Ms. Klein said.

Meet the members of what might be called Generation Limbo: highly educated 20-somethings, whose careers are stuck in neutral, coping with dead-end jobs and listless prospects.

Amy Klein’s not “stick in neutral” or “coping” with a dead-end job and “listless prospects.” She’s a rock star! I promise. Everybody loves her band. She tweets things like “Just sang rebel girl with titus andronicus at a positive force show in d.c. I can now die happy.” If this was a typical story of life in America in 2011, America in 2011 would be an awesome place. The real story of Amy Klein is that America is a large country so even when things are bad on average, plenty of individual people are still enjoying success and upward mobility.

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