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April 26, 2010

Comments

Greg Kuperberg

I don't think that stereotypes shed much light on the matter. According to Harvard Magazine, an outright majority of Harvard alumni these days take careers in finance, among those who do not go to graduate school. There hadn't been time to survey the others, but I bet that in the long term it is also a majority of the total.

So what gives? Do you dislike the company of most of your classmates at Harvard for that reason alone? Are some of them perhaps reluctant to go to into finance, but will do so anyway? My experience is that I didn't realize just how many of my classmates would do finance after they graduated, reluctant or not. Most of them who I knew were just ordinary Harvard folks, not "douchebags".

The truth is that even completely honest and fair people who work in finance typically profit from unfortunate economic trends. In fact, they don't even have to work in finance. I met a future very rich person when I was at Harvard, someone who first inherited great wealth and then watched it multiply. He delegated all of the real work to professional investors. He's a nice guy; as far as I know he's no more to blame or praise for anything than Prince Charles.

I totally agree with you that taxes should be more progressive, and not even because of any "douchiness" at a personal level.

Ramsin

I gotta agree. After spending years with party operatives and career political campaign people, I can sincerely say that some of the most cloying douchebags I've ever met cluster in that field. And these are most of them Dems who presumably are doing "good work".

Theoncominghope.blogspot.com

Ha, I love the idea that 'douchiness' can be used to create a net good. But making that happen involves a nuanced viewpoint that is lacking in Congress and in the media, where it's easier to make kneejerk judgments than to knuckle down and make things happen.

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