We Should All Be Issued Banjos

by Dave Schuler on February 6, 2013

When I read this article:

From a small Spring Valley factory, the Deering Banjo Co. is having its best year ever, defying the U.S. skills gap and California’s manufacturing doldrums. It has expanded and trained its own workforce and expects to top $4 million in sales for the year ending June 30.

I immediately thought of these Peanuts cartoons:

I think a lot of us could use a banjo right about now.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Icepick February 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm

My mother worked in Disney World’s entertainment offices (of one type or another) for about 19 of the 20 years she worked for WDW. She said good banjo players could work just as much as they wanted to, between park performances and convention work.

Dave Schuler February 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Always something for me to fall back on, I guess.

Icepick February 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Always something for me to fall back on, I guess.

Perhaps, but that information is at least 13 years out of date, the theme parks have cut back on entertainment and the convention business has probably slowed down.

Besides, what would you do with 80 degree days in January and February? You’d surely melt….

Dave Schuler February 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm

You’re forgetting: I’m a St. Louisan. Heat and humidity hold no terror for me.

Back when I worked for Laclede Steel (the other side of the river), my office was located above the furnace of one of the finishing mills. Directly above it. Even with full air conditioning the heat there was over 100.

Icepick February 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

You’re forgetting: I’m a St. Louisan.

You know, I’ve heard comments like that from people from lots of places. They almost all wilt when they’re actually here. The exceptions are people from west Louisiana and the parts of Texas adjacent to it. It’s MUCH worse there, I hear, and I tend to believe them- they all seem to be relieved to be HERE out of the heat and humidity! But St. Louis? Nah, ain’t buyin’ it.

sam February 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm
jan February 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm

How about a ukulele — I have one of those! My son plays it.

Icepick February 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Need to give the Millennials banjos. They’re going to need it

• Millennials are hard hit by the economic crisis—62.9% are currently working, of which 31.2% work on a part-time basis—with potential implications for civic engagement;

• some surprising trends–while engagement typically increases with age, 22-25 year olds have lower levels of social cohesion and volunteerism than older or younger peers. And, while education predicts most forms of engagement, young people without a college education are more likely to help their neighbors on a regular basis.

People like me have had the heart of their professional lives ripped out. These kids aren’t even getting a decent start.

Dave Schuler February 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I saw that, too. Was thinking about posting on it.

The part that struck me was the observation that a college degree is a signal of social status. They just figured that out?! When a bachelors degree is no longer a reliable signal of status, emphasis changes to post-graduate degrees. When post-graduate degrees are no longer reliable, it will be something else.

For most people that nice, comfortable, reliable sign that they’ve made it will remain forever out of reach because that’s what those signals are for—to keep out the riff-raff. Most of us are riff-raff.

Icepick February 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

They just figured that out?!

Well, Harvard was involved. Allowances must be made.

Dave Schuler February 7, 2013 at 1:41 pm

To give concrete and personal examples, I have eight nieces and nephews, all “Millennials”. One is still in school, four are employed and doing quite well, one is just out of school and looking, two are underemployed. They’re all white, good-looking, non-drug addicted, law-abiding, college-educated, hard-working, conscientious young people, two or three sigmas in intelligence.

If that’s how they’re doing, what in the world will the remaining 95% of their cohort do?

Icepick February 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm

If that’s how they’re doing, what in the world will the remaining 95% of their cohort do?

At this point in time, what difference does that make?

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