I saw this tweet going viral:
All of you people saying white collar work is a safe choice. Please ask some 55 year old men or women what happens to you once you hit 45 or so, and how safe your career path is…. Then come back and share your oh so informed opinions on life.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 28, 2023
“MarshallLane229” is right:
The anti white collar backlash on the right is understandable, but misguided. White collar work is generally more lucrative and safer than blue collar work. Not saying everyone should attend college. But a high IQ person will likely be happier as an engineer than a mechanic. https://t.co/E6vqUc79MH
— Marshall Lane (@MarshallLane229) June 28, 2023
It’s funny how everyone has to tell you how bad white collar work is, in much the same way people must insist that IQ does not matter. What I have found is that things that are actually great, few people go around telling everyone how great they are. If everyone is talking about how great fracking is, then that probably means that the fracking job market is close to a top, like in 2014-2015. But because coding and other white collar jobs have high intellectual barriers to entry, such jobs can never get saturated to the point where everyone can do them and can proudly proclaim on Twitter how great those jobs are.
Things with lower intellectual barriers to entry can become saturated almost instantly and without warning, in which they stop working . When I say ‘stops working’ I don’t mean a gradual letdown in which dwindling profits can still be extracted, but I mean a cliff in which everything dries up at once.
Anecdotal evidence does not mean that much. The data shows that wages are inversely correlated with suicide rates, especially for minimum wage.
I saw 50 year olds reduced to tears during layoffs. Had one guy who was around 55, 2 very young kids with his second wife, fired, all of his stuff put in box and escorted out of building by security. On his way home, he pulled off I-85, walked in front of a semi, killed himself.
— BowTiedBroke (@BowTiedBroke) June 28, 2023
But in regard to the above tweet, all jobs have have risk and are unpleasant in varying ways, but white collar work generally pays better and is otherwise superior, holding risk constant, compared to blue or grey collar work. You may as well earn as much money as possible for your personal sacrifice or risk so you can retire sooner and with more money (like ‘FIRE style’). People too often assume white collar jobs are somehow more risky or vulnerable to unforeseen conditions or changes, but imagine at 45:
Going into the fracking industry, at around 2014-2015
Working in the oil and gas industry, at 2007-2008 or 2014-2015
Starting a landscaping, home restoration, or construction biz in 2007-2009
Opening a restaurant in early 2020
Investing in NFTs and or crypto in 2021-2022 or creating a crypto start-up (prices down 90 percent or more for most NFTs)
White collar jobs, like coding or consulting, seem to much more immune to the ebbs and flows of the overall macro environment. In high or low inflation, good times or bad, there will always be high demand for those jobs (at least relative to other type of jobs). During Covid, the first jobs to be downsized were low skilled jobs, or workers who were deemed ‘essential’ were exposed to the virus. Meanwhile, white collar workers were given the option to work at home with minimal Covid risk and full pay.