Noah denkt™ - The Power of Balanced Reasoning
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The stark reality of middle class jobs
Press clippings on the plight of the well-educated and not so well-educated in the age of global and digital
competition, published on Aug. 2, 2016
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It is no secret that the digital and global free market is creating a reality that has everyone with his or her back
to the wall. No matter whether you are rich, poor, high up in the ranks or down under the bridge, chances are
that you are exceedingly exhausted and barely scraping by at least emotionally.
Noah denkt™ has touched
upon this many times before. And yet we cannot take our eyes off that highly disconcerting aspect of our post-
modern life. After all, it is quite likely that there is something seriously unsustainable going on here. As long
though as we do not have a workable answer to this structural hyper-stress, we must contain ourselves to state
the obvious.  That is why we have decided to give you here a series of clippings and excerpts on the current
state of various, erstwhile well-to-do professions and industries. We believe that these clippings speak for
themselves. And the sheer number of them is staggering.

1) Let’s start with
the farming industry and a Euronews report put together by Valerie Zabriskie. It talks about
the unusually high suicide rate among farmers in the European Union.

Excerpt:
“…French farmers are committing suicide on an almost daily basis, largely due to financial pressures arising from a
crisis in agriculture. The problem is not just a French one; all over the European Union farmers are struggling to survive amid
falling prices for products such as milk and pork.
While global economic conditions are a factor, dairy farmers in the EU have been hit particularly hard because of a decision to
end milk quotas. A sector that was for decades fixed and regulated by Brussels has been opened to the vagaries of internal and
external market forces.
Coinciding with a fall in global demand for milk and a Russian embargo, the result has been disastrous for farmers, many of
whom have tragically taken their lives. Campaigner Jacques Jeffredo believes some 600 committed suicide every year:
“It’s a phenomenon that is the same in other European countries,” he tells Reporter. “We can talk about Germany, where the
numbers are a minimum of 500, then 400 in Belgium and in Italy there are a lot of suicides as well.”
(see: Euronews:
 Farmers’ suicides, the rising human cost of the EU’s agriculture crisis )

2) The question of survival is not just a challenge for backward farmers though. High Street retailers are
equally affected. Here is an excerpt from an article on the dramatic decline of major retail chains in the US
which appeared on Spiegel Online (
translation provided by Noah denkt™)

“… The legendary US-department store chain Macy's is in a terrible shape. Their flagship stores which almost for a century were
the world-biggest and which have recently been refurbished in the course of a 400-Million Dollar modernization program –
remain an attraction for tourists from Europe and Asia. However, these tourists don’t spend as much money there as they used to
and US customers spend even less in there.
The turnover of the group - which includes 769 Macys-and 43 Bloomingdale's branches - fell five quarters in a row; lately it fell to  
5.8 Billion $ which is nearly half a billion less than the year before. The employees clearly feel the pinch: Macy's boss Terry
Lundgren who in fact blamed low-spending international clients for the company’s stagnation will be substituted by his deputy at
the end of the year. But will the new man at the helm be able to turn the tide?
Obviously, there are deeper structural issues that high street retailers are being faced with these days. And that is true not only for
Macy's. Many other famous US department stores are equally in the doldrums.
Take Neiman Marcus, for example, and its luxury store Bergdorf/Goodman, an institution on the Fifth avenue: Its income shrank
within one year from 20 million to 3.9 million $. Add to that a five billion $ dollar debt which the company holds. According to the
"New York Post" Neiman Marcus is now look for a buyer for its Bergdorf/Goodman store -  … in China."
(see: Marc Pitzke:
Niedergang der großen US Kaufhäuser: Schlussverkauf, Spiegel Online)

3) Now granted the aforementioned cases may not come as a surprise to you. So let’s go outside the perimeter
of the usual suspects and focus on the legal profession instead. The situation there isn’t any lighter. Recently a
TV documentary by Germany’s public TV channel „Das Erste“ highlighted the suffocating and impossible job
reality that
judges on Germany’s low-circuit courts are subjected to.  When reading this you should bear in
mind that it takes a first rate exam to become a judge. Only the very best graduates of ever year in law school
stand a chance to start as a judge. In light of this their miserable job reality is even more mind-boggling.

Summary/copy text of the aired program: In the documentary judges and other court officers talk openly about the miserable
conditions of their work. Lack of public spending into the judicial system, the challenging transition from paper archives to digital
folders and the tripling and quadrupling of case related material not the least through extended transcripts of digital surveillance
leave the courts in dire straits. 2000 vacant position for judges have not been filled due to austerity politics. The increasing
workload placed on the resident judges therefore forces them to work overtime and preside over cases on weekends while their
wages continue to be depressed. Comparing it to the rest of Europe, the remuneration of judges in Germany is slightly better than
that of judges in Armenia or Albania. As consequence there are  more incidents of burnout in the judicial collegiate, higher rates
of sick leave and more and more missed procedural deadlines. As one expert put it: Given the current inadequate circumstances
in the judicial system, Germany would not even be admitted into the EU if it were to apply for membership today.
(translation
provided by Noah denkt™)
(see:  Die Story im Ersten. Erledigt! Deutsche Justiz im Dauerstress, elaborated by Gesine Enwaldt and Holger Trzeczak; ,first
aired on July 25, 2016)

4) Now compare the situation of German lower circuit judges to that of young defense attorneys in the US.
At the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago, the former OJ Simpson prosecutor, Marcia Clark talked about the
business challenges that young attorneys are being faced with when running their own practice. Here is an
excerpt of her interview with David Heinzmann of the Chicago Tribune:

Marcia Clark: “AFTER THE SIMPSON TRIAL THIS [i.e. (attorneys appearing on TV as legal experts] BECAME A COTTAGE
INDUSTRY, COVERING TRIALES BECAME A NEW FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT, AND LAWYERS, ESPECIALLY THE
YOUNGER ONES WHO NEED TO GET THEIR NAME OUT THERE AND PUMP UP THE PRACTICE, GO ON THESE CABLE
TALK SHOWS. SO IN [Marcia Clark’s novel] "BLOOD DEFENSE" THE LEAD IS A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER FROM
INDIANA; SAMANTHA BRINKMAN. SHE INCORPORATED SO MUCH OF MY LIFE EXPERIENCE AS A DEFENSE LAWYER,
AND I'M DOING CRIMINAL DEFENSE NOW ON APPEAL. I HANDLE COURT APPOINTED APPEALS FOR THE INDIGENT.
SO I GET TO INCORPORATE ALL OF THE WILD CHARACTER I GET TO MEET IN IT, AND TALK ALSO ABOUT THE WAY THE
WORLD IS FOR A LAWYER NOW. SO SHE IS SITTING IN THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE BOOK, SITTING IN A STUDIO,
TWEETING, COME SEE ME. I'M ON THIS LIVE, SHERRY LIVE, CHECK ME OUT AND THEN THE RESPONSES SHE GETS ON
THEIR TWITTER FEED, WHICH AREN'T ALWAYS AS FRIENDLY AS THEY MIGHT BE … . I INCORPORATE EVERYDAY LIFE,
TODAY'S WORLD IN THE WORLD OF LEGAL PRACTICE. …

Heinzmann: … -- SHE IS A YOUNGER DEFENSE LAWYER. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A
YOUNG DEFENSE LAWYER … SHE IS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND SHE IS ON TV A LOT BUT SHE IS STILL LIVING A LITTLE
HAND TO MOUTH. JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE DOING THIS MEDIA STUFF DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE NECESSARILY ROLLING
IN DOUGH.

Marcia Clark:  THAT'S A GREAT POINT, DAVID. THAT'S SUCH A GREAT POINT, AND IT'S TRUE. PEOPLE SEE YOU ON TV
AND THINK YOU MUST BE RICH. RIGHT? YOU KNOW THEIR FACES AND IT'S THIS EQUATION WE MAKE BUT IT'S NOT
TRUE, AND A LOT OF THE PEOPLE YOU SEE TALKING ON TV ARE JUST LIVING REGULAR LIVES, OR IN SAMANTHA'S
CASE NOT EVEN QUITE AS GOOD AS REGULAR. SO SHE IS SITTING THERE WITH SCUFFED UP SHOES AND HER SKIRT
HELD TOGETHER WITH SAFETY PINS BUT YOU CAN'T SEE THAT. THE CAMERA GOES TO HERE. SHE HAS HAIR AND
MAKEUP WIZARDS TO MAKE HER LOOK FANTASTIC AND SHE LOOKS LIKE A MILLION BUCKS WHICH THE SHE NEEDS
TO IN ORDER TO GET CLIENTS… “

You get where we are going with this, don’t you? According to Marcia Clark, - and there is no reason to doubt
her assessment -, not even appearing on national TV necessarily constitutes your professional breakthrough
moment. One is attempted to ask, if this doesn’t work, what then does do the trick? It’s depressing, isn’t it, to
realize how far removed that breakthrough moment actually is in the global, digital marketplace. Clearly, the bar
may not be that high for software engineer or entrepreneurs. But for all of us lost souls in the legal profession,
in humanities and in the socio-political field that bar is quasi insurmountable!

5) But let’s not get distracted here with our own plight. Let’s focus instead on that of
young professionals on
their way up in the supposedly glamorous financial industry
. In 2014, Kevin Roose published his
bestseller “Young Money – Inside the hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits”. (Grand Central
Publishing, New York) The book talks about the experiences of eight entry-level workers at major investment
banks in the US. A blog post on Business Insider reflects on the content of this book. Here is an excerpt from
that Business Insider blogpost:

"Young Wall Street Life is Hell ...

Yes, the life of a young analyst on Wall Street can be miserable. With the help of his eight analyst-subjects, Roose paints a very
accurate portrait of the often soul-destroying 100-hour workweeks, tyrannical bosses, and menial Excel and PowerPoint work that
the job encompasses.

I spent my first year in absolute misery, sitting in an analyst bullpen in M&A, taking orders from my ass-kissing Associate staffer. I
suffered through insanely and needlessly long hours, juggling face time, monkey work, and bogus fire drills initiated by an
insecure VP, all while being stifled by an absurdly rigid hierarchy.
(….)
Wall Street is bad for you ...

Not only that, the job can make you ugly and fat. Roose comments on the noticeable impact it’s having on the appearance and
health of a few of his subjects.

This is a fair point. No time or energy for the gym. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their desks. And, it’s not only the job that has
contributed to the weight gain. For many of these kids, it’s the first time in their lives that they have more money than they have
time to spend it. That means whenever they’re not eating at their desk, they’re dining (and drinking) out — lavishly.

Work. Drink. Eat. Drink. Pass Out. Repeat. It’s 18th century sexy — pale skin, bloodshot eyes, a fat ass, but ... a fatter wallet."
(see:
The Official Goldman Sachs Elevator Review Of 'Young Money,' A New Book On Young Wall Streeters, Feb. 20, 2014,

6) Obviously, all this is related to entry-level jobs. So you might argue that entry-level  is like boot camp and it
gets better eventually. If you think like that you should go on
Russ and Pam Martens’ blog “Wall Street on
Parade” and type the word “suicide” into the search field  Here  are some examples of what you can find there:

Swiss Insurers and JPMorgan Have More than ‘Suicides’ in Common
By Russ Martens and Pam Martens: March 11, 2014
“Questions continue to mount over why a rash of suspicious deaths among executives in the financial services industry are
occurring now when the worst of the crisis, layoffs, bankruptcies and bailouts occurred over five years ago – or at least Federal
officials keep assuring us that the worst is over.
The underlying concern is that we still cannot get a clear assessment of global financial risks because of what we can’t see:
the interconnectedness of global banking; offshore banking; off balance sheet vehicles; and regulatory arbitrage where U.S.
financial institutions move high risk operations to foreign locales with light-touch regulators.
It now emerges that there are significant financial ties between JPMorgan Chase, which experienced three suspicious deaths of
employees in their 30s in January and February of this year, and two Swiss insurers where a suspicious executive death
occurred in August of 2013 and another this past January, the week before a JPMorgan executive was found dead on a 9th level
rooftop of the bank’s European headquarters in London.

A Citigroup Banker Dies – Along With Responsible Press Reporting
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 20, 2014
Depending on where and when you got your news yesterday on the tragic death of Shawn D. Miller, a Managing Director of
Wall Street mega bank, Citigroup, you were either emphatically told he died of a suicide or you were led to believe he was
murdered. By late evening yesterday, the story had disintegrated into wild speculation. The New York Daily News ran this
stunning headline, based on anonymous sources, at 9:22 p.m.: “Banker, 42, slashed his own throat in Manhattan bathtub
during drug- and booze-filled bender: sources.”
It is becoming abundantly clear that if you work for a major Wall Street firm and die a sudden death, it will be shaped, molded,
twisted and contorted until it fits with the suicide narrative – no matter how strongly the facts argue otherwise.

Wall Street Banker Deaths Continue; Where Are the Serious Investigations?
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 2, 2015
Last Thursday, 29-year old Thomas J. Hughes, later described by his brother as “one of the happiest people I know,” allegedly
took his life by jumping from a luxury apartment building at 1 West Street in Manhattan. Before any serious investigation had
taken place, the New York tabloids had dismissed the matter as a suicide. Hughes was an investment banker on Wall Street"


It goes without saying that Noah denkt™is in no position to independently verify the veracity of the blog posts
mentioned above. But we know from personal contacts that life in and at the helm of investment banks takes its
toll. Experiencing tinnitus and burnout syndrome are not unusual. And by the way, the same can be said about
the medical profession, about priests, notably in the Catholic Church, teachers and journalists.

So there is no denying that situation even for well-educated professionals is challenging. As you know,
Noah
denkt™ has argued in the past that a structural change in the education system is urgently required, if only to
create more entrepreneurs and more jobs. But intellectual honesty forces us to admit that such a change may
not even be enough to take the edges off the stark reality that erstwhile well-to-do professions face nowadays.
© Landei Selbstverlag, owned by Wilhelm ("Wil") Leonards, Gerolstein, Germany. All rights reserved.

Reminder: Noah denkt™ is a project of Wilhelm ("Wil") Leonards and his Landei Selbstverlag (WL & his LSV). Consequently, all
rights to the texts that have been published under the Noah denkt
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The commentary and the reasoning that was provided on this page is for informational and/or educational purposes only and it is not
intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice. It should therefore not be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to
buy, or a recommendation for any security or any issuer by WL & his LSV or its Noah denkt™ Project. In fact, WL & his LSV
encourage the user to understand that he alone is responsible for determining whether any investment, security or strategy is
appropriate or suitable for him. And to leave no doubt as to what this means we urge our user to also note our extended
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Keywords:

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professionals, burnout among well-educated professionals, the stark reality of
middle-class jobs, the stark job reality of well-educated professionals, even the
well-educated cannot find reasonably good jobs