Wealthy Whiners: The Institutional Perspective

By James Fallows

Fair warning: this is not a "serious" addition to consideration of the "whiny law professor" syndrome. But I found it droll to compare two notes about the specific institutional background of the complainant. First, a University of Chicago graduate writes to say:  UChicago.jpg

I don't think anyone has mentioned the one reason for Professor Henderson's revelations that would be obvious to any U of C Alumni: The University of Chicago is a horrible place that makes people unhappy. See this.
 
Filled with smart people, but not very keen on the social skills.<<

To which I say: Now, now, now... I taught a writing class there this spring and adored (in the right sense!) the students I worked with. But even they joked about the "where fun comes to die" U of C school spirit. To be more precise: the graduate students joked. Some of the undergraduates said, What's so funny?

Then, an administrator at Harvard wrote in umbrage about an item that I had called "Self-Pity of the Harvard 'Poor,'" because I was quoting a Harvard College/Harvard Law graduate on financial resentments as he had observed them among his peers. From the administrator:

>>I'm sure there are whiners around Harvard, too, but the headline for that post isn't right when the self-pitier [the law professor] is a Princeton undergrad / Chicago law grad. (And from his bio I was pleased to see there's another place that refers to "the Law School.")<<

When I wrote back saying, Lighten up! Using "Harvard" as a metaphor!, he expressed relief and returned to the policy high-road:

>>I hope progress can be made in getting people to appreciate how the growing concentration of income in the top 0.1% is very unhealthy for the country.<<

So far, a tactful silence from Princeton. Back to "serious" stuff shortly.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/10/wealthy-whiners-the-institutional-perspective/63804/