Monday, November 29, 2010

Parental Backup

A post like this always gets some pushback with people giving their "I lived in DC on under 30 grand with student debt and no parental support" stories which is why I conceded that it's possible to do, but I think 20somethings at the time and in their memories often underestimate the degree of parental support they actually receive. At one end you have people whose parents just give them large and direct cash subsidies, at the other you have people with no living family members or anyone else to help them, but there's a whole range in the middle who get parental support in various ways. You know, a generous cash gift at Christmas. A bit of help with needed car repairs. Paying for plane flights home for the holidays. Parental support also comes in the form of just providing an insurance policy in that if you choose a lower real wage "important" job as a congressional staffer over a higher wage one elsewhere and your career is truncated prematurely when your boss loses re-election, someone is there to smooth the transition to your next endeavor. Moving is expensive too. Some people have a bit of a parental social safety net and some people don't.