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‘Work values’

Thank God for the New York Times, which in this troubling era does not neglect to cover the travails of super-wealthy parents wondering what to do with their feckless children. ((Via Brian Leiter.)) The question on everyone’s lips, of course, is:

How do you raise children who are productive?

The answer? Launch them:

So what is the right way to help a child struggling to find a job or a career? Ms. Godfrey said it could be difficult to get children started, or what she calls “launched.”

“A year ago, when we started to do fairly serious work on the launch process, I thought we were dealing with families who had slackers,” she said. “The more we got into it, the more we realized that these were kids who are educated but are having a tough time getting into a purposeful path that will help them maintain their lifestyle.”

She urges families to set two goals: get children living without subsidies and put them on a career track. “Those families that treat their kids’ launch like any other endeavor are having the most success,” she said.

A child’s launch sounds at once more violent and more passive than, say, “coming out”. Is a sprog who is launched more like a space shuttle, a missile, or a beauty product, readers?

  1. 1  Sam F  June 2, 2010, 1:02 am 

    The beauty product metaphor seems closest to the way they are describing it – one launches one’s child as a new venture, some kind of quirky spinoff of an established, successful enterprise – complete with budgets and forecasting and, inevitably, a consultant or two:

    “Mr. Klontz said a good way to help is to pay a career counselor for guidance.”

    If moderately successful, the enterprise generates a kind of halo around the family ‘brand’ – surely an excellent brand image for Mr. Hayworth’s bank, for him to be featured in the NYT as teaching his daughter the value of a dollar.

    To switch abruptly to the space shuttle metaphor, however, the launched child is likely going to remain as an orbiting satellite of the parents – technically separate but likely requiring occasional (very) expensive tweaks. They will probably also end up locked in a geosynchronous position over the country club or summer mansion unless you’re going to be, like, a total fascist and take away their keys over spring break.

  2. 2  democracy_grenade  June 2, 2010, 8:48 am 

    Something like this?

    Fans of The Day Today and/or Brasseye often remark that actual television news reporting has surpassed the material found in those shows for crassness, reductionism, etc.. But if the world begins to resemble The Armando Iannucci Shows, then we’re all in an increasing amount of trouble.

  3. 3  Stan  June 2, 2010, 9:40 am 

    Beauty product or any new product subject to lengthy trials before its development is considered to be complete: “launch” is just the latest phase of an ambitious project. “Yes, he’s stopped trying to kill the cat. We’ll begin testing him on humans next week.”

    Note that it’s not: “children are the most important thing to clients”, but the issue of children is the most important topic that affects our clients. Very unpredictable data. Best kept at arm’s length.

  4. 4  ukliberty  June 2, 2010, 10:15 am 

    Should a press release accompany the launch?

  5. 5  shadowfirebird  June 2, 2010, 10:54 am 

    So THAT’S what the giant ramp in my neighbour’s back garden is for. I had wondered.

  6. 6  richard  June 2, 2010, 5:28 pm 

    Seems I’m late to the party in saying the kids are supposed to be “launched” like an IPO.

    So what’s their USP?

  7. 7  sw  June 2, 2010, 6:05 pm 

    Satellite of Loathing.

  8. 8  D  June 2, 2010, 6:15 pm 

    I think launch might be a more posh way of saying what us in the “poor to just ordinary rich” group might call “a kick in the arse in the right direction”

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