I thought that I was not hearing correctly when several months ago [before the fall of Wall Street] I learned that many of our nation's 'best and brightest' college students were debating their future careers and came upon a conundrum– should I become a doctor or an investment banker ?
Could this be true? How was it possible that students could be struggling over deciding upon such divergent, even diametrically opposed professions? Certainly I was not naive to the economics of such a decision. Let's see the choice here: doctors make a rather good living and try to help people and occasionally save lives, investment bankers……they make a lot of money. They also manipulate numbers, sell securities, take a percentage of total investments and conspicuously consume to an inordinate degree.
In truth, we all have our own personal motivations for pursuing our particular careers. Doctors are no more saintly than any other group of people. But rest assured–with all the years of hard work, toil, delayed gratification and the hassle of contemporary practice……it just isn't for the money.
Investment bankers have recently lost the luster of megalomania as a result of the financial debacle. For the first time, the general public and even prominent economists have publicly decried the absurd incomes and bonuses that are annually bestowed on the employees of the large financial firms. The formers 'masters of the universe' had often believed their own superiority. They would brazenly spend their bonuses on whatever they chose to with an air of entitlement worthy of hereditary lines of royalty.
Ah, but how the times have changed. Apparently there is nothing more humbling than a kick in the ass from the world of reality. The braggadocio is all but gone. The dream of unlimited material extravagance now a cruel fantasy.
Perhaps our college's 'best and brightest' should reconsider their career goals. All of sudden the path towards a career of medicine is somehow more appealing But alas and alack–just perhaps they weren't our 'best and brightest' to begin with.