The souless generation?

<p>THE New York Times has started a new blog written by college seniors, set to graduate, on their outlook for the future. They seem to be under the impression that every generation set to exit college faces a bleaker future than the last. Stuff and nonsense. As a nation we are getting richer and more prosperous (even those on the bottom of the income spectrum, albeit at a much slower rate).</p>

<p>The young woman who wrote today?s post says the best and the brightest all aspire to be investment bankers (she also thinks they read economics because of this desire). She does not regard this as a salutory development. A generation ago, the most talented graduates aspired to be doctors or lawyers. Medicine used to be the profession associated with a high income and social prestige, many of the brightest and most ambitious became doctors for this reason. Now we associate a career in medicine with malpractice suits and being the employee of an insurance company. For considerably less in student loans, and a significantly larger pay-check, a finance career holds promise of wealth and status. And so the brain drain empties directly into the abyss of the investment world. </p>

<p>This might not be such a bad thing. Now that those who enter the medical field do so because they have a genuine interest in medicine, they are probably more likely to be better doctors. But does this mean a dwindling supply of intelligent doctors? Not necessarily. Women now have a larger presence in the labour market. A generation ago the student body in an average medical school class was nearly all male. Now, at many medical schools more than half the student body is female.</p>

<p>Students whose ambition centres on acquiring wealth are probably better suited to the finance field. The top graduates are driven by the same motivation as previous generations; they just end up in a different profession. </p>

<p>Posted by: | NEW YORK</p>