Marshmallow Test: Want to teach your kids self-control? Ask a Cameroonian farmer. Now for the first time, there’s a study reporting on what happens when psychologists give the marshmallow test to kids outside Western culture, specifically 4-year-old children from the ethnic group Nso in Cameroon. Compared to German children in the experiment, the Cameroonian kids waited, on average, twice as long for the second treat. And way more Cameroonian kids — nearly 70% — waited the full 10 minutes to snag the second marshmallow. Only about 30% of the German kids could hold out.
What to Tell Your Ultra-Rich Kids about Money: Money is the last taboo. People will tell you about their sex life before they will talk about money. Such is the dichotomy for the ultra-wealthy as they work to strike a balance. They want to live well, but they don’t want to spoil their children. They want their kids to be well-adjusted and advantaged, but they don’t want them to lack ambition. Wealthy people on both sides of the equation — the wealth creators and the heirs — often consider it gauche to even discuss money. Some are embarrassed by it.
“What I make a point to do when all my kids have just turned 18 is visit our estate attorney in Richmond who my dad and now me have done business with for 28 years.”
All three children have attended public schools, and all work at the company starting at 11 or 12. They also must work outside the company after college, so they “learn what you have to do to make $100,000 a year.”
“Each child has a small trust set up when they were born that will mature in stages when they graduate from college, turn 30 and, finally, turn 35.”
VANISHING MALE WORKER: Working, in America, is in decline. The share of prime-age men — those 25 to 54 years old — who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s, to 16%.
Deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working: the availability of federal disability benefits; the decline of marriage, which means fewer men provide for children; and the rise of the Internet, which has reduced the isolation of unemployment.
It has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs. Foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs in which high school graduates once could earn $40 an hour, or more.
The poll found that 85% of prime-age men without jobs do not have bachelor’s degrees. And 34% said they had criminal records, making it hard to find any work.
It’s good to be the boss: Being a manager is the most common job from the 70th percentile up to the 99th.
Doctors and lawyers are only found in the top two brackets. (There’s a reason our grandmothers wanted us to go to med school or law school.)
Sales supervisors are well-represented across all groups. It’s a broad job title that applies to people making as little as $12,000 a year all the way up to six figures.
Data from 2012, adjusted for inflation. Source: IPUMS-USA, University of Minnesota; American Community Survey Credit: Quoctrung Bui/NPR
DC MOST EXPENSIVE CITY: Wait a second – is D.C. really #1 in housing costs? More than NY? Yes. Washingtonians spend more on housing and related expenses (utilities, furnishings and equipment) than New Yorkers and San Franciscans.
San Francisco, CA
New York, NY
San Diego, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Most expensive cities to live in the United States (Credit: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
TALE OF TWO SCHOOLS: Fieldston and University Heights are in the same borough but worlds apart. How much understanding between their students can a well-told story bring? University Heights High School is on St. Anns Avenue in the South Bronx, which is part of the poorest congressional district in America, according to the Census Bureau. Six miles away is the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, with its arched stone entrance and celebrities’ children and $43,000-a-year tuition.
Amy: “It’s only my mom and me, and my mother breaks her back to pay bills so we’ll be able to live a decent life. It just makes me want to have two jobs instead of one so she could stop working. I know I can’t do that, though, so I constantly think about college and my career and how much money I’ll make so she can finally stop working. I just want to make her life easier and thank her for supporting me on her own.”
Juliet: “We’re trained from a very young age to search for clues about money in the slightest details. And, of course, money matters. It would be untrue to say we spent an afternoon telling each other’s stories and ‘got past that whole difference in class thing.’ But when you tell someone’s story, that’s something precious, and you have to take care of it, you have to take care of them. Afterward, as my partner was making me laugh during all the ‘serious face’ photos, I was really grateful that he had taken as much care with my story as I tried to with his.”
Tale of Two Schools: Johnny Rivera. University Heights. Age 18, Grade 12 & Adam Ettelbrick, Fieldston, Age 17, Grade 11 (NYTIMES)
WHY IS IT HARDER TO GET INTO IVIES? One overlooked factor is that top colleges are admitting fewer American students than they did a generation ago. Colleges have globalized over that time, deliberately increasing the share of their student bodies that come from overseas and leaving fewer slots for applicants from the United States.
For American teenagers, it really is harder to get into Harvard — or Yale, Stanford, Brown, Boston College or many other elite colleges — than it was when today’s 40-year-olds or 50-year-olds were applying. The number of spots filled by American students at Harvard, after adjusting for the size of the teenage population nationwide, has dropped 27 percent since 1994. At Yale and Dartmouth, the decline has been 24 percent. At Carleton, it’s 22 percent. At Notre Dame and Princeton, it is 14 percent.
This globalization obviously brings some big benefits. It has exposed American students to perspectives that our proudly parochial country often does not provide in childhood.
The rise in foreign students has complicated the colleges’ stated efforts to make their classes more economically diverse. Foreign students often receive scant financial aid and tend to be from well-off families.
After decades of being dominated by male students coming from a narrow network of prep schools, these schools have become a patchwork of diversity — gender, race, religion and now geography. Underneath the surface, though, that patchwork still has some common threads.
Ivy League College Spots for American Students (NYTIMES)