Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Very wrong line

There was serious troll war on one of my post. They weren't trolling my post, they trolled each other. Unless they are primitive ("you suck and this all s#$@"), I leave such comments because they often give insights to serious problems. This is such case.

One of the unyielding warrior of the mentioned battle, RyanC wrote "I would say the percentage of people with college degrees in WoW is less than the national average.". He also stated how he saw guildies doing stupid things ingame, while being blue collar workers. There is a common error among highly skilled white collar workers that the "lowly" blue collars are the bottom of the society and their stupidity is what's wrong in the world.

I wish it was true. Sadly it's not.

There were 138 million taxpayers in the USA (today it is smaller due to recession layoffs, but let's use this data). There are 307 million citizens in the USA. So 45% of the US population are taxpayers. They are the company owners, the managers, the white collar employees and the blue collar workers. Who are the other 55%?
  • Elderly
  • Students
  • Accessories
  • Welfare leeches
Let's try to guess how "smart" are these groups!

The elderly were young once, and while retained much of their skills form their young life, they also lost some. While a 75 years old ex-lawyer is most probably smarter than a janitor, he is surely less smart than a current lawyer, simply for biological reasons.

"Accessories" cover everyone who don't get salary, and supported by the working members of the household, as opposed to from the government. The most typical example are children, housewife and the loser adult son in the basement. They belong to the same social group as their supporting relatives and usually have/will have the same education.

So let's create a long list of all combinations, ordered by "smartness":
  • white collar professional
  • college student
  • ex-white collar elderly
  • white collar accessory
  • ==================================================
  • blue collar worker
  • blue collar accessory
  • ex-blue collar elderly
  • small children
  • welfare-leech
  • unschooled street kid
  • old welfare leech
The traditional right-wing (republican in US) thinking separates people to successful and unsuccessful along the green line. This is what RyanC did too. The problem is that there are like 10-20% of the population above the green line, depending on how high we define white collar. If we include clerks and other paper-crunchers, we get the 20, if we stick to doctors, engineers, bankers and such, we get 10%.

The sad fact is that below the "blue collar worker", there is the 40-50% of the population. No, under "blue collar", I'm not talking about the electrician or the car mechanic who solves complicated problems and feel enjoyment in his job. I'm not talking about the guy who works in a chemical plant where the difference between 180oC and 190oC in the reactor means the difference between a nearby town and a huge crater with some weeks extra job for the firefighters. I'm not talking about the firefighters themselves who save lives every day.

I'm telling that that dumb guy who packs boxes behind Wall-Mart is in the top 50% of the society. Below him there are his dad (who packed boxes for 40 years and drank his remaining brain cells away), his dumb kid whose highest hopes are to get a dead-end job one day, his fat and loud housewife waiting for him at home with greasy, unhealthy food, and a whole class of nothingdoer welfare leeches.

There is a reason why leftist movements and ideas survive despite being completely wrong: the right-wing politics considers and treats 80-90% of the population "losers". That's no-go in a democracy, and problematic even in a dictatorship. Such politics and such posts as RyanC made are good for one thing: to unite the blue-collar class with the welfare-leech underclass.

The white-collars must extend their class borders to embrace enough people to successfully battle the rest. We must include the blue collars to be able to defeat the underclass. The most effective ways to do it are:
  • progressive taxation (that helps blue collars earn relatively more)
  • regulation on the money-markets (to prevent goblins take all the money of the blue collars, don't worry we still can take most)
  • keeping our mouth shut commenting on the box-packing guy
We need him, both his work (you can't shop if no one carries the boxes to the shop) and also his votes against welfare, public health "reforms" and crime.


Anonymous said...

As someone with a Masters Degree, playing WoW with multiple guildmates with or acquiring advanced degrees, the statement that a large portion of the player base is uneducated is simply absurd. A high end PC, a steady subscription and a interest in gaming usually indicates intelligence and disposable wealth.

Anonymous said...

"A high end PC, a steady subscription and a interest in gaming usually indicates intelligence and disposable wealth."

Above poster is true. And Gevlon, you will burn in hell :)

Stropp said...

There's also an assumption that skill is based on intelligence, and that intelligence dictates career choice. Simply being a blue collar worker does not indicate low intelligence.

Sometimes people choose jobs that they feel comfortable with, or perhaps they don't have the ambition to climb the corporate ladder. I know some reasonable intelligent people who love working with their hands and work as mechanics, or as landscapers.

And besides, intelligence doesn't mean that you'll always make the right decision. That requires wisdom.

Bristal said...

I'm a middle-aged health professional with multiple degrees and a fairly sharp brain. Learning to play WoW was quite an intellectual pursuit. I admit I was hampered by my age-related lack of tech skills, and although I knew what a blog was, and had perused Wikipedia a couple of times, the concept of player supported data bases for a video game was a complete mystery.

I had to learn how to download and tinker with files to get add-ons to work. HOURS of learning how to make my computer do something it didn't really want to do. I had to learn an incredible amount of jargon to understand the most basic bloggers, much less Elitest Jerks to improve my skills. Just playing solo seemed fairly easy at first, but with access to all that information it's a completely different game, and different from any game I'd ever played.

I have some REAL M&S in my family. No way they could muster the patience, the mental skills or the dedication to play this game with any ability at all. Really. They're too busy with the 12th version of some Nascar game, anyway. Git 'er dun!!

I just don't think there at that many uneducated morons in this game. Now if you want to talk drunk, stoned or just plain immature & annoying, you can't walk from the mailbox to the auctioneer without stepping in that stuff.

Anonymous said...

lol @ "troll war" on a WoW blog...

Alex said...

"A high end PC, a steady subscription and a interest in gaming usually indicates intelligence and disposable wealth."

No, it really just indicates disposable wealth. Ones ability to pay a nominal monthly fee in no way correlates to intelligence.

Deborah said...

I am sure RyanC is smiling from ear to ear now that he has achieved becoming the basis of a blogger's post. Obviously that is what he was going for when he listed his completely superior life achievements.

However, something he wrote - in that pile of idiocy where he is begging for approval - stuck with me.

He wrote: "If you're a moron or slacker in game (defined by doing stupid or time wasting activities, like The Insane title, or mindless farming), you're more than likely a moron & slacker in real life. Being a moron/slacker is a frame of mind, not some affliction like a cold or flu."

Working toward an achievement, like the Insane title, is not the same as "mindless farming."

The mindless farmer can achieve their goal through more efficient means but does not do so due to ignorance, stubbornness, or just being a M&S.

The achievement hunter is working towards a goal they choose to achieve. There are, of course, several ways to go about getting an achievement. Personally, I am working towards the Insane title through the AH and paying others to farm items for me. There are some requirements I will have to do on my own, but it is surprising what you can farm out.

Goblinish Wisdom can be applied to any situation. But of course, that takes real intelligence.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am an oil painter, I am also a father, husband and a plumber. I am satisfied by creating and building with my hands. I am proud of the skills I have learned, and take no shame getting sweaty or dirty--or being "poor" for that matter. In some people's eyes I must be an M&S because I am a dirty construction worker. I say NAY! NAY! most people arent willing to bust their balls anymore, I do it everyday. and I like it.

-squeama of feathermoon

Carra said...

Sticking a "smart" sticker on white collar workers and a "dumb" one on blue collar workers is pure elitism.

I would like to see some objective figures on the percentage of WoW players who got a college degree. I'd think that it's higher then average, not lower. But overall, the WoW population is a reflection of the real world. So yes, you can find some ignorant trolls or kids. If you don't like it, go build your own game with an IQ test as a prerequisite to join. Then again, it's not like there are no intelligent trolls. Just check slashdot.

Anonymous said...

WTF? This class warfare stuff is just silly. There is not a large group of welfare leeches trying to take your money via the government. (As evidence, consider who politicans are always trying to buddy up with. It's not the homeless, it's moneyed elites.)

KiwiRed said...

I don't know if possessing a college degree, in this day and age, is evidence of anything more than being able to pay for tuition and stay awake in classes.

Anonymous said...

"A high end PC, a steady subscription and a interest in gaming usually indicates intelligence and disposable wealth."

Ofc, unless you bought a Dell. :)

"Working toward an achievement, like the Insane title, is not the same as "mindless farming."

Tis in my eyes. E-peen obviously not big enough then. :)

"I would like to see some objective figures on the percentage of WoW players who got a college degree. I'd think that it's higher then average, not lower."

Judging by the chat in /2, I'd say the average age of players is 12, along with their IQ, which negates your statement because they are not old enough to be in college or university yet. :)

If there is so many people in-game who are M&S, htf did they manage to install the game in the first place. o.O

Anonymous said...

"Judging by the chat in /2, I'd say the average age of players is 12, along with their IQ, which negates your statement because they are not old enough to be in college or university yet. :)"

Or maybe it's just the 12 year olds who use the /2 chat, while everyone else has it switched off. You can't make an assumption based on that.

Anonymous said...

You completely overlooked another M&S category. Corporate Toady. There are a lot of them. In my current company if the top 50% suddendly quit or stopped working no one would notice. Maybe our profits would be higher.

I think the biggest complaint I have with this kind of thinking is ignoring the fact that there are leaches among the "successful".

matojo said...

Too many assumptions. A person's financial situation doesn't equal their intelligence level - I've known College students who were as dumb as rocks, the same goes for University students and professionals - there are too many other factors. It's incorrect to assume based upon someone's lot in life.

Anonymous said...

I just resently discovered this blog and you have some great insight into the world of economics. Being an econimist myself I agree on many of the subjects you are discussing. But it also got me thinking:

How would you justify making fictive money is any better or maybe a higher cause then collective fictive vanity pets or achievements?

You are clearly an achiever online, and spend your well earned money on what seems to you an important investment, high end raiding, while making a minimal effort doing things that are (or at least you find) boring.

Im not saying I disagree with your opinions, cause Id say your spot on! Im just curious.

Have you ever found the achievement junkies to maximize their fun in the game, and for them that might be just as rewarding as raiding and game?

akanet said...

I get the feeling that most people in this comment thread are neglecting the central point of the post they are commenting on, which is a call for less tension between white and blue collar workers.

Jim C said...

I always laugh at people trying to label "right" and "left" in terms of "class". At least in the USA the division has little to do with white collar or blue collar, it has to do with where you live. "Right" wingers like myself tend to live in rural areas where self sufficiency is seen as a virtue. "Left" wing people tend to live in Urban environment where they depend on the government to provide most of their needs (Housing regulations, transportation, police, and numerous other services).

Of course there are exceptions, but this division hold true in most cases. I think much depends on where you grew up instead of where you currently live. The current swing to the left in the USA is simply the continuing growth of urban areas crowding out rural America. The suburbs are the swing votes that control politics of the country.

Malstram said...

Gevlon, agree with you totally. The distinction between white/blue collar as a dividing line between intelligence and "morons" is extremely simplistic. Continued Success is due to a mixture of native intelligence *AND* perseverance.

If a rich man with a successful company places his son as VP, the son is technically white collar but do we know anything about his competence or intelligence? For all we know he could be of moderate or slight intelligence but his father is willing to look past his shortcomings (nepotism).

How's about an extremely intelligent person who just never had the drive to finish his degree so works as a construction supervisor? Is he considered not intelligent because he works with his hands?

Speaking of working with hands, manty engineers work with their hands like network designers and specialists, electricians, air conditioner repairmen but their technical ability and scientific acumen would definitely place them in a "intelligent" category in most people's eyes.

We sometimes consider someone who acts like an "ass" as a moron whereas they may be extremely intelligent but socially inept. From here springs the maxim that "The smarter you are the dumber you act" highlighting that many very intelligent people are at best quirky and at worst completely lacking in common sense. How exactly would we classify these people who can solve complex equations but act like social morons in trade chat????

The point is just because you are a white collar worker (and make good money) doesn't always mean you are intelligent (this is more like propaganda by white collar workers who want to toot their own horns). It may mean you just know someone in the company (like your daddy) or you are good at giving sexual favors... :)

Anonymous said...

Gotta love "accessories." I'm going to use that whenever I talk to my coworkers. That just has win written all over it.

bugabug said...

I'm not even going to bother arguing any of the points until this is addressed, it's quite simple really: [CITATION NEEDED].

Jeff said...

No. 1:
Reliable studies have found that about 20% of the US population has a college degree, not a 4 year degree but at least a two year degree. Some like myself, my wife, and most of my friends have two or more. You tend to associate with people like you.

No. 2:
Many people who work with their hands spend at least some time self employed, hard work and a lot of skull sweat to do it right.

No. 3:
Some how it is better to oppose welfare and progressive taxes? Even when every society that has even a reasonable attempt at the kind of economic system you espouse is a miserable failure. Republicans in the US have spent decades convincing people with incomes of <$40kUS/year that tax breaks for Goldman Sachs executives are a good thing, and will lead to them being Goldman Sachs executives some day.

No. 4:
Successful societies don't have a large income gap. The larger the middle class the more innovation and the less crime a country sees. Income disparity drives discontent. Given their druthers people with pursue zero sum solutions. It requires advanced thinking to see the interdependent nature of society. All goblins should pursue non-zero sum solutions because the same sized slice of a bigger pie is still more.

No. 5:
Your assumption is in line with current Republican thinking and it is as wrong headed and foolish as they are. Perhaps you should look into the societal costs of your policy proposals. Let's look at personal choice in a microcosm, motor cycle helmet laws. Requiring a motorcycle rider to wear helmets is an intrusion on individual freedom. Massive head injuries result from motor cycle accidents and are vastly more likely without a helmet. People who have health insurance are not an issue, but young, uninsured, healthy people with traumatic brain injuries cost society millions because of their "choice" to ride without a helmet. In order to appropriately allocate my tax dollars and scarce medical resources I am within my rights, as the person who pays for their medical care to demand they wear a helmet.

Look into the writings of the Judge Richard Posner, Chief of the US 11th Circuit Court. Law and Economics.

csdx said...

It's a bit hypocritical to call a group of people stupider then yourself and then say 'we should all get along'

RyanC said...

Just like in life, there is a natural bell curve distribution to any random subset of people. 15% will be really smart, 15% will be really stupid, and 70% will be somewhere in the middle. 15% will be really skinny, 15% will be really fat, and 70% will be in the middle.

However, WoW is not a random subset. Wow has specific requirements that make it the haven of the M&S and the bane of the professional.

With the large amount of time investment required to be successful, the white-collar player faces a hurdle to be good that the slacker does not.

Plus, since most people with real responsibility find their real world fulfilling, they do not have to retreat to the comfort of a fantasy world, where instead of being told by their boss to "sweep faster" they can be a guild leader and nobody knows or cares about what they do IRL.

There is a guild on my server, called Unemployed, started by two girls who were unemployed when they started it. I'm not sure if they ever found jobs.

If you think WoW is populated with professionals, see how long it takes to start a raiding guild composed solely of doctors, architects, businessmen and lawyers. You'll be trying for YEARS, and probably never have enough to even run a heroic 5-man.

Now, if you started a guild of people who worked the counter at Orange Julius or Hot Topic, or any mall-based retail establishment you'd be running two groups of 25-ToC weekly.

People with crappy jobs and lives, like to escape to Azeroth daily. To remind them their lives and jobs are crappy, is like hitting a beehive with a stick.

P.S. "I am the World" arguments, are incredibly egotistic and plain stupid. Defined as: Since I have an advanced degree, and I play WoW, EVERYONE who plays WoW has an advanced degree. Really? Is that the conclusion you drew?

Anyway in order to pull off non M&S raiding, you need to devote anywhere bwtween 12-16 hours, minimum, per week.

The average blue collar worker works 40 hours, no more, b/c overtime is expensive to boss. College grads (who didn't major in English, or something useless) meanwhile work 40+ because they are exempt-status. They're busy.

There are no networking events in the life of a factory worker. Sales people have to schmooze all the time, typically after work during prime raiding time.

Success in WoW has 4 components: skill with theorycrafting, understanding the boss fight, keyboard skill, gear.

Since college admission is based around someone adroit at learning, white collar players are usually better theorycrafers and in learning boss fights.

Blue collar players typically have better gear since they devote more time to raiding.

Both are on equal footing with keyboard skill.

People will get mighty defensive, but if people sign their posts where they went to school, this argument would die fast.

Penn State University
'06 - Finance

ZacharyPruckowski said...

Don't fall victim to the Halo Effect. There's not always a direct correlation between skill in one field and skill in another. There's no reason someone who does their job intelligently is by default going to play WoW systematically or intelligently.

Further, I'd suspect that not being an M&S has more to do with perseverance and effort than intelligence. I think past Gevlon posts about his Warlock have established that it requires little actual intelligence to do Patchwerk-level DPS in leveling and BoE gear.

Someone graduating law school who went through life with a silver spoon is probably more likely to have a "stuff should just be handed to me" or "I shouldn't have to put in effort for the best stuff" attitude than someone who worked 40-60 hours a week since they were 18 to feed themselves and their family.

RyanC said...

P.S. This is also how I know most people who play WoW are fat.

If I make the available pool of free hours per week shorter by the 12-20 you spend in game, then going to the gym bears a higher cost in percentage terms of you available free time.

If going to the gym takes you 4 hours/week

168 hours in a week - 40 working - 56 sleeping = 72 hours of "free time"

72 - 20 in game = 52 hours; 4/52 = 7% of your free time time

4/72 = 5% of your free time

The other thing that makes WoW unattractive to the white collar worker, is how much our $/hour is worth.

If you make $50k/year, you are paid ~$25/hour. 15 hours of raiding per week would be $375, and 52 weeks of that is $19,500.

Meanwhile, if you make $24,000/year you make $12 hour; 15 hours of raiding is $180, and 52 weeks of that is $9,360.

So raiding also bears an additonal $10,000 opportunity cost for people with professional jobs who are decently fact the more money a person makes the less likely he is to spend time in game because of what it costs them.

Microeconomics, ftw!

P.S. I actually was grinning ear to ear, mstly because I knew the morons, slackers, touchy-feely people would crawl out of the woodwork and I am much less busy today then I was when I wrote my original post re: AV.

P.P.S. I am a gun-owning, pro-business Democrat. Sometimes, you have to defy convention.

Ayonel said...

Ahh, Gev. You make me seem downright humanistic.

A couple of points:

I don't think that education and intelligence are 100% correlated. I was very smart before I was educated. Now I am very smart and have a huge breadth of knowledge. There are lots of smart people working at crap jobs, and lots of stupid people with degrees and 'good' jobs. I value common sense, or 'practical intelligence' more than simply education. Someone who figures out how to successfully work their niche in the auction house may know nothing about economics, they just know that they can sell 40 netherweave bags at 7.5 gold and make more profit than if they sell 20 bags at 9.5, and that no one will undercut them.

The second point is in regards to politics. The reason the left is so successful is because they purport to represent the little guys and give them something paid for by the rich, greedy businesspeople. There is an implicit thinking that those of us who are successful are morally inferior by virtue of our success and should be punished, i.e. have our money taken away, with that money going to the little guy.

This works well in principle since most people see themselves as part of the 'middle class', and think the left is talking about 'those other' rich people. In practice, however, everyone pays because there aren't enough rich people, and the politicians are richer than all of us.

Wooly said...

I think the way opinions form is mostly the reason for the feeling we all get about the intelligence of other WoW players.

One rule that is very important to remember, and check with yourself is this: when in a group of people, and only one or two shout their opinion, people in general have the tendency to think these persons speaks for the entire group. While this might be the case in protest rallies, on most other occasions it's not.

If you watch trade, or /bg chats, you only see a very small selection of people making the noise there. On my server I always see the same names. Yet there are thousands of people playing.

The ones you hear the most are usually the attention seekers, the wise asses, the know it alls, the braggers, etc. Often not the smartest of people. Most intelligent people usually don't like (or feel the need) to enter the spotlight. They stick to their own group of friends/guild and ignore the rest. You don't hear or meet them often, unless you end up in their guild.

The group that makes us form the opinion is actually not that big. It's just the loudest. Idiots are always loud.

Mentat said...

@RyanC: You're full of crap. If you're a professional you have to deal with tons of crap all day long. Getting away into a simple environment with clear sets of success criteria is quite motivating.

MA Yale '05 and a lack of desire to list other positions and degrees that would give others information that might help people find out specifically who I am.

Gevlon said...

@Jeff: read before you write. I'm FOR progressive tax

@RyanC: "pull off non M&S raiding, you need to devote anywhere bwtween 12-16 hours, minimum, per week"

In a week you'll be VERY surprised. With lot of other people.

RyanC said...

I have what I define as the Professionals Guide to Raiding:

Daily Heroic (every day) = 2.5 - 3.5 hours
VoA (10 & 25) 30 min x 2 = ~1 hour
OS-10 Zerg (Have my Nightfall title)~ 40 min
Trial of the Crusader (10 or 25) = ~2 hours
Ulduar (10 or 25) ~5 hours

Total = ~13-16 hours

By doing the heroic each day, and the low-hanging fruit each week, it's possible for someone busy to balance the girlfriend, work, hockey, etc. and still pull top dps and have great gear thanks to the new badge loot, and the drops from the bosses.

Anyone going for the insane title, has to spend time on it. If your time is worth something, then it's not attractive to get the title.

If your time is worth very little, and college kids & Liberal Arts graduates I'm looking @ you, then you'll shoot for the title.

Juse because you've worked out a plan on how to waste your time, doesn't make it any less of a time waster.

Diorinix said...

"P.S. "I am the World" arguments, are incredibly egotistic and plain stupid. Defined as: Since I have an advanced degree, and I play WoW, EVERYONE who plays WoW has an advanced degree. Really? Is that the conclusion you drew?"

- RyanC

And, somehow, using the reversal of this argument is absolutely admissible? That, since you're so special and awesome that surely no one else in the game could possible match up to your 3 years of work experience post-college, right?

Get real. Your were on the right track with the bell curve reasoning. There's MILLIONS of people playing WoW, that's more than large enough of a sample size to get a typical spread. It may be biased towards one side or another, but you're going to see the majority of the population who play WoW with some post-secondary education, some with little-to-none and some with graduate degrees under their belt. This is not economics - this is statistics.

Harbinger said...

I agree with what a lot of people are saying 'too many assumptions'. However the basic premise is still correct, it's just not so easy to draw that green line made of equal signs ;) Also I think M&S should simpole be defined as "those who consume more then they produce". The issue is some M&S reach escape velocity and start to produce more then they consume. Then you need to calc the integral over their life span, if you consider their entire life did they consume more then they produced. It is becomming a big issue, not only in Wow, which I admittedly don't play, but your blog is a great place for interesting conversations, but in reality too.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers are a bad example of smartness, they're among some of the dumbest people I've ever met. So what they studied for 7 years, it doesn't take a genuis to remember something, just read it enough.

Have you ever been unemployed? If you do have the unfortunate circumstances to get let off you'll meet highly educated people on welfare. People hire dumb shits, like you, cause you work for next to nothing.

Anonymous said...

Your idea of enlarging the definition of successful people to blue-collars relates to this talk.

RyanC said...

I love the Junior College set, trying to explain to me how a bell curve works; WoW is NOT a random distribution.

(Some of you would be better off making frosty orange drinks than trying to do math. Just saying.)

If you're measuring the heights of basketball players, they will have a normal distribution, but overall the results will be SKEWED TOWARDS BEING REALLY, REALLY EFFIN' TALL BECAUSE THEY'RE BASKETBALL PLAYERS.

WoW players may have a normal distribution, but are skewed in the direction of not having degrees BECAUSE THEY PLAY WOW.

I mean, does it take a genius to figure out that if you took 100 janitors, you wouldn't have the same mix of college degrees, masters degrees, and high school diplomas as a sampling of 100 architects?

( must be University of Phoenix day here on the Greedy Goblin's site.)

So playing a game that doesn't reward the professional, and in fact punishes him, it should come as no surprise that professionals stay away from it.

Anonymous said...

Who really cares what the demographics are in WoW? Statistically if you take away the people that are not of age to be in college, then the numbers will probably show that the majority do have post-secondary education.

Yes, this is an assumption and also based on personal experience.

01' University of Texas at Austin
Mechanical Engineering

Yaggle said...

I think it's an awfully large stretch to correlate intelligence with success in WoW or in your level of income. Coming out of high school I did not take the SAT but I did score a 30 on the ACT. That is in the top 1 percent, I believe. I make a median income at a blue-collar job, and I'm not particularly good at either raiding or Battlegrounds. It is true that both are due to me being a generally unambitious person(some call this 'lazy'). "M&S" stands for morons and slackers, and it does now occur to me by what I have said that I although I am not a moron, I am a slacker.
So I belive I am living proof that intelligence does not equal success in WoW. I think it's ridiculous that Ryan C tells about being in the top 5% of his class and tried to correlate that to his success at Battlegrounds. He may be great at a lot of things but I do not agree that they are related by intelligence. In fact, I will go a step further and say that I think these things are more related to effort and and ambition.
Also, there is nothing wrong with node-farmers, by the way. You pass up a node and don't farm it, you're a moron.

Refractor said...

@RyanC: "If you think WoW is populated with professionals, see how long it takes to start a raiding guild composed solely of doctors, architects, businessmen and lawyers. You'll be trying for YEARS, and probably never have enough to even run a heroic 5-man."

Let's see, just here in my local area, I'm playing with an OB/GYN, a bowling center proprietor (chain of several centers) and his wife who is a CPA.

All we need is one more DPS...

BennyLava said...

You got me confused now, I thought you were against the progressive tax, because it caused some of the non-M&S to produce less then they could for a better income/work ratio.

Fitz said...

I agree with RyanC on a couple theorys, but for the most part it gets negated by his shallow-minded approach.

It could be assumed that this game is a good escape for people that are unhappy with their life, but then again I know a lot of happy people that play games 2...because they are fun, the same reason I play hockey, chess, volleyball I play wow.

I would like to know the definition of a slacker, because it seems like anyone who doesn't brag about their job or make a lot of money is a slacker.

I did consider myself a slacker but it is hard to tell with RyanC's claims, I enjoy my job, I dont work more then I need to, im not a bad worker but I dont calculate how much money im losing while playing games and I spend all my time when I am not at work enjoying my life.

With the large amount of time investment required to be successful

The hardest part of College for me was having to pay for it, but I choose something I enjoyed and thus it was easy to learn.

15% will be really skinny, 15% will be really fat, and 70% will be in the middle.

Ok, i can follow your estimations here.

P.S. This is also how I know most people who play WoW are fat.

no. wait now you lost me. 15% seems a bit low for the word "Most". Unless you just mean the average U.S citizen is overweight but then you should use a general statement.

Your personal roadblocks are causing what could be a good discussion to become very prejudice and shallow.

If you cant stop and think about how much money your losing while having fun then maybe your not having fun and should seek a new hobby.

On top of that thought, if I can afford everything I want (I.E home/family/entertainment), why would I not be enjoying life.

So playing a game that doesn't reward the professional, and in fact punishes him, it should come as no surprise that professionals stay away from it.

It is true I cant lie that a busy person has less time then a non-busy person but what you do in life is planning with chance and circumstance. Not all jobs require you to work overtime, maybe your really angry at your life choice and this need to continuously boast about the colour of your shirt is your way of getting recognition.

The downside is that professionals are not the only people that work 40 hours a week with possible overtime...In fact im pretty sure this applies to blue shirts just as much as well as a lot of students. But I will admitt I have no data to prove my assumptions.

The only real thing I agree with is that "Some" people can play more then other people but no matter what the title of the person it varies.

Justifying being jealous of someone with more time to play by saying they are not educated is a pretty lame excuse imo.

This blog has always been really interesting and it makes me think every time I read it, it is too bad some people cant be open-minded.

Nuclear Plant(Project Analyst)

RyanC said...


What I forgot to include, is that I attended the midnight launch for WOTLK.


How I knew, is that everyone is hard pressed for time to begin with. So if you subtract 20 hours out of anyone's given week, it would be hard to just get the basics of life done, much less lift weights or go for a run.

So again, WoW players and their weight have a normal distribution, skewed towards being fat since 20+ hours/week are being spent in front of a computer screen wiggling your hands.

And open minded? I've been playing the game for years and you write as if I just started playing and am giving you my first impression of the game.

I have spent many hours on vent, in various Pugs, guilds, raids, etc. and have talked to countless people.

I have yet to be impressed with the intellect of the average WoW player and the vast majority do not have college degrees.

By the way, here is the misconception of college: they're not hiring you for the knowledge you picked up in Freshman Sociology.

Companies hire College grads because they have demonstrated an ability to A)study b)learn c)buckle down and D)prioritize better than those who didn't go to college.

If I want a couple of people to pull an all-nighter & get stuff done...I'll take two people who graduated college because people just didn't do that in high school.

It's not about the knowledge, although that helps. It's about the attributes that lead you to a particular outcome.

Which is why I stand by my orginial sentiments, that M&S overcompensate with time invested because they CAN.

Anonymous said...

zomg, a terrific posting and flurry of comments!

My experience tells me that: I have a master's degree but I'm not that smart; I teach in a college and no one else on my faculty would dream of playing WoW; I have a huge amount of free time.

My experience also tells me that: most of my guildmates won't be bothered to find a decent build by doing any research; some look to me as an expert because I read and the Greedy Goblin when I have my morning coffee; the minimum steps to even a successful progression are ignored by all too many.

I say "let them play." If they want to run about aimlessly in pvp and enjoy it; terrific, they are having fun.

I say "stay away from me" to those who will scream in raids, have a fanatical 'need' for gear and somehow feel a burgeoning status from a title.

woot, dooder; awesome posting.

Diorinix said...

RyanC, with your ad hominem attacks and your strict adherence to anecdotal evidence, you're stripping down your own argument. I'm not going to deny that there ARE fat, lazy, and uneducated players out there (some of which are "hardcore raiders), your claim that the MAJORITY of players are so is ridiculous.

I would argue that the MAJORITY of players have LESS time to play, therefore being the CASUAL players with less time to spend on improving their own play and or developing their characters. If we take your premise that professionals have the less time to play the game, would they not be the ideal candidates to be the M&S idiots? Wouldn't the Orange Julius player have MORE time to play and therefore be the better player?

This argument just turns around your assumption that blue collar = stupid = bad player. I don't like making absolute statements like this, however, so my personal belief is that the truth is somewhere in the middle. That for every fast food employee who plays for 30 hrs/week out there, there's some fresh-faced articling lawyer who spends his time after work until 2am grinding on revenants and elementals in Wintergrasp. Stupid people are part of every level of society, not just those without education.

By the way, if this is the way you treat the janitors and mail room associates at your office, I hope they're wiping their sacks on your coffee cup after you go home everyday.

Dan said...

I do agree with Ryan on many points based on my experience within the game, however like one person pointed out, if you take away the people that are < 18yrs old, perhaps you might find a surprisingly larger percentage of people currently in college or graduated from.

Intelligence does not equate to success, however there is a correlation in majority of success cases. Then again what is the definition of "success"? I will generalize here but intelligent people typically understand what it takes to become successful. It's a matter of applying this knowledge and working hard to get there.

I truly believe the hardest aspect of the game (wow) is pvp. You really have to be sharp and be able to micro-manage many things to be among the best. Raiding and making gold efficiently within the game is far less demanding, imo.

The average american is overweight so drawing the conclusion that most WoW players are overweight is probably true for the players in the US. I myself have stopped working out as much due to the time I am committing to wow. So your reasoning does have some validation from the perspective of the avg. person.

csdx said...

opportunity cost is a incorrect calculation with your free time. Firstly, if you're an exempt worker, using that time for extra work doesn't actually increase your income. Second, unless you're completely inhuman you do need time to relax and otherwise not work, I mean calculating the opportunity cost of sleep is just as useless endeavor.

Next, I'd argue that WoW could actually be skewed toward the more middle class than lower. Much of the required hardware can be pretty pricy, not to mention the recurring costs. It's like saying golf or tennis is a poor person's sport because it takes a lot of time to get good at it. You ignore the obvious set up costs.

Furthermore, add the general social stigma to the game to consideration. Sure it's more mainstream now, but MMORPGs are still strongly associated with the geek and nerd archetypes. And really what do they tend to gravitate toward in terms of job preference other than tech jobs. Hardly you're typical blue collar fare.

Also, WoW time may be exclusive to gym time, but it's hardly exclusive to being with friends & family. Being a largely team game you'll need to interact with others, and generally this can involve socializing. I've actually connected with a few coworkers when we learned that we all play WoW.

And really whether you're reaching the gold cap, getting the best epics, or going for the Insane, all time on WoW is equally pointless. Your purple pixels don't mean anymore than the stupid text above my head.

This is mostly from a brief gloss over of your posts, if you really need anything specific addressed, I'm sure I can accommodate.

Also anecdote time, 10-man raiding guild, all engineers and scientists.

csdx said...

PS. nobody has actually provided one whit of statistics here, we're simply theorizing why some statistics should fall one way or the other. Really the correct way is to have the statistics then try to explain them, not this sort of bass ackwards way.

Also for complaining about "I am the world" you do the exact same thing with your story about the release. (Ad-homineim: We should assume this means you're fat, since people who attended WOTLK release were fat, you attended the release, ergo you are fat). Also I'd hardly call the attendees a good cross section. It's likely skewed the same way that those who attend primaries campaigns/events (in the US political system) are skewed further left/right of their general party.

Midnight said...

Like the troll RyanC, gevlon,you've succeeded in riling up the people. You are definitely being elitist, and though I don't mind your Goblinist ideals in World of Warcraft--it's just a game, after all--I do mind you thinking that society should team up against the underclass, those less fortunate than us.

I posit that instead,we bring up those members of society, the "welfare leechers" and "m&s boxboys" up to our standards, and improve their quality of life and the quality of life for our society as a whole.

Not to mention, it's true that financial situation =/= intelligence. I knew a Gambian man with a doctorate who, upon moving to America, had to spend ten years as a janitor. One of the smartest people I know, an incredibly intelligent epidemiologist.

Plus, anybody that makes sweeping judgments without any factual data--such as the financial or intellectual distribution of WoW players--is kind of a tool. I don't want to consider you, or your commentators, tools. So stop saying things when you have absolutely no data to back it up.

Or--and this might be controversial--what if you talk about WoW-related things on your WoW blog?

RyanC said...

The barrier to entry of Wow, from a hardware requirement, is nil. This is one of the many reasons for the popularity of the game. If you think having a computer capable of running software from 2004 makes you rich, you're ridiculous.

Do you think I would make an ad hominem attack on fat people who play WoW if I was large myself? LOL. It's much easier to hurl stones from a fortified bunker than a glass house. A nice, skinny bunker.

I've discovered that casuals with degrees will do little things like: read their rotations on EJ, plan their gear, actually know what a boss drops BEFORE he drops it, etc. They make up for their lack of time with some preparedness so they don't have to run 100 heroics to get geared.

The casual without a degree, will do none of these. They grind, and grind, and grind some more. Their progress is painful and slow.

Hardcore without degrees put a TON of effort into the game, which they could pare down if they knew how to work smarter, not harder. They are typically not hit-capped, and cannot execute complicated battleground strategy, rotations, and they don't listen because "they've been playing since Vanilla' and still are terribad.

Hardcore with degrees, are usually the best players in the game; combining game comprehension, adaptive intellect with execution.

It's also amazing how stupid people have been with the "I am the World" argument since I have been pointing out that the world is NOT like me even though most of you think the world is just like youself.

I have two 80s that are far better geared than most people's mains, because I know the most efficient input/outputs inside the game. I run my auctions very systematically, and am flush with cash and always in the latest content.

I have my Nightfall title. Most of you do not.

Tonight I'm going to play hockey then go to the gfs; no raiding for me. I show up on certain nights, do my job, then get off line.

Most of you lurk on gchat for hours, babbling away. Not for nothing, but if you have the time to do that, then you don't really have much to do.

Someone complained the other day "RyanC only logs on to raid". The GM had to remind them we're a raiding guild and what did he want me on for? To hold hands?

Sorry you gotta find in-game friends. I'm pretty good with the real live ones I've got.

I also agree that the most skilled players are PvPers/Arena players because there is no strategy on a website you read. You play and adapt on the fly.

I love how people argue the extreme. I'm sure Hollywood has put the idea of genius janitors, and hookers with hearts of gold into your collective consciousness, but intelligent people capable of getting things done do not pick up garbage for a living and do not serve tasty orange frozen beverages in the mall.

I would say that the average blue-collar WoW player is NOT a factory worker. But waitresses, bike messengers, clerks, gas station attendants, fast food employees, and Assistant Manager at the Orange Julius all fall under the umbrella.

If crappy retail service jobs had a collar, that would be the majority of WoW players.

I'd say I hate to pop your bubble of how the world is supposed to work, but I really, really don't.

Anonymous said...

Undergraduate college degrees have nothing at all to do with intelligence, simply paying tuition and passing exams. Intelligence is about the application of knowledge, college degrees are simply spitting back information on tests.

Anonymous said...


"Companies hire College grads because they have demonstrated an ability to A)study b)learn c)buckle down and D)prioritize better than those who didn't go to college."

You're wrong here, companies hire on the basis of social skills and team working skills.

I assume you're American since college in the UK = people too dumb for university. If you look at most universities in the UK and in America a lot of the % of graduates are in subjects such as sports science, psychology and sociology.

As someone with a honours degree in chemistry, I know how to learn but like many graduates in the current economical climate I found it difficult to get a job. After a year I got employed as a personal supporter working with someone with mental disabilities, not a well paid job and doesn't require a degree.

Intelligence also comes in different packages. I never studied and passed with ease.

Mobo said...

The real question, RyanC, is if what you say is true, and the vast majority of Wow players are fat, lazy, incompetent wastes, then why are you also attracted to a game that they are so drawn to?

You see, RyanC is a typical "Moral Absolutist." I would also consider Gevlon to be in this category as well (even though i agree and look up to Mr. Goblin a lot of the time).

In this case, the moral absolute is Ryan's Narcissism. Notice in his posts how he emphasizes how every aspect of his life is more glorious than everyone elses. "I play hockey, i have a girlfriend, I skinny, I athletic and I more attractive then all of you fatties that attend WoW releases...more than anything I am the EXCEPTION!"

Narcissists believe that they are above laws, stereotypes, critism and faults. They are the exception to the rules that everyone else must follow.

Everyone at the Wow release was fat, EXCEPT our wonderboy here RyanC. Everyone else who plays WoW is going no where in life, EXCEPT Ry-guy. Who really are you trying to convince here?

Ryan, i am glad your life is so much more glorius then my own. I too play hockey, but i guess my developemental city league that i play in is not as competetive and glorious as your own. I also have a girlfriend, but i am sure she is not NEARLY as pretty, smart, and charming as yours. Obviously you have a better job then me, because i am the guy that dropped out of first Network Admin, then Law, then nutrition and realized i was wasting way too much money on college if i wasn't sure what i wanted to graduate in yet. Now after unfortunate medical bills, i have been stuck working a blue collar warehouse job to try and make ends meet while saving up for another run at college.

At first, this debate was strictly about do Wow players consist of more "professionals" then the average population. I am glad you took it upon yourself to turn this into a Wow player bashing theme.

Oh Ryan, please tell us how to live such a fulfilling life. Tell me your all powerful secrets to scoring that hatty while nailing all the women you obviously have had at, while not becomming a socially inept fatty WoW release attending scrub.

Now back to the real subject. Yes, i agree that the average Wow player is probably a young, unambitious white blue collar male with a bit of disposable income. The average US citizen, in my opinion, is far less eduacated. Wow is not attractive to the US bum. The Opra show is. I would agree that there are more college graduates that play wow than the average pop, strictly on the statistics that college grads own computers at a higher rate than the average pop. Easy enough.

Lastly, why do you try so hard at convincing us there is an "absolute" superior way of living. What makes your life more grand then the naked Amazon Indian who looks up in the night and wonders what stars are?

This is the same problem i have with Gevlon. People play wow for different reasons. I do think much of it is a waste of time.... for me. But for them, it might be exactly what they are wanting to do.

Lee Quillen said...

I'd consider my wife white collar and probably twice the intellectual I am... and certainly 10 times the writer. That said, I easily triple her yearly earnings and the requirements to get my job were far more challenging intellectually than anything she's had to deal with. Today, in America, the line between blue collar and white collar jobs isn't merely blurred... but pretty much erased on average.

That all said, it doesn't take analysis to realize the average intelligence of a WoW player is greater than the average person out there in society. It takes only an open minded look at areas of society those with above average intelligence tend to start avoiding.

Spend some time in the supermarket chatting with the locals in adjacent neighnorhoods. Volunteer to tutor troubled students at your local high school. tell your local recruiter you want to help some of his 18 year old kids pass the ASVAB. get out more and look beyond your friends, co-employees, and bloging buddies. That's all it really takes.

RyanC said...

Actually, we're talking about our lives outside of the game. Hence the RL references. I'm just glad someone found my life to be super glitzy. Me personally, I just find it BUSY.

Everyone started getting defensive when the following was paraphrased: the best raiders and players in game are people who went to university because the qualities that got them through school cross over.

Then came the "University is overrated" replies from the people without college degrees. That was to be're wrong, and a million college dropouts with a million keyboards writing a million posts to the contrary can't convice me otherwise, but we all have our own opinions on that.

Personally, I don't care about the MMO aspect of the game, which is why I care less about the 95% of the idiots who play.

They perform two functions:
A) I need someone to farm mats for me and B) I need someone to sell goods for less than average and then buy them for more than average.

Aside from that, I care about the 9 or 24 other people I raid with, to the extent that they carry their raiding weight. My best friend IRL is in the guild, and he's the only person I hold extended conversations with because he's the only person who's remotely interesting & shares interests.

Everyone else could quit tomorrow, and I'd be perfectly fine with it.

I suppose if you factor in the projects and ghettos in America, the average WoW player is above average. Pretty bad when that becomes the benchmark, but I might concede the point if you include the 'hood.

Personally, I prefer to hang around and be with the people who have similar goals. I have very little in common with the guy who pumps my gas; someone has to do it, and I'm happy it's not me.

Anyway, compared to urban/suburban white America, the average player is below the average.

You cannot dedicate 20 hours/week for 5 years to a task which provides NO material benefit, without lagging behind educationally, personally, or professionally. Something gives.

5200 hours missing from your life is hard to replace.

P.S. Admiring the Amazon Indian falls into the "noble savage" fallacy; running around the forest in a loincloth with flies on your food, smiling at stars is a ridiculous way to live.

What's the last contribution to society they've made? What, the dart gun? The 3 foot earlobe? All those books, music and movies they make?

A shame; a lot of posts that had some promise of a well-thought out argument tended to devolve to "embrace diversity" by the middle and "Waaaaaa" by the end.

If you think the average WoW player is smart, read the Banhammer folder of Elitist Jerks, and realize that there are more of them floating around then contributing posters.

If not suffering fools is a crime, lock me up for life.

Anonymous said...

The most typical example are children, housewife and the loser adult son in the basement.

LOL. Yeah, that just made my day.

jeffo said...

This just in: the average video gamer is 35, overweight, and depressed. No mention of socio-economic status or education.

Carl Lewis said...

I have to take issue with your charachterization of the american tax system, What you're talking about is Income tax and yes only those who make an income pays tax. However, There are a myriad of other taxes paid that you don't count that affect lower classes greatly. The US income tax accounts for 45% of the goverment revenus with the top 50% of the country paying 97% of the income tax burden. The rest comes from fees and other excises taxes, commerce taxes and the death tax. the Income tax doe not make anyone wealthier relative to anyone else. The progressive income tax raises the price of all goods and services, depletes liquidity in capital markets, puts upward pressure on interest rates and stiffles production. It also kills jobs making a job that 2 people got paid for a job only one person gets paid for therefore he works twice as much for the same or less pay which means that for his effort he is poorer.

Look at the richest members of congress and tell me do the have a D or an R next to thier name? Who did the investment banks contribute too the most in the last 3 elections cycles. I am a Conservative and all though I'm not white I find it sad and intellectually lazy that you, oh great green philosopher, just assume because someone made a classist remark they are a white conservative. Have you been to New York City? I suggest you go, and talk to people on the street about people who work in factories and you will not have more successive judgmental, paternalistic, insulting converstaions about those who actually do WORK. The state is BLUE as blue gets.

Otherwise I approve this message.

Anonymous said...


ISn't saying all WoW players are fat because you went to the Lich King launch and saw some fat people a little like me saying all Finance Insight Investment blah blah blah Managers(I wanted to check the average salary on Monster but fell asleep) are complete idiots with an obvious inferiority complex and a desperate need to earn approval because Daddy didn't love him just because I'm seen your posts?

BA Physics (98)- University College, Oxford

csdx said...

@RyanC/the people who are better just in general

Then might I ask, if this game does so attract the lowest common denominator, what aspects do you share with them that draws such diverse (sarcasm just a bit) people to this game.

Also even if the barrier to entry might be considered trivial to people with moderate amounts of disposable income, they still have to have some. If the choice is between WoW and food, you can only choose the former so long before you can't make that choice anymore. So just having enough money to pay not only for a computer, but the game (+ expansions), subscription, and internet connection does add up. Further if the person is in a poor enough job that they need to do something like work double shifts or take a second, they won't have the time to waste on wow. So I'd argue based on this that the average wow player is wealthier than average than the general population. Thus since we have equated money with success, we now posit that the average wow player is more successful.

It is important to note though, that nothing about WoW is actually making them successful, rather the pool is just skewed that way.

RyanC said...

The skill that goes into the endgame raiding not named Naxxramas keeps the elite players coming back for more. I like theorycrafting out my character, making money, and all the fairly complicated things most people never get to do/see.

That's the challenge for me. That, and figuring out how to kick all the morons and slackers from our raids.

This game has been made more 'accessible' which I'm perfectly fine with as long as they make the endgame content sufficiently 'inaccessible'.

It's moments where my game intersects their game, like VOA pugs, or heroic dailies...when I'm rubbing shoulders with the great unwashed, am I reminded of how goofy they really are.

And if you want to see the great fat unwashed, Blizzcon feeds will scratch that itch.

If I had a dollar for every black hooded sweatshirt I saw that night, my expansion would've been free.

csdx said...

So here's a question, aren't Blizzcon attendees likely to fit the smart, hardcore WoWer profile? I'd argue they have to be at least somewhat successful to afford to go there, not to mention be able to budget the time. And clearly they're rather invested in the game to go to a convention for the company. Wouldn't this mean they'd generally fit this picture you painted of the 'hardcore elite' in the game? Or do somehow the unwashed manage to sneak away from their jobs long enough without getting fired/hit their parents up for money?

I still believe you're falsely conflating two groups (the college educated and the smart raiders). Certainly I think there's room for overlap, and some correlation, but I doubt it's nearly as strong as you suspect.

Also honestly if I'm going to play a game like WoW I want gchat to be somewhere to hang out and otherwise socialize. If all I really want is theory-crafting on how to min/max a character and collecting fake money, there's a multitude of single player games, where the chance of unwashed masses crossing my path is zero. Then again it is harder to brag about and parade the accomplishments in front of everyone.

Anonymous said...


"Then came the "University is overrated" replies from the people without college degrees. That was to be're wrong, and a million college dropouts with a million keyboards writing a million posts to the contrary can't convice me otherwise, but we all have our own opinions on that."

University is overrated. You spend 4 years of your life racking up debt just to get a job that has no reference at all to do with the degree you did. You may as well join the army or do an apprenticeship, at least then you'll be learning and making money at the same time and by the end of 4 years worked your way up to earning more money than you'll get with your degree.

There's lots of successful people out there who have never been to university. Hard work gets you a lot further.

"A shame; a lot of posts that had some promise of a well-thought out argument tended to devolve to "embrace diversity" by the middle and "Waaaaaa" by the end."

Yet you stoop to the level of calling people "the great unwashed" , how very very mature of you.

Anonymous said...

" What I forgot to include, is that I attended the midnight launch for WOTLK. "

That's quite sad, you're saying you have a great life and yet you went to the midnight launch of a computer game.

2004-2008 University of Glasgow - Chemistry.

Anonymous said...

Social class has nothing to do with "intelligence"
Being a good (skilled & knowledgable) wow player also has little to do with the classical view of "intelligence"

I work at a university.
Surrounded by "learned" professors, doctors and lots of people with Degree's.
Many of these people, while smart and intellectual, are as THICK AS TWO VERY SHORT PLANKS when it comes to computers, and i shudder to think what they would be like playing wow.

Ellifian @ Khaz'Goroth

Anonymous said...

Sucks to be that adult-son.


RyanC said...

You apparently missed my comment about the 4 components of what makes a Wow player good.

I bet if those professors could manipulate the character, they'd be fine.

And I attended the midnight launch because I was coming back from a business trip and my flight came into PHL @ 11:00.

I would've been the guy in the suit, heaping disdain on the emo crew he was standing in line with.

And no, University isn't overrated. It's how you get a nice high-paying career, and not end up wearing a nametag or a construction helmet.

I have no school debt either; I worked full-time for Penn State while I went so they picked up 75% of my tab. So there goes that little theory.

People who didn't go to college will try to convince you that was the better way just as people who farm mats will try to convince you that's the better way.

They have to; their actions require justification. Of course, the results are that I have a nice office, can post to WoW all day, and get well paid for it.

What's missing in this debate, was the person spending their day folding shirts, scanning items, and making frosty Orange/Milk concoctions.

They're unaware any websites exist outside of the game, and are too dense to find them.

And if you saw the post where they tell you the Blizzcon floor reeks with the scent of a couple thousand WoW geeks, you'd know why I call them the 'great unwashed.'

Sydera said...

Ummm....I think you missed a lot of people in your US taxpayer count.

Did your 138 million include married couples who have two incomes but file taxes jointly?

College students often have to file a tax return even though they make little money at their student jobs.

Is that number specifically for taxpayers or number of tax returns per year?

The point is, everyone pays taxes--even Grandma on her savings account. It just isn't very much for some income categories.

Sydera said...

You forget also, Goblin, that the poorest members of society pay the highest percentage of their income in tax--sales tax, that is. It's the least "fair" of all taxes, and everyone, including illegal immigrants, pays it.

I would be very, very careful about declaring things like the poor pay no taxes and make no contributions to society. This simply isn't the case.

Also: there are no welfare queens. No one gets rich or lives comfortably on welfare. Most people who receive government assistance also work, which means that they also pay income tax. Everyone does--it's taken out of paychecks before you receive them, so there's no cheating, and no choice, when it comes to money from an employer. If people file a tax return, some portion will be returned to them as a refund, but the lowest income people are ironically among the least likely to actually file a tax return and thus pay more than they ought quite often. I used to get very frustrated with fellow grad students who didn't file their tax returns (mostly because, on student visas to the US, they didn't really understand how our system worked).

Grad students make a very small, below poverty-line salary, and yet we pay significant taxes on it.

I would be really, really careful about making broad generalizations based on a few statistics. As I've said before the USA is NOT Europe. There are not very many social or governmental phenomena that translate exactly between the two contexts.

Refractor said...

@RyanC: "Then came the "University is overrated" replies from the people without college degrees. That was to be're wrong, and a million college dropouts with a million keyboards writing a million posts to the contrary can't convice me otherwise, but we all have our own opinions on that."

What do the following people have in common:

Mary Kay Ash
Richard Branson
Coco Chanel
Simon Cowell
Michael Dell
Barry Diller (founder, Fox Broadcasting)
Walt Disney
Debbi Fields (Mrs. Fields)
Henry Ford
Bill Gates
Milton Hershey
Steve Jobs
Rachael Ray
Ty Warner
Frank Lloyd Wright

Wait for it... They are all college dropouts.

Intelligence and college degrees are helpful - but are not prerequisites to success.

Anonymous said...

I like to use this while playing WOW. It helps me stay trim.

Ab Stimulator

RyanC said...

Broad generalizations? You use very rare examples of once in a lifetime inventors as proof that college is overrated?

How about you look up the average salary of the person who graduated high school vs. college (or Univeristy; we view them as America, we call our crappy schools Junior Colleges.

Bachelor's Degree: $52,200
High School Diploma: $30,400

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Surveys, March 2000.

So unless those super-dropouts are sending you a piece of their wealth each month, I'm going to say the deck is stacked in favor of the college grad. I'm pretty sure Richard Branson isn't cutting you in.

Why do you think people would assume thousands in debt? Did you think you were clever avoiding it?

An investment is something you sink money into, that pays you back over time. At first, it seems like a loss, but then it pays dividends.

From age 20 to 65, for 45 years, people who went to University will make an extra $22k/year ON average.

It's like buying 2 stacks of Lotus under 20g. It's initially a loss, followed by a slow unwinding on inventory leading to a profit.

Do you clowns even read or understand this blog? Do things like opportunity cost, supply & demand, etc. even register on your radar?

Put it this way, while you spent 4 years farming minimum wage, I spent 4 years crafting a diploma.

The diploma allows all my future farming efforts to yield 70% more gold.

One day I will surpass all the gold I gave up in those first 4 years.

At which point I begin widening the unbridgeable gap between you and me.

Your skill in Educated has increased to 450.

Anonymous said...


"And no, University isn't overrated. It's how you get a nice high-paying career, and not end up wearing a nametag or a construction helmet."

You know, plumbers make a hell of lot more than you do so do lots of other jobs.

McDonalds managers make more money than bank managers and all you have to do at mcDonalds is work your way up.

If you've ever been to a university you'll know that the intelligent people generally work in research. Research doesn't pay that well but those people are highly intelligent.

If you go to university expecting to get a high paid job then you're in for a shock. Especially in this day and age.

Property development isn't a science, doesn't require a degree but can make someone millions.

You worked full time whilst you went to university, your degree must of been a piss take then since the last 2 years of my course required being there from 9-5.

RyanC said...

To the Anonymous moron, I worked night and went to class day.

I also graduated in the top 5% of my class.

I have a job in Finance, despite a recession. How is your McDonald's management job coming?

McDonald's Managers have never made more than a bank manager. Ever.

BTW, I'll have fries with that. Speed it up!

I make more than a plumber, and I don't have to stare at other people's toilet bowls all day.

Research? I'm not talking about working at a University, but graduating from one.

Wow, if you were unaware you're a complete and total idiot, grab the crown and scepter...because today, you're the king!

Anonymous said...

@Ryan C

Anyone can come on here and post whatever they want about their alleged real life achievements. Without any proof you sound merely like a bitter bitter person with an axe to grind against the world.

However, please keep posting, your uneducated rantings make me laugh. Please be sure to highlight your well paying job in Finance and your hot GF!! Throw in some obscure reference to a "business trip" and you're all done.

Anonymous said...

I've worked it out! Ryan C is a gureilla (spelt wrong - I neverz went to yooneeversity) marketing campaign for a well known brand of Orange drink. That's why he mentions it in all his posts!

andrew said...

ur not thinking outside the box tbh, what about the people with a high matabalism or walk to work, just beacuse the people who went to the midnight launch are fat dosnt mean everyone is, im 15 and ive got 87% in a ICT university degree and i play rugby and other stuff as well, not all wow players are raiders some are casual players..

RandomHunter said...

McDonalds managers make more money than bank managers and all you have to do at mcDonalds is work your way up.

Um, proof please? Seeing as I happen to be a manager at a bank I am very curious to see these statistics.

Let's see, just here in my local area, I'm playing with an OB/GYN, a bowling center proprietor (chain of several centers) and his wife who is a CPA.

FYI... I am DPS. :)

RyanC said...

They're all fat, I'm the only one who's not, it's called the law of averages. I'm the only one who's not average jeez what do they teach you in school. You forget that WoW is NOT a random distribution.

Now fetch me a soda! And mow my lawn!

I'm amazed at the

RyanC said...

A) The Orange Julius is the Cadillac of drinks, but I'm pretty sure they're not into guerilla marketing. I'm also sure they'd send someone less inflammatory to hawk their wares.

B) Anyone who's read my posts can figure out I graduated from school, because they're full of things like sentences and punctuation. If you need to see a picture of me at my desk then you're going to have wait forever. Again, I find it flattering that you think my day to day is so special.

C) Some knob asked WHY I went to the midnight launch. Again, it's funny how my regular routine seems glamorous to someone who scans barcodes for a living. Yes, my flight touched down before midnight. Yes, it takes me ~30 min to drive home. Yes, there is a Gamestop on the way home.

I'm sorry if the furthest your job sends you is to the corner of the parking lot to pour the fryer oil in the fat barrel, but life isn't always fair.

D) There are thin people who play WoW...they're just not the minority and you're right, not raiders. You play Rugby; I play baseball and run 5ks. Most of your fellow WoWers would die of a heart attack if they tried outdoor activity of any type. Still, I have no interaction with casuals. We don't bring them to high end content. I'm running Faction Champions tonight, and nobody is rocking any blues. It's possible to raid casually, but you have to make up the time difference with knowledge of loot tables, and boss fights.

E) I do have an axe to grind; mainly with stupid opiniated people who insist on arguing the exception as the rule, that everyone is EXACTLY like them, that people who can't get their crap together in real life are somehow magically able to pull it together in-game, and that every doctor, lawyer and financial advisor should quit their jobs and work their way up the McDonald's corporate ladder.

RyanC said...

Lol, laughing at the person who wants to post as me yet can't figure out how to edit or publish correctly!

Wow, I've managed to turn the GG into a saint. Well, 79 comments. Not quite a record, but not bad.

Anonymous said...

RyanC - I'm sure someone as educated and special as you will appreciate there is a large difference between being able to write 'n' spell 'n' such (that was irony, look it up) and working in a high end finance job.

So unless you can prove that a) it's true and b) it has some bearing on the discussion I suggest you stop banging on about it. Because no-one here believes it.

And come now, you're going to spout on about how you don't care if we believe it or not because your life is so great and you make so much cash and your GF is a supermodel. But if all that were true and you still felt the need to brag, then I really feel pity for you.

William said...


There are plenty of people who make more than you, and have a "better" life. It's not like you're anything special. Plus, all the money in the world doesn't make you a good person.

About half of my friends back from high school are now medical/law students, but they don't look down on others like you do. You have some serious ego issues to sort out.

Anonymous said...

Screen shot or it didn't happen.

Here's prove that the average wow player is fat and ugly. Here are some pictures of one of the top alliance guilds on US Thrall. There GM is 35, fat, ugly and lives with his grandma.

Unimel:1997 BE, 2002 BComm, 2006 Mecon

Anonymous said...


"To the Anonymous moron, I worked night and went to class day.

I also graduated in the top 5% of my class.

I have a job in Finance, despite a recession. How is your McDonald's management job coming?

McDonald's Managers have never made more than a bank manager. Ever.

BTW, I'll have fries with that. Speed it up!

I make more than a plumber, and I don't have to stare at other people's toilet bowls all day.

Research? I'm not talking about working at a University, but graduating from one.

Wow, if you were unaware you're a complete and total idiot, grab the crown and scepter...because today, you're the king!"

Are you a fucking idiot? How do you think people get research positions in a university? By graduating more often than not with PhDs. They actually have to use their brains and figure stuff out for themselves.

Well done on being a clerk in a bank.

Gen said...

"And I attended the midnight launch because I was coming back from a business trip and my flight came into PHL @ 11:00."

How convenient....

Thunderhorns said...

Ryan C is a stupid punk. I can't stand little punks like him.

Guys like him I'd love to get face to face and see if they run their mouths or if their rude arrogance extends to the Internet.

Yay Ryan C. You took the time to get a degree. You're such a "superior" person.

I know plenty of guys with degrees that spends hours playing WoW. Once you get out of school, you don't necessarily get a job you love and become this hard working professional with no time to spare.

Alot of the time you end up married, in a standard white collar job that is as monotonous as a blue color job, and then you wait for your weekends or the end of your work day so you can get home and escape to wow.

A degree does absolutely nothing to guarantee you will get a job you like, that you will be wealthy, or that you will not have time for WoW.

You make little sense and have little understanding of the world. Just graduated in 2006 eh? I guess you are what? 25.

Wait until you are in your 30s, married, and working your sorry ass job for 10 years doing the same monotonous thing every day that seemed so interesting and promising when you are young. Then you'll be dreaming of Wow while at work more than likely.

You would probably be surprised by the various backgrounds of Wow players. Life is an endurance run for most people: boring, long, and tiring. Video games, movies, books, and all other forms of entertainment fill the hours between work, sleep, eating. and other responsibilities.

For many it is their little spot of sunshine in an otherwise boring and monotonous life. If your life is not that way yet, good for you. But we'll see where you are in 10 years or so and if you're not still looking to video games to break up the monotony of your boring life.

I'd bet money an arrogant punk like yourself doesn't amount to much in this world. Guys like you are so much hot air and then you're life will amount to about the same as that middle 70% you claim you are better than.