Warning full rant ahead! Yeah, its been a week as regular readers can tell. No rosy skies over me but hey I am doing the best I can, some moments are better than others. That said, and forgive me if I have wrote about this before but with over 150 posts there are times I am bound to do a repeat or close to it.
I’m sorry, but nothing chaps my fucking hide faster than people who think that poor or working class folks should just try harder. After all if you are poor, or strapped with debt it must be your fault? No one ever wants to have an honest discussion about how for the past couple of decades we have set folks up for failure. No one wants to address that part of our credit woes is not about folks buying houses they couldn’tafford or spending their equity on lavish items. Yes, there are some folks who clearly fell into that trap, but I am convinced that much of our credit woes is due to simple shit like wage stagnation, the decline of employer provided health coverage, pension plans versus 401K’s.
See, in the world of yesterday one that I only caught a tiny glimspe of, you went to work, the job paid a wage that actually allowed you to live, same said employer provided you with insurance and maybe even a pension plan. So after you gave the company 30-40 years you knew you weren’t going to be eating cat food in your old age.
Problem is the powers to be decided we should all share in things such as providing for our retirement and heath care but never really gave us the workers high enough wages to adequately share in the costs. Oh yeah, we had some good years when the bubbles were growing, markets did well and folks thought they would retire in palatial style. Then we started to ride the real estate bubble and then everyone and his cousin figured he would be the next Donal Trump…we would all be masters of the universe. Truth is the only reason household incomes have risen in the past 30 years is because more and more women entered the workforce so in a 2 adult household with both parties working, a family depending on their skills and jobs might actually earn a decent salary. So nobody noticed that their salaries when adjusted for current day and inflation and what have you, never really noticed that they weren’t doing as well as their parents. It was all one fucking illusion.
Well the chickens have come home to roost and truth is we were all playing a game and now its over. Nobody has any cash which is why all this talk of getting folks to spend isn’t happening. Now that Visa is no longer raising our limits but in fact lowering them in some cases and we can’t tap that equity from our homes, truth is we are broke.
So to say folks need to work harder to rise up is really just simple talk, work harder at what? Flipping burgers? Come on, we are now living in a climate where hundreds of folks are applying for fucking janitorial positions…that’s a real growth position. Don’t even get me started on the numbers of women trying to fall back now on trading their bodies for cash. It seems record numbers of women are applying for jobs in the adult industry, sorry too tired to post links to recent stories but a quick Google search will reveal what I am talking about.
Lastly there is the issue of education specifically student loans, I have been engaging in some discussions with folks who feel that those of us who went into debt for degrees that are noit sure fire money makers didn’t use their brains. Well the bigger issue is why the fuck does school cost so much?
Once upon a time it was feasible that someone could work their way through school say with a nice summer job, problem is now at many schools the per credit costs has risen so quickly that a summer of flipping burgers even at 40 hours a week won’t put much of a dent in the tuition. Unless a family is upper middle class or higher the truth is its hard to go to college without taking out loans. Even scholarships are hard to come by in any substantial form. I maintained a 3.87 GPA for undergrad and still never got more than about 5G’s in scholarships, same for grad school.
Yeah, I guess I could have did college one class at a time which I actually tried but truthfully it was so hard that I eventually opted to take loans so I could get through quicker since as an adult juggling work and parenting was much easier said than done. Yeah, I know….I’m a slacker.
Anyway while there will always be some who truly are slacking, fact is we have created a system that working hard is no longer a guarantee of anything. It most certainly does not mean you will get ahead and lets be truthful, not all bootstraps are created equal.