Friday, December 19, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recesssion and depression

I feel like the rest of the world just got in sync with me philosophically. After making and spending lots of money, its kinda like "OOOK, is that all there is?" Which lead me first to recession in that I receded from the whole rat race for a while because it didn't make sense. Then to depression where I feel like "What is the point of this whole (capitalist) world?" With the rest of the world now following, I actually kinda feel more connected and sympathetic.

I appreciate that more wealth as a society is a good thing if it prevents people from being hungry and homeless. But the aritificially created "boom" of the past 25 years did not. The poverty rate is basically what it was 30 years ago.

For the majority of Americans the whole "boom" resulted in both parents working, for longer hours, with less job security and no retirement benefits . Yeah, we bought more and bigger things but most of that was on credit. Yeah, we got 401Ks but most Americans are now worse off than they were with guaranteed pension benefits which came with the stable, working class job that paid a living wage.

So who won? The rich, those who focused on making money for money's sake, the egotists (Ayn Rand) and the randomly lucky.

It took a huge implosion for anyone to care about the declining standard of living of THEMSELVES. We were distracted by "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and "The Simple Life" from the reality of our economic situation. This (self) deception was masterfully facilitated by the predatory credit card/mortgage industry which allowed the average person to have the life they saw on TV without the money. And now we get the surprise at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box - bankruptcy.

So I feel united with the world for the first time in a long while. We are going to dig ourselves out of depression and learn from it lessons that will make ourselves and our society better, happier and more fulfilled.