Reflecting Tons Lately

It’s May 6th today.  In a little over a month I will have my 41st birthday.

While the past three years have been a struggle, things have slowly improved.  Things have gotten better.

But I have to look at that and compare to what I should be at this time in my life.  I still have no retirement.  I still have enough debt to make me uncomfortable.  I still haven’t recovered what I had before Wall Street sabotaged the American economy with their debt scams, and I got weasel-worded out of my and my brother’s full inheritance.

Yes, I can recover.  Yes, I have made remarkable steps in recovering my ability to support myself.  But at the cost of years, and I still haven’t recovered fully.

All because of other peoples’ greed – their need to make a quick buck and fuck all else.

Which is why I watch Twitter and Facebook.  I add just enough positivity on those mediums to keep from complete despair, but I need to see what’s happening to re-center myself.  To re-learn who I was before.

And, in that time, I realize I’ve come to a point where I cannot listen to other sob stories anymore without projecting myself into them.

This is more than a little disturbing.

After my father died, things hit bottom, but not bedrock bottom.  I thought they were bad, but I wasn’t fully aware of how bad things could get.

Then I spent a year (well, 360-some days,) unemployed, living off of Ramen and watching my belongings slowly degrade.

Then I started rebuilding, to the point where I can now afford to spend unplanned money and I can absorb it.  I’m now replacing bits of wardrobe that I have literally worn out, worn until they fell apart.

And there are people out there that tell me that this shouldn’t happen, so it didn’t happen.

Not any of my friends, no – please don’t read that into this.

But plutocrats and people out of touch with the reality of surviving.

The current place I live at is not the America I was taught existed – a land of opportunity, where people can make something for themselves if they just apply themselves.

The current America I live in is a place where people are more concerned with making groups out of people based off of silly things like belief or skin color or the way those people express themselves.  The current America I live in is a place where people are more interested in excluding people than in actually living their own lives.  They are more concerned in telling people what to do or think or be than in just being themselves.

And, when they aren’t busy telling other people how to do things or think about things or be, they’re just out there to make money.

Always about the lowest cost and the highest profit.  To the point of making it impossible for others to just survive.

I don’t want hand-outs.  I never wanted hand-outs.  I don’t blame other people, whatever color or belief, for the hardships I went through.  I do blame people who place profit over reality.  People who place the next dollar available tomorrow over the next one-hundred available in a month.  Or the thousand available a year from now.  Especially from those entities that make enough money to cease collecting income for a month and still survive.

But it took the previous President of the United States going on T.V. and telling employers “don’t discriminate potential hires by length of unemployment – just hire people, we need people to be employed to make the economy work” before I actually had productive interviews.

I am angry that people had to be told to be decent before they were decent.  I am angry that people don’t understand that you have to be nice to get nice.  And that being nice isn’t being weak.  That acknowledging others’ needs and wants is somehow less than human.

I’m really lucky – I’m white and male.  I could make this recovery, and it wasn’t easy in the slightest.  I gotta wonder how much worse it would’ve been if I was female, or a different color, or I professed beliefs differently than I do now.

I do not see the value in putting other people down.  I do not see the value in handicapping people who believe differently than I do.  But there are too many people who do put down others out there.

It’s not about others making enough to survive, it’s all about how that fucks me over.  Well, it ain’t like that.  Other people prospering doesn’t mean you can’t.  We all can – there’s proof in the fact that economies expand, they aren’t just a limited pool.  That’s why we moved past the gold standard – because the population of America was growing faster than our ability to supply gold was.  That’s why we have a Federal Reserve system – to put out more money or slow production of money as the economy grows or stalls.

It’s all past individual income, and applying the rules you use to balance your checkbook to one of the most powerful economies on Earth is not only inapplicable, it’s inexcusably ignorant and dangerous.  Yes, it may be easier to understand, but it’s not an accurate equivalence, it’s not even an equivalence.  It’s like calling a map the actual terrain – dangerous and stupid.

It’s really disturbing, and disheartening.

So I make blog posts like this.

And continue to try to think a way through this.