Our fridges are still stocked, and no one enjoys a meal out more than an American. Problem is, the fridge is on credit, and both parents have to work to pay the grocery bill. Plus, living paycheck to paycheck means that any unforeseen expense (i.e. a busted transmission) gobble up your grocery money.
This isn't everyone. But there's a growing number of people who've fallen behind the "paycheck to paycheck" cycle - hence, the booming business of "title for cash" shops. I travel a good deal in my profession, and I see whole swaths of cities turning into pawn shops, dollar stores, and title for cash shops. The symptoms of a populace in the red.
|The Good Life at only 23 percent interest|
What's our lovable nanny state doing to keep this ship afloat? For one, it's borrowing at an unprecedented rate. The roads, the unemployment checks, the drones, the foreign aid - all on the USA's Diner's Club card. And it's all predicated on the assumption that "we're good for it". That loaning the US money at high interest is a sound business decision because..... we're the US of A.
But there's cracks in the foundation. A Fourth Estate with a celebrity fetish. A citizenship placated by bread and circuses. A legislative branch bought and paid for at wholesale prices. A treasury built on I.O.U.s. And companies in a race to the bottom - a mass exodus to cheaper and cheaper labor.
|Another Pleasant Valley Sunday|
I focus on the United States because that's where I live. But, truth be told, it's not all sunshine and lollipops across the pond either. The European economy is no prize. Spain is auctioning off its museums and airports, Greece has taken to the streets, and even the big guns like France are faltering. Scandinavia, with all their enviable social services and immaculate quality of life, is broke.
Meanwhile, the Middle East is the very definition of a powder keg. Down the Silk Road a stretch, India and Pakistan both have itchy trigger fingers hovering shakily above the big red button.
I could go on endlessly about world problems, but what's the point? There's plenty of radio personalities who make a healthy living belching up dire predictions. But their armchair prophesies just add to the cacophony; nothing changes. The airwaves are full of gloom and doom but nothing changes, so what's the point?
|Drink up. The end is near.|
As much as I grumble, I wouldn't trade my Swiffer Wet Jet for a feudal serf's plow. Things are grim, yet life expectancy is high and things could easily turn around for the better.
|It beats being an indentured slave to a feudal lord|
These people that spend their lives preparing for the Apocalypse (what are they called? "preppers"?) are just acting out their anxiety and control issues. I remember the Y2K scare and how it fizzled into thin air like all the other predictions of the End Times. Their time would be better served taking that energy and focusing it on making a change - instead of this selfish desire to hunker down and survive. If you've seen the The Road, you know that surviving ain't all it's cracked up to be.
|"When the starving women and children come for your Doritos, make sure the safety is off."|
But, in the end, I think you're better off just playing some Foghat and taking the punches that life throws your way.
Gilligan has spoken.