Happy New Year.
I resolve to be kind. Kinder.
I resolve to fix as many broken things as possible. Rather than buy anew.
Corporate idiots are telling us to not think. Not fix. Instead, buy. As usual. Worse yet, they are instructing us to be afraid. Afraid of things that are statistically implausible.
Ebola. Terrorist attacks. Race riots. Societal dissolution.
Their masters have instructed them. They have bought and paid for our elected officials, our government. We should all see this, but we don't.
We keep buying.
That is how our capitalist culture makes money, after all. We begrudge the necessities of life while glorifying the ostentatious. Oh, it sucks to fix a furnace, while two weeks of well earned vacation are vanguard. Why deal with the NOW when you can masturbate on the titillating unknown?
(Not that we should eschew the downtime; our culture is pathetically lacking in time off.)
Those of us who can should try to live like people beyond our means. Which, like those above us, means disregarding the rest. We've worked hard. Screw the moochers.
America, "middle class America," you cannot look beyond your small-mindedness enough to glimpse the sad truth.
You/we are now propping up a lie. And we are helping the liers to rob the cookie jar dry.
Here is an idea. Holistic thinking. Man, that sounds liberal and new age, doesn't it?
However, it's more a matter of survival. Holistic thinking means examining the long view. Does something really make sense for you, your family, your community, your town, your state, your world?
Take Wal-Mart as an example. Folks celebrate the arrival of a new Wal-Mart store in their town. Cheap stuff that is readily available. But the average shopper doesn't realize they are subsidizing those cheap prices. Whoa. That's liberal talk. Right? A $.50 avocado is a $.50 avocado.
No matter what you are buying at Wal-Mart, you should add at least 20-30% to the purchase price. You are buying an illusion of low prices.
When you buy an item from Wal-Mart, or other discount retailers who market on price you are subsidizing their underpaid and under-benefitted labor force in the form of federal and state subsidies, like food stamps. And other public assistance. Yep, that's the truth.
You think you are getting a good deal. You get to travel down the road and vent your frustration in an entirely different, and seemingly unrelated, venue when you bark about handouts. Welfare. Damn those ne'er do wells. Sucking off the system.
But too many of those 'ingrates' you bemoan are actually gainfully employed folks trying to make a difference. They want to support their families; they care about their communities.
Reference the fast food workers' movement. It ain't all high school kids looking to get a break, people. Mothers and fathers are trying to live off those jobs.
You have been fed lies again about the mythical underclass who loves to not work and be handed everything. A beautiful lie since it makes you go to work and work harder, against benefits and recompense, to defeat them. That mythical underclass is a tiny percentage of people. Yet enterprising politicians inflate it to get you worked up (while they siphon monetary kickbacks that would boggle you).
Everywhere I have used "you" I mean "we." I, and all of us, play a part here.
Let us all make good decisions in 2015 that support sustainability.