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'the good life' on a single family income
Why "the good life" is no longer as attainable on a single family income...
I believe that college used to be the golden ticket to a good life, back when our parents (and possibly grandparents) were starting to make their way in the world.
So ‘they’ decided to
create more national debt … convince us that everybody should have that opportunity, and created federal college loans.
However, the reason a degree worked like a golden ticket was, in part, because not everyone had one.
Now, degrees are a dime a dozen, and the recipients of so many bullshit-certificates now owe the government hundreds of thousands of dollars (which looks good on paper for our government! generating revenue!) AND years of their working lives, IF they can get a job in their field that pays enough to make those loan payments without sacrificing grocery money.
Don't get me started on the travesty that is compulsory K-12 "education", this is supposed to be a short piece…
Food isn't food anymore, it's a marketing game played with products, created with a company's bottom line in mind - rather than any pesky far-reaching implications on the general health of our species.
So, eating and cooking real food made from real ingredients has turned into some freakish luxury, reserved for city dwellers who shop at Whole Paycheck.
Besides, who has time to organically garden, let alone cook, or research the REAL reasons why their health is flagging?
Just grab another hot pocket, pop some Xanax and get back to the office already.
The debt trap:
Debt is not a moral failing so much as a shrewdly calculated side-effect of marketing and consumerism being our national religion.
When we are voluntarily enslaved, it keeps us from experiencing the freedom we think our current level of income affords us.
Debt forces us to borrow from tomorrow to live today - thereby creating a situation that forces us to live on less than what we're actually earning.
If your total debt payments take up 35% of your monthly income, then you might as well detract 35% from your monthly earnings, ‘cause that's the real figure you're living on.
True freedom, which is supposedly an American value, is not experienced by those living under crushing debt.
But since we did it to ourselves, since we're free to make our own 'sensible' choices under a continual barrage of marketing and psychologically-crafted propaganda, there's no sympathy or relief in sight…and now we have to live on even less to pull ourselves out of the trap we’ve created.
In the past - one of our parents had to ‘sell their soul’ to provide the good life for his (usually, his) family.
It may have been hard, grueling work, but only one income was enough to support a family of 4 or 5 comfortably, to live in the city, drive a nice car, and even take a vacation in the Summer.
A single-income family used to be the norm - but now, it seems that even two incomes aren’t enough to provide the so-called good life.
Worse, the good life is ever-more glamorized on social media, complete with filters for flawless skin - and maximum insecurity for all those who are ‘missing out’.
Maybe what they’ve been selling us as “the good life” is the real lie, hmm?
Now, as grandparents age and reflect, they often have regrets and don't necessarily want their children to miss out on their kids’ childhoods...
Especially when so many Millennials are no longer building a portfolio of wealth and long-term prosperity so much as just staying afloat.
Many modern parents are less willing to accept that kind of lifestyle, now that we see plainly what kind of bargains the world of work, debt, and wage-slavery demands.
In fact, for many - having children is itself starting to be viewed as a luxury…
My dad is 77, and for many years, he thought that our fervent desire to be present as much as possible for our children, meant that we were somehow lazy or unambitious.
He did not have a reference point for the kind of sacrifices we make to be there for our kids more often - to forego financial ladder-climbing and hoop jumping - because in his world, maintaining a facade of success was paramount.
Perhaps the ‘price tag’ we pay to be a one-income family is a bad bargain - or perhaps, it’s time to toss out the old measuring stick.
We’ve decided on a new definition of success. It includes living sustainably, avoiding debt, and prioritizing our relationships with our kids.
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