Reprocessing the Middle Class — Act 2

The second act of reprocessing the middle class begins after college.  Our “middle class” young people, now shackled with over twenty grand in debt from college loans, feel “fortunate” to land a job paying thirty to fifty grand a year.  Others that aren’t so lucky have to take part-time jobs or jobs well below their potential.  It is at this point that the vultures begin to circle and prey on humanity’s greatest weakness — you can have it all now and pay for it later in small incremental payments known as interest.  There aren’t any animate creatures on earth with enough discipline to forgo a meal offered today rather than wait until tomorrow.  The human creation of debt and credit was a very costly invention to the majority and it preys upon a fundamental weakness in our genetic make up.

Those young people fresh out of college that want and are enticed to live the middle class American Dream immediately begin to load themselves up with things and more debt.  The first big purchase is a car with low-interest payments.  The second big purchase is a house or a condo where the government actually throws out carrots via mortgage payment tax breaks.  Along with the house and car comes additional expenses including insurance, maintenance, gas, furniture, big screen TV’s, fancy phones, cable and the internet.  The other costs of living like groceries, health insurance, heat, and entertainment further eat into the young person’s meagre annual salary.  Keep in mind prices for goods and services in the United States aren’t in decline — inflation especially on gas and groceries is on the rise.
The marketing and advertising blitz permeating from the television, mobile phone, radio, and the internet, combined with the easy access to credit cards and more debt, encourages and enables the young person to acquire even more things than he or she may or may not know they want or need.  Beautiful woman, handsome men, our Hollywood heroes and sports icons, all used as bait to round-up the school of fish.  The concept of saving or waiting to acquire things is a foreign concept.  The American youth isn’t brought up Asia style.  The culture defined by the capitalistic machinery is one that is based not only on consumption, but instant consumption.  Live for the day and pay the price tomorrow.  Some of the youth, either through good parenting or common sense, avoid these traps, but the vast majority go for the bait and get hooked.  What else could have driven the American economy in the last two decades — manufacturing? No, the only thing truly driving the United States economy in the last two decades is the easy access to credit and debt.

8 thoughts on “Reprocessing the Middle Class — Act 2

  1. Exactly. A debt culture is the problem, and it’s exacerbated by intangible, electronic money. Unfortunately, the electronic trend isn’t going to reverse. So, what to do? Sorry that I came to this post out of sequence, having already commented on the next one, but that applies to this one too.

    I would suggest that good first steps in combatting this is better economic education in high schools and cutting down on government underwriting of debt. That has already happened to some extent in housing and it needs to happen in college debt. Tuition debt money isn’t going into improved education but into the pockets of tenured professors and administrators. Turn off the spigots and students will be forced to shop for value.

  2. Fancy cell phones, internet, and cable can easily eat you up $200+++
    I added up those luxuries in our household and they exceed what we pay for electricity and gas for heating; we live in a small energy efficient house. Young folks think of the digital age stuff as necessities.

    • I am not against technological progress…unfortunately most want to monetize those using it rather than use technology to improve the quality of life for more people. Yes, I remember my bundled technology costs were well over $200 bucks excluding cell phone which was covered by the company I worked for:)

      • Keep writing TinCup. Your site is one of my favorites. I can no longer stand tv, the newspapers etc. that push some infotainment and spin view with flashy video and fast talk. Your articles cut to the chase with some basic facts and give you the time to pause and reflect.

      • Glad you like it Randel. I get tired of my own voice and would much rather be writing in a more positive light. I would like to be writing how we are on a great course and our children and future children have so much to look forward to the next hundred years. Unfortunately, the sky doesn’t look so blue.

  3. Pingback: Blog Details the Invisible Traps We All Face in the U.S. Economy | Tim Prosser – Scratch Space

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