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The Myth of the Middle Class

The 'Twin Peaks' Economy

That the middle class is somehow disappearing is a phrase that has been bandied about ad infinitum in conversations about the economy. I posit herein that the middle class had already disintegrated. We’ve become something else entirely. 

The goal here is to be able to explain that without boring the reader to tears. The problem with talking about the economy is that people simply fall asleep. Their eyes glaze over right away. They’re not familiar with most of the terms and get lost. They don’t passionately care about economics. 

Whatever the reason, it’s a complex subject. It’s not sexy. People want to understand, but when phrases like ‘bimodal distribution’ or ‘symmetrical bell curve’ are introduced, it’s already over and you can tell right away.

So how do you simplify an explanation to the point that it will be digestible to the most amount of people without reducing the subject to an absurd degree?

I came up with a short story that can help illustrate the situation simply. I follow it up with a rhetorical analysis that provides context as to how our economy became the way it is. 

The Internet Is Not A Bathroom Stall

The internet is not a bathroom stall

and/or otherwise entitled how to engage with people online regardless of the subject, and actually be successful.

It goes without saying that the internet is endlessly scrawled upon by pseudo-intellectuals waiting for their turn to speak. People endlessly spin their wheels in conversations that ping pong back and forth between two unimpressive opinions by people who aren’t even experts in the subject about which they converse.

Spending so much time and energy with little result to show for it is not productive. This subject, and those conversations, aren’t even really up to debate (it actually is, this is just my opinion). Academically, logically, and logistically it just doesn’t make sense to behave in this manner.

Debate itself can’t happen until the two parties agree upon terms. That requires from the outset some level of understood cooperation between people of differing views. You don’t HAVE TO be civilized, but none of us were raised by wolves, so acting out isn’t going to all of a sudden be seen as ‘action movie tough’ behavior. You’re not saving the day here. The idea of debate and the standards of that is so lost on our contemporary culture that we might as well be Marco Polo. 

 

JOURNAL ENTRY: Wealth and Hellness

I have done so much damage to my body and mind over time. A rock and roll lifestyle and devil may care attitude is cool when you’re young, but when you’re pushing middle age it’s not only not a good look, but it’s straight up self-harm and torture (especially if you add all the little eccentricities that make up my mental illness and trial & tribulation).

As someone who’s an alcoholic and has a history of experiencing trauma it’s taken a long time to come to a place where I feel I’m finally starting to make progress. In clarity I’ve come to so many amazing conclusions and have found passion towards myriad, varying subjects. In sobriety I found myself whole and lucid for the first time in a long time. 

I always want to reach for the stars and get what I want right away. Maybe it’s the American in me. As a nation, as a culture, we’ve been conditioned to feel we should be able to push a button and get what we want all the time. Instant gratification.