2009-03-11

Us v. Them Is Now Us v. Us



I love this guy's videos. To me he is absolutely genius. I actually was inspired to do a post. Since discovering I have a mini Siditty cooking, my life on the internet has revolved around mommy message boards, natural childbirth, breast feeding, and attachment parenting. I know riveting right? I just have been sidetracked and I have kind of slacked a bit. I am sorry. I promise to do better. As per usual, I digress.

In this video, the talks about democratic capitalism and how it has been successful because there was always a underclass to exploit. With the current economic situation, I believe this to be true. Growing up, I was always told hard work and education led to a life of stability and happiness. This is no longer the case. The middle class is struggling and shrinking. The housing market has caused people to go from living in luxury to the streets. The idea of status has been tarnished, and the credit used to at one time maintain this appearance of status has dried up, leaving many people to face a grim reality. It takes more than hard work and an education to grant stability. The middle class has fully realized, we aren't all that far from the poverty and despair of the underclass. Some of the middle class have become the underclass.

It seems that with laissez faire regulation of companies and capitalism, many of us had a laissez faire approach to credit and finances. We wanted to believe the hype that everything was ok, when in reality we slipped into an economic recession that seems to be here for the long term and will alter the social status of many people.

In happier economic times we bought houses, cars, vacations, and everything else on borrowed money. We lived the lives we had always envisioned. The yearly trips overseas to Europe or South America. The beautiful house that by standards of 30 or 40 years ago would have been considered a mansion.

I can say me and my husband were guilty of this lifestyle ourselves. We felt that it was a necessity for us as two people to have a four bedroom house, when in reality a one or two bedroom house would have sufficed. My mother growing up the second oldest of nine kids (ten, if you count her half sister), grew up in a house in which there were only really three bedrooms and one bathroom. A living area was converted into another bedroom to accommodate the amount of boys. My mother lucked out in only having to share a room with one sister, whereas the seven boys had to work it out in the other rooms. Even now being pregnant I sometimes have regrets we didn't go bigger, because now one of us has to give up an office or we have to give up a guest bedroom. It sounds tragic, doesn't it? Really more like selfish, but that is the mentality many people have. Bigger is better is the American way, isn't it?

So my question is this? Is the middle class going to be the new underclass to get us out of this economic downturn? It seems the rich will remain rich, and the already poor are at an advantage in knowing what services are available to them? It seems the middle class always suffers the most.