The Daily Grind

There’s a number of things in the world I have trouble accepting.

Living life using mental shortcuts. Never questioning anything you were raised with. Anti-intellectualism. Being proud that you don’t read books, when you were taught to read and write. Denial of problems when it conflicts with your ideology. Mindless patriotism and the automatic deference towards authority. Defensiveness, and the viewing of questions or criticisms as a threat. The inability to analyse oneself. Feels over reals.

None of these are problems that I think can be solved in the vast majority of the US population. They are insidious. Public schools in the US teach children to be factory workers in a country with few factories. They don’t teach critical thinking or financial education, just how to pass mandated tests. Memorization over application.

It is a sad state of affairs. And any change is stymied by ideology and rigid party politics.

And let’s not get into what the Baby Boomers are doing.

It consumes a good part of my mind. I think to myself, is it wise to build money for retirement in a system I don’t have much faith in? Look at the people we are turning out that will determine the future. Even if I am a good steward of my savings, will they even be there when I grow old? Am I a cog for nothing? But to not be one spells current survival disaster.

I am, as always, a pragmatist. I don’t like it, but I work because survival is key. My husband, while sharing a lot of my feelings, is kind of naive.

He thinks if you don’t like something, you can just not participate. He has an almost childish stubbornness of refusing to do things he doesn’t like, regardless if he *has* to. But if he quits doing the 9-5 thing he hates so much, then he’ll be at the mercy of our country’s pathetic safety net. Without money, without employment, without a credit score, you simply cannot function.

Another thing is, he has never experienced poverty. He was raised in an upper middle class family whose lifestyle was buoyed by an inheritance from a family member who retired with six figures in stocks from the company he’d worked for his whole life. He watched his father casually quit jobs he didn’t like, knowing that the inheritance was there to back him up. That inheritance? Mostly squandered by the father, who listened to Fox News telling him to buy gold.

My husband doesn’t understand that in the terms of current society, he is ungrateful and unappreciative of his current standing. Millions would kill to have the stability and security of his current life. I mean, I understand where he is coming from. But to make decisions for the world he *wants* to live in rather than the world he actually lives in, is foolish to the extreme.

Emigrating to a country with a higher standard of living isn’t an option. Foreign languages and foods are scary to my husband. But what is possible is relocating to states that seem to be making some progressive changes, instead of the stagnant bible-belt state we live in now. Maybe in a few years.. I don’t know. I hate saying the phrase “maybe in a few years” because I might be saying it again in a few years.


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