Im at work. My phone rings. It’s one many of the 1800 numbers of bill collectors or scammers that want money. On this particular day, I pick up. An older woman answers.
(our conversation, not verbatim but close enough)
Caller: Hello, yes is this Mr. Reed?
Me: (here we go) Yup!
Caller: This is, (one of my various student loan places) calling you in an attempt to collect a debt… blah, blah, blah
Me: (Imagine by John Lennon playing in my head)
Caller: … You owe $40,000 in student loans, how would you like to make your payment
Me: (waiting for common sense to kick in or the punch line to the joke she just told) Oh, well I can’t make that payment (40k, yea let me just pull that out of my bank behind my house. You know, the one that has a diving board in it so I can dive into my money at my leisure)
Caller: Ok that’s fine…Can we set you up on payment plan?
Me: Um, yea, we can do that
Caller: Ok, well it will be $1200 a month, can we have the bank info or card to information so we can start on this payment right away
Me: (is this a scam, cause if they had my info she would not be assuming I had that kind of money) Um, that’s not gonna work for me
Caller: Oh, ok well we can lower it to about $700 a month. WIll that work for you …
Me: Well thank you for lowering it, but that won’t work either, between daycare cost, the other student loans I’m already paying back, my car payment, cell phone…
Caller: I totally understand, Is there an amount you can do a month?
Me: Oh, well, I can do like $20 a month…
Caller: Oh, that won’t work
Me: You asked me what amount I can do a month. I told you, I don’t see a problem here.
20 minutes later
Caller: Ok mr read we have you set up for $20 a month
(she takes my bank info and says all the jargon about paying and missed payments)
Me: thank you, have a nice day.
So what is this all about? Why did I just show you this call? Well to ask you a question. Have you ever questioned our system? Have you ever thought, why is it the way it is? Are we in a class system or a silent caste system? With all our shared knowledge and intelligence, why do we trust our broken systems? Do we even really care that it’s broken. This one is a little different, I have some questions and please feel free to help me out and give me some answers.
So we all know, we work on (for) a monetary system. We have currency to buy our food, clothes, shelter, and transportation, the basics of life. We go to stores and use federal IOU’s (money) that have various values. But have you asked the question, Why?
How do we put a price on the work you do? Who says my Job, helping and teaching special needs kids gets paid less than a person who is a professional athlete. Who puts the worth of entertainment over first responders? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the grit, passion, and skill athletes show in a ring and on the field. Making sure our entertainers, athletes, politicians, and CEO’s are comfortable, I agree with, BUT, there is a big difference between being comfortable and living in extreme opulence. So answer this, why are most working class citizens in debt or have just enough, what makes our skills only worth just surviving and not thriving? If I make less money why do I pay more interest? Why have we not, as a society, come up with a way that we can all live and not lack?
So most of america deals with debt daily. The country itself is in debt. I found out about this during Clinton’s time in office. I was but a mere tween and my Mom told me how Bill Clinton got the country out of debt. As I got older I went to college and got a job during the summer. After one year of school I quickly discovered what Debt was, first hand.
So my question is how does a system so messed up continue to exist?
Let’s say you buy a big item but you can’t pay it all on the same day. Well you can pay it off in installments, a certain amount of money, every 2 weeks or every month. Sounds easy right. BUT, there is a catch, you have to pay interest, an added percentage that goes by your credit score. Well your credit score goes by your past payment history. So, let’s say you have awesome credit then your interest you pay is low. BUT, if you have bad credit, your interest is high. Now the logic is you have to prove you can pay even with the high interest. Is that really good logic? To me it only keeps the well off with better things and the poor with worse things. So are we really trying to help the poor? Is it really fair?
So in recent years this whole college scandal thing has come to light. This is nothing new to the masses and I guarantee as I’m writing this another college is accepting a lot of money to accept another kid into their school. If you have the money you can get the best education. Not a new concept. What makes my child less than anyones elses. Yes all children are important, so shouldn’t they all have an equal opportunity to learn any and everything? Not just what some person, state, or district, deems good enough due to their money, race, and demographic.
Growing up, the highlight of Technology was a Gameboy or a video game console. We could care less about computers. As technology grew so did demand and so did the price. I remember paying for my first console. I bought a PS2 for $250 as a B-day gift for myself. I took the bus home from work to Gamestop. Then I walked home with it in my bookbag. That was on a salary of $6 and hour working 5 days a week.
Today I can’t even afford a console and I make almost 3.5 times as much. As accessible as technology is, it almost feels like good technology is not for hard working people. Or hard working people have to work 3 times as hard to obtain it. Why? I understand why it’s so expensive. (Tariff wars, cost of parts and materials, etc…).
My issue is not the tech, I mean, I’m using a laptop to write this piece. My issue is the demand put on it and how the masses are pressured into buying into the current tech. Like, I grew up when the internet was mainly used for email and sending documents (totally phasing out fax machines and bike couriers). In no time it exploded into search engines, information, videos, memes, porn, buying and selling, and now, anything you can think of.
Today your house is not complete without wi-fi. You can do nothing without wi-fi, a cell phone, a laptop, or a tablet. Society makes you feel like an outcast without any of these technological tools. There are alternatives but society and the powers that be, would hate for you to know about them. Why?
If you combine all the previous stated topics you get one big and simple question. Why?
In science, religion, and myth, creation of humans have one thing in common. Simplicity. Science states that we evolved from lesser creatures and lived simple lives. We hunted, farmed, made our own clothes, built our own houses, had kids and taught them the same lessons. The Bible says God created man, then woman, and they lived in utopia (The Garden of Eden), until man ate from the forbidden tree. They left, worked the land, and had kids and lived. Greek myth says humans were the 5th race made. Zeus tried to make a race of beings that would worship he, his brothers, and sisters. Humans were pieced together from the only parts he had left. (I love God, but, I think the Greeks were on to something. The way we act, having the left over parts in creation makes a lot of sense).
We are such a “woke” people and so attuned with our feelings. We have information at our fingertips and more intelligence than any other generation so why do we still live by the standards of a broken and ignorant way of thinking and doing? Why do we settle for insanity?
Why do we continue to do what does not work?