Thursday, June 26, 2014

How Consumerism & Capitalism in the USA is Enslaving us

Since I arrived in the USA I've been thinking about how people live their lives here, when immigrants arrive here they assume they are arriving in the land of opportunities where they will be able to live "the American dream" little do they know that this so called dream is no longer a dream but more like a nightmare.

The ideas we get from movies and media in general is so fake, people driving 15 cars and spending their summers barbecuing in their summer houses on the beach is so not real. In fact I have never ever seen that many homeless in any other country but the US.

Yes, you are right about industrialization in the country but this is only because of consumerism which is encouraged here in the US more than anywhere else in the world. People are tempted to buy useless products that they will never need and tempted to upgrade any product they have to the newest model although the differences between the newer and the older model are usually not that different.

This leads to what I call "the vicious circle of life" in which you work all the time, 60-70 hours a week in 2 different jobs to be able to afford mortgage and installments of the aforementioned products you don't need because in reality you don't actually have the time to use them since you are working most of the time. and so it becomes instead of working to live you live to work. All your entire life you work wasting the best years of your youth until you retire (you retire not because they want you to enjoy what remains in your life but because you became useless to the work environment) and with your pension you can't afford your bills that accumulated during your working life.

I always think about what I will tell my grandchildren when i'm on my deathbed and I figured that if I live that kinda life I will tell them that I worked all my life and wasted all my good years on a promise to live comfortably when I retire but in the end when I retired I was poor and I had to work a part-time job to afford breathing then I died poor.
Is that the kind of life you wanna live? I guess not.

Now we go back to the case of the homeless, out of my observations and talks with a lot of homeless (I don't try to avoid them as many do) I discovered that these are the people who are the sanest in this country, they refused to live according to what was planned for them and they said no to working all their lives and dying without doing nothing or even enjoying some useless products they didn't really need, and because they didn't play by the rules they are now homeless.

What I also noticed is that these people are the happiest people here, they live their lives without having anything to do and they just enjoy it talking to people (not through iphones and whatsapp) they walk and ride their bikes everywhere and they are free to move around to any city they want because they don't have any kind of commitment to a house they own.

I'm not telling you to leave your boring corporate desk job and to be homeless but what I'm saying is that we should think before we buy something, we should think before using our credit cards because if we don't then we will be stuck in jobs we hate but can't quit just so we can pay credit card bills for products and services we bought but never used.


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