I hate money. There in three short words are my feelings about money.
We live in a materialistic society. We are constantly taught from the time we are a baby that money buys happiness. That the more things we have the better. That it is things which satisfy us. That we need to keep up with the Joneses.
I have internalized these messages. But money has mostly been a disaster in my life. This is due to credit cards, student loans and medical debts. The ratio of the amount that I owe to what I make is way, way out of balance. The amount of debt I owe, around 200,000, has been a tremendous cause of stress and anxiety. I believe it has been one of the things that has directly contributed to my strong sense of depression.
Living from paycheck to paycheck is no fun at all. It causes a lot of stress and anxiety when you don’t know whether you are going to even be able to pay your bills or be able to buy enough food.
If you have a “middle-class” profession, you are not supposed to be in such dire straits. But the reality is that I have never been middle-class. I come from a working-class family. I come from a rural environment. I am a first-generation college student. My family has always worked incredibly hard but always struggled with money and finances. I am angry that they have worked so hard but still not been able to move ahead. I am mad that I have gotten so much education and worked so hard and not been able to move ahead.
But this is not some strange exception. We are not supposed to move beyond the class of our origin. It is the norm. Because capitalism does not serve the interests of the masses. It serves the interests of the elite. Capitalism is a system whose very core is complete and total brutality. There is no hope for capitalism. There is no promise of a kinder and gentler capitalism, just as there was no hope for a kinder and gentler conservatism. Capitalism and conservatism are about the theft of money, real estate and resources from the poor and working classes and its flow into the hands of the upper middle classes and the wealthy. I have no hope for capitalism except cosmetic changes like universal health care or better availability of hosing for the poor and working classes. But really we need to get rid of it and replace it with democratic socialism, at the very least.
My “credit rating” is appalling but I am now trying to take it as a badge of honor. Capitalism failed me, and it is unlikely for that to change. This, despite the American Dream, the notion of Meritocracy and the Rags-to-Riches narrative that are all blatant lies except for a choice few. Capitalism is no doubt going to take down the world. There is only so much greed and theft that the world can withstand before there is global catastrophe. I hope for this economic revolution in my lifetime, but I am not so sure how far we will get in the next 50 years given the death grip that the ruling class has over the entire wicked class system.
I feel about capitalism like I feel about gender: it needs to be abolished. If we are ever to have a society based on kindness, equality and opportunity for all, then capitalism needs to go. In the meantime, I have to deal with awful stress that will probably drive me to an early grave due to the constant stress from my medical, student loan and credit card debt.