Monday, March 19, 2007

Debt! The New Soma!

I was reading about the increase of the anti-war sentiment in America today.

According to a recent poll, only 32% of Americans are in favor of the war in Iraq. That's not a very high proportion of the population!

After the Tet offensive in the Vietnam War (which is considered the turning point in public support for the war), public endorsement for Johnson's handling of the war was at 26%. They are only 6% away from this number!

So where are the protesters? When American citizens were fed up with the Vietnam War they let people know about it. There were massive demonstrations and rallies all over the country.

This is the kind of pressure that makes politicians stand up and take notice. This is what eventually put an end to the war in Vietnam.

It seems that, even though the majority of Americans oppose the war, nobody is against it enough to demonstrate their opposition.

Is it apathy?

"I'd love to support my views but I have important TV shows to watch and emails to read."
"How will we know who the next American Idol is if we're out protesting against the war?"
"Huh? What war? I couldn't hear you because I'm listening to my i-Pod."

That kind of thing.

Are people just too self involved?

You have people like Dr. Phil and Oprah that seem to be trying to focus all of your energy on you. How can you be expected to stop a war when you are such a mess yourself? You need Self Matters and The Secret. You need to worry about you first because you are the most important thing there is. Maybe if you project an end to the War in Iraq from within yourself your vibrations will make it come to an end!

I have a feeling that apathy and ego are a big a part of it for a good chunk of the population. But I think there is another bigger reason.

Time and money!

Who has time to waste holding a protest sign? People have bills to pay and multiple jobs to work. People barely have enough time for their families as it is. They can't possibly be expected to run out for a protest. "Someone has to pay for all of these 'Things'! They just don't have the time or the resources to spend on anything outside of their own little world.

It's like some sick conspiracy. The "Money Men' make it incredibly easy for people to get into debt. Once you are in debt, they've got you right where they want you. You can't protest because you now work for 'Them' and they make you work like a dog.

If you need to pay for an education they 'give' you a student loan. How easy it that!!? Four years down the road you hit the real world with a $40,ooo debt. What a great start!

College student were the biggest group protesting the war in Vietnam in the 60's. Today students know better. They know that if they want a 'good' life they had better not screw up their shit in college. Firstly, they are going $40K in the hole for their college education (either that or their parents are). Secondly they are likely working and going to college at the same time, just to have enough money to be a starving student. They have as little time as everyone else.

If you are lucky enough to get a career out of your education you might get away with just a single job. Everyone else will need to pick up a second job to pay off that debt and earn a living.

Next you need to buy a house. They're pretty pricey and you have to get a 'good' one. Got to keep up with the Jones's. So you take on a bunch more debt. The kind of debt you're still paying when you're 70.

A few year later you've got a couple of kids and have accumulated more debt. Car loans, vacations, insurance, credit cards... It never ends!

Now you are in a position where you and your spouse both 'HAVE' to work 60 hour weeks just to make the ends meet. Don't forget about the commute. That can add on a few extra hours to the work day. Nothing more productive that spending time in your car (which is a big gas guzzler because it was "Made in the USA"). If you're lucky you get to spend a few hours each week with your family.

Now you keep hearing about this war in Iraq. It's not solving anything from what you can see. All you know is that gas prices keep going up and somewhere along the line Joe Public is going to have to ante up for the billions of wasted dollars being hemorrhaged for this cause.

You think, "Someone has to put an end to this!"

The problem is that this is the last thing you need to worry about after your long day at work. You've already got the bills and the next days work on your mind. The last thing you need in your hectic schedule is more stress. You flip on the TV and then go to bed because you have a busy day at work tomorrow.

"DEBT!! Making people mind their own business since 1982!"

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