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Tue Feb 14, 2012, 07:54 AM

The problem I see with our country is that we have lost the capability to delay gratification….

Just look at the political and economic systems that are in place across the world. People have become so accustomed to having what they want NOW, that there is no longer a sense of working toward something longer than a few weeks.

We are bombarded with messages that play into the developing trait that new is always good and cutting edge technology gives you some kind of guru status to those around you.

Buy it now. This is the newest best thing in the world. How can you be so lame as to still be using 3G.

All of this has developed in the 1920’s but was derailed by the Great Depression which was prolonged because people were weary of using credit to get what they wanted.

After the war and all that shared sacrifice for the war effort faded away, the consumer economy kicked into high gear and has increased exponentially ever since.

It because the American way. The new immigrants weren’t yearning for freedom, they wanted the stuff we could get and they couldn’t.

I remember as a kid always looking forward to Christmas to find out about all the newest toys.

The car companies purposely made changes every year so that the demand would be there for cars.

And it has gotten worse.

Credit cards, second and third mortgages and we have a buy now worry about it later economy that is unsustainable.

I don’t know what to do because if we suddenly all stop buying stuff, we have a recession. If that trend sets in for a long spell, we will have a depression.

I don’t know how to stop the merry go round without all of us flinging off the ride and being scattered all over the fair grounds.

But we all know that 5G is already in the works and those new gizmos and gadgets are being developed as I write.
Think of the waste.

Think of the wreck pursuing things is doing to our society, our environment.

It’s even hit how people worship. New churches are sprouting up all over in the fertile lands of suburbia preaching salvation and divine justification for this most modern of lifestyle, suburban consumerism.

It just bothers me. Nags at my soul. As I get older I want to think I am getting better, more stable but I’m just kidding myself. I wanted a new guitar and bought one on credit. Sure I got zero percent if paid off in less than a year. And I did. That was a “victory” in the relentless drive to buy stuff NOW. A very hollow victory at that.

I know that if everyone slows down just a bit, we risk “sliding back into Recession.” Our leaders want us to spend to create more jobs so those people can spend. It’s a vicious cycle that I don’t know if we can stop.

But if we want to survive as a species, I think we have too.

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Reply The problem I see with our country is that we have lost the capability to delay gratification…. (Original post)
WCGreen Feb 2012 OP
lunatica Feb 2012 #1
Historic NY Feb 2012 #2
trumad Feb 2012 #3
SammyWinstonJack Feb 2012 #17
mmonk Feb 2012 #4
zipplewrath Feb 2012 #5
WCGreen Feb 2012 #6
Myrina Feb 2012 #7
Bonhomme Richard Feb 2012 #8
laundry_queen Feb 2012 #26
Bonhomme Richard Feb 2012 #30
pamela Feb 2012 #9
MineralMan Feb 2012 #10
WCGreen Feb 2012 #11
MineralMan Feb 2012 #12
Newest Reality Feb 2012 #13
Romulox Feb 2012 #14
Javaman Feb 2012 #15
MadHound Feb 2012 #16
laundry_queen Feb 2012 #27
TBF Feb 2012 #18
Bluerthanblue Feb 2012 #19
Trillo Feb 2012 #20
MadHound Feb 2012 #21
Trillo Feb 2012 #23
MadHound Feb 2012 #24
Trillo Feb 2012 #31
grantcart Feb 2012 #22
TwilightGardener Feb 2012 #25
WCGreen Feb 2012 #28
raouldukelives Feb 2012 #29

Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 08:00 AM

1. Well life is bringing it all to a halt now

There are many, many of us who used to have credit and went through all that instant gratification phase. More and more people are falling below some invisible economic line and we're learning how to deal with much less. It's a whole new set of life lessons.

Karmic adjustments. The Piper is knocking at our door and he wants to get paid.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 08:22 AM

2. I got to have it now...

kind of what happened with the mortage crisis, people needed the 4-5 bdrm house & great rooms when and older starter home would have been the answer. Of course the banks were the facilitators to satisfy our habit.

I'm not always struck by got to have it now syndrome. I probably was one of the last guys to buy a VCR. I did note that lay-a-way has become popular again it was in my parents time and I remember the pay to own schemes. Banks & business' used to hawk Christmas clubs then too.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 08:27 AM

3. Sorry---

 

The mortgage crisis is the fault of Wall Street---PERIOD!

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Response to trumad (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:06 AM

17. +1. nt

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 08:28 AM

4. A lot of it had to do with falling wages, forced low interest rates, and the financialization

of the economy as jobs were exported to other countries through globalization.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 08:29 AM

5. A different description

I think you can describe it a different way. It's not so much about the urgency, but about the tendency to value the immediate outcome, over one that is built over time. There is a dominant subculture, possibly a plurality, that does not value long term effort to develop and achieve longer term goals. I see it in everything from the subtle to the substantial.

The speed with which our work force willingly gave up the "pension" system is astounding. Retirement pensions were the bedrock of the "retired middle class". It got traded in for 401K's and stock options because individuals wanted to be more "mobile" which was a metaphor for "transient".

Heck, look at social norms. Go to a social setting and try to "tell a story" of any type. If you take more that 3 sentences, the "audience" will stop listening. Look at our "social media" in all of its forms and it is focused on short, quick, immediate. I don't see it as much as "instant gratification" as it is that people presume that anything that takes time has no value. Meals, long the staple of social interaction from the potluck to the funeral wake, have become focused on the microwave.

Cars are leased and not bought. The 30 year mortgage exists because people don't expect to ever own their own homes. The "starter home" is a thing of the past because we're suppose to always live in a home like our parents had by the time they were 50.

For goodness sakes we have "speed dating", we have "it's just lunch". We can't even invest an evening in the process of finding a life partner. For all we love DU, the conversations are anything but lengthy, spare maybe the pissing contests. The "Latest Page" is a common place for people to visit, far more than a subject forum. The Greatest Page consists of long threads, but not necessarily "deep". Alot of comments to the OP, not necessarily deep threads exploring the subject.

That's probably the key phrase here. For all we've supposedly become the "investment culture" where we all have 401K's and mutual funds, there isn't really any sense of valuing an "investment". We don't build businesses, we "spin them off" and sell them as quickly as possible. We "flipped" houses, not build homes. We don't fix our TV's and appliances because they are just something disposable.

There's an old expression about the man that plants a tree:

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.
-- Elton Trueblood (1900-1994)


That's what's missing, or changed. We don't invest in our own lives, or ourselves. We have a president that wants to build bridges and trains for the future, for a body politic that wants 5G in 9 months, ignorant of the amount of time it took to develop the internet to begin with. We have a space program in total disarray because you can't hardly set, and pursue 2 year goals, much less 10. And we build houses that need major repairs in 5 years, because it lowered the down payment at the original sale.

No sense of investment, in a culture desperately in need of investing.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 08:39 AM

6. Good addition to what I was thinking...

Getting up in the morning and thinking before I get going on the day is a habit I really enjoy...

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 08:51 AM

7. Agreed.

This article sorta touches on that, as well, in its discussion of our inability to sit still and think without constant technological stimulation from the newest hi-tech gadgets: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NA31Dj01.html

I also found it to see a commerical over the weekend from a children's software company that said that children watching tv between the ages of 1 - 5 was basically 'brain waste', so 'buy them our computer games instead' (as opposed to taking them outside to play, letting them see/feel/touch/learn via nature and other human beings etc).

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 09:17 AM

8. I, quite often, find myself shaking my head though maybe I am old school.

When I hear people putting elaborate expensive vacations on their credit card because well, they need to get away and deserve a break.
When they buy that BMW and I know they don't have that kind of money but hey, the lease seems affordable.
When the kids have gotten older and moved out yet they buy a bigger house....yes, even today.
When they complain how tight things are and the next Facebook post is about the groomer coming to the house to do the dogs.

When I was a kid my parents had us thinking we were one step away from the poor house. That wasn't the case at all but it was a mentality that today rings true for many of us.

I really believe that the fault lies with the onslaught of commercials touting the latest and the greatest and if you don't have it then you are some kind of loser. It certainly is a form of mind control and deemed necessary to maintain a consumer society.

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Response to Bonhomme Richard (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:29 AM

26. I agree (and a personal whine)

My parents are like that. It really floors me. They got lucky a decade back - my mom's company got taken over by a company that has profit sharing and stock options. She went from being an administrative person/office manager making an 'average' salary to an upper management person making 6 figures a year. If it wasn't for that they'd be in the poor house. AT any rate, they have plenty put away, but say it's not enough to 'maintain their lifestyle' when they retire. They buy new cars every couple of years. They are constantly renovating their (paid off) house to make it look expensive and modern (my mom does this every 5 years or so). They go on several vacations a year because they 'deserve it'. Now they are looking for a new house. They own a lake lot/cottage. Both buy expensive 'toys' - for my mom that's new designer clothes and for my dad that's tools. Looking back, when I was growing up, they always bought whatever they wanted. They didn't save much for retirement when I was growing up, they were too busy trying to keep up with everyone, buying new cars, clothes, eating out, etc. Like I said, my mom got lucky. They are pretty well off now.

Anyhow, when I went through a really rough patch (my husband left me with 4 kids, I had been a stay at home mom, no education) they refused to help me out. Initially they promised to help me with tuition so I could go back to school, but then backed out claiming they 'couldn't afford it'. The same year they went on 2 vacations, one cruise, bought a new $50,000 truck and redid the outside of their house to the tune of $30,000 to match the new garage they built for $30,000. My tuition would have been one-fiftheenth of what they spent that year.

Now, I understand my parents don't have any obligation now that I'm an adult to help me out. Yet, as a (possibly old-fashioned) parent myself, I always felt like I would do without to help my kids succeed. If one of my kids had the same situation, and I had the means I'd totally help them. My (soon to be ex) in-laws have helped me out more than my parents have. They ARE old-fashioned (lol in every sense of the word) and they always saved, never bought 'new' things to keep-up-with-the-Jonses, and helped out their kids as much as they possibly could. It USED to be IF the parents could help out - they would. My grandparents were poor. Really poor. Yet, when my dad was out of work, they gave my parents a cow to fill the freezer with, and brought them food (canned, from the garden, whatever) whenever they could. A whole cow, when you're a poor farmer, is a lot. Back then, you did what you could to help out your kids. Back then, parents who refused to help out their kids were looked down on.

Now-a-days I see people not saving for their kids' schooling, but taking vacations, buying the BMW, wearing designer clothes etc. I'm not sure if it's a matter of people being unable to delay gratification so much as I see it being a result of our selfish culture. It's mememe all of the time. "*I* want it, *I* deserve it, *I* worked hard for it" I have a lot of parent friends that say things like, "When I'm happy and I get what I want, then I'm a better parent." Really? Because I dont' see how you getting 10 coach bags but not saving up for your kids' tuition makes you a good parent.

But that's just me.
/personal whine

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 08:10 PM

30. Thanks for sharing. We didn't do anything for us while the kids were still at home.

We still help out financially when needed. We wouldn't know any other way.
It is sad how things seem to have changed.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 09:18 AM

9. It's a mystery to me.

I listen to this song by Eddie Vedder before I go shopping. I'm an infrequent shopper anyway but it helps to cut down on impulse buying if this song is running through my head...


Society
Eddie Vedder (Into the Wild)


Oh it's a mystery to me.
We have a greed, with which we have agreed...
and you think you have to want more than you need...
until you have it all, you won't be free.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.

When you want more than you have, you think you need...
and when you think more then you want, your thoughts begin to bleed.
I think I need to find a bigger place...
cause when you have more than you think, you need more space.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.
Society, crazy indeed...
I hope you're not lonely, without me.

There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more,
but if less is more, how you keepin' score?
It means for every point you make, your level drops.
Kinda like you're startin' from the top...
and you can't do that.

Society, you're a crazy breed.
I hope you're not lonely, without me.
Society, crazy indeed...
I hope you're not lonely, without me
Society, have mercy on me.
I hope you're not angry, if I disagree.
Society, crazy indeed.
I hope you're not lonely...
without me.


******

I've been trying for a few years to eliminate a lot of stuff from my life. We've been getting rid of stuff but also trying not to acquire new stuff. I find that delaying gratification takes practice but you get better at it. I have a few tips I might add to a second post if anyone is interested. Not trying to be a tease, I just don't have time right now.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 09:26 AM

10. I think that extends to corporations making decisions, too.

The focus is on the current quarter or, at best, the next quarter. Little thought is given to the long term. If it saves money in the next two quarters, let's just outsource a whole bunch of jobs and move our factory there, too. That seems to be how they think in the boardrooms. Now, we're hearing talk about returning some of those jobs and some of those factories, because they're costing the companies money.

As you said, almost everyone from individuals wants things now, not down the road. It's a toxic way to look at things.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 09:32 AM

11. That is directly attributable to the decision makers taking stock options instead of

a salary.

It's also hinges on people chasing after incrimental ticks on the stock market.

For many of these people long term means making it past lunch...

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Response to WCGreen (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 09:38 AM

12. Those factors are certainly part of it, for sure.

It all sucks.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 09:58 AM

13. Thanks for sharing

your perspective.

I agree that delayed gratification is a good discipline. In this culture, it is a discipline and not an easy option when the whole system is driven by inducements to buy what we don't really need or want, or can afford, NOW.

Yet, this is a debt-based economy. As you may know, income has been flat for a few decades and easy credit, (debt) was then offered to compensate for the lost purchasing power. In other words, we won't increase you pay, but we will extend you credit in order to profit from that discrepancy.

Desire and unrealistic expectations fuel this system because it plays with precision on our avoidance and attraction. People who work hard for low pay are offered "relief" via material objects and expendable services. We are mired in pay-for-play distractions and an endless pursuit of the next thing we don't really need to be happy.

So, delayed gratification, (or, even lower and more reasonable expectations) is may be a viable way to greater happiness, (internally) and personal prosperity, but if we all became adepts at that today, then our system would probably crash hard since it would not be conducive or functional in a world of "happy as clams".

When your reality sphere is plastered with persuasive, non-stop advertising in media, on billboards, in windows and even on clothes, achieving what you are noting could require something akin to waking-up from a dream, (or is that nightmare). That's a tall order, collectively. Yet, our lack of spending order may inspire more of us to take that path.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:00 AM

14. The US workers' standard of living has been HALVED in 40 years.

And your answer is to castigate the workers for losing ground?

It defies explanation.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:01 AM

15. I solved my need for instant gratification by learning to garden and grow my own veggies...

there is no such thing as right now in gardening.

Either you wait or you don't farm.

Really that simple.

It has taught me a lot about life.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:06 AM

16. This is, at least in part, due to the force feeding of corporate propaganda to the population 24/7,

 

For the past fifty years. TV, radio, newspaper, billboards, advertising, corporate propaganda, is everywhere. In any decent size town, village or city you cannot step outside your house without being assaulted by it. People not only wear corporate propaganda, but think it is the height of popular fashion. Corporate propaganda has insinuated itself into virtually every corner of our society.

And don't think that you're immune, you're not. Decades of research, psychological, sociological, biological goes into advertising. What colors are used, what images are presented, what sounds are made, what smells are created, all of this and more goes into the creation of corporate propaganda. Even though you may be hyper vigilant about it, corporate propaganda will still get to you.

We have become brainwashed as a society, all by the art and science of corporate propaganda.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:36 AM

27. Agreed 100%

I took a marketing course as part of my degree and half of it was about psychology. It was eye opening, that's for sure. It was basically 'how to create propaganda that makes people feel like they cannot live without your product'.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:07 AM

18. The problem in this country is capitalism

any other attempts at re-framing only serves the purpose of the owners who need us to be focused on extraneous issues so we don't notice how they are robbing the country blind.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:16 AM

19. great post! and one

that I think goes to the real struggle of our society.

I think it goes to unmet needs in all of us. The yearning for something that we can't identify. Seeking satisfaction. I heard someone on public radio discussing this years ago- he was talking about how the farther we get from physically meeting our daily physical needs, the less content we are. That there was a benefit to demanding, tiresome effort it took just to stay alive when we had to work at it more personally. Growing/harvesting/preserving food. Building and maintaining shelter/warmth etc.

He said this not in a nostalgic, rose colored lens way- romanticizing the past, but rather acknowledging that even progress has a cost.

We seem to be looking to fill the void within us with 'stuff' or 'busy-ness' because it numbs us a little or distracts us from our longings- whatever they might be.


sorry,
thinking out loud

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:18 AM

20. Hmm. Doesn't seem true.

Kids going through K-12 must delay being paid for their years of work for all those years. When they get out, they can never expect to be paid for those years of labor.

Since every citizen goes through this, your hypothesis seems very wrong.

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Response to Trillo (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:28 AM

21. Excuse me, but that isn't "labor",

 

It is an education they are getting. They aren't making things, or serving people, they are enriching their own minds, big difference. Their pay is in knowing how to read, do math, think in general.

Psst, you do know that one of the biggest demographic groups targeted by corporations? Yeah, K-12, all that disposable income they have.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:34 AM

23. Some people falsely believe that work isn't work, partcularly when the state compulses the work.

You can believe that school isn't work if you want, but that education apparantly didn't work so well for the 99%.

The topic of the OP is how gratification is not delayed. That is a lie. The 99% have been delaying, in many cases, for their entire lives. It begins in school.

School is work, plain and simple.

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Response to Trillo (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:42 AM

24. Getting an education does require work on your part,

 

Or not. If you do work, you get an education. If you don't work, you don't get an education. It is that simple. And no, no state requires that you show up for school, your parents require you to show up for school. If they want to keep you home, home school you, they can.

And getting an education is not delaying gratification. You learn to read, and can immediately go out and discover the joy of literature.

And how didn't that education work out so well for the 99%? That is one of the fallacies that I hear around here a lot, that if you get an education, you should immediately get monetary wealth. Education is not about enriching your pocket book, but rather your mind. Sometimes that leads to monetary wealth, sometimes intellectual wealth, sometimes spiritual wealth.

I am a well educated man, but certainly not rich. However I would not trade what I know, the education I got for all the money in the world.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 11:50 PM

31. We agree that school is work.

But that's about where our agreement ends. My own personal experience of K-12, which was composed of a mix of public and private schools, was that both school types were places were "cruel and unusual punishment" were considered normal and daily routine. I found this to be much less an issue in community college, but even there, the system is designed so that the police reign supreme, and consider a professors word superior to a students. In a greater sense, beyond my own personal realm, we see this in the recently maced UC students peacefully petitioning for a redress of grievances.

As far as literature is concerned, I used to agree with you. However, I now also realize that learning to read is yet one more method of funnelling money to a very few, large, corporate publishers, and thereby further enabling the corporatist structure. If my wife writes 7 books, corporate is not interested in publishing them, even though corporate magazines of the 1980s claimed (falsely, they lied) that getting published was as easy as completing a novel. When she self published after some zillions of rejections, ten years later along comes JPMorgan who took over our bank to decide our business account needs to be charged roughly $17 per month (it had been free), when the income coming into the account is roughly $10 per month. So, that's the end of my wife's publishing career. By all copyrights, she should be allowed to collect her $10 per month of royalties, such a meager sum, but nooo, such things as any small amount of royalty money are the sole domain of 147 super-connected corporate entities with ownership tentacles everywhere. Only they may collect royalties for authors on their personally chosen list.

My wife taught me an extremely important lesson. Hard work persisted over long periods of time does not pay off. I myself never had that kind of long-term persistence, and there was always the question regarding whether persistence does work when intelligence and education are lacking.

Nope, learning to read may have been a good idea at one time, but now it just enables another consumer commodity. I have 8 feet of cookbooks on one of my bookshelves. Yet, I never learned to cook (I mean "engineer" recipes) due to the volume measures that were designed to confuse the mind and skew the intuitive understanding of ratios. I started using baker's percentages, when I learned of them around 2006 or thereabouts. Well, come to find out, they were designed before 1939, when the U.S. government published them in their training manual, Army Baker. So much for the idea of "build a better model to obsolete an old one" that was so in vogue a decade back. Corporate successfully prevented the inclusion of "parts per hundred" in those 8 feet of cookbooks I collected, even though parts per and measure by weight were relatively common prior to The Boston Cooking School Cookbook.

In a corporatist society, it appears the motive of the corporations is to pay the workers the least amount of money they can, and prevent them from learning anything of practical, everday value. If it has value, it needs to be concealed, protected, and disinformation spouted loudly to confuse.

Compulsory school historically became a mass U.S. phenomenon, according the histories I've read, shortly after the second industrial era (typified in my HS classes by Henry Ford, which puts it in the time span of the OP's), when it was asserted that factories (can be read as the corporatist class) needed schooled folks who could follow the directions of others. Some decades later, our society changed from a manufacturing-based to a service-based one. The compulsory schools, established to create factory workers, continued.

The idea that anyone should be forced to work for free, specifically distinguished from volunteering or choosing to work for free, is consistent with the concept of corporations paying workers less than they pay themselves. After one gets out of high school, one is qualified to work for minimum wage only. While we all know minimum wage is not enough to live without working in excess of 70-80 hours per week and creatively sharing living expenses, for a former student to move from a compulsory school system where work was demanded and not monetarily compensated, into one where minimum wage was paid post high school, probably feels better to most people who worked for free for 13 prior school years, even though it's not enough to survive on, "Well, at least we're getting paid now".

So, the idea of not paying students for their work in school is quite simply consistent with the idea of corporatists parasitizing workers. Because minimum wage is not enough to live on, some choose to continue with higher education, so they can live more comfortably. They are saddled with debt, forcing them to in turn parasitize anyone they can when they're later working, to pay off this debt, and clearly explains why student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. This manipulative financial structure is severely skewed from the generalized ideas expressed in our governments founding documents regarding liberty and pursuit of happiness. The financial structure has essentially forced the more educated to take daily financial advantage of the less educated.

In my own personal life, I could not bring my children, whom I love, into this system of compulsory work-for-free where "cruel and unusual punishment" daily reigns supreme. The same "cruel and unusual punishment" which my parents were unable to protect me from, I similarly do not expect I could protect my children from. Perhaps it's different if ones parents are lawyers, but far from all parents are so endowed. Thus, I could not have children, even though having children is possibly/probably one of the joys of being human (pursuit of happiness). I love my children, thus I will not choose to bring them here.

How did those corrupt institutions, in particular a private military academy, so manipulate me to make these choices? There is no other choice, for me, available, as I love the children I won't bring here so very much.

Freedom is not being forced to work for free. Freedom is not being tricked daily by a predator class.

My experience of adult life is that we have evidently created a system where the more educated prey routinely, every day, on the less educated. This is the essence of today's class-based system as enabled by corporatism. The people themselves are fine. When they group in a corporation as employees, their job becomes one of enacting the top predator class's policies (CEOs and their boards of directors). We already know these top people are generally psychopaths, 800-1 pay versus their low-paid workers is all we need to know to make that judgement.

Freedom is not being forced to work for free; and being created equal, as our Declaration of Independence asserts, is not enabled by a corporatist system such as ours.

Even in school the emphasis on testing and trick questions carefully constructed, reflects a mechanism of the mostly highly educated trying to trick and fool the less educated. Freedom is not being fooled daily by an intellectual class. Freedom is not being forced by the state to endure endless hours of bullying for 13 school years on end.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:30 AM

22. I disagree.



How did you like my answer?

Tried to be both consice and yet not too abbreviated.

Don't you think they should be able to rec replies?

What? Nothing?

Was it something I said?

Time to self medicate.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 10:47 AM

25. I sat in the airport waiting to pick up my husband from his flight last fall, and

noticed that among everyone in the waiting area, I was pretty much the only one that didn't have a smart-phone/iphone dealie to play with. Everyone was playing with their touch screens, and I sat and looked out at the tarmacs and runways and pondered as to why, with such a terrible economy, seemingly everyone else can afford not only to upgrade but to pay more for the data plans. And then I wondered if there was something wrong with ME (and my 5 year old phone that flips open), that maybe I am voluntarily allowing myself to be left out of the latest technology, that I am not keeping up with everyone else. So I think it's fear or insecurity, more than greed or instant gratification--you see people who look like you (NOT rich people, just average folks) who have WAYY better shit than you, drive newer nicer cars, have nicer houses with the granite and three car garages, and the latest gizmos, and you think: I can't afford this shit--I must be doing something wrong.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:36 AM

28. Same here...

But I think I am right because I am downsizing as fast as I can...

I have a three year old phone but i do have two laptops and two desk tops.

I use one, this one, for posting and writing and my music and the other one is where I do all my work.

Funny, I paid less for both of these computers put together than the desk top I bought in 2001.

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Response to WCGreen (Original post)

Tue Feb 14, 2012, 11:53 AM

29. I think were so far out we may never make it back

We do have needs that as we insulate ourselves from reality or from the earth go unmet. We have no honor or respect anymore for each other, our elders or for those to come after us. It is only the instant gratification of here and now that matters for most people. Filling time pursuing "life goals" which at the end might show selfish results for them but at a net loss for all of us.

What if we made it our life goal to make things better for the future. To heal the planet. To expend our energy in trying to conserve what little is left. To know that we will someday return to this place at the end of our journey. To know we did what we could to make this world better for future generations is the greatest "life goal" of all and what I feel is the best any of us can hope to reflect on when our time here is over.

Or, screw that. Work hard at that corporation you know is making things worse. Invest in the stock market and profit off the suffering of others and our planet. Use as much of the earths resources as you can before that final bell and reflect on that as your gift to the next generation.

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