Saturday, October 2, 2010

When is enough enough?

It seems to us that American culture reached its optimum point in about 1960. There was no need for any household to have two jobs: a small house with 2.2 children and one car seemed adequate. Since that time the god Mammon has gradually eroded our lifestyle and the American dream has become ever more swollen. Now we feel denied, underprivileged, if we don’t have

* two cars, one of them a monster battlefield weapon,

* a pantry jammed full of synthetic obese-making “foods”,

* at least two computers per family member ((not to mention all those little personal devices including death-dealing thumb games, obsolete or replaced in a week, flogged by the electronics empires, and

* a wall-filling TV 8 feet by 10 feet and ½ inch thick--whose offerings consist largely of mind- numbing drivel.

All this together with a multi-bedroomed house on a green quarter-acre of perfectly groomed lawn.

Paying for such a lifestyle requires at least two working adults per family, though with each passing year those two adults are earning less and less in real terms. The separation between incomes of the middle class and of the rich has widened to such an extent that (in our opinion) the United States has passed what is called the tipping point.

It looks as if it will continue to get worse with more people demanding more and more, though less able to afford it; paying for it all over a lifetime with the “aid” of broken financial institutions that will charge higher and higher percentages if you are to support your self-indulgent, over-consuming life style.

It may be difficult for you troops to believe this, but we Frosts live on Social Security, on less than $1,300 a month. We occupy a pleasant little house 100 years old and drive a reasonable car that’s only four years old. Our estate, “Gingerbread House”, is a city lot measuring 44 feet by 150 feet. At least one third of it is given over to a vegetable garden. Yes, it has trees--fruit trees. Yes, it has some grass, but not much; and we’re replacing more and more of the “lawn” with purslane for salads.

So look around you. Look at your life style and decide for yourself: When is enough enough?

Blessed be Y'all  (we just got back from the ozarks)

1 comment:

Volly said...

Absolutely. I'm just past 50 now and distinctly remember childhood and adolescence in the 1960s and 1970s. My dad never made more than $15,000 gross, didn't even have a high school diploma, yet he supported a stay-at-home wife and child. Not only were we a MUCH less competitive and materialistic society, but a more rational and compassionate one. The little guy got a break and was respected, rather than being crushed by this insane, Ayn Rand-Glenn Beck bizarro mindset we have now that the more money you have, the more virtuous you are. More and more lately I feel guilt for having brought a child into this increasingly hellish world.