Culture Shock

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A young woman who works in my building looks to be about 24 years old.  Chatty person, tell you her whole life story. Went to 2-year course for some paraprofessional thing, been working here 3 years. 

 She has student loans, of course.  She racked up credit card debt then consolidated that into another loan.  Old car was junk, bought a new one, has a car loan.  Constantly texting her friends about how tough it is, using her brand-new hand-held computer with unlimited data plan, all on convenient monthly payments.  Every month is down to the wire.  Getting married this fall, needs to save money. Moved back in with her fiancee’s parents to save on rent.  Money is tight.

 Okay, listen, I get it.  I know about stretching the budget. I worked days while I went to law school nights.  My wife and I raised three kids and that ain’t cheap.  We’ve been there.  Nothing wrong with that.

 She’s got an appointment to get Lasik surgery.  She’s tired of wearing glasses.  She wants to be to see without them.  Yes, it’s $1,000 or so but she’ll save money in the long run because she won’t be buying glasses every year.  It’s not an indulgence, it’s an investment, see?

 I bumped into her in the hall a moment ago.  She was running out to Subway to buy lunch because she doesn’t get up early enough to pack a lunch and besides, sandwiches get dried out and that’s just gross.

 Why do I feel so old, all of the sudden?

 Joe Doakes

We’ve got a generation – or part of one – that’s never really known want, and, since their Depression-era relatives are mostly gone, haven’t heard about it.

What would they know?

7 thoughts on “Culture Shock

  1. Joe: When the zombie apocalypse happens, these millennial types will become serfs to the kids in their class who learned how to fix cars, weld, fire shotguns and build homes.

  2. Living standards (wages vs. inflation in select areas the the government effectively lies about) have been on a bad trajectory for decades, so people make up for it with debt or work for the government. See David Stockman’s book.

  3. Periodically I’m giving my kids lessons in how real poor people live for this very reason–all too often, they’ll refuse to eat leftovers, throw away good food, get rid of good household items, and the like, and quite frankly, the whole deal gets expensive.

  4. It’s easy when you rely on never exhausting supply of handouts the goobernment promises you.

  5. There are legitimately poor people who try and work hard and just can’t get ahead. I feel bad for them, and wish I could help them. But it’s hard to find the legitimately poor amongst those like the woman described here. Or my co-worker, who is currently renting an expensive, trendy apartment, while only working part-time. If she could afford it on part time salary, fine, but she also often complains about how in debt she is with student loans, car payments on a car that’s on its last leg anyway. A new cost for her the other day-to-day her car got towed, so she was late to work besides. I just shake my head because I can see so many simple changes she could make herself that would increase the amount of money she has for saving or paying off debt. And none of it involves increasing my taxes to subsidize her inability to manage life (which is the only option she thinks there is to increasing her money for paying debt).

  6. Not to mention that people with poor credit will pay significantly higher interest rates on their debt, making it even harder to keep up, let alone get ahead.

  7. The Big Stink on March 29, 2017 at 9:56 am said:
    Joe: When the zombie apocalypse happens, these millennial types will become serfs to the kids in their class who learned how to fix cars, weld, fire shotguns and build homes.

    It’ll be the Eloi and the Morloks all over again! Wait . . . I don’t think “all over again” works in context. IIRC ,Wells put the eloi v morlok conflict in 830,000 AD.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.