1. Wage stagnation
2. The couples who should have babies aren’t. The couples who shouldn’t have babies are having a lot.
(Presumably because to maintain a middle class existence, both people have to work and thus don’t have the time or money for children.)
3. Money has become an abstract concept, with power behind the concept being held in the hands of the elite.
Derivatives, short sales, toxic assets, sovereign debt, bailouts: so much of the money in the developed world is held in mega-banks, investment funds, and 401k’s. Money, as a concept, has become largely abstract and electronic. As anyone who’s taken a high-level math class knows, when math becomes highly abstract, you can do some crazy things with it. That’s what banks, fund managers, and traders have done. They’ve created impossibly complex investments that are really nothing more than a house of cards. Governments have borrowed shocking amounts of money with the foolish expectation that the good times will never end. The result: a huge gap between the rich and poor, and a debt crisis that threatens to swallow a whole continent.
4. Our government is dysfunctional
81 % of Americans agree. Enough said.
5. Our kids’ reality centers around electronics
When kids spend 7.5 hours a day in front electronic devices, (presumably as a means of escapism) what kind of adults and citizens are we creating?
While these are all interesting articles, the real purpose of this post in not to bemoan the state of society. On the contrary, it calls to mind some questions I’ve had for a long time: If we seek to change our society or culture, do we work within the existing system, or do we try to start over? Is our society, economics, and culture so entrenched that we must re-imagine our society from the ground up, instead of trying to change what we already have?
More and more, I’m beginning to think that at some point, we’re just going to need to begin again….