by: Angela HortonWhat happens when you play by the rules, but still can’t get ahead? Confronting this problem in my own life lead me to an internal revolution.
I went to college when I graduated from high school. By the time I was twenty-one, I had an associates degree and $20,000 of debt. Unable to find work in my chosen field, I tried to start my own business. I didn’t have enough money or assets to qualify for a loan.
So I got a job – several jobs – and for ten years, I worked in the service industry. I had jobs at restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores. None of these jobs paid enough money for me to afford my student loan payments, so I deferred them, each time adding more interest to the balance due.
In many instances, I proved to be an asset to the companies I worked for. I worked at a privately-owned retail store where I was given all the responsibilities of a manager, but paid the same rate of pay since starting the position as a salesperson, for over a year. Upon asking the owner for a one-year review, I was told, ‘we can’t really afford that right now.’ And they couldn’t. Because they were an independently-owned art and gift store that was on the verge of failure because the economy had just tanked.
Imprisonment in the daily grind lead me to feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, failure. I developed a drinking problem. I smoked cigarettes to deal with stress.
I’m thirty now. I always thought I would have children, but I likely won’t because I know I would be unable to financially support them. I gave up drinking. I quit smoking.
Fed up with dead-end jobs, I’ve gone back to college. I study business. I go to school full-time and work part-time. I make the same hourly wage now as when I entered the work force, even though I have ten years of work experience and a college education.
Tired of always feeling like the member of a target market, I quit watching TV. I began watching only media I could find online, for free. I started educating myself about what was going on in the world.
Now comes the revolution part. Ready for it…?
I can’t get ahead because the system is designed that way.
The capitalist system thrives on the enslavement of the working class. As long as we, the people, work long hours for low wages to manufacture and sell products, and then spend our hard-earned money to buy these products, the shareholders in the companies that own rights to these products make money. And not just a little money.
The top 1% of the US population owns more wealth than the bottom 90%.- ‘Lifting the Veil: Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy’, (www.documentarystream.com) “The few who understand the system, will either be so interested from its profits or so dependant on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class.”- member of the Rothschild banking family of London, 1863. The system also serves to misinform the public via the corporate-funded mass media, and to hold us hostage via loans (student, car, mortgages, etc.) paid back at interest. The politicians in the White House do not serve the interest of we, the people. Rather, they serve only the corporate interest. We, the people, are consumers. Commodities. This has to change.
People in our society have been driven to accusing those with my similar mindset as being, ‘lazy’ or ‘socialists’, or ‘just looking for a hand-out’. But let me assure you, I don’t want a hand-out. I just want a fucking chance.