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Hope For The Future
By: Mary Murray | Our Voice Contributor
I am 60 years old, and if there’s anything I would like to tell my millennial friends it is this: You are being screwed!
My generation is leaving behind a world where the American dream is in shambles. A world rife with economic disparity, a collapsing environment, failing lower education, costly higher education, putrid water, endless war spread across the globe. The list goes on, and on, and on.
In our naivety, we trusted those in power to serve us, and all they did was gorge themselves at the trough of the taxpayer. We realized the endgame of capitalism. Too much for the few, and too little for the many.
Our healthcare system, which has been rotting for decades, is having its last remnants swept away by those who want for nothing. Those who will receive the latest advances in medical treatment when their bloated, deprecated bodies begin to fail. Those who will not have to hold the hands of their loved ones as they slip into that dreamless sleep after succumbing to a preventable and treatable illness.
Education costs have become so burdensome that we are condemning an entire generation to indentured servitude. Currently, it takes the average bachelor degree holder 21 years to pay off their debt. If these trends continue, and I’m certain they will, we are talking about a life sentence of debt. It makes one wonder: How long will it be before feudalism is back in vogue?
Affordable housing is quickly becoming an antiquated notion throughout many corners of the country. Falling wages and rising property values put the average down payment well out of reach for much of the working class. Contractors build luxury homes that will remain empty while across the street families will languish in tiny apartments. It is hardly surprising that we have a shortage of therapists to treat the wave of depression that is flooding across the nation.
Our economy is designed to reward the ruthless and punish the honest. The manufacturer who pays a living wage and provides healthcare goes out of business while the one who ships our jobs overseas delivers a sizable profit to the shareholders. The barons of industry whine about burdensome regulations, which is their code for consumer and worker protections. They bemoan tax burdens while stashing their wealth in offshore accounts. However, the worst crime, by a long stretch, is that some of you defend this wretched system in which we have become entrenched.
The small business owner who thinks the Republican or the Democrat will help her rather than the corporations who fund their insufferable campaigns. The small farmer who thinks their representative is going favor their interests over the agricultural giant that is down the street. The average worker who thinks their hard work will be rewarded with increased economic prosperity and medical care when he falls ill.
It’s time to throw off the yoke of our oppressors. Don’t buy the useless products that advertisers jam down our throats. They have commoditized your dissatisfaction. Don’t buy into the myth of the meritocracy. The playing field is not level. Don’t elect representatives that are funded by the corporate giants. They will not represent you.
My hope for the future generation is that they will unite against those who are profiting from the destruction of the country. Stand up and tell the captains of industry that they can no longer ravage and pollute the planet. Forsake consumerism and create your own trades and crafts. Watch less cable television and Netflix in favor of visiting the theatre, the symphony, or a gallery. For it is through these arts that we build and share in our community. Spend time with your family instead of slaving away for a corporation that doesn’t give a damn about you.
It’s too late for me, but it’s not for you. Demand change. Vote the self-serving oligarchs out of office and take back your country.