A friend of mine has this large amount to be paid in installments every month … Wait, you have one, too? Well, this one sits at above eight percent interest, and though it’s something my friend manages well — seriously, what the hell is that level of interest about? It’s almost like it’s designed so that it’ll never be paid off by the average person. If you’re not someone on the higher end of the middle class spectrum, or you find it incredibly hard to cut down on utilities and things like food to make a concerted effort to pay off as much as you can, it’s practically a utility bill. Sure you can say that no one has to take on such a responsibility, but, frankly, most people who aren’t privileged and are trying at some semblance of middle class life do at some point (student loans, as an example). And perhaps such a dynamic exists, in the first place, for honest people to take part in payments perennially.
It’s like, sure, here’s money to help make a life for yourself — as long as you’re willing to contribute to *excess* profit. The former part of this notion makes it something that’s better than nothing, such as the world is, but think of what all that excess profit could go to. When crises like Typhoon Haiyan or anything of that nature happens, how much money that is profit on top of profit could go to just helping people? To some people, any idea like that is “socialism,” a dismissive piece of erroneousness that would make Joe McCarthy proud. I don’t think socialism is conducive to human nature, but the word itself is not a synonym for basic human kindness.
I suppose that often there’s nothing basic about that, though — human kindness. It’s something that has to be honed, and in a world where resources always seem like they’re being hoarded by someone else — and, really, believers in notions of true Americana or true whatever, it’s so rarely the people who look different from you who are able to hoard anything of real value — kindness for someone who supposedly “deserves” to be poor and feeling wanting is in short supply.
I understand that any business needs to profit, but so much of our lives are determined by other people going far beyond that. Thanksgiving is almost here — and the whole point that we like to reiterate is how the Native Americans helped out a bunch of people who might have starved otherwise. The former’s reasons weren’t completely altruistic, but they certainly had no depths of the kind of greed that would be there every step of the way as it pushed them aside. So much of everything belongs, technically, to someone else. Sometimes, even if these things are maintained, the rug can be pulled right out from under someone when there’s a possibility of excess profit and no safeguards against such thinking.
This is why the word ‘gentrification’ matters. So much of the reputations of cities are built by people who had no where else to go. They’re the ones who give these places a pulse, and then suddenly they can be in an area that was full of the unwanted but is now conveniently adjacent. And there’s so much that wants to maintain quality for people who can buy into anywhere they want, but, always, even with the so called improvements, someone good is displaced for that.
When you’re a kid, that oldie by James Brown about money is just dumb fun. All you really think is, Yeah, I wish I had money so I can buy a whole lot of candy. And after I get my fill, I’ll probably share it, ’cause (insert the parent here you had who had the most heart) would probably give me an earful otherwise.
Never: I’m going to buy a whole lot of candy, and then sell at a rate for exponential profit. And then I’ll pal around with Lex Luthor.