Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sad Sack

There are a lot of Sad Sacks in the world.  Are they depressed, or evil, or what?

On some news sites, you see interesting comments, some of which are clearly trolls.   No matter what the topic of the story is (e.g., fuzzy kittens) some folks jump in and tie it to Obama or Romney ("these kittens would be fuzzier if not for OBUMA!" one says, while another whines, "If Romney is elected, those kittens would starve to death!").

It is, of course, ridiculous.

But with financial news stories, a number of comments are sure to appear, like clockwork, from the Sad Sacks of the world.   And these may be trolls, too, I don't know.   It could be some subtle campaign to get us all depressed and thinking the economy is worse than it is.  I dunno.

But the comments run along a number of lines:
1.  "Saving money?  Who can afford to save money in this economy?  Only rich people can afford to save money!"

2. "My wife and I are living paycheck-to-paycheck every since I lost my job at the old mill.  My car just broke down and my dog died.   Oh woe is me!"

3.  "Saving or investing is just for chumps, anyway.  The whole game is rigged.  You might as well just SPEND IT ALL, because inflation will eat up your savings anyway!  Might as well enjoy your money!"

4.  "Finding a Job?  Make me laugh!  I've been laid off for three years now and I haven't found anything even close to what I used to make.  Yea, sure, there are lots of low-paying jobs out there, but I'm worth more than that!  I'd rather stay home than take a pay cut!"
It is hard to parse these comments.   Are these people depressed?  Poor?  Stupid?  All three?  Probably. The mentality expressed is somewhat alarming - alarming in the sense that we enacted these 401(k) and IRA plans on the premise that people will make rational choices in retirement.   But given these sorts of attitudes, one wonders if the whole concept is sort of flawed - at least with regard to a lot of folks.

The common denominator is this:  life is too hard, so why bother even trying.  Just go out and spend it all now, and forget about tomorrow.

This is sad - and a sad outlook on life.   And why it is sad is that these folks will end up on a bad place, sure as the sun rises.  They are wallowing in self-pity and engaging in weak thinking, which, when you think about it, are really the same thing.

Whoa.  Wait a minute.   Now you see why we are called the Prozac generation. The media, the corporate advertisers, the corporations - they all want you to be depressed.  They want you to adopt learned helplessness and just be a quiet and good little consumer.  Watch TeeVee, order that delivery pizza, think about which shitbox econo-car you are going to buy, or worse yet, lease, brand-friggin'-new, so you will be perpetually in debt, powerless, and weak.

Wow.  Pretty slick system for enslaving the masses.

Of course, in order for it to work, you have to get them to watch about five hours of TeeVee a day, eat all that horribly bad chain-restaurant food, and get 100 lbs overweight with a blood-sugar problem.

Um, I guess that describes about half the United States.

You do have choices in life.   You can choose to be a Sad Sack of Shit - wallowing in your own self-pity and anesthetizing your self-inflicted pain with consumer purchases and a lot of unhealthy and shitty food.

Or, you can choose to do otherwise.   Cutting out that five hours of television a day, is a good first start.   Call the cable company and disconnect.

Or maybe you like being a Sad Sack?