Saturday, April 30, 2022

Is the game broken?

Life is a game. When growing up kids learn the rules and expectations of the game. As folks get older they learn the game isn’t exactly as they were taught. Maybe it starts out when as a kid you discover Santa gives much nicer gifts to the rich kids. If Santa isn’t real, what else isn’t real?

For some people the flaws in the game hit them harder than others. A few years ago my lovely wife and I met an interesting person while we were camping in the National Forest. She was living in her van full time. That’s not all that unusual. What’s unusual is how she got there. Up until 2008 she was a college professor. The collapse of the housing market hit her particularly hard. She went from living the middle class dream to being homeless.

Then she realized that those who caused the crisis pretty much got away with it. The banks were bailed out and the regular people took it on the chin. Maybe you were one of those people?

The inequality of the whole thing broke her and she rebelled. She quit her job. Then she ran up over $30,000  debt on her credit cards. Mostly she took really nice vacations around the world. When her credit ran out she bought the van and disappeared. Having the banks get stuck with her bills was her way of striking out against them. She was getting by doing some sporadic Internet work under an assumed name. Mostly she used public libraries. 

Since the pandemic a lot of people’s expectations and experiences changed. Take the nature of work for instance. I know a lot of people who vow to never step in an office again. Once they starting working from home they knew they didn’t need to go back. Others have decided they’ll go back to work, but will not sell they labor cheaply ever again. 

It was also a shock to see people you know die and others suffer long covid. 

Personally I find all this to be . . . interesting. 

I probably should worry, but I don’t. For me I noticed the game was broken long before I met that woman in the van. However, it was to my advantage to mostly pretend it wasn’t broken. Mostly. 


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