I woke up wanting to write something about some ideas that kind of just fell out my head. I think it’s probably prompted by a friend’s situation in the Unites States, in which a smart, impressively articulate (and white! booooonus!) 20-something college graduate can’t get a job, and hasn’t been able to for nine months. And this isn’t an aberration. These are the new conditions. And there’s no alarm. No panic. No media outcry, just a smattering of analysis and prediction pieces about the barreling-locomotive that is the intersection of western age demographics and (regressive) tax regime changes.
Why are people of my generation – anyone under 30, give or take – obliged continually to “defer” or infinitely displace our hopes and expectations about the future… into the future? Want to move out of the suburbs to expand and broaden the number and type of people you interact, mingle with and encounter? Got to deal with the rentier class who owns everything. Pay your tithe to your elders! Okay, so you stay in the suburbs and ride shitty, chronically underinvested public infrastructure for two hours, one way.
Well okay fine whatever, I make my strategic choice. But fuck strategy! Since when has it been incumbent on youth to plan for the future? Why do I feel like if I don’t start out as a good little capitalist as soon as humanly possible and build that equity (!!) I’m going to get fucked into middle age and beyond? What the hell is even with this kind of thinking? I’m outraged that I’m even thinking like this. Why are my (and my generational cohort’s) horizon’s so small? It’s not for lack of imagination – look at the shit we get up to on the internet, that’s hella imaginative.
So we’ve been told to think small: “Be realistic.” Save money, be safe, well fuck you! What happens when capitalism destroys our planet and our savings become worthless as insurance and banks and economies shrivel up and die? Whatfor the conservatism of our youth? What’ll we have when the sea levels rise except for some really expensive lagoons? You, dear capitalists, industrialists, business leaders – suit wearers! – YOU have written a cheque that OUR future is going to have to cash. And we can’t even be heard over the sound of your endless buzzing. “Another great big new tax!” “Job Creators!” “Investment!” Fuuuuck oooooofff.
And forget about free education. Debt relief? What’s that?! Again, I’m not even talking about myself here! I’m insanely lucky in comparison to my comrades. My HECS debt is a minuscule $21K, and will probably be paid off in a few short years once I land a fulltime job (hahahahahahahahahhaah). A “cheap” US college degree rings in at about $60,000. Before interest.
Oh hey: fuck debt, too. There has to be debt relief coming. There is just no way a whole generation of young people can get ass-fucked so hard for so long. That’s a reality that bites harder than any economic (faux-) rationalism; that bites harder than any capitalist realism.
Read this and then talk to me about “necessary sacrifices”:
In 2006 (when figures were last available) James Dyson contributed the bulk of the income tax paid by the 54 billionaires then resident in the UK. Out of £14.7m paid by all 54, he contributed £9m. That’s a whopping 61 per cent of the total tax take from billionaires…it is widely agreed in the tax accounting community that JK Rowling and James Dyson are the only UK billionaires who pay a tax rate even remotely proportional to their income. So, on average, your grandma pays tax at a rate roughly 250 times that of the richest people in Britain.
But then, you already knew (or suspected this). It’s never even really about the actual money. It’s all an excuse, a smokescreen, for an attack on people with the temerity to be either a) poor, or b) young.
Yeah okay, so we’re ((I’m)) young and stupid – what the fuck do you expect? WE’RE YOUNG. REMEMBER WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE? NO? LET ME REMIND YOU. IT FEELS FUCKING HORRIBLE, AND HELPLESS AND IGNORED AND MARGINALISED WAIT THAT’S JUST US (some of us)
Something something Control Society smoething something Panopticon something something DRONES something DEFERRED HOPES something something WALL STREET something something LIBOR BANKING SCANDAL >> SWITCH OFF YOUR TELEVSION somethign something go about your business
“O you’re just being self-indulgent” – fuck you, this is happening to people like me (not me) all over. In the United States. In Spain. In Greece. In the UK. In Canada. Tell me not to be angry? “U mad bro?” bet your fucking ass I’m mad. So mad. So mad because I’m allowed to be mad but I’m not allowed to do anything about it except get mad and impotently rage about it on the internet like this is some kind of state-sanctioned release valve
I want to bottle the sentiment of Home Brew and then run a feeding tube down the gullets of our political, religious, business and other leaders:
GOODNESS GRACIOUS!! MY GOD. TRYING TO JUST LIVE IS LIKE A FULL TIME JOB.