I was a child of the 60′s, literally, born on Christmas of 1960. I guess that’s why I didn’t think that the civil rights movement or the women’s liberation movement or the end of the Vietnam war were unusual. I believed that societal injustice would eventually be dealt with by society. I don’t think I am alone in this belief.
This is not an excuse, but an explanation for why we have slept so long while the top 1% robbed us of everything.
But we have hit rock bottom and there’s nothing left to take from us. Maybe that’s how it had to be before we could visualize change. It had to come to the mainstream population losing their jobs, their homes, their health care, their retirement savings to see that the “powers that be” are not working for us.
We are all going through a hard transition from a life of excess due to false credit generated wealth to a time when we have to live within our means in a sustainable way.
I like to think that I have been through the worst of this transition in my own life. In July of 2008 I bought my first home in Metro Boston for what I thought was an awesome deal. My inexperience in real estate saw the $250K price tag of a house that was $300K only a few months before as a once in a life time opportunity. In October of 2008 I learned it was not.
The banks knew what was coming though since they sold my mortgage to Wells Fargo before the first mortgage bill hit my mailbox. Then in August of 2009, I left my soul sucking, sanity draining job to work as a contractor. I made the same money but didn’t have access to health care (I paid for Aetna health insurance, but I found it didn’t cover anything, because I had a pre-existing condition). Being a type 2 diabetic this was not a good thing.
I went into survival mode and tried find someplace where I could get affordable housing and pay for my medical care and medicines. I am very fortunate that I can work remotely and that I found an employer (my brother, thanks Bro’!) who took me on full time.
I am not ashamed to say that I walked away from my house in Massachusetts. The bank took it back in a short sale and when you tally up everything I paid in my first 18 months of ‘home ownership’,(down payment, mortgage payments,loan origination fees, interest payments) and what they sold the house for, they broke even. The bank never loses, just us saps who pay the mortgages do.
I bought a foreclosed house in Hamtramck with what little savings I had plus what I could pry out of my retirement fund.
I am still in a precarious situation, I’m trying to sell my house in Hamtramck to finance the renovation of a larger home in Detroit. I could lose my job anytime, and I’m not getting any younger. But you know what, that’s life and I just have to take it as it comes and be happy. I am a lot happier in Detroit than I ever was in Massachusetts.
But I don’t have to be happy about what’s happening in our country. I am mad and I’ll stay mad until things change for the rest of us.
My utopia would be to not worry about having health care. Health insurance isn’t health care. With Insurance you pay every month and then have to beg for them to pay for your care when you really need it.
We need to get manufacturing and industry back into our country so we can all have jobs. The Financial Industry is a farce. Financial “products” are useless except to scam people out of their hard earned money.
I can’t go to Wall St. and protest, but I think what I have done to change my life to live within my means is probably an even larger protest. I said fuck you to the banks when I bought a foreclosed house with cash. I employed people to fix my house, and I am doing it again with a larger house. When I have to stop working, I will at least have someplace to live and maybe even have property to rent out so that I can have enough income to pay my living expenses.
My idea of a successful life is to have something left over after I die to pass on to my family. Or at least not leave any outstanding bills.