Continued from March 30, 2018
#AmWriting #Fiction #IndieAuthor
“What do you mean by cog in the machine?” Doug asked.
“Everything. All of this.” Greg said as he spun with his hands spread wide, “It’s all one big machine. There are a few different ways to look at it, but capitalism at its core is just a machine designed to carry a select few on the backs of everyone below them.”
“Are you – like crazy or something?” Doug asked, suddenly a little uncomfortable but also extremely intrigued.
“I’m sure by all conventional standards here, yes, I am, in fact crazy, but that doesn’t make me wrong.” Greg said as they paused at an intersection to wait for the walk signal. “If you think about it, everything boils down to how many people can be between the producer and the consumer before the system breaks. You buy flour for a fraction of a penny, add some water and salt, which again cost a fraction of a penny, then turn around and sell a bagel for forty cents.”
“That’s what I have to do to make a living.”
“Because I have a mortgage, a car loan, credit cards, and I enjoy eating.” Doug replied.
“Fifty years ago you would have bought your house and car outright and wouldn’t have credit cards. As for eating, I do that for free.” Greg said as the walk signal flashed and they resumed their journey through the Old Port.
“Yes, but not everyone was able to save for a house.” Doug replied, “Mortgages helped more people buy houses. Just like car loans helped more people get cars.”
“Mortgages and car loans only enable the product to be more expensive. Just look at the cost of a house fifty years ago, twenty-three thousand dollars would have gotten you a decent home, and it would have been paid off, no interest, no loan, no additional costs. Today, that same home costs more than ten times that.” Greg said.
“People make more money now. It’s easier to make money.” Doug shot back.
“If you really think about it, people make less money, and everything is more expensive.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Well, for starters, how many people do you know that can support a family of four working a single full-time job as anything other than upper-middle management.” Greg asked. “Most families have two working parents that work full-time, and yet they still need assistance from the government to make ends meet.”
“They clearly aren’t working hard enough then.” Doug said.
“To the contrary, you said you’re self-employed right?”
“How much do you make per year?” Greg asked.
“Around fifty thousand dollars, but I work hard for it.” Doug defended.
“I’m sure you do. How many hours a week do you work?”
“Around fifty or so.”
“So roughly twenty dollars an hour.” Greg responded. “Even if both adults work full-time here, they are pulling seven fifty an hour, eighty plus hours a week, and still can’t afford to survive. Who is really working harder?”