My most popular blog was written about dog pee, Hannah Hart, and living on the streets. I sometimes wonder why that is. I get the draw of Hannah Hart because she’s an amazingly comedic young talent. I even get the living on the streets because of the feeling of freedom, and in fact would like to talk a little about that. But, dog pee? Let’s not even talk about that.
So, Why Live On The Street?
You could get run over. Get out of the street.
I think I should have worded it as, being homeless. This means not having a place to rest your head at night.
Now, it doesn’t seem so attractive, does it? Homelessness is a real problem. It’s actually increased for the first time since 2010.
It might seem cool, however, in this day and age considering what options we have. As young people life can look very hopeless. It’s definitely very difficult. EVERYTHING costs money.
You want to succeed get an education, BUT you’ll need to face all the debt from that education.
You are an adult and get to pay taxes, BUT you’ll be paying a lot more taxes the younger and healthier that you are.
You might just find a life partner and know love and have great sex, BUT you have the burden of no longer being financially responsible for one person, but now two, and more once you have children.
Life is very hard, and very harsh in a time when our earnings spread much thinner than they used to back in the day. Just give a quick look at this Pew Research article. I found the most interesting was earnings for us regular folk goes up around 2%, but for the richest, it’s gone up at least 16%. That’s continuous. That’s a continual pattern in a capitalistic society.
I have no problem with capitalism. I have a problem with greed. The great thing about capitalism is that everyone has an equal chance to work hard and make enough to buy what they want. The bad thing about capitalism is the reality of our own capability.
Think about that:
Reality of our own capability.
Causes of homelessness in the United States include lack of affordable housing, divorce, lawful eviction, negative cash flow, post traumatic stress disorder, foreclosure, fire, natural disasters (hurricane, earthquake, or flood), mental illness, physical disability, having no family or supportive relatives, substance abuse, lack of needed services, elimination of pensions and unemployment entitlements, no or inadequate income sources (such as Social Security, stock dividends, or annuity), poverty (no net worth), gambling, unemployment, and low-paying jobs.
We don’t really all get equal footing. Bad things happen and within a blink of an eye your financial building blocks all come tumbling down. I can list one after another of friends and acquaintances – good and hard working people – whose entire life changed because of illness, death, or job loss either to themselves or a family member. Savings gone. Stability gone. Everything they relied on to get them through as they age – GONE.
It’s because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We can hope and pray everything will work out, but we don’t know for a fact it will work out.
You know an interesting fact that I also read while doing a little research on writing this blog was that the largest growth in employer expense throughout the last 20 years is cost for medical insurance. That is the horror and reality of capitalism. There is this unchecked greed with these institutions that run our healthcare system. I read somewhere (I’ll have to look it up) that the most money spent on lobbying our lawmakers comes from the healthcare industry.
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products: $3,591,651,507. Spending $3.5 billion over the past 20 years, the pharmaceutical and health products industry has far outpaced all other industries in lobbying spending. Jun 27, 2017
Why is that?
When I asked my local congressman during the years Obamacare was thrown onto the public stage and it was obviously not the best idea because it depended so heavily on insurance companies, but it was the only idea, and asked him why they are not trying to improve and find ways to make it better? He told me that we needed insurance companies to run our healthcare system. I asked him why. He said, “Someone has to run it.”
“Really? And you chose insurance companies to run it?”
That was like a parent who tells a kid why they shouldn’t do something, “Because I said so, Timmy.”
When I pressed him further he got flummoxed and stormed off. He was also known as having a short temper. Republicans, go figure.
Maybe I am being too simple-minded, but I think if you give a mouse a cookie they want more once they get a taste for a cookie. It has been overwhelmingly proven after nearly 40 years of trickle down economics that it doesn’t work. If you give rich people more money, then they get more money. You, the average person, does not benefit by making rich people richer. It just doesn’t happen. The wealth does not spread outward, but stays inward. We have so many statistics that tell us it hasn’t worked. The top 10% of money makers in our country have seen a growth in wages every year at around 15% or so. Do you know how much the average person’s wages has grown? It stays at around 2% to maybe 3%, as I earlier stated.
Now factor in how much the cost of living has changed and how much things basically cost us? A LOT more than 20 years ago, I can tell you that for a fact. Please, look it up. It’s very eye opening and mind-boggling. It’s grown at a rate much higher than 2%-3%.
There was a verse in the Bible that I’ve read. The verse is repeated often that a worker is worthy of their wages. Well, that isn’t quite how the verse goes. Most of those verses actually have to do with workers of the faith (in I Timothy) and those who follow God (Deuteronomy). It really wasn’t talking about the average American worker.
Which proves my point that ancient texts are about ancient religious things and why ever would you use it to make civic decisions?
Let’s get back on topic.
Why is homelessness so attractive?
It’s because working doesn’t seem to be worth it in this day and age. Working doesn’t pull the same return it might have back in the day.
We begin to feel like those hamsters on the wheel, running and running and running to get nowhere fast.
What needs to make our laws isn’t the richest lobbyists or ancient Bible sayings. What is needed is to look at the people of a country and talk to them. Ask them what they need.
A good parent doesn’t just say, “because I said so.” A good parent says, “because it is better for you to do this than that. Because I love you. Because you will get hurt if you do that. Because what is best for you, is what is best for me. I want to see you healthy, happy, and secure.”
If a parent’s only answer is an ambiguous one of only because I have the power to say so, then that parent is lacking.
Capitalism is not the bad thing, but it breeds many bad things in human nature, and so let me go on with another reason I think that blog post was the most popular.
The Romantic Period
I think down deep the reason people like the subject of living on the streets (homelessness) is it has this odd romantic appeal of total freedom. It’s like watching old movies about hobos that jump from train to train. The open road. The adventurer. The It Happened One Night type of romance deep within.
I did a quick Google (our modern form of library research) for the most popular genre of book and found that number one according to Bookstr, is romance/erotica. (I think romance pervades all genre’s of books or the book doesn’t do very well.)
Number two is crime/mystery, three is religious/inspirational, four is fantasy/sci-fi, and five is horror.
Okay, let’s stop there a moment.
So, I’m going to say crime, which delves into the darkest depths of our human psyche, and inspirational, searching for the best parts of ourselves, are neck in neck.
Do you know why? I’ll give you my two cents: good and evil are equally playing within our souls.
Each day we are searching for an answer to each momentous question. Do I eat that piece of cake, or pat myself on the back for not eating the piece of cake. (Oh, go on, you know you’re going to take a piece tomorrow anyway.)
But why is romance number one? We all want to fall in love. We all want to feel something deeper and outside ourselves. We don’t really like being alone. I don’t mean introverts who like to be alone, but I mean not having “anyone” there for us. We all need one person – just that one person – who will always be there for us, or have our back, or just be a shoulder to lean on.
We want a special someone.
Aristotle is quoted as saying, “Love is composed of a single soul, inhabiting two bodies.”
I have a handful of people that I know I love. Romantically? Only one. (Unless she just left me, which is always a possibility.)
And so perhaps, that romantic part of us just wants the open road. We want to find that special other half, and just keep searching, and searching, and searching….
We want to just…
Feel in love and enraptured by a real person and not The Mannequin (check out this 1987 movie).
(Okay, I have to admit I actually enjoyed this movie when I was younger.)
Nothing like an 80’s corny music video.
I really have no idea what I’m talking about, but I think we all really do want that special someone in our lives.
We keep searching, and searching, and searching, and searching, for that heart of gold. Am I right?
Sing it Neil!
Ah, that’s my all-time favorite song (psst, he doesn’t start the song until a minute and a half into it if you want to skip ahead).
Anyhoos, I’m not really sure why that post was my most popular. I did some awesome doodles and then it was kind of silly. I just hope you keep enjoying my posts peeps.
Goodnight and good searching!
(Now those songs are stuck in my head!)