01 November 2006

Virtual Escape

How much freedom do you really have if you have to remain in an untenable, disagreeable, humiliating and/or damaging situation?

Forget extremes: let's head for common. How much freedom do you have if you have to keep putting up with your job because you can't afford to quit?

I touched on this long ago, twice. I have a brief update: Nina eventually suffered a nervous breakdown, quit her job, lost her home and now lives with her mother. She is still deeply in debt and is pondering bankruptcy.

If Nina were simply an odd statistic, We could bypass this whole angst deal and simply continue with Our lives. But Nina has passed beyond statistic to metaphor: she has become a canary in a suffocating coal mine.

Nina made more money than the average Puerto Rican worker. She spent about average or slightly more, for though she was loaded with debt, it was all linked in some way to her salary, credit rating and other commitments. In essence, there are thousands of Ninas out there and thousands of Ninos, too.

But where Nina fell off the financial trolley to Hell was in not having a cash-based second income.

Nina didn't do odd jobs, sell retail, provide a service or deal with folks on a cash-only basis. Those of you who live here know exactly what I mean. Nina didn't "hustle" for that extra money, so she was taxed on what she earned and gouged to pieces by interest rates as subtle as a chainsaw to the jugular.

Nina made two mistakes: she played by the rules...and she played by their rules. She played by the sociocultural rules that say you must buy your way to happiness through instant gratification via things you don't really need. And she adhered to their rules that say you must stay within the system in order to support their game.

Now imagine what thousands of Ninas and Ninos will do when that game of theirs makes staying within the game an obviously stupid strategy. Will they be able to cut the fiendish addiction to buybuybuy? Of course not; there's simply too much pressure from keeping up with the Jimenez's.

So if cutting back isn't really an option, what remains? More cash. More untraceable, untaxable, unimpeded cash.

And here's a borderline non sequitur worth its weight in cash: Internet, anyone?

And some of you think I'm joking...

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Anonymous said...

Internet and drug selling

Anonymous said...

By the way, Happy Birthmonth!!!!