I’m feeling a little, um, let’s say burdened at the moment. Life as a glamorous jet-setting pizza delivery driver becomes increasingly less like being in circa 1987 Mötley Crüe, and more like being in circa 2008 Guns ‘N Roses as the days pass. The restaurant I work for seems to be weathering whatever storms may come, but the ‘luxury’ of having food delivered seems to have fallen out of favor among the majority of San Marcos’ citizenry.
Though this crisis is supposedly short-lived and in the process of being “repaired”, I think it will have a bit more powerful effect on our lives than most of us realize. Not to sit here bemoaning my fate, but when I started this job, I was averaging around eighteen dollars an hour, with a base pay of $6.55. Now, with the economy in its current condition, I’m lucky to average nine bucks. Damn near a fifty percent loss, and this is after the mandatory minimum wage hike.
I know I’m not alone when I say, “Fuck you, 1980s.”
A Flock of Seagulls was evidently not the only shitty thing to happen in the ’80s–there was also this thing called ‘Reaganomics’. A (barely) simplified version of Reagan’s ‘trickle-down’ economic theory is like this: Rich people love to spend money on shit, any shit, and will pay ridiculously high prices for it. When they buy enough of something, the company making it can afford to make it cheaper, and to research the next generaton of said something. Naturally, what the rich had before is no longer ‘top shelf’, and is then made available to the general public at a reduced price and quality. The rich then move on to the next cutting-edge advance in toe-massaging technology, or whatever, and the cycle continues.
The image of mice scampering after crumbs swept from the tables of lords is an apt one. It encapsulates everything about that economic system that is bad and unfair, which isn’t to say that Reaganomics didn’t work. It did work, which is why we’ve stubbornly held on to it for so long.
We’re almost out of that phase, I think. Some aspects still linger, like the heirarchy in place at most large corporations, but for the most part the whole set-up is failing. This credit crisis–with the seeds sown thanks to the aid of the Clinton administration–is only the beginning of a major tectonic shift in the way our country’s wealth is distributed and applied.
I can’t say which way it will go, and anyone who claims to have the answer is a lying asshole. This ship may or may not be sinking, but the water is definitely getting choppy. Always keep one eye on the sea.