There’s a new living meme I’ve been closely watching as it achingly creeps into an everyday reality because of economic compression and the new relativism of the repression of the American Dream for a growing generation of born scavengers.
I’ve been cautiously observing the new momentum of young people moving out of big cities and into small, rural, villages — or their parent’s basement — where the rent is cheap, the food is affordable, and the quality of life is quiet and unsubstantial.
At a time when these young people should be at their maximum earning potential, they are instead in “retirement mode” and collecting welfare subsidies and banking the goodwill of the generation ahead of them. When it comes time for them to pay back the deed, they will be able to do so because they were never in the earnings game in the first place.
There are no jobs in these dying villages, but the influx of young people in the prime of their lives, with pocketsful of Federal and State money to spend, are keeping these separate, sovereign, archaic archipelagos — stuck, and hiding in the middle of the United States — alive in the midst of an overall economic meltdown of both representative democracy and the social welfare safety net created to only catch, not sustain, these fallen folks.
These young people have taken refuge in the small town and the village and the hamlet to avoid the hard reality of an ever-coarsening world economy that hits them squarely in the face upon graduation from high school or college.
There are not many manufacturing jobs to be had, unions are dying, and nobody really cares to hire the fresh college graduate at an affordable, and righteous, living wage. How can you fight when there’s no opponent waiting for you? When despair is the only life choice available, the safest bet is to recoil and retreat and hope to gather a win on another day that will never arrive.
For many, the only option is to revolt from the unrealistic expectations of mainstream society and recede into towns and the oasis of villages stuck in 1950’s technology and mindsets. In the smallest towns, the world has changed very little over the last 60 years, and that affordable fact is appealing to the fallen Millennials who are flailing in the marketplace.
Since these young’uns have no earned income, they rely on either long-term unemployment insurance payments, or when those benefits run out, they try to transition into permanent disability payments or supplemental security income. Their rebellious protest against the power majority arrives monthly in a direct deposit.
Those small payments carry little weight for value in modern cities, but in the smaller hamlet of antiquity, those Federal and State monies can allow the twitchy leading of a somewhat regular, if not imaginary, life.
Yes, these young people have nothing to do all day, and yes, they are wasting the money given to them by “retiring early” and giving up on a life of work and burden in the machinery of society, and so they become soft and reliant and malleable, and addicted and unimportant in the forward movement of social dreams becoming individualistic accomplishments.
What happens to the American Dream deferred? It withers back into fallow ground, poisoning the land with barren wishes and broken hopes — and the only way out of the grave is to reimagine a world where the worker wins the world and is able to sow, and reap, the rewards of living a real life of labor where the body pays the mind forward in meaningful, and sustaining, pay for a hard day’s work.