The Way We Live Now: better than we used to. Despite everything, our living standards are rising! Can you believe it? Even with no jobs or pensions, we're seeing improvement. We pay for it all on credit!
"The average annual income was $24,079 per person in 1980 in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data. Last year, it was $40,454 per person." Fucking game set match, motherfuckers! It's right there in the USA Today. Of course, in the 80s they had The Gipper, and his living presence was probably worth at least $10K per year for every man, woman, and child in America, but still. We're doing better today. Believe it.
Our problem is not that we don't have a lot. It's that we feel like we don't have a lot. We had slightly more a couple of years ago, and losing that small luxurious edge makes the average American suffer pain equivalent to amputating the foot of the average Indonesian family's first-born son. That's how seriously we take our ability to buy granite countertops, here in America. Public pensions are dead, but all that means is that our benefits system is catching up with our wallets; as long as we can pretend we have some sort of safety net, the number of ducats in our bank accounts give us very little real happiness.
For most Americans, all we want is positive perception. We're willing to buy "century bonds" that won't mature for 100 god damn years just because we like the warm feeling of owning something backed by the full faith and credit of whoever might be running our government a century from now (Katelynn Clinton III). In that sense, we are ignorant and blissful. Also, how we let these huge and comforting megabanks grow until there is no hope of saving ourselves when they eventually collapse? Yea, same thing.
Buck up, Americans. At least it ain't 1980. You have twice as much money. You have twice as many ice cream flavors. And you're still alive. Let's "win the future"—for the Gipper!