In the future, things will be very slightly different. In the future, things will be worse. The future is now.
The U.S. poverty rate is at its highest level in nearly 20 years. More than 15% of the country falls under that already comically low financial limbo line—$22K per year, for a family of four.
But they, the poverty-stricken, are easy to forget. How do you think your team will fare in the NFL this season? Are you excited about the new iPhone? Sex. Look, you have already forgotten about poverty-stricken Americans! What you want to know is how you, the college-educated, underemployed American with the taste and free time to read Gawker.com will fare in our new post-middle class economic future. Right? Well.
It depends. You have a college degree, right? That's good. I mean, people with college degrees are the fastest-growing category of people declaring bankruptcies, but it's still good to have a college degree, unless getting it completely sunk you in unsustainable student debt, in which case you better hope it lands you a high-paying job, but of course even a Harvard law degree can't get you a job these days. But you still get the knowledge you learn in college, which is priceless, or so they would like you to believe, particularly if you attended, say, The University of Phoenix.
Regardless, a college degree does give you a better chance of getting a job, and the rest of the world is rapidly catching up with the U.S. in college education, so you better make your degree pay off now, or Chinese and Indian graduates who are way more motivated than you are going to take everything you love and hold dear, including your girlfriend (if you're able to get one). Time to put that education to use to make some money$$$, before it's too late! So let's just do a little brainstorming. What do you know about making money? Well, you know banks make a lot of... woops, stop right there. Do not invest your money in banks, whatever you do. Jesus Christ. One try and you're already fucking up.
Okay. Back on track, planning for your future. You need something stable, something long term, with great benefits. How about if instead of investing in a bank, you work at a bank? Nope, sorry. Christ. Uhhh... entry level autoworker, great union protection? Nope, sorry. Um. Postman? Nah.
What they failed to tell you in elementary school and middle school and high school and college and grad school is that there aren't really "jobs" out there, any more. At least not jobs that you can "get." The best way to ensure a stable financial future is to already be rich. Once your already rich the government will lavish tax policy protections upon you that enable you to just keep investing in stocks—which will begin to recover after a few more years of wallowing around in tears, and then continue their historic march upwards. Then you'll be accorded all of the respect that society gives to people with "jobs," when in fact your only "job" is watching your money grow, from the comfort of your plush surroundings! You are an investor. You have a supercar mania. You have no allegiances. You follow the money.
So now you know the formula for financial success in this harsh new age of societal bifurcation. Simply live off your savings for the next few years, buying stocks like a madman, and reap the rewards down the road. It will work like a charm.
What if you don't have money now? Well... sorry. I'm fresh out of ideas. At least you have lots of company.
[Photo of you: AP]