I know this isn't what typically goes in feels, but I'm passionate about it, so I'm putting it here. I'm taking back the middle class.
With this whole project, moving into an old trailer, down sizing, saving money, etc., I have begun to think that this is the new face of the middle class citizen. Wages have fallen when compared to expenses. Houses are more expensive. College is more expensive. Food, gasoline, meds and doctors visits, all of the things we need to survive are so much more expensive when compared to how much money we're bringing in. Families used to enjoy the privilege of one parent working, while now, both parents work, usually with one parent making maybe $100 more per month then daycare costs. It's ridiculous.
However, I'm refusing to give this society that much of my time and money. I'm moving into a trailer, a tiny house that we've completely paid off already. We're going to park it at a mobile home park for $300/month plus utilities. This may seem cheap and tragic, but I don't see it that way. I see it as living within my means, responsibly, and not in excess.
It used to be that people saved up for a house. The average down payment was half of the purchase price. Now, people wind up paying so much money in interest to the bank for a suburban, cookie cutter mansion they can't afford, with a huge garage for their SUVs that they drive, solo, to work every day.
We can do better than this, and I think my generation is going to face a very harsh reality: America has messed up pretty badly. We've done on the government level what we've done on a personal and family level. We have tons of debt, we don't have any drive to get real jobs, the kinds of jobs that involve physical labor. We value sinking tens of thousands of dollars into degrees that help us work in retail and refuse to invest thousands of dollars into a certification that would potentially earn us close to six figures with overtime. We're lazy, and we're all moving in with our old parents.
So I'm downsizing. I'm working nights. I fix my own things when I have the means. I'm being happy with what I have, what little there is, and I'm saving for my future.
Help me take back the middle class.