The maddening money-making culture

The promises of financial liberation have warped our social engines to the point where other values are discarded. | JP Valery, Unsplash

Benz De Marshall Pierre | Staff Writer

In the United States, the dictates of money have been followed to the letter. These dictates are present in government statutes in the form of tax breaks for the affluent, and in school, children learn that the country was built on the back of industry. Even on YouTube one can hardly escape the pull of advertisements hoping to interest you in some kind of business. 

All this has the effect of creating a culture where the single-minded pursuit of money has become a lifestyle. What is troubling is that many people have no better alternative. It’s the reason why people take on multiple jobs and sometimes neglect the upbringing of their young children. 

Our dear Florida, a city famous for melting an assortment of cultures, has now pushed many people out in search of a better, less expensive life. The rigidity has become unbearable. 

The so-called gurus have managed to amplify the fast money scheme by successfully garnering a strong following base made up of those infected with the prospects of making loads of money. In many respects, a college degree has almost lost some of its meaning, and to a growing number of young men, school is an old story and money is all that matters. 

Those who have not yet forsaken a college education are pressured to get stellar grades in hopes of making it in a predatory economy that rewards four years of education with a meager salary, on top of which is added saddling debt.

But the gospel of capitalism does not cease, and despite calls for an improvement of the people’s lot, no radical change ever takes place. Many band-aids are placed giving the appearance of change. 

This in itself triggers the drive to make money for the sake of it. The United States especially seems drunk with neoliberal policies that twist every drop of energy out of the working poor in furtherance of its ideal. It markets the “American Dream” to those willing to break their backs to secure it and won’t even offer proper care to those on whose backs it is built. 

But the images of those who “made it” must be dangled in front of our faces to keep a pliable mass that continues to believe in the truth of that gospel. Because of this, many are running in droves toward the most recent fast money scheme, thinking it is their ticket to paradise.

One is then forced to choose between starvation or the modicum salary you will get for being a slave to a monotonous task that will bore you out of your wits, but a choice must be made. No matter the circumstances, one has no choice but to return to the soul-sucking task of merely existing to pay rent and other services of basic necessity.

The glamorous lifestyle proudly showcased by those who have climbed the ladder serves as an inspiration for those who lack such means. In a world that mostly celebrates success and glosses over the road traveled, some of those rising to the top had to pull deeply unethical tricks to make it. Those who refuse to bend to the harshness of life, draw deep inspiration from those who conquered it all, and actively look for their ticket to paradise too. Once there, the world does change. 

As people become embroiled in this money-seeking whirlpool, life loses some of its charm. In Miami, it creates a paradox. Life is often hardly lived for the sake of finding some merriment in the simple pursuit of happiness, as happiness is chased at the expense of other things; it is lived for the sake of surviving. This also blurs our sense of collectivity and makes us beg for more financial structures that can allow us to make more. 

The working men who reject the seduction of this hustling business, are labeled weak or are said to be part of the herd. According to that logic, only those with a herd mentality refuse the simple-minded pursuit of money. 

As the number of affluent people increases, those who lack such means revere the efforts of their social betters and see in them the epitome of the American Dream. In pursuit of that dream, we are often willing to tolerate inequality, thinking that it is necessary. 

It isn’t that money is bad, rather, it is that the promises of financial liberation have warped our social engines to the point where other values are discarded. Our intrinsic values, those that guide us in the right direction, take a back seat.

The senseless pursuit of money should be vanquished by something bigger. As money is pursued, it should simply help secure this life to which its lack condemns us, not as an end in itself. 

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