- Books, Literature, and Writing
5 Reasons Being Broke Sucks
Maybe you have some experience with having no money. Maybe you don’t, but going by current statistics you probably do. On the other hand maybe you’re actually rich and want to read an informative article about something you actually have no experience with in which case I can redeem the idea of writing this for myself with the idea that there’s someone reading it for whom it contains new information. I’ve read several articles on how consumerism distances us from ourselves, but having been both monied and broke, I feel nothing reduces you to the archetypal nude emaciated alien slowly loping from your pod, because this is what happens after you have sold all your clothes and can’t make rent anymore, as does a lack of money. Most people are pretty sure they don’t want to be broke but if you haven’t been it’s weird in surprising ways that you wouldn’t have expected before you became so. These are the worst of those ways.
1. You Develop Weird Health Problems
This phenomenon, also known as “The Ramen Principle”, arises from misfortune befalling you when you are least equipped to handle it. This makes you as desperate as possible and willing to do things like become a hooker with a heart of gold who sells their organs for jerky. Just as cheap ramen sticks to the inside of your colon and makes you need to shell out the big bucks for Dr. Pepper’s award winning booty hole surgery or whatever that guy was famous for, you’ll find tons of inexpensive products actually lead to health complaints that are more expensive in the long run staggered out over monthly payments than expensive food would be in the short run if you could afford. Have you ever moved into an inexpensive apartment only to notice the tile caulk mysteriously crumbling one week later? Ok well I don’t know what causes that but whatever it is your teeth have to exist around it too, so, have fun dancing around that. Obviously also the cheaper version of most sweet products contain artificial sweeteners that can lead to diabetes, so my point is if you’re poor look forward to sawing off the ends of your arms and legs for sale on the black market and carrying on as an intrepid dwarf.
2. Other Broke People Only Make It Worse
Forget taking up your free time with friends if you’re poor, they’re as big of or worse screw-ups than you and any time you waste with them will at best only keep you exactly as poor as you are now, if you can get back to finding a job quickly enough after you blow however much time doing nothing with them. More likely you’ll worsen your lot because something will happen like one of them will somehow expose you to one of those god awful drugs that only poor people can find for some reason or they’ll try to obsessively entice you into doing something explicitly illegal like drive drunk, buy hookers, or get stupid in a way that’s contradictive to your odds of survival within the civic context over something of yours they just shoved in their pocket while your back was turned. If you’re at any other level of society, friends and acquaintances can be a good source of job referrals, character recommendations, information, hospitality, and advice. If you’re poor, your friends can spend the 20 dollar stipend that’s the real reason they take state supplied drugs with soon to be revealed crippling side effects on gas station beer or helpfully keep you awake all night screaming, hopefully because they’ve been drinking mountain dew and it turns out it really works but maybe because of something else you don’t want to spend any time looking into.
3. You Lose Contact With The Real World
Without money, which amenities you give up is going to be up to you, but it’s a safe bet you’re going to have to go without some of them. I always had the internet, but being without television, radio, or a PDA phone, something that originally seemed extravagant but based on frequency of ownership became a mainstay of socialized living in a short period of time, I quickly felt like I was developing a perspective different from that of what you might call “connected society”. Somewhere between condensing the content of broadcast programming into their minds and themselves becoming miniature telecommunication stations, checking in their locations, taking photos and texting everywhere they went, other people began to develop manners of speaking with informational content and delivered with a cadence that though they corresponded with one another seemed to address but not correspond with the situation at hand in the way that specific regional slang becomes hilariously incongruent with the world at large only it wasn’t funny. Of course some of this jargon trickles down to the poor who insecurely use it to try to fit in by appearing as if they have some essential function, for example endlessly slapping each other with the words yolo and ratchet until the meanings become endlessly vague but painful all the same. The glorious cherry that crowns this sundae of dissatisfaction is the underlying knowledge you really are too stupid to command this absent technology for yourself and that whatever privilege would grant access to it has by whatever parties it is that are interested in doing such things, been severed. You realize you are an idiot and try to become stoic about it, milling around dopily while trying to maintain a pleasant shape like some kind of colorful meaningless sign, but quietly you think to yourself that the policy of favoritism you’ve been swept up by the current of is, infuriatingly, not authoritative enough to be universal, and that it’s self insistent actions are more criminal than anything you’ve done to attract it’s attention, that the enactors of it are likely no better than you and measured against one another you’re less deserving of being ostracized. Then you start thinking you want to smoke weed because the funny smelling thing your air conditioner is blowing seems to be causing your body to form hard, cancer-like structures inside of it and you’ve heard weed fights cancer, but you’re afraid of getting arrested, so then it’s awkward.
4. You Start Using Weird Ideas To Create Your Self Worth
So you’re a seething cauldron of emotions and the last person on earth and this is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time or whatever self praising platitudes it is you like which all awesome because that funk you’re stuck in is about to lead to you to abandoning all coherent reason and self direction while heading directly into a strict policy of being pretty stupid. Poverty is like a miniature nihilistic Olympics where the greatest expenditures of defining behavior skew the participants across a descending scale of accomplishment, and then at some point you potentially might see three people wearing medals standing on a staircase. Everyone else becomes your immediate enemy, because since you’re at the end of your rope and have lost all sense of orientation you have no idea who to attack and devour as the reptile brain that keeps you alive is ceaselessly commanding you to do, so in poor neighborhoods people just bark curses at whoever’s standing in front of them. This leads to the deeply ironic street fights, ironic because in no fight is more blood likely to be drawn than in a ghetto fight, and in no fight are the participants less likely to have medical insurance. I sincerely don’t know what happens to the people who lose these fights if they get really bad. Maybe they crawl into a nearby storm drain and hope to become empowered by a chemical reaction that turns them into a crime fighting martial phoenix, but they probably just stay in debt to hospitals for the rest of their lives if they don’t die unnoticed. Other than this there’s various forms of excessive consumption all of which ultimately have an inverse effect on prosperity. I want to tell you the only thing you can do right in the ghetto is drink water all day, but it’s probably been tainted.
5. No one is interested in you (the greater your need the less likely you are to get out of trouble)
Having arrived at the collective realization that all of this brings you to, you, if you are in this situation, are probably somewhat interested in escaping the situation you find yourself in. Oh well, too bad, because congratulations, you probably have the worst chance of doing so. Not your actual credentials, but the stipulations that currently surround your life will probably result in you being less likely to receive jobs than someone who has more money than you anyway. If you’re not losing too much sleep from noise to get up and look for jobs in the morning, your car is probably being vandalized, if you do get to those job interviews, the credentials you bring to them are going to be the ones you earned by presenting the contents of your reprehensible experience as the things that make you unique. You’re probably going to realize in the midst of all this that all human progress is really just a chain of subtle vandalisms committed by people who after performing them turn around and self defensively take a derisive view of their victims. Realizing this will probably give you depression, so also you’ll have a chance to pay into some of the monopolies created by medical conglomerates, which will help.
I can’t tell you how to rise out of poverty and in fact am probably only worsening your lot by subversively reminding you of all the reasons you have to become enraged, though you can take some solace in the fact that your poison riddled corpse won’t have the strength to finish out any iconoclastic suicide missions you might devise so you might as well not bother. Remember that whatever equal footing any supposedly universal social contract might grant you, you are in reality a plague infested head wrapped in barbed wire and mounted on a pike as an example to all who would approach the callously supremacist camp you once claimed membership in. Other people’s problems are your fault, and their faults are your problem, because they know you are a loser, and they don’t have to care why. You might as well just sit in some food court somewhere while that hippy dippy “whoah oh oh” music they’re always playing these days drags on in the background so you can feel like you’re “part of it” and you’re the “earthy” one, then you can eat the worst things possible, like pig skins, which will make so depressed you'll want to eat a football, and then tell the football players you ate their football and have a heart attack while they beat you up, go home to nothing, and maybe someday you’ll die if you can afford it. I give being poor one out of five stars.