Poverty is a Feature, Not a Bug

A long rant about 40 years of unsustainable unfettered capitalism that’s created economic slavery in the United States.

Erik Blair
15 min readMar 26, 2022

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

This is an uncut, unvarnished fulmination about US economics, living in the US, growing up “American”, etc.

It’s raw, not polished and dropped on the table in front of you. It’s a reality check for some, and a wake up call for others. Some may disagree with some points, but I’ve lived this for 50+ years. I have a lot of experience and done a ton of research on these topics.

The American Dream is a Carrot on a Stick

In the 80s, they said to get ahead you need to work hard, and put away 30% of your income to earn enough to thrive.

In the 90s, they said you need to better yourself, take night school, pull up your bootstraps, and get a better job to earn enough to live on.

In the 2000s, they said you need to get a 2nd job, get a roommate, tighten your belt, and create a side business just to survive the rising cost of living.

In the 2010s, they said you’ll need a 3rd job, sell on eBay or Etsy, drive for Uber & Instacart, rent your rooms and couch out on Airbnb just to avoid living on the streets.

Now in the 2020s, they say you need to stop eating meat and embrace lentils and rice, walk or bicycle or take public transportation to each of your 3–4 jobs, don’t buy anything you don’t require to survive, sell your blood & organs, shack up in garages or live in your cars, just to avoid being incarcerated.

In the 2030s, they’ll say you need to remain in line or your spot in the shelter will be given to someone else.

There will not be any 2040s for those who don’t comply and adhere to the demands of unfettered capitalism. They don’t plan to tell you how to escape abject poverty. They plan to put you to work in the many sweathouses that are coming, or a work-labor camp in prison.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — for ever.”

― George Orwell, 1984

Erik Blair

Writer, technologist, web dev, consultant, loves travel