Sep 17

Interloper

I’m used to my privilege of being a straight white male, but I am not often consciously aware of it because it is the water in which I swim.

Being used to this privilege and nearly always receiving the benefit of the doubt as a result of it, it is really strange when I’ve ventured into completely mom-dominated environments where men are either completely invisible or treated in an extremely hostile manner.

Ignore the evo-psych explanation later on in the linked post, though.

There are places and situations that moms claim as their domain and men are not welcome unless they’re with a mom and relegated to holding packages or minding the kids while the mom takes care of the important business.  Anywhere or in any situation where mothers run the show—playgrounds, supermarkets, shoe stores, doctors’ waiting rooms, the spaces outside schools where parents wait to pick up their kids—men without women, even dads with kids in tow, are greeted with cold indifference if not outright hostility.

It’s really illuminating when this happens because it allows me to understand how many people must experience the world nearly all of the time. And it is not pleasant.

Sep 16

401 – 401 = 0

The 401(k) is simply another method purpose-built so that Wall Street can skim more wealth from workers – and it has worked spectacularly for this purpose while leaving workers much less well off.

The typical worker age 55 to 64 had just $54,000 in a 401(k) in 2010, according to a new report by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, and households with workers in that age group had $120,000 in retirement savings on average, if the money rolled into I.R.A.’s was included. That $120,000 is less than one-fourth the savings recommended by many retirement experts. Moreover, the center calculated, that $120,000 would provide an annuity of a paltry $7,000 a year.

Most Americans younger than 40 will never be able to retire. Most will work till they drop. This is the society we’ve created, and a result of the choices we’ve made. There’s probably no way back now, either.