Although people throughout history have had to work to get by, we now live in a culture where we are led to believe we have economic freedom, when unbeknownst to most citizens, we are in fact bound in servitude.
We automatically accept a 40-hour workweek with meager hourly pay as normal, even though many work overtime and still struggle to survive.
There are also those who make enough to live comfortably but are unable to request less hours - you either work 40 hours a week, or you don't get to work at all.
We submit when told what to wear, when we have to arrive and depart, when we're allowed to eat, and even when we're allowed to use the restroom.
How is it we have come to
Working situations for Americans began to worsen as well, and by 1836, labor movement publications were also calling for a 40-hour workweek.
Citizens in both
situations were so overworked, an eight-hour day was easily
accepted. This system is unnecessary now, if it ever was, but we
still accept it due to the effects of our capitalist society.
First, it's important to understand exactly what inflation is, how it works, and how it leads to debt.
They ask the Federal Reserve for a loan, and the Fed agrees to buy bonds (sort of like IOU's) from the government in the amount of the requested loan.
The U.S. government then prints up a bunch of pieces of paper that say "Treasury Bond" while at the same time, the Federal Reserve prints up a bunch of little pieces of paper that we know as money.
A trade is made between
the government and the Federal Reserve - the bonds for the money -
and the U.S. government directly deposits this newly printed money
in a different bank, which in turn, takes its cut in fees and
interest. Voilà, money has been created out of thin air.
At one point in time, currency was worth gold. That was what gave money its value, but now the value of money is trusted to the Federal Reserve who has no moral objections to reducing that value by printing more money (basically legal counterfeit).
For the cost of printing,
the Federal Reserve creates money that the U.S. government has
promised to pay back - money that didn't even exist in the first
How does this lead to economic slavery?
By the debt inflation has
Money equals debt, and
debt equals money. So the more money there is, the more debt there
is, and vice versa. What this means is, if somehow the government
and every citizen in debt were able to pay back those loans, there
would not be a single dollar in circulation.
When you take out a loan
and the bank gives you money that technically doesn't exist, they
also expect you to pay additional interest with it. If the money
loaned is coming from the Federal Reserve, where is the money for
the interest supposed to come from?
Like a toss of the coin, somebody somewhere will always go bankrupt to make up for the interest that is being paid with even more debt. And so, as the nation sinks further in the hole while the cost of living increases, surviving in the economy becomes more difficult.
This desperation to
survive, coupled with the fact that we were born into this system,
is ultimately what causes us to accept the 40-hour workweek without
a moment's thought.
After all, studies show that the average office worker gets less than three hours worth of work done in an 8-hour work shift, and according to reports, US corporate profits are soaring while wages are declining.
Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that productivity has increased at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, while hourly pay only increased 1.3 percent in the third quarter, and this has been the basic pattern for some time - it adds up after a while.
Corporate profits are at their highest level in at least 85 years, so why aren't we being paid more, working less, and providing additional jobs to those who need them?
This brings us to consumerism.
At one point in time this belief may have rang true, but with the current capitalist system and cost of living, consumerism has begun to have negative effects on our society, especially when you take inflation and the increasing debt into consideration.
The more we buy, the more
we feed the corporations and banks who are in turn pushing us into
Psychological insinuations have been planted into society's subconscious for generations through consumer advertisements which have ultimately led to certain habits and beliefs.
Some examples are:
For example, in the documentary 'The Corporation', a marketing psychologist discussed a method she used to increase sales that involved encouraging children to nag their parents to buy toys.
Studies showed that 20% to 40% of purchases of this sort resulted after children nagged their parents.
The 40-hour workweek is the ultimate tool for corporations to sustain this culture of over-indulgent spending.
Under our current working conditions, people are forced to build a life in the evenings and their days-off. We find ourselves more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because we rarely have any free time.
When we do have time to
ourselves, it's usually fleeting, and we eventually find ourselves
neglecting those activities which are free - walking, exercising,
reading, meditating, sports, hobbies, etc. - because they take too
The "perfect" consumer works full-time, earns a fair amount of money, indulges during their free time, and somehow just makes it by each month.
However, even those who
don't earn fair wages sometimes find themselves wasting small
increments of money on unnecessary items for the wrong reasons - a
cup of Starbucks here, a McDonald's cheeseburger there, and those
really cool fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view of your 1993 Honda
By keeping society's free
time scarce, people will pay more for convenience, gratification,
and any other relief they can buy.
Our society has been transformed into an industry fueled by economic slavery, and consumerism is a key factor in this corrupt system - one the people have direct influence over.
Consumers are the only
ones who can stop consuming...