The Squeeze

“…I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on this earth is not a hardship but a pastime, if we will live simply and wisely; as the pursuits of the simpler nations are still the sports of the more artificial.  It is not necessary that a man should earn his living by the sweat of his brow, unless he sweats easier than I do.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Why is everyone you know always so busy?

We live in the most technologically advanced, convenience-oriented, and productive time period in human history.  By definition, technology should allow us to produce more with less work.

Yet, workloads and stress levels are depressingly high. 19th century British factory workers probably would give us a run for our money, but we are arguably the some of the most worn-down people in history.

Every age has its characteristic failings. My proposition is that 21th century Americans suffer from “the squeeze.” We suffer from a rather pathetic materialism that creates a pressure to fill our lives with unnecessary stuff and distractions, buttressed by an institutional, tax, and regulatory policy regime that makes those things literally more expensive that they should be.

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