Expensive Illness

For those who feel envious of the wealthy, perhaps you should think again. Researchers have found that mental illness thrives in families with high income. The problem affects the children of these families as the buckle under extreme pressures to perform. They have to be the best at everything; get into the best schools, maintain the best grades, to continually win awards. The majority of this pressure is exerted by the parents, but peer pressure is a close second.

Manifested as depression, self harm (like cutting), excessive drug and alcohol use, promiscuity and other reckless behaviors are common among the economically privileged. It also appears to have sociopathic presentations, these kids find it difficult to bond with others, turning the population into tools of small value. Relationships of partnering and marriage are rife with infidelity and exploitation of the partner. In essence, unlike the followers of Robert J. Ringer, the kids cum adults practice “Winning through Intimidation” and “Looking out for Number One” organically. Every generation is the “Me” generation.

Mike Rowe www.mikerowe.com

It’s not that it bodes badly for the future, it bodes badly for the present. This high pressure existence isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been this way for some time, but began a logarythmic rise as the dot-com era spawned an explosion of neuvaux riche, and then kept right on multiplying. Sadly, this places many of the affected in positions of power as the control the corporate realms with an eye focused solely on their own high magnitude needs for greater wealth and power, and with no regard for ethics. Obviously, a target for this faction of our society is poloitics, which is a fertile plain of opportuinity for wealth and power, especially when unfettered by constituant needs.

Mike Rowe, Discovery’s Dirty Jobs champion commented on the standout lesson he learned working the blue collar jobs that keep the wheels oiled: “The people with manual labor jobs are a happier lot by far than their white collar counterparts.” he said during a recent interview. He pointed out that those in the labor market generally had a sense of accomplishment and self-respect because they can, day in and day out, see the effects of their work. “They get to look at things and say ‘I built that,’ pointing to a bridge.” They also leave the job at the jobsite and this tends to help focus on their families and participate more closely in the lives of their children. They take great pride in the accomplishments of their kids where the economically privileged more often say “you can do better. Try harder.”

It’s a common wish to be wealthy. With advertising constantly rubbing our faces in what we don’t have and motivating us to want it, it’s not surprising that people wish for financial security. This is not to say that poverty is some great shakes. But it’s becomming more and more obvious that the middle class, the fastest shrinking category of social strata, is the healthiest and happiest. At the rate things are going, nobody’s going to be happy or have a sense of contentment.