We are on the cusp of a great new age for the American character. However, just like stretching before going on a long run, there are some preliminary exercises that one must do to meet all the physical demands of this new movement. The most important of them all begins with the shoulders. Exhale, relax your mind and slowly arch your shoulders in a smooth, rounded shrugging motion, now repeat this mantra three times: “It is not my fault, nothing is my fault.” Once step one is complete and you have absolved yourself from any residual sense of responsibility, you now can move on to step two. This entails finding something to blame (preferably a large institution). Once that is done, step three is easy: Complain.
I was having a meal with a friend of mine and her little brother a few weeks ago. Her brother is in his senior year of college and I asked him what he planned to do once he graduated. His harrowing response was one that many great accountability-shunners would love to hear. “Well I can’t really get a job because all of the bankers screwed everything up for everybody.” I asked him if he had found an internship to funnel him into a potential full-time position and his response was the same. I asked him if he has even looked for a job and he said “What’s the point?” Take note dear readers, this kid is already a professional…a professional responsibility-shifter. The profligate banking standards of the last few years have decided this poor kid’s future for him. All he has left to do is shrug his shoulders.
I am not saying that the ripple effects of the financial collapse have not made it harder to find employment. They have. The unemployment rate in the country is hovering around 9.1% and positions are certainly not opening up the way they did before the crisis. But at what point does this become a self-fulfilling prophecy? Lo and behold, a quick Google search reveals myriad available entry-level positions. They may not be in the exact sector that he wants, the salary may be lower than desired and benfits may not be full but, believe it or not, the bankers did not destroy all of the jobs.
This trend of responsibility shifting is as disturbing as one could imagine. Take the mortgage crisis for example. Of course there were unscrupulous lenders placing people in homes that they could not afford, but at what point do you start to take on some authority? You do not have to be a CPA to realize that if you make $50,000 dollars a year, a mortgage on a $900,000 home may not be for you. Where does this blind faith in mankind come from? Was no one reasonable enough to think these lenders may have unsavory motives?