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Neoliberal Me

by William O. Pate II

Latest Update: March 16, 2020

The number of things I have to do is overwhelming. When it comes to tasks required to keep up one's daily life, the modern world certainly proves bountiful. Bountiful -- and busy --  enough to preclude my writing a book of any sort. And yet it is just that busy-ness that, ironically, I think demands longer treatment than I've afforded much of anything recently. Well, maybe it isn't just the harried quality of my daily life that needs more thorough, thoughtful examination. 

Let's begin by setting a few ground rules here: 

  1. Everything written here is tentative.
    That means it's not only possible you're reading something that was just published (see the date at top to get a feel for where we're at) unedited that may change if you reload the page. If you come back in a week or a month, it's very likely to have changed. That's the nature of this beast. You get to follow along as I write, if you like, but you'll have to deal with my indulging in the recursive nature of writing and thought. It also means
  2. I reserve the right to change my mind, as I've done throughout my life. Fortunately, I think I've also been fairly consistent in my beliefs over the last, oh, 20 years -- so, while small things may change, my general mindset can probably be fairly easily followed by anyone who knows me or has previously read my personal work. 

Doing the math on my debt after reviewing the last ten years or so in a brief chat with my ex, I find: 

Assuming I could pay off my student loan debt under a reasonable repayment plan in ten years would land me at age 49 -- we may as well say 50. If I liquidate all my current retirement investments and put all that money toward student loan debt, I could, hypothetically, cut that repayment period down to five years (but leaving us with no retirement funds at age 45). 

At 50 years old, I'm looking at another 17 years of work (as if retirement will ever be an option, but let's just play this out) to achieve full retirement age under Social Security (age 67 for those born after 1960). Assuming I live that long. 

So, essentially, of roughly the next 27 years of my life, half will go to repaying student loan debt and the other half will go to trying to build up enough savings to survive when I can't work. Of course, I have to assume I'll work until I'm dead. 

Or, more realistically and, to be honest, what seems to me to be a far better option is to not do that. Not live another 25+ years just to repay worthless bullshit. Just to struggle day in and day out without a partner or a goal or a light at the end of the tunnel. 

What's the point?

Other people experience highs and lows in life. They face struggles and losses, but they also see happiness and successes. In my past, I see a long string of struggles and losses mostly characterized by varying levels of unhappiness and failure. People have it worse. But I don't have to continue.

Certainly Misty could find a way to get my debt discharged due to her disability if I committed suicide. Then, she would at least have the savings I've currently invested. But I don't see the value in continuing this life just to end up where I am or worse in another 30 years. The first 39 have sucked enough. I think I've done enough for people. I think it may soon be time to do something for myself.