Why are Americans so angry?

This question has been bugging me for awhile now.  Why is everyone so pissed at each other?  There is so much ranting and raving on television, the internet, and in pretty much every periodical I read.  Liberals yelling at conservatives, the rich whining about “socialists”, crunchy moms venting about ignorant silky moms, people hating government, government hating the poor, whatever. It just goes on and on. I’ve even noticed that the advice columns in the paper have become filled with rage.  Over dumb stuff. Over serious stuff. It’s all up for grabs.

So what is making us so mad? And yes, I mean MAD.  As in crazy.  Why are people shooting each other on highways?  Why do people constantly feel the need to tell others how to parent?  And when folks disagree, why are they ANGRY?  Hell, I can’t even function nicely without a daily drug, and I know I am not the only one. Not even close.

I know one thing that makes people stressed and more prone to angry.  Finances.  While many companies are posting record profits, worker salaries are being hammered down.  Some people take real pay cuts in order to keep their jobs. Others have to swallow enormous increases in healthcare costs.  Wages are stagnant for all but the super wealthy.  I read in the NYTimes recently that the really rich have actually done better during the recession than they had before.  Uh, that doesn’t smell right.  Especially now that grocery prices are going up, gas prices have risen, and yet we’re still expected to support the economy by spending.

My husband and I have a very modest income.  We’re right at the median, so we’re actually lower than average.  It is not easy to make ends meet and manage to save or do much at all.  I can’t complain because at least we CAN meet our needs and manage to have an ice cream every now and then, but it certainly is stressful to think we really should be saving about 30% of our gross income for rainy days, emergencies, and retirement.  That is completely out of reach at our income level.

Yes, drugs have helped.  I’m not as anxious as I was before. But maybe that’s the problem.  People are medicating themselves rather than facing the music.  It’s so easy to put your head in the sand about funding your future.  At least before I was angry enough to take action. Does medication crush that active spirit?  Should I wean myself so I’m a little MORE pissed?  Nah, we don’t need another raging maniac.  I certainly am, however, thinking about what I can do to protect myself and possibly help others.  Pinching pennies every day.

I know this is not the only reason we’re angry.  I’m going to continue thinking about this issue because I don’t get it.  I don’t know why grouchiness is the little black dress everyone owns these days.  Makes me want to hide in my room. And be mad.

March 18, 2011. Tags: , , . The Angry American. Leave a comment.