Arguably the single largest complaint or criticism I received about "Enjoy the Decline" was that unless you were a single bachelor under 40 who didn't have kids it wouldn't apply to you. Of course, this is not true as the book is actually quite family-oriented, so much so I think it would surprise most of my regular readers just how "pro-family" I am in the book. However, the criticism did highlight an aspect of human psychology that I found interesting, specifically its inability to accept "being totally screwed."
Understand when I say, "being totally screwed" I'm not talking about a temporary condition where after you make a couple course changes and strive a bit you are back on track. I'm talking about life changing decisions that cripple you in one way or another for the rest or the majority of your life.
So for example, let's say you did some drugs back when you were 14, the cops busted you, and at that moment you said, "Dude, I am so screwed."
Are you really screwed?
Sure enough, though the sinking feeling of panic that set in your heart suggested otherwise, three years later you graduate from high school, go to college, and when you're 29 you laugh at it realizing how inconsequential it was.
Now let's say you're 14 and you get pregnant or impregnate somebody.
OK, NOW YOU'RE SCREWED.
And the reason why is that is at minimum 20 years of your life gone, spent raising your child.
For the most part "severe, life-crippling screwed" comes from having children you can't afford. Matter of fact, I believe this so much, I believe you should need to have a license before you start spawning children. However, there are other stupid mistakes you can make that are also life-crippling.
Majoring in something stupid and going into debt for it.
Buying a house or cars you can't afford.
Racking up credit card debt to the point you have to file for bankruptcy
Marrying somebody who is abusive
These life-crippling decisions and the consequences of them cannot be overcome in a few short years. Matter of fact, they are decisions that will punish you for the rest of your life and only until you die will you be relieved of their consequences.
So my question is this:
"What do you want me to do about it?"
Not so much to my critics of "Enjoy the Decline" but to people like this who have obviously screwed over their lives so much there is no hope whatsoever they will ever recover from it, but then complain when society can't bail them out. By definition being "beyond hope" means NOBODY and NOTHING can help you. So whether it's a book like "Enjoy the Decline" or all the "moral support" you're going to get from your family and friends, NOTHING is going to unscrew you out of your situation.
In short what I think it is, is the inability of the human brain to accept that it's life is over. Matter of fact, it's probably even worse. That it's still going to be alive, but have to suffer a life of strife, agony, suffering and pain and not enjoy the care-free happy life they were expecting. And when faced with accepting such a prospect, the average human brain simply doesn't. It denies it's going to have to suffer for the rest of its days and complains about the lack of solutions. However, it also fails to realize there ARE NO solutions. The only solution is that they will have to suffer, a prospect political promises backed up by lot of redistributed wealth and borrowed Chinese money has numbed most minds to.
Regardless, in the end, the solution is very simple - don't make stupid decisions that will cripple you for the rest of your life. Don't have more kids than you can afford. Don't major in stupid subjects. Don't expect government to support you. Don't have kids when you are a teenager. And for god's sake, don't complain to me when my book can't work miracles by helping the helpless.