In this exciting episode of the Holistic Wealth podcast with Keisha Blair, our special guest is former CNN Senior Political Analyst, Kirsten Powers. In this interview, Kirsten discussed her popular essay “The Way We Live in The United States Is Not Normal (Why We Are Buying Land in Italy)”.
In her essay, Kirsten outlines that “something is deeply wrong with the United States, and I don’t want to live here anymore”. Kirsten outlines several moments of clarity that something was off in the country of her birth, including a moment on a flight home where she sat next to a Danish woman. In her essay, Kirsten states:
“Another clarifying moment occurred on a flight home from the 2016 New Hampshire primary. I was seated next to a Danish woman, a former mayor who was part of an international contingent observing American democracy in action.
People in Denmark are often ranked the happiest in the world. I asked her if this was true. She said she didn’t know if they were the happiest, but that they were happy. She ascribed this to the fact that their basic needs were met. Nobody worried about running out of money for retirement or whether they could attend college or afford health care. Because education was free and life was affordable, people chose careers based on their passions rather than on earning potential. Yes, they paid 50% in taxes but didn’t worry about having what they needed. Nobody graduated from college, saddled with the debt of a small nation”.
Kirsten’s essay also points to hyper-capitalism that now exists with an ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor:
“When I was growing up, the United States was a capitalistic country, but there were guardrails. They were not necessarily explicit, but they were understood to exist. Those guardrails are gone. Call it hyper-capitalism or late-stage capitalism, or whatever you want: there is no longer even the slightest sense of decency.
Now there is no shame in making 800 million times more than your average worker at your company, who you would lay off in a heartbeat if it were to your financial benefit—in fact, these people are often glorified as the epitome of the American Dream”.
“Meanwhile, the rest of America is drowning in credit card debt and running their bodies into the ground, chasing success and stability. Because everything is so expensive and our hyper-capitalist culture tells you your value and happiness are derived from your level of career accomplishment and acquisition of material goods, it starts to almost make sense that people would work so hard to achieve this identity for themselves”.
“The more we acquire, the more we achieve, the less happy we are. Only now, you also have the problem of cratering mental health and often some sort of chronic illness. We are not designed to live this way, and our bodies are here to remind us of this fact”.
In Holistic Wealth Expanded and Updated book, the issues of income inequality, high debt and high levels of stress, anxiety and burnout are heavily discussed. Kirsten’s substack essay illuminates the fact that holistic wealth is so critical – and that we need holistically wealthy societies. Tune in to listen to this amazing episode of the Holistic Wealth podcast with special guest Kirsten Powers.
Resources Used In This Episode (Get a Copy of Both Books): Holistic Wealth (Expanded and Updated): 36 Life Lessons To Help You Recover From Disruption, Find Your Life Purpose and Achieve Financial Freedom Saving Grace: Speak Your Truth, Stay Centered, and Learn to Coexist with People Who Drive You Nuts
Kirsten’s thoughts on why life in the United States isn’t normal and her journey purchasing land in Italy.
• Kirsten’s experience with the lack of meaningful friendships in Washington, DC due to the “hyper-busy, overworked, and stretched so thin crowd” – and how she coped with that.
• Kirsten’s perspective on the wealth gap, and the cost of healthcare in the United States.
• Learn about moving abroad, buying property and planning a retirement in another location (away from home).
• Learn about expat resources including expat groups to share information and get tips and strategies for moving abroad.