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is the name of one of my all-time favorite episodes of the iconic series, "The Twilight Zone"  Twilight Zone was not just a sci-fi series, many of the episodes provided biting commentary on the social issues of the day.

This particular episode, I think, is particularly relevant today. AS I am caught up in the daily stress of raising two kids in this economy that is increasingly harsh on the shrinking middle class, I, like the main character in this episode, long for a simpler life unencumbered by the trappings we've all become accustomed to i.e. car payments, insurance payments, low wages and the high cost of just about everything including health insurance.  I am wondering if I can get off this fast train to nowhere like the main character in this episode.  More after the commercial

Next Stop Willoughby centers around Gart Williams an advertising executive in a high powered New York media firm. He is feeling increasing pressure from all sides including his money grubbing capitalistic boss and his unsympathetic , materialistic wife, all making for an increasingly unhappy life.

On the way home the commuter train makes an unscheduled stop at a town called Willoughby.  It is a place right out of the late 19th century.  A simpler time where life has slowed down.  He meets two Tom Sawyer-like kids on their way to the local fishing hole. There is a band playing in the local park. r. Williams feels all the stress melt away.  He can enjoy life again, finally!  I won't tell the whole story in case you want to watch the episode.

Now , aside from the obvious argument that life wasn't so hot in the 19th century either, the concept of a simpler, less stressful life remains.

It is a concept that apparently many baby boomers like myself are taking advantage of.  Statistics show that an avalanche of U.S. retirees are leaving the U.S. for a much simpler life in third world countries where their social security checks have far more buying power than they do here. Not to mention the fact that health care is less bureaucratic and more affordable.   Personally I am in a much better position than most.  I retired early and since I am taking care of two minor children my SS is double what it would normally be. Since it is direct deposit I have access to it anywhere in
the world!

I love the United States, but the government is less and less concerned about people like me and more concerned about the welfare of big banks and corporations, making life more stressful than it has to be.

I think it is time for me to get off the train.  Next stop Willoughby or Panama or Ecuador, or.....

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