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jump to last post 1-13 of 13 discussions (59 posts)

We are the 99%

  1. kerryg profile image87
    kerrygposted 6 years ago

    A moving Tumblr from the Occupy Wall Street folks:

    http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

    The thing that really stands out to me is how many more people might be able to keep their heads above ground with single payer health care (or at least a public option) and better student loan programs. Over and over reading these entries, the health care costs/lack of health care and student loan debt is what is dragging people down.

    I was one of the really, really lucky ones and never had to deal with student loan debt, but we have been uninsured since my husband lost his employer-provided insurance after cutting back his hours to focus on studying for his boards, and I'm in a constant state of stress about what would happen if one of us got seriously injured or sick. We could make it with help from our families if we racked up debt in the 4 or 5 digit figures, but 6 digits...? One of my aunts got leukemia when she was barely 30. I am 29, so it's been on my mind a lot lately. sad

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I made it through college without a loan, either, and so did my son.  Neither was luck, though - I worked full time during school and 70-80 hours summertime while living in a one room apt and sharing a bath down the hall with 5 others.

      My son went on the GI bill while also working full time and supporting a wife and 3 kids.  He came out with a 3.0 GPA.

      It doesn't take luck - it takes hard, hard work.

      1. kerryg profile image87
        kerrygposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        In my case, not having student loan debt really was luck, but my husband was working 80 hours a week, going to school full time, and sharing a two room apartment with six other guys when I met him, so that's how he managed to (mostly) avoid them. We paid off the last $1500 with money given to us for our wedding.

        I'm very, very proud of him for what he accomplished, of course, but the thing is, he got that degree from a community college, and not everybody is pursuing a degree that can be gotten at a community college, nor is everybody physically capable of surviving a schedule that brutal. Tens of thousands of dollars in debt is a punishment that far outweighs the "crime" of needing more than 4 hours of sleep a night or - heaven forfend! - trying to better yourself with a more advanced degree.

      2. Don W profile image83
        Don Wposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Commendable, but your comment implies that those who don't take a job while studying are not hard working, which is not necessarily the case. There could be any number of reasons someone doesn't (or can't) take a job while studying, which is nothing to do with how hard working they are. Likewise there could be any number of reasons someone doesn't (or can't) study at all. People's circumstances are different.

        From some of the statements linked to in the OP, many are working hard. But it seems like the playing field has now become so uneven that hard work and ability are no longer enough. And there are now getting to be enough people in that situation for it to be clear that "work harder" is not an adequate evaluation of the problem or the solution. The numbers of bright, educated, hard working people who are barely able to secure their own future indicates a systemic problem rather than a problem of work ethics (or lack thereof). Seems like a system has been allowed to develop which is inherently rigged against those who don't already possess wealth. That's what 'We Are the 99 Percent' seems to be trying to highlight. Worth reading through some of their stories.

    2. couturepopcafe profile image60
      couturepopcafeposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      kerryg - don't worry so much.  that alone will improve your health 'care'.

    3. Evan G Rogers profile image75
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I'm still shocked that the Occupy Wall Street movement hasn't rallied behind Ron Paul.

      Paul's views on economics are almost line-for-line what Ron Paul says (minus the 'raise taxes on millionaires' part).

    4. S Leretseh profile image61
      S Leretsehposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      "the health care costs/lack of health care and student loan debt is what is dragging people down"

      Health care would be affordable if it had not been for LBJ's Medicare & Medicaid intervention.  Student loans hv only served to pack the pockets of academics (another ridiculous LBJ creation).  Throw in LBJ's civil rights laws (almost 100,000 pending cases today against american employers), one can only imagine how many jobs failed to materialize fearing one of these lawsuits.  The federal gov't/s (democrats) actions over the last 45 years hv made American companies globally  uncompetitive.  I truly wonder f it ever factors into the liberal mind ... that over there in China, Japan and Germany, they do not hv to worry about such anti-competitive nuisances.

  2. Cagsil profile image60
    Cagsilposted 6 years ago

    Sorry to hear about your situation Kerry. hmm

    However, I find that the percentage "99%" to be inaccurate. Simply because it seems to be speaking for everyone except for the upper 1% and not everything can be put on their shoulders.

    Not to mention, there are approximately 15% of Americans who are homeless who are no longer even recognized as citizens, but are acknowledged as individuals.

    So, I find the percentage grossly overstated

    On another side note, approximately 20% are Millionaire status and I certainly don't think they are part of the 99% either.

    However, I do hope you find a solution to your situation. I'm just ranting about the percentage and not about you. smile

  3. lovemychris profile image63
    lovemychrisposted 6 years ago

    It's not only healthcare....if you have a car problem, you are in heeps o trouble.

    Something has got to give.

    There is NO WAY people should suffer in this country with all this wealth.

    Soemwhere along the way, the contract was broken.....

    No longer is working hard and taking care of your responsibilities enough.

    They want BLOOD.

    1. Cagsil profile image60
      Cagsilposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      This statement is ridiculous.
      This is untrue.
      Untrue. They want more power and control, which guarantees huge amounts of residual earnings. wink

    2. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with you. Not about the blood; but if there was a profit to be made, they'd go after that too. Multinational corporations are, in my opinion, the primary problem. They own our government, they make our laws; and they have no vested interest in the people of this nation, except for as much as we can line their pockets. I don't begrudge wealthy people who have made their money while ensuring their workers made a liveable wage. I begrudge the raping of the honest American worker by the ones who put profit above everything.

      1. Petra Vlah profile image61
        Petra Vlahposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Wilderness,
        When did you even have the time to go to classes IF you worked full time?
        Did you ever study or do any homework?

        1. Ralph Deeds profile image61
          Ralph Deedsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          It's possible. I worked full time during the last two years of college. And I waited tables at a fraternity house for the second semester of my freshman year. My grades didn't put me at the top of the class, but I never flunked a course. And I managed to get a partial scholarship my senior year from the Boldt Foundation that gave scholarships to students who got decent grades while working.

          Moreover, in Detroit thousands of people graduated from Wayne State University while working full time in auto plants. If they worked on the second shift they went to school in the day time, and if they worked day shift they went to school at night. The lights were on in classrooms until 11pm at Wayne State. Moreover, the car companies refunded their employees' tuition if they got a C or better in a course. Most of them took longer than four years, but many graduated from WSU and other colleges in the Detroit area. Now, of course jobs are scarce, and I don't know whether the companies still refund tuition.

          1. Petra Vlah profile image61
            Petra Vlahposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            By being forced to work and no having the time or energy to dedicate their full attention to studing it is NO wonder why so many graduates today can't get a job.
            A bad economy is only part of the problem, being unprepered and having just a diploma but not real knowledge is for sure a big part of the problem as well

            1. Ralph Deeds profile image61
              Ralph Deedsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              The economy is the biggest part of the problem. But, as you said, some graduates' choices of courses don't prepare them for the available jobs in technical, medical, scientific, health care or engineering fields. The days when a high school drop-out could get a high paying job in manufacturing or construction are disappearing fast. Many of the best paying jobs require graduate degrees in the professions or business administration. Of course Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Zuckerman were all college dropouts.

            2. Ralph Deeds profile image61
              Ralph Deedsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              In some ways, I learned more things useful in my career from my work while in school than the classroom. But without the diplomas I wouldn't have been able to get my foot in the door.

            3. KFlippin profile image61
              KFlippinposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              Forced to work?  Did you actually say that?  I've been following this thread and the contemptuous comment you made to Wildnerness, and was so happy to see Ralph Deeds step in in her defense as well a few others.  Work is good, work is surviving on your own, pride comes from work, pride comes from overcoming the odds and getting that degree. I did it, it took years of working and going to school, and lots of lost sleep, and I got a 4 year degree, not community college, and at times I wanted to give up, but I always picked myself back up, worked every crap job I had to, as many hours as I had to, and I'm proud of it. 

              I certainly don't blame my country for forcing the burden of Work on me while a student.  And I graduated with a 3.7 GPA.  A diploma with no real knowledge because someone had to work?  Does not compute... they don't just hand that diploma out to test cheaters, or do they now?

              Forced to work??? Unbelievable.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                That does seem to be a problem.  The "gimmee" class doesn't want to work to support themselves; they want someone else to do it for them.

                We've now seen quite a few on here that have worked their way through college, for the most part taking out no loans as they did so.  Students today would rather play, though (they did in my time, too).  Sports, drink all night or break out the pot.  Chase the girls (or boys), and join every activity they can. 

                No, it's not fun, but it's worth it for a few years.  I've never been sorry that I didn't have loans the size of a home mortgage to pay back.

                1. KFlippin profile image61
                  KFlippinposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  No, it wasn't much fun for me either, and I envied those kids who could do all that playing, who seemed to come from what I perceived at the time as mostly rich families, but the honest envy didn't make me bitter and jealous, just more determined.  And I certainly didn't wish their parents could be taxed at 50% and redistribute it to me so I wouldn't have to work my way through school - that thought would have been inconceivable to me.

                  1. PrettyPanther profile image82
                    PrettyPantherposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                    I also worked my way through college and graduated with only a $1,000 student loan.  I was fortunate that I had the mental ability and physical stamina to do that.  I know quite a few of my college friends who did not.  If they had not had help in the form of loans and scholarships, they would not have graduated college.  One of them is a doctor now.  He is incredibly smart, but has a learning disorder that requires him to study three times longer than the average college student to retain the same information. 

                    Another is a landscape architect, incredibly creative but struggled with the math and science requirements.  If she had had to work, she could not have done it.

                    How sad it is that many people like that cannot graduate due to lack of funds or the inability to work and make their grades, while some mediocre kid whose sole "talent" is being born to wealthy parents is able to attend college, fully paid, including tutors, housekeepers, and money to party.

            4. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              The "real knowledge" you refer to comes from work, not from school.  Those that work will find it much easier to fill a job satisfactorily than those that play their way through college.

        2. Cagsil profile image60
          Cagsilposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Hey Petra, I worked with a guy who worked 1 full time job and 2 part time jobs to pay for his college and he did it for 4 years. wink

          1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
            Hollie Thomasposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            When I was at Uni, I studied full time then worked from 5-10 in the evenings Mon-Fri and all day Saturday as a home help for adults with learning difficulties. I also had two kids under the age 8 years. Is it doable, yes, but should people really  have to work themselves half to death in order to improve their lot.

            1. lovemychris profile image63
              lovemychrisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              But who watched the kids?

              And daycare, at a cheap level, is $40.00 a day!! For 2?
              Or were they in school, and you had a cheap babysitter at night and on week-ends?

              This is where the "pulling up the bootstraps" takes a beating!!

              1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
                Hollie Thomasposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                In that respect I was very fortunate, I took my son to school and my mum (free of charge) cared for my daughter. She' pick my son up from school, and bring them both home to my house. I'd get in from Uni make something to eat, my then partner would then come home from work and I'd go off to work. Not much of a family life though, eh.

                1. lovemychris profile image63
                  lovemychrisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                  Yes, I know exactly the life!

                  And have the same kind of wonderful mum! She is like a second mother to my kids. But I do agree with you....it should not take all this stress....why?

                  I look at other countries and think: Tax-funded education...
                  Tax funded daycare.......My GOD--I could be light-years ahead of where I am now!

                  Instead, I pretty much gave up on higher education: Finally just had to say enough! Cannot afford to do it all. Something had to go: my education.

                  and it's a shame, because we value rich people getting richer more than people like us having a higher quality life.

                  1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
                    Hollie Thomasposted 6 years agoin reply to this

                    I can well understand that setiment when you know something's got to give. But, we can still fight for the future of all kids, so they don't have to struggle in the same way. smile

        3. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          5 - 4 hour evenings during the week plus 2-12 hour days on the weekends more than makes 40 hours.  Working a gas station (non-self serve) gives a little time for homework, and there is always a few hours available after 10 PM and before sleep.  As actual class time was only 18-22 hours, there is some 20 hours left in the week days as well.  My son did much the same; work evenings and weekends while using every speck of time during the day for study and going short on sleep.

          Of course there was no time left for play, but I wasn't there to play. 

          The point is that it can be done.  It isn't fun, but it can be done if you don't want a $50,000 debt when you come out.

          1. Evolution Guy profile image60
            Evolution Guyposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            Wow - now u is a expert on this as well? U sure is a expert on a LOT

            I respect that. Tell us wot god sed on this.

            1. Petra Vlah profile image61
              Petra Vlahposted 6 years agoin reply to this

              See what I mean Ralph? It can get worse...if is not bad enough

  4. lovemychris profile image63
    lovemychrisposted 6 years ago

    "Focusing on the drivers doesn't deal with the systemic malfunction of owing 11 when we only borrowed 10!
    Usury.
    Find "Big Lie of Economics" to find out why.

    PS: Dennis Kucinich's latest resolution to Treasury Greenbacks like Lincoln did is the greatest move by an American politician yet."

    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 3:25:00 PM
    ****

    See? Him I like. Dennis' the man!

    "Department of Peace."   oh yeah.

  5. Joe Badtoe profile image60
    Joe Badtoeposted 6 years ago

    The important point to be made is far more people recognise the gap between wealthy elite and ordinary people. Pedantic dissection of percentages simply belittles the courage shown by decent Americans who realise that the ballot box no longer has the answer.

    Every single person joining the occupy marches deserves praise. 99% is a general figure but is reasonably accurate when describing the gap between billionaires and normality.

  6. lyndre profile image77
    lyndreposted 6 years ago

    I am glad I am on my way out of this ratrace of a world and not just starting out.

    Soon be pipe and slipper time for me,But still worry about my ragrats.

    1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
      Hollie Thomasposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I actually believe it so much harder for kids now to try to get somewhere in this life.,

    2. lovemychris profile image63
      lovemychrisposted 6 years ago

      Oh yeah....I forgot!:

      ICONIC PHOTO: DC protesters create human 99% on Freedom Plaza http://yfrog.com/kjlaqaij #ows

    3. profile image59
      laptop-coolerposted 6 years ago

      I think the big question is 'where is the competition'?

      Technically capitalism should mean that you don't get a hugely rich 1% because the re will always be smaller companies undercutting you.  Instead the companies are turning huge profits, and even when they don't the top are still getting huge bonuses.

      The only way to do this is convince more people to start their own businesses to increase competition, or find some way of convincing the rich to spend the cash they are hoarding (And maybe take a paycut and drop some of those prices to help the common man).

    4. Evan G Rogers profile image75
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

      OWS's best chance for seeing their demands met is Ron Paul.

      1. lovemychris profile image63
        lovemychrisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        You know, I just saw a talk he had on C-Span....

        He said he didn't want to cut defense, but he wants to end the "wars"...

        Huh? So, what's he do with all those quabillions?

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image75
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          He's openly said that he would use the money saved from ending the wars and bringing our troops home from countries where there is no war (we're in 150+ countries), to help pay our bills here. It'd be about $1.5 Trillion/year.

          With that in place, we'd be able to pay our bills off in under a generation!

          1. Ralph Deeds profile image61
            Ralph Deedsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

            That's one of Paul's ideas that I can buy into.

            Evan, did you know that Charles Koch urged Hayek to apply for Social Security? Did you know that Hayek supported government health care? Did you know that Austria has one of the best single payer government health care plans in the world? Strange for the birthplace of the Austrian school of economics, don't you think? (There's a long article on Keynsian economics and on Koch and Hayek in this week's "The Nation" which I don't imagine you subscribe to.)

    5. Evan G Rogers profile image75
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

      Samantha Bee takes on OWS.

      She really highlights the utter idiocy and ass-backwards understanding of Capitalism that exists in our society

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-o … t-occupied

      1. lovemychris profile image63
        lovemychrisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        How bout this idiocy: "Get your gvt hands off my social security"....

        what kind of undertanding is that?

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image75
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Idiots are idiots.

          That incident highlighted that people don't even know where the 'free' money they get is coming from.

          Once again an illustration of just how ass-backward the understanding of Capitalism is.

      2. PrettyPanther profile image82
        PrettyPantherposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Jon Stewart and Co have a knack for highlighting the absurd.  smile

    6. lovemychris profile image63
      lovemychrisposted 6 years ago
    7. lovemychris profile image63
      lovemychrisposted 6 years ago
    8. Hollie Thomas profile image61
      Hollie Thomasposted 6 years ago

      I was going to comment about this earlier, it's not just young people, it's everyone.

      1. lovemychris profile image63
        lovemychrisposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        The worst was the 55 yr old guy who said if he dies, it's more food for his wife and kid.....


        Are you kidding me?? America...THIS is what we have come to?....

        1. Hollie Thomas profile image61
          Hollie Thomasposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          As rotten as it is that people feel this way, the movement is gaining momentum. Although they'll try, the media cannot say it's just kids, bums and layabouts, with no real agenda. As the movement grows and becomes more organised, I believe, the demands will be much more specific.  IMO, this is the beginning of something much bigger.

     
    working