A moving Tumblr from the Occupy Wall Street folks:
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.
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.
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.
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.
kerryg - don't worry so much. that alone will improve your health 'care'.
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).
"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.
Sorry to hear about your situation Kerry.
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.
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.
This statement is ridiculous.
This is untrue.
Untrue. They want more power and control, which guarantees huge amounts of residual earnings.
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.
When did you even have the time to go to classes IF you worked full time?
Did you ever study or do any homework?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Interesting.......hopefully, I will not encounter the now Doctor in this busy world. As for the landscape architect, presumably he has a staffer for the really hard math stuff now. I would have preferred to have kept a major in English and gone on to Law School, but poor I surely was, and there was no one spoon feeding me my future. I chose the path suited both to my aptitudes and the shorter path to a sure thing good job with a future. Do I think Uncle Sam should have had a staff of folks out there to step in and assure my future as a writer and lawyer? Don't think so.
We all have certain gifts, or lack thereof.....you cannot legislate humans into some pre-conceived caricature of sameness or equalness to the detriment of the rest of humanity. Humanity - now there's a word, a stew pot of a word, and we are all different no matter who tries to legislate those differences away.
Addedndum: As for the mediocre kids with rich parents...I could give a rat's behind, and certainly don't begrudge their education or their play, and certainly don't judge their parents harshly for being able to foot their bills, that would be absurd and irrational on my part.
I think PPs point was that you end up with the second rate and mediocre in the positions of power and the good and inspired end up flipping burgers.
My doctor friend has a beloved family practice in a small town and has never been sued. My landscape architect friend is a "she" and runs a firm in major city.
I did not say anything about legislating humans. I merely was responding to your astonishment that anyone would begrudge being forced to work while attending college.
As a country, we should invest in those things that will elevate us and that includes ensuring that the best and brightest can get the education they need. I believe it is bad policy to elevate those who have money over those who have talent and motivation.
So long as the gov't (taxpayer) isn't the one doing the investing. Many, many great American businessmen either never went to college, or dropped out. Best and the brightest I think will always find the way to the top.
Why shouldn't the tax payer invest in the countries future?
If the tax payer doesn't, who will?
I am a taxpayer and I support investing in education over wasting billions invading other countries.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
With this right wing??
Their gimme class: the rich, has a never-ending supply of give-aways from them.
Need more tax cuts? Here ya go!!!
Need more loop-holes? Not a problem!
Ask you to take home 57 million instead of 59, so maybe some working people can have some college aide? Some day-care aide?
Ye Gads....heaven forfend!
Why, they sat on a chaise lounge all day for that money!
How dare anyone suggest they don't need it!
LMC, tell me about it. Have you seen what's been happening in the Uk with student loans, and this very right wing coalition. But I'll still fight the mothers, they're doomed and they're weak. 2012, it will be Obama who wins. Would bet my life on it
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.
"Focusing on the drivers doesn't deal with the systemic malfunction of owing 11 when we only borrowed 10!
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.
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.
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.
Oh yeah....I forgot!:
ICONIC PHOTO: DC protesters create human 99% on Freedom Plaza http://yfrog.com/kjlaqaij #ows
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).
OWS's best chance for seeing their demands met is Ron Paul.
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?
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!
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.)
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
How bout this idiocy: "Get your gvt hands off my social security"....
what kind of undertanding is that?
Jon Stewart and Co have a knack for highlighting the absurd.
I was going to comment about this earlier, it's not just young people, it's everyone.
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?....
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.
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