I know I’m not the 1%. That’s a fact that my bank statements readily confirm. Based on the current lore, that makes me a 99 percenter, right? I don’t claim to be down with the movement, but to my best understanding, those are my choices. Since I’m certainly not at the top, by default I am of the crowds.
The problem is, I don’t feel like a 99-percenter. At least, I don’t feel like a 99-percenter is supposed to feel, if you believe the protest signs in Zucotti Park. I sympathize, but I don’t empathize. I see the truth and frustration in the faces of the Occupiers, but I don’t relate to it.
Let me clarify: I don’t make a ton of money, but I make enough. I don’t get everything I want, but I get enough. I have student loans that are challenging, but not overwhelming. I struggle with the temptations of my credit card, but its seductive power is not more than I can handle. I firmly believe that the things I want in my life are things I will eventually attain. I think things will get easier, not harder. This does not seem to be the dominating mindset when I read the blogs, comments, quotes and billboards of the OWS protesters.
I am well aware that most, if not all, of the comfort I have found is the result of the very lucky hand I was dealt. Educated parents who could afford a preposterously high caliber public school district led to a top-notch college education that fostered the skills that led to the first job and the connections that led to the second. Not everyone starts out this way. Most people don’t start out this way, that much I recognize.
But when I look at the pictures from OWS, I see a lot of faces that do look like mine, and a lot of dealt hands that were equally lucky. Of those people, I am skeptical. I don’t know what you expected your life after to college to look like, but mine is pretty much as I anticipated. Start at the bottom, work hard, pinch pennies, climb out of the mouth of the loan-monster. Live simply until you can afford to do otherwise. I don’t feel misled, and I don’t feel manipulated.
I am concerned about people who don’t have enough (money, food, opportunity, etc), but not particularly concerned with people who have too much. The 1% doesn’t get under my skin, and I don’t identify with the vitriol toward the wealthy that is tossed around by the OWSers. I get that the anger is real, and justifed, but the methodology doesn’t mean anything to me.
Related Post: Hot Girls of Occupy Wall Street. Sigh.
Related Post: The politics of having your picture taken… at the beach.