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10/10/11

I, like you, am the 99%. #OccupyWallStreet

I was out of work for nine months.  It will take me 4.6 years to pay off the debt I amassed in this time.  I took whatever work I could find, and freelanced as much as possible, but I am now so deep in the hole it scares me.

I have been out of college for ten years, but am still paying on student loans and will be for some time.  I went to school to be a music teacher.  Since there was never a job for me in that field, I have spent my entire career in a business and sales/marketing setting.  To me, college was useless.

I make what could be considered a Median salary now.  I live in a very affordable house, and do my best to live within my means.  When banks and businesses make grave financial mistakes, they get millions or billions in bailout money.  If I make a financial mistake, I get hit with hundreds of dollars in NSF fees from my bank, and some bill isn't going to get paid.

I have scrapped.  I had to ride public transit for two hours each way to go to college.  I lived off ramen noodles.  I sacrificed, paid my dues, all to live the American Dream.  Yet here I am, age 30.  Credit rating in the tank.  Struggling to get back on track.  Working 60+ hours a week, travelling across 5 states just to play keep-up.  A third of my paycheck going to child support, when my ex works two jobs and makes way more than I do.  A third of my paycheck going to debts that will take years to pay off.  I can live off my share (33% less taxes) but my take-home doesn't justify the amount of work and effort I do.

Dear 1% - Is there anything that 1/3 of YOUR paycheck goes to?  Have you ever hunted for change in your couch cushions, just to have enough gas money to go to work?  Have you ever had to sell your possessions on eBay, just to have enough money to keep going?

I am the 99%.  I work hard, I earn my keep.  I deserve better.  I deserve to get out of this system what I'm putting in.  I am a good person, working hard, making a difference.  I think that's worth something.  I fight every day to improve my life.

I have an entrepreneur's spirit.  Give me a hundred thousand dollars, and I'll turn it into 3 million.  Give me a chance,  since mommy and daddy couldn't hand me one, and watch me go.  Of the 99%, there are some lazy-ass people, but the same can be said for both sides.  More often than not, you have someone who will work hard, and deserve to be treated (and rewarded) accordingly.

I am the 99%.  And I am tired of being held down.  To those occupying Wall Street, I salute you.  Keep fighting the good fight.

Signed,
Me
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22 witty retorts:

Haven said...

Cheers! Very nicely said.

Pickleope said...

Having amassed a wealth of...uh, wealth from the lucrative field of blogging, I'd like to relate, but I'm too busy swimming in gold like Scrooge McDuck. No, wait, I'm working two jobs and contemplating prostitution as a viable career path.
Well stated. I fully support Occupy Wall Street.

Lost.in.Idaho said...

Thanks for the comments.

I don't want to be a gajillionaire. I just want what my parents and grandparents had a chance for. Work hard, own a house, have a savings account, and live a comfortable life.

I am working too hard and seeing too little from it. I rent, not own. One emergency, like my car breaking or being hospitalized, and it can ruin me financially.

I, like millions like me, are tired of living paycheck to paycheck, with the fear of layoffs and downsizing looming over my head.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

My hubby was out of work for 4 months early last year and we're also still paying off the debt. It almost ruined our marriage and could have gone either way. It was a rough time but by working hard and "cutting our cloth" we will get there.

We lay the lottery...wishing....

the Tsaritsa said...

Nice post. I'm really glad this movement is gaining ground-- hopefully we can get our economy back!

J.Day said...

Last year I had to budget like crazy. I seriously thought I'd be living in my car at one point. My parents helped me out a little. Just enough to where I wasn't in the hole by several hundred dollars in my checking account. I now work three jobs at minimum wage. But it's better and more affordable now that getting paid $20 an hour in the city. I still have to budget, and I've learned my lesson. I cut up my credit cards, and the outlook is bleak for my credit rating. At this point, if I can't pay for it now, I obviously don't need that bad.

Now I have to go drain my savings account to buy studded tires for my SUV.

MRanthrope said...

well said. #occupyeverywhere my friend. everywhere.

The Reckmonster said...

Yo, B...if it makes you feel any better, I finished grad school 16 yrs ago (college 18 yrs ago) and I JUST finished paying off my student loans 2 yrs ago (and only because I got a little lump of cash from a relative who passed away, otherwise, I'd still be paying today). Yeah, I own a house...but I owe more on my mortgage than my house will appraise for right now. Ahhhh...The American Dream! That said, there are some things money can't buy - I do what I love, and I love what I do (so for me, my education WAS useful). And you can't put a pricetag or a credit score on being a decent person...which you ARE. I'd rather have my dire financial straits and know that I'm a good person than be rich and crooked. Of course, I also wouldn't turn down the chance to be able to afford a matching set of Louis Vuitton luggage AND be a good person...LMAO!!

Lady Estrogen said...

OK. I wrote a novel and it didn't work.. damn phone.

So, yeah. It sucks big time! We work our asses off but because we make too much for gov't subsidy but not enough to break even, we're f*cked. Every 2 weeks, we are royally f*cked - and I don't see it getting better, ever.
We likely won't be able to retire.

jillsmo said...

W00t!!

According to Jewels said...

Here. Here! Well said.

D4 said...

Effing applause! VERY well put

Zombie said...

Take back our country!

Josie said...

YES. I'm trying so hard to avoid student loans, but they're looking inevitable. Well said, Idaho.

Leila said...

Ugh... do I hear a Hegelian uprising? The left wing and right wing, both wings of the carrion crow.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Can I get an amen, brother? Sweet Jesus does this sound familiar.

Thank, Q said...

(stands up and applauds)

SuperAverageMan said...

Maybe I'm the weird one where, but I don't agree with the Occupy Wall Street message. Now, I understand the feeling of living off of ramen and working hard, I do it right now. However, I lived of ramen because while I was in college my paychecks went directly to paying off my loans. I was only in debt for a few more years after all was said and done. I also picked a degree that was very mutable and usable just about anywhere, but also gave me the edge on others. I then double majored in a field that I simply liked/had a passion for.

I understand your pain, but I also understand personal responsibility and how to keep my ass out of hot water. Furthermore, I don't think the current problem is that rich people don't pay enough taxes, because that assumes that the government will then know what to do with the money. The problem is the entire capitalist system. From its inception this was bound to happen... Sad, really.

/rant
Sorry.

danjor21 said...

Amen! Very well said and sounds all too familiar. I'm married, my wife and I both work full time jobs and still struggle to make ends meet. The American dream is more like a nightmare!

I've done a couple of posts on this subject, you should check it out.

E said...

WE have hospital bills and student loans, most of which aren't our fault. Yes there were credit mistakes and those businesses that got those bailouts and rewrote the bankruptcy laws will take it out of your flesh but expect the bail out.

Underground Dude said...

Very well said. It's amazing to me how so many are missing the point of this movement. I wrote my own two cents here:

http://zpnotesfromunderground.blogspot.com/2011/10/this-is-99.html

gotjack28 said...

I live in the NYC area and was/am still confused about the whole purpose of the OWS movemant. However, after reading this post and several comments I understand a little more. I still need to do my own research but I too can relate to being put into financial ruin by a car repair or medical stay. And living paycheck to paycheck? Where do I begin...

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