You know what? I do not agree.
I’m not saying I need to have it all (although yes, it is nice to be able to afford anything you want).
The first thing that comes to my mind is:
How many college students can receive scholarships that cover 90% of their tuition? Not all of the students. Even if all of them had a great GPA, awesome SAT scores, amazingly high IQ – even then some would do better and would “deserve” the scholarships. Actually yes, those who receive 90% of their tuition are probably not the 99%, they are the other 1%. True.
So how about you are not a college senior, rather a bright young mind with an awesome idea. Surprisingly, the idea requires money in order to happen. I know, not always, but… most of the time. Well, then you are fucked, unless you do get a loan, or a credit card, or any other kind of financing. And what happens is you’re nailed. To the bank.
By the way, for some of us it was impossible to start saving at age 17. Or at age 29, as is my case. Mostly because I do not live in the US, I suppose. But then again, while the 99% is currently mostly a US thing, it spreads far beyond the US of A. Those of you who managed to start saving at age 17, did so because of the US financial system, no?
Trust me, it’s not just you who’s behind your current lifestyle, whether you like it or not.
OK, so does that put a new spin on the 99%?
I am not saying you are wrong – I am not saying that hard work is not the way. I actually like the philosophy behind enoughism.
But I am saying that you’re simplifying the situation a bit too much, maybe twisting it a little.
You’re too quick to acquit Wall Street. The banks. The entire “western” financial system. A bit hasty.
The bank should, ideally, try to protect you, because (read before you jump!) you are, essentially, its asset. No, not because of sheer idealism. Apparently, idealism has no place in the world of business and big money.
There is one example I can give of something that kills you, even though its life depends on your well-being: the virus. I’ve thought about it, and I still fail to understand why a virus would kill its host. Maybe my thinking is a bit too shallow, but I am no scientist – it’s just simple common sense. And, yes, I am simplifying and generalizing. But it does make sense.
The banks should have been there to protect the people from what has happened, from what, essentially, the financial system has brought upon itself. Why? Again – because it’s the people who let the banks be. Willingly or not.
Those, who are in the know, purposefully closed their eyes in the face of collapse. They lied. They played the edge just a tad too long. And then we all fell.
“We” are the common folk – we do not know the specifics of the financial market. We go to the specialists and let them explain things to us in a simple language, so that we can decide whether we want to mortgage that house, or not. “They” are the ones who need to tell us whether there is risk, as we ourselves cannot figure it out. We are semioticians, journalists, cooks, not financiers.
We put our lives in their hands – this is trust!
I am not a “communist,” although I am sure someone has already slapped that moniker on me. I do not despise capitalism, or the US, or investment bankers.
I just fear immense greed. I think you also dislike it. Uncontrolled greed, instant gratification. Growth for the sake of growth.
Still, however, we do fall somewhere within the 99%. I guess it’s a gradient. The 99% have depth. Some are deep, all the way to the bottom – those, who have lived in the slums, who have never had the chance to get a proper education, or to even think about getting a proper job. Some are close to the middle – maybe you and I? And some are almost afloat, almost touching that other 1%. And yet, they are not that 1%.
We are the 99% – the people who trusted and were lied to. Don’t you see it?
Somebody lied to us in order to make quick cash – hand over fist.
Don’t you see it?