Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Occupy movement

I wrote this, then thought I shouldn't post it, then thought, "WTF, who cares?" So here are my thoughts.

I'm pretty sure I'm in the 99%. I'm not wealthy at all.

I do not buy anything from Starbucks, ever, certainly not every day. My husband bought a small coffee from them once at an airport. It's not a protest not to buy from them, just an "I really can't afford that." I make our bread so that we can eat good, nutritious food without paying a high price for it. We've been out to see a movie twice in the last three years, once was for our anniversary. We don't go out to eat. Maybe once every two weeks? More like three times in two months, to be more accurate. We don't drink soda. We don't have cable TV.

We worked hard to get where we are. We started out with just about nothing, I worked at a general store and tutored as much as I could while going to school, he worked at a different store in the same chain once he was allowed to work, and he went to school and tutored too. He got a job in his field by being in his instructor's faces so he was the first person they thought of when someone came looking. He made a name for himself online over a period of years, while doing his fairly low-paying job very well. I continued working part-time and got a Bachelor's degree, and I got pregnant (while still finishing it up). We were eligible for government aid for the pregnancy despite both our jobs - pregnancy care is expensive and we would never have been able to pay all the bills otherwise.

So now, he has a good job working for a big company because of the name he'd made for himself, but we had to move and now I can't work. I was working part time to be with our child, but can't find that sort of work here. We're still just making our bills, but we have good insurance through his work and we're not starving or miserable. We do splurge on Netflix. We're happy. We have awesome, awesome sex, and we enjoy each other's company very, very much.

So, we're part of this "other 99%," but those aren't the types of stories people are interested in hearing. I'm not dissing the movement as I understand the "rage at unfairness" position- but this is my story.


  1. I'm rather clueless about what the "occupy" movement stand for and wants.

    I'm not poor because of Wall Street investors, or rich people, or successful businesses. The only reason I have a job at all is because successful businesses hire people to work for them. The bigger and more successful the business, the more people they hire. If it weren't for big successful businesses, neither I, Master, my ex, my mother, nor most of the people I've ever known in my life, would ever have had jobs at all.

  2. Thank you! I have this same feeling. Big successful businesses all had to start out tiny too, and work hard to get where they are. My husband's first job in his field was with a small local business, but they just couldn't compensate him as much as he needed, so when the big one came looking, he leaped.

    I get that taxing the middle class more than the wealthy class isn't fair - but beyond that, what?

  3. When you're doing the best you can and you need a hand up, I don't think anyone would begrudge you getting government aid for your pregnancy, but I resent the people that expect a handout without putting in any effort!

    I say a big AMEN to t1klish's post! My husband is a CEO and he stayed up working just last night until 5 this morning and then came home to sleep a few hours and left to start all over again. Everything we have has been through his "sweat equity" and God's blessings. Not all CEO's are bad!


  4. Kitty: That's what I was trying to illustrate, yeah. We were working HARD. But I know so many people who just sit around and pop out children and then get welfare, or food stamps, or whatever. Also to illustrate that despite working hard we couldn't quite make those particular bills, and that's what aid is for.

    Hard work, and being the best at whatever you do in order to rise above the average seem to be being villified here, and it's upsetting.

  5. Yes, seriously, why should I villify the people who invent TV's, computers, search engines, cell phones, movies, TV shows, or provide other services for us? I'm grateful that these people exist, and that they brought these amazing things into our lives. I don't deserve their money. I didn't earn it. They did.

  6. To me, the Occupy Wall Street movement is just poorly directed anger. I'm not saying Wall Street doesn't deserve anger. I am saying that these people have no clue what the end game in this should be. There's no real goal here. Its the left's answer to the guys on the right who want no taxes, no government, and no clue how to do that other then to scream at the top of their lungs that it should be happening. And if you try to calmly and rationally ask either group how they should go about achieving their "goals", you get screamed at. Got to love politics in a black and white world.

  7. t1klish: You're such a sensible person. (that's a compliment!)

    Duality: It's hard to be a middle-of-the-road grey sort of person sometimes. I look at both sides and think they're all nuts.

  8. Conina, yes, I'm sensible. Someone has to keep things in order while everyone around me are wreckless nuts. Everything may still go to hell because the Universe hates me, but it sure won't be because I was wreckless and screwed it up myself.


Thank you for reading. I hope you'll let me know you were here - I like friends!