Occupy Wall Street!
Occupy Boston, Providence... and so many more.
We are all pretty much supposed to be part of the 99%. The problem is, I'm not sure where I stand.
This might get a little rambley but stick with me here... Being born at the end of the 70's, a child in the 80's and going through high school and college in the 90's ... I grew up in love of all things Kennedy since I was in early elementary school (even if I was a bit late on that). I got my hands on every JFK book I could find and thought had I been born a few decades earlier, I would have been heavily involved in so much.
The Civil Rights Movement, the marches... Martin Luther King. I just knew inside that I would have been one of those marchers along with everyone else. My favorite course ever I took at UMass Amherst freshman year. It was all about civil rights ... made even more amazing by a professor who lived it and walked along side Martin Luther King. He knew so many people from the history books it was incredible.
When we had local protesting for marriage equality I told myself I was there. I had already written letters, sent the e-mails.. a cause near and dear to me. Why not let anyone who wants to get married do so. I just don't understand. With a husband who works 2 jobs I had to take a step back and really decide if this was something I wanted to take my children to. At 1st I thought of course, how cool would that be! But then I had to think about how small they were and what if someone got violent somehow... I couldn't have my small kids there around that. And I didn't end up going.
I have a very good friend Colby that I grew up with. He's in NYC right now, huge into the Occupy Wall Street movement and has been there since the beginning. I can't tell you how proud I am that he is standing and fighting for what he things is right.
Everyone is part of the 99%. At the very beginning I was feeling the movement and watching it grow.
A few weeks later I find myself really questioning the whole thing. OK, so you have all these people standing around in parks... and they aren't going anywhere. And they are waiting and hoping for change. Change that I hope comes. Change we all want to see. But what I don't understand, even with all the reading I have done, is HOW this change is supposed to happen. Is someone in that 1% supposed to take responsibility and fix the system that has been broken for so long... just because tons of people sat around in parks?
I mean it when I say I mean no disrespect. I am even questioning myself because I do not want to be on the wrong side of history here. I don't. I don't want to look back years later and say why didn't I join that cause. Why didn't I stand up too. Why didn't I take my children so they could learn too. I just don't understand how this will fix anything. And I don't understand just who is supposed to fix it.
In the last few days I have seen the letters from younger people stating they are not part of the 99% because they are doing fine - they have jobs, no credit debt, paid for school as they went through college. That? Is awesome! But I don't belong there either.
Neither my husband or I could afford college. We took out loans galore and worked as much as we could around school. We paid for our wedding, we bought a house ... we had 3 kids in 18 months. Lets just say we have been working THROUGH our debts since before we even got married, before the market dropped.
I worked full time until I had the boys and now try to make ends meet by writing where I can and expanding my brand in the hopes to have more writing opportunities. With the price of daycare it defeats the purpose to go work full time outside the home because my paycheck would be paying for the daycare! Al? Works 2 jobs as you all know. To pay down our debt, to keep the house we have and try to get a new one since we have long outgrown the one we are currently in.
And yet we are stuck. So many houses around ours have long since been foreclosed on, plummeting the value of our own home. No matter what happens, we will lose money on this house in the end. It kills me the price we pay for our mortgage compared to what this house is actually worth. But we stayed. We stuck around. Al got a second job... we are making it work, even if it's just barely. Having 3 boys so close in age means any time one guy wants to play a sport we end up paying for 3. I could go on. But I'm not going to.
I get so mad thinking about where this country has ended up. Seeing the bailouts. Where is our bailout?! I don't see any way out of the mess we as a country all seem to be in. I have no answers. While I want to see change I can't see ahead to what all this 'Occupy' business is supposed to change. CNBC reported the NYPD has spent $3.4 Million in Overtime at the protests. To which a writer on the Occupy Wall Street website responds: Wow, just... wow. Something's definitely wrong with our system. No one even asked the NYPD to step up.
No, you didn't ASK them to set up, but that's what they do. Yes something is wrong. And now we are even deeper in debt on top of it. And that's just the price for NYC - how much is being wracked up elsewhere?
Someone PLEASE tell me how this is supposed to fix anything. And what percent I fall in. Because I don't feel like I fall into any category here... except frustrated.