Friday, October 07, 2011

We are the xx%

I've been wondering what Occupy Wall Street was all about. Then I found this:

It was pretty sobering to read thirty or so of these entries. A common factor is crushing student loan debt -- I am so glad that I (and my children) do not have this burden.

Not to be pedantic, or to diminish anyone's suffering, but 99% is not an accurate number. I don't know what percentage of Americans lives hand to mouth, without medical insurance, but I (and my friends/relations here in the US) are neither desperately poor nor in the top 1% of wealth. So I don't fit into either camp. Nor, I suspect, do the majority of Americans.

I believe the official poverty statistics (however they are measured) stand at around 15%. But "We are the 15%" doesn't pack nearly the punch of "We are the 99%".

A funny (synchronous) connection: I just came across this passage in the novel I'm currently reading: "The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power, and influence. Our sole weapon is public outrage. Outrage blocked the Yuccan Dam, ousted Nixon, and in part, terminated the monstrosities in Vietnam. But outrage is unwieldy to manufacture and handle. First, you need scrutiny; second, widespread awareness; only when this reaches a critical mass does public outrage explode into being."
I'm interested to see where this goes, and what, if any, change it triggers.

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