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Monday, October 17, 2011

"I am not the 99%"

A friend of mine on FB posted this photo.  I can see where this person feels like they've made good choices and others can do the same.  And, of course, there is at least a kernel of truth in this.  But this commentary reflects the prevalent American myth of meritocracy - that everyone who succeeds got there through their hard work and everyone who fails did so because they are lazy or deficit.  And of course reality is so much more complicated.

Unexpected bad things happen to people all the time, despite their best attempts to prepare - health problems that insurance won't cover, damage to homes and cars that insurance won't cover.  Job losses, family crises, and all sorts of other unanticipated events that put extreme pressure on people's ability to land on their feet.

Do we really want everyone who "fails" to just fall by the wayside?  Do we really want to just step over people who fall on hard times, and move on, averting our eyes?  Is that really our national value?  Is this the Middle Ages?

And I propose that a safety net is required for more than compassionate reasons or moral reasons - when others "fail" (however you define that), the entire society is affected.  A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link!  If we help people at the bottom, it makes the whole country stronger.  I really believe that.

I also believe, like many others, that "Wall Street" made a lot of money by cheating, and then the taxpayers bailed them out when the cheating caught up with them.  So, while we always had a vested interest in their behavior, we have even more reason to pay attention, and criticize, now.


Turns out that this is professionally produced by some right wing group, rather than being the real thoughts of an actual individual.



Blogger Bella said...


so this 99% picture you have posted, this picture wasn't a product of a right wing group as you propose. The girl in the picture is my friend, my brothers girlfriend.... and everything she wrote on that paper is true. I went to high school with her. And worked with her at the barely above minimum wage job she wrote about.

1:41 AM  

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