The different responses to the “We are the 99 percent” movement are somewhat funny, though they are also a little bit heartbreaking and tragic for the level of cognitive dissonance they imply.
Recalling former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s famous gaffe that “47% of Americans were takers” (in the sense they were not paying taxes – not true), the self-declared “Mr. 53%” depicted here aimed to declare how he, by way of contrast, was not a taker (aka slacker/not “entitled”). He says he doesn’t blame Wall Street for the fact that, despite his being a veteran, he has had to struggle to work and pay for school. For him, these struggles are something akin to a badge of honor that he wears with pride.
For a different point of view, consider what this blogger has to say:
“I bet the Wall Street elite are thankful that they have some idiot kid with no sense of history willing to act as one of their brown-shirts if things start getting ugly in this new class war. There aren’t too many of the top 1% who are ex-military and a lot of liberals are afraid to death of former soldiers. I served too, and I’d like to tell this kid something. I didn’t serve in the military to protect a country that seems only out to make life better for the richest few.
If the conservative hero Ronald Reagan hadn’t slashed the living shit out of the GI Bill this kid would have had a lot easier time making it through college. He could have done it in four years while only working part-time. But Saint Ronnie said that government spending sucks so he made a complete mockery of educational benefits for veterans (while drastically increasing overall military spending). If you don’t believe me you can look it up. I was actually serving during the Reagan administration and luckily for me I had completed most of my degree before I enlisted.
And f*^ck you for calling people whiners who are fighting for the rights of the working class. I’d be the first to say that many of the Occupy Wall Street folks have their heads up their asses and don’t have much of an idea of what to do, but at least they are doing something. They are actually protesting so people like you don’t have to work like a 16th century peasant. I suppose that you think the early union organizers in America were whiners for trying to protect workers from the worst abuses of the industrial era. You should be ashamed of yourself instead of being so smug and high and mighty.
It was a huge government “bail-out” of returning WWII veterans that turned America into a country which actually created the idea of the middle class. Veterans were able to go to college and then buy home with VA loans. These men were mostly lower middle class deadbeats who would have never been able to afford a college education, much less buy a house. My father was one of those vets.
This was the United States government that did this, so be careful when you spew out shit from Rush Limbaugh criticizing the government. And perhaps you skipped the class on civics, but in a democracy we are the government. This means that if we don’t like something we can work to change it. If our elected officials aren’t carrying out our wishes, then we can protest our government. It’s legal and it’s in the constitution. Try reading it sometime instead of having some right-wing moron spoon-feed you their bizarre interpretation of our founding document.
Based on our diverse readings about the plight of the white working class, what do you think might explain why the people pictured here, who are proud to claim they are “making it” without government handouts? Why do you think they don’t question the fact that they are forced to work so hard for so little?
Why are poor and working class people content to see their children sent to fight in wars of choice in exchange for free education? Why don’t they demand that education without a service obligation? Why do they let their children expose themselves to physical harm and even death, without fighting for other service/policy options?
Do you think policy makers are hesitant to make education “free” in the United States, because they might lose out on “volunteers” for military service?