we are the 100%

Honestly, I'm a bit tired of the "we are the 99%" and/or "occupy ____."

I think that there are a lot of good ideas and moving stories, but the lack of organization just kind of irks me.  I'm not going to take a stand with someone, friend or stranger, unless I have a compelling reason.  And a group of people?  I'm not going to join a mass of folk without it declaring a clear set of goals or ideals.  Maybe I'm a persnickety list-maker, but I just don't get it.  It feels like herd mentality.

My life is pretty good right now; I might be singing a different tune if I were hugely in debt, grappling with medical issues or otherwise had life in disarray.  Despite life's goodness, I like to think that I'm a survivor by nature, doing what I need to do, even if life is hard.  [Tangent: Hunger Games is next on the reading list.]  And if I'm not a survivor, I'm at least an optimist, focusing on the good things.  Everyone has a breaking point though, and to me the 99%/occupy movement seems to be declaring that most people are close to breaking, if not already there.  Part of me is skeptical, thinking that folks might be exaggerating, but part of me knows that I'm really lucky and that there are lots of folk out there dealing with a lot of unpleasant stuff.

So, in the spirit of sharing 99%-style, here's some info about my life. As a household, my husband and I are above the 50% mark of Americans [2] by income.  We're both in graduate school and attend the same name-recognized school.  We're in the youngest 20% of Americans, including the lowest 10% being children/adolescents ages 14 and under [3].  It seems ridiculous to me that we're over the 50% income mark given that we're both at the start of our careers and still in school.  We have retirement and savings accounts, and are able to donate money as we see fit.  Our health coverage isn't great, but since we're healthy, it doesn't matter much for now.  I am worried about health coverage for the possibility of having kids at some point; I'd like the birth process and pediatric stuff to be well covered.

My problems are very, well, insignificant next to issues of starvation or vaccination.  There's still pretty small next to eviction or massive debt.  I feel like I have 1%'er problems, even though I'm in the 99%.  I feel like a lot of people in the 99% have this same magnitude of problems, and that income is not a good metric for separating the privileged from the struggling.  I think that's part of why the whole thing irks me: it's including me when I shouldn't be included.

[1] per this article by the WSJ
[2] internationally, it's a whole 'nother ballgame
[3] I did this with rough approximation, given the percentages listed here.

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