Pantsless Progressive

A Message to the 53 Percent

Congratulations on successfully mastering a condescending tone. I have some news for you, though: you are part of the 99 percent. I am part of the 99 percent. My neighbor in his brand new Prius is part of the 99 percent. Our grievances are wide-reaching. Our stories and backgrounds are vastly different.

Don’t believe me? Here’s some anecdotal evidence for your taking: according to my income, I am the 60 percent. I am young like many of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. I have a full-time job and will soon be a salaried employee. I make enough money to live in DC with roommates, pay my bills, pay my student loans and still have a little money left over each month. I have worked damn hard but I am also incredibly lucky. Hard work is not universally successful. Just because my hard work and your hard work eventually paid off doesn’t mean hard work pays off for everyone.

So I guess you and I are the same, no? I’m just outside your “53 percent” range, but I also have a job and also “actually pay taxes"… as though someone working a minimum wage job barely surviving on their paycheck doesn’t pay taxes.

The purpose of “I am the 53 percent” seems to exist solely to say, “I didn’t have an easy life either, but I worked hard and now my life isn’t so bad, so stop complaining.” Despite the inherently condescending nature of your grievances, your stories are important, too. Yes, even you, Erick Erickson (pictured above). We don’t all agree. Erickson might try to throw salt on me and brandish a cross any time my progressive being crosses his path, but I don’t wish for the complete destruction of capitalism. Being part of the 99 percent means our ideas for solutions to our nation’s problems will not be the same. And you’re rolling your eyes because we’re outraged at Wall Street? Actually, no, I’m not sure you’re rolling your eyes; you’re merely keeping your eyes shut: