I am the 99%.
I have a job. That makes me lucky. I had to take a pay cut this year, but I am still lucky. Others who earn more than I do had no pay cut this year, and no pay cut last year, but I am still lucky. At least my pay cut was smaller than it could have been, and smaller than it was for others who work elsewhere. At least I was hired after all the pay cuts started 2 years ago, so I’ve never known the difference.
I work hard at what I do, and I am good at it. My hard work is rewarded — I get to keep my job. But there is no other reward. There is no benefit to working hard and growing professionally outside of my own personal satisfaction and eventual (maybe) long-term success. But I am still lucky, because at least I have a job.
I have savings, and that also makes me lucky. I have savings because my husband has no income. I have savings because we will eventually have to move, probably at our own expense, for the sake of both of our careers. I have savings because even though I am lucky enough to have a job, I can never be sure I will stay lucky enough to keep it. I have no money for retirement right now. I have no money for buying a house. I have no money for furthering my education. But I am lucky, because at least I also have no debt.
I have health insurance, which makes me lucky. It just got more expensive, and more invasive, because my employer insists it cannot afford to insure us all without those changes. But I am lucky, because it is still less expensive than most other health insurance plans. Even though I am paying more to get less, I am lucky.
In the whole thread of my life, there is one thing I can’t ignore: I am lucky. I am fortunate. I am amazingly blessed. I also work hard and try to be intelligent and frugal and mature about the choices I make. But others do the same, and they aren’t so lucky. They aren’t so fortunate. They aren’t so blessed. Hard work only matters when you’re lucky enough to have somewhere to work hard. And nobody should have to be dependent upon luck to have the basic necessities of life.
I am lucky. And I stand with the 99%.