College student poster claiming to not be the 99%

24 Oct

In response to a picture circulating the internet, someone breaks down the reality of being a college student and earning minimum wage to pay their way through school. It is a great explanation of privilege.

“I took the information contained in this photo and put it up against the numbers. I used the stats for Seattle, Washington, because that’s where I live, and it’s also where many of the people who I’m friends with on Facebook who posted this photo live. While specific results would vary city by city, state by state, Washington is a place with strong public universities and as a state, it seems unremarkable in enough ways to provide a decent sample.

This photo suggests that a plucky someone, through hard work and austere living, should be able to graduate from college debt-free; this photo further suggests that one’s ability to do so is entirely within one’s own control, and that somehow not being able to do that constitutes a “bad decision”; the photo also suggests that this hypothetical student believes she/he is not part of the 99%, which, by contrast means she/he thinks she/he is part of the 1% (the 1% referring to the top income earners in the U.S.). I’m not going to dispute that particular 1% point, since it’s already self-disputed within the photo as the subject self-describes her/himself as a near minimum wage earner, automatically placing her/him in the bottom 99% of wage earners in the U.S. In other words, that part of the photo is especially ridiculous, too ridiculous to refute.I took the information contained in this photo and put it up against the numbers. I used the stats for Seattle, Washington, because that’s where I live, and it’s also where many of the people who I’m friends with on Facebook who posted this photo live. While specific results would vary city by city, state by state, Washington is a place with strong public universities and as a state, it seems unremarkable in enough ways to provide a decent sample.”

http://persephonemagazine.com/2011/10/dont-even-get-me-started-mythical-bootstraps-college-student/

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