I am not important. An unusual claim for a writer and more so for a blogger, I know, but let’s all accept the statement at face value when I say that my personal experience is not worthy of being added to the thousands of stories collected at wearethe99percent. Instead, I offer a bleak revelation: Educated, driven young people are finding themselves jobless, hungry, homeless, and hopeless at an incredible rate. And winter is coming. In record numbers, America’s next great leaders are faced with the very real possibility of freezing to death. Artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, writers, politicians, poets, homeowners, mothers, fathers.
Somewhere, on the mean streets of some no-name strip mall town with no shelter, the next Martin Luther King Jr. could be gradually wasting away. Sleeping behind the dumpster at Sears, malnourished with no healthcare to combat the complications this creates, her heart will quietly stop one early morning in mid-November. The opening shift manager, who’s been on a pay-freeze since 2006, will find her when he steps out at 9am for a smoke break. Good grades, played by all of society’s rules for success, dead behind a dumpster.
This is, of course, a hyperbolic story written to tug the heart strings of people who couldn’t otherwise see the danger in creating a generation of distrusting, disillusioned debt slaves who were educated to succeed and got nothing for their efforts. We stand to lose the drive, the innovation, the spark and fire of millions of young minds. The boomers can’t carry this country forever, and we can’t afford to break the backs of those next in line.