I am the 53 percent

In reaction to those calling themselves the 99 percenters a counter movement started, the 53 percent.  These are the 53 percent of people who pay taxes and who's money is taken from them against their will at the point of a government gun and handed to these losers who continually want more and more.

The 53 percent has a website similar to the 99 percent website I already wrote about you can view it here.  Compare these people to the others.


Notice anything different about these people compared to those on that other site?

There are just as many stories of people having it hard only the 53 percent sucked it up and worked for it.

I'll share my story as well...

My mothers parents came off the boat from Italy without a dime to their name.  My grandfather was a gifted trumpet player who because of his talent received a full scholarship to Juilliard but had to turn it down because his family was so poor they needed him to take a full time job to help support them.  He instead became a plumber.

My fathers side wasn't that much more well off.  My grandfather on his side joined the military in World War II as a paratrooper and continued as a career military man until he was hit in Korea and lost an arm.  He didn't give up and collect public money.  Having to keep his arm in his pocket to hide the fact he didn't had a hand he interviewed again and again being turned down many times because they didn't feel a crippled man could do the work, he was finally given a break and worked twice as hard as anyone else until he finally retired.

Neither of these two men wanted anything handed to them.  They both worked hard and earned it and both had hard choices they either had to make for themselves or that were forced on them but they pushed on and made well for themselves.

My parents weren't wealthy either and both my sister and I had to take loans to get through school.  My father helped as best he could but he wasn't a wealthy man by any means.  To get through school I worked hard sometimes until 2 AM cleaning tables and even cleaning messy bathrooms.  I rented a place with 5 other guys to make ends meet.  I was so broke they used to joke and call me Boy O' Barnes because half the time I was eating something out of a can that I was able to get for a buck or two at the local store.  I didn't complain though because I was making it on my own and I was able to hold my head up and respect myself for what I was accomplishing.  In high school I worked in a store outside the projects making $3.35 an hour which was so bad we had old people crapping in isles (true story) and shop lifters who would carry weapons.  One even tossed the security guard through the window and took four of us to hold down until the police showed up.  The jobs while I was in college paid only a little more and while I still had to clean poop, I wasn't in fear for my life.  I was even able to upgrade from my first car that I kid you not, I paid $25 for that wouldn't make it more then about 5 miles without overheating, to a slightly better used car that was just 7 years old at the time of my purchasing it.

After a few years I had my "dream degree" just like many on the 99 percent claimed they received too, mine is in Computer Engineering Technology, a degree that is actually marketable.  I also had thousands in student loans I had to pay off.  Now let me interject here for a minute and say it's not the banks fault I had loans.  I took them willingly knowing I would have to start paying the minute I graduated.

But I digress...

After graduation I applied for job after job and got no where.  Since I had bills I went back to a sporting good store I worked in during high school and asked for that job back.  $6.50 an hour but it paid the bills.  Finally after several rejections I had an offer.  A $20,000 a year IT job.  I jumped at it.

To say it sucked would be an understatement.  The owner of the company would throw his office furniture, call all his manages to a round table meeting if you made a mistake or God forbid had a bug in your code and would berate you in front of all of them, and on one occurrence I even saw him kick a pidgin.  Since I was salaried any overtime wasn't paid so I was averaging less then $9 an hour.  Not what I expected when I was handed my big shot IT degree.

I didn't complain though.  I was working and paying my bills, I even was able to buy a newer car this one just 3 years old.

I also knew my time wasn't long at this company because as employees reached their one year mark he would fire them instead of giving the yearly raises promised on hire and instead hire someone else directly out of college at rock bottom salary.

Sure enough my time came and I was called into his office.  I was shown the way to the door and wasn't even given 50 cents severance.  Now times were really bad for me... out of work, still in debt with college loans and a car payment to boot.

Before I even went to unemployment I had my resume rewritten and started submitting it.  I applied to dozens of jobs on my first day of unemployment alone.  I hadn't even received my first unemployment check I had already received another job offer, this time for a much larger company...  General Electric, or at least a contracting agency they would hire through so that we wouldn't get the great benefits that actual GE employees received.  But it was more then I made before so I was happy.

After a couple years of hard work my wife and I married.

At this point we started looking to have a family so before we had kids I wanted to make sure we had a nice house to raise them in.  While I though both my wife and I were making decent money we both felt we could do better so we shopped around and landed in Connecticut.  While we both had decent jobs we couldn't afford much.  Connecticut's taxes were outrageous.  To make ends meet we lived in a small apartment next door to drunks that would scream at each other until the middle of the night.  We shopped around for houses but what we could afford were in areas I wouldn't feel safe raising kids.

Our next move landed us in New Hampshire.  My wife found work right away.  I had to stay behind working in Connecticut for a couple months before something finally turned up for me.  It was just outside of Boston and took over an hour from the apartment we found in Derry.  But now I was making really good money having worked my way up from the bottom.

We purchased out house in Merrimack and had our two kids.

Times haven't always been easy.  The company I worked at in Boston went belly up during the dot com bust and once again I found myself out of work, this time for much longer then I had ever been before, but I took any contract I was offered, some requiring almost a two hour commute each way, and finally landed the job I'm still working at today right in Merrimack just 10 minutes from my house.  I'm not making as much as I made in Boston but I'm not driving over an hour and paying Mass state taxes so it all worked out in the end.

Is it Wall Street's fault I've had hard times or that my family before me had it rough?  Are banks to blame because I took loans that I had to pay back and required me to work some crummy jobs along the way?

Of course not.  I'm a free man and I've made my own choices for myself, both good and bad.

I got to where I am today because of hard work and sucking it up when times got rough.

I guess that puts me square into the 53% who work hard and earn what they get in life!