Comment posted to the Worcester T&G 10/24:
These young people are not just fighting for us, they ARE us. Except perhaps for some of the folk on this comment list who obviously must have well-feathered nests to be so out of touch with what's going on out here in the real America, so ready to believe all the trite and convenient stories about how everything would be OK if only people would stop interfering with the system and let it roll on unrestrained.
Underneath all the other issues lies jobs and the student debt. The real unemployment rate for young adults is huge, wages are low, and they are caught between this and the crushing burden of their student loans, about to top $1 trillion. But isn't this just their version of the crisis we are all facing?
A huge part of our population is not only unemployed but becoming unemployable - to all the usual reasons now they won't hire you because you're unemployed! Wages for the rest are falling. A huge proportion of homeowners are "underwater", owing more than they could sell their homes for, unable to refinance, unable to follow the work, barely able to make the payments. The Federal debt is ballooning, driven by wars and by many trillions in overt and hidden bank bailouts. Prices for a realistic market basket are climbing much faster than the official cost of living index, eating away at such pensions and savings that haven't been cancelled or drawn down for living expenses. Medicare is facing the chopping block, access to health care is declining, and we're sliding toward a catastrophic war.
The student loan crisis - peonage, a life of debt bondage since Congress in '05 passed the bankruptcy reform act and made it inescapable - is just their version of what we all face. And only a movement that focuses on the heart of the matter, a system which is making the rich richer and the rest of us - the 99% - poorer and driving us all into debt bondage, will help. Issue politics, electing good candidates, none of those are working.
The students speak for us, bringing our own conversation out into the open.
We should join them.