Dear Mr. Romney,
I know you’ve been catching a lot of criticism for your comment about how 47% of the population doesn’t pay taxes and therefore is lazy and unworthy of your love, or concern if you become president. As a member of this group (Entitlement Class 2012!), I thought I’d share some insight with you. To begin with, please don’t think of me as a number. Much like a corporation, I am a person. Unlike a corporation though, I can actually feel things, like fear and anxiety from crushing debt, and self-doubt because I think I’ve failed somewhere along the way. Like you, I went to school and then graduate school, and tried to be responsible along the way. I don’t even own one car, much less enough to build an elevator for them. Yet, I still have debt.
I guess I shouldn’t have bothered with the nonprofit sector, and my silly ideas about making the world a better place. They don’t pay all that well, but I thought I could make it work. I never even asked my parents for $10,000. Of course, they never had it. My dad and yours both worked hard, but I guess your dad just did it better, because my dad never got rich. My mom even had to help out to make ends meet. Did you know that when a person declares bankruptcy it effects families much differently than when a corporation does? We were devastated. My dad couldn’t take out a loan for 10 years. We lost our house. Needless to say, there were no family vacations, and certainly no stocks to help us pay for college.
Maybe you don’t want to hear from me. I’m one of those who is definitely voting for Obama. Please read this though. It’s an excellent piece that says pretty much everything I could about what it’s like to grow up working class, and what it does to a person when mounting debt hangs over your every decision. You don’t always make the best career choices if your career preference is something that isn’t inherently profit-driven. You end up having to choose between making more money and advancing your career (this probably sounds foreign to you. Believe me, it happens). Certain fields are harder for the lower classes to break into without, say, loans from parents.
Just fyi, the writer is Canadian, so those aren’t spelling errors, and presumably she likes their universal health care. Please don’t hold that against her, she may know no other way. Believe me though, I felt very much like she was writing for me and my experience. And surely you’ll appreciate some of what she says about the field of journalism. Then, if you can stand a little more populist thought, check out this video with Henry Rollins. He’s a punk musician, but a successful one, so probably not in the 47% – maybe that’s enough for you to listen?
*photo credit: @ElitistLibScum