A prominent (if disputed) criticism of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been its amorphous, platform-free nature. But as the protests that began in New York in September have continued, spreading across the United States and the world, one clear issue of concern has emerged: student loan debt.
On the movement's unofficial manifesto, the "We Are the 99 Percent" Tumblr blog, young adults hold handwritten signs with their personal stories. More often than not, they include tens of thousands of dollars of debt and, the former students write, little hope for good job opportunities.
"I have $50,000 in student loan debt and my B.A. is useless," one wrote.
From another: "Graduated college: May 2010. Debt: $35,000. Jobs in US: None.”
Some are resigned: “I am 38 years old. It will take me almost 30 years to pay off my student loans (in 2023).” Others are plaintive: “I am 24 years old and am $90,000 in debt from getting a college education. Why are we being punished with debt for getting a higher education?”
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