We are the 99 percent – What does it take to be the 1%

We are the 99 percent. Do you remember the Occupy Wall Street protests from several years ago? People were complaining about low wages, high debt, etc. Essentially it was people who took out loans to go to college, got good grades, and graduated into an economy that didn’t seem to want you. They were expressing their frustrations.

If you head over to http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com, you can find countless pages — actually 231 pages as of this writing — of people presenting their personal stories of financial frustration.

we are the 99 percent

I am a 21 year old college student. I have over $20,000 in student loans – more to go. The best job I can get pays me $7.50 an hour.

we are the 99 percent

I am 23 years old

I am a female (not that it should make a difference, but apparently in our society it does…)

From the day I moved out of my parent’s house, I’ve supported myself 100%, not because they don’t love me but because they can’t support my dreams financially.

For over two years I schlepped 2-for-1’s and shots to pay for my rent, a used car, and tuition at a community college.

Now I’m attending the University of MN and I depleted all of my savings just so I wouldn’t have to take out a loan this semester. I’m trying to get by debt free and it seems near impossible.

I’m majoring in journalism, a profession I consider a civic duty. I know my salary will never break 5 figures and I’m OK with that because I’ve learned to live within my means.

I am the 99%.

There are just a sampling of the many stories of people who played by the rules, did what they were told, and now have nothing to show for it. Or, worse, they have tens of thousands in debt to show for it.

More than likely, you are part of the 99%, but hopefully you are not someone who has thousands of dollars of debt.

Do you know if you are part of the 99%? Chances are, you are. According to a calculator (which uses 2014 data) in order to be part of the 1%, you would have to have an annual personal income of $305,553 or more. Few among us are in the 1% category.

Curious to know where you stand? Here’s a link to a calculator which can show you where you stand: http://graphics.wsj.com/what-percent/

It’s easy to use. On the line: “Compare your personal income with other earners,” simply enter your income and the calculator will instantly let you know where you stand.

There’s a graph which shows where you stand. Below the graph you can see where you stand by gender, race, generation, and education level.

For instance, while an income of $305K might put you in the overall 1% group, you would only be in the top 5% of those people with an advanced college degree.

 

 

image credits: Tumblr, TumblrMichael Fleshman

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