"Welcome to Starbucks, where everything is wonderful."
A statement that the young man working at Starbucks repeated into the mike on his headset time after time, taking orders from drive-thru customers while fixing lattes for those customers inside the store. This young man was working with another young woman who was busily wiping down the tables and chairs in the store. Both of them are students as well, going to school year-round to get a leg up on the American dream. A local columnist lamented "what happened to struggle and achievement?" I have good news for him, it is alive and well for the bottom 99 percent.
The bottom 99 percent knows a lot about struggle and achievement. The young student from Starbucks related to me that he had gotten another job. That it was next to Starbucks, allowing him to walk from one job to the other. He did this because of his hours being cut. But he was not complaining, but rather upbeat that his second job was so close and fit into his schedule of school and work. The Delphi workers know also about struggle and achievement, they just took a bite out of a giant crap sandwich when they accepted a contract that guarantees that their wages and benefits (pension, health insurance) will never be like their predecessors. They are being lavishly praised by the establishment (the 1 percent) for this acceptance of a diminishing future.
For the bottom 99 percent in this country, struggle and achievement are daily companions, and it is not interpreting the meaning of a book or a play.
The struggle is coping with the changing times while keeping your sanity; and the achievement is keeping a roof over your head, food on the table and a feeling of hope for the future of your children.