A concern shared by many Occupy Wall Street protestors is rising student loan debt. Tracy Blevins, who has a PhD in biomedical science and lost her job as an adjunct professor this spring, tells the Huffinton Post that after nine years of paying her student loans down, she's still $10,000 in debt. "She's since been getting by on odd jobs; most recently, she acted as a cross-country driver for $2,000," HuffPo's Candice Choi and Eileen AJ Connelly write. "I have paid and paid and paid. ... It's the interest that keeps me in debt," Blevins says. Over at the movement's official blog, Tumblr user Sara posted a photo that reads:
•28 years old
•Graduating with a PhD in plant cellular and molecular genetics
•Applying for entry-level jobs that pay $12,000 to $30,000 a year
•Still have student loans and work 80 hours per week
As a satirical remark, Sara adds: "Bankers, please: If you're going to hire some of the [country's] best to perform complex derivatives in order to steal money, at least require them to put in a few hours on bioinformatics programs to help decode the human genome."
The Occupy Wall Street movement recently has drawn criticism, however — particularly from those who view the protest as disorganized and "unsophisticated," The New York Times' Nelson Schwartz and Eric Dash say. "Without a coherent message, the crowds will ultimately thin out, Wall Street types insist," Schwartz and Dash add.