Poor Rich Kids

News Roundup #2: Poor Rich Adults Edition

Posted in In the News by thepoors on March 2, 2009

ducktales_cover2The New York Times truly is the gift that keeps giving. Today’s Sunday Styles featured no less than three articles about downward mobility, which the Grey Lady is totally hyping as the new upward mobility. And we all know, three articles makes a trend!

The first chapter of the Times’ tripartite saga is about a young blue-blood named Caitlin Macy, who became a writer to “pay off debts to her parents and buy a car.” Hers is a harrowing story of generations of downward mobility:

She went through boarding school (Kent) and college (Yale) on “deep financial aid,” as she put it; her grandfather was a blue blood who dissipated a family fortune among his four wives. Her husband has been let go abruptly from high-profile jobs at J. P. Morgan and a hedge fund in London. And two years ago, when it was time to send their older daughter to kindergarten, she did not get into any of the private schools to which they had applied (Brearley, Spence, Chapin)

“It was brutal,” Ms. Macy said in an interview in the Upper East Side apartment she shares with her husband and two daughters. “We did not go through the process particularly well. We didn’t write the letters that everyone is supposed to write, telling the schools how much our child would love to go there. We had some notion that we were well-educated people with interesting careers, and that would come through.”

If only you’d have been a graphic designer or gone to graduate school or been a writer who didn’t actually publish, your kids might have gotten into Brearley (spoiler alert: if you read the entire article, you will find out, apropos of nothing, that Macy’s husband has an enormous penis, which we suppose is still something of a commodity in a down economy). But you just didn’t know how to play the game, sucka.

Meanwhile, uptown, Samantha was getting her nails done while Mr. Big was crashing the markets… WRONG STORY, NYTIMES…. We digress… Here’s the second installment of the day, or “I’m so poor I can’t afford private school anymore!

Tuition next year at Grace Church School in Manhattan, which gives aid to 19 percent of its 417 students, will be $31,000. The school will give more aid next year: So far, about a dozen more families hit by the economy have asked for help. A few just need some unaccustomed advice about how to put their houses in order — or on the market, if it’s a second or third home.

“We’ll say, ‘You can’t really go to Vail this year and ask for financial aid,’ ” said George Davison, the head of Grace Church. “And they look surprised and say, ‘But we already paid for the tickets!’ ”

Ms. Hall, a corporate counsel, began ducking the school’s calls. Where was her deposit toward the $22,000 tuition? The school had an eager waiting list. Her son, 4, knew the answer: “I can’t go here next year because Mommy didn’t get a big enough bonus.”

“Mommy didn’t get a big enough bonus,” huh? Looks like us poor rich kids won’t be hanging out with you anytime soon, now that you’ve sold your homes and all. No potlucks in the Hamptons, friends! Why bother with private school if you can’t even winter in Vail?

And then there’s the whole trend of unemployed 60-year-old hipsters/people we actually feel bad for cruising for “work.” Looks like they may as well stay at home and bitch with those terrible, terrible Macys about how “brutal” it is to not get their kids into Brearley!

The unemployment rate for adults age 55 and older was 5.2 percent in January 2009, the highest since July 1992; 1.7 million adults 55 and older were unemployed, almost twice as many as in November 2007.When Ms. Johnson started organizing job fairs in 1999, the majority attending were recent college grads and a lot were looking for advice on how to climb the corporate ladder, ask for a raise, start a business. Now, she said, the majority are baby boomers or older and they just want to work again.

Looks like it’s time for that old post-BAC.

At this rate, by mid-2010, the struggling Times will have succesfully transformed itself into a popular blog called Poor Rich Adults.

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One Response

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  1. Maria Padhila said, on March 3, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Thank you for calling it out on that Macy article! I was going to blog on it and hit the Google this morning to see if there was any other outrage, but it all appeared to have been absorbed by the other article on the cost of private schools. My favorite part is how she compares herself to the other moms picking up kids after school–“I guess most of the other mothers don’t WORK…” (Hon, that woman running the potpourri shop is working a hell of a lot harder than you’ll ever have to know about.) Oh, and how exquisitely “self-aware” writers are, compared to the rest of the world, like, um, spiritual leaders and teachers and stuff. I actually thought the article was a way-subtle hatchet job–perceptive or delusional? The topper: The Burberry scarf. Thanks for your blog; I will read more of it.


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