Poor Rich Kids

News Roundup #4: In Which the Times Confuses Poor Rich Kids with Rich-Rich Kids

Posted in In the News by thepoors on June 12, 2009

08trustafarian1.spanIt’s been awhile since our last post, we know. We’d like you to think it’s because we got so poor we could no longer afford Internet, but clearly we’d never let that happen. The truth is, we really had a handle on the zeitgeist – so much so that there’s not much left to write, what with the New York Times devoting thousands of words every day to the plight of people like us.

What? You don’t believe us? CHECK OUT THESE ARTICLES, TRUSTAFARIANS.

In this fine piece of journalism, the Times informs us that the KIDZ in Williamsburg are having a tough time of it.

Famed for its concentration of heavily subsidized 20-something residents — also nicknamed trust-funders or trustafarians — Williamsburg is showing signs of trouble. Parents whose money helped fuel one of the city’s most radical gentrifications in recent years have stopped buying their children new luxury condos, subsidizing rents and providing cash to spend at Bedford Avenue’s boutiques and coffee houses.

And then there’s the story of the 26-year-old construction worker.

Eric Gross, 26, a construction worker, was going to buy, with help from his father, a $600,000 one-bedroom condo with city views at Northside Piers, a luxury building, he said. But his father, who works in the auto industry, said he had to reduce his contribution. “He’s pulling back the lifeline,” Mr. Gross said.

Okay, this a real what-the-fuck moment. WHAT KIND OF 26-year-old CONSTRUCTION WORKER IS BUYING A MOTHERFUCKING CONDO IN A LUXURY BUILDING IN THE BURG? Doesn’t he know that he should be writing a novel or doing some graphic design or going to grad school? Oh wait, he’s a construction worker because he’s DOING RESEARCH for his future NOVEL ABOUT CONSTRUCTION WORKERS WHO LIVE IN PENTHOUSES.

Now that the Times has adequately covered the real estate travails of rich-rich kids, let’s move on to SARTORIAL PURSUITS, aka, you’ll never guess who’s shopping at Goodwill!

GRACE BELLO clutched her prize to her chest. “This Marc Jacobs dress is making my day — I need it,” she said. At that moment, Jim DePaolis, a sales associate, raced toward her with a Diane Von Furstenberg frock in one hand and a black cocktail dress in the other…A style-struck pair, Ms. Bello, a writer, and Mr. DePaolis, who has worked for Banana Republic, might have been haunting some Manhattan citadel of chic — Jeffrey in the meatpacking district or Barneys on Madison Avenue. In fact they were in Chelsea, spelunking for treasures at the Goodwill store on West 25th Street.

So do these “chic,” “style-struck” people have jobs? Of course not! They’re unemployed, er, FUNemployed!

Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. They travel on the cheap for weeks. They head back to school or volunteer at the neighborhood soup kitchen. And at least till the bank account dries up, they’re content living for today.

“Living for today.” We call bullshit. These kids have no idea what they’re getting into.

News Roundup #3: Honey I Shrunk the POOR RICH ADULT

Posted in In the News by thepoors on March 25, 2009

25kim_6002In today’s New York Times, food writer Kim Severson brings us the latest in Poor Rich Adult technology–Dining well for less on PORK TACOS. What? A pork shoulder is only $1.60/LB? Who knew? Calling to mind the puritan chastity and frugality on which our great nation was founded, Severson manages to feed six people on a measly $50. In these times of trouble (its the recession, stupid) I’m so glad the NYT has the sort of grace and perspective blah blah. FUCK YOU. You can feed someone for $8.50? All you had to do was spend a little more than the cost of a gourmet sandwich? per person? times six? Also, lets account for all the test recipes and prep, lets account for pantries full of super expensive food writerly ingredients,  lets account for the fact that you could have taken everyone out for mexican on that budget. With these kind of economic advisers, who needs fund managers?

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.

News Roundup: The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Poor Rich Kid

Posted in In the News by thepoors on February 13, 2009

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So 50%-75% of The New York Times has always consisted of articles about how being rich isn’t as easy as it used to be, what with flying commercial to Nantucket and not being able to get your kids into the college of their dreams. Still, never before have the interwebs devoted so much bandwith to the plight of the downwardly mobile.

The Times has a truly fascinating article about the creepy Schoppe twins, a pair of overachieving Princeton juniors who are finding themselves shut out of the i-banking dream:

They live together and take all the same courses, wear identical necklace rings given to them by their grandmother and share the same goal — the kind of high-energy, high-paying job on Wall Street that recent generations of Princeton students have seen as their birthright…

First they have to get there. Despite being in the rigorous Operations Research and Financial Engineering program, they are still struggling to land interviews for summer internships amid the financial meltdown. “I’m committed to pursuing this until the last person says, ‘No,’ ” said Christine (I think). Her sister agreed.

If it doesn’t work out for you, Schoppes (and let us say: if there is a God, it won’t), you can always stay at home and eat rice and beans. We’ll even take you to a museum.

Slate had its own sob-story by a girl who once dreamt of being a writer:

My small but helpful trust fund lost 40 percent all at once, and then another 20 percent, leaving me, practically speaking, destitute. I suddenly needed something more than an Internet writing job (Internet writers need trust funds) at the exact moment when there were no jobs. Either that or a man of means

But where would we be without MTV? True Life is having a casting call:

True Life: I Can’t Afford My Lifestyle

Were you living large but hit hard by the current economic situation? Did you have a pimped out crib and now have to downsize? Has you new financial status affected your relationships because you can no longer play with the high rollers? Are you dating someone who had it all, but find yourself disappointed to have to swap five course entrees for five dollar footlongs? Do you feel that you can’t possibly give up the life you worked for, but are left with no other choice? If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these, then MTV would like to hear your story. If you appear to be between the ages of 17-28 and can’t afford your lifestyle and would like to share your story please email us at Lifestyle@mtvn.com. Please include a your name, your story, a phone number and a photo.

If MTV were doing this for an episode of Made, we could totally be the lifestyle “coaches.”