My vision of America has people who spend more than they make beaten with sticks until they cease to rack up debt, but unfortunately in the real America, we instead give those people a label with a positive connotation.
The people I'm talking about are a new group of consumers, who from age 18-25 work service industry jobs and like to spend like they are…well, not working service industry jobs. Last week, USA Today picked up this story about this increasingly large demographic.
If you're not sure if you're a gold-collar worker, ask yourself this question: Did I drop out of college but love to buy things that I really can't afford? Because that's the tell-tale sign. They are for the most part uneducated, but not uneducated as in they couldn't afford higher education, but rather they gave it a shot and decided it was too hard.
They tend to be of ethic backgrounds other than white and live with their parents. Instead of seeing wealth as something that is the fruit of careful planning and hard work, they see it as an easily attainable status that can be bought at certain designer shops. Think of it as alchemy, as it's not the substance behind the flash that's important, but the appearance of gold instead.
This again is a by product of our celebrity culture. Appearance is important, not reality. What's the difference between an up-and-coming rapper and an up-and-coming rock musician? The rapper is driving a Ferrari while the rocker is six days in on wearing the same shirt. Is the rapper actually richer? No, in all likelihood, due to the rocker's ability actually make money touring; the rapper is less well off financially.
We don't focus on that though. Instead we glorify fiction and demonize reality. The twisted irony in driving an Escalade while living in a duplex with your parents doesn't seem to bother anyone. Nevertheless, that is the mantra of this faction; that if you can do it and adequately front it, it doesn't matter if you can back it. The attitude leads to gems like this:
"I do wear Sean John like everybody else. A whole lot of my friends wear his clothes. It's kind of expensive, but we don't buy everything. It's classy, I guess." Ayo Akintade told USA Today. "Anything left over is mostly for my car. I've got rims, a muffler. I tuned up the lights and sound system."