How Trust Fund Hipsters Came to Rule the World

ByCaitlin McCormick

There is a self-aware subculture called the Hipsters. In it lies the scarf-wearing polecat whose Buddy Holly glasses often have no prescription and whose favorite band hasn't even been born yet.

The New Yorker epitomizes the hipsters in their most recent cover art, YouTube videos poke fun at their Instagram fascination. But the true anxiety should be associated with the trust fund hipster. In this case the phrase 'trust fund' is not referring to some oil tycoon's heir. In the case of trust fund hipsters, I am speaking of the twenty-somethings living in the mecca of awkward-sex in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Trust fund hipsters are the kids who moved to New York after graduating from an impressive college, then landing a cushy unpaid internship at some trendy place, all while their parents pay for their living expenses. They live in apartments costing over $2000 a month. They are capable of affording the latest clothes from Oak or Bird. For these youths there is no struggle. 

For most millennials, tuition is too high, specifically if one wishes to attend a top 10 college. It is even higher if a young person wants to attend a college out of state. 

Internships remain unpaid. 

The cost of living in New York City increases daily. 

That said, we should not be directly angry at those who have the ability to afford this lifestyle on someone else's dime. Instead, we should be mad that the only way to make it in New York as a twenty-something is if you have financial support of some kind. Even philanthropist and crew-neck sweater enthusiast Bill Gates is against parents supporting their children fully (after all, he only gave his kids $10 million to start out their adult lives). The trust-fund hipsters are scattered amongst the 30 Under 30 lists and have made the apps and opened the boutiques we shop at today. The success that the trust-fund hipsters have reached has proved grand, but what is missing from the paths that lead them there is the chance for everyone to achieve greatness. In a classist society, the old adage that proclaims it is not 'what you know but who you know' simply implies that the only way to get ahead is if you were born ahead, financially speaking.

There is a cyclical effect occurring.

A person with no relevant experience aside from their degree will not get a job. Gaining the proper experience means working for no pay. Furthermore, they will not get a job if they graduated from a college no one's heard of. With no job comes no money. With no money comes no networking capabilities. And the cycle continues.

The trust fund hipster does not face these challenges. Instead, they gain experience through unpaid internships. Their parents pay their way so they can focus on 'finding themselves,' as hipsters love to do.

There should be anxiety connected to the trust fund hipster. They are our future. Their success is a direct effect of the class they were born in to and the leverage they have over their age-group. This subculture, like many before, will eventually fade. But classism won't. The capacity to succeed based upon wealth is only strengthening. If society is solely reliant upon the wealthy innovators, what products are we missing out without giving the Everyman a chance?