Monday, July 25, 2005

Trust Fund Backlash

Most of the people who have written in about the "Rich Little Poor Kids" story seem to agree with this person, but he put it especially well:

I'd like to know the motivation behind your story. Granted everyone needs to be treated with respect and not be judged by their bank account. It seems that you are attempting to garnish these men and women with sympathy so that we can say that they are "just like us".

Ironically enough, the feelings of low self esteem, feeling dependant and feeling different from peers are synonymous with those who are on the bottom end of the economic scale. As a society we tell them to fight against their circumstances and that with hard luck they can become successful. Meanwhile you article seems to suggest that a "trustafarian" should be held with the same regard as the young man who has to work two jobs so that his cabinet has enough top ramen for the week.

It it difficult for all of our to find our way. I understand that those who have privilege have increased expectations and that it is hard for others to relate to their issues. I guess I wish I could search for my niche and know that my rent is paid for regardless of my discovery.


I'd just like to respond that I wasn't suggesting any kind of equivalency of virtue or level playing field between people who have to struggle and those who have it easier. But just as this guy points out, the emotions in both situations are often the same.


Anya said...

From a reader:

Trust fund kids kill me. Have they nothing better to do than think about
themselves . I fail to understand (and I am sure I am not alone) why
they are having a hard time finding something to do ! All they have to
do is look out of their penthouse windows and see the world bustling
down below and decide that they want to make a difference. Poor people
do it on a daily bases. It is all about choice. Nothing stops them from
calling a soup kitchen, taking up at an after school program at the
local YMCA or doing a food drive for the needy. It is all about choice.
They have no idea how wonderful they have it really and how blessed that
they are honestly! Kudos to Jamie Schweser who at least is trying to do
something positive and in the right direction. As for the rest of them
choose to whine or choose to get out into the world and make a
difference in it , it is as simple as that. And give the rest of us who
deal with reality on a daily basis a break with your whining. You have
all that you need within your reach to make life work for yourselves and
possibly other and so just be happy about it.


Anya said...

from another reader:
Sent: Mon 7/25/2005 1:42 PM
Subject: Rich little poor kids

"In the end, though, the silver-spoon set is not so different from the
rest of us."
Quite possibly one of the most ludicrous statements I've ever heard.
While it's noble and all that there are members of the trust-fund set
who want to validate their existence by working, it's disrespectful to
the rest of us normal folk to ignore the fact that the most precious and
rare thing that being filthy rich affords a person is the freedom of
choice. Starting an American-Italian media business? Working without
pay for artists and at an art gallery and doing his own artwork? These
activities are priveleges, not work. What trustafarians have that the
rest of us do not is the absolute freedom to pursue their dreams,
whatever they may be. Unfortunately, "finding oneself" is a luxury most
of us cannot afford--we work to live, and a handful of us are lucky
enough to find a job that enriches our lives in some additional way.
Those of us who do try to follow our dreams--the starving artist, the
struggling non-profit worker--pay for those dreams dearly, and must
committ to them in a way a trustafarian can never understand.

This distinction is fundamental and unbridgeable--no matter how many Red
Stripes on Smith Street Thomas drinks.

Anonymous said...

FYI- there's more info on Jamie Schweser (quoted in the article) and "punk rock philanthropy" at