April 13, 2010
 

Introducing Gen "B"...The Broke-ies

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Living Well "Was" The Best Revenge

As evidenced by the Katrina tragedy as well as the The US House of Representatives voting for permanent repeal of the estate tax, the two edges of our economic bell curve clearly have one thing in common, they both need more money. Though how about the middle?

Well, as evidenced by yesterday's cash buyout of Skype by eBay, the bulk of the American public clearly deserves a break today as well. Years ago, The New Yorker Magazine published a cartoon of a mother reassuring her daughter with the caption, "Honey, don't worry. When Daddy says we're broke, that doesn't mean we're poor."

Historians and The Federal Reserve Board will ultimately determine if our culture is spending good money after bad, or just the opposite. Though the good news is that today it's no longer embarrassing to be called cheap. It's in fashion, a sign of intelligence and like it or not, a sign of necessity.

In fact, this trend-next attitude is not skewed to any particular age group. Everyone can now be fashionable. We are all part of Generation-B. Introducing The "Broke-ies". If you haven't registered for your own eBay account, or Skype phone service, you're simply not cool.

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We won't research your portfolio valuation or how you spent your cash during the '80's and '90s investigating your Mars of Venus-like inner-you's. Like for example if you wore suspenders or and felt the glory/illusion of being financially independence-minded "if you related to the "if you got it, flaunt it" BMW lifestyle. If the thrill of getting that corporate office, expense account and Ralph Loren style drove you to work 300 hours a week, yes, you also are in Gen-B.

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With advent of the '90s and if you felt a strong need to have an independent attitude, as evidenced by your wearing Dr. Marten's expensive Gen X bohemian shoes, then in the year 2525 (if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may find) researchers may define the late '90s behavior for our being very smart shoppers.

Here's how you know if you're a broke-ie or not:

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Financial

1. Do you know what APR means?

2. Do you think food stamps are cool?

3. Do you actually have a rough idea of how many coins you have in your penny jar?

(answers to 1-3: yes, yes, no)

Food

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4. Is the brand "Popeye's" better known to you as a drive-thru a fast or a cartoon character?

5. Do you know what a "white tablecloth restaurant" is?

6. Could you impress your date with a connoisseur-like appreciation for the fine distintions between Burger King, Mickey D's, Wendy's and KFC?

7. Do you order "super-size" both in your beverage and your fashion choices?

(answers to 4-7: drive-thru, no, of course, yes/yes)

Fashion:

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8. Does your wardrobe have that "dirty, worn-out clothes look" that you didn't have to buy at The Gap?

9. Do you ever wish you had a pin-striped suit? Hint, is your definition of a pin-striped suit the NY Yankees uniform?

10. Is the first place you would look for new footwear or underwear on eBay, typing in the words "worn Nike shoes"? Is the only place you would look on eBay?

(answers: 8-10: yes, no/yes, yes/yes)

Joseph Jaffe's column today is his blog provides a analytic view of the benefits. Check it out. If you're a broke-ie the data he provides will reassure you that you're not alone.

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