Recently a millennial Yelp employee named “Talia Jane” wrote a bizarre letter to Yelp’s CEO whining about her low salary. Yet, however bad the letter was, this ‘conservative’ reaction was worse. NY Post writer Kyle Smith has no sympathy for Jane. Perhaps she doesn’t deserve much, but he shows the common, elite ‘conservative’ hostility to the bottom 90% of Americans, who he thinks should have no right to advocate for their interests.
Get a second job, Talia. Get a roommate. Get several. Get rid of your car. This is how everyone your age in New York has been living for generations.
New York City, that’s this ‘conservative’s’ vision for America. American dream? What American dream?
He attacks Jane for majoring in English literature rather than petroleum engineering, as if everyone has the aptitude to major in petroleum engineering. He writes:
Majoring in English? I’ve been there. Got turned down for my first credit card. By Citibank, which sent me a rejection letter citing my “field of study.” I reapplied, changing my entry for “major” to “business.” Which not only wasn’t my field but wasn’t even a field of study offered by my school. But it worked, providing a valuable educational experience: an impromptu seminar in the value of bulls - - t.
There’s another word for what Smith did: fraud. About Jane’s dream to work in media he writes:
Talia, everyone wants to work in media. Unfortunately for you, that includes those of us who are already working in media. We aren’t giving up our spots. You know why? Working in the media is super fun! We do stuff the normals only wish they could do, plus we get paid for it!
Sure, Talia, you and your generation can replace us. You already are replacing us. There’s a kid standing next to my desk right now. He’s 23, he’s very nice, he went to Bowdoin, his name is Tyler. He’s pretending to check Yik Yak, but really he’s just waiting for 25 years of General Tso’s chicken to realize their destiny and seal up my arteries like the boulder rolling in front of the exit in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” My seat will still be warm when he takes it.
Or so he hopes! Say my arteries continue to flow like the mighty Niagara and I don’t vacate my seat. Since you and Tyler don’t know anything, the main thing you have to offer employers is low price.
Tyler’s OK. He’s got a trust fund. Do you? If not, don’t become an actor. Don’t become a poet. Don’t become a conceptual performance artist. Don’t work in media. You can’t afford to follow your dreams if everyone’s idea of a “dream” involves being OK with being paid in coolness instead of dollars.
You often hear, “how does it harm you if other people are wealthy,” the implication being that it does no harm at all, and that only envy motivates people to oppose inequality. Yet this is a very real way that massive inequality harms the rest of us: the creators of culture are not those most talented but those who’s families have the money. Those whose voices are heard in political matters are those with the money.
This makes me wonder about how Kyle Smith got his cushy job in media. Did he have a trust fund? Or did he climb the ladder he is now trying to kick down?
Final thoughts about this episode:
- Smith’s advice about jobs in the media is accurate, I just don’t see it as something to be celebrated.
- Jane made lots of claims about how much she suffered in “poverty,” it wasn’t long before these claims were refuted by her own Instagram account detailing her rather extravagant lifestyle. Yet, the details she provided, the rent for her apartment and her Yelp salary, are not disputed. So how does this stack up? Perhaps it was due to maxing out her credit card as detailed in her letter, or perhaps she, like Smith’s “Tyler,” was receiving support from family members.
- Her name is “Talia.” Expect to hear more names like that as my generation matures.
- Much of her financial situation is due to the high rents in the bay area, yet, in the conversation about “inequality,” this is almost never mentioned. It’s not something that interests the Left. There’s an entire world outside San Francisco, New York City, and other high cost cities, Jane would do well to consider leaving.
- The past is a foreign country. Lots of conservatives, and older people generally, have no idea how things are for young people. They are not aware to what extent a college degree has been cheapened, so when they see a college educated person struggling, they assume that person is simply lazy, unwilling to work a ‘real’ job.