Hipsters of the world unite

by Wade Rathke

Thursday, November 19, 2020

New Orleans    Hipsters are absolutely not taking over the world, but it’s hard not to find them almost all over the world. MoveHub, an international shipping company got some free marketing buzz by putting out a “hipster index” over the last couple of years. They use five factors: coffee shops, record stores, tattoo parlors, vegan restaurants, and vintage boutiques. Who knows why, or whether those are the best measures, but, hey, this is marketing, not rocket science, right?

I looked at the list. It’s a curious mashup. Brighton, England leads. OK, ACORN has a great chapter there. One of our members wrote a book about being a Deliveroo driver. Maybe they are a hipster haven, who knows? There were a lot of curry shops, including a good one where we met before the meeting. The biggest complaint other than about high rents and landlord abuse, was the lack of sunshine there, even though we enjoyed bright days. Portland, USA was next, and they led the list last year. They might have been too busy demonstrating to be number one this year. Salt Lake City was number three. How could that be possible? Rochester, New York was 16th, ahead of New Orleans at 23. I can only imagine the city is being out-hipstered for our lack of vegan restaurants, which just can’t compete with red beans and rice and poor-boys. But, hey, Little Rock is 86th ahead of Chicago at 108. Baton Rouge of all places is 113, who knew? How can it be possible that New York City the global center of hipsterism is way down at 145th place?

According to a report in The Economist, the World Bank finds that “the share of the world’s population living on more than $10 per day (at 2011 purchasing-power parity) – enough money to buy things other than food and shelter – has swelled from less than a quarter two decades ago to almost two-fifths in 2017.” The highest riser is East Asia, but all regions have improved on this score. They also say that Brookings “estimated in 2018 that the number of rich people (those living on $110 per day) will grow by 50% or 100 million people, by 2030.” The global middle class according to this crew will increase by then to about two-thirds of the world’s population. The hucksterism that fuels this interest in hipsterism credits education, travel and the internet with globalizing cultural attitudes and consumerism.

Maybe so, but how has it not increased women’s rights and status in the global public and commercial marketplace? Is it possible as incomes rise that the urbanized middle-class could drive gentrification less and equity more? Please!

We need hipsters to unite everywhere, but not over vegan tacos, tattoos, beard trims, and porkpie hats, but instead over bringing everybody forward. What would it take to make that happen?

Wade Rathke is founder and chief organizer of ACORN and ACORN International. You can find Wade’s recent past posts here Chief Organizer Reports. And you can link to his website here Chief Organizer ACORN/ACORN International.

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