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THE HIPSTER STIMULUS

I’m gonna go out on limb here and say that the economy is fucked. Let’s assume, then, that the recent stimulus package isn’t big enough, and that we’ll soon need another, "better" one. I’d like to throw my hat into the policy wonk ring and offer this proposal: the hipster stimulus. Any stimulus package faces a sort of catch-22. If you allocate money for infrastructure, the money may not stimulate anything for another 18 months. If you give out tax rebates, most people will just use that money to save and pay down their debt. Hipsters, on the other hand, are in the unique position of not being in debt (most of them live off their parents, and they're too young and irresponsible to actually get credit), but not inclined to save money either. They’re too busy looking emotionally detached to worry about the future. Besides, why deposit that check you got from being an extra in that N.E.R.D. video when you could buy that new dishrag and call it a scarf? The Hipster Stimulus would pump money into all aspects of the hipster economy. Anyone with a fixed gear bike would get a $5,000 tax rebate. Same goes for anyone who saw Animal Collective play last year. Vinyl records will enjoy a temporary sales tax holiday. The government would subsidize the building of new American Apparel stores in cities across the country (how’s that for a Buy-American provision?).

Since the company is expanding so rapidly, some of them are bound to be "shovel-ready." The government could also provide tax incentives for Pabst Blue Ribbon, Chuck Taylors, and Asian girlfriends. It could even issue special “hipster-bucks,” redeemable only at vegan restaurants and clothing stores that sell skinny jeans and flannel shirts. And because hipsters spend any dollar they save, the Keynsian multiplier effect of the stimulus will be very high. Progressives will be happy to know that the money hipsters spend will likely trickle down to the lower classes, through taco trucks, thrift stores, and other staples of newly gentrified communities where hipsters congregate. Hipsters need America. But more than that, America needs hipsters. To spend money like it’s 1998.

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