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Archive for June, 2009

(idea submitted by Darren M.)

The perception that Jews are good with money and financial matters has been around for many decades, and yes, there are many more Jews working in the world of finance than in Coal Mining.  The reality is that not all Jews are as fiscally acute as the stereotype, especially the younger generation.  Therefore, for Jewish Young Adults of today, the perception of being good with money is much stronger than the truth, and hence Jewish Young Adults have adopted the bizarre practice of pretending to know more about economic issues than they actually do.

It is unclear why JYAs would undertake this minor fib, but the instances are readily perceptible to any discriminating observer.  For example, female JYA “Shayna” was recently overheard bragging to one of her multiple best friends that “My boyfriend is totally smart.  He only invests in government bonds cause they are high yield”.  Even though her friend nodded approvingly, minimal research would show that government bonds are actually low yield, commensurate with their extremely low risk.

Another example is JYA “Randy” who mentioned to his coworker at Tenjune “I’m totally going to short Ford”.  While this act seems like an impressive move, even a casual observer would note that Randy’s decision is about four years too late, and shorting the stock now, simply because the car industry is in the news in recent months, may suffer from “too little too late”.

As a third example, in light of the recent economic situation in America, many JYAs have been heard stating “I totally saw it coming” in various social situations.  While plausible, this claim is highly improbable, as even most pedigreed academics in the field were caught off guard.

Typically if you call out a JYA about their supposed financial industry credibility, they will either offer you unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence in support of their claims, or they will immediately backtrack and reverse their initial argument.  Therefore, in order to avoid awkward situations, and to save the JYA from humiliation, it is advised to nod and smile along and ask a friendly Mormon for their advice.

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Israel is not a country known for its global musical influence.  Sure, the entire world uses IM and cell phones based on Israeli technology, and the country appears frequently in the news, but rarely does anybody outside of the Middle East hear about the other aspects of Israeli culture.  That is why it is odd that Jewish Young Adults frequently claim to follow the Israeli Hip-Hop scene.

220px-SHI_360_Hai_Album_CoverJYAs are usually exposed to the world of Hebraic Rap either at a Birthright Mega Event (or any similar event commemorating a trip to Israel), or at a local Israel Day celebration.  The bands are brought to such events specifically to gain the interest of JYAs, especially unaffiliated JYAs who would otherwise avoid such events.  Ironically, JYAs find themselves, at least temporarily, avid fans of these groups, even though they have no idea what they are singing about.

Typically JYAs are familiar with the name of one act, at most two, and will flaunt their supposed acquaintance with Israeli Hip-Hop acts to other JYAs, especially when attended such events as listed above.  JYA “Ari”, a regular attendee at San Francisco’s annual Israel in the Gardens event, mentioned to “Sarah”, “Subliminal was here last year, it was such a phat show”.  Even though they may know the name, the JYA usually will not be able to list any specific song or individual member of the band.

Therefore, the assumption is that JYAs are not actual fans of the bands in question, but rather pretend to like Israeli Hip Hop when surrounded by other JYAs, supposedly because they feel a need to assert themselves.  This claim is further supported by the fact that Israeli Rap is not very good in general, and is also not technically pure hip hop or rap in many cases (frequently more funk or reggae).  Unfortunately, there is little correlation between this alleged interest and actual CD sales of any of the bands in question.

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(idea submitted by Miriam Z)

bargainJewish Young Adults of today tend to be highly conscientious consumers, be it in knowing exactly what they want, knowing exactly where to find it, or knowing exactly how much an item is worth.  While everybody likes to get a good deal now and again, scoring a pricey item for a fair value, JYAs have a keen subconscious understanding of nebulous economic concepts like price elasticity and utility, making them prone to bragging about bargains.

It is important to note that modern day JYAs are not concerned about the price point, but rather focus their efforts on the percent change from the original price.  In other words, it is not the amount paid that illicit bragging rights, but rather the amount not paid.

For example, “Lisa”, a female JYA paralegal from the Upper East Side, makes her annual Hajj to the Barney’s Warehouse Sale every summer, and gleefully announced to her best friend “Can you believe I got a Balenciaga for half off!”  While a fifty percent reduction is an outstanding discount for any product, Lisa slyly failed to mention that the original retail price was nearly $1700, and that she still paid over nine hundred dollars with tax.

Male JYAs are just as prone as females to brag about their bargains.  “Mark”, an aspiring entertainment lawyer from Los Angeles, wrote on his Facebook profile that he “Totally got hooked up with free beers at Element last night”.  While impressive in its own right, Mark ignored the fact that he shelled out over four hundred dollars for a table that same night, not including the fifty dollar door charge to get in.

Therefore, for any Non-Jew who is concerned about how much something actually costs, as opposed to how much you could save, it is recommended to do your own research instead of relying on hyperbolic information from a JYA.

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