Hipsters are on the tail end of much derision, but should they have to pay cold, hard cash for it?
Public Policy Polling, somewhat strangely since this is a reputable polling agency that typically focuses its energies on politics, conducted a survey that found more than a quarter of people think they should have to pay for their infuriating ways. According to the New York Observer, PPP “asked if they thought hipsters made a positive cultural contribution to society or ‘soullessly appropriated cultural tropes from the past for their own ironic amusement.’ A whopping 46 percent went with the latter.” Twenty-seven percent said hipsters should be taxed just for being their annoying selves. Seriously, if we were taxing people for being annoying, there’s a couple hundred million people who would be coughing up some extra coinage.
The Observer attributes some of the backlash to the fact that hipsters are so visible. Not just because of their dorky costumes (check out Halloween or Williamsburg for some notable examples), but because of their sheer number (50 percent of voters ages 18 to 29 consider themselves hipsters). And they’re all over the Internet, clogging up the Web with their musings.
So if we were serious about this tax, the question is how to implement it. The Atlantic has a suggestion based on an economic theory from the 1920s: Tax the things that hipsters like, such as vinyl records, skinny jeans, and moustache wax. “These taxes would get played out — and fast — because hipsters would substitute away from the taxed stuff and find clever new ways to be annoying,” the article says. “Unfortunately for all of us, you can’t tax annoying.”