Joneses Now Unable To Keep Up With Selves
New York, NY (AP) – The Jones family, long a symbol of the Western capitalist ethos of competitive conspicuous consumption, has announced that they can no longer serve as the field’s avatars, as their economic abilities have eroded over the course of the latest financial crisis.
Speaking to reporters at the entrance to the family home – now facing foreclosure – in the New Jersey township of Bergenfield, just over the road from the swank section of Teaneck, family patriarch Carl Jones offered a detailed account of the family’s fall from contention in neighborhood one-upmanship.
“The Nichols family across the street got a Lincoln Navigator back in ’07, and we knew we couldn’t sit idly by,” he recalled. “So we took out an additional mortgage and invested in a Lexus SUV and a Hummer H3 – but the day we took delivery the market dropped like a stone and I lost half my portfolio equity. It went downhill from there. I’ve only been working part-time, the kids’ college tuition is still sky-high – of course we sent them only to the most expensive schools – and we fell behind on the loan payments last year.”
Throughout the boom years of the 1990’s, the Jones were exemplars of visible social climbing, embarking on multiple home renovation projects and highly touted trips to exotic locales abroad. The boom years of the Clinton administration gave the Jones coffers enough of a cushion to survive the leaner times of the early part of last decade. But the ever-growing demands of showing off to the neighbors, and, more importantly, showing them up, created a large enough draw on the family assets that even the good economic times that preceded the current recession could not shield them from its effects.
The Joneses have since sold both luxury vehicles, scaled back their landscaping significantly, no longer take extensive or expensive vacations, and encourage the younger generation to find steady, if low-paying, work.
At press time, fifteen-year-old Jenna, the youngest, had accepted an offer to wash the Nichols car for $20.
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