So out we're in.
So who's a yuppie? According to Newseek's recent cover story, there are 4 million young urban professionals who make the grade: 25-to-39-yeaer-old nonsmoking fitness buffs who earn more than $45,000 a year and share a commitment to excellence. The Wall Street Journal, though, thinks the category is broader. "Could it be, in fact, that we're all Yuppies now?" the paper asked in a December 28 editorial. "Well, not all of us," it concluded. "Ralph Naer, Lester Thurow and the editors of The Nation are out."
It's a little embarrassing to be excluded from yuppiedom so publicly, especially for sophisticated urban professionals like Nation editors. While our incomes don't meet Newsweek's standards, we do try to hold up our end. Of the twelve Nation editors, four are between 25 and 39; nine and a half don't smoke; five work out regularly (although the local Y may not count as a health club); and all share a commitment to excellence. If only The Wall Street Journal had seen our party during the holidays--homemade pate, six kinds of crackers, imported champagne, even Brie--held in offices recently redesigned to resemble a SoHo restaurant.
Still, it's easy to see where we've gone wrong. None of us hold the faith in money universally evinced by the yuppies interviewed by Newsweek. One young woman doubts that she and her husband could live on less than $200,000 a year; if they have children, of course, their requirements will increase. Another said she became disillusioned with her career as a social worker when she realized that the she had committed herself to being poor. What view of the world causes one to regard social workers as poor? "The principal belief of a Yuppie," according to The Journal, "is that there are no limits." It doesn't sound that way to us. The yuppie hunger for money and possessions betrays fear and cynicism. The world is a frightening place, the yuppies say, and all we can do is save ourselves.
We don't agree, and we doubt that our readers do. That's where The Wall Street Journal is wrong. There are lots of nonyuppies in America. And we'll let you in on a secret: as of the date of Newsweek's cover story, being a yuppie is officially out.