Similar to literal hedges in gardens, hedge funds are the subtle clusters of investors tucked in the corner of the stock market, wanting to be “watered” with money. According to Forbes, “A hedge fund pools money from investors to buy securities or other types of investments.” Recently, hedge funds have struck their lucky hit after pouring money into a GameStop investment, causing the stocks to rise significantly. In late January, America witnessed this focus of dismantling traditional investment institutions that have proved to create an abnormal distribution of wealth across the country. These groups came out of nowhere, outsmarting “the big guy,” as if hidden behind hedges. This significant new-year event seems to represent youth’s rise from behind bushes, an intelligent solution out of a trimmed yard’s maze and luck found in a random hole of dirt in the ground. An exciting change is made here, especially since the escape from a grim 2020.
With the new year of 2021 beginning, many members of Generation Z have discovered signs of major transformation in the stars. Astrology has deemed this year the start of an “Age of Aquarius,” signaling liberation, ending traditional methods of life and sensing a youthful revolution. With a more promising presidency underwing and a light at the end of a pandemic tunnel, there is no better way to lead us into a renaissance era than with hedge fund investors running rampant into the face of capitalism. The GameStop surge on Wall Street that caused a bad blow to many high-profile investors shows a major change in the way the current stock market can work. Now more middle-class level citizens are finding ways to dismantle the closed circuit funneling of money in the top 1% and shift their own methods against them. When the time comes, will some still be hiding behind the hedges, or will all of us run out to join a revolution?
It is no secret that Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are currently some of the richest people in America, and most billionaires like these men hold quite a bit of insight on our personal lives — the lives which make up about 98% of the country. These top three businessmen on Forbes’ 400 list are in charge of services many Americans use every day, including Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft.
One wealthy executive, infamously known for his Tesla company, sent extreme waves into the stock market with one simple tweet. Elon Musk has so much wealth and power hidden under his fingernails that by simply typing, “Gamestonks!” into his Twitter account and hitting send, he can create a massive surge of investments into the formerly shorted stocks of GameStop. The hedge fund investors found this as an opportunity to bask in their universal goal of “eating the rich.” Many Generation Z members today are part of this revelation, finding ways to take down the patriarchal standards of hypercapitalism they were born into.
One particular overlap in this monetary maze is specifically seen in Joel Osteen, who pays no property taxes yet received a $4.4 million COVID-19 relief fund for his megachurch. Many young people refute brainwashing tactics in the Christian churches they were raised in, which also points toward anti-capitalism. There is a certain history of the Catholic church reforming into new branches in order to steal the idea of begging for money and taking advantage of religious people. This is not to say all Christian churches are laundering a greedy scheme underneath a crucifix, but there is a pattern of capitalism being tied to the church and church to state. Either way, less-commonly known billionaire Osteen is a huge representation of using one of the most corrupt ways the government can hush hedge funds, since churches don’t pay taxes, and priests are still paid by the government. What ever happened to the separation of church and state? Personally, a girl I babysit on my weekends told me she didn’t want to go to public school because they don’t talk about God. However, public schools still expect students to stand each morning, hand over heart, to pledge their allegiance to one nation “under God.” This may seem like a win to some, including this sweet little girl. In reality, Christianity plays far too big a role in the government and its spending power. Money seems to be the connecting point in this pyramid scheme, drawing the three biggest surfacing issues. We need to start recognizing the longing need to separate money from church, and church from state and state from superhuman amounts of wealth.
With the GameStop hedge fund being the hot topic of recent news, more and more members of Generation Z are hopping on this train to take down Wall Street. Many students on the popular app TikTok are saying it’s not about “left or right” anymore; it’s about “the big guy versus the little guy.” This mentality is exactly what we see in film, literature and any point in history where the corrupted come out of hiding in order to act against puppeteering hands. So many people from certain traditional backgrounds, like many Christians supporting Osteen, argue that “laziness” exists in a country where people work 60-hour weeks in order to just get by on paying rent. Many young adults are discovering this simply is not the truth.
With young people finding transparency in this phenomenon, “the little guy” seems to be rising up. Billionaire tech investor Chamath Palihapitiya said on CNBC that the Reddit rebellion against Wall Street’s establishment “represents a fundamental shift in philosophy.” This movement is becoming increasingly evident. He also stated, “Instead of having quiet, whispered conversations amongst hedge funds in the Hamptons, these kids have the courage to do it transparently in a forum.” As one Redditor put it, the brains behind the event are making it so that “the old guys drown in their tears.” Generation Z has had mixed feelings about the expectation placed on them to “save the world” from their own parents’ problems, but this seems like the beginning of a revolution to mop up old messes.
Humans were not made to hide behind hedges. Humans were meant to run around fields and sing and play and not have to pay in order to live. With a new hope for humanity leading the way, the hedge funds rustling up Wall Street is the first sign of new growth in America’s future.
So dare I say, stereotypes of traditional ways of living are just starting to be broken by the most ruthless, artistic, educated, undermined age of young adults that history has ever seen. Many leaders want to point fingers down at the little guy squatting in the bush and say, “Get up and go run around,” but the second this child runs faster than asked, adults are terrified of their very own takedown. It is as if trimming the hedge to fit the shape of kids perfectly, keeping them out of sight from any glimpse of light shining on the truth, was how humans were supposed to live. In this society, underdogs are hidden in hedge funds, and there is restorative power in a coming of age.
Kristine Kearns is a first-year English major with a minor in Creative Writing. KK947319@wcupa.edu