Wells Fargo Urges Parents To Educate Their Children Away From Art
Wells Fargo has a long history of abusive financial practices. During the Great Recession, for example, Wells Fargo took tens of billions of dollars from the federal government, but then refused to pay taxes on its income, and kept on foreclosing on the homes of Americans struggling to get by because they didn’t have teams of lobbyists to convince the government to give them bailouts.
Information like this won’t be part of the Teen Financial Education Day being put on by Wells Fargo later this month. Wells Fargo won’t teach teens that the system is stacked against them, and that if they want to get ahead, they’ll need wealthy friends who can pay political insiders for special favors. Instead, Wells Fargo will teach teens that the path to financial prosperity just so happens to come through the financial services offered by Wells Fargo itself. That’s no coincidence. Teen Financial Education Day is really just a sales gimmick.
It isn’t enough for Wells Fargo to exploit this cruel double standards of federal government handouts for the financial elites, and lectures about saving for those who don’t have a nickel to spare. No, Wells Fargo has decided to rub salt in the wounds of economic inequality by telling the children of working Americans that they can’t have the privilege of careers in the arts.
Wells Fargo makes the class-based system of career development clear in the brochures it developed for its Teen Financial Education Workshop. The brochures show two teenagers who, after being educated to get their financial priorities straight, have changed their career plans. The girl: “A ballerina yesterday. An engineer today.” The boy: “An actor yesterday. A botanist today.”
In the view of Wells Fargo, it’s irresponsible for the children of the working class to aspire to do work that interests them. Instead of pursuing careers that align with their individual personalities, Wells Fargo recommends that they conform to what society demands. Careers in STEM – science, technology, engineering and medicine – are the only acceptable ambitions.
Of course, for those teenagers whose parents are wealthy, well, they don’t really need a financial education, do they? They already have received the most important lesson of all: That when you have a family that profits from investments that keep wages for other families low, you can do whatever the hell you want.
In Wells Fargo’s worldview, dance is only for the daughters of the wealthy, and theater is something to be indulged in only by the children of families that don’t have to worry about how to make ends meet.
Wells Fargo, you can take your elitist ideology and shove it. When people are forced into careers that don’t match their personalities, they lead lives of psychological anguish that no retirement plan can soothe.
If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your Teen Financial Education Day.