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Old Economy Steven is an advice animal image macro series featuring a photograph of young man wearing a blue collared shirt with a 1970s haircut. The captions typically depict the man as being out-of-touch with the frustrations young people experience in the 21st century economic climate, including dealing with student loans, unemployment and rising housing costs.
Prior to being used as an advice animal, the photograph of the young man was initially featured in acne-related articles online as early as May of 2010 (shown below, left). On May 10th, 2012, Redditor NewNormal submitted an image macro titled “Introducing Old Economy Steven… you know, your dad” to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit, which featured the same photograph paired with the caption “Fails out of high school / Gets job, buys house, retires happy” (shown below, right). Prior to being archived, the post received over 10,600 up votes and 950 comments.
On the following day, the Internet news blog The Daily Dot published an article about the meme, noting that the advice animal resonated well with frustrated young workers. On May 17th, the Internet news blog UpRoxx published a slideshow of notable examples from the series. On May 23rd, 2013, the “Ron Paul Problems” Tumblr blog published a compilation of image macros from the series titled “Old Economy Steve,” which gained more than 5,300 notes in the next 24 hours. On May 24th, Redditor NarwhalBaconCat resubmitted the same compilation the /r/funny subreddit, where it received over 1,800 up votes and 230 comments in the first hour.
As of May 2013, the “Old Economy Steve” Quickmeme page has accumulated upwards of 365 submissions.
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