If you’ve ever eaten avocado toast, here’s some bad news: Your disgusting wasteful lifestyle is the reason that you don’t own a home. What? You think that your inability to purchase your own residence has nothing to do with your love of nutrient-rich fruit (it’s a fruit) and everything to do with the fact that you’re overworked and underpaid in a down economy?
Nah, man, you’re wrong. Why? Because 35-year-old millionaire Tim Gurner — who is completely self-made except for the fact that his grandfather gave him $34,000 to start a career at 19 — says so. And, as we know, millionaires are never wrong when they make broad, sweeping generalizations about an entire demographic. Who needs facts and nuance, right?
Gurner dropped this shocking revelation on a recent episode of Australia’s 60 Minutes, where he chastised today’s youths for being too demanding, wanting to move out of their parents’ homes, and not taking enough sh*t from others. Quoth the completely with-it millionaire who’s got his finger on how the proletariat lives:
“We’re at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high,” Gruner said. “They want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year. The people that own homes today worked very, very hard for it, saved every dollar, did everything they could to get up the property investment ladder.”
“When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each,” he said.
Here’s a video of the interview:
There are two things we could do with this information: 1) We could just laugh and laugh about Gurner’s lapses in logic, or 2) we could consider how incredibly damaging this all-millennials-are-flower-crown-wearing-gadabouts narrative is. Like Jason Chaffetz’s remark that people can’t afford healthcare because they’re spending all their money on iPhones, what Gurner’s doing here sets forward the false idea that there’s just one thing that keeps millennials from getting rich.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. You can skip all the avocado toast that’s offered you and still be struggling. Why? Because jobs pay poorly, no one wants to raise the minimum wage, and people are so deeply in debt for the college educations they were promised would make them homeowners that they’re fleeing the country or begging Nicki Minaj to pay off their loans.
The biggest problem, of course, is that Gurner’s age (35) puts him in the perfect position to perpetuate the fight between the youngs and the olds. Those who he criticizes will (rightly) mock him, which will lead the older populations, those who did buy their own homes when they were young because homes were affordable then, to believe that millennials are just lazy. The story itself offers a fun soundbite, an excellent water cooler discussion for 3:45 on a Tuesday. But it’s also a good reminder that we need to stop simply listening to millionaires when it comes to fixing the economy and start thinking about the changes we can make to actual infrastructure to ensure that all of us can enjoy the ability to purchase homes (where we can eat as much avocado toast as we want).
Of course, if you want the best of both worlds, you can also purchase this house — right in Australia, where Gurner is from! — that costs $600,000 but comes with a year’s supply of avocado toast for your munching pleasure.