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A favorite pastime of older generations is to wag a finger at millennials struggling to achieve adult milestones in the shitty financial world those older generations created. First, they were mystified that millennials weren’t buying diamonds, and now they’re claiming that kids can’t afford homes because they eat too much avocado toast.
Seriously: a multimillionaire “property tycoon” in Australia has blamed young folks’ lower rates of homeownership on their propensity to consume pricey toast topped with smashed avocado.
“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” Tim Gurner told the Australian 60 Minutes.
“We’re at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high,” he added. “They want to eat out every day, they want travel to Europe every year.”
Millennials, however, are sick of hearing that they don’t work hard enough and that previous generations were somehow more deserving of necessities like housing. Especially considering that the criticism often comes from those who had family wealth to get them started.
Like, for example, Tim Gurner.https://twitter.com/metaltxt/status/864185399291265028
If I didn't know any better, it would seem as though there's some kind of… pattern… where wealth begets wealth.— J Crowley (@jdcrowley) May 15, 2017
Could there be some other reason, aside from their love of brunch, that millennials don’t all run out and buy houses today? Hmm.
Nah, it’s definitely the avocados. I mean, it’s just basic math …
Avocado Toast $6.50— Foghorn Greghorn (@grgdwyr) May 15, 2017
someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. my family is dying https://t.co/p0SCdjHmTS
"I mean it's one avocado, Michael, what could it cost? Ten dollars?" https://t.co/hW21dJSyhH— J Crowley (@jdcrowley) May 15, 2017
Seriously, though: even if people in their 20s and 30s ate avocado toast for every meal, giving it up would not bring them significantly closer to homeownership.
has anyone told him that avocado toast costs like £6 but the average cost of a home is more than £200,000 https://t.co/nHqZn75vUV— Hannah Thompson (@H_L_Thompson) May 15, 2017
Alright, I did the math. If I stopped eating avocado toast every day, I would be able to afford a bad house in Los Angeles in 642 years. pic.twitter.com/nqhiqnQ07E— Kaleb Horton (@kalebhorton) May 15, 2017
Proving that you don’t have to understand the housing market at all to become a real estate millionaire, Gurner has failed to take into account that real household income hasn’t significantly increased since those hardworking past generations bought their houses but home prices certainly have. Or that millennials are burdened with historic levels of student debt, putting home buying out of reach until they’re much older.
And even for those who could afford to buy, a home isn’t always the smartest financial decision.
Gurner’s general out-of-touchness is being mocked all over Twitter. He’s even drawing comparisons to Eric Garland’s infamous “it’s time for some game theory” rant after Donald Trump was elected:
"Let them eat avocado toast." -Millennial Marie Antoinette— Jackie Carbajal (@jackiecarbajal) May 15, 2017
republican: taxes are bad— Snack My Fridge Up (@wyrauuuuuch) May 15, 2017
democrat: they're good
[I ride by on a skateboard eating avocado toast] I can't afford a home, dipshits
what if the bad avocado toast take is just a psyop by Big Avocado to make us eat more avocado toast out of spite— Dog Haver (@Spiffl) May 15, 2017
it's time for some avocado toast theory— Cassandra (@ChrisWarcraft) May 15, 2017
What's worse: the avocado toast argument or the mocking spongebob meme— Nick (@spincyclenick) May 15, 2017
It would be funny if the reality of the housing market weren’t so depressing. Consider that maybe avocado toast is the only thing that keeps us functional as we participate in a sad, broken economic system.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.