Writer smashes millennials for reckless spending on all those avocado brunches video

Glenn McConnell/STUFF.CO.NZ

Can Wellington's hipsters afford avocados and houses?

Millennials, we come bearing good tidings: the housing crisis has been solved!

In a largely unfathomable column in The Australian, Bernard Salt decried the racket the kids are listening to these days, complained about the proliferation of balls that appear on his lawn and expressed ire that he would have gotten away with his nefarious scheme if only it weren't for meddling millennials.

But the main subject of his ire is young people who have the temerity to eat foods they enjoy in public.

This guy is probably on his way to pay for more than $20 for avocado on toast.

This guy is probably on his way to pay for more than $20 for avocado on toast.

"I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more," he screeched.

"I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle-aged and have raised my family. But how can young people afford to eat like this?

Even if they can afford it, Salt is adamant their money would be better spent elsewhere.

Avocado on sweet potato toast.

Avocado on sweet potato toast.

"Shouldn't they be economising by eating at home? How often are they eating out? Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house."

A compelling argument. However, the mathematics department at Stuff, purely for the sake of confirmation, ran the data on his claim.

An avocado and feta concoction at one Wellington cafe costs $16.

Avocado toast with salt, feta cheese, and baby boomer's tears.

Avocado toast with salt, feta cheese, and baby boomer's tears.

Assuming the devilish millennials manage to avoid indulging in their basest vices, this would save them $32 dollars a week according to Salt's theorem that we lavish  ourselves on brunch twice a week at least.

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According to the numbers, if millennials manage to forego avocado on toast for 10 years that will save them $16,640, a veritable nest-egg with which they can surely retire on, even with snarling student loans looming over their rented properties with an axe.

But with the average house-price in Wellington at a current $427,000 - and that includes residences in the suburbs, the hutts and the bona fide hinterlands - that amount starts looking a little bit paltry.

Let me pre-empt your complaints. Millennials are unrealistic, lazy, unwilling to work, never had to walk 5km a day to get to the coalmines at the tender age of 8, refuse to build time machines to invest in property when it was a tangible goal and not dependent on a sizeable lotto win.

We've heard it all before.

So yes, perhaps we should subsist on  instant noodles for ten years while our elders and betters gorge themselves on as many avocado meals as they like - after all, they deserve to treat themselves where we don't because [coherent argument not yet articulated].

All this, of course, is a way of eliding the fact that a number of factors have colluded to structurally alienate millennials from the property market.

Our inability to get a foothold on the rung must be our fault, and point to some character flaw of an entire generation. Heaven forfend we acknowledge the baby boomer's have bequeathed us a sinking economy, an imperiled environment and a society where owning property isn't possible unless we make sacrifices.

Salt finishes his diatribe by rubbing, err, salt in the wound

"There. I've said it. I have said what every secret middle-aged moraliser has thought but has never had the courage to verbalise"

We commend you, Salt for bravely pointing out deficiencies in us millennials; truly, not a position we have all heard thousands of times before.

But perhaps a more  salient option would have been this.

Let us eat our breakfasts in peace. If we're going to clean up your mess, God knows we're going to need the nutrients.

 - Stuff


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