Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’ve had this drilled into my head since my mom made my avena every morning before school. Even to this day, if I skip breakfast, I feel tired, cranky and unmotivated. Food is fuel and starting out the day without fuel feels like I’m setting myself up for a long, winding day and loud tummy rumbles. Personally, I love food and my favorite meals will always be breakfast food. It’s also one of the easiest meals to prepare. Take some toast, slab some butter with some scrambled eggs and salsa, I’m good until lunch and have the energy to get my daily tasks done. So, why are we now being told by the Wall Street Journal to “skip breakfast to save money”?
On February 14, Gabriel T. Rubin from the Wall Street journal wrote an article with the inflammatory headline, “To Save Money, Maybe You Should Skip Breakfast”. The article, ironically stuck behind a paywall, goes on to outline the increase of breakfast foods due to inflation and the avian flu outbreak. Breakfast food prices are up 15% from last year, we know these prices are ridiculous. While the article was meant to highlight the rise of groceries, specifically breakfast foods, we are once again being told to make individual changes to our lives to adjust to this problem. The article received so much social media backlash, rightfully so, from all sides of the political spectrum. Rep. Mark Pocan weighed in saying, “I would recommend companies just stop price gouging. But maybe that’s just me.” This is the exact thought I had when I read the headline so it’s not just you Rep. Pocan. We do not make up these prices, we are forced to comply with them. These articles highlight changes that can be done at an individual level and blame entire generations for the issues that make just breathing so much harder than it has to be.
Another article that was recently published by Fortune’s Tristan Bove, highlights Chief Investment Officer, Bill Smead, with Smead Capital Management interview with CNBC. In this interview, Bill says inflation will remain ‘sticky’ and Millennials and Gen Z are to blame. According to this article, ages 19 to 54 are prime spending years and the more money we spend, the more inflation will go up. What exactly are we spending our money on? “We have 92 million people between 22 and 42, and they’re all going to spend their money on necessities in the next 10 years, whether the stock markets are good or bad,” says our friend Bill. We are spending our money on food, fuel, clothing, and if we’re able to, housing. Because we spend our money on just simply existing, we will be blamed for the continually rising inflation. This feels like the avocado toast debacle all over again.
Our generations are always being blamed for the way that Gen X and Boomers voted. I kept my head down, did my work to graduate high school, started working a minimum wage job right after I graduated and have not stopped working in 12 years. Needless to say, I’m tired. I, along with everyone else in the age groups mentioned, are exhausted. We have contributed to this society we were forced into, taken out the student loans, car loans, and whatever type of loan to be able to continue contributing. I’m sure I speak for most Millennials and Gen Z when I say, enough with the gaslighting, manipulation, and abuse. Greedy capitalists will always find a way to blame younger generations because we had no other way of living except by their rules. While Gen X and Boomers are seemingly throwing the blows, we can pin this down to class consciousness.
Whatever the generations before us did, what’s done is done. We can’t change how generations before us received information or how their individualism caused a vicious standard of living today. If you’re like me, a first generation kid with no generational wealth and parents who were not able to vote in this country, blaming an older generation excludes people like my parents who did not have a voice until much later. Boomers and Gen X are not totally absolved from blame, however, I will never forgive them for Reagan. We are still feeling the effects from Desgraciado’s policies to this day. As angry as I am with the previous generations, that pointed anger does nothing to help change what we are feeling today. We have the explanations for why things are the way they are, now we need class consciousness at a national level.
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised class consciousness within our generations and I know we are fed up. If these trends continue, I know that I will never own a home and will likely be in debt the rest of my life. I also know that this doesn’t have to be how I, or any of us have to live. We’ve had our spirits beaten and broken by these heinous articles and profit hungry capitalists. We are seeing a shift in the view of capitalism in younger generations. Millennials and Gen Z are now the majority voting base in this country. We are not going to take the blame and be gaslit into submission. We need to take action and fight back this rhetoric now more than ever. Generations after us cannot keep taking the blame for the failures of those before us.