Levin covers the contents of a somewhat problematic interview with Tim Gurner, an extremely wealthy property developer from Melbourne, Australia. In the conversation with the hosts of 60 Minutes in Australia, Gurner seemed to have given the Millennial generation unwanted financial advice. The businessman insisted that ordering avocado toast on a daily basis interferes with long-term goals that Millennials might have, such as buying a house. Gurner is not alone in his criticism: Millennials have been bombarded with negative opinions for many years.
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Although some criticism has been valid, Gurner’s argument can be readily debunked since he has used two obvious logical fallacies: stereotyping and oversimplification. First, he assumed that all Millennials shared a similar lifestyle, and namely, “spending $40 a day on smashed avocados and coffees and not working” (Levin, para. 2). It is abundantly easy to see how making blanket statements about a large demographic cohort is unreasonable. Second, Gurner oversimplified the key to financial success: it is evident that avoiding frequent avocado toast orders is not enough to become wealthy and buy real estate.
Gurner could avoid criticism if he revised his arguments, making them more logical. For the first argument, he could say that Millennials prefer achieving short-term goals to completing long-term plans. For instance, they are more likely to enjoy the instant gratification of avocado toast than refuse themselves this pleasure to save money for valuable assets such as a house. Gurner could even explain such a tendency with the younger generation’s shortened attention span. The billionaire could reason that Millennials prefer experiencing new sensations and living in the moment.
For the second argument, Gurner could say that food expenses can be reduced to help to balance a person’s budget. For example, spending $22 on a piece of bread with smashed avocado and feta cheese is somewhat redundant. Millennials’ choices could be guided by the desire to follow the newest food trends: eating avocado has been considered to be fashionable and even “hipster” for quite some time. However, a daily menu could easily be less expensive if Millennials considered branching out to low-cost options or homemade dishes. In a long perspective, sacrificing avocado toast would help a person become affluent and gain more purchasing power.
Nevertheless, it is possible to debunk Gurner’s arguments even after revision. First, consuming preferred food products increases a person’s quality of life. Admittedly, food does not only exist to quench hunger but also to give pleasure and the feeling of fulfillment.
In a better mental state, Millennials could feel more positive about the future and be more productive. As for the second argument, one could contradict it, stating that there is no clear association between a simpler diet sans avocado toast and the prospects of wealth. Wealth can be accumulated by reducing expenses in several areas of life and finding new ways to increase income at the same time. Moreover, more factors are affecting the likelihood of a person becoming richer: family background, social milieu, health status, and many others.
Levin, Sam. “Millionaire Tells Millennials: If You Want a House, Stop Buying Avocado Toast.” The Guardian, 2017. Web.
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