RUSH: The Washington Post, however, has a story with the headline: “Whole Foods is Learning that Millennials Aren’t Who it Thought They Are.” I think a lot of people are starting to figure this out.
“For years, Whole Foods has thrived by selling pricey food with a promise that it is better for you, better for the planet, and better overall. The mantra has proved so successful that it has helped the high-end supermarket chain to expand from its flagship store in Austin, Texas, to more than 400 locations. But lately, Whole Foods’ model hasn’t looked quite as appetizing as it once did. Just ask Whole Foods, which is now working to adjust its strategy by launching a new line of stores with lower prices.
“In a conference call, Whole Foods chief executive John Mackey was fairly coy about what would be in the new store, saying the company would reveal details about a 2016 concept launch in the fall. ‘It will offer a convenient, transparent, and values-oriented experience geared towards Millennial shoppers,’ he said in a statement.”
You want me to translate that for you? We’re gonna open a Walmart version of our own store because our target market, the Millennials, don’t have any money.
“Most of those corporate buzzwords can be ignored, but the key phrase there was ‘millennial shoppers.’ It turns out that Millennials, who have become the largest living generation in America, aren’t exactly who many of us — or even Whole Foods — thought they were. ‘When you looked at Millennials’ consumption patterns a few years ago, what you would expect is for them to be dining out more than anyone else, and just spending more money on food,’ said Darren Seifer, food and beverage analyst at market research firm NPD group. ‘But the recession changed that.’
“What we’ve seen from twenty-somethings in wake of the financial crisis is that they are actually more price conscious than anyone had anticipated. They were the generation that was hit the hardest by this recession in terms of layoffs and difficulty finding jobs, and it really shows in their food purchasing habits,” Seifer said. Millennials want fresh food, sure. Organic food, too. But the truth is that they aren’t as uppity about it as their parents might have been.”
And here’s the money quote the whole story. “Part of that is driven by the fact that they don’t have as much money.” Why would they? I don’t understand why people are shocked. Why is it that everybody thinks Millennials are rolling in dough? Where did that supposition come from? It’s not possible. Look at their student debt load. Look at the lack of careers that are available out there. Yeah, there are jobs, 30-hour-a-week jobs, but there isn’t the opportunity for career building out there.
This economy’s in the tank. I don’t care what the jobs numbers are today. The jobs numbers today don’t matter anyway. You know why? Because they’re not true. You know how I know? Because they’ve already revised last month’s number down. The new jobs number last month was around 125,000. Today, when they release the jobs numbers for April, they revised down the numbers for March. It wasn’t 125,000. It was 85,000. It was chump change.
So the 226,000 new jobs today or this month that they just announced, with the unemployment rate down to 5.4%, it’s not gonna hold up. Next month when they announce the numbers for June, the May numbers are gonna be revised down, and isn’t gonna be anywhere near 226,000. The real number is, the labor force participation rate — and, by the way, by the way, fun sound bites as people at CNN try to figure out what that is. You people who have been listening to this program regularly know what the labor force rate is, definitionally, and you know what the number is.
Some economist, economics reporters, I think it’s CNN, have just stumbled on to it, and you ought to hear them try to figure out what it is and define it. They know it’s not good but they’re not quite sure why. Bottom line is, we’re up to 93 million Americans not working. Not in the labor force. That 5.4% unemployment number is irrelevant. We have more people in this country not working than since the Carter seventies. They’re all eating, however. That’s an important point to make.
In the midst of all this we find the Millennials, and the thing that I’ve always noticed about the Millennials, and the thing that’s really frustrated me about Millennials, there’s two things that frustrate me about them. In the midst of this obvious economic stagnation, for some reason they’re not blaming current economic policies. They blame the country. And it’s not that they blame the country, at least in the news stories I see that talk about this, it’s not they blame the country. They just think that the country’s better days are behind with us. That they just happened to be born at the wrong time. They happened to be born and are coming of age at that point in history where America is on the downswing.
So they’re losing faith in the country. They’re losing faith in the nation’s economic system. They’re not losing faith in Obama. They don’t even tie this dilapidated, limping-along economy with the president. It’s uncanny. You and I know throughout our lives presidents have been associated with the economic performance, particularly in election years, forever. But here comes the Millennial generation. They’re living the results of Obama and Democrat Party economic policy, and they don’t even know it. They just think the country is on the downswing, and it’s just unfortunate.
Now, understandably they have not been educated properly. Obama and the Democrat Party’s never gonna be held to account in a classroom. But they do have parents. They have had parents that should have been able to push back against some of this stuff, but really, folks, it’s not good. It’s not good for them to think it’s the country on the downswing, the country’s seen its best days, and to not tie any of this malaise, stagnation, flatline-ism, whatever, because it is directly related to Obama economic policy.
It’s directly related to the government growing and growing, taxes being increased and increased, and the economy where careers and fortunes are made is getting smaller and smaller. Call it the private sector. I don’t like calling it the private sector. It sounds exclusive and I think it can have negative connotations, but that’s what I’m talking about. The economy is getting stronger. The government’s meeting more of it alive. It just took one-sixth of it with Obamacare.
So the lack of proper education on this, combined with a natural inclination to think the Democrats are wonderful and the Republicans aren’t leads the Millennial generation to be among the most clueless about why they are currently in this economic circumstance of any generation that I can remember. And I’m not insulting them. There’s a reason for their ignorance. There’s a reason they’re clueless. They haven’t been caught economics. They’ve been taught capitalism stinks. They’ve been taught corporations are evil.
You know, as I reference oftentimes, I spend a lot of time interacting with Millennials. Not personally, but I read what they write. I go to their websites. I pay attention to what they’re seeing. You would not believe. I’ll admit this is a pet peeve of mine. It really is. I’m not even sure why. But I almost have a visceral reaction when I read anything where a Millennial writer is demanding that something be free or is celebrating that something is free and writing a big article informing all of his Millennial buddies that X, Y whatever it is is free. And if it’s free, it’s good. If it’s free, the company offering it is wonderful. And if a company isn’t giving something away or is overcharging for it, then they’re instantly in the bull’s-eye or the crosshairs.
I’ve thought about this. Why does this bother me so much? And one of the reasons is I run into it all the damn time, especially in the tech blogs. The tech blogs will have a post on how a 99-cent app, 99 cents is too expensive, but if it’s on sale for free, all of a sudden it’s the best app in the world, but at 99 cents it’s a rip-off. Ninety-nine freaking cents! You can’t go anywhere and buy something for 99 cents, but you can get an app for your phone or your iPad for 99 cents.
But this celebration of free, I think it bothers me because of what I think it stands for and represents. I grew up believing if you want something, you pay for it. That’s your responsibility. And if you want what you can’t afford, well, then you work harder and earn enough money to be able to get what you can afford or find a way to borrow it or what have you. But to sulk and run around and complain because things cost money and that they ought to be free, I don’t know. It bothers me. And I’m probably overthinking it, but it nevertheless does. And I’ve never encountered it.
When we grew up, we were suspicious of things for free. Weren’t you, Snerdley? I was suspicious of stuff that was free. Okay, what’s the trick, what’s the come-on here, because that’s right, you get what you pay for. You know where it manifests itself? I tell you, the Millennials and tech blogs, they hate Comcast. I mean, they hate Comcast more than they hate Republicans. They hate AT&T, they hate anybody that charges them money to use their phones. And the reason they hate cable is ’cause they want HBO for nothing. They don’t want to have to steal it.
So HBO heard them and came out with a stand alone app, a streaming app that doesn’t require you to have a cable subscription to use on your phone or your iPad. It costs 15 bucks a month. Well, it was good for a while. Then, “How dare they, $15 a month? Then Showtime’s gonna charge $15. How am I ahead?” As though, do you think this stuff doesn’t cost anything to produce?
RUSH: Snerdley just got a drive-by call from an angry Millennial shouting at him, “You tell Rush, ‘Damn right we want free apps, because these people that write the apps are collecting all our data and selling it to advertisers. It all ought to be free,'” and then he hung up. I said to Snerdley, “See? What did I tell you?”
Anyway, here’s Cody in Portland, Oregon, a Millennial it says here that you are. Is that right?
CALLER: I am indeed, yes.
RUSH: Well, great to have you here, and I applaud your courage.
CALLER: It’s a pleasure to talk to you. I’ve been waiting a long time to be able to get through to talk to you. But I’m calling not because I’m an angry Millennial. Well, I am an angry Millennial, wanting to stick up for the hardworking Millennials.
RUSH: Okay. So… Well, this is good. So you’re acknowledging that there are some?
CALLER: There are many out there that I know of. I’m actually here in Portland, Oregon, so this is a place where there are very few, obviously. But I also want to stick up for the ones that I know.
RUSH: Well, I know. Look, I actually… If you want to know the truth, Cody, it’s not that I feel sorry for liberals at all. I’m really conflicted. I feel very bad for Millennials. I know the world was promised to you people. Your parents, in some cases your grandparents, are the most selfish generation this country’s produced since I don’t know when, the Baby Boomers — the first generation had so much free time that all they thought about was themselves.
And you’ve had the world promised to you by politicians. You’ve had politicians promising you this, free this, free that — every mess in life, they’re gonna fix for you — and you’ve been let down. None of what you’ve been promised has come through. None of the good times that you’ve been promised have come through. The Millennials that have bought into it and have waited for politicians to fix things for them are sadly disappointed.
But you don’t blame the politicians.
They blame the country or they worry that the country has seen its better days, and that’s a disaster, as far as I’m concerned. But the idea that you guys have all this student loan debt? Yeah! You were told by everybody, “You have to go to college and you have to go to a big college, and you have to study all this other stuff that’s not gonna do you a damn bit of good,” and you’ve spent all this money doing it!
You’ve been ill-advised.
You have been promised things that nobody can deliver.
It’s no wonder you feel dejected.
You just have to figure out who has let you down and who hasn’t, and America has not let you down.
RUSH: There are 93 million Americans not working — 93 million! That is more than the population of 10 New York Citys, folks, not working. And they tell us the economy’s roaring? Come on.
RUSH: Just one thing about this millennial business and the fact that Whole Foods has all of a sudden realized the millennials don’t have the money to shop there: Why did they ever think they would or did? Have they not seen the student debt load? Have they not seen the unemployment numbers involving them? I mean, this is a major American corporation. Where did they get the idea that these Millennials have the same amount of money as their parents and can afford these kinds of products?
You know, it’s not that. I’ll tell you what it is. Very quickly, it’s a little bit… Oh, I don’t know what the word for it is. But they just assume that these Millennials are part of the a New Age health consciousness, and they’ll go out and spend whatever it takes to be able to afford all these politically correct kinds of food.
And they found out that, hey, even though they might want the correct kinds of food — the biggest free-range this and the healthiest that — they don’t have the money to pay for it. Yeah, fascinating. I’m fascinated by how corporate entities market, how they learn what they’re doing wrong, and how they misjudged this one off the bat. I’m telling you, it’s ’cause they’re all good liberals. (interruption)
Well, I know Whole Foods has competition they didn’t used to and so forth.