Millennials, the more than 80 million Americans anywhere in their early 20s to mid-30s, have been singled out for “killing” everything from divorce to canned tuna.
It’s typical for Millennials to bear blame for dramatic cultural and economic changes when their only crime is behaving like everybody else. For example, last year The Wall Street Journal published a report that cited young people for killing grocery stores. The proof? Consumers ages 25 to 34 are spending less at traditional grocers than their parents’ generation did in 1990. Seems pretty damning. But upon closer examination, the stagnation of grocery stores is a complex story that implicates just about everybody. Americans of all ages are relying more on convenience stores, such as CVS, and superstores, such as Walmart, for food to eat at home, and those institutions aren’t typically counted as grocers in government data. Also, Americans of all ages are eating out at restaurants more. The group shifting its spending toward restaurants the fastest? It’s not 20-somethings. It’s people over 65.
In the biggest picture—from cars and houses to restaurants and grocers—Millennials aren’t serial killers. They’re serial scapegoats.
3. These protests, which got their nickname from the colorful clothing item that motorists are required to own, roiled France over the past several weeks, leading to government concessions on a fuel-tax hike.