Prices beyond the reach of poor Filipinos because of “woke” millennials promoted by Rappler

The term “millennial” does not have noble origins. It is actually a concept cooked up by marketers and brand managers several years ago who wanted nothing more than a convenient catch-all for the next generation of suckers to sell useless stuff to. Millennials — specially in the setting of prosperous East Asian economies — are salivated over by trinket and trendy foodie sellers supposedly because of their high disposable incomes. In the Philippines this is particularly true because Filipino “millennials” and those beyond — well into their mid-20s to early-30s — live in their parents’ homes or in parent-funded bachelor(ette) pads, drive daddy-funded cars, and spend using daddy-guaranteed credit cards.

Even in supposedly impoverished Philippines, “millennials” represent a significant force of conspicuous consumption. Even if, say, conspicuous Filipino consumers represent just 10 percent of the Philippine population, that’s still 10 million people (“millennials” and their parents combined) with an appetite for First World standards of living — and spending. This demographic is almost the size of two Singapores within the Philippine economy in terms of economic power wielded. They have the power to tip prices over the edge simply by driving around their gas-guzzling SUVs, gorging on Panda Express and Starbucks lattes every other day, and jetting off to Siargao (and, perhaps, soon) Boracay for their millennial conventions whenever their “weekend starts”.

It is, in fact, interesting to note that the term “millennials” which, supposedly, refers to an age demographic seems to apply only to wealthy young Filipino adults. Do a Google image search of “Filipino millennials” and images of private school kiddies doing their “woke” selfies dominate the results.

Most interesting of all, we find that many of this imagery is promoted by none other than “social news network” Rappler — that self-styled bastion of millennial “wokeness” on the Net. This is not surprising considering that Rappler is, in essence, more a marketing channel than the agent of “ethical journalism” it would like Filipinos to believe it is.

Herein is evidence that the use of the notion of “millennials” in the context of Philippine “activism” is really a dishonest enterprise. Yet many Filipinos who fall within this demographic have taken up the call to run with this brand and wear it like a badge of honour in street rallies. This action on the part of self-appointed “millennials” are to prompts originating from Big Corporate News Media. In 2016, for example, CNN Philippines and ABS-CBN News published news “reports” with the titles LOOK: Millennials’ witty placards at November 30 anti-Marcos rally and From tweets to the streets: Millennials lead Marcos burial protests respectively and, in 2017, Rappler chimed in with How millennials protested on Sept 21 – from streets to social media.

Suffice to say, these “woke” millennials are hardly the independent thinkers they fancy themselves as, seeing how quickly they lap up the mind games of Corporate news media outlets working on the dime of their ad revenue overlords. Poor kiddies. It would have been good for a chuckle had these youths been no more than unharmed victims of clever marketing. The trouble is, they are conscripted to the nefarious ends of political powers-that-be who seem to see destabilisation and economic sabotage as tools employed to the execution of their respective agendas. Unwitting child-soldiers of the digital age, they are.

Thus there is a higher-level wokeness (for real) that all young Filipinos need to wake up to. The fake “wokeness” of those corporate-manufactured “millennials” of yore has been revealed as a scam. It’s time Filipinos of all ages put to rest the dishonest fantasy idea of a “millennial-led revolution”. This and its quaint lexicon of trendy jibberish — “woke”, “cancelldt”, etc. — are another set of relics that should be put in a museum of digital infamy. Infamy implies historical badass, though. Perhaps the word snowflake would be more appropriate in this case.

The spending habits of “millennials” are good for the economy, of course — because they keep retailers and entire supply chains backing these businesses humming. Regarding millennials as any more noble than a source of conspicuous consumption is plain dishonest and a product of marketing genius at best, propaganda of campus communist recruiters at worst.

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24 Comments on “Prices beyond the reach of poor Filipinos because of “woke” millennials promoted by Rappler”

  1. It is very obvious that millennials are created to promote the elite way of life, that being a millennials and an elite looks “cool” and if it looks “cool”, why shouldn’t the ordinary youth follow and emulate?

  2. @benign0: I really don’t understand why you think spending money causes price increases. Crudely speaking, when people buy more of something, the price falls, because making it and selling it becomes more efficient. The net profit margin of virtually every business tends to a range between 5-10%, because that’s where competition forces it to be (it doesn’t go to zero because if your profit is zero, you can’t stay out of business, so nobody attempts to undercut their competitor prices TOO severely unless they have a death wish).

    If you look at the products the poor are most interested in – food and fuel – there are certainly factors where the rich are involved, but it’s nothing to do with buying luxury goods. It’s more to do with their desire to buy luxury goods without working hard for them.

    – The rice market is controlled by a powerful clique that keeps the retail price high;
    – Efficient, modern engines are blocked on import, so people burn more fuel than they need to;
    – Modern electrical equipment is likewise blocked, so people burn fuel where they would be better off using electricity (farm water-pumping springs to mind)
    – Fuel distribution, like rice, is controlled a small group of very rich people;
    – Fuel taxation, like all taxation, is wasted;

    There’s also the absolutely ludicrous burden of administration, paperwork, and taxation that’s put onto businesses. Most small businesses spend the equivalent of AT LEAST one extra full-time employee just to comply with paper-shuffling nonsense imposed by City Hall, BIR, SSS, Philhealth, etc … plus, of course, the actual charges and taxes. That all ends up added onto the retail price.

    So that’s the rich. On the other side of the coin, the ‘poor’ are their own worst enemy. Worth mentioning the charcoal “industry” here, which basically involves the theft of public property (trees) and is an important commodity for cooking. Bottled gas is cheaper than charcoal (and wastes a lot less time), but Filipinos will always choose the inefficient, expensive option so they can whine about how underprivileged they are.

    Likewise, if rice farmers (for example) wanted to stop being slaves to the rice mafia, they could simply stop growing rice and grow something more profitable and/or useful instead (that would basically be ANY other crop). So we must conclude that they’re perfectly happy being destitute slaves.

    1. You’re missing half the equation, though. There’s the supply side. So while I agree that demand creates opportunity to create economies of scale on the supply side, at some point, demand comes into equilibrium with supply and prices stabilise. Changes in price are usually an outcome of variances in that equilibrium state.

      Where there is strong demand, prices go up if supply does not keep apace. And where there is strong demand plus a willingness to pay a premium on goods and services regardless, you get a double whammy as prices go further up and supply is diverted to buyers who are willing to pay that premium. That latter situation is where “overheating” in an economy begins. The poor lose, of course. And when the poor lose, the volume of shrill voices from the commies and SJWs pump up on cue.

      1. Yes, I realise that, but there are two rebuttals to your position:

        1) Most of the goods you’re referring to (eg., Starbucks lattes) are not those that the poor depend upon, or are even interested in. So it doesn’t matter what happens to the price: the market can bear the increases (if it couldn’t, then by definition no such increase would occur). In fact it’s a GOOD THING if prices of luxury goods rise, because that cash is recirculating through the low-income economy.

        2) Where there is overlap, the scarcity is entirely artificial, as I pointed out. Rice scarcity and fuel scarcity is deliberately engineered; in addition, poor people are convinced that they need those things, or prevented from choosing cheaper, better alternatives.

        The logical response would be for the poor to refuse to play the game. You can’t win when the rules are inherently unfair. To an extent they already do this (for example, the ‘grey economy’ is huge, because most small businesses would go under if they tried to operate legally). But they could go a lot further, and they simply choose not to. Victimhood is too deeply ingrained in the culture.

        1. There are people who wants to play the game of hero-martyr-saint, because they want to seen as being above the ordinary and this will not be possible if there were no victims in needs to be save, so I guess victimhood must also be engineered.

      2. The demand for Starbucks lattes places upstream demand on the supply of input into its production. So ultimately that impacts commodity prices — including the price of land upon which this trendiness is built.

        And regardless of whether one factor into the supply-and-demand equation is artificially-induced or not does not change the fact of the law of supply-and-demand. The input into any law or equation can be manipulated to induce any sort of output those who have the power to manipulate desire, but said laws and equations will still hold in much the same way as a car will still be a car regardless of how much or how little you push whatever pedal to make it go faster or slower.

        1. >> The demand for Starbucks lattes places upstream demand on the supply of input into its production.

          Yes it does. And that’s exactly what you want, isn’t it? Because the inputs for a Starbucks latte are low-skill labor, coffee beans, and milk – which presents opportunities for the suppliers of those things. As for the land issue, what SHOULD happen is that farmers will see viable profits in (say) pastured dairy and will convert their operations to take advantage of that. Where it all falls to pieces is that Filipinos aren’t interested in following the market. They’ll just carry on growing what they grow, whine about the shrinking market and falling profits, and hold their hands out to the government.

          Taking your reasoning to its logical conclusion, it would be better if there were NO demand for low-skill labor and agricultural projects. Which clearly doesn’t make much sense.

        2. Well, I see common ground here in that I agree that Filipino suppliers are too lazy to “follow the demand” and, instead, continue to carry on in endeavours that they stick to because of tradition or because they were told to.

          Extending that further, I draw upon what I asserted earlier (which drew a lot of flak from all corners) — that to deal with inflation, Filipinos just need to think of ways to make more money. The argument of choice against that is consistent with that laziness around following the demand that characterises the Filipino character — that it is impossible to find ways to make more money other than to work harder (which, itself, is impossible if you are already working all of your waking hours). The missing piece in the thinking is the idea of working smarter in order to squeeze out more value out of every hour of human labour.

        3. >> … or because they were told to.

          That. It’s often noted that Filipinos who leave the Philippines sometimes (not always) get their act together. I’m convinced that a big factor there is [i]not being told what to do[/i], or at least not being told to do things that are objectively stupid. Of course some continue to carry counterproductive instructions in their heads for their whole lives, but some of them escape the trap.

          >> The missing piece in the thinking is the idea of working smarter in order to squeeze out more value out of every hour of human labour.
          We can certainly agree on that. I sometimes watch in amazement as Filipinos toil away at something in the most inefficient way possible, for no apparent gain. There’s no denying that a lot of Filipinos work hard, but if they spent five minutes THINKING before diving into activity, they’d achieve a lot more, and perhaps get paid more for it.

          Of course I realise that they’re often being TOLD to do things inefficiently – for example, when I see DPWH employees ineffectually cleaning mud off the roads with a walis tambo, I know it’s because their bosses have stolen all the money, not because the government can’t afford to buy road-sweeping machines.

          Even so, given the choice, Filipinos will usually pick the slowest possible method of doing anything of their own accord, and seem to take special pleasure in wasting time on tasks that don’t need doing (my favourite example is moving dust from one side of the yard to the other, and setting fire to piles of leaves).

    2. Marius,
      “(it doesn’t go to zero because if your profit is zero, you can’t stay out of business, so nobody attempts to undercut their competitor prices TOO severely unless they have a death wish)”

      In general you are correct and right but there are – real event – situations, that your statement goes sour.

      When I want a piece of the cake (read: a piece of a new market), I can dump my product below production price (below cost price). This is what Chinese companies do with for instance steel. It is said that the Chinese government subsidises that dumping.

      1. That was a typo by the way … should have been “you can’t stay in business”, of course.

        yes, I agree there are limited circumstances where a company CAN absorb negative profits. But in general it’s a mug’s game. Somebody, somewhere has to pay the price. In the case of Chinese dumping, it’s the Chinese taxpayer. Similarly with US dumping of agricultural produce.

        In the absence of subsidy, the net profit margin for private-sector business is remarkably consistent. Very few businesses achieve >15%.

  3. Filipino millennials promoted by Rappler is gruesome screwsome. Rappler it seems defines millennials as wealthies not age bracket. Rappler thoroughly screwed it. Rappler promote gossip journalism and forensic evidences are typewritten notarized certified true copy affidavits instead of forensic science and forensic accounting.

    Rappler is as clueless as the rest of the Filipinos.

    1. Rappler is not news website but OP-ED masquerading as news. Pathetic !!!

      What I want to hear from Rappler is telling the Filipinos that COLONIAL MENTALITY IS GOOD BECAUSE RAPPLER CANNOT FIND ANYTHING WRONG WITH THE LAST REMAINING COLONISTS-TURNED-INDUSTRIALISTS.

  4. Shame, you didn’t put in “Broke” with “Woke” or “Brokeness” with “Wokeness” because consumer idiocy and wasting money on causes without any financial accountability is the “Millennials” that Rappler describes. Can’t have one without the other, considering the idiocy of these same well-off rich kids who seem blatantly ignorant to the world views outside their own, who knows that to be “Woke”, they have to pay and consume goods from a company and brand they worship. Like supporting Nike when they have slave workshops, only because they follow #MeToo on sexual harassment.

  5. These kids, who are called : “Millenneals”, are just discovering the world and are growing up. Some do stupid things. Some do good things.
    They will grow up, and will discover life and the world, that are supposed to be , what they think, is not what they think…

    Retailers and other sellers, bait hem with things to buy, that they don’t need. These young people still lack the experience to deal with the nefarious tricks of the world. And, bad people are taking advantage of them.

  6. “The missing piece in the thinking is the idea of “working smarter” in order to squeeze out more value out of every hour of human labor.”

    But it takes serious education to be smart, something that Pilipinos are not serious about. “Education are for the smart ones not for me” you often hear them say, and with education becoming less and less accessible to the public because of high tuition fees, it just strengthen the justification of laziness to go to school and be educated, and the craziness of all of these is that they go to another education that also requires skills and knowledge, robbing other people.

    1. >> the craziness of all of these is that they go to another education that also requires skills and knowledge, robbing other people.

      LOL.

      I’ve remarked before that if Filipinos put as much effort into improving themselves as they do into cheating, lying, stealing, and evading responsibility, they’d all be a lot better off.

      What annoys me most is that every Filipino today has an expensive smartphone and an internet connection. The whole corpus of human knowledge is open to them, mostly for free. They can go to organisations like the Khan Academy and learn about anything at all. And what do they do with their internet time? Screw around on Facebook.

      1. People try to live a life of luxury because they don’t like to live a life of austerity, although the reality is the reverse, they are trying to live a life of austerity so they can have a bit of that life of luxury. When you live in the world of the el.., I mean rich people, you do do what the rich people do, vices and all.

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