Latest on TikTok: Never-Worked Teens Explain Why You're Poor

It’s 9 in the morning and Segundo hasn’t gone to bed yet. He spends the last minutes of his shift behind the wheel of the taxi after a busy night: “On Thursday nights almost more people go out than on Fridays. In addition, they are people with more purchasing power, of those who leave through Bilbao and Ponzano. More tip “, he tells this newspaper.

Segundo came from Santo Domingo, a city near Quitoin 2003. He started in construction, then went through private security and ended up as a driver for a fleet of taxis. Work around 12 hours a dayalmost always at night and on the weekend, to support his family here… and part of the family there: “Things are not good in Ecuador. Every month he sent my mom 500 euroswhich she distributes with my brothers, nephews… that money is very abundant there,” he details.

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Mario Escribano

What Segundo does not suspect is that some of those teenagers he takes home at night, the ones who spend on a party what the Ecuadorian saves for half a family, when they get up they give economics lessons on TikTok. They pass the hangover, they sit in front of the camera and they explain why you are poor. They don’t need to know the rudiments of the matter, or even have quoted a single day to amend the flat to any little job.

This figure of the adolescent consultant has become one of the top trends on TikToka network where choreographies abound and not so much financial knowledge.

Second, like 56% of Spaniards, live for the day. The marathon days behind the wheel give him enough to support his three children, pay the rent and send money to Ecuador. It barely gives you to save 100 euros a month, who wants to allocate them for a taxi license in the future. I have the solution: “Second, you are not honest with yourself,” I snap at him. “You don’t stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself that you are in a bad financial situation for which you are solely responsible and only you can get out of it. You don’t understand money. You make financial decisions based on emotions and not reason. You buy a phone you don’t need and a car that’s too expensive to impress other people.”

We are in the middle of a gas station in Doctor Esquerdo, surrounded by people who go to work, but I do not guarantee that Segundo will contain the desire to slap me. She has begun to listen to me surprised and has become angry as I have mentioned the motive. She takes her terminal out of her pocket, a low-end Huawei. “He’s six years old,” he replies to me, “and now, to top it off, I don’t have a car.”

Before you continue, let me explain that the phrase comes from the tiktoker socialmarioa finance expert with more than 2 million followers, from his video The three reasons why you are poor. Mario maintains in his biography being a repository of “the tricks that governments and people in power don’t want you to know.” Second he watches the full video and is speechless. “I don’t have anything, you could say I’m poor, but for none of the reasons this boy gives”, she stammers, holding her mobile. “He says that he spends a lot of time at leisure and nothing to train me. If you work 12 hours and sleep 7… When are you going to study? My few free hours are for my family and friends.”

Abusing your patience, I put another video. This is from the young businesswoman Claudia Millanwith 700,000 followers. “The poor work for money. The rich create businesses systematically. Because? Because they have different information: they read books, they don’t believe everything on the news, and they hang out with people who earn more and know more than they do.”

It’s enough for the taxi driver, who doesn’t have the strength to continue. As he adjusts his belt to return home, on the border between Madrid and Toledo, he is left thinking about an answer: “That girl speaks like someone who has always had money. Try to leave your country with nothing and start from scratch with a family… In that situation, your advice is useless.”

Until recently, this type of discourse was limited to financial gurus which were intended sell you their courses to get rich. However, as this type of beach bar has lost credit due to the constant scandals that end up in the press, the story has spread among young people… who don’t sell anything.

These are short, exhaustive messages that tirelessly insist on the idea that it is enough to propose to be rich. Sometimes bordering on aporophobia: “Rich people read books. The poor thing, the television“, says a message with 61,000 likes. Poor people manipulate women with the Ikea effect, holds another. This shows how the rich taste wine and the poor spoil it with ice. “People with a poor mentality want everything for free, and sometimes they don’t even value what you give them.“, consider the tiktoker Madalina Vasile.

Behind many of these comments is the book The secret (Uranus, 2007) of the pseudoscientific Rhonda Byrne. In it he postulates the law of attractiona theory that says that a person’s thoughts, both conscious and unconscious, cause consequences similar to what is desired. the secretor, which generated a legion of followers after its publication, has been discredited by economists and psychologists on numerous occasions. They consider it one of the self-help books and viciously criticize Byrne’s attempt to present it as a scientific theory. However, academic articles are lost in the vastness of the internet, while the book continues to be published each year and is present in bookstores across the country. Thus, a new wave of young people is reassigning themselves to the if you want you can Byrne’s.

A separate mention deserves an older caste, but not for that reason irrelevant: the lonchafinistas. Surely you have come across them on some occasion: They are young people who explain how to save 400 euros by charging 1,200. Fanatics of saving by nature, they advocate not wasting a penny with the goal of retiring before retirement with an economic cushion. From the love of ordering thin slices at the delicatessen, to make two sandwiches instead of one, its denomination proceeds. Ironically, it is a trend that wants to avoid precariousness… applying a huge dose of precariousness.

These are some of his commandments:

  • Change your mobile rate. You do not need to spend 20 euros per month. With the Digi rate of 3 euros you have plenty.
  • Learn to hold back. Do you want a Coke? No. You don’t want it. Convince yourself that you don’t want it.
  • Do you remember the dimensions of a pea? Well that’s what you need to brush your teeth. Nothing to put three kilos of toothpaste.
  • Collect metal objects to take them to the scrap in due course.
  • Try to always pay with cash. The ideal point is to have little cash and 99% of the money invested.

“I am struck by the discourse they display based on don’t listen to what the news tells you and don’t believe what the banker tells you. It’s a half way mix between conspiracy theorists and anarcho-capitalism”, says Yago Álvarez Barbaeconomist and author of The Salmon Against the Current. “It is a narrative that tries to show a world in which entrepreneurs, who in this parallelism put themselves at the same level as anti-vaxxers and those who claim to know ‘the plan for the new world order’, They are a kind of new breed of people chosen to end the established order.”

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A common pattern in most of the videos is the abuse of survivor bias, a classic fallacy that draws general conclusions from exceptional cases. In this way, if Bill Gates and Warren Buffett agree that they made their first investments in high school, it seems desirable that anyone with aspirations should also do so, ignoring the detail that high school students do not usually have knowledge of the market.

“It is normal for this discourse to reach young people,” continues Álvarez Barba. “If you are now 25 years old or younger, you have practically grown up in crisis. Since 2008, the financial crisis, Total confidence in the system and in public and democratic institutions has been lost. That is why this anarcho-capitalist discourse triumphs in the same way as the conspiracy. Faced with that helplessness and loneliness before a world that does not offer them clear future opportunitiessuch as the difficulty of finding a job that will get you out of precariousness, these salesmen mounted on their Lamborghinis present success stories through speculation and economic hits as the objective”.

“But on TikTok Those who are ruined by following these tips never come outOf course,” concludes the journalist.

It’s 9 in the morning and Segundo hasn’t gone to bed yet. He spends the last minutes of his shift behind the wheel of the taxi after a busy night: “On Thursday nights almost more people go out than on Fridays. In addition, they are people with more purchasing power, of those who leave through Bilbao and Ponzano. More tip “, he tells this newspaper.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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