News·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Gen Z, Rep. George Santos, and Dr. Phil

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February 1, 2023

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The Story

Gen Z might not want to talk money.

Why not?

Gen Z grew up during the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID recession. Now, they’re living through record-high inflation. While some are poking fun at egg prices, many apparently don’t want to talk about what’s actually going on with their bank accounts. A new study from Intuit found that Gen Z would rather talk about sex or politics than salaries, savings, and credit card debt.

Surprise, those topics are more fun.

Sure. But nearly two-thirds of people born between 1997 and 2012 say they don’t feel confident managing money. A majority aren’t sure if they’ll have enough money to retire or if it’s even worth setting long-term financial goals. And 70% feel behind when they compare their lives (and salaries) to people on social media. More than half surveyed said they’ve lied about their finances to try to keep up.

What can they (and maybe me) do?

Two-thirds reportedly said they don’t know how to invest. Many also have yet to try a budget. That might be a good place to start. For anyone who wants to start budgeting, there’s a template for that. Cutting debt down is always a good idea. For the Gen Zers who want to invest but aren’t sure where to start, there are answers for that, too.


Gen Z is often seen as the most open of generations, especially when it comes to breaking historical taboos around mental health. But many are struggling to speak up about things like debt and bad investments. And that fear could be holding an entire generation back from building solid financial practices.

And Also...This

Who’s taking a step back…

Rep. George Santos (R-NY). Yesterday, the controversial first-term House rep announced he’s temporarily stepping down from two congressional committee assignments. Santos has been in the spotlight since winning his seat in November. That is, after lying about things in his background ranging from education to past jobs. There are also allegations that he swindled a homeless vet whose dog was dying, lied about his grandparents being Holocaust survivors, did not have employees who died at the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, and *takes deep breath* lied about surviving an assassination attempt. The list goes on. He’s also the subject of local, statefederal, and international investigations. Now, there are bipartisan calls for Santos to resign. Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called it an “appropriate decision,” saying Santos will “be able to get committees back” once he’s cleared. But critics, like Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY), questioned the decision asking “why is he stopping there?"

…Oh and speaking of freshmen lawmakers, Rep. Cory Mills (R-FL) needs a debrief on what goes into a welcome basket. Not even Santos could make this up. 

What’s apparently not equitable…

The IRS. Yesterday, a new study found that the IRS is about three times more likely to audit Black taxpayers. Researchers from Stanford University and the Treasury Department said the racial disparity isn’t because of racist IRS staff — especially since they don’t know the race of each tax filer. Instead, they say the inequity is driven by an algorithm the agency uses. It flags potential errors in returns that claim certain tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) supplementing low-income workers’ incomes. The researchers didn't make any formal recommendations for what the IRS or Congress can do — but hope they will “tweak” the algorithm.

Where there’s still turmoil…

Iran. Yesterday, it was reported that an Iranian couple in their 20s were sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for dancing in the street. Astiyazh Haghighi and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi — with a large social media following — were reportedly arrested back in November after posting a video dancing in front of Tehran’s Azadi Tower. Haghighi wasn’t wearing the mandatory headscarf, a move some saw as solidarity with the Iranians who have taken to the streets calling for a change in leadership and laws. Now, the regime has convicted the pair of corruption, prostitution, and national security charges. 

  • Quiet defiance: Following a deadly crackdown that led to thousands of arrests and at least four executions, large anti-regime protests have quieted. But some Iranians remain defiant. Thousands of women are reportedly going out in public without the mandated headscarf and smaller groups of demonstrators are still gathering. 

What’s looking up...

Mpox. Yesterday, the Biden admin ended the US public health emergency declaration for the virus. Over the summer, the virus spread across the world, killing at least 90 people and impacting thousands more — disproportionately affecting the LGBTQIA+ community. But after a weeks-long delay, vaccines came through — and daily reported cases have fallen to the single digits. The takeaway: vaccines and public messaging can work. But those takeaways may not help us for next time: the news comes as Congress has been deprioritizing money for vaccine development.

While the evidence against gas stoves appears to be heating up…

Banana Boat’s sunscreen is also in the hot seat. 

Who people know about now…

Linda Ronstadt.

Who's walking off the stage...

Dr. Phil.

Live Smarter

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