E ρε παιδια. Επρεπε να είχαμε γεννηθεί 20-25 χρονάκια πιο πριν. Χάσαμε τη μεγάλη μάσα, η πρηγούμενη γενιά πάρταρε και τώρα μας έρχεται εμάς ο λογαριασμός. (συγνώμη για την αγγλικήν. Κάτι παρόμοιο βρήκα και στην Αθενς Βοϊς.
Επίσης σημειώστε οτι ο τύπος είναι Tory και λίγο μαλάκας αλλά θέτει το θέμα στη δημόσια συζήτηση - που δεν είναι και λίγο. Η δικαιοσύνη μεταξύ των γενεών είναι θέμα ταμπού τον τελευταίο καιρό.
How the Baby Boomers Took their Children's Future – and Why They Should Give it Back
I believe the heavy impact of this recession on what has been called the lost generation of young people is part of a wider pattern. In my new book, The Pinch, I argue that my generation – the baby boomers – are in danger of dumping too many problems on the younger generation.
The boomers – roughly those who were born between 1945 and 1965 – have done, and continue to do, some great things, but now the bills are coming in, and it is the younger generation who will pay them. We have a good idea of what at least some of these future costs are: the cost of climate change, of investing in the infrastructure our economy will need if we are to prosper, paying pensions when the big boomer cohort retires – on top of the cost of servicing the debt the government has built up.
I believe that a lot of our social and economic problems arise from a failure to understand and value the contract between the generations. Much of what we see as social breakdown is the breakdown of relations between the generations, much mistrust is between generations, and much of what has gone wrong with our economy is failure to get the balance right between generations. This is what low saving and big deficits are all about, and it is what environmental degradation is about too. Sometimes, we do not even appear to understand what we are doing to future generations, and how much we owe to previous generations.
However, I do not believe that the baby boomers are bad people. But we are so sensitive to injustice within a generation that the problem of unfairness between the generations seems to pass us by.
The start of setting this right is just to recognise the issue.
And the next step is, of course, to develop policies that follow. One obvious example is the importance of tackling the budget deficit, which imposes a burden on younger workers that is potentially far greater than any individual student debt they may have, however burdensome that feels.
There are other ways of achieving a fair balance between the generations. The government proposed to raise the pension age so slowly that it was in danger of not even keeping up with the rate of improvement in life expectancy. The Conservative party has announced that we need to get started on this sooner. It is a tough decision, but, with the marvellous improvement in life expectancy, we simply cannot afford future pensioners being even longer in receipt of the state pension.
A further challenge is improving social mobility. The post-war boomers have enjoyed the benefits of a surge in white collar jobs and the spread of opportunity. It was a real shock when comparisons between boomers born in 1958 and Generation X people born in 1970 showed a decline in social mobility. We can do better, and that means imaginative action at every stage of education and beyond.
One of the biggest responsibilities of government is to maintain a fair balance between the generations. We can, as a nation, do so much better at discharging that responsibility.
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