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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Age before booty

There's hardly any aspect of coalition government policy at the moment that isn't creating the conditions for the next wave of mass protest, violence in the streets and civil disobedience. The reason for this, as I read in this month's Prospect, is that health and pension commitments to the baby boomer generation are currently running at 355 per cent of GDP. Basically, we were going to go bankrupt anyway, but the crunch brought it forward a decade.

Thanks to the enormous loss of tax revenues caused by the recession—the cost of all the bank bailouts were a drop in the ocean by comparison—the spending commitments made by governments all over the world have become unsustainable.

[From How to save capitalism – Prospect Magazine « Prospect Magazine]

The boomers have, essentially, been looting national resources and, if anything, the extent of their bare-faced intergenerational theft will increase, because the old tend to vote more than the young. Thus, despite all rational advice to the contrary, the electorate will continue to vote itself completely unaffordable entitlements. Now that the boomers have decided that they don't even have to retire any more, it can surely only be a matter of time before there are "age riots" on par with the race riots of the 1960s. days). But where will they break out? Where will the first roaming gangs of jobless twenty-somethings begin to vent their anger on the aged? I wonder if it might be at the BBC, where they thought that middle-aged Jonathan Ross appealed to the yoof market. Al least he's gone, but now that Dame Joan Bakewell cannot be forced to retire, the next generation of cultural commentators are out in the cold, and it's only a matter of time before they realise that the entire national cultural booty is being denied them and turn nasty.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

1 comment:

Erik Bloodaxe said...

If one is to believe Jared Diamond, the "genocide" in Rwanda was as much an inter-generational as inter-tribal conflict. The country had a population density approximately equal to Holland's, supported only by stone-age agriculture on depleted soils. The old owned the land... the young were hungry... the rest is history.