I could go on for years about this; I’ll probably come back to this at some point, but for now, enjoy the useless disorganised collection of rants.
During recent events, in which there has been much talk of pensions, cost of the treatment of the elderly, and general care standards for the older generations, I am constantly hearing a single “slogan” that seems to convey a bitter feeling towards the younger generation. The statement that “things have never been so good”.
I’m left slightly miffed by this statement, as I’m inclined to say the exact opposite of this; that things have actually never been so bad (at least in semi-living memory; 60 years let’s say).
I’m almost tempted to say that those who were born in the post war years have actually enjoyed quite possibly the “best” time to be alive in the UK’s history; they have benefited more than any other generation.
In the post-war years, then yes, there was much hardship. Rationing continued well into 1954, and there was much poverty in this country. But as the world continued into the 1960s, money and opportunities in this country began to quite literally explode.
The UK experienced explosive growth during the next 3-4 decades, with the population growing by nearly 10 million; a huge amount for such a small country. Industry also improved greatly, with jobs being aplenty, the average income shot up, mortgages were easily available and quality of life improved beyond measure.
This was also the time where the whole idea of the welfare (nanny) state was born, where a slow movement towards the idea that the state in fact owes people, not the other way around. Where child benefit was introduced; although this was mainly to increase population after the terrible loses during the war, so that people who effectively gain money for simply having children.
They benefited most from the whole socialism movement that came about after the second world war; the introduction of child benefit, job seekers allowance, payments to supplement income, sickness pay, and many other acts that were passed to help those who were struggling
Back to the present day however, and those who benefited from this time are left with a somewhat great dilemma. They are starting to have to come to terms with what to do with the rest of their lives. Many didn’t make any arrangements or plans for their retirements, they simply assumed that the state would always look after them; hideously short sighted.
They believed, either through expecting it to be the case, ignorance, or false belief that the state would always be there to assist them in times of great need, in times where work wasn’t so easy to find, or when they weren’t able to work.
However nowadays, claiming benefits is seen as disgusting by these people, those who claim are seen as pariahs, lazy, or even “scum”. Strange coming from the same age group that expect the state to fund their old age. Who expect *ME* to fund their care, or fund their lives after 60/65.
In fact, I’d be inclined to ask to a certain extent why one should retire so early. Yes early, seeing as the average life expectancy in this country is now slowly rising towards the late 80s, *why* should people retire near-on 25 years before the end of their lives?
Thinking about it, if the average person gets a job at the age of around 19/20, and then works through until they are 65, then effectively they are only working for HALF their life. Effectively they are expecting the state; i.e. everyone else to support them.
I wouldn’t go around to some random stranger’s house and expect them to house me for half the year, clothe me, and feed me. Because essentially that is what people are asking for.
Socialism, at least the UK variation is a much misunderstood concept, people seem to be under the impression that it is some sort of bank account, where they can pay in their money at the beginning, and somehow withdraw it at their leisure at a later date. This is not the case, the money that people pay in tax, national insurance and similar outgoings are used to fund others at that time.
But however, back onto the baby boomer generation. They appear to me, to be rather… selfish. To be rather concise, this appears to me what they’ve done:
- Created a welfare system open to mass abuse
- Enjoyed mass growth of industry
- Had easy access to loans and mortgages
- Plundered the worlds resources
- Partied heavily with all the drugs and alcohol they could find
- Enjoyed quite possibly the best music in history
- Witnessed discovery and exploration of both space and earth
- Spent money in huge amounts
- Didn’t invest hardly at all in any infrastructure
- Had free access to university education with no fees
And now that are reaching the latter part of their lives, they are pushing through changes and laws that essentially, outlaw all of the above, to in effect stop any further generations having any fun.
Now we are entering a phase in this country were in essentially, nothing is allowed. Drugs aren’t allowed, smoking is being outlawed slowly, and alcohol will be next. Soon fun won’t be a word in the English language
I find it quite indescribably disgusting that a generation that enjoyed so much is somehow now preventing others from having such experiences.
If anything was to be learned from the riots last year in London and other cities of the UK, it was that there was a huge feeling of… jealousy towards older generations. The young are looking at what the world of today has to offer, and are not seeing much that makes them want to live in this world. The cost of living is rising, crime is rising, there are far less opportunities for both employment and education.
The young of this nation are now feeling so undervalued, so squeezed, and almost hated. Words such as “chav” and “hoodie” are used heavily in the press; the concept of “scrounging work dodgers” is everywhere. The young are being lauded as almost the root cause of the nation’s discontent. Nothing the younger generation can do is right; they have no aspiration, no ideas, and see that they almost have no hope.
But who created the situation where things were allowed to de-generate to this level? Who manipulated the state to the point where people were allowed to get themselves into the situation where they could get away with not working, not contributing to the system?
It’s almost as if the people that are creating the hatred towards the younger generation are the ones that are in the same breath as criticising them for what they’re taking from the state then making it harder for people to improve themselves.
As it stands now, my generation is probably looking at one of the bleakest outlooks on life for many, many generations. Jobs are becoming rarer than gold dust, finding affordable housing; whether it’s rented or otherwise is essentially impossible, finance of any description has effectively become a non-started for people of my age also. Owning a car is more expensive than buying the moon, insurance has gone through the roof despite accident rates being at their lowest in decades, the cost of fuel is now 70%+ tax, which in itself is impacting on the cost of living in general. We are looking at having no state pension at all, no welfare state of any description for our later lives. Hospitals and schools are falling apart due to lack of investment, the police force and defence are having disgusting spending cuts, the country is possibly at it’s most vulnerable in it’s entire history. To make things worse, all of the freedoms that people went to war for in the early part of the 20th century are now being slowly taken away from us, in the name of “protecting” us from alleged terrorism.
And why is this the case? I’m almost convinced, it’s because in the last 50 years of success, people have been completely and thoroughly selfish, they’ve plundered the world’s resources, spent money like there’s no tomorrow with no thought for what would happen afterwards.
The world that I’ll be left, and the generations after me will be left is not looking to be a very habitable place to live at all.
I hope they had fun, I hope they enjoyed their new found freedoms, the good music, the money, the easy accessible finance, the money.
Because as you’ve gotten older you seem hell bent on taking this all away from us all, so that future generations have nothing more than George Orwell’s 1984 left.
Hell, even the film Demolition Man is starting to look realistic.
Back to the original point, I’m not saying that what we pay in pensions to the elderly is right or just, or that they way they are treated in general is by any means acceptable. But you have to wonder, is the moaning that so often comes from the older generations towards the younger generations entirely right?
If you ask me; no.
The phrase “respect your elders” is bullshit in my mind, it should be mutual.