It has come to my attention that the Baby Boomers are getting it in the neck again. They have spent the kids’ inheritance after raiding their piggy-banks and blown it all on a couple of hookers and a shedload of cocaine while on a cruise around the Med.
The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, says Boomers who are living mortgage-free are not facing up the reality of how the housing crisis affects the young. He claims older people have no understanding of the problems and are living in a different world. That’s them told, then.
The Sun gives a good outline of those dastardly Boomers here.
Boomers were born from 1945-65 and, in the US especially, there were a lot of them. These babies grew up to become the healthiest, fittest, most active and most affluent generation up to that point.
According to the Sun: ‘They would also see themselves as the most unique. The high birth rate in the late 40s meant by the mid to late 60s a large proportion of the population were their teens and young adults that would start the youth movements and hippie culture that defined the era.
‘In 2004, British Baby Boomers held 80 per cent of the UK’s wealth and bought 80 per cent of top-of-the range cars, 80 per cent of cruises and 50 per cent of skincare products.’ You see what odious people the Boomers are, with their smart cars and soft skin.
It is true that in the US the Boomers had it very good and are the most selfish generation ever to walk the earth.
However, as I have explained before, I am not sure that those who were born between 1945 and 1965 in the UK had the same material prosperity. The last time I checked, the UK was bankrupt after WWII and had to beg the US for a loan. And what did it do with this loan? Why, it built the Welfare State, something Millennials love even though it has heaped debt upon their heads.
Indeed, Millennials love the socialised health system that is the NHS despite the fact that it is the Boomers who will bankrupt the whole thing in the next 20 years because, as the Sun puts it so eloquently, ‘Baby Boomers are now becoming pensioners, which puts a large burden on the public purse. They are also increasingly requiring healthcare in their old age, leading to strains on the NHS.’
Truly, I tell you, never was there a more opportune time to push your granny off the bus.
I must say, however, I do find it somewhat ironic that we are all blaming the Boomers for the predicament of ‘Generation Rent’. David Willetts decries the inter-generational unfairness of it all. And perhaps he is right.
The Boomers remade society for themselves, it seems, then rigged the system so they would have free university with grants followed by great jobs, and own a house before they were 30. They thought only about themselves and now they are pulling up the ladder behind them.
Of course, Millennials are willing to accept the sexual insanity revolution the Boomers brought in (because the Boomers were just too special for the ‘old ways’) but for some reason the Millennials are not on board with economic liberalism – the winner-takes-all mentality.
If only there was a philosophy out there that viewed society not as something to be enjoyed by each person individually in the present, its resources to be exhausted in the immediate here and now, but more as a kind of contract or partnership between those who are living, those who are dead and those who are yet to be born.
If only such a world-view existed. If only those Boomers viewed not just their own inheritance but the collective inheritance as an obligation upon them to preserve before passing it on to the next generation.
Of course, such a value system exists, and it is conservatism. Burke was not merely arguing for such a contract between the generations. He argued that such a contract in fact exists and that it confers benefits and obligations on the current generations. The Boomers took the benefits; they were not so big on the obligations or the self-restraint.
And yet in desperation the Millennials turn to socialism as the saviour, which as I have explained will only make their situation worse. Perhaps with a little persuasion they will see the light and become born-again conservatives before it is too late. Where there is life, there is hope.