Another Baby Boomer Meme and National Service

June 30, 2012 56 Comments
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I commented briefly and negatively on Lord Wei’s idea for a national service for new retirees yesterday over at mine. I didn’t get time to go into the thing in any depth, so I thought I’d expand here.

Firstly, we get again this myth that the baby boomer generation are somehow privileged. I can assure you that we are no more or less privileged than any other generation –  there is a mix of the well off and the not so well off. Like most of my peers, I have had to work hard for what I have. Unlike those who went before me, I have not enjoyed the luxury of a job for life and so my pension pot is a mishmash of savings that frankly, don’t amount to much. Those pension plans we were sold a few decades back turned out to be pretty worthless. So, as I grow closer to retirement age, that retirement age creeps inexorably away from me. This, combined with the inconvenient fact that the state pension is built upon a Ponzi scheme that is currently on the brink of collapse means that I am far from well off and unable to consider retiring at 65. The idea, therefore, that Wei has; that we are going to be kicking our heels for the next three decades, so need the state to keep us occupied, is based upon a falsehood, irrespective of the patronising arrogance that underlies it. I most certainly neither need nor want the state to keep me occupied –  I’ll be doing that for myself, by working.

Lord Wei said working part-time, volunteering for charities, or sharing their business experience with young entrepreneurs would help older people avoid boredom in retirement.

I have to say, I’m becoming increasingly irritated with this obsession from various politicians with volunteering. When I retire, should I be fortunate enough to do so, there are places to see, roads to ride, plenty to keep me from boredom. I do not need the state to help me remain occupied as I can do it for myself –  y’know, being all grown up an’ all. Of course, I might consider volunteering. Well, I might if it wasn’t for the politicians who keep banging on about it. So, as it is, I won’t, as this will be enabling them and I refuse, absolutely, to do anything that a politician wants me to do.

They would then be encouraged to make contact with others in the same age group living nearby to discuss what to do with the years ahead.

If I haven’t made contact with them by now, I fail to see what use it is going to be in fifteen years or so. Beside, apart from being old fogeys, what do we have in common? I’d much rather join a local bike club with a mixed age group and a common interest –  that, surely, makes more sense? Well, it might to you and I. To the politicians and their hard-of-thinking hangers on, we are a homogenous group defined by age –  just as if you are homosexual, by sexuality, for example (they will be talking about us being a community next, just you wait and see). They do like their “groups” don’t they? never mind that we are individuals –  lord forfend.

Lord Wei’s plan could win support in government as ministers are sympathetic to moves to encourage older people to volunteer in retirement.

You encourage away. Bearing in mind two things; firstly, it is not the place of government to be involved in this and secondly, every time you go on about it, the more hostile I become, so your goal will remain unachieved –  at least in this neck of the woods.

The Tory peer said ensuring 55-65 year-olds continue to be engaged in the lives of younger people was essential to avoid “war” between generations.

And who, precisely, is stoking this mythical war? Not me, and not anyone else I know out here in the real world. As it is, I’ve just finished a day’s motorcycle training. My trainee was a sixteen year-old learning to ride for the first time. So, I am already engaged with helping the younger generation by passing on skills and knowledge. Butt, therefore, out. And stay out. You are not welcome here.

“Politicians do not focus enough on helping people cope with the big changes in their lives,” he said.

And nor should they. It is not their job to do so. Their job is to focus on the core activities of government. We can be sure that government has become bloated when they think that they are supposed to be poking about in matters that are personal and private.

Wei brings to mind that most chilling of lines; “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

No. Go away. Far away. Please.

Unfortunately, if you think you might escape this absurd idea, it gets worse:

The report, supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, suggests similar “national service” programmes could help those who are just beginning working life, as well as couples who are becoming parents for the first time.

Jeebus!

56 Responses to Another Baby Boomer Meme and National Service

  1. June 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I’m afraid it’s simply not true that the baby boomers aren’t privileged.

    House prices were, say, 3 times average salary. Now they are more like 6 times average salary.

    That difference is an unearned increase in location value, not an earned increase by paid for improvements to buildings. Who is paying for that increase? The following generations.

    At the very least, the massive quantity of borrowing by governments is a transfer from future taxpayers to current benefit recipients — that means all benefits: medical, educational, infrastructure, whatever.

    That’s not to say I agree with any of the nonsense talked about national service, or that they should be punished in any way. It’s not their fault. However, there is no denying that baby boomers have run up the bill, and following generations are going to be paying for it.

    That’s also not to say that the next generation isn’t going to try to pull the same trick. It seems that pretty much every part of the political spectrum is against the one measure that would fix this disparity: a move from wealth, income and consumption taxes, to location value taxes.

    • June 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Ah, yes, the old “you made a profit on your house” meme. Sorry, but that is just nonsense. The profit is only realised when the property is sold. Until then, it ain’t real money. My house could be worth a million for all the good it means to me. The people who will benefit from that sale are, likely as not, the next generation, our inheritors.

      So, no, we are not privileged. When I look at my bank balance following a lifetime of working, I treat any such claims with abject contempt.

      It is not the baby boomer generation who are to blame for the massive deficit – it is the bastard politicians. And, frankly, we have no control over them or who gets elected.

      It seems that pretty much every part of the political spectrum is against the one measure that would fix this disparity: a move from wealth, income and consumption taxes, to location value taxes.

      And with very good reason, it is iniquitous.

      And, please, can we not have this thread degenerate into an LVT argument. I’ve made my position on this one clear enough in the past and have not heard one rational argument in its favour that stacks up, so best left as it will simply mean treading old ground. I’m not getting drawn on it any further, ta.

      • June 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm

        You’ve not heard one rational argument in favour of LVT?

        Lord give me strength. Shifting from taxing earned incomes to taxing the rental value of land would be a huge boost to those who actually go out to work or run a business for a living, for a start. It’s up to each person to decide – from what do I derive more income – the land I think I own or the actual work that I do.

        I cheerfully accept there are plenty of people who live off land rents and don’t do much work, it’s up to each individual to decide whether he or she falls into this category.

        • July 1, 2012 at 4:32 am

          No, it could well be up to the state to decide whether he or she falls into this category.

          FIFY.

          • July 1, 2012 at 5:54 am

            No, it will be the state that decides whether he or she falls into this category.

            FIFY ;)

        • July 1, 2012 at 5:26 am

          As I said, this is not a discussion on LVT. I have read your arguments and I remain unconvinced. Your proposed solutions to the obvious iniquity are unlikely to be taken up by the state that would simply see this as another cash cow. No more on LVT please, this is not the subject under discussion. Lord Wei’s proposal for national service is.

    • Furor Teutonicus
      June 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      XX Onus Probandy on June 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      House prices were, say, 3 times average salary. Now they are more like 6 times average salary.

      That difference is an unearned increase in location value, not an earned increase by paid for improvements to buildings. Who is paying for that increase? The following generations.XX

      Good! Fuckin stuff the bastards.

      • July 1, 2012 at 12:44 am

        The house price multiple of average salary is a completely and utterly meaningless comparison.
        Back then there was not equality, in most households men were breadwinners and women were at home or in low paid jobs. So for a couple 3 times average income back then was equal to 6 times now – ie 3 years income for the household.
        Additionally working people were far less prosperous, only some had cars, phones, tvs, fridges, electronics stuff etc. A very much higher proportion of household income went on what we would now consider the bare essentials. Nowadays we have vastly more income available for choice purchases.
        I have no doubt most working younger people could afford a house now if they chose to live the minimalistic way our parents had to in the 50s. They wouldn’t like it of course!

        • July 1, 2012 at 4:33 am

          Thank you!

        • July 1, 2012 at 6:19 am

          It’s worth pointing out that this 3x figure is what you are allowed to borrow, not what the purchase costs. My parents bought their first house in 1957. At the time it cost £2,000 and my father was earning less than £10 per week (without asking him to remind me of the exact figures, I can only give a rough idea). From when they decided to marry in around 1952 until they bought their house, the lived a meagre existence and saved the difference. Frankly that continued as they struggled during the early years of paying a mortgage

          It’s also worth remembering that in the early fifties, when a woman married, it was expected that she would give up her job and live on her husband’s income – and that is exactly what happened.

          Times have changed somewhat.

          • wiggiatlarge
            July 1, 2012 at 9:49 am

            So true, I also saved for a deposit, the Building Society’s insisted you showed you could afford the repayments buy saving with them for a period of at least two years, we put down a deposit that would be unheard of today with the 100% mortgages + that have been on offer and did up the house as we could muster enough money, the wife who worked did not have her earnings taken into account and people say we were “lucky” today they want it all with a fully furnished interior and the BMW outside I sometimes think people who make these comments have no idea of how it was, and speak the voice of envy as to why they can’t have the same it’s called Marxism.
            And as Longrider puts so well no gold plated pension mine along with many others of that generation have seen the promised pot destroyed by govts and greedy pension providers who have charged more and skimmed more than almost anywhere else in the western world, lucky, please.

            • July 1, 2012 at 10:18 am

              If I knew then what I know now, I would never have invested money in a pension scheme.

              • Tatty
                July 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm

                What is this “profit” of which people speak ?

                A rough calculation of the purchase price – what I was allowed to borrow – what I paid the vendor – what I will pay back to the bank in initial borrowing and a quarter of century of interest on top of that – then what I *might* be able to sell it for – only shows about 15 grand “profit”. That’s if I manage to keep it to myself and the kids don’t get their hands on a share first.

                How much in State Care Home time and medical bills will that buy me, dyathink ?

                Any “jealousy” over that is hideously misplaced.

    • Pissed-off
      July 3, 2012 at 7:40 am

      “House prices were, say, 3 times average salary. Now they are more like 6 times average salary.”

      Where do these figures come from. In ’74 we bought (25 yr mortgage) a modest little semi in Essex for £10,000. I was on £1,500/annum as a Post Office tech’. About six to one.

      Then we were hit by the oil crisis, high inflation and high interest rates. Buying shoes for the kids was difficult. If I had a beer once a month or had a night out with my wife once a month we were lucky.

      People like us (the masses) didn’t know how to apply for benefits and didn’t want to. We drove old bangers, holidayed in tents, went to night school to get HNCs and brought up our kids properly (I’m proud of my two).

      Please don’t be fooled by all this stuff. Society was a little better but the ordinary bloke still had to struggle. Money was made by some but for most it was similar to now.

  2. john in cheshire
    June 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    I’m with you on this matter LR. However, if the likes of Mr Wei aren’t careful, they’ll prompt us oldies to form our own parallel government and begin to exclude the likes of him from all that he holds dear.

    • June 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      There’s a thought…

  3. David A. Evans
    June 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
    Which brings to mind the fact that I have the “Customer Care Officer” from East Durham Homes coming to see me on Monday.

    She wants to see how she can help me.

    She can firk right off! I don’t want her help! Why can’t they just leave us alone?

    DaveE.

    • June 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      When you find out, let me know ;)

      • David A. Evans
        June 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm

        She doesn’t like that my home is untidy. I say, “What business is it of hers?” I might ask her what the nine most terrifying words in the English language are. ;)

        DaveE.

        EDIT: I’ll let you know how it goes.

        • June 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm

          So what if it is untidy? You are the one who has to live in it.

        • GalaPie
          July 1, 2012 at 5:01 am

          Give her a feather duster and tell her to get on with it like a good girl.

          • July 1, 2012 at 6:48 am

            :lol:

      • David A. Evans
        July 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm

        Turned into a non event, didn’t have to tell her to firk orft.
        She did ask of I’d had anything said to me about the grass out the back though. Apparently if I don’t get it cut, the council can fine me. Not her department though.
        There is the problem of using an electric strimmer whilst wading through the quagmire though. ;)

        DaveE.

  4. John d2008
    June 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I retired 14 years ago and have no idea where the time has gone. The pension I have has been saved by me and has taken all my working life to accumulate(40plus years). I was going to get involved with the local scouts again after a long break, but found that despite having led a blameless life and having been a police sergeant for 20 years, I would need to spend about £40 on a CRB check,even though I was known to and live in the same village as the scout leaders.” We have to follow policy, you see.” Well follow it without me then.

    • June 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Well follow it without me then.

      Quite.

      I’m mildly surprised that motorcycle instructors have not fallen under the auspices of the CRB checks given that we train young people of 16 years. Give ‘em time, I suppose…

      • ivan
        June 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm

        Now you’ve mentioned it someone will see it is ‘a good idea’ and implement it.

    • David A. Evans
      July 1, 2012 at 2:34 am

      Having been arrested for an offence someone else committed, I’d probably fail a CRB check anyhow!

      DaveE.

  5. Mudplugger
    June 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    As you say, baby-boomers come in all shapes and sizes, some benefitting more than others from their accident of birth-timing. I’ll admit to being one of the winners, at least from my perspective.

    I had the opportunity of a good education, had multiple job offers when I wanted to start working, spent 25 years ascending corporate ladders, eventually being able to jump off that juggernaut, aged 43, having built up a reasonable pension entitlement. I had been able to buy property with sensible mortgages and stash away other mixed investments. It was hard graft with few in-flight perks, but since then I’ve started to enjoy life for real.

    But a key part of my life-plan is not to die owning valuable property, a big mistake made by many. I earned it (both the purchase and the ‘gains’), so I’m going to spend it. At a point in my plan, I shall sell my owned property and thereafter only ever rent where I live, because the cost of rent for the remainder of my life will be far less than the capital value released.

    If all baby-boomers thought that way, they wouldn’t be holding on to unnecessary properties, but would be releasing them into the market for younger buyers and enjoying the product of their own life’s opportunities. Staying in the owned property just to bequeath it to someone else who didn’t earn it, while whingeing about how poor you are, is financial nonsense. But it’s your decision – at least most baby-boomers got the chance to make that decision, unlike most earlier and (possibly) later generations.

    Being a baby-boomer was good for me, but only because I made use of the opportunities it presented to me – others didn’t, hence the mixed view of the experience.

    • June 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      If you are happy to have a landlord setting out rules about what you may or may not do, whether you may keep pets or not and so on, then that is a reasonable way to go from a purely financial viewpoint. I am far too independent to allow anyone else to have any say over what I do in my own home, so will continue to own rather than rent. Besides, I still have to sort out the aftermath of that job loss two years ago and selling my French home at a loss. Selling this one isn’t an option.

      As for being broke, well, the phoenix is rising. Slowly maybe, but it’s just got to the stage where it is shaking the ash off its wings ;)

      • David A. Evans
        July 1, 2012 at 2:50 am

        My friend has 2 akitas. The landlord has changed the rules recently. He’s always had 2, a dog & a bitch. Now, legacy dogs are OK but after that he’ll be allowed NO dogs.

        Think of all the OAPs no longer allowed their pets! Seriously, they want us to live short and lonely retirements!

        My friend btw is ex army and I would not like to piss him off, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no moooore

        DaveE.

        • July 1, 2012 at 5:43 am

          Yeah, I just couldn’t tolerate that kind of control freakery. When I rented out my home while living in France, the agent asked us about what we would allow – pets for example. When we said of course people can have pets, they said that we had just increased our opportunity in the market place as many landlords don’t allow it. As a pet owner, I would never seek to deny others the same.

  6. Monty
    June 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    When I was a newlywed, almost 40 years ago, we spent our first few years of married life in a bedsit, while we frantically saved all the money we could to put together a deposit. It took two of us working all the overtime we could get. And even then, we only got our mortage because we had a track record of saving regularly with our Building Society, and we were limited to 3 times annual earnings of my husband. Then another ten years of the same regime, as we paid off the mortgage as fast as we could. We then had, and still have, a semi with two bedrooms and a box room.
    Now the value of that asset has no meaning for us. It will one day be a matter for our executors, and the beneficiaries of our will. Whatever house prices are doing at that point, that asset will still amount to a semi with two bedrooms and a box room. So even our beneficiaries won’t be relatively any better off, it will still be the same equal share of the same modest local semi.
    For the vast majority of any age cohort, house price inflation or deflation is illusory.

  7. June 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    “Firstly, we get again this myth that the baby boomer generation are somehow privileged”

    Speaking as a tail end Baby Boomer I can confirm it is not a myth, it is the truth, the BB’s are the main cheerleaders for Home-Owner-Ism, and damn those who come after them.

    • July 1, 2012 at 5:37 am

      It is a myth, just as home ownerism is a myth made up by people who have an interest in creating a conflict where there is none – or to further a political objective. Neither exist out here in the real world. People buy houses. They live in them. That is it. The value or not is of no consequence as it is not real until it is sold and the likely beneficiaries of that will be the next generation. I have never yet met anyone cheerleading for home ownerism. Never. Not once. End of this particular tangent, please. As I said above, that is not the theme of this discussion and I really don’t want to tread this well worn path all over again. I’m heartily sick of it.

      BB’s like previous generations have given their offspring a start in life – the current generation has access to opportunities I could only have dreamed of. Only a few of my generation went to university for example. Who is giving these students a leg-up? Their parents, of course. Who is dibbing deep in their pockets to help fund the first car, first home, expensive wedding? Oh yeah, those “privileged” BBs. Of course they care about those who come after them. It is absurd to suggest hast they do not.

      What has happened is that the latest generation has become used to having stuff as we become more wealthy and technology becomes more affordable and they don’t expect to have to work and save over many years to achieve it. Living as my parents did long before they could afford a home might give them something of a culture shock.

      • July 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

        “What has happened is that the latest generation has become used to having stuff as we become more wealthy and technology becomes more affordable and they don’t expect to have to work and save over many years to achieve it. Living as my parents did long before they could afford a home might give them something of a culture shock.”

        Wow! Just wow! And you accuse others of stereotyping…

        • July 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm

          Oh, let’s see: Internet, mobile phones, easy credit, access to university… Young people of seventeen now expect to have driving lessons and shortly after, have a decent car. Nothing wrong with that, we are wealthier today than a few decades back.

          When I was growing up, most people didn’t have cars, telephones, televisions or even washing machines. These were considered luxuries, not essentials. Today many consumer items are taken for granted. These days saving is at an ebb compared with three or four decades ago.

          Go back a generation and even the fridge was a luxury and most people didn’t own houses.

          Want me to go on, there’s plenty more?

          I most certainly am not stereotyping. merely observing a factual change in our society.

          • July 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm

            “Oh, let’s see: Internet, mobile phones, easy credit, access to university…”

            Internet & mobile phones, indeed any prevalent technology of the time is irrelevant. By that logic, the baby boomers are the 2nd most ‘self-entitled’ generation because they had cars and buses. Your great-grandparents are rolling around in their graves – you don’t know you’re born. Technology is a canard when it comes to economic *behaviour*.

            Easy Credit?!?! MEWing, anyone? :roll:

            Access to University?! Look up ‘academic inflation’.

            “Want me to go on, there’s plenty more?

            No one is stereotyping.”

            Do go on, be proud of your hypocrisy! :roll:

            Ironically, I actually agree that BB’s are a heterogenous bunch and I don’t think pitting the current issues as inter-generational warfare is helpful, but apparently you think otherwise…

            • July 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm

              Do go on, be proud of your hypocrisy!

              Clearly you have a problem with facts. There is no hypocrisy no matter how much you would like there to be.

              It is a fact that we are more wealthy in part due to technological development and each generation has benefited from that. It is a fact that current youngsters would find it a culture shock to live as their forbears did. Pointing that out is not hypocrisy, although you clearly think otherwise… But then, think what you like; doesn’t make it true

              • July 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm

                Hmm…your edit of your post has crossed my reply to it. We appear to be on different topics here.

                I’m not disputing that we live in overall wealithier times. Nor that any of us (including you) would be shocked if we went back a (relative) generation. I’m saying it’s not relevant.

                You asserted that “they [we] don’t expect to have to work and save over many years to achieve it.” That’s blatant stereotyping, and plain lazy at that.

                Incidentally, I dispute the idea that we’re overburdened with opportunity. Most of it is illusory, and due to the economics still being broken. University is no good if it just inflates required qualifications for jobs. Freedom of travel is no good if everywhere else is just as broken as here. The technology to build housing and factories cheaper is no good if the NIMBYs won’t let us build.

                We have lots of opportunity in THEORY, not an awful lot in practice.

  8. July 1, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Also ‘speaking as a tail end Baby Boomer’, I applaud Longrider’s post and the comments supporting his perspective.

    Our lives and property are no one else’s business.

    Anyway, Lord Wei stood down as the Big Society spokesman in 2011. Why is he still banging on about it?

    • July 1, 2012 at 5:39 am

      Because he is a politician and they cannot help but interfere in our lives given the opportunity.

      • July 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm

        And here I was under the (mistaken) impression that being ‘elevated’ to the House of Lords meant that its members were above ‘politics’ as part of the system of checks and balances!

        It used to be that once one resigned from a position or committee, one had no further legitimate say in those matters. In fact, one was told to stop interfering.

  9. July 1, 2012 at 8:16 am

    The question this 60 year old asks the baby boomer bashers is

    “So, how would you have done things differently?”

    As yet, nobody has come up with a response to that.

    So, frankly, FUCK OFF baby boomer bashers. You have no idea HOW crap TV was back in the 50s, so stop bloody BITCHING :-)

    • July 1, 2012 at 8:23 am

      Agreed – Gen X are basically losers. I say this as a Boomer/Gen X cross.

  10. July 1, 2012 at 8:25 am

    “So, how would you have done things differently?”

    As yet, nobody has come up with a response to that.

    There isn’t one, is there? We are individuals, not some homogeneous entity with a hive mind that controls world events and economies. Neither did we as individuals have any control over who grasped the levers of power or what they did when they got there.

    This baby boomer meme is an artificial construct designed to create discord – a problem that then needs to be fixed. There is no problem and it does not need fixing. The economic woes are the responsibility of the politicians who spent our money like water, not ordinary people whatever their date of birth.

  11. Greg Tingey
    July 1, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I am very lucky (born 1946) to “own” the house which my Father left me, and in which I have lived since 1948
    BUT.
    I’m struggling to find £10-12 k to afford underpinning (London Clay) I have not done as well as many … but the arrogance and profound ignorance of Wei & hos crooked friends appals me.

  12. July 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    What is this “profit” of which people speak ?

    In practice, there is none or very little by the time you calculate incidental costs over the lifetime of the mortgage. Also, the value can fall as well as rise. I have just accepted an offer on our French home. We are €40,000 down on the deal, so it is little wonder that the homeowenerist meme gets short shrift in these parts ;)

    Oh, and I’ll slit my wrists before I go into a care home.

  13. July 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    You asserted that “they [we] don’t expect to have to work and save over many years to achieve it.” That’s blatant stereotyping, and plain lazy at that.

    It is neither. It is an observation of fact. We do not expect to save over many years to achieve what we want – that’s why many consumer items are bought on credit; something previous generations eschewed. Again, an observation of fact. Our level of consumer debt is a clear indication of this.

    • July 2, 2012 at 10:23 am

      “We do not expect to save over many years to achieve what we want”

      Your original comment was in terms of ‘they’ and ‘them’, the context of which made it look like you were blaming the ‘young’ rather than the ‘now’. If that was not the case, I will happily withdraw my objection.

      • July 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

        I wasn’t blaming anyone – merely pointing out that society has changed and that the BBs have contributed to a wealthier lifestyle for their offspring than their parents enjoyed, countering the idea that the previous generation has impoverished the following one.

        Increased wealth passed from one generation to the next will continue in this vein.

        I used “they” and “them” because I was brought up to save. This is less so with the next generation as credit is so easy to come by and there is a general expectation that starting out means having stuff now that once was considered a luxury saved for over months or years. By “we” I mean that this has infected even those of us who are somewhat older – I borrow to buy a new bike or car, for example – even my father does. So, no, there is not an expectation to save.

        Yes, I think you have misjudged me here. There was no hypocrisy in my statement.

        I note that Tim Worstall makes a similar comment today.

        • July 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

          I think you have to be very careful when making intergenerational comparisons. Simply talking about the stuff is not actually that meaningful, when the opportunities are restricted. A cage with all-mod-cons is still a cage.

          We could talk about the nature of the cage, except that you’ve made it clear you don’t want to talk about LVT.

          In any case, I’ll make a post about it over at mine, what I’m trying to say needs a longer treatment than a comment format provides.

          PS – I think Tim’s way too trusting of the 2% trend growth rate, and his entire post relies on it.

          • July 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

            We could talk about the nature of the cage, except that you’ve made it clear you don’t want to talk about LVT.

            With good reason. It’s been done to death both here and elsewhere. I doubt any minds will be changed either way. This post was never about that, which is why I nipped the LVT stuff in the bud. This discussion was supposed to be about Lord Wei’s proposals and patronising attitude towards retirees. Somehow that got lost along the way.

  14. July 3, 2012 at 8:36 am

    A daft old Farts perspective-born in 1951 into a poor household, three siblings, mother and father both worked just to feed/house/clothe us, and they willingly gave up quite a large proportion of their wages to fund the NHS, schools, universties etc.

    They could never afford to purchase a house and both died young due to industrial diseases.

    This daft old fart never went to university but worked his balls orf, as did the late Mrs old fart, rented a bed sit, until we had enough to buy a place, then continued to work our floppy bits orf to pay for it, paid our NI contributions willingly to fund the NHS, schools, universities etc, and yes we watched the “value” of our property increase, especially in the eighties when someone decided it was a spiffing plan to sell orf a large proportion of council houses at ridiculously low prices, sell orf our water, gas and electricity suppliers for piss all and use the “profit” to fund tax cuts for the rich.

    Watched as government after government managed to increase unemployument, inflation, taxes and all and sundry and generally fuck up the economy.

    Still watched as the lying bastards in the lower house of the leaning Palace of Westminster decided that university education will no longer be free, even more taxes will be imposed, wages will be frozen, pensions will be cut, bankers will be given more than oddles of our loot and we will pay even more of our money into a shrinking National Insurance set of “services”.

    Yes my house is worth a fair amount-in theory, yes I could dahnsize a bit but who among Thatchers generation and their kids would be able to afford it?

    I am not well orf, and yes I have retired at the age of 60, but only because I sold orf my business which I spent many.many years building up, and after fourty years of slog I think I have earned the right to a rest and not be conscripted into some half arsed scheme to “meet people of my own age” I already know enough old farts thank you very much.

    So to all to Baby Boomer Bashers, don’t balme us, blame the Piss Poor Policies of Labour, Tory, and Tory/Lib Dems the latter who YOU probably voted in for the state of dear old Blighty.

    Or you could wait another ten. twenty, thirty or forty years until you become old farts and then fight orf the uneducated, unemployed, homeless Coalition generation that feels the same about you.

United Kingdom Time

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