MORE THAN ENOUGH: The boomer supremacy; the current total political and economic dominance of baby boomers, by Richard Cooke.
For many of the young and those approaching middle age, [Sydney’s “lockout” laws on bars after midnight] constitutes a final straw. The physical lockout is the final manifestation of a cultural lockout they have suffered for a long time. They have been locked out of the housing market, locked out of affordable education, locked out of the welfare system and secure employment. They have seen their political power and their real wealth shrivel. And now the one area where their expectations had not been curtailed – recreation – is being destroyed as well.
The lockout laws are not the closure of a few pubs because of drunken violence. They are final confirmation of who the country is run by, and who it is run for.
Generation Y may be the first generation in memory to be less wealthy than that of their parents. Almost all the benefits of the mining boom in additional government spending went to older voters. As Greg Jericho reported in the Guardian, from 2003–04 to 2011–12, households where the head was aged 55 to 64 saw their wealth rise $174,000 (19%). The households of 24- to 34-year-olds lost $10,400 in wealth – a 4% drop. In major metropolitan areas, the shut-out of the young from the housing market is almost complete.
This relative disadvantage is treated not as the outcome of fate or policy, but as a matter of morality, a kind of just deserts. Young people angered by these laws are trivial, selfish, deluded and threatening. Just as they can’t get regular work because they’re precious, lazy and disloyal. Just as they can’t be allowed to drink because they’re violent, noisy and irresponsible. If they complain it’s only more evidence that they’re spoilt.
Some accurate remarks on public discourse in Australia:
… a generationalist paradigm and a suspicion of youth leads to a kind of cultural sclerosis in Australia. Public debate is conducted largely between a few loud and entrenched baby boomers.
The baby boomers have been the drivers of economic policy for decades. … a governmental red carpet was rolled out in front of them. It is now being quietly rolled up in their wake.
These statistics explain a lot:
In 1975, the average Sydney homebuyer took three years to save their deposit, and the average home cost four times the annual income. In 2015, the average Sydney homebuyer took nine years to save their deposit, and the average home cost 12 times the annual income.
Young people are entering the most uncertain world of work imaginable. The average gap between full-time study and full-time work is now five years…
Don’t patronize us!
In June last year, Joe Hockey, … asked about a record lack of housing affordability in Sydney, responded that Australians who wanted to buy their first home needed to “get a good job that pays good money”. A predictable stampede of riled nurses, teachers and firefighters followed. From that time on, Hockey seemed to have “beleaguered” permanently affixed to his job title. …
Lost in the kerfuffle was the moral import of what Hockey was saying. A “good job” didn’t just mean a well-paying job. It meant becoming a member of what is known as the Real World, or Real Life. The Real World is a staple term of commentators, politicians, talkback callers and online commenters, usually conservative in nature, but occasionally on the left too. For them, Hockey’s syllogism wasn’t an insulting statement of the obvious but an important corrective to delusion.
[But] many Real World proponents received not just a free education but also more direct paths into the workforce.
Superannuation and negative gearing heavily favor baby boomers:
The experts’ predictions were stark. “There is a stunning generational unfairness in our [budget] settings and all those disengaged younger Australians need to wake up to the fact they’re being massively screwed by … what the baby boomers are leaving for them,” said Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics. “Right now, we’re eating their future.”
Btw, the fracas over lockouts could have been avoided by sticking to principle: What business is it of anybody’s, including the state, when and where I have a drink at a bar? I am responsible, and do no harm to others. It’s up to the bar and me, no need for others to get involved. Gheesh, this has been a issue in Sydney for over two centuries now, you would think the authorities would have learned by now.