Nov 192012
 
More about what David Willets got wrong in his book "The Pinch"

Yesterday I refuted the idea that the post-war generation has excessive political influence. As an introduction to that article, I quoted the description of David Willetts’ book “The Pinch: how the baby boomers took their children’s future – and why they should give it back“: “The baby boom of 1945-65 produced the biggest, richest generation that Britain has ever known. Today, at the peak of their power and wealth, baby boomers now run our country; by virtue of their sheer demographic power, they have fashioned the world around them in a way that meets all of their housing, healthcare and financial . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 182012
 
The myth of excessive political influence by the post-war generation

There is a story that after World War 2 there was a significantly higher birth rate for perhaps 20 years (called “the baby boom”) that resulted in a generation or cohort of people who by sheer voting power and demographic political influence ensured that governments made policies and legislation that favoured this generation at the expense of others. A typical summary of this is seen at the description of David Willetts’ book “The Pinch: how the baby boomers took their children’s future – and why they should give it back“: “The baby boom of 1945-65 produced the biggest, richest generation that . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 162012
 
Intergenerational resource transfers - summary

The scope of intergenerational fairness and justice is massive. It includes topics such as national debt and the environment and consumption of non-renewable resources. All of these are very important. This article only discusses part of the topic: the transfer of resources (time, money, etc) between generations. Even that is a much bigger topic than can be covered here! This article is intended to set the context for further articles to come, rather than cover any aspect of the topic exhaustively. It simply provides a brief summary of some of the key aspects of the topic. Background to this article . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 312012
 
What sort of organisation is the Intergenerational Foundation?

I’ll give my answer and justify it,  then identify how the Intergenerational Foundation could be something more useful: The Intergenerational Foundation is an anti-baby-boomer & anti-pensioner advocacy group, pretending to be concerned with researching and promoting intergenerational fairness and justice. Up-front statements The following 3 quotes are from a single paragraph on the home page: “The Intergenerational Foundation (IF) has been established to promote fairness between generations.” The above sentence is the pretense. (See “Press releases” below). “We believe that each generation should pay its own way, which is not happening at present” From the beginning of the human race, . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 302012
 

This topic sometimes gives the appearance of warfare! Falsehoods, exaggerations, glib sound-bites, and selective analysis are hurled around in the hope that some will stick. Rather than identify the policies that need to be adopted to resolve intergenerational problems, (which is beyond my current ability!), I’ll identify some principles to enable the debates to be constructive and productive. First I’ll quote from the last section below, because I think this is the most important of these principles: “Adopt those policies which you would consider fair and just if you knew you would have a second life but you didn’t know . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 312011
 
Jeremy Paxman's rich-man's guilt-trip about his generation

Daily Mail: ‘I am part of the most selfish generation in history and we should be ashamed of our legacy,’ says Jeremy Paxman Speak for yourself, you lucky rich man! (Salary perhaps £1 million per year). See: London Evening Standard: And now your starter for ten: Just how many Romanians are living over Paxman’s garage? Guardian: Paxo’s dirty laundry gets a very public airing Wikipedia: Jeremy Paxman (I wonder if I earned £1 million over my full career? I’ll do the sums sometime). I won’t waste much time on his rubbish. But it is worth commenting on some statements in . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 302011
 
More reasons to be cautious about "intergenerational unfairness"

In recent posts I’ve criticised the tendency of blaming older people for the problems being faced by younger people. Now there are more reasons to question this tendency. Regional differences This isn’t about intergenerational problems per se. But it shows something else that must be taken into account – where you live. The lesson is that if you live in London or the South East, don’t blame your problems on older people, blame them on where you live. Many older people in the rest of country would struggle to live there; why should young people expect to do so? Telegraph: . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 212011
 
The politics of envy in intergenerational analysis

This is the 3rd of 3 articles criticising The Intergenerational Foundation: Some fallacies in “Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market” Simple example of how The Intergenerational Foundation is wrong about housing (This article) “Intergenerational analysis” is a popular topic (and more discussion across the world can be expected in future). There are many people, associated with a number of organisations, campaigning for it. There is nothing inherently wrong about campaigning for any form of fairness, as long there is a reasonable definition of “fair”. But there rarely is, because it is in the eye of the beholder. . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 202011
 
Simple example of how The Intergenerational Foundation is wrong about housing

This is the 2nd of 3 articles criticising The Intergenerational Foundation: Some fallacies in “Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market” (This article) The politics of envy in intergenerational analysis There are obviously things seriously wrong with the housing market in the UK. But according to The Intergenerational Foundation, it is primarily about unused bedrooms in houses hoarded by older people! I’ve published an introduction to their errors in: Some fallacies in “Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market”. Here I’ll illustrate the error using the analogy of an imaginary country with a simplified version of . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 192011
 
Some fallacies in "Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market"

This is the 1st of 3 articles criticising The Intergenerational Foundation: (This article) Simple example of how The Intergenerational Foundation is wrong about housing The politics of envy in intergenerational analysis The Intergenerational Foundation is a relatively new charity intended to help younger generations at the expense of older generations. They don’t put it quite like that! They say “We believe that each generation should pay its own way, which is not happening at present. British policy-makers have given undue advantages to the older generation at the expense of younger and future generations”. (In what way are we – I’m . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]