Dec 202012
 

Consider:

Everyone in the generation that started 150 years ago is dead.
Most people in the generation that started 50 years ago are still alive.

Is this “intergenerationally unfair”? Is it even “unfair”? This is a pretty devastating difference between these generations. Yet no serious person would claim that it is “intergenerationally unfair”. We need to be able to discuss generational differences without automatically treating disadvantages to one of them as examples of intergenerational unfairness.

This article was prompted by “Commentary on “Intergenerational Fairness Index” by the Intergenerational Foundation“. That article was prompted by (and analysed)  “Intergenerational Fairness Index – Measuring Changes in Intergenerational Fairness in the United Kingdom“, which made some sloppy claims for intergenerational unfairness.


Definitions

In the absence of explicit definitions, people are entitled to assume that words and terms are used according to dictionaries, etc. These don’t actually define words: they attempt to capture their typical uses so they are a valid starting point.

Intergenerational

inter” (preposition) in Wiktionary;
between, among

intergenerational” in Wiktionary:
between or across generations

So it is valid to use “intergenerational” for any comparison between generations. But it is often both redundant and silly to do so. If “intergenerational” becomes commonplace for any comparison, then “The Intergenerational Foundation” risks becoming a sort of “Compare the Generations dot COM”. That is not its aspiration; it seeks to re-balance policies, not simply to state the bleeding obvious. And it is important to avoid the “correlation implies causation” fallacy.

Rather than devalue the word, it should be confined to cases where it adds value:

“intergenerational” derived from Wikipedia (from “Intergenerational equity“):
relationships between children, youth, adults and seniors, particularly in terms of treatment and interactions

Unfair

unfair” in Wiktionary:
not fair, unjust

Words like “unfair” and “unjust” are defined in contrast to “fair” and “just”. These have recognisable plausible meanings:

fair, just in Wiktionary:
honest, equitable

There are 2 sorts of fairness/unfairness here. If you obey the rules, you have been honest and fair. But the result may still not be equitable if the rules themselves were wrong. So it is important to examine both whether the rules are right and whether people are obeying them.


Checklist

1. Is there more than one generation?

This should be a blindingly obvious check. But “Intergenerational Fairness Index – Measuring Changes in Intergenerational Fairness in the United Kingdom” examined certain changes that only related to one generation, for example the year-by-year changes in GCSE Pass Rates.

There is no plausible use of the word “intergenerational” that doesn’t clearly involve more than one generation!

2. Is it intergenerational?

Is it concerned with “relationships between children, youth, adults and seniors, particularly in terms of treatment and interactions“? Is there an element of cause and effect?

If it isn’t concerned with “treatment and interactions” then it is not a valuable use of the word. It is probably just an observation about the differences between generations without implications of fairness/unfairness. Don’t devalue the word.

3. What is fair?

If “what is fair” isn’t identified, how can unfairness be judged? Things that you don’t like are not automatically unfair!

For example, “Intergenerational Fairness Index – Measuring Changes in Intergenerational Fairness in the United Kingdom” claimed unfairness in the trend of  “usage of selected medical services amongst younger people”, but without any evidence that the trend was towards unfairness rather than fairness. It was just an example of  “things that you don’t like“.

Identifying “what is fair” forces you to examine all points of view, strengthening any consequential claim of unfairness. Identify whether the problem is with the rules or about whether people are obeying them. You need to know what to change to achieve fairness: change the rules, or enforce them? (You can’t blame someone for obeying the rules just because you don’t like the results).

4. Have the people concerned been consulted?

Have representative people of the generations concerned been consulted about how the judgments are being made?

This is especially directed to the views of young people. It is important that older people don’t make the judgments about whether things are fair/unfair for younger people without at least asking them! What older people think is unfair for young people, and what young people themselves think is unfair, are likely to be different.

“Adopt those policies which you would consider fair and just if you knew you would have a second life but you didn’t know what your age or wealth would be”.


Other sorts of unfairness

When a child dies, we rage about the unfairness. But it mostly isn’t intergenerational unfairness.

We are probably raging against the rules governing the way the universe is operating. The universe operates according to unintelligent forces and processes such as the laws of physics and the consequences of billions of years of evolution. Every conception is an unintelligent genetic experiment, and evolution didn’t ensure that they could all work well.

We can’t change the laws of physics, but we can change a lot of the consequences of all those unintelligent forces and processes. That is what science and technology and engineering can attempt to do. There are many other examples where we think “the rules” are unfair although not intergenerationally unfair. Many people in every generation are trying to make those changes so that future generations have fewer cases where people rage against the rules.

Every generation benefits from the efforts of previous generations to make the rules more fair.


Further reading

  56 Responses to “A checklist for Intergenerational Unfairness”

  1. lyrica 75mg cost – pregabalin oral pregabalin 150mg cheap

  2. clomiphene 50mg oral – order zyrtec 5mg sale order zyrtec online

  3. buy clarinex sale – buy desloratadine 5mg pill triamcinolone 10mg sale

  4. cytotec for sale – purchase synthroid without prescription order synthroid 100mcg online cheap

  5. order sildenafil 150mg pills – sildenafil price cost gabapentin

  6. cialis usa – cialis oral purchase cenforce sale

  7. purchase diltiazem pill – order acyclovir 400mg generic order acyclovir 800mg online cheap

  8. buy atarax 25mg – buy hydroxyzine 25mg online order rosuvastatin 10mg sale

  9. buy ezetimibe pill – celexa order online buy citalopram for sale

  10. viagra 25mg price – buy cyclobenzaprine for sale flexeril uk

  11. viagra 100mg ca – sildenafil viagra buy tadalafil 40mg online cheap

  12. toradol without prescription – buy generic tizanidine 2mg order generic baclofen

  13. order colchicine online cheap – gloperba oral strattera 10mg canada

  14. oral sildenafil 100mg – methotrexate 10mg uk clopidogrel 75mg generic

  15. sildenafil pills 50mg – viagra sildenafil 25mg order clopidogrel pills

  16. sildenafil 100mg sale – buy sildenafil 150mg generic viagra sildenafil 150mg

  17. buy esomeprazole 20mg generic – purchase esomeprazole pill phenergan cheap

  18. cialis next day – Cialis delivery cialis india

  19. buy provigil 100mg generic – legitimate canadian pharmacy online medication for ed dysfunction

  20. accutane sale – order azithromycin 500mg pills order azithromycin 500mg pills

  21. order lasix generic – doxycycline sale viagra online order

  22. buy generic tadalafil 10mg – buy tadalafil sale buy viagra sale

  23. order tadalafil 40mg online – order cozaar 50mg online cheap coumadin 5mg cheap

  24. generic avodart 0.5mg – cialis 10mg cost tadalafil tablet

  25. generic sildenafil 50mg – tadalafil 10mg drug tadalafil tablets

  26. buy accutane 20mg sale – order generic amoxil amoxicillin 250mg usa

  27. Wonderful views on that!

  28. lasix cost – furosemide order order azithromycin 500mg pills

  29. buy doxycycline 100mg generic – plaquenil drug chloroquine over the counter

  30. Hi, its pleasant paragraph concerning media
    print, we all be aware of media is a great source of facts.

  31. Hi, after reading this remarkable post i am also glad to
    share my familiarity here with mates.

  32. It’s very trouble-free to find out any matter on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this article at this web page.

  33. Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  34. Great blog here! Also your website loads up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your
    host? I wish my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  35. Thank you, I have just been looking for information about this topic for
    a long time and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon till now.
    However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you sure about the supply?

  36. tadalafil 20mg sale – Brand name cialis overnight brand sildenafil 150mg

  37. order provigil without prescription – sildenafil pills sildenafil 100mg drug

  38. erection problems – prednisone price deltasone 10mg pills

  39. isotretinoin 20mg brand – celecoxib oral celebrex price

  40. flomax order online – oral spironolactone 25mg spironolactone 100mg cheap

  41. generic simvastatin – simvastatin 20mg us help writing research paper

  42. best real casino online – buy a dissertation cheap custom research papers

  43. jackpot party casino – finasteride 1mg pill order ampicillin 500mg online

  44. cipro tablet – rx pharmacy online cialis cialis 40mg canada

  45. order sildenafil 50mg generic – sildenafil 100mg tablets generic vardenafil vardenafil

  46. Thanks for every other informative blog. Where else may just I get that kind of info written in such an ideal approach?
    I have a challenge that I am just now working on, and I’ve been at the look out for such info.

  47. Hi there very nice site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing ..
    I will bookmark your website and take the feeds also? I’m
    glad to find numerous helpful info here in the post, we
    need develop more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing.
    . . . . .

  48. Hi, for all time i used to check blog posts here in the early
    hours in the morning, for the reason that i like to gain knowledge of more and more.

  49. Wonderful views on that!

  50. prednisolone 40mg brand – gabapentin for sale online cialis 20mg ca

  51. augmentin 375mg brand – clavulanate generic order cialis 40mg pill

  52. generic bactrim 480mg – bactrim 960mg cheap oral sildenafil

  53. buy generic cephalexin 500mg – purchase erythromycin order erythromycin 250mg online

  54. cheap sildenafil – stromectol tablets uk order stromectol

  55. generic rhinocort – antabuse 500mg canada order antabuse 500mg generic

 Leave a Reply

Name required. (Spam NEVER gets published before being trashed)

Email required. (Spam NEVER gets published before being trashed)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>