Jan 282013
Is the Intergenerational Foundation losing the plot about pensions?

Here is another post on the Intergenerational Foundation’s blog: The blog post appears to have been triggered by, and certainly quotes, a shoddy article “INSURANCE OR RIGHT?“, based on 1908 pension law,  at the Longevitas Ltd website. Then it appears uncritically to assume this demands an urgent national debate. The UK has been debating state pensions for the last century; why does re-examination of a 1908 law warrant such an urgent debate? What new information renders the results of previous debates invalid? In summary, the Longevitas article says: “At the root of this problem is the little-discussed question of whether an old-age . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 262013

I don’t know enough to judge whether this is scare-mongering or credible. The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries claims “New research from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries shows that continuing to ignore resource constraints may have substantial financial, political and social costs“. The report itself and its evidence are contained in these PDFs: PDF: Resource constraints: sharing a finite world – Implications of Limits to Growth for the Actuarial Profession Accompanied by PDF: The evidence and scenarios for the future I found this via New Scientist, which says: “Aled Jones of Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues drew . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 102013
Some baby boom myths

Lots of people talk about “the baby boom”. Lots of people make claims about “the baby boomers”. Here are some of the myths held by lots of people. I have written this article as though I am having an informal argument with you about these myths. I accept that you may not believe them all, or indeed you may not believe any of them! Please forgive my style. Myth 1: There was a baby boom from about 1945 to about 1965 Myth 2: The weight of numbers of the baby boomers gave them undue political influence Myth 3: The baby . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 302012
Baby booms in the electorates of the last 6 Prime Ministers

There is a commonly-held (but erroneous) view that: There was a baby-boom in the UK starting about 1945 and ending about 1965, and … The size of this baby-boom had a disproportionate influence on government policies. To examine this, here are populations-graphs for the years when each of the last 6 Prime Ministers first took office. (I’ve included estimates for the expected 2015 and 2020 elections too!) The graphs were generated from the animation published by the Office of National Statistics. For each year, the height of the graph indicates how many people born that year were alive when that . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 252012
Commentary on "Intergenerational Fairness Index" by the Intergenerational Foundation

I am writing an article to post here to be called “Generation by generation – are things getting better or worse?” Obviously this needs to take into account what is happening about “intergenerational fairness”. But what does that term mean? I started with “Intergenerational Fairness Index – Measuring Changes in Intergenerational Fairness in the United Kingdom” from the Intergenerational Foundation, since its title matched what I wanted. But it actually demonstrates what not to do! I’ve written a commentary (below) on that document in order to discuss what “intergenerational fairness” means and how to measure it. Summary of commentary on . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 202012
Lord Bichard and the penalty for old people who don't contribute in some way

This is weeks-old news, but I have written about it elsewhere so I’m posting most of what I wrote here too. Lord Bichard said: “We are now prepared to say to people who are not looking for work, if you don’t look for work you don’t get benefits, so if you are old and you are not contributing in some way or another maybe there is some penalty attached to that.” Obviously there were responses from groups representing older people. For example, Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, said: “This amounts to little more than national service . . . . . . . . . . [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]