Drunken Speculation

Goddamn Old People

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d5/Puppies_in_AU_3.JPG/512px-Puppies_in_AU_3.JPGIn last week’s Drunken Speculation, I had a cathartic vent about bankers, their defenders and the GFC. The following words were exchanged in the Drunk Spec offices after I finished typing:

“I just finished my Drunken Speculation article! It’s about bankers.”

“Is it humorous and light-hearted?”


This was not well received. So ignore the title because this week’s Drunken Speculation is about puppies!

Ha, not really. If you’re like me, drinking is more inclined to make you more bitter than sweetness and light. This week I’m re-attempting a column I’d put on the backburner because I couldn’t think of enough synonyms for “grey-haired fuck-faces”. I refer, of course, to old people.

Specifically, baby boomers. Read this blog post about compulsory superannuation (that thing that’s like 9% of your pay but you never miss), subtract the rigamarole about the history of taxation and see if you can avoid vomitting from the hatred (or boredom because that taxation stuff goes on a while). The killer line is:

The second observation is this; [superannuation] was introduced by baby boomers for baby boomers.

Mother. Fuckers. You might think I’m overreacting just a touch. So what if compulsory superannuation is there to benefit baby boomers? We still get something out of it, right?

Have I got news for you. Compulsory superannuation being used to build hospitals for old people (go read the post, lazy bones) is the least of your problems.

Home ownership

Consider: would it surprise you to find out that baby boomers make up about 25% of the population? Maybe not. What if I said that they owned 50% of all housing? Wait, what?

When houses were a place to live and not a tax write-off, baby boomers piled most of their savings into “investment properties”, betting on growing house prices. The net result is fifteen years of prices going up and now our real estate is amongst the most expensive in the world. If you’re Gen X or Y that means getting a bigger debt in relative terms than your parents or their parents did to buy pretty much the exact same houses.

That increase in debt represents your hard work to pay for baby boomers’ profit. What if Gen X and Y stop buying? House prices will drop, trapping those already burdened with mortgages and eventually collapsing our economy. We all suffer. Great.

Demographics & The Pension

As time progresses and the baby boomers have sucked you dry through over-priced houses and co-opting your savings to build infrastructure for their benefit (seriously, read the link above, slackass), you might think you can avoid it if you’re smart enough. Uh-uh.

Originally, the pension in Australia was awarded if you were a “good character”, not earning too much money and over 65. This, in a time when life expectancy was around 55. Back then, it wasn’t a massive cost to society – most people were dead before they got a chance to claim it. Since then, we’ve gotten better at keeping people alive but the retirement age hasn’t moved. In today’s terms, that ten year difference between expectancy and retirement age would mean Australians born now would not be eligible for the pension until they are into their 90s.

There’s a massive bubble of people about to enter retirement, financially unprepared, expecting to receive a government pension. As a proportion of the population, the people who actually do things will fall. That is, there will be fewer tax payers to support a growing number of pensioners. Guess what that means? More income taxes to support baby boomers living out their retirement dreams.

Baby boomers are either going to take your money through buying a wildly expensive house off them or through your taxes. One way or another, they will take your wealth and shit all over your dreams.

(Side note: I ran out of words to explain that there are other, more devious methods at their disposal)

The worst of it is that most baby boomers aren’t even aware of the burden they’re about to place on their children. Some are getting an inkling when their kids won’t move out of house until they’re well into their 20s or 30s. Wonder why? It’s because they are trying to buy a house off someone like you who wants an order of magnitude more than what they paid for it. If they don’t get the sale they’re looking for, they go on the pension and take your kids’ money through taxes anyway.

Where does that leave Gen X and Y? Solution time:

  1. Whiny blogging online
  2. Violent revolution
  3. Robots
  4. Man up and take it on the chin

Aw shit. Not looking good. Robots might pay off in the long run but violent revolution might be more fun…

Editor’s Note: Next week’s DS will be about puppies. I promise.

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