Hey, Bomber! Inter-generational War Is Not the Answer To Auckland’s Problems

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NO, NO, NO, BOMBER! This ageism has got to stop – now. You wouldn’t permit anyone writing for The Daily Blog to discriminate against people on the grounds of race, gender or sexuality. So what, in the name of Progressive Politics, are you hoping to achieve by blaming everyone born between 1946 and 1965 for Auckland’s housing crisis?

The Baby Boom generation didn’t choose their parents, Comrade! Any more than a black man chooses his ethnicity, or a woman chooses to be born female. Scapegoating people on the basis of their date-of-birth makes no more sense than scapegoating them because of their genetic make-up, or because their sex chromosomes are XX and not XY.

I’m genuinely affronted by all this Baby-Boomer-bashing, old friend. And if you want to know why, then I’d invite you to sit down and watch Episode 2 of Waatea Fifth Estate, and every time the word “Baby-Boomer” or “Boomer” is used, to mentally over-dub the word “Jew”.

Can you imagine the firestorm of criticism that would erupt if Jews were accused of preventing young Kiwis getting into their first home? Or if Jews were accused of taking all the good things that were on offer in the 1960s and 70s, and then denying them deliberately to succeeding generations?

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Any broadcaster disseminating such ideas would immediately fall foul of both the Race Relations Act and the Human Rights Act. Because it is a criminal offence to incite racial hatred, and/or, to discriminate against one’s fellow citizens on the basis of their ethnicity or religious belief.

And while we’re on the subject of the Human Rights Act (1993) perhaps it would be helpful to point out that Section 21 of the legislation includes, among a long list of “prohibited grounds of discrimination”, the ground of “age”.

Also worth considering is the prohibition contained in the Fourth Geneva Convention against the imposition of collective punishment. Article 33 clearly states that: “No persons may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

Progressive people are rightly outraged when the Israeli authorities inflict massive material and human damage on Palestinian communities in retaliation for the hostile actions of a few Hamas fighters. I would, therefore, like to hear the explanation for why we shouldn’t be just a teeny-wee bit upset when an entire generation of human-beings is blamed for societal ills they did not create and which a great many of them – myself included – wholeheartedly deplore.

Because, to be honest, Bomber, your eagerness, in Episode 2 of W5E, to see the planting of Generation X and Y settlements in the Baby Boomer occupied territories of Auckland’s leafy suburbs would have done the average West Bank Israeli settler-developer, and his IDF-protected construction teams, proud.

Forgive me, Comrade, but fomenting inter-generational warfare (which, ultimately, entails turning children against their parents or grandparents) is not, and can never be, a progressive cause. Indeed, it strikes at the most primal forms of human solidarity, and at the most essential drivers of human co-operation. Worst of all, Bomber, it misdirects the legitimate rage of those denied the social goods their parents were able to enjoy away from the social class which bears the actual responsibility for their destruction.

Just ask yourself, Bomber: Was it the Maori New Zealanders born between 1946 and 1965 who deliberately destroyed their own employment opportunities? Are they the ones responsible for gutting their rural communities? Did they set out to create urban breeding grounds for crime, domestic violence and drug abuse? And was it the Pasifika Baby Boomers who deliberately ran down their local schools and health services? Are they the ones responsible for the decay of social housing in New Zealand? Did Pakeha Boomers demand the destruction of their own unions? Must they be held responsible for the political marginalisation of the entire working class? And did all of these groups really conspire to thwart the aspirations of their own children and grandchildren?

Those responsible for the hollowed-out shell that is 21st Century New Zealand society are Baby Boomers only in the sense that they are also human-beings. They changed this country for the worse, not out of some mysterious generational impulse precipitated by listening to the Beatles or eating Eskimo Pies, but because it was in their interests to destroy the social-democratic beliefs and institutions that had so successfully limited their ability to enrich themselves, and which, if left in place, would have further undermined their political and cultural power.

The truly outrageous aspect of Auckland’s housing crisis is how effectively Auckland’s citizens have been excluded from playing any role in fixing it. The Auckland Super City is democratic in name only. It’s true purpose is to create opportunities for property developers (and all of the other businesses their activities sustain) to go on making profits. The power of Auckland’s ruling class will not be broken by setting one short-changed generation against another, but by creating a movement in which old and young join forces to determine what needs to be done, and out of whose pockets the money to pay for it should be taken.

79 COMMENTS

  1. Yet, it’s the older generation that has the wealth (in the form of property), locking out the younger generations.

    Just as racism is defined as those in a dominant position (whites) wielding power over other cultures (blacks, browns, etc).

  2. “And while we’re on the subject of the Human Rights Act (1993) perhaps it would be helpful to point out that Section 21 of the legislation includes, among a long list of “prohibited grounds of discrimination”, the ground of “age”.”

    That actually surprises me since I have NEVER seen anyone complaining that women (gender discrimination) and children (age discrimination) are always the first to be rescued from disasters. Also sports definitely do a lot of age discrimination, e.g the Olympics doesn’t allow athletes under 16 years of age.

  3. No one hates boomers for their luck of being born in the right moment and using the opportunities available to them. The problem is that now they are holding on to their privilege in a way that negatively affects others.

    It’s not your fault if you’re a white person born in South Africa during apartheid. But if you are a decent human being, you act against the unjust system that excludes part of the population from the rights and wealth. Even if being successful in bringing about a change means that you personally will be worse off than before.

    What is being asked from boomers is not much compared to the example above, but they are not willing to let go even of that. And then they act surprised that people do not like them.

  4. Bomber: When Trotter is to the left of you and exposes the stupidity of your ideas, you need to stop and have a good think. Society is organised according to access to capital, not according to birth year. Class is not something you sat in at school.

  5. The real problem is greed…Vs…need. I was born in 1940 and have always valued the type of society that grew around me. Education, health, employment, fair wages became the norm…Since Roger Douglas when the greed factor was introduced as the key behaviour for success measurement…relationships between my generation and today’s generation has been stretched to breaking point. Bomber is correct in stressing that fact. Life for many young in Auckland is simply a clear representation of that ‘greed’ factor for all to see…So Chris instead of riding your false high horse…come up with less condemnation and more recommendations to control my age groups absolutely overflowing greed of protecting rather than sharing wealth.

  6. “You wouldn’t permit anyone writing for The Daily Blog to discriminate against people on the grounds of race, gender or sexuality.”

    That’s true, but is he pointing out Boomer privilege, or is he discriminating? If he is pointing out Boomer’s housing privilege, then we shouldn’t individualise the issue – as you and many Boomers do. A poor white person doesn’t disprove white privilege. An unemployed man doesn’t disprove male privilege in employment. So too a renting Boomer doesn’t disprove the structural influences that privileged Boomers.

    “So what, in the name of Progressive Politics, are you hoping to achieve by blaming everyone born between 1946 and 1965 for Auckland’s housing crisis?”

    I thought he was blaming a generation’s collective policies?

    I don’t like the ‘fuck the Boomers’ anymore than ‘fuck white people’ or ‘fuck men’. But I take it from the Other’s perspective and acknowledge that structural privilege exists.

    It’s worth noting that your piece on Bernie Sanders was way off the mark. Like most pundits you’ve fallen for the ‘Blacks are Clinton’s firewall’ theory. Wrong – it’s actually the Boomers (yes, not all Boomers).

    It doesn’t bother me to see Gen X and Gen Y point out Boomer privilege because it’s a structural critique that highlights when neoliberalism was voted in (during the Boomers’ working prime). Maybe instead of defending Boomers’ feelings you could use your time to convince Boomers to start voting for future generations. Get them to stop voting for Labour, National, Clinton etc. Get them voting for Mana, Sanders etc.

    • Agree Fatty. Well done.

      However, the Boomers’ naivete in swallowing Rogernomics hook, line and sinker, then not rooting out and imprisoning every subsequent neolib for destroying the social fabric of New Zealand is more abhorrent than a bit of Boomer NIMBYism.

  7. Hear hear!!!
    I have also grown tired of the ‘baby boomers’ being blamed for a lot of society’s ills.
    Who are these people Bomber? What did each of them, individually, do exactly.
    What did I do Bomber?

  8. The thing is, we already have intensification and high density living, with up to 16 living on one property, and rich white people in complete denial about this, who insert themselves into the debate as the one true believers

  9. I think what we have here is a calcified rump of true blue Nat voters many of whom fall into the boomer years but also their Gen X offspring and theirs Gen Y, causing a growing amount of problems with their own entitlement and greed. Probably the same genealogy who voted for National in the 70’s because of unrealistic bribes of paid superannuation rather than paying yourself. But not all baby boomers subscribe to the madness!

    And GREED is the problem here. Michelle Boag said similar when she gloatingly referred to Nationals so far successful strategy of appealing to voters self-interest and greed. A leaf out straight out of US politics.

    The problem is that “greed is good” voting is now locking out a generation of Aucklanders from owning their own home and quite justifiably trouble is brewing. In fact it’s just one of many problems starting to afflict NZ. Growing gap between rich and poor, yes that right Bill English its real and bloody inconvenient isn’t it, the have’s and the have not’s, the homeless, growing debt and on it goes.

    And Bill English is an absolute desert on all these subjects as is the rest of National/ACT/Maori Party and Peter Dunne.

  10. People who are talking here about boomer privilege want to ask themselves this: If a government like the current one decided to address boomer privilege, do you think it would end up being to your benefit? Going by the way things have worked in the recent past, I would say not bloody likely. Remember how workers have been urged to note how good beneficiaries have it? Has getting tough on benefits improved workers’ conditions? Far from it, it has made room for zero hour contracts that you can’t refuse. Urge the current government to turn on the boomers and you are likely to get a similar result on the housing front.

    Yes, there are exploitative old buggers (and a few exploitative young buggers) around with a string of properties. But for the most part, people who bought their properties a long time ago had no influence on the current property boom occurring, and many would prefer it hadn’t happened. Moreover, many are very willing to back genuine affordable housing initiatives, especially since they care about their children.

  11. Excellent Chris, excellent.

    I have been watching with despair how one after another liberal commentator or progressive group have jumped on this bandwagon of accusing the ‘rich and old from their comfy, leafy suburbs’ for undermining the ‘just and progressive cause of building more housing’. So that this madness with house prices can be tamed – but the selfish bastards don’t care.

    What a red herring. Neither the denser urban fabric – under conditions of constrained land supply and rife speculation – can help bringing the price of houses and rents down, nor – even if that was possible – would that happen by pushing apartments construction into expensive suburbs like Kohi and BH Bay where the evil rich, old and grumpy live.

    The real situation is that the council is stuck with a profoundly wrong plan – the mad idea that Auckland should be a ‘compact city’ (like Paris? or San Gimignano?) and that this can be achieved by sticking ‘70% of all future growth’ into the existing city.

    Not only is this impossible to achieve in a market economy and in a democratic society, but it is not even desirable. Such dramatic intensification would result in a reduced quality of life, destruction of green open space, congestion/pressure on existing infrastructure, and increased exposure of the concentrated people and assets to disasters – that is, dangerous dependency of million or two million people on technical systems.

    So the Plan is a dud. From more than one strategic point of view. And nobody on the council or in the planning department – and the least in the ego-driven mayor’s office – has the temerity to say we were wrong, the scale and the location of densification need a major review, we’ll look at our maps again and get back to you. No, an endless process of meetings, debates, arguments, hearings, fights, propaganda and counter propaganda – in some masochistic way seems more attractive!

    And this process now surely must have cost millions of dollars. And nobody is held responsible for this epic squandering of public money (what’s the point of having an ‘executive mayor’?).

    And nobody seems scared of the prospect of having hundreds of cases in the Environment Court for years if an extremely controversial plan gets adopted.

    So why is all this madness with a Wrong Plan going on and why is the ‘Left’ is busying itself with ridiculing the old and the rich of Eastern suburbs?

    I am inclined to support your explanation, Chris, that people with heart in the right place – like good ‘old’ Bomber, or Generation Zero, or the Greens – have been duped by a distraction. “Go after those evil NIMBYs” told them some helpful spin doctor from the Council. And they did!

    I trust they really want to support the just cause of affordable housing, but do not see an intricate game that is played behind the doors of the Office of The Mayor – and in the face of an impotent council:
    “The truly outrageous aspect of Auckland’s housing crisis is how effectively Auckland’s citizens have been excluded from playing any role in fixing it. The Auckland Super City is democratic in name only. It’s true purpose is to create opportunities for property developers (and all of the other businesses their activities sustain) to go on making profits.”

    What a shame.
    –DB

  12. “The truly outrageous aspect of Auckland’s housing crisis is how effectively Auckland’s citizens have been excluded from playing any role in fixing it. The Auckland Super City is democratic in name only. It’s true purpose is to create opportunities for property developers (and all of the other businesses their activities sustain) to go on making profits.”

    Oh this is so true. As Auckland citizens and residents we are allowed to make submissions on various plans, but to do this, one needs to constantly follow what Council and business operators are up to, one needs good legal and even planning expertise, particularly in the case of this Unitary Plan that is supposed to help implement the earlier Auckland Plan.

    That is more than a full time job, given the complexities, given the comprehensive details, and unless a person is well versed, or on the other hand has the money to spend on expert advice and representation, any submission made is likely to be considered with a dim view, by the ones in charge.

    People have to work, study, earn the money to pay the rent or their mortgages, have kids and other stuff to care for, few have the time and energy to do any of the above, and the media is reporting stuff all, even very poorly, on what really goes on.

    Indeed, this is not simply a generational issue, the lack of affordable housing, it is a major social and economic issue that must concern us all, young and old, and I know enough “boomers” who are themselves not well off, and who do not own any property in Auckland. So the matter needs to be addressed in a different form, not by singling out the “boomers” as ones to blame.

    The true culprit for the disaster are Central Government who failed to do what needed doing much earlier, instead of building state and social housing, they are rather keen to get rid of the responsibility and leave it up to profit seeking developers to create housing, which will not be affordable even if those leafy suburbs would be more up-zoned.

    Also have we had many overseas buyers, some with dirty money, coming here to buy homes, a few days ago TVNZ reported one person alone possibly laundered money by buying property to the value of over 100 million in cash! Much money has flowed here, from China and many other places, where some people try to use it to buy property and land, thus to launder it. It may be money not being paid tax for, earned through drug or human trafficking or whatever else one can imagine.

    Then there are also legal overseas buyers, and there are new immigrants, plus people from other parts of New Zealand moving here to find work.

    So the problem is complex, and the reasons are diverse, and more needs to be built, but prices won’t come down even with more capacity, little will be affordable. Perhaps we need a crash of sorts, for things to re-adjust, but we know what risks and damage that will bring as consequences.

    Thank John Key and the government for the disaster. As for Council, I know how they regularly meet with certain developers, and both have vested interests to intensify, Council gets more citizens and ratepayers, and developers will earn big in a construction boom. As long as the population increase is not managed, we will have no change, as catching up with the housing deficit will take years.

  13. iam sorry i cant agree Chris the baby boomer’s benefited from a subsidizes life from housing to schooling while enjoying stable work and much better working conditions
    they bought there homes at 3 to 1 income ratios and where able to pay the mortgages off in reasonable time frame and it is that generation who benefited form speculation the young people are being given the two fingers by this group and are being told to suck it up and internalize a life hopelessly high debt poor work conditions no home of there own while paying the debt mountain created to hand tax cuts to this overly privileged group of parasites well its not fukken good enough and if a war is necessary then war it is

  14. Baby boomers versus generation x, y, millennial…. is a stupid way of framing the debate. Let’s face reality. NZ is moving away from its egalitarian culture. What we are seeing is the rising of a self-entitled landed gentry class that doesn’t want to share with the generation rent class.

    • Except that it has always been the gentry that ruled NZ. From the early days of Auckland, made rich by the plundering of the Waikato and Taranaki in the land wars etc., Auckland has always lived off the ‘founders’ rent’ in a land speculators paradise.

      We may as well blame those early speculators who dispossessed Maori while waving a paper Treaty in their faces, who became the gentry who squatted and locked up the land and are still converting public leasehold into freehold.

      It is the role of the NZ state to defend and protect those that speculate in land, compensating them to create productive farms, allocating scarce resources like water for free, all of which boosts the profits of the gentry.

      The fact is that under capitalism land is a finite commodity which entitles those who own it to a monopoly rent, so welcome to the nation of rent-seekers.

      What was typical of white settler colonies like NZ was the populations escaping the mother country where land was locked up by an existing gentry, in order to steal land from the indigenous peoples as their own private property.

      Its not today’s rich boomers who are the only rent-seekers, we may as well blame any generation that has speculated in land values in NZ history.

      Why not the immediately preceding generation that fought a war and returned to an economy buoyed by a boom due to the massive destruction of depression and war, and then had lots of babies to enjoy their fragile affluence.

      There is nothing unique about today’s rent-seekers that separates them from the 1890s and the 1950s except that the global economy is crashing and those impoverished by it can see a highly visible National Party “winners” concentrated in East Auckland thumbing its nose at the “losers”. And they are only visible because they are so noisy about their fear of economic decline.

      By targetting the baby boomers and blaming the politics of ‘greed’ you flip it over into the politics of ‘envy’ which is a massive distraction from targetting the real enemy, private property that entitles monopoly rent.

      There will be no solution to property speculation in NZ until the land is nationalised and allocated to those who can produce efficiently and sustainably from it without raking off monopoly rent.

  15. iam sorry i cant agree Chris the baby boomer’s benefited from a subsidizes life from housing to schooling while enjoying stable work and much better working conditions
    they bought there homes at 3 to 1 income ratios and where able to pay the mortgages off in reasonable time frame and it is that generation who benefited form speculation the young people are being given the two fingers by this group and are being told to suck it up and internalize a life hopelessly high debt poor work conditions no home of there own while paying the debt mountain created to hand tax cuts to this overly privileged group of parasites well its not good enough and if a war is necessary then war it is. there blocking the Necessary reforms to the NZ economy in face of oncoming automation wave combined with climate change there guilty all right !

  16. hashtag #notallboomers

    not convinced Chris. Gen X and Y are poorer than their parents, I know you personally are not responsible but your contemporaries Roger Douglas, Ron Brierley, Bob Jones etc. enthusiastically ripped up the social contract, destroyed unions, and fostered egregious inequality.

    who voted for that shit? Boomers

    • The duration of a generation is nominally about 20 years. Generation X,Y,Z perhaps even smaller periods.

      An average person votes over a 50 year period of their adullt life, often longer.

      For commenters to claim that generation “boomers” controlled the electoral demographic at any point over the past 50 years is simply untrue.

      It’s impossible.

      It’s bullshit.

      Even over the period when 100% of the boomer generation was actively voting, the boomers would be outnumbered two to one by voters of other generations.

      The whole intergeneration blame game is fallacious.

      • “Even over the period when 100% of the boomer generation was actively voting, the boomers would be outnumbered two to one by voters of other generations.”

        But still disproportionately dominant.
        Anyway, this is not purely a numbers thing. It’s about the collective values that developed (and therefore became normalised) during a period of time. The boomer dominated period also produced some good things – socially liberal changes. But regards to the economy and distribution of resources, shit got real bad. So too values on class-based compassion (empathy).

        Looking at where we were in the 70s to where we are now, I don’t see why Boomers get the knickers in a knot. I wouldn’t blink an eye if I was a Boomer and my generation was told they fucked up. It’s scary for those of us who have another 50 years to go

        • But still disproportionately dominant.

          While they were in the minority?
          That’s a strange definition of dominant.

          • “While they were in the minority?
            That’s a strange definition of dominant.”

            In relation to each of the other two generations at any given time. Therefore, the individualistic economic values of the Boomers dominated and became normalised. Simple definition. Don’t worry, they’re getting old and neoliberalism will die off soon too.

            No strange definitions. Just history. The neoliberal consensus and individualism will not be continued. We want a future. 10-15 years and it’s gone. http://novaramedia.com/2016/02/imo-bernie-sanders-and-jeremy-corbyn-powered-by-millenials/

      • +1 Richard. The Gen Y and Millennial disenfranchised could have voted Internet Mana or Greens. They were targeting them. For what ever reason they didn’t vote or did not vote for them.

        Quite frankly after 30 years of Rogernomics I think parts of gen X, generation y and millennial are actually just as selfish and self consuming and more consumer orientated than boomers but for different reasons. University used to be full of radical ideas, the hub of protest, nowadays I’m concerned that a lot of students are self obsessed about themselves, jobs (doing business/law degrees) or marketing. They can’t be bothered getting too political as they will inherit the family home (hopefully) and if their parents are renting quite frankly few after the boomers will have gotten to Uni under paid education so just aren’t there. The renter generation (without family inheritance to rely on) are wondering if they will get enough hours next week to survive and pay their HP’s and bills on their zero hour contract or maybe if things get too radical they might lose their pathetic job, but it is a job!!!

        When I was at Uni there were protests galore but now I can’t actually see much student protest (maybe I’m wrong ). Ofcourse now Uni is about generating overseas fees as much as educating the next generation so maybe things have changed.

        I actually wonder if Gen X is the most politically active. We had the glimpse of freedom from a social democracy and had Rogernomics effect us the most with the first generation to have student loans and zero jobs. Those generations before us tend to be better off and those after us are largely brainwashed and don’t seem politically aware. I mean if you blame your parents and grandparents for your predicament, why would you think changing the government by voting would help?

        All I can say is I think Bomber and others are misguided and falling into a trap, don’t help rightwingers, fight them. Get intergeneration collaboration to fix the mess from Neoliberalism!

        Stop blaming others, Start fighting against National for a start!

        • “The Gen Y and Millennial disenfranchised could have voted Internet Mana or Greens. They were targeting them. For what ever reason they didn’t vote or did not vote for them.”

          True, but the Boomers turned up and voted for neoliberalism agin – Labour and National. Why do you think young people are getting involved in the Dems and UK Labour, but not fringe parties that are supposedly set up for them – perhaps they find it patronising and they know it’ll be Labour or the Nats taking the good neolib / bad neolib roles. To alter our political centre we need Labour to go left or to not get votes – let us know when the Boomers are ready.

          “Quite frankly after 30 years of Rogernomics I think parts of gen X, generation y and millennial are actually just as selfish and self consuming and more consumer orientated than boomers”

          Very true, but not surprising considering they’ve grown up under the individualised capitalism that was made the norm in the 80s. Context is everything. When Gen x and Gen y came to the age of 25 neoliberalism had been normalised. The Boomers had social democracy as their economic framework and look where they took it.

          “nowadays I’m concerned that a lot of students are self obsessed about themselves, jobs (doing business/law degrees) or marketing.”

          Neoliberalism coerces students towards careers that are less precarious. Gen Y’s studying in the arts is for the middle and upper class, the other students want to make their individual future as safe as possible. Don’t blame the student’s ‘choices’ – there is little choice for most students.

          “They can’t be bothered getting too political as they will inherit the family home (hopefully) and if their parents are renting quite frankly few after the boomers will have gotten to Uni under paid education so just aren’t there.”

          The lazy non-voter meme is offensive. Look at the way youth focused parties get portrayed in the media – they’re ganged up on by the likes of Labour and National and NZ First. Labour should be the voice of youth – through their policies.

          “When I was at Uni there were protests galore but now I can’t actually see much student protest (maybe I’m wrong ).”

          Nah, you’re right. They’re probably working close to full time…must have been nice to have affordable housing and low fees at uni eh?

          “I actually wonder if Gen X is the most politically active. We had the glimpse of freedom from a social democracy and had Rogernomics effect us the most with the first generation to have student loans and zero jobs”

          No they’re not. The Boomers always have been the most political, perhaps Gen Y is emerging. But Gen X spent most of their life in shock.

          “Those generations before us tend to be better off and those after us are largely brainwashed and don’t seem politically aware.”

          That’s patronising. Gen Y is very political, talk to them about housing, the environment and employment. They’re very aware. They won’t be aware of whatever Andrew Little is blah blahing about in the beehive though – and fair enough. If Labour had a Corbyn then they might. Or if the Labour voters stopped voting for their neoliberal party and pushed a new kind of social democracy with Mana, then the younger people would get involved.

          “I mean if you blame your parents and grandparents for your predicament, why would you think changing the government by voting would help?”

          Because if parents and grandparents voted for neoliberalism for 40 years, and that is what needs changing – we don’t need just a change of government, we need a change of ideology. Just like what happened in the 70s and 80s.

          “Get intergeneration collaboration to fix the mess from Neoliberalism!”

          Yes, get the boomers to stop voting for Labour / neoliberalism

          “Stop blaming others, Start fighting against National for a start!”

          I agree. Tell that to Labour who ganged up with National and the Maori Party to take out Mana. Labour are the problem – so stop voting for them

          • “Quite frankly after 30 years of Rogernomics I think parts of gen X, generation y and millennial are actually just as selfish and self consuming and more consumer orientated than boomers”.

            Really Fatty? How do you work that one out when most of us don’t have any bloody money.

            Look I agree with some of what you say, of course the Boomers have more political say, by sheer numbers.

            • It’s quite simple. 90 cents out of every borrowed dollar goes towards property speculation. 10 cents goes towards the real economy, R&D and wages. Tough shit if you can not meet loan requirements in order to participate in the NZ economy.

  17. Always important to play the issues not the person and good to be reminded of it. That applies to both Bomber and the response. The disenfranchised need to vote and stand for election more so that decisions are made that represent the diverse needs of our communities. Otherwise frustration gets misdirected. Whether we like it or not elected representatives make decisions in favour of their constituencies and are elected by them.

    • Good theory …. and hard to disagree with, except the natives are getting restless and there’s now a generation saddled with debt, poorly housed and often barely educated.
      Sadly, the last Labour run had an opportunity to back out policies that contributed to all that, but they chose to have another cup of tea and a lay down (especially in their third term when they did SFA). Actually they chose to have a nice Chardonnay or Pinot Gris and pontificate over violent crime, feral and child parents and whether it’ll be Fiji, Rarotonga or Venice this year.

      • Yeah, housing prices under Clark are statistics that the Labourites never speak of. In many ways Clark’s three terms were worse than Key’s. Clark cemented neoliberalism and now people wonder why the young voters avoid Labour.

        Give us a Corbyn or close the party down and force Labour’s voters to vote for a real left wing party. It’s OK for the Boomers to speak for youth (Corbyn and Sanders) – far more effective than saying youth should take over (while retaining a firm grip on the controls).

    • “elected representatives make decisions in favour of their constituencies and are elected by them” backs up what Ropata said in his above comment “who voted for that shit? Boomers”

      • “who voted for that shit? Boomers”

        When Boomers where outnumbered two to one by other generations?

        I don’t think so.

  18. You’re correct of course Mr Trotter (in that generational warfare is counter-productive). However, it’s also pretty tragic to see one’s contemporaries – who were once the progressives, seeking societal improvements – now the smug, greedy, selfish arseholes clinging desperately to ‘youth’. Even worse – dressing up in matching clobber as their kids, claiming their offspring are “their bestest ever friends” ….. etc, and all the while depriving them of a decent future. They’re ‘comfortable’ with student loans, and their offspring can bloody well wait for a decent house till after they’ve popped their clogs and the will is read (except that a good many will leave SFA once everything is cashed up and the credit cards are paid off). They justify themselves and their greed with platitudes like “I earned it all’, and they justify their change from a once compassionate and socially aware outlook to their now selfish “lock ’em up” attitudes with shit like “I had kids and grew up, andI’ve got responsibilities”.

    Sometimes I wonder whether it’s actually fear (fear of getting old and ugly – and I mean fugly sometimes, in our all-important, market-rules consumerist, cosmetically generated sussoighty, going forward).

    Whilst I can understand Bomber’s apportioning of blame, it is ekshully pretty bloody stupid. But the once progressive ‘boomer’ has often turned into the ultimate consumer, and just like their parents, they utter the same old “I didn’t get where I am today without hard work …..”, etc

    I sometimes think I can’t wait for the inevitable big crash. Not only will neo-liberalism be called to account (I hope non-violently, but fear otherwise), but I imagine there’ll be a call on the ‘early boomers’ to show people how to plant a few veges – even cook a meal; darn a sock; create a ‘grunge trend’; or even programme a computer with machine-level code; recycle what’s available for re-use; etc.
    Meantime there are a shitload of my contemporaries who used to profess progressive values but who are now greedy, pathetic social tragedies riding on a wave of complacency – but who will all be the first to moan like fuck if they’re still alive when it all goes tits up.

    On another thread (I think on this site) I noticed an example of such a boomer – it mentioned a certain Simon Wilson’s “shift Right”. (It reminds me of old road signage that used to appear on K Road last time I was there). The contribution disappeared up it’s own arse – glitch or moderation – I couldn’t care.
    There are plenty like that though @ Chris T … comfortably smug; economically (and temprarily) secure; elitest; holier than thou. The ‘Woodstock Baby Boomer’ turned ideologically driven neo-lib: fucking amusing if it wasn’t so sad. Maybe that’s the definition of today’s politician as well

  19. “No persons may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed”

    So I suppose there are grounds to charge Nations that impose sanctions against other countries as those are collective punishments which make individuals who have not personally committed the offense suffer. No?

  20. Remember the song “Young Man’s Blues”? (co-written by Pete Townshend)
    It has a line that goes something like: “Now Days it’s the old man whose got all the money….”
    This song was written by baby boomers of the late sixties, but the old men they referred to then, are now themselves.
    Perhaps a bit sad that the baby boomers, the generation that campaigned most for equality, freedom, peace and the value of the young men and women, should end up embracing the things they previously hated most – wealth, power and right-wing politics.
    Even John Lennon voiced his disgust at the number of ex-hippies who abandoned their rebellious stances and became investment consultants or corporate bankers.

  21. We seriously need to examine the idea that this is an intergenerational problem. It’s playing right into the hands of the people who want to divide and conquer us. Let’s put the blame exactly where it should be, on the politicians and the 1%.

    I believe the boomer generation is hanging on for dear life to what they have because they perceive the consequences of low assets and income in modern New Zealand to be extreme. The safety net is far too close to the bottom of the cliff. That’s why National and Labour are getting away with not fixing the fundamental problems of our economy.

    Fixing things is going to require a massive upheaval, possibly as bad as Rogernomics, if not worse. The 1% will fight hard and dirty.

    http://fair.org/home/convincing-the-young-to-blame-the-old-not-the-rich/

  22. I really do get tired of people of my generation, (Im 62), getting sensitive about us ‘boomers’ being accused of behaving badly. The facts are indisputable. We have.
    Our generation grew up in a time of unparalleled egalitarianism and opportunity. Take me as a poster child of our generation. As a child of coalminers, I got a free education, including unversity. My partner and I got a state house when we needed it and were able to afford a modest home in our twenties. We worked in a time of decent wages and conditions, ensured by laws that recognised the importance of unions and a social contract that recognised the worth of all. Our kids grew up in a time when we parents earned enough to share time at home with our babies and could rely on a state to fill the gaps.
    All that has changed. Real income for 90% has stagnated or fallen, employment law has been ratcheted to disadvantage labour, education has been turned over to the market in ECE and tertiary (and is increasingly expensive in the compulsory sector). Meanwhile housing is a disaster. Since the eighties housing in NZ has become a get-rich-scheme for people with spare capital.
    All of this has happened under our watch. (Call us boomers if you will.)
    Two of our own kids are doing well. They have managed to pay off student loans and buy homes – but not from New Zealand. Their happiness is a product of societies where a different kind of ‘boomer’ rules. (The one child at home struggles and will probably never own a home for our grandkids.)
    So my point is that we boomers with a conscience need to get over ourselves, stop being defensive and accept that our generation messed up. It was not each of us personally, but it was people we knew and know still. (Workmates, friends and family who are doing very nicely thanks, because they had a leg-up in a decent society.) We need to be telling these people what the selfishness of our generation means for our grandkids and in order to do that, we need to accept that they are our people, our generation and our responsibility.

  23. I like the thought of “the most essential drivers of human co-operation.”

    What would David Seymour say those things are? What would his plan to have those things pre-eminent look like?

    The same of Steven Joyce.

    Observation over a long period suggests that the most essential driver of human co-operation is to be top dog so you can make others co-operate!

    That I find that so doesn’t make it agreeable.

  24. The entire globalised financial-economic system is war on the next generation.

    1. Creation of money out of thin air and charging interest on that money. Debts are now way beyond repayable. And it is only manipulation of interest rates that prevents an immediate blow-out. Nevertheless, the system will implode soon (very likely this year) because it is Ponzi.

    2. Rapid depletion of finite fossil fuels. All the easy oil is gone and the next generation will suffer the starvation that will be a consequence of declining liquid fuel availability crippling industrial agriculture. (Probably commencing at the end of 2016 or early in 2017).

    3. Rapid overheating of the Earth via the burning of fossil fuels, resulting in ever-worsening climate stability, and eventually leading to an uninhabitable planet. At this stage it is unclear whether the Arctic will be ice-free in 2016. Once the Arctic ice is gone planetary overheating will move into an even faster phase.

    The present generation of adults is the first in all of human history to actively destroy their own children’s futures, which is bizarre beyond belief.

    However, that is what happens when you have a society that is lied to continuously by politicians and the media and retains a sense of entitlement.

    Pity the children.

  25. +100 Trotter.

    I was also heartened to see so many baby boomers at all the protest rallies I have attended from TPPA to Climate Change.

    I also think it is playing into National’s hands. Instead of blaming the successive governments for their actions it is putting a discourse out there that one generation is to blame, NOT the government.

    Who would have thought Rogernomics would spring from Labour for example? Increasingly people vote in good faith, only to have the government of the day lie and betray them. Now political treachery is on steroids under Pinocchio Key with MSM propping him up and dirty politics.

  26. This debate reminds me of the need to engage all the Us’s – those dispossessed by the super-rich – that gay rights activist Harvey Milk saw as crucial to connect into a broad movement to throw off the ruling class in USA America. Watch the movie “Milk” starring Sean Penn, with a group of friends – it’s a great film, inspiring and heartwarming.

  27. OMG, I don’t think I can recall the last time I read such a vomit-inducing apologia for naked privilege.

    “Comrade” Trotter, what a laugh.

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