Q+A Review: Why Gen X and Gen Y are the bitter neoliberal harvest we can’t ever mention on mainstream media


The brilliant Max Harris was on Q+A this morning discussing the depressing antipathy younger generations have towards participation in Democracy.

I say depressing antipathy, but I mean rational cynicism.

The most amazing part of the discussion was how the mainstream media pundits and TVNZ staff refused point blank to consider that the  Gen X and Millennial disgust and aversion of politics is a perfectly normal and rational response to the out right greed and contempt of the current political landscape because of neoliberalism.

I suspect that every time someone says ‘neoliberalism’ on TVNZ, a News Producer dies.

Boomers lived under Governments that believed after the devastation of World War Two that their role in the life of the citizen was to subsidise that citizens existence from the cradle to the grave. This focus was shattered  by Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of economics style free market zealotry which preached Government must leave the market so the purity of demand and supply dynamics could create perfection.

This ideological madness found political voice in Reagan, Thatcher and Rogernomics.

Gen X and Gen Y are the first user pays generations under Governments who see their focus as removing themselves from the market, thus Gen X and Gen Y are far poorer than Boomers and feel utterly robbed.

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This Generational theft has eroded confidence, interests and belief in the political process. Look how the National Party will open the floodgates of migration to keep their property bubble alive in Auckland which keeps property investing middle classes voting National despite the social carnage that mass immigrations is causing.

Who can look at that system and not be disgusted by the self interest and delusion of it?

Gen Xers and Gen Y themselves lack the political imagination to see a different system from user pays and their media have been dumbed down so that the Bachelor is more important to public debate than a political experiment that has enabled the richest to create a plutocracy.

The good news is that the demographics will change by the 2024 election, because by 2024 Gen Xers and Gen Y will finally numerically out number the boomers.

By 2024 the realities of Climate Change will be screaming for a radicalisation of politics that demands change rather than begs the elites for it.

Then brothers and sisters, when the electoral boot is on the other foot, should we burn to the ground the neoliberal state and all those who have benefitted from its self-interested corruption.

The inevitability of a counter revolution against neoliberalism is the only certainty.


  1. Neo liberalism should and needs to be burnt to the ground – quick smart.

    Many Right Wing Nut Jobs will come on issuing glowing reports of how the ‘ free market / neo liberalism’ has lifted ‘ millions’ out of poverty worldwide.

    The only problem with that is there isn’t ‘ millions’ of 1 percenter’s.

    There’s only a small percent ( hence the title ‘ the one percenter’s ‘ ) holding most of the global wealth while the vast majority are still in poverty , act as ‘work slaves ‘ on minimum wages , or are burdened by a lifetime of crippling debt.

    Such as those struggling to pay off mortgages or even save for a deposit on a house and bring up a family – particularly if they have such things as large student loans – something that never existed prior to 1984 in this country.

    The facts were that Social Democracy’s with a post World War Two Keynesian economic system were the most successful yet ( at least in the West ) in ensuring not only economic equity for a country’s population , fairness in the workplace, good health and education , and a prosperous society ,- it also ensured the extremely rich paid their fair share in taxation.

    Something that is extremely lacking with far too many corporate’s ripping the taxpayers and thus the govt off with their trusts and multi faceted / front businesses and multiple offshore bank accounts- not to mention the tax havens themselves .

    Modern examples are still found in Scandinavia with modified Keynesian models – and they enjoy one of the highest – if not the highest – living standards globally.

    And while it may be true that Keynesianism has some flaws, it was / is still far better than the abject plundering of nations than neo liberalism and the ‘ classical liberalist’s ‘ try and make out.

    This business of zero hour contracts, minimum wage economy’s never existed in this country prior to the 1984 neo liberal heist under the treasonous Roger Douglas and was only brought about by using such mechanisms as the Employment Contracts Act invented by the extremely wealthy and greedy lobbyists groups such as the NZ Business Roundtable ( and colleagues of Douglas ).

    Not to mention the whole process of creating mass unemployment by the privatization of former SOE’s – similar to what this govt has tried to do with its push towards private prisons and efforts to privatize state housing just recently as a prime example. And for these two examples the same old ploy they’ve always used was applied- that of deliberately under-funding state run depts and then offering the neo liberal so – called alternative of ‘ privatizing ‘ them.

    Thus not only servicing the financial arrangements of the extremely wealthy – but in the process ensuring large financial donations are made to the National party to maintain and advance only those policy’s that advantage the super rich .

    Some links such as this explain the process of how this piratical ideology took root in New Zealand under the 4th Labour govt and its Finance Minister the treasonous Roger Douglas ( former / active board member – as was his National party counterpart Ruth Richardson – of the infamous Mont Pelerin society which was founded by Friedrich Hayek ) as well as the same basic methods used in other country’s around the globe to effect the same results – and the real motives behind it.

    Courtesy of The Standard.

    Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems | Books …

    Even the IMF Now Admits Neoliberalism Has Failed | Fortune.com

    The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics
    https://www.theguardian.com › Opinion › Globalisation

    Authentic Hope in the Twilight of Failed Neoliberal Capitalism – Truthout

  2. I’m a Gen-Xer and almost certainly won’t be voting this election. Russell Brand, as boorish as he is, is actually right. Democracy IS a sham. A false choice. An election system that has long been subverted (designed?) to keep the elites/deep state/banksters in perpetual power without fear of revolution (which would undoubtedly see these arseholes hanged). It’s a rigged system, and I’m not entirely sure the politicians even know it (which is just sad, really).

  3. I doubt I’ll be around by then but I sure hope it will be particularly bloody and nasty for the fuckwits who set this all up and enabled it.

    Prolly a vain hope…

  4. Must have missed a post, but why would the election be in 2024? Will we have evolved to a 4-year term after 2020?

  5. The longer the counter=revolution takes to eventuate, particularly given the now dangerous and uncharted neo-colonial territory that this ‘country’ is now in, the greater the likelihood that that counter-revolution will be armed and violent.

  6. The problem is that it is very hard to get these two generations to get out and vote. They are preoccupied (and not without good cause) with trying to raise kids and pay off mortgages and they tend to think that all governments are the same.

  7. 50 years old…I’ve only ever voted twice. And it doesn’t look like I’ll be voting again anytime soon.
    Though I did buy a Crown Lynn “Labour Party’ cup off TM, a little set from back in the day.
    I’ve promised myself a cup of tea in it, and a gingernut, the day Labour turns into the sort of party I can support.
    I guess it will just have to sit on the shelf a bit longer.

    • you know that every waterfall starts with 1 drop of rain, there is more to the political landscape than the labour party, there are certainly several viable alternatives on the social front to vote for, lying down will achieve neo liberal heaven far quicker than they ever hoped for.

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